Father’s Day is upon us and a large array of bad neck ties, power tools, some very nasty polyester sport shirts and will be presented to poor old Dad. To top it off, he may also have to endure a brunch featuring salmonella infused Eggs Benedict and headache inducing Mimosas. Let’s face it, Dad is a real trooper and deserves something special. How about a wine that that he will appreciate with his Filet Mignon or Rack of Lamb? The 2011 Dom Lafage Tessellae might just be the ticket.
This French red from the Languedoc region is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre and packs a bit of a punch at 14.5% alcohol, but don’t be fooled. This wine is a real charmer. It is soft, elegant, well balanced as well as full bodied. Spring flowers greet the nose along with plenty of dark fruit, particularly black cherries and wild strawberries that continue their influence on the palate. This delicious red is very round and velvety and simply tastes much more expensive than its $12.99 price. It is ready to drink now or it can be cellared for a few years. Dad will probably want to get at it right away. He will also be impressed with the 93 point rating from the Wine Advocate.
As mentioned before, this wine works very well with beef or lamb, but don’t rule out duck dishes or roast pork. Happy Father’s Day!
Your spouse called and said your in-laws are coming for a casual dinner and you need to bring home a bottle or two of wine. It seems simple enough, except the mother-in-law likes sophisticated wines that are usually French and the old man tends to like easy drinking reds on the dry side. So what do you do now? Too late to get new in laws, (Just kidding) and remember – I said casual so you want to keep the price down as well. So what is the solution? It’s simple, really. Drop on by our store and check out the 2009 Chateau de Mendis Bordeaux for the jaw dropping price of $7.00 a bottle when you buy two.
This Bordeaux is made up of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. It has plenty of white pepper and sweet spice on the nose with a hint of sour cherry and a strong dose of blackberry. The dark berry notes continue on the palate with a bit of mocha on the finish. So if you’re having roast beef, steak, even lentil soup, this wine will work just fine. The in laws will be having meatloaf with baby peas and mashed potatoes. Both will be pleased by this wine choice. It’s simple, yet elegant and only $7.00 a bottle. It will also keep the keep within the family.
With these cool evenings, I look forward to cool nights and a nice cup of coffee on the porch or by a backyard fire. I add a little Wahaka Reposado con Gusado Mezcal to my coffee to give it a kick. The Gusado (worm) adds a neat little flavor with the smokiness of the Reposado and takes me back to Oaxaca!
The calendar says its early June but the temperature feels more like the end of July or early August. These are tough days for drinking bold red wines (I’m sweating just thinking about it) or even oaky Chardonnays. It is time for something light, crisp, and refreshing. Many of you are probably thinking Pinot Grigio which would be a good guess, but actually what I have in mind is a classic (albeit not quite a household name) wine from Portugal known as Vinho Verde.
The 2012 Alianca Vinho Verde is light bodied and almost colorless. Don’t let that fool you this wine has a delightful citrusy and crisp taste. It is also effervescent which makes it extra fun to drink in this hot, humid weather. Vinho Verde is prefect porch sipping wine with or without food. Try it with a picnic lunch of cold chicken or crab salad with dill dressing.
Right now, you can pick up the Alianca Vinho Verde for $ 4.50 a bottle with our double up for a buck sale. Come in and pick up a case or two and consider it a summer life saver.
Memorial Day weekend is here and the air around western New York will be full of smoky, aromatic goodness from a variety of foods grilling away in thousands of backyards. Of course plenty of beer will be consumed, but for us wine folk there are terrific choices to be made for grilled food.
What if you had to choose one wine that could fit the bill for a vast amount of grilled foods? If you factor in the most popular foods over the weekend you’d probably find steak, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, ka-bobs, and BBQ chicken. So what could possibly pair well with any of these favorites? I think a bold red could accomplish the task. The question is which red? You could opt for a Cabernet, a Merlot, Shiraz or Zinfandel or try a blend such as Cryptic which is made up of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. This rich tasting, smooth red is produced by Purple Wine Company known for Avalon and Four Vines. The wine is aged in American, French, and Hungarian oak and the grapes are harvested from a variety of areas stretching from the Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles and Lodi.
Despite the obvious “Dan Brown” gimmicky style, the label does catch your attention with a certain mysterious elegance. But of course the real star here is the wine itself. It is full bodied and velvety. There is plenty of cherry, raspberry and blueberry fruit to enjoy, complemented by toasty vanilla and spice. This wine has all the right notes to complement the previous mentioned Memorial Day culinary classics. Me? I’ll be having Italian sausage, Chivetas chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, green salad, and baked beans. Giddy-up!
Pick up a bottle of Cryptic for $12.99.
Posted in California, Food Pairing, Prestige Wine & Spirits - Orchard Park, Red Blends, Red Wine
Tagged Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Cryptic, food, grilled, red blends, Syrah, Zinfandel
The weather is breezy but beautiful and we are all rejoicing that Spring is definitely here and Summer close behind. Picnics, BBQs and trips to the beach are crying out for lighter wines. Many whites will be consumed in the next few months, but don’t forget the dry Roses. These wines are undervalued and often mistaken for their sweeter and unimaginative “cousins”.
The Tavel wines are some of the best of their kind in the world. This has a lot to do with the fact that this is all they do. You won’t find white or red wines in this region. The wines are usually made form classic Rhone style grapes like Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre to name a few. The wine of Tavel is often referred to as the wine of kings because of its rich history. Ernest Hemingway considered it his favorite wines.
The 2012 Tavel Cuvee Du Roy is exceptionally good. It is made up of Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Clairette, Syrah and Picpoul. It has a beautiful deep pink, almost vermillion color that borders on red. These wines are well balanced with flavors of Bing Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry and a hint of pepper. Tavel is certainly a great warm weather wine for porch sipping but this is probably one of the most versatile food pairing wines you can find. Pizza, Chicken Liver Pate, Mousasaka, Goat Cheese, Scallops with Mushrooms all work very well. Try this for a great summer meal pairing: Steamed clams, Caprese salad, and Chicken barbecue with Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. Tavel works well with the whole meal.
Try it today for $12.99.
To our neighbors to the north: Happy Victoria Day!
Mother’s Day weekend is here and unfortunately the weather is cold and dreary. Many moms all over Western New York will be going to brunches and dinners, while others will be home having a lovely (hopefully) meal made for them. If you fall into the second category or are making a meal for your mom, think about wine. Don’t let the weather ruin your plans. If you were planning on a white wine because May is usually warmer, fear not. We have a perfect wine for warm or cool weather. The Clos Palet 2012 Vouvray is a wine that mom will appreciate.
This wine is medium bodied and round with a delightful floral aroma. Like the best of vouvrays it also has great fruit notes, particularly apricot, a bit of pineapple and a honeyed quality that sets it apart from other semi-dry whites. This vouvray is from the Loire Valley in France and is made from 100% chenin blanc. If roast chicken or grilled seafood is on the menu for Mother’s Day, the Clos Palet vouvray will work beautifully. Mom can also enjoy this wine as a simple cocktail as well.
If you want to know more about this wine, come over today and try a sample. Currently, this wine is on sale for $9.99.
From the Loire Valley in France comes this seductive, crisp and dry white that is surprisingly inexpensive for such a great wine from this region. This is a very different animal from a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc. Although there is an obvious presence of citrus, it is mainly lime rather than grapefruit. But fear not, there are still plenty of other interesting notes.
The color of this 100% Sauvignon is pale gold that dazzles in sunlight (Really – I don’t make this stuff up) as if on cue to welcome May. On the nose there is a faint, yet lovely scent of grass that is followed by a fair amount of lime citrus, subtle pineapple and lichee. There is a good bit of minerality in the finish. The wine is very well balanced and pairs well with a variety of summer salads, cheeses and seafood dishes. I suggest a shrimp, asparagus, and gruyere quiche with a bit of lemon zest.
Right now this wine is a terrific bargain at $9.99. Spring is here and Summer is coming so stock up!
A few weeks back I tried a delicious Medoc that impressed me a great deal. The wine was beautifully balanced at a terrific price. It is rare that a Bordeaux of that quality comes in under twenty dollars. This week I was pleasantly surprised once again by another terrific Bordeaux for $14.99. This one is a Graves that is a fifty-fifty blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a delicate nose but don’t let that fool you. This red has wonderful fruit. It has very concentrated black currant, blackberry and plum flavors. Underneath, there is a bit of licorice and a touch of vanilla and spice. The finish is smooth with soft tannins. Often the word velvety is over used to describe the mouth feel of fine wines, but in this case, I believe the descriptor is quite accurate. Give this wine sufficient time to breathe in order to get the full effect of the fruit.
This wine will pair very easily with many assorted meat dishes including beef, pork, or turkey and chicken. This is also an excellent cheese wine, particularly with a variety of Italian hard cheeses, gouda and especially blue cheeses.
Even before you taste this wine, or open the bottle for that matter, you will be intrigued by the nostalgic label reminiscent of an illustration from a boy’s adventure novel from the 1930’s. The label and even the name, hints at a mysterious cellar, possibly in a desert region. But make no mistake; there is nothing old or dusty about this wine. It is vibrant and complex with a satisfying finish.
The Curator is made by the Badenhorst Family Wines of the Swartland region of South Africa known for their Secateurs label. This red blend is made up of shiraz, mourvedre, cinsault, and viognier. On the nose there is a good deal of spice including cinnamon, clove, anise and black pepper. There is also a fair amount of smoke within the dark fruit overtones. The blend tastes of currants, blueberries, blackberries and a smidgen of strawberry, sort of like a dry, mixed berry pie.
Due to the exotic blend of grapes in this wine, it will pair well with many dishes including lamb stew, sweet BBQ ribs or chicken. My favorite is BBQ chicken pizza with hot peppers. Enjoy The Curator for the ridiculous price of $8.99 a bottle.