September 21, 2007

September Wine Tasting, Friday, Sept. 21st

It's time for our September Wine Tasting.

As always, the "in-store" tastings are free!

The theme is

Unusual Grapes
Unusual Blends

We are traveling the globe!


Gancia Prosecco Extra Dry (Italy) Reg. $16.99 Sale $13.99 - This is delicious! Jessica and I really enjoyed this when we tasted it last week! Wonderful bubbles and mouthfeel. Aromas of golden and green apples, pears and flowers. Flavors of fresh white fruit (apples, pears and white peaches). Crisp and refreshing! Food pairing - great as a cocktail wine. Nice with lighter foods and lighter desserts.


Salneval Albarinho 2006 (Spain) $12.99 - This is a delicious Spanish white. Many Albarinos are $15-17; this is a great value at $13! Wonderful aromas of fruit (apples, peaches, pears, lime), roses, ginger, mint and stony minerals. Flavors of pears, citrus, honey, plus minerals. It's medium-bodied and dry. With well-balanced acidity. Food pairing - Great paired with fresh Maine seafood!

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier 2006 (California) Reg. $14.99 Sale $13.99 - Pine Ridge is one of my favorite California wineries and this is one of my favorite white wines! This is refreshing, crisp and delicious! Aromas of honey, apricots, apples, pears and flowers. It's fresh and lively! Juicy! Flavors of melons, tangerines, pears. apples and a touch of sweetness. Nice acidity. Clean finish. 86% Chenin Blanc and 16% Viognier. 23,200 cases made. Food pairing - a picnic! Spicy Asian or Indian food. Crabcakes. Seafood. Food & Wine, "25 Best Wines for Summer"

Cave de Turckheim Vin d'Alsace Pinot Blanc 2004 (Alsace, France) Reg. $15.99 Sale $13.99 - I like this a lot! For lovers of Alsatian wines, Pinot Blanc is not that unusual! Most people I encounter have rarely tried a Pinot Blanc! Pinot Blanc is a close relative of Pinot Gris, which in turn is a close relative of Pinot Noir! Pinot Blancs have subtle aromas - they are not boldly aromatic. Subtle aromas of apples, pears and minerals. The flavors in this wine tend more to the minerally side with subtle fruit notes (apples and pears) and a hint of nuts (maybe almonds). Lively acidity. Crisp, zippy finish! Food pairing - smoked fish, shellfish, ham, Thanksgiving Dinner, poultry, etc.

Sepp Moser Gruner Veltiner Gebling Kremstal 2005 (Austria) $18.99 - This is Austria's flagship grape! This is an excellent Gruner Veltliner. It has a soft feel at the start - it's rich and soft! Flavors and aromas of peaches, apples, baking spices, minerals and it has the flavor and aroma for which the better Gruner Veltliners are known - white pepper! Nice acidity. Crisp finish that ends with a little white pepper! Stainless steel fermentation. 1,000 cases made. Gruner Veltiner is still little-known in the US (in fact, it is little known outside Austria!). The nearby Danube River plays a key role influencing the climate of this area. The Gebling vineyard dates to the late 13th century. Food pairing - Lobster and seafood. Seafood with rich sauces. Poultry with rich sauces. Sausages. Wine Spectator, 89 points


Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere 2006 (Chile) $12.99 - This is a tasty red blend from Southern Chile. Aromas of wild berries, blueberries, blackberries, dark cherries and vanilla. Flavors of red and black fruit, baking spices, pepper, vanilla and earth. Nice mouthfeel. Aged in French oak barrels. Cono Sur is Spanish for the "Southern Cone," the shape of South America below the Tropic of Capricorn. Blend of 60& Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Carmenere. Carmenere is often called the "lost grape of Bordeaux." It disappeared from Bordeaux and the grapes in Chile were thought to be Merlot until DNA testing in the 1990's showed it to be Carmenere. Organically grown grapes. Food pairing - steak, lamb, kabobs, rich veggie meals.

Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Rompicollo 2005 (Tuscany, Italy) $15.99 - This is a wonderful red from Tuscany - a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon! 4,200 cases made. Aromas of cherries, raspberries, leather, spices and roasted nuts. Flavors of dark cherries, plums, vanilla and toasty oak, Medium-bodied. Soft tannins. Long, clean & crisp finish. Food pairing - grilled or roasted meats, game, sauces based on meats and/or mushrooms, and rich, flavorful cheese. Decanter, 3 Stars, "Very Good"

Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 2005 (South Africa) Reg. $10.99 Sale $9.99 - This wine pays tribute to the early pioneers on the Cape who built a "wolftrap." To date, no wolf, either real or mythical, has ever been seen in the valley! Boekenhoutskloof (be warned - this is probably the most annoying website I have visited in ages) produces wonderful old-world wines from South Africa! This wine is fantastic and a great value! Aromas of red berries, bacon, spice, plums and vanilla. Soft tannins. Flavors of mocha, dark and red berries, vanilla and plums. 65% Syrah, 19% Cinsault, 11% Mourvèdre and 5% Viognier. 10% unwooded, 90% fermented with French oak. Up to 8 months aging before blending. Fined and bottled. Food pairing - great everyday wine! Wonderful with roasted and grilled meats, stews and hearty vegetarian dishes!

Altano Duoro 2005 (Portugal) Reg. $9.99 Sale $8.99 - This is a great value and a wonderful wine. Since we opened this has been a favorite of ours vintage after vintage! Excellent fruit in the nose and mouth (raspberry, blueberry, cherry and spice). Good balance between fruit and acidity. A touch of classic Portuguese earthiness & rusticity. Made from traditional Port grapes - Touriga Francesca and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) - grown in the heart of the Douro Valley. Food pairing - Great with hearty foods such as beef or lamb stews and roasted meats.


Castello del Poggio Brachetto Spumante (Piedmont, Italy) $19.99 - This is fabulous! Great with a chocolate dessert! It's not as powerfully sweet as many Brachettos I've tasted. It has those wonderful strawberry and raspberry aromas and flavors that are hallmarks of this traditional Piedmontese dessert wine! At the same time is has a softer and crisper mouthfeel! We love it! Food pairing - fruit tarts, cake and chocolate!

We'll also have 5 flavors of "Outrageous Shortbreads" to try with the different wines. We've sampled these at wine tastings before and they are always a hit! The owners, Mike and Sandra, are avid wine and shortbread nuts. They are also marine biologists - so they've put their love of food and wine and their scientific training and passion to work to pair up different flavors with different wines. Mike's suggestion - try each flavor shortbread with the different wines and see what you like! That said, Mike and Sandra are sending along tasting suggestions!