April 8, 2010

Flavors of Freeport Tasting

Food and Wine Tasting
Friday, April 9th
6:00-9:00pm
Hilton Garden Inn

Chef's Signature Series and Libations Gala
  • 6 P.M. to 9 P.M., Friday, April 9th
  • 20 of Freeport's finest restaurants, offering tastes to showcase their culinary skill and style, plus wine, beer and spirits tasting from local purveyors.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Ballroom
  • Gala tickets: $25 each or 2 for $40 ($25 per person at the door - cash only)
  • For tickets: http://www.flavorsoffreeport.com/purchase-tickets
Three distributors (SOPO, DaVine Wines and National) will be here pouring samples of some great wines! Gritty's will have a big bar with beers! And, Cold River Vodka will be sampling their vodka. Plus, a ton of food from many Freeport restaurants, including Azure, the Harraseeket Inn and more.

The wines are described below.

I'll be there sampling out some cheeses and maybe some other stuff! The cheeses I'll have:
  • Langa La Tur (Italy) - goat, cow and sheep. Soft and creamy. One of the great cheeses in the world!
  • Brillat Savarin (France) - a triple crème! Decadent!
  • Kilchurn Cave-Aged Cheddar (England) - crumbly, sharp with wonderful crunchy crystals in the texture
  • Piave Vecchio (Italy) - one of the great hard cheeses!

If you are interested, go on line to get tickets - they are going fast!

The Wines:

Any of these wines that you purchase from Freeport Cheese & Wine will be 10% off!

South Portland Wine Company (a.k.a.; SOPO)

White Wines (and Sparkling):

  1. 1+1 Cava (Spain) $14.99 - This is as good of a Spanish cava as we've ever tasted! It's flat-out tasty! Aromas of apples, baking spices, honey, hazelnuts and minerals. Dry, fresh and crisp in the mouth....with fine, tiny bubbles. Notes of apples. Limes, lemon and minerals in the flavors. Long, clean, pleasing finish. Finishes soft, dry and crisp. Well-balanced acidity. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points AND named importer, Aurelio Cabestrero, one of his "Wine Personalities of the Year;" Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 88 points
  2. Huber "Hugo" Gruner Veltliner 2008 (Austria) $11.99 - THE "noble" white grape of Austria! This is a wonderful, dry crisp wine from Austria! Beautiful color. Aromas of white pepper, spices, Provencal herbs, yellow peaches, pears and tropical fruit. Flavors of tropical fruit, notes of spicy pepper. Rich, mouth feel. Wonderful wine. Crisp, clean finish. Wonderful vineyard with sandy loamy soil. Fermented in cool temperatures and in stainless steel. Three months of lees contact in stainless steel. Food pairing - seafood, chicken, turkey, smoked fish, etc. Drinks well on its own...but this is a food wine.
  3. Josef Leitz Eins Zwei Dry "123" Riesling 2008 (Germany) $14.99 - This winery keeps delivering outstanding Riesling at great prices (that isn't easy!). This is the "dry" version of the wonderful Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein (Dragonstone) wine. This bottling comes from the Rosenberg vineyard in neighboring Geisenheim, long famed for its rose scented Rieslings but lately hasn't had a great grower working it. Johannes has leased a winery just below the vineyard to give him more space to work and with it came old vines on the steepest section of the vineyard. In years to come we may once again hail the Rosenberg for the great site it is. The wine is bright and dry with a nose that just sings, mingling citrus, apricot and the telltale flowery aroma typical of the vineyard.

Rosé Wine

  1. Domaine de Gournier Vin de Pays des Cévennes Rosé 2009 (France) $9.99 - Just a wonderful summer wine from southern France - refreshing, tasty. Nice red berry (strawberry, raspberry) aromas & flavors with distinctive peachy notes. A soft & elegant wine. Dry. Crisp. Fresh. Drinks easy & smooth. Well-balanced acidity. From Provence, this is handmade, hand-harvested wines. Traditionally made...small-production. This area of Provence smells of rosemary & lavender. Organically farmed & made. Food pairing - Great on its own. Try with lobster, grilled chicken & pork, chicken salad, roasted ham.

Red Wines

  1. André Brunel Grenache Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2008 (France) $9.99 - Just what we all need! A fabulous red from Southern France for less than $10! This is an awesome wine from a winemaker whose Châteauneuf-de-Pape commands big dollars. André Brunel is a truly great, legendary winemaker! Aromas of herbs (rosemary, sage, Provence), peppery spice, black cherries, plums, blackberries. Deep, dark clear color. Juicy, big, spicy mid-palate. Soft, chewy tannins at finish. Unfiltered. Hand-picked & destemmed. 90% Grenache & 10% Carignan. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Food pairing - Great wine with grilled or roasted meats, hearty stews, etc. Decant to open up more rapidly.
  2. J.M. da Fonseca Domini Douro 2005 (Portugal) $15.99 - Made from traditional "Port" grapes, this is what the Portuguese call a "still" wine (I don't know why - Port isn't bubbly). Fonseca is one of Portugal's leading wineries (7th generation, family-owned). "Domini" is a joint venture of J.M. da Fonseca and winemaker Cristiano van Zeller, one of Portugal's famed "Douro Boys." The "Douro Boys" are revolutionizing winemaking in the Douro Valley - producing world-class red wines! Since 1999, they have acquired 77 acres of prime vineyards, the source for the Domini wines. The vineyards are planted in traditional Douro Valley grapes, such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. While these are traditional grapes, the winemaking is vastly improved from previous generations (Portugal has long made good wine, but a lot of the reds from the Douro Valley were a bit "rustic," in a coarse, harsh way). Wine Enthusiast, 89 points.

DaVine Wines

White Wines

  1. New Age (Mendoza, Argentina) $11.99 - blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia, this has a little effervescence to it! We'll serve this as a cocktail - over ice with a little slice of lime! It's a hugely popular drink in Argentina and is making a big splash in Maine this year! The drink is called "Tincho," after the cocktail's creator, who happens to be the 3rd generation of this family-owned winery in Mendoza. Bodega Valentin Bianchi is one of Argentina's oldest wineries, dating to 1928 and founded by Italian immigrant, Valentin Bianchi. It's delicious and refreshing!
  2. La Tunella Pinot Grigio 2007 (Italy) $21.99 - This is not your Mom's Pinot Grigio! A $20 Pinot Grigio? What? ARE YOU CRAZY? Nope. This is real, serious wine.... Rich....loaded with minerals and many layers of complex fruit.....this is NOT the watered down, thin Pinot Grigio you find on many wine lists at restaurants as a "glass pour" - hint, hint....the restaurant is going to make a ton of money on you for ordering most non-descript glass-pours.......this is SERIOUS wine that is also easy to drink.
  3. Poppy Chardonnay 2008 (California) $13.99 - This is a beautiful Chardonnay! Like most of the best California Chardonnay, this comes from cool-climate vineyards. Aromas of green apples, pears, minerals, pineapple....Flavors of green apples, minerals, lemon zest, peachs, pears & a touch of vanilla. Crisp wine that feels soft halfway in the mouth! Aged in neutral oak barrels...just a hint of oak in this wine...some malolactic fermentation...so, while it is crisp, it picks up some buttery, creamy notes. Food pairing - poultry, salmon, tuna, lobster, shellfish...drinks nicely on its own!

Red Wines

  1. Poppy Pinot Noir 2008 (Monterey County, California) $16.99 - This is a wonderful Pinot Noir and a great value! Aromas of raspberries, plums, baking spices and minerally soil. Light-to-medium weight. Nicely tart flavors of cherries, plums, earth, baking spices and pepper. Dry finish with a nice clean finish....just a good wine! Also contains grapes from Santa Barbara County and a touch from the Russian River Valley. Aged 5 months with oak, 15% new. 10% Pinot Gris. 7,000 cases made. Food pairing - salmon, pork, tuna, duck, poultry...drinks well on its own!
  2. Waterbrook Melange Noir 2007 (Washington) 14.99 - Likely you've heard the word "Meritage" about some California red wines. Well....Meritage means NOTHING aside from being a red blend......now this is a DELICIOUS red blend from Washington! Aromas and flavors of ripe dark and red berries....a little oak and cedar and baking spices and soft tannins....Blend of 40% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Sangiovese, 13% Cabernet Franc, 1% other. Food pairing - this drinks great without food and pairs up with lamb chops and grilled chicken.
  3. Stanley Lambert "Thoroughbred" Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Australia) $27.99 - A wine Lindsay loves to make is Cabernet Sauvignon - his is about elegance rather than power! Aromas and flavors of blackcurrants and plums & vanilla. Fine-grained tannins and a rich finish. This will age well for a number of years. Aged in French and American oak casks for 30 months! This was the first wine Lindsay Stanley made under his own label in 1991 & walked away with the "Top Prize" at the Barossa Wine Show. Food pairing - steak, lamb, grilled meats.....drinks well without food. Wine Enthusiast, 90 points, "Best Buy"

National Distributors

White Wines

  1. Kris Pinot Grigio 2008 (Italy) $11.99 - This is a zesty, wine from NE Italy. Crisp, fruity style! Aromas and flavors of citrus, tangerine, apricots and almonds. Clean and refreshing. 100% Pinot Grigio. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing - quiche, omelettes, risotto, lighter pasta dishes.
  2. Manu Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (New Zealand) Reg. $12.99, Sale $11.99 - Lots of fresh, bright fruit in this easy drinking wine! Loads of flavor! Tropical fruit, gooseberry and a hint of herbal grassiness that ARE New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel fermentation. Sustainable Agriculture. Food pairing - almost any shellfish or seafood. Has sufficient acidity to serve with light cream sauces - you need that acidity to "cut" the cream.
  3. Bearboat Chardonnay 2007 (Russian River, CA) $17.99 - Aromas and flavors of ripe apples, vanilla, toast and baking spices. This has a buttery texture. 30% fermented in stainless steel and 70% in new French oak for 8 months. Food pairing - shellfish, chicken dishes, creamy pasta dishes.
  4. Peter Lehmann Layers 2008 (Adelaide, Australia) Reg. $15.99, Sale $14.99 - It's delicious! A most unusual blend of 5 grapes - Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Muscat & Sauvignon Blanc. The sum is greater than the parts - which is usual for blends! Stainless steel fermentation. Easy drinking and lots of flavor! "Layers" is the name because each sip gives you a new flavor! Lemon-lime, peach, melon and citrus! Nice acidity at the finish. Food pairing - spicy foods! Drinks great without food, as well!

Red Wines

  1. Angeline Pinot Noir Reserve 2008 (Sonoma/Mendocino, CA) $14.99 - This has big, rich fruit aromas and flavors. Strawberry, raspberry, smoke and baking spices all come out in this wine! Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. Food pairing - salmon, mushroom dishes.
  2. Hawk Crest Merlot 2007 (Napa, CA) $13.99 - Stags Leap Wine Cellars 2nd label. Lively aromas of Italian plum, ripe berries and hints of cardamom introduce this full-bodied merlot. In the mouth, flavors of plum, black cherry, and vanilla fuse together with cedary spice. Supple and rich on the palate, the tannins are seamless and the oak profile is well integrated with the wine's fruit. Food pairing - wild mushroom risotto or a pan sautéed halibut topped with a puttanesca sauce.
  3. Punto Final Malbec 2008 (Mendoza, Argentina) $11.99 - This is a deep, dark wine. Aromas of cherries, wild berries, licorice and minerals. Flavors of cherries, plums, licorice, raspberries, earth and minerals. This has a long finish with some weight to it. Food pairing - steak, grilled meats.
  4. Hedges CMS Red Blend 2008 (Columbia Valley, Washington) $12.99 - We love this blend - it's a great value from Washington State. Rich black raspberry & currant aromas and flavors. Tasty. Notes of vanilla, hazelnuts, baking spices & a hint of licorice...medium-bodied....firm, chewy tannins, yet this is soft, fruit-forward & easy-to-drink. Nice, long finish. Blend - 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 3% Syrah & 2% Cabernet Franc. Aged 12 months in French & American oak. This can age for 5-7 years, but it is drinking nicely right now! Wine Enthusiast, 89 points, "Best Buy" (12-time "Best Buy")

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