February 24, 2011

Wine Tasting, Saturday, Feb. 26th

Wine Tasting

Saturday, Feb. 26th

2:00 – 6:00pm

Donate the 10% savings to the Freeport Community Services Food and Fuel Fund and Freeport Cheese & Wine will match each donation 100% (if you donate $10, so will we).


10% off on all wine tasting wines into your pocket!

SOPO has a new guy, Joe Ricchio, working for them and we truly enjoy working with Joe…..we are still working closely with Doug and Cat; and, they bring passion and knowledge in big amounts….Joe brings passion in SPADES…..and, he is a bit of a legend in the wine and restaurant world in Maine. If you ate at Evangeline in its early days, Joe put together that wine list….it was an AWESOME wine list….. Joe has been the “public face” of Miyake and its new restaurant, Pai Men (the noodle place) for a long time…..if you’ve been to either, you’ve seen Joe…..he’s likely waited on your table or advised you on what is best…..he’s a guy you can trust…..b/c, if he doesn’t like it, he’ll tell you that as well!

This is a guy who is PASSIONATE about food and wine…..off-the-charts passionate…..he’s into it.

So, Joe and I wanted to do a tasting as soon as possible and this weekend is a GREAT opportunity to taste some really good wines….(remember, the weather on Friday is supposed to suck, so Saturday’s skiing is going to be poor….stay home and come taste some great wines!).

Here are the wines:

The Whites:

J. & H. Selbach Riesling Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay 2009 (Germany) $11.99 - We first tasted this about 2 weeks ago….great fruit, great acidity, a touch of sweetness…..before you poo-pooh “sweetness” in a wine, please be aware that great acidity that balances the sweetness makes for a delicious, well-balanced wine. This is a well-balanced wine….Sweetness without the acidity makes for a syrupy, unbalanced, not tasty wine…..if you don’t like well-made Riesling with the balancing acidity, I’ll be shocked. Food pairing – Thai food, smoked fish, shellfish, ham, sushi.

Vinum Cellars Chenin-Viognier Wilson Vineyard 2008 (California) $11.99 – We love this wine and this winery. A couple of young guys and they keep making superlative wine that they want to drink and so do we! They only deal with growers who practice sustainable agriculture and their environmental bent carries over to their packaging, bottles, labels and ink. This is a beautiful combination of both grapes. The Viognier adds a wonderful clove characteristic to the wine. The aromas are of apricots, peaches, coriander and honey. The flavors are super ripe – mandarin oranges, tropical fruit, Meyer lemon, key lime and more. This has vibrant, refreshing acidity which helps it pair up with a lot of foods, especially spicy ones. Food pairing – Thai curries, Indian food. Salads. Sushi.

R. Stuart & Co. Big Fire Pinot Gris 2009 (Oregon) $13.99 – We’ve sold each vintage of this wine since Doug and Cat first brought it into Maine and we keep loving it more and more! Maybe it’s that it’s delicious! Maybe it’s that each time Rob Stuart (R. Stuart & Co.) comes to Maine, we see him and taste his wines again and again…..and they are excellent! This is a fabulous Pinot Gris! Delicious! Fresh and vibrant! Aromas of flowers, vanilla, apples and pears. Wonderful fruit and acidity in the flavors - apples, pears and vanilla. Crisp, vibrant finish! Rob Stuart was here in January and we were able to taste this with him (along with all his wines!). Great guy and great winemaker! 100% stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing - shellfish, creamy pasta dishes, light appetizers, spicier foods & sipping on its own. Great with spicy Thai dishes.

The Reds:

Gode’ II Rosso di Toscana IGT 2007 (Italy) Reg. $13.99, Sale $12.99 - This is the same wine as Poggio Amorelli’s Chianti Classico. Given the slower economy, the more expensive Chianti Classico is selling more slowly than they’d wish. So, you get to enjoy the same wine for A LOT less money with a different label! Classic Italian red - a little earth and dusty tannins and it has that red cherry, raspberry fruit profile that signifies Sangiovese. Blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo (20%). Aged in oak barriques. Food pairing - Hearty pasta dishes, pork sausages and grilled meats.

Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California) $10.99 - This packs a lot of flavor into a moderate-priced wine. This is smooth and lush! Aromas and flavors of dark cherries, figs, currants, dark chocolate, blueberries, toast and vanilla. The tannins are soft. Rich, good tasting finish. This Cabernet is very complex, with integrated French oak and layered sweet fruit and savory nuances. Food pairing - hearty fare such as seared flank steak with a port reduction sauce, roasted venison or a good beef burger topped with cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. It also closes with a ZORK! The Zork is a stopper that opens easily and then reseals the bottle.

Clos Mimi “Petite Rousse” Syrah 2006 (California) – a couple of years ago, it was $25.99, now, $19.99 – We tasted this at a tasting a couple of years ago – same vintage…..unfortunately for the winery, sales have been slow…..fortunately for you, sales have been slow…..SO, the price is better…..the wine has aged into its better life……This is a superb wine, distinctively unique… This is not a wimpy wine...aromas of herbs, pepper, dark berries, licorice and currants. Big and full-bodied in the mouth. Just a load of flavor. A powerhouse of a wine! 100% Syrah. All of the fruit is destemmed by hand and crushed by foot. Only 4,067 cases made. Drinking well now, but you SHOULD decant it to open it up. Will age well for 3-5 years. Organic, biodynamic farming. Food pairing – grilled meats. Big dishes! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

Plungerhead Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi 2008 (California) $14.99 - The Lodi area in California is home to some of the oldest vine Zinfandel in the country. Old vines make better wine! This is a deep, dark color and it is bursting with flavors and aromas. This just puts a smile on your face! Aromas of dark chocolate, baking spices, vanilla and ripe cherries. Flavors of dark berries, raspberries, vanilla, cococa, cedar and more. Soft tannins and just a mouthful of wine! Food pairing – grilled meats, pizza, sipping. It also closes with a ZORK!

Arizona Stronghold “Nachise” Red 2008 (Arizona) $22.99 - This has a lot of spice, dark fruit, red berry and a brambly earthy quality (wet leaves in the fall). The aromas also have lavender, sage, blueberries, blackberries and ground pepper notes. The mouth is loaded with lush, rich fruit. The long finish has nice drying tannins and a wildberry characteristic. Blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. Aged in neutral oak barrels. The Syrah is from a clone from Australia (Shiraz-1) so this has some Australian as well as Côtes-du-Rhône characteristics. 2009 barrels made. Food pairing - Great with any type of game, roast lamb and grilled vegetables.

Arizona Stronghold is a winery founded by Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer for Tool, as well as being a moviemaker and more. He is best known as the lead singer of the multi-platinum rock bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. Moving to Arizona in 1995, Keenan began his quest to make wine and has produced excellent wines through his labels Caduceus, Merkin and Arizona Stronghold.

Many Americans know of the “Four Corners” area where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah border each other. This area is also home to the great Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range arcing northward from Mexico into the US. This is another “Four Corners,” the Madrean. Sonora, Chihuahua, New Mexico and Arizona were once the homeland of the Chiracahua Apache, the mighty Chocise’s tribe.

The Arizona Stronghold Winery and Vineyards are near Sedona (just south of Flagstaff). The vineyards are at altitudes of 3,200 – 4,800 feet.

Maynard's documentary about making wine:



heidi said...

Can't wait to try this wine! Just saw the documentary. Very excited that SoPo is carrying this line!

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The aromas also have lavender, sage, blueberries, blackberries and soil pepper notes. The mouth is loaded with lush, abundant fruit
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