“A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready -- and such
be content to partake of
"....eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart..."
King Solomon, Ecclesiastes
trouble with really
fine wine is that it tastes so good that it spoils you for anything
Shelby Foote to B.E.
|Follow B.E. on Twitter
Wine Buys of the Week: scroll down
Extra Special (Italy, Pinot Noirs,
ageable reds): B.E.'s Cellar Notes
Interesting Links: see Other Interests
B.E. on organic and biodynamic wines
B.E.'s Dinner with Julia
Articles by B.E. see B.E. in print
Starting a Wine Cellar: B.E.'s Wine Tips
Wines for aging: see B.E. Cellar Notes
Books on Wine: B.E.'s Wine Tips
June 8, 2013: Food and wine lovers will want to mark their calendars for Art of the Auction, an annual event at NC Museum of Art in Raleigh. This year's auction lots include enticing wine and food tastings, and special dinners.
May 24, 2013: Sullivan's Steakhouse hosts a "Gatsby Gala" featuring cocktails ( Prohitibion in full swing did nothing to dampen guzzling spirits) adapted from the era, like the Daisitini.
|Wine Buy(s) of the Week
Abacela 2012 Albariño, Umpqua Valley, OR $18*** It's terrific that American wineries are trying new varieties--Oregon's Abacela Vineyards zeroed in on Spanish grapes like albariño (see below), tempranillo and grenache several years ago with great success. The Abacela 2012 Albariño is a real palate pleaser, fragrant with citrus and floral accents, bright citrus flavors -- the 2011 won gold medals all over the place--the 2012 undoutedly will as well. And deservedly so! Great summer quaff. Your wine merchant can order it--or go to www.abacela.com
Louis M. Martini 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley**+ $19.69 at Chapel Hill Wine Co (while supplies last), an excellent cab, with lots of berry flavors, accents of licorice and earthy, herbal tones. Big and intense--best with five years on it in my view. For current drinking, look for the Louis M. Martini 2010 Sonoma Cab, $12 - 15 -- good cab flavors, very drinkable
Taste of spring: Albariños
Spain's fresh and fragrant wine from the Rias Baixas region of northern Spain makes a lovely spring quaff, and moves nicely right into warmer weather. These charming whites, with their floral-citrus scents make very agreeable sipping for weekend brunches. Most have a touch of sweetness, which makes them very easy to drink and appealing as aperitifs, but a few are dry. These are basically simple wines; some are overpriced, so look for these:
Pazo San Mauro 2010 Albariño, $15-17**. This one actually quite dry and crisp, with steely citrus flavors; good choice for shellfish
Others to look for: Laxas 2011+ $17.99 at Wine Authorities--dry but a little less steely; excellent
Flor del Páramo 2010** $17 Very typical style, off-dry, fresh, tangy, fragrant
Pazo Torrado 2010 or 2011** $13-14 Floral aromas, crisp onthe palate; charming
Abacela 2012 Albariño, Umpqua Valley, OR $18*** It's terrific that American wineries are trying new varieties--Oregon's Abacela Vineyards zeroed in on Spanish grapes like albariño and tempranillo several years ago with great success. The 2012 Albariño is a real palate pleaser, fragrant with citrus and floral accents, bright citrus flavors. Great summer quaff.
Parcelas 52 2011, Finca Constancia, $14-17**+ I love the verdejo grape--it produces dry, crisp whites with a minerally edge, somewhat like sauvignon blanc but broader, with a bit more depth. Very flavorful and mouthfilling--an excellent choice for shellfish and seafood. Finca Constancia is an estate owned by the Sherry producer Gonzalez Byass. These early releases from the region of Castilla show the potential for this region. Highly recommended.
Rodney Strong 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma $18*** Winemaker Rick Sayre has done it again: produced a handsome, stylish Cabernet Sauvignon altogether drinkable on release. It's a rare feat to make a Cabernet that has flavor (meaty and berryish), varietal character (currants, blackberry), tannin (just enough for structure) and drinks smoothly at this young age. Excellent for roast or grilled beef, lamb or bison.
Château de Campuget Rosé 2012, Costières de Nîmes**+ $14-15 First dry pink of the 2012 vintage I've spotted--couldn't be fresher. A blend of syrah and grenache, this coral-hued quaffer sports bright, crisp fruit and goes down easy.
|A Few Good Reds .......
Dry Creek 2010 Heritage Zinfandel, Sonoma, $17.99**+ Wonderfully fruity and very appealing to drink now, with black raspberry and blackberry fruit. A versatile red, great for meaty pastas, pizzas, pork chops, sausages. [wbow]
Paul Dolan 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino, $25** A solid Cabernet made from organically grown grapes. Meaty and dense, it's drinkable now with hearty meat dishes, but will benefit from some bottle age--three to five years, could easily go 10.
Parcelas 23 Tempranillo 2010 Finca Constancia Spain, $19**+ Ripe earthy aromas billow out of the glass in this vigorous red from Castilla, made from tempranillo, the grape best known for Rioja but in fact widely grown in Spain and expressing itself quite differently in different regions. It's tannic at first but softens with air. I'd recommend sloshing into a carafe, or laying it down for 2-3 years (will likely hold nicely 5-8) actually I found it quite delicious on the second and third day after opening, with spicy currant-like flavors. Great for pork, lamb, beef. [wbow]
Top Cabernets See recommendations at: B.E.'s Cellar Selections