April 14, 2011

April Wine Tasting with Crush

Wine Tasting

Friday, April 15th


Wines from Austria, California and more!

Tabitha Blake of Crush Wines was just in Austria and has brought back some gems – including a Sparkling Pinot Noir! We’ll also taste our 1st rosé of the year.

The Wines

The Sparkling:

Hillinger “Pink Ribbon” Sparkling Pinot Noir (Burgenland, Austria) $19.99 -

100% Pinot Noir crafted into a sparkling rosé wine made in the Prosecco style. It has delicate aromas of fresh strawberries and red berries which follow through on the palate. The flavors are beautifully balanced with a vibrant and refreshingly dry finish. Food pairing - Wonderful as an aperitif, start of a great dinner and evening, pairs very will with Sushi or serve after dinner with fresh strawberries – the Secco makes a perfect toast! 1 Euro per bottle goes to the Austrian Cancer Aid program. Brand new to Maine.

The Whites:

Steininger “Young” White Blend 2009 ( Kamptal, Austria ) $13.99 - Acclaimed by the New York Times as one of the best buys under $20. The Steininger “Young” has to be one of the BEST patio wines we've come across in a long time. The wine is fun, fresh and had great fruit. Aromas of soft orange blossom curl out of the glass, along with a note of spiced white pineapple. Flavors of lemon zest and tart melon are on the palate, along with a refreshing acidity, making this a great wine for the Spring and Summer months. Blend of 70% Grüner Veltliner, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Musktaller. Food pairing - The wine is also a perfect match for pan-seared fish dishes. Brand new to Maine.

“Paul D” Grüner Veltliner 2009 (Wagram, Austria) $13.99 – This is not named after “Paulie D” of Jersey Shore infamy (MTV “reality” show). Winemaker Paul Direder is only 21 years old, but his wine hints at a great future for him. It is dry, yet impressively ripe, with vibrant lime zest flavors and an appealing richness in the mouth feel, and it should be a perfect wine for late summer patio dining. It is new to this market, but look for it everywhere soon!!! A great liter value – liter bottles are great because it means you have an additional 2 glasses in the bottle! Food pairing – seafood, poultry sausages, grilled or roasted chicken, Thai food or sushi. Brand new to Maine.

The Rosé:

Vieux Clocher Côtes du Rhône Rosé (France) $12.99Brand new to Maine. We tasted their Côtes du Rhône Rouge last year at a tasting and it was a huge hit. Now that Spring is here, it’s time to start breaking out the crisp, dry rosés! Nice aromas of strawberries on the nose. Flavors of strawberries, cream and ends with a nice acidity that cleans the palate. From the oldest family winery in France, 1717 - the Count François de Castellanne, de Lauris, de Vassadel, de Gérard, Chevalier Marquis d’Ampuis, de Lagnetoux, universal landlord of the place called Vacqueyras, donated a parcel of vines to an acestor of the Arnoux family. To this day, the Arnoux family farms this land and makes wonderful wines. Food pairing – sipping on a warm day. Grilled chicken or pork. Spicy dishes. Perfect for a picnic. Great with ham for Easter Dinner. Great with turkey and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving Dinner.

The Reds:

Carnuntina Red Blend 2008 (Carnuntum, Austria) $14.99 - From Austria’s premier red region. Oh my deliciousness! 40% Zweigelt, 40% Blaufränkisch, 20% Merlot. For many generations, the Netzl winery has been engaged in viniculture. The family business owns some of the best vineyards in the area of Carnuntum. The knowledge of making great red wine has been passed from generation-to-generation. Combined with a modern, technical know-how, the love for nature and a fine marketing strategy, Netzl has become one of the finest Austrian wineries. Especially the reds. An easy drinking red blend with ruby garnet and youthful reflexes, red berries in the nose and herbal nuances, fresh and pleasing palate, smooth and ripe tannins. Food pairing - Excellent with meat- dishes like pork and chicken, Italian style pasta Bolognese or with a creamy sauce.

"Paul D” Zweigelt 2009 (Wagram, Austria) $13.99 – This is not named after “Paulie D” of Jersey Shore infamy (MTV “reality” show). Winemaker Paul Direder is only 21 years old, but his wine hints at a great future for him. This is very clean with bright, crisp acidity through to the finish. Very aromatic. It’s like a good, young Morgon or Brouilly except more fruit and tannins. Red raspberries, violets and red berries upfront. More brambly berries at the finish! A great liter value – liter bottles are great because it means you have an additional 2 glasses in the bottle! Food pairing – comfort meals, meatloaf, casseroles. Brand new to Maine.

Jelly Jar Zinfandel 2009 (Lake County, California) $26.99 - No, this is not implying an over ripe jam of a wine. This is one of CA's cult Zinfandels, that is only 730 case production. It is incredibly pretty and well-made. The wine is medium-bodied, silky and well-balanced with polished tannins. Aromas and flavors of bright, red fruits with hints of vanilla and spice. An excellent food friendly wine to enjoy with your next meal. Tabitha says, “One of my favorite vineyards to view, the vines are like lil' ol' men.” The organically farmed Nova Vineyard lies on a gradual slope of benchland in the Kelseyville area of Lake County. For more than 40 years, these head-trained, dry-farmed Zinfandel vines have taken deep root in the site’s volcanic soils. The wine is a tribute Italian Families in California who drank good red wine out of jelly jars. Jelly Jar marks a return to early California winemaking, when Italian immigrants crafted food-friendly wines to enjoy around the family table – most often out of jelly jars. Long before Napa Valley became the wine destination we know today, these winemakers planted backyard vineyards and enlisted family members to harvest and crush grapes.

Big Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Napa Valley, California) $19.99 – This is a SPECTACULAR wine and a GREAT value! All the components of a $40 Napa Cabernet. This is a big, rich, full-bodied Cabernet. The story is that the guy making it makes really high end California wines, especially Napa Cabs. Well, the economy isn’t exactly setting records and high end wines are not selling fast. So, he’s using his contacts and contracts to make really good moderately-priced Napa Cab! This has all of those characteristics people love in a Napa Cab – aromas and flavors of black cherries, black currants, cassis, vanilla, baking spices, a wet forest floor, blueberries and blackberries. Excellent acidity and well-intergrated, soft tannins. It’s nicely ripe, but not jammy. Food pairing - a nice roast, coq au vin, pork tenderloin, steak, lamb, stews, ripe, harder cheeses such as Piave Vecchio.

The Sparkling Finale:

Neirano “Pitula” Moscato d’Asti 2010 (Italy) $12.99The perfect holiday dessert wine - see why below. At the end of a long, filling Thanksgiving meal, steer clear of high alcohol, heavy dessert wines. Instead, pick up an always-affordable, slightly fizzy Moscato d’Asti. The light effervescence will balance the fried crust while significant fruit and floral flavors enhance the delicious filling. This wine is all about the honeysuckle and peach nectar. YUM.

No comments: