The Wine Guy
In addition to writing this column, I work as a Wine Buyer for a group of Liquor Store owners who also own an Importing Company.
The countries I spoke with most of the time before the pandemic were Spain, France and Italy; for almost two months, no communication, except texts that were sent by my friends warning me about how bad it was going to be for us. They were right, of course; however, on April 13th, I got my first call. It was from a dealer in Italy and my friend said that there was a huge amount of work to do before the country could even start to become a semblance of its former self. I hope to be getting similar calls soon from other people I work with in Europe.
Even if the temperatures are only in the 50’s, it’s not a bad time to chill a bottle of Rose. You might want to try some 2018 d’Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé, ($11.99). It’s only slightly sweet, with a rich salmon color and a crisp, fresh character. Coming from France’s Languedoc region, where the rich terroir produces wines that are typically robust, you’ll taste peaches, fresh melon and plumbs, all with a nice acidity and a fairly long finish. Have this one with salads and seafood, especially scallops; the natural sweetness of the scallops really sets this wine off.
If the chill in the air still has you drinking primarily reds, you might want to try some Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. My friend and fellow wine writer Paul Gregutt of the Wine Enthusiast, says one of his best finds recently is Lachini 2015 The Grape Republic Pinot Noir, ($25.99). He describes it as being “designed for immediate drinking pleasure, a delicious wine that delivers complex flavors of berry, root beer and sandalwood, with further details of smoky tea. It’s moving gently along the aging curve and rests currently in a prime spot for drinking—smooth and rich, with fruit just now beginning to trend into secondary flavors.” and recommends it with braised Lamb Chops, (maybe on the grille!), marinated Sirloin tips or a final late Spring stew.
Even though we’re all still requested to stay home, it doesn’t mean you can’t sneak out onto the back porch, feel that ever-stronger sun on your face and have a sip or two of a good Sauvignon Blanc, does it? Then try some Governors Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, ($12.99). This beauty is the essence of fresh peaches and honeysuckle, which give a delicious complexity to the passion fruit and citrus fruit flavors; really clean, pure and extremely well-balanced. Try some grilled Shrimp or Calamari with this one and see if it doesn’t brighten your day!
If you’re a Cabernet drinker anytime of the year, like me, you should pick up a bottle of Avalon Winery, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017, ($21.99). From the mountain peaks to the valley floor, Avalon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the ultimate expression of this unrivaled wine region. They search high and low for the lush flavors found in their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. As Napa offers the ultimate combination of power from the mountains and finesse from the valley, this Cabernet reveals layers of red cherries and blackberries, backed by vanilla and toasted oak. It’s a classic embodiment of California Caband good with burgers, tips, Bison medallions or even a Prime Rib-as soon as we can all go to a restaurant again!
Stay well, everyone!
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