Finding the Chardonnay Trifecta!

22 May

May 21st was National Chardonnay Day! It’s not like we need an excuse to drink chardonnay. Recently, however, my calendar has been full of fun tastings and events (on top of my normally insane life working in entertainment) so my chardonnay intake has been quite low.

And by low I mean simply nonexistent.
Here’s a question for you, dear readers, and I’d like your responses!
Q: Does wanting to drink GOOD chardonnay make me a snob?  

There is so much mediocre chardonnay on the market. I have no problem buying a low-cost wine, mind you- I just want a great tasting chardonnay. In honor of #ChardonnayDay I went to the cellar and picked two wines I have hoarded for a special occasion, one from Sonoma, one from Burgundy. I opened them, and had a small pour from each. 

I sat and looked at the wines. I was trepidatious. These bottles of wine are my special, adored treasures. Once opened, they could no longer be kept. And that could be good or bad- I’ve been experiencing premature oxidation with many white burgundies, enough to cause my heart to race when looking through my cellar at racks I have been patiently waiting for the perfect age to enjoy.

Tangent: When you open a special, pricey bottle that has been either corked or prematurely oxidized, it’s heartbreaking. And it’s happened more often that I’d like to admit. I thought I was the only one, until I saw social media posts about it and then bluntly asked my trusted wine aficionado, blogger The Drunken Cyclist about his mention. It’s kind of like getting athlete’s foot from the gym shower and having your doctor patiently explain WHY other people are wearing those ugly shower shoes.

Apologies for the tangent, we’re not here to talk about athlete’s foot or shower shoes today. Here, these are funny wine flip flops, since I don’t have a cute cat video to share:

retro_wine_bottles_and_glasses_flip_flops-rf23dd62dbf4146aa91a059bc28c6d286_z9cuv_324

 

If you really require a higher level of amusement, watch this (not cat) video demonstrating how to open a wine bottle using a flip flop. This is a method I’d suggest only if you would like to drink your wine only after running it through a blender, which has a similar effect:

Enough of this tangent?

Getting back to the point.

#ChardonnayDay. Looking at two glasses, each one holding a small amount of wine from two of my treasured, cellared bottles for “a special occasion”, much like #OTBN. Well, “No Day But Today”, with apologies to Jonathan Larson.

 

One final whiff of the nose, and finally, to the mouth. Sip. Swirl, sucking in air. Swish, hold. Add air, swish, hold. Swallow. Consider.

 

Heaven. When chardonnay is great, there is no mistaking it. When I was nosing these wines, I wondered what food I should find to pair them with. To be certain, after a sip from each, I no longer cared about any food. Both of these wines were so blissfully stunning, I was blind to anything but the joy represented in the glasses.  Have you ever found yourself holding a glass of wine that shows this trifecta: a perfect specimen of the grape varietal, a growing region’s well-suited terroir, paired with love, care, and obsession in delicate winemaking? I have. Both of these fit the bill.

Meursault Heroine

 

I have to say, I was nervous. Our wine treasures are ever-changing chemical blends. I’ve had both brilliant and horrid experiences with bottles I’ve cellared and treasured. It could be, to quote Eddie Izzard,  “Cake or Death?”

 

Unknown

 

Except with chardonnay.

I know. You’re sophisticated.  You get the point. “Chardonnay or Death.”

 

First world problems.

 

So. Both of these wines… made me feel ecstatic and entirely focused, like a teenager madly in love: for a moment, nothing else mattered: no term papers, no cares about school, my parents, my after-school job. No matter if I had a pimple, high school was frustrating, or I’d come to terms with the sad fact that the lead singer of a band I really liked was in reality a total jerk (truth). Nothing else mattered. THIS. WAS. STUNNING. Just fast-forward thirty (ok, maybe forty?) -plus years to Middle-Age aka Blatant Adulthood. This… this is serious wine. Yeah. Oh, that’s good.

There will be no notes today of these wine, no mention of the pale straw color of the meursault or the green hue of Iconic’s Heroine. I won’t talk about how beautiful the mouthfeel, how like Sonoma the Heroine drinks, or how complex the meursault was. I found the trifecta again! Because like those glasses of wine, it was all in the moment, which was beautiful and fleeting, and now is simply a memory.

Happy #ChardonnayDay!

 

à votre santé!

Arneis & Nebbiolo: The Real Roero!

19 May

Arneis is a white wine grape whose origin is from the Piedmont region of Italy. Some of the finest examples of this wine are from the DOCG region of Roero, just northwest of Alba. Arneis wines tend to be crisp, dry, and floral; full-bodied wines with notes of white pear, apple, and apricot, with a strong mineral backbone. These wines should be available in high end wine stores in the $16-25 range and run slightly high in alcohol, usually 13-13.5% ABV.

Arneis 3

 

Arneis1

 

Arneis2

2015 was an excellent year in the Roero thanks to a snowy winter, mild spring, and rainy-but-hot summer. This combination of weather in the Roero region produced often perfect or near-perfect quality grapes with the traditional mineral-focused mouthfeel plus intense aromas and flavors of fruit with excellent aging potential.

I worked my way through the #RealRoero tasting of Roero wines held in New York City, enjoying myself thoroughly, first tasting recent vintages from 2011-2015. The Arneis wines show beautiful floral aromas with delicate fruit, mineral backbone and a sturdy finish that is absolutely delightful and makes me wonder why I haven’t sought these wines out previously.

The red counterparts, largely 100% nebbiolo Roero reds, are stunning in their own perspective. In these nebbiolos, bright fruit is in the background, while beautiful aromas mystify the nose and complex flavors bathe the tongue. My tasting notes included african violet, red plum, black cherry, pencil shavings, eucalyptus, forest floor and saddle leather. Colors range from bright ruby to muted garnet.


RR1 Deltetto

 

R3 vibrant nebb

 

R Nebb 1998

 

Like the Arneis wines, Roero reds vary from season to season with flavor profiles but show great consistency in quality and equal enjoyment between cooler and warmer years. It was a delight to taste 2011- 2012 reds alongside 1998 and 2001 vintages, demonstrating the aging potential these wines have and the beauty and complexity that is available for those willing to wait the test of time by cellaring. These wines should price in the $18-35 range on shelves and are usually 13-14.5% ABV.

2Deltetto 2001

 

sergentin

 

hold bottle

 

mal

I hope you are able to find wines from the Roero region in your local wine stores and try them for yourself, please leave a note if you are! I am excited to include wines from the Roero region in my next Italian wine tasting, and am struggling with which ones I should add to my personal cellar (can you say #FirstWorldProblems?). But know that you should expect to see more of them here on JvBUnCorked!

à votre santé!

Evening Land Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13 May

Evening Land Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2012, Sonoma County, CA. 13.5% ABV, Street Price @ $35-40 online.   

Color is deep ruby with purple center. Nose offers African violet, cherry cola, and ripe red raspberry. In the mouth, fruit-forward black cherry, slightly sour raspberry and blackberry is matched by powerful acidity. Secondary notes of wet stone, gravel, chalk and loam while the medium finish maintains valiant fruit past its completion.

 

Evening Land Pinot

While digging through my cellar, I found a half case of this and had to open a bottle. I’m glad I did, but hope I can be patient enough to leave these resting until they are mature enough for the brilliant balance and depth that is possible with proper age. It tastes fun and vibrant now, but each sip screams of the potential it offers, like an angst-ridden teenager.

 

à votre santé!

Château D’Arlay Vin Jaune

12 May

Château D’Arlay Vin Jaune 2007, AOC Côtes du Jura, France. 

One taste of a jura wine is all you need to know that they are unusual and special wines. I fell in love slowly with vin jaune, but loving the most unusual of historic and traditional French wines can have quite an impact on you. This wine is made entirely from savagnin grapes, matured in barrels for at least 6.5 years without topping off or added sulfite. The wine, left to oxidize, forms a protective covering of natural yeast. There is nothing else like a Jura Vin Jaune, one taste will make you agree.

vin jaune to edit

The ’07 D’Arlay vin jaune is light gold in color with a sherry-like nose of oxidized yeast and subtle tree fruit. In the mouth, it manages to be both rich and delicate. In addition to perfunctory fruit, secondary notes of almond, walnut, mushroom, dried earth, and salt are prominent. This is a wine created to complement food and the high acidity allows it to pair with comté cheese and a piece of bread, a simple fish appetizer, and white meat entrée. But if you love cheese, the meal can end there- vin jaune was made to complement cheese, and that was the catalyst for my love of it, and the reason why you should taste it, at least once in your life. Street price is approximately $60/bottle, but this is something you hoard for yourself or share with friends but don’t just pop open while you’re cooking, unless you live in the Jura.

Vin Jaune

à votre santé!

 

Passover Wines, 2016

28 Apr

And the kosher wines I served for this years Passover are:

 

Passsover2016

As pictured above, from right to left. 

Teal Lake 2011 Moscato, South Eastern Australia, 7% ABV, $8/bottle. An easy-going glass that tastes sweet apples and honey. It pairs perfectly with charoset, and is a great first wine for the evening that I brought for the entry-level wine drinkers. This bottle from down under is fun and enjoyable, very low in alcohol, and so easy to drink! I love it before or after a meal, and did I mention, it’s only $8? BOOM!

Teal Lake

 

Shirah Wine 2013 Vintage Whites, Santa Barbara County, CA. 14.5% ABV, $23/bottle(street).

This wine is California’s answer to “why can’t we have a great white wine on this night?” This Rhone-styled white, 70% viognier, 30% grenache blanc is a lovely, well-made wine for the passover meal. Dry with muted fruit, gentle acidity and a medium finish that shows a bitter hint of almond followed by notes of oak and loamy soil. Perfect for the fish and chicken courses or for those who prefer a full-bodied and savory white with their brisket. Thank you to the Weiss brothers for making this wine special, like the holiday!

Shirah Vintage

 

Recanati Rosé, Galilee, Israel. 13% ABV; $13/bottle (street). Made of 70% barbera and 30% merlot grapes, this is a total crowd pleaser: 1) I pour an ounce into a glass, 2) people first tell me how good it is, 3) then they ask for more.
I reviewed this in February, and stand by these notes: Color is a medium-clear and very ruddy pink: an amaranth/magenta center blending out to a clear edge. The aroma shows fresh strawberries with a hint of gardenias. In the mouth, tart raspberry and dried cranberry notes dominate with a spice balance. Good acidity and strong tannins emanate from the side palate for a satisfying, clean finish.

recanati rose

 

Recanati 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, “David” Vineyard, Galilee, Israel. 14% ABV, $23/bottle. This is a carefully-crafted wine I’ve enjoyed before- first with the winemaker at a tasting earlier in the year, then again at home when I picked up a bunch of Recanati wines from a local vendor. It has been consistent and delicious each time! Black cherry, blackberry, and red plum fruit blend with nice acid, strong tannins.; followed up with a long lasting finish with hints of oak, chalk, slate, and stone. I served this and the red wine drinkers at the table immediately said “Wow, where did THIS come from?”- they were sure I’d snuck in a preferred, high-end & pricey red. They were right about everything but the pricey part! Recanati has changed the way I feel about Israeli wine production, and they are in my cellar, period.

 

recanati reserve Cab

 

Psagot 2012 Cabernet Franc, Judean Hills 14.5% ABV, $27/bottle. The store owner said “you should try this”, poured me sample, and I decided he was right. The antithesis of what I think Passover wines taste like- this cab franc features dark black fruit, powerful tannin, spice, earth, and oak. A massive wine, high in alcohol, to make your main course (and Elijah) sing. It’s bold, and I paired it well for several days with the rich red meats I was served over the holiday, until there was no more left to enjoy.

Cabernet_Franc_2011

What wines graced your table this year?

à votre santé!

Vintage: Believe the Hype -JvBUnCorked on Snooth

23 Apr

Glad to be invited to share my point of view with readers around the world on Snooth.com. The entire article can be found here, my contribution is copied below. Make sure to check out both, as my co-contributors have some brilliant insights, suggestions, and perspectives. Cheers!-JvB


Vintage: Believe the Hype/Drink or Hold-

Bordeaux, 1971

The year was 1985. The location was a sunny outdoor table on the front patio of a small restaurant that rested upon the slope of a mountain in the French Alps. The special of the day was local wild boar, and our host ordered a bottle of 1975 Chateau Latour as his choice of wine.
Chamonix
The lack of response or understanding from his guests on the bottle’s arrival prompted him to give us a quick lesson on first growth/premier chateaux and the importance of vintages, which I will never forget. Our host asked us if we knew anything about this wine, and was greeted with silence. He spoke quietly to the waiter, who had just finished removing the cork from the ’75. They had a quick exchange in French that despite my best efforts I was unable to follow, but the waiter departed and returned with two additional vintages from the same chateau: the 1973 and 1971.
 Latour 75
Our host waxed on and on about the many great vintages he had enjoyed from Latour, specifically the ’59 and ’61 vintages, as the waiter opened the other two bottles and poured tiny tastes for our host. Upon his completion of tasting the three bottles, our host then indicated an out-of-order pour: we should all taste the ’73 first, then the ’75, and finally the ’71. While I don’t recall any specific tasting notes, I do recall my response. The first bottle was very good, the second bottle was great, and the third bottle was blissfully amazing. Our host explained that these vines and grapes were treated with the same identical loving care each year but that the annual vintage would vary in quality and flavor from year to year. In his native tongue, our host asked my opinion of the wines. In my high school French I replied, somewhat haltingly, that the first glass tasted “pretty”, the second was “pretty and decadent” and the third glass had “the same beauty as all the women from the Folies-Bergere” nightclub, which elicited a spit-take and guffaw from our host. While our host dried his eyes at my youthful response to the wine tasting, his lesson made an impression on me and was fully understood.
1971
As opposed to the local “vin du table” wines we’d enjoyed previously on our trip, a first growth or premier chateau wine is something extraordinary and remarkable, but the growing year of each vintage made a huge difference – whether the vines had more rain, sun, frost or humidity – these factors, when summed together, exerted great influence on whether the wine was good, great, or extraordinary in a given year.
-Jim vanBergen,  @JvB UnCorked / jvbuncorked.wordpress.com

 

A Wonderful Week in Wine

18 Apr

#MWWC24

Sometimes we lead charmed lives. I recently had a seven-day stretch of wine that left me feeling very, very blessed. The week provided honest-to-goodness, heart-felt pleasure for me, and broached several spectrums of the world of wine, from the professional to the personal to the simply mind-blowing.

“Oh yeah”, you’re thinking. “Mind-blowing? Sure.” Fine, you be the judge. One week: Two trade events, one concert, and a once-in-a-lifetime cellar event. Ready to read about them? Go ahead.

wine-stain1-3

Event 1: The New Zealand Wine Tasting

My top four picks from this tasting are as follows:

Villa Maria Estate 2015 “Bubbly” Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, NZ: A ‘carbonated wine’, I found this to be an absolute delight. Beautiful nose, balance of citrus on the palate, remaining light, delicious and dry. With a retail price of $15, I’ll expect to find by the glass in restaurants as well as on the patio this summer. 


Maria Bubbly

 

Gladstone Vineyard & Jealous Sisters: The 2014 Jealous Sisters Pinot Gris, under $15, is one of the best values in Pinot Gris at the tasting. I sought out winemaker Christine Kernohan and learned about her sustainable and environmentally responsible winemaking perspective which only increased my respect for her work and products. Jealous Sisters Pino Gris

If you aren’t a fan of Pinot Gris this is a bottle to change your mind. Nevertheless, Christine’s Gladstone Vineyards Wairarapa 2013 Pinot Noir is also a delightful wine

Christine Gladstone

Christine Kernohan of Gladstone and Jealous Sisters

 

Rockburn Central Otago 2013 Pinot Noir. Red fruit and minerals on the nose, the palate is bombarded with black cherry, gravel, limestone, fresh cut herbs and a hint of mocha. Expressive and expansive on the palate, it was one of my favorites of the day.

 

Rockburn Pinot Noir

 

 

Huia Pinot Gris Marlborough 2013

Aromatic without being as perfumed as sauvignon blanc, this was another pinot gris that made me sit up and take notice. The flavor profile immediately put me at a lawn party in the Hamptons. The wine is elegant and slightly reserved; dry, and delicate in flavor. The finish has notes of stone and sand. Certified biodynamic, a delight in the glass. Winemakers Claire and Mike Allan are doing something right down in the Wairau Valley!

 

Claire Huia

Claire Allan, Winemaker from Huia Vineyards

 

Huis SB

The Huia 2015 Sauvignon Blanc shows the delightful, trademark New Zealand aromatic aromas and a fresh, citrus mouth feel. 

Event 2: USA Trade Tasting, Beverage Trade Network

tasting pic

I went to this USATT brand-new event looking to find what was fun and new, with zero expectations. I met some great people and tasted lots of wines. Some of the wines I found interesting included a range of mid- and top-level wines from Le Cantine, Inc. I enjoyed their dry “Una” Grüner Veltliner, their single vineyard St. Laurent red as well as their RW Blend of zweigelt, blaufrankish and pinot noir grapes. All the wines they showed hail from the Burgenland region of Austria and the Lake Neusiedl microclimate that is key to the quality of fruit grown in the area.

IMG_1935

 

What would springtime be without a Rosé? Rosé par Paris from Domaine de l’Allamande is a grenache/cinsault/rolle/cabernet blend from the Côtes de Provence area. The fruit blend is gentle and fresh, with great limestone minerality. I could have taken a bottle of this and sat outside in the sun for the rest of the afternoon… rose par paris

 

South of the Border! I met Vicente Johnson and Bernardita Court of Trasiego Wines who specialize in importing South American wines from Chile and Argentina. I enjoyed their Mano del Sur line from Chile’s Cachapoal Valley with sauv blanc, pinot noir, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon, as well as their Casas del Toqui line, with gran reserve and terroir series showing beautiful winemaking from Chile that is sure to be a hit in the North American marketplace.

 

Trasiego

Trasiego 2

 

And my last hit from this show, Maple Wine! Technically, can it be called a wine if it’s made from sap and not fruit or grape? Regardless, it IS a tasty treat! Domaine Labranche was showing several unusual maple-based products: semi-sweet maple wine, sparkling maple wine, sparkling cider (8.5% ABV), and dessert ciders. I was really intrigued and impressed by the flavor profiles and think that many of my readers will find these fascinating. I expect to see them gaining in quick popularity, so let me know if you see Domaine Labranche in your local stores!

 

Maple

Event 3: Steve Kimock in Concert at NY’s City Winery.

Since I make my living in entertainment, it would be rare for me to want to attend a concert for “fun” since my industry involvement makes it almost impossible to enjoy. But for this artist, I invited a few friends from the business (who also needed some relaxation and a little wine) and chose a few wines for us to enjoy.

We met our server and began with a tasting of the house “on-tap” pinot and cabs. After which, I selected a bottle of an on-tap Cabernet Sauvignon. It was tasty, but I wanted more. So I asked the somm for the “big” wine list, and off to the races we went.

One of the cool things that City Winery does is partner with musicians to make their own “house” wine. Below, an example of Kimock Wines from City Winery. For a gimmick, it was tasty! If I recall correctly, a syrah-grenache-cab blend.
Kimock Wine

 

Bring out the big guns: Movia’s Veliko Rosso 2007. A Slovenian blend of Cab, Merlot, and Pinot. I was looking for something closer to a blaufrankish to pair with one of the dishes the table shared. It came highly recommended by Sam (our somm for the evening) and delivered through and through.

Movia

 

For us, the star of the evening (apart from the music) was La Ragose ’06 Amarone Della Valpolicella. The wine features beautiful dark fruit up front with great expression, depth, and tons of dark flavors to follow: dried plum, graphite, licorice, wet earth, and granite with a medium finish that kept us raising our glasses until the bottle was drained.

Amarone

 

Event 4: A Private Reading Leads to Wine Cellar Visit

Attending a private reading of a new musical is one type of event, not uncommon in my industry. But it becomes something else entirely when the event host has a stunning wine cellar and can show me a portion of their Red Bordeaux collection, as well as some key bottles to other seriously famous wine lovers who collect Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru (this for another discussion). Before the reading began, I met the host. As we chatted, one oenophile meeting another, shortly after we began discussing wine, he asked me if I’d like to see his wine cellar. (Mic Drop.) 

Like I would ever say no to a cellar visit. My “tween-aged girl at a Justin Bieber Concert” reaction had him leading the way in a fraction of a second.

To me, wine cellars are always fun to visit, but rarely awe-inspiring. I tried to act pretty casual about the thousands of bottles of carefully-stored and categorized bottles, as we walked past them and another room sharing bottles and crates, until I saw things that gave me a “Wile E Coyote reaction”.

giphy

Just look closely at the pictures below and tell me you don’t feel the same way.

 

cellar 6

OWC’s of ’86 Mouton-Rothschild, Pichon de Longueville, Margaux, and La Mission Haut-Brion.

 

cellar 4

A few more OWCs of 1986 Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Margaux. #YouHadMeAtMargaux !

 

cellar 2

OWC’s of 1999 Latour and Palmer. Thirsty yet?   

These three pictures were a tiny portion of one of three rooms in this collector’s cellar. He also explained that he and his brother have an entire warehouse with the bulk of their collections. OOF.

Seriously- take a look, these are unopened OWCs of some stunning wines. When I was done scraping my mouth of the stone floor, I casually mentioned to my host that I was a huge fan of the 1986 Chateau Margaux.  He shocked my by pulling an ’86 from a nearby rack of un-crated bottles, carrying it upstairs where he opened it for me to enjoy, and then gifted me the remainder of the bottle to take home. This kind of gift one does NOT refuse, so I gladly accepted!

 

1986 1st

Had this twice before…long before it was prohibitively expensive for mere mortals.

 

1986 Margaux

Enjoying more of the same in my own home. Premier Grand Cru Classé, anyone? 

 

It has been over a decade since I tasted the 1986, and I was thrilled to have another opportunity to experience this stunning wine. While a Chateau Margaux would be enough for me on any day, the host had other ideas. His pièce de résistance came after the reading. He opened and poured an 1875 Malvasia Madiera- which was simply mind-blowing to all the guests, myself included. Even the non-wine drinkers had a tiny taste of this unbelievable vintage.

Here are pictures of the front and back of the 1875 Madeira bottle.

1875

 

1875 back

 

Tasting notes: A dark rosewood in color, spun sugar and candied citrus on the nose. It was quite heavy in sediment but delightful on the palate with notes of caramel, burnt sugar, fig, and orange peel. After so much time, this wine was still excellent in quality. It was so rare and extravagant, yet I had another whole element: the combination of the 1875 madiera and the 1986 Chateau Margaux… simply amazing.

It made for an unforgettable day, and the day was a delightful finish to a week of serious and wonderful wine pleasure that I will never, ever forget.

 

à votre santé!

 

Chateau Famaey Cahors Malbec

16 Apr

Chateau Famaey Cahors Malbec 2012. 12.5% ABV, $12/bottle.

Color is opaque garnet with purple edging. Nose of black plum, flower cuttings, menthol, and forest floor. In the mouth, dark black fruit, solid acidity, pumice and slate. Medium intensity and finish. A nice entry level Cahors, at an approachable price.

photo

As spring warms up, I grabbed this to pair with late night Mexican and it did not disappoint. I had hoped for complexity and it showed as more singular, which was fine in this context. A fairly-valued vin du table, an easy choice to add to the cellar for strong flavors needing good acidity and dark fruit to match.

à votre santé

Castiglion Del Bosco Brunello Di Montalcino

3 Apr

Castiglion Del Bosco 2010 Brunello Di Montalcino, DOCG, Montalcino, Italy. 14.5%ABV. Found online from $40-60/bottle.

A beautifully feminine expression of Brunello. Dense garnet in color, the perfumed nose offers ripe blueberry, orange rind, vanilla and eucalyptus. On the palate, cassis and black plum are met with lovely acidity and delicate tannins, evolving into a delicate mesh with medium body, a solid structure and some complexity. Secondary notes include mocha, spice box, vanilla, oak, granite, clay, and a wash of sour cherries across the top palate. Aged two years in French oak and another two years in the bottle before release, the winemaker has created a lovely balance that drinks well now and should be near perfect in four years. I paired this with the traditional American grill of salad, steak, broccoli and potatoes, and only wanted to refill my glass and continue enjoying. It required great self-control to stop and write about the wine instead of simply drinking it.

A renowned producer with consistently solid results, I would love to taste this wine vertically.\

Hmmm.

 

Road trip, anyone?

Catiglion Bosco

à votre santé!

 

 

Low Alcohol Wines for the Win! JvBUnCorked on Snooth

29 Mar

Another JvB angle for Snooth.com in their low alcohol wine roundup!
Check our the original article here, with just my content shared here. 

As a precursor, allow me to say this: I love being in a community of great wine writers who all have interesting perspectives! I learn a lot from my fellow oenophiles, and this month I had a bunch of “Yes!” responses when I read their portions, as well as a few “hey, I’ve gotta try that!” reactions. I hope you will too, my friends. What else will you want to know: My suggestion might have the lowest alcohol by volume in our group at a shockingly low 5.5%, but just as importantly, the wine is a delight. I loved the flavor profile both by itself and when paired with Thai, Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese recipes. And check out that cool bottle! I adored the effervescence in this wine, and plan to have more of it in my cellar when I can make some room. Enough- here’s my piece (below), and make sure you reads the whole article (link above) to see the other cool submissions my collaborators suggested! -JvB

Low Alcohol Wines for the Win

stefano d'asti 1

In an age where we calculate and coordinate our gym music playlists with our daily steps and caloric intake, wine is one of life’s greatest pleasure that sometimes gets put on the chopping block, especially when alcohol and calories are all under consideration. So here is my low alcohol solution with a top-level moscato that clocks in at a mere 5.5%ABV. Yes, you read that right, only five-point-five percent alcohol! I Vignaioli di S. Stefano Moscato d’Asti 2014 is a DOCG moscato from the Ceretto winery in Piedmont that is great for both your body and your taste buds. A beautiful color of afternoon sunlight and medium straw, the nose shows effervescence, honesuckle, and orange blossoms. In the mouth, delightful and delicate bubbles give way to ripe pear, clover honey, sweet apple, and tangerine. A single five-ounce glass has only 137 calories, gently sweet yet with enough acidity and bright fruit flavors to cleanse your palate beautifully through an entire meal from appetizer to dessert.

-Jim van Bergen, JvB UnCorked.wordpress.com

stefano d'asti 2

 

à votre santé!

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