Weekend Wine Notes: 12 Wines, A Miscellany

For today’s Weekend Wine Notes, I offer a diverse group of 12 wines — six white, six red — arranged according to ascending price within each color, the range altogether being $11 to $32, so nothing to make the credit card groan. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s something here for every taste and palate, including some unusual selections; we (mostly) aim to please at BTYH. As usual with the Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew technical, historical and geographical data — much as we might dote on those details — for the sake of quick, incisive reviews, ripped, as it were, from the pages of my notebooks and intended to pique your interest and whet your palate. Enjoy — in moderation, of course. These wines were samples for review, as I am required to inform My Readers by authority of the Federal Trade Commission.

Marco Felluga “Montgris” Riserva Pinot ...

A Round Of Wine For Thanksgiving: The ‘Help Yourself’ Version

holiday wine, what to serve with Thanksgiving I was having a conversation just yesterday about the joys of Thanksgiving and they boil down to this: food and family. And I dare say, for many of us, the food category includes wine. My husband and I have served Thanksgiving to our big, extended Irish family since before we had children. I do recall a much, much younger me, a woman who printed out a list of Thanksgiving-friendly wine suggestions from some expert online and took it, part-and-parcel to the wine shop. It’s actually how I fell in love with Beaucastel, after buying some for that meal. If you’ve ever paused with concern about what to serve at Thanksgiving, I’m here to relieve your fears. I’ve tasted a number of excellent wines over the past months that will be lovely with your dinner. Rather than line up pairings—an act nearly impossible for the wide-open feast—this article highlights interesting wines ...

Nine Savory White Wines, Because Autumn Is Not All about Reds

Let’s say that for dinner you’re having cod stew with leeks, potatoes and chorizo or a spicy shrimp risotto or grilled swordfish with a black pepper crust. This is not the time for a delicate, winsome little white wine and probably not even a lighter red, It’s the time for a savory white wine, earthy, bracing, saline. These are especially appropriate for these chilly Fall weeks that lead into Winter. Herein, I offer nine examples of such savory white wines, not really accommodating as aperitif quaffs, because of their assertive personalities, but certainly amenable for heartier fish and seafood dishes. Enjoy!
The Apaltagua Reserva Pinot Gris 2017, San Antonio Valley, Chile, displays a pale straw-gold color and seductive aromas of mango and begonia, with notes of green olive and preserved lemon and a background of limestone and flint; the wine is quite lively and alluring on the palate, supple ...

The Enjoyable Wine Tasting That Didn’t Happen!

Lugana & Valpolicella winetasting

We live in the mid-Atlantic region, so it takes us 1 1/2 to 2 hours to make a trip into the center of Washington, DC via car and Metro. We don’t mind the trip especially when we are cordially invited to a special wine tasting. This week was the first time we had trekked into the city for a wine tasting and a seminar but there were no wines to taste! You may wonder why a wine tasting event did not have wines available. It was all explained to us. One of our early wine courses emphasized the three entities that influence the wine in your glass. These include the vineyard, the winemaker and government. Government can control the vineyards with laws on whether you can irrigate or not. During winemaking, government may have laws regarding chaptalization. Then there are numerous rules regarding labeling the bottle. ...

Wine of the Day, No. 439

The Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva 2013 is classic indeed in every way and drinking perfectly now at about five years old. This ancient property, an abbey founded in 1051 by Giovanni Gualberto, later the patron saint of foresters, is farmed by the Stucchi-Prinetti family on organic principles. The family acquired the estate in 1864. The grapes are the classic varieties for Chianti — majority sangiovese with dollops of canaiolo, ciliegiolo and colorino — excluding the modern innovations of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Also excluded are small barrels — the French barrique — and new oak; the wine aged two years in casks (large barrels) of French and Hungarian oak. Fermentation is by native yeast. The wine offers a lovely, transparent brick-red and garnet hue; aromas of spiced and macerated cherries and currants are highlighted by notes of blackberries and orange rind, cloves and oolong tea. The wine is ...

Lugana: An Italian White Wine For All Seasons

Lugana vineyards
Photo Credit: Consorzio Tutela Lugana DOC
Lugana, surrounding captivating Lake Garda, is an Italian wine enclave in Lombardy and Veneto. If you’re looking for a full-bodied white wine to take you into the Autumn season, Lugana may be your answer. Lugana is comprised of 2,100 hectares, situated between the provinces of Brescia and Verona near Italy’s largest lake. Lake Garda provides a Mediterranean aspect to the growing environment, with cooling breezing emanating off the water and relatively stable diurnal spread. The soil here is predominantly clay-based and rich in minerals — in hilly areas of the denomination soil can tend to be sandy. It is interesting to note that the area was once that of a marshy, wet forest called Selva Lucana. To reclaim the land for agriculture, at the time grain farming, the Republic of Venice drained the land. With a Bronze Age history of vineyards, the practice of ...
Italy, Wine, Food, travel

Wine of the Day, No. 432

It’s always salutary to learn something new. For example, I recently tried this wine, the Alois Lageder “Fórra” Manzoni Bianco 2016, made from a grape I had never heard of. Manzoni bianco is a cross of riesling and pinot bianco created in the 1930s by Professor Luigi Manzoni, director of the Conegliano Research Centre. The wine’s designation is Vignete delle Dolomiti — wine of the Dolomites — which tells us that it hails from northeastern Italy, right up there near the border with Austria. The grapes derive from Alois Lageder’s Paradeis vineyard, whose sandy-chalky soils lie at elevations from 1,148 to 1,476 feet. Lageder’s estate is certified bio-dynamic. The wine’s name — Fórra — means gorge or narrow valley in Italian. This geographical feature, over which the vineyard looms, brings in cool winds that moderate temperatures and cause a little stress, making the vines work hard to dig for nutrients ...

Wine of the Day, No. 431

Made all in stainless steel and all the better for its freshness and appeal, the Tenuta Sant’Antonio Nanfrè 2016, Valpolicella Superiore, drank very nicely indeed with the sausage, kale and potato soup I made last night. A blend of 70 percent corvina grapes and 30 percent rondinella — essential varieties of this area in Italy’s Veneto region — the wine offers a beguiling transparent medium ruby hue and arresting, pert aromas of raspberries and black cherries, highlighted by notes of tea leaf and briers, violets and sage, with blue plums in the background. The lively texture leans on bright acidity and moderately dusty tannins for a lithe and supple structure, these elements supporting tasty black and red berry fruit. The lip-smacking succulence of these flavors does not keep the wine from its measure of dry spareness nor does the briery-brambly nature of its structure make it rustic. It is, mainly, ...

Wine of the Day, No. 429

Wines from this ancient property made from estate grapes get the label Badia a Coltibuono; wines produced from grapes derived from vineyards on long-term contracts are called simply Coltibuono. So, the Coltibuono Selezione “RS” Chianti Classico 2015 was fashioned from vineyards outside the Badia a Coltibuono estate in Tuscany, hence a “selection.” “RS” stands for Roberto Stucchi-Prinetti, the seventh generation of his family to run the estate since it was acquired in 1864. The Coltibuono Selezione “RS” Chianti Classico 2015 was made completely from sangiovese grapes that aged a few months in neutral oak vats. The color is the classic medium ruby-garnet that we love about sangiovese; notes of dried cherries and currants are permeated by hints of cloves and allspice and a bit of dried orange rind. The wine is quite dry, animated by dark, lively acidity and flavors of red and black cherries and a touch of ...

Wine To Match The Trees: 15 Italian Reds for Fall

Italian Reds for Fall 1.jpg There is something about fall that whispers to our senses. We seek comfort and nostalgia in the smells and tastes of spice and bounty. We long for the cool air that where I live we call “sweater weather” and the feel of chill on our cheeks. We look, oh goodness we look, for the colors of fall — in some parts of America, they call this “leaf peeping”, an attraction that causes a migration from cities into the wooded areas of the world — looking for fall colors is a beckoning. Taking inspiration from the appeal, giving into that which we seek, let’s drink to the fall colors and highlight some red wines. Ideal for this season’s meals, many-layered and long-cooked, red wines from Italy offer everything we could want from a fall drink. Variety is the spice of Italy, and here are 15 fall reds for the fall season… ...
What does wine taste like? How to taste wine. Italian wine tasting.
A lineup of fresh summer wines from Umbrian and Lazio
Italian Reds for Fall 3.jpg
Italian Reds for Fall 2.jpg

Weekend Wine Notes: Nine Wines at $13 and Under

The title of today’s Weekend Wine Notes requires no explanation. I offer nine wines priced at $13 and under, each in a group of three, divided into Washington State, California and Italy’s Veneto region. Sorry to say that a couple of them are not recommended, but it happens, n’est-ce pas? As usual in this series, I omit detailed historical, technical and geographical data for the sake of brief reviews ripped, as it were, from the ages of my notebooks. Enjoy, in moderation, of course. These wines were samples for review.
The Washington State wines of Charles Smith stand out on any shelf they occupy, distinguished by their stark black and white labels heavy on the graphic elements, a collaboration with Danish designer Rikki Korff. They also distinguish themselves by their solid QPR — quality/price ratio.

Band of Roses Rose 2017, Washington State. 12.5% alc. 100% pinot ...

Around Italy With Red Wines For Fall

Red Wines for Fall
On the first Saturday of the month, a group of food, wine and travel bloggers post about a region or a wine varietal. For September’s event, we look towards the change of season with food and wine that celebrate cooler weather and the abundance of harvest. These wines can be from any region, based on your own experience and preference. We are looking for roundup lists, pairing suggestions, travel inspiration, producer profiles and any other story that highlights red wine from Italy this time of year. The Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall #ItalianFWT event will be Saturday, September 1, 2018. The following posts will go live early that morning and you can follow along on a Twitter chat — using #ItalianFWT — from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT. Marcia at Joy of Wine reveals Lacrima – The Aromatic Jewel in La ...

Wine of the Day, No. 426

Ventale 2016, Valpolicella Superiore, is a new label from the Santi estate, founded in 1843 by Carlo Santi. This recent venture joins a roster that includes Proemio and Santino, both Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, and Solane, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore. Made from a blend of traditional grapes of the region — 80 percent corvina, 10 percent corvinone and 10 percent rondinella — Ventale 2016 aged 18 months in 500-liter barrels, 70 percent oak, 20 percent chestnut and 10 percent cherry wood. Such barrels are a bit more than twice the size of the standard 225-liter barrique; that is, 59 gallons for the barrique, 132 for the larger barrel. The color is a lovely, limpid transparent medium ruby; the wine combines aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries with dried red cherries in a spicy, fleshy melange that on the palate is animated by squinching acidity and a burgeoning graphite element. A ...