By The Glass
Feedback leads to good wine thoughts
Over the past three weekends, I've been asked to pour wines at charity events. It's been a great opportunity to see what wines people are drinking and to hear their feedback.
At one event in particular, I was astounded at how many people came to ask for a glass of Italian prosecco or dry ros. It was also amazing to hear how many people ask for wines that pair well with their foods. With those thoughts in mind, here are some recommendations for you to have fun with.
Mionetto Prosecco ($12): If you're looking for a hot-weather thirst-quencher, be on the lookout for this bowling-pin-shaped bottle with the beer-bottle cap. True, the packaging is cute, but the wine inside is something well worth searching for -- pure, effortlessly light and gulpable. The beading froth just adds to the wines complete refreshing, thirst-quenching nature. It is an ideal wine for this time of the year.
2007 Uvaggio Barbera Rosato ($12): Can you imagine a 2007 on the market already? Rosato means ros in Italian. This off-dry, refreshing, pink wine epitomizes a summer wine -- tasty, food-friendly and delicious.
Produced from the barbera grape, this is a wine to serve with fresh, flavorful salads, pasta dishes and, of course, barbecue. Its versatility also makes it apropos for cheese, cured meats and pizzas -- in other words summer foods and outdoor sipping.
2006 Four Vines Zinfandel "Old Vine Cuvee" ($12): The 2006 recently made its way into Hawaii, unveiled by star winemaker Christian Tietje. Produced from old vines in Mendocino, Amador County, Napa Valley and Paso Robles, the wine has loads of tasty, wonderfully spiced fruit, with a roundness and deliciousness that is captivating. It is so great in this day and age to find a wine that offers this kind of quality for the dollar.
FOR THE CELLAR
2005 Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras ($32): If my recent trip to France yielded one true standout, it was this wine and this winery. This trip being as much about culture and heritage as it was about wine and food, I often met with father and son, sometimes father and daughter, sometimes mother and daughter winemakers. In all cases it was about a family heirloom being passed down through the generations.
Domaine Sang des Cailloux epitomized the dream. The vineyard resembled the very best of the neighboring (and more famous) Chateauneuf-du-Pape with its seemingly never-ending sea of round stones (galets). Sang des Cailoux (which means Blood of Stones) Vacqueyras captures the power and strength of the vineyard in a bottle.
I love the ripe blackberry/cherry fruit interwoven with the flavors of white pepper, lavender, violets, wild herbs (sage, thyme, a hint of rosemary), Nicoise olives and the strong sense of the baked, wild countryside, which is more reminiscent of Provence. You will want to try this soulful, authentic, "country" beauty.
This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org