Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Springtime White...from Pennsylvania!


The first nice day of spring deserves an equally beautiful bottle of white wine. Today, that means the Chaddsford Winery Proprietor's Reserve 2007. Check out the tasting video here.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Castello Banfi ExcelsuS: 1997 and 2003


More than a decade old and still showing remarkable brightness despite its maturity, the 1997 is still a classic. Cardamom-dusted raspberries and a hint of coffee define the nose, while still-fresh berries and a core of acidity keep it all lively on the palate. It’s ready to go now, but another year or two will really allow the flavors—still approaching maturity, unlike the nose, which has already arrived—to shine just as brightly.


The 2003, on the other hand, is still in a quiet phase, its aromas surprisingly subtle and just hinting at raspberry, cream, and nuts. The tannins here still have great grip, though when they loosen up a touch with air, the concentrated fruit of the merlot expresses itself with real exuberance and elegance. Hold on to this one for another couple of years, or decant it for an hour or two and enjoy it now.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Wildekrans Wine Estate Cabernet Franc - Merlot 2005

Wildekrans is one of my favorite producers in South Africa, and this bottling is a great example of what makes it such a standout. The nose shows beautifully delineated bell peppers, cigar tobacco, crisp black plums, and spice. Those aromas are echoed on the palate, and lead the way to a finish rich in spicy blackberries and raspberries. This is that rare wine that's both delicious on its own and perfect at the table, its ripe, tongue-coating tannins and undeniably refreshing character utterly irresistible in either context.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Domaine de Triennes Viognier "Sainte Fleur" 2007

In a lot of ways, Domaine de Triennes is like the 1992 United States Olympic basketball squad—the legendary Dream Team. This Southern French estate, like its sports-world predecessor, is all about the best people finding themselves in the right place at the perfect time. And the results, like they were for those hoopsters, are spectacular.

The two most famous names behind Domaine de Triennes are Jacques Seysses, founder of Burgundy’s highly regarded Domaine Dujac, and Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of what is possibly the most revered producer in the world, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. (The third partner is Michel Macoux.) The result of their vision, labor, attention to detail, and deep respect for the land and the wine produced from it—at least as far as their phenomenal 2007 Viognier is concerned—is everything you would expect from such a group.

The 46-hectare vineyard, planted to Viognier, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Syrah, and Merlot, is nestled in the Pays du Var, east of Aix-en-Provence. It’s altitude (approximately 1,375ft – 1,475ft) and southern face combine to afford the grapes the opportunity to achieve ideal ripeness while still maintaining fresh acidity. This sense of balance was, in fact, the first aspect of the Viognier to strike me upon taking that initial sniff and sip.

Aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle, and minerals rose from the glass, but without the overly lush perfume and lack of freshness that so many Viogniers suffer from. The real surprise, though, was on the palate, where the wine’s super-fresh acidity provided a sense of posture and structure that is all to rare with this grape. Notes of orange oil, mineral, and sweet summer stone fruit dominated the mid-palate, and were given an added sense of drama by the plush texture. The finish brought a subtle orange-pith bitterness that kept the richness of the mid-palate from growing overwhelming. This structured, brilliantly crafted, and utterly delicious wine is one of the best Viogniers I’ve tasted all year. And the price—under $16!—is nothing short of miraculous.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Barbaresco Evolution


This will be my last post on the “Great Barbaresco Question” for now, but I had to write about what happened to the wine after having been open for a few days.

Saturday night, I made sure to leave a bit in the bottle, pump out the air, and put it in the fridge. Last night, 48 hours after having had it last, I poured myself the remaining wine to see how it was doing. Happily, it can be summed up in one word:

Wow.

What a difference 48 hours can make. The wine rose from the glass with a dense perfume of coffee, clay, truffles (pictured above), ripe raspberries, and rose petals, all of the time it had spent in my cellar finally making itself known. On the palate, this inexpensive Barbaresco had taken on an irresistible silkiness that carried the darker berries and bright acidity perfectly. What a wonderful evolution, and a real treat on a Monday night—like the weekend’s last unexpected hurrah.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Choices, Choices: Part 2


The verdict is in! Check out the video below to see what happened when the Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2003 was paired with spaghetti in a white truffle and pancetta cream sauce (pictured above)...
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Choices, Choices: Part 1


Tonight, for the first time in weeks, I have no plans: No wine classes to teach, no restaurants to visit, no articles or columns to write. So I plan on rewarding myself by heading out to the farmers’ market later this afternoon, waiting for inspiration to strike, and cooking a nice dinner for my wife and I.

Then again, that line about “waiting for inspiration to strike” isn’t entirely true: My purchases will be guided by the wine I plan on drinking with dinner. So inspiration, though it will play a role in fine-tuning what I cook, will only happen within certain parameters.

Those parameters will be defined by the two bottles I’m considering: A 2003 Barbaresco from Produttori del Barbaresco and a 2005 Hartford Court Pinot Noir “Land’s Edge Vineyards.” I haven’t tasted either one in about two years, though reports from friends are pretty consistent: The Barbaresco is still young but drinking well, especially after a stint in the decanter, and the Pinot Noir could go either way—the youthful fruit hasn’t quite yet given way to more mature characteristics, but it’s still supposed to be utterly delicious.

I have a feeling that I’ll decide on which bottle to open once I see what my options are at the market. If the wild mushrooms look good, then it’ll be the Pinot accompanying linguine with lobster, pancetta, and wild mushrooms. If they don’t, then I’ll open the Barbaresco to enjoy alongside fresh spaghetti with a white truffle cream sauce.

Either one is a good option, and I know I’ll enjoy dinner either way. But allowing both the wine and the ingredient selection to guide a pairing is a sure-fire strategy for maximizing your mealtime pleasure. It also keeps it interesting: Not knowing what you’ll be eating or drinking until you get to the market adds a sense of anticipation and excitement to the proceedings.

I’ll report back on Monday, well-rested and, hopefully, satisfied.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Loire Valley Whites: 'Tis the Season


At the Boutique Wine Collection National Portfolio Tasting in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to taste several dozen delicious, often idiosyncratic bottlings that embodied everything I love so much about wine: A sense of place, impeccable balance, and the kind of exuberance that makes wine such a fun, deeply rewarding pursuit.

Among the many standouts I enjoyed at the tasting, four bottlings of Savennières from Domaine du Petit Métris (which has been in the same family since way back in 1784) really made me stand up straighter and take notice. The 'Clos de la Marche' 2007 reminded me of candy corn (without the sugary sweetness) in its amazing waxy character. It also possessed a stone-fruit note that lent it both roundness and depth. The 'Clos de la Marche' 2005 was both nuttier and brighter at the same time; it was just as much an intellectual pleasure as a sensual one. The Domaine's Savennières 'Les Fougeraies' 2007 was still quite young, with apricot and nut notes dominating, whereas the 2005 possessed a berry-like perfume that reminded me of well-crafted eau de vie, though, of course, without the alcohol of that digestif.

The great whites of the Loire Valley—Chenin Blanc-based ones like Savennières, Quarts de Chaume, and Vouvray; and Sauvignon Blancs like Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre—are among the most remarkable and cost-effective wines of France. And with the warmer weather finally upon us, now is the perfect time to start exploring this part of France in general and these wines in particular. The rewards are tremendous, and the costs, thankfully, are surprisingly low.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Drinking Outside the Box


There’s a great article in today’s New York Times Food Section on the Mencía-based reds of Spain’s Bierzo region. The timing couldn’t be better: In my last post, I wrote about a spice dinner I recently attended in Philadelphia, and one of the wine highlights was from Bierzo--Castro Ventosa’s El Castro de Valtuille Mencía 2005.

Two things strike me as noteworthy here. First, that Spain has, yet again, distinguished itself with a grape and a region that, until just a few short years ago, few but the most ardent wine geeks had ever really heard of. And second, that given the economic climate of the times, it’s being driven home yet again that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a truly memorable wine experience.

For great value and tremendous flavor from Spain, I cannot recommend Albariño from the Rias Baixas region highly enough. From Portugal, look for dry reds from Alentejo, in the south of the country. Dry Furmint from Hungary, if you can find it, is both charming and intellectually rewarding. Austrian reds like Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and St. Laurent are among the most exciting in the world right now.

The point is this: By thinking and drinking outside your accustomed box, you’re likely to not only find great value, but truly remarkable wine, too.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spices, Not Spicy

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Zahav, the fantastic Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighborhood, held a spice dinner last week that I was fortunate enough to attend. But before I go into any more detail, it’s important to make a quick clarification: Just because this was a spice-centric dinner doesn’t mean that everything was spicy. It was just the opposite, in fact.

Too many people still associate spices with tongue-tingling dishes that, to paraphrase Ralph from The Simpsons, “taste like burning.” And while there are definitely some spices out there that are hot, that is not the case with all, or even the majority, of them. And in a wine world where there are precious few universal truths, the one about spicy-hot foods stands apart: They are, in general, difficult to pair with wine (German Riesling and certain bottlings of Gewurztraminer, among other, notwithstanding).

But the dishes at Zahav’s spice dinner were far more savory and aromatic than anything else. Which meant that the wine pairing possibilities were exceptionally broad and full of the potential for excitement.

And man, did they live up to expectations.


The meal was a collaboration between Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav, Master Spice Blender Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boite a Epice, and John Toler of Boutique Wine Collection. The result of their collective efforts was nothing short of breathtaking.

My personal favorite pairings were the duck trio—rillettes, foie gras, and barbecued heart—with Champagne A. Margaine Demi-Sec, a gently sweet sparkler whose smoke and ripe fruit notes lifted each component of the dish magnificently; and the wild boar, chestnuts and cranberries with Castro Ventosa’s El Castro de Valtuille Mencia from Spain’s Bierzo region. This second pairing was like a symphony of flavors, the wine’s rich berry fruit and minerality and the food’s earthier, more aromatic components darting around the palate like instruments in an orchestra.

Each dish incorporated specific spice combinations that were given their fullest possible expression by the ingredients and cooking method
s of the food and by the wines that were selected to sip alongside them. And as wildly pleasurable as the meal was, there was also an educational component to it that cannot be overlooked: Spices, when used properly, can lead the way to absolutely stunning wine pairings. All you need is an understanding of the flavors and textures of each dish, a broad palette of wines to draw from, and, perhaps most important of all, an open mind.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

White Burgundy Tasting, Part 2


Despite the cerebral nature of so many of the wines of Burgundy, I have always had an emotional soft spot for Domaine Pierre Morey. Their balance between drinkability and regal potential for longevity, as well as the expressiveness of the various terroirs that they achieve, seduce me every time.

My favorites from the tasting of Morey’s 2006 white Burgundies at Le Bernardin include the Meursault, a vanilla-rich, waxy-apricot, vaguely floral wine whose fine balancing acidity provides a far more linear structure than the nose lets on. I also love the Meursault “Les Tessons,” which I tasted for a column on 2006 white Burgundy in John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet, and which seduced me with its lemon curd, almond skin, and mineral character...

Finally, the Grand Cru Batard-Montrachet is amazingly seductive, even at this early stage in its evolution, with its wonderfully integrated and perfumed oak, smoke, and toast notes on the nose. Like the Meursault, though, the acid keeps it all in check: It’s immediately bright and lively on the attack, with a walnut-rich mid-palate and a finish that keeps coming on in mouth-watering waves. This is a wine for the long haul, and should keep on getting better for 15 – 20 years.

As is always the case with great Burgundy, though, waiting is the most difficult part. Who ever said wine was easy?
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

White Burgundy Tasting, Part 1

Not that I hope it ever comes to this, of course, but if I were forced to choose a white wine for my last meal, there’s a good chance it would be white Burgundy. Because when it comes to bottlings from the best producers or negociants, with fruit from the best vineyard sites harvested in good years, there is just no other white on the planet that walks such a Johnny Cash-perfect line between fruit and earth, that expresses the minute nuances of the land yet still allows the hands of winemaker to leave their mark, that holds such staggering potential for future evolution...

There’s something majestic, something approaching the sacred, about great Burgundy, both red and white. Maybe it’s the history of the region itself: According to The Oxford Companion to Wine, evidence of vine-growing there can be traced to the 2nd century and, “[in] 587 King Guntramn, grandson of Clovis and son of Clotaire, gave a vineyard to the abbey of St. Benignus at Dijon, and in 630 the duke of Lower Burgundy donated vineyards at Gevrey, Vosne, and Beaune to the Abbey of Beze, near Gevrey.”

History like that breeds familiarity with the land, and the knowledge that has accrued over all these centuries has resulted in the Burgundy that charms, tantalizes, and bewilders even its most ardent fans. In this regard, Burgundy is like the quintessential actress from the classic French films: A bit difficult to understand, perennially flirtatious, and ultimately unforgettable.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a tasting of 2006 white Burgundies from Domaine Leflaive and Domaine Pierre Morey at Le Bernardin in New York. And, as I expected, I was not disappointed.

These are my tasting notes for Leflaive’s wines (that's Anne-Claude Leflaive below). Check back tomorrow for my notes on Domaine Morey’s. In addition, visit www.WilsonDanielsFilms.com and click on "Domaine Leflaive" for a beautiful 5-minute video on the Domaine.

The Meursault Premier Cru “Sous le Dos d’Ane” is a textbook example of how to utilize oak to bring out the best in a wine without overwhelming it. This is a creamy, savory white that arrives on in a cloud of warm vanilla, lemon cream, and meringue flavors that ultimately resolve into something nutty and haunting.

The laser-beam nose of the Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru “Clavoillon” reminds me of wintertime with its warm-nut aromatics. The wine’s youth is more apparent on the palate as the oak still needs a bit of time to integrate, but all the balance and power are there for a long, beautiful life ahead.

Also from Puligny-Montrachet, the Premier Cru “Les Pucelles” is both more linear and more transparent in style, the nose dominated at this stage in its life by flowers and minerals, the palate by almonds and pitch-perfect acidity. You should decant this wine if you insist on opening it now, but the smarter play would be to hold onto it for 8+ years: The liveliness of this bottling is nothing short of breathtaking, and though holding off will be difficult, it will most certainly be rewarded.

Finally, the big boy: The Grand Cru Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet, a wine that can only be described as thoroughly complete, showing a rounded sense of minerality as well as flowers and crunchy persimmons. It fills up the entire palate, benefiting from both depth and concentration, and promises to evolve into a wine of subtle beauty by the time it reaches its peak. It’s amazing right now, but if I were to buy a bottle or three, I’d save at least two of them for sometime in the mid-2020’s ...
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Friday, March 6, 2009

...And One More Use for Bubbly

With the weekend upon us, and, for me at least, an entire Saturday afternoon to sit on the couch watching sports, reading the paper, and mindlessly snacking, this is the perfect time to recommend yet another use for Champagne: Pairing partner for potato chips.

That's right: Chips.

Think about it: Champagne goes with classic potato blinis, right? And paired with French fries it just sings. So why not potato chips? It's a natural match...

My personal favorites are the higher-end ones--they tend to have more potato flavor. But, really, any chips will do (just avoid the flavored varieties). And I guarantee that, paired with a nice glass of bubbly and an afternoon on the couch, they will help make for a Saturday to remember.
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Gruner Veltliner and Pizza at Spago



I spent last week in Las Vegas hosting and moderating the culinary demonstrations at the Catersource and Event Solutions Conference and Trade Show. It was fantastic work, a lot of fun, and incredibly educational. It also provided the opportunity to explore the Las Vegas restaurant scene a bit, and, as should be expected, to experience some exciting food-and-wine pairings along the way...

One of the most affordable and enlightening matches I tasted was Gruner Veltliner and mushroom pizza at Spago, Wolfgang Puck's iconic restaurant in the Forum Shops at Caesars.

Gruner Veltliner, Austria's supremely food-friendly and wildly enjoyable white wine, turned out to match up perfectly with the pizza, an earthy, charred-crust beauty with caramelized onions, roasted portabellas, and Parmigiano Reggiano. The pepperiness of the wine found its perfect counterpart in the mushrooms, its bright acidity cut right through the richness of the cheese, and its gentle ripe fruit married seamlessly with the sweet onions, making it deliciously easy to both eat more and drink more. Which, to my mind, is the definition of a great pairing.
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BelnerO: The New Wine from Castello Banfi


Yesterday, I had the privilege of tasting BelnerO 2005, the new wine from famed Tuscan producer Castello Banfi, at a lunch at the Sub-Zero showroom in Manhattan that was hosted by Christina Mariani-May, Co-CEO of Banfi. It was a wonderful way to showcase the wine, as those of us in attendance were able to both sample it on its own and enjoy it alongside food that had been specifically prepared to pair well with it...

The wine itself is the result of extensive research into both Sangiovese (which is the dominant grape variety in the wine, spruced up with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and the terroir of the Castello Banfi estate. The result of all that labor--beautifully documented in Banfi's new book, "The Pursuit of Excellence"--is a wine that has both the potential to age as well as the ability to enhance a meal right now.

On the nose, I found aromas of leather and cherry, along with a solid note of cracked black pepper. The wine's presence on the palate, though, is what really won me over, its silky tannins and perfectly calibrated acid framing the darker cherries, cedar, and flowers beautifully. I've always been a big fan of Castello Banfi's wines, particularly their various Super Tuscans and Brunello di Montalcinos, and the BelnerO is a stellar addition to their already exceptional line-up of offerings.
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Maybe They Just Need a Drink...

Decanter.com reported today that the anti-alcohol brigades have been stirring the lees, as it were, in France, too:

"The French wine industry is preparing for a tense weekend as the General Assembly in Paris continues to debate its controversial healthcare bill...

Of particular concern to winemakers is...an amendment to 'ban all free distribution of alcoholic drinks in a promotional capacity'. Aimed at stopping open bars for the under-25s, it doesn't distinguish among types of alcohol and it would effectively ban free wine tastings at chateaux, wine fairs and events such as 'en primeur' week."...

Decanter goes on to note that the chance of the General Assembly actually banning such free samplings is slim. But the fact remains that, regardless of how widely accepted wine may be in a particular culture, or how great its social and health benefits are, there will always be people who feel the need to pontificate on the evils of all things fermented. So while I'm holding my breath this weekend as I wait for the latest developments in France, I'll also be hoisting a number of glasses of good wine. Because no matter how hard the naysayers fight, one fact remains unarguably clear: There's nothing wrong with enjoying good wine responsibly. In fact, it's often one of the best ways to remind yourself of the good things in life.
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Up-and-Coming Portugal

Yesterday, I attended the Wine Media Guild of New York's monthly tasting and lunch, this one focusing on the dry wines of Portugal. It was, as I expected, a remarkable afternoon.

Too many people still think of sweet Port when Portugal is mentioned, but the truth is that the dry wines of this country at the far Western slice of the Iberian Peninsula are as exciting as anything in the world right now. Specific tasting notes will follow in the coming days as I transcribe my scribblings, but for now, at least, it's worth saying that Portugal is on the upswing...


The whites are typically refreshing and almost dangerously easy to drink, and the reds tend to offer both deep fruit characteristics and a sense of place that will both surprise and delight the uninitiated. If you're looking for a new wine project, then studying the dry wines of Portugal is it: They are guaranteed to charm you. And, more often than not, they won't break the bank, either.

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Champagne and...Chinese Food?


Because of the nature of my job, I don't get to spend too many nights at home with my wife. So when I do have the opportunity to hang out on the couch with her for a few hours before the craziness of the next work day is upon us, I tend to gravitate toward comfort food-type dinners. And one of my all-time favorite dinnertime treats is Chinese food and Champagne.

Now, this might sound counterintuitive, but the match is as close to perfect as you're likely to find. Don't get me wrong: If someone were to offer me a bowl piled high with caviar alongside a bottle of bubbly, I wouldn't turn them down. That combination ranks right up there with foie gras and Sauternes, or classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with a simply grilled steak. But I would absolutely include Champagne and classic Chinese food in the Pantheon of great pairings...

(NB: China is a huge country that is home to a wide range of regional cuisines, so I am not suggesting that Champagne will pair perfectly with all Chinese food. The dishes I'm referring to here are the familiar ones that so many in this country have grown up with. To imply that China's cuisines are monolithic would be tantamount to claiming that the food is the same throughout the United States, which, of course, is untrue.)

So why does this partnership work so well? There are a number of reasons: The bubbles cleanse the oils from the tongue, the high acid in the wine cuts right through any fat in the dish, and Champagne's yeasty, bready quality matches beautifully with soy sauce.

The other night, I stopped by one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia's Chinatown and brought home a bowl of roasted pork and roasted duck noodle soup, eggplant and chicken in black bean sauce, and a spring roll. Paired with a bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV, it was a match made in foodie heaven. And a great way to spend a few hours at home.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly

With the latest food scare upon us—peanut butter of all things!—I’d like to recommend a replacement of sorts for that much-loved, and now all-but-verboten, lunchtime staple.

Actually, I can’t claim responsibility for this one; that honor goes to Scott Turnbull, the brilliant Sommelier at the amazing Fountain Restaurant in Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel. Toward the end of the exquisite anniversary dinner that my wife and I enjoyed there, Scott followed the waiters over to our table bearing a mischievous smile and a mysterious bottle...

Farra D’Orazio, the Director of Public Relations at the hotel, was well aware of my wife’s peanut butter obsession, and had arranged for a special dessert that would play right into her every sweet-tooth tendency: Baked chocolate and peanut butter napoleon with raspberry coulis. And Scott, in a wildly successful effort to further clarify the peanut-butter-and-jelly nature of the dish, had brought along a bottle of Banfi’s Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui, the sweet, perfumed, sparkling Piedmontese red that far too many people still don’t know enough about.

Brachetto d’Acqui is one of those hidden gems that offers ten times more pleasure than its price or lack of familiarity would seem to indicate. And the Rosa Regale bottling, with its rose petal and raspberry perfume, is that rare wine that’s both stimulating to the intellect and thoroughly, blissfully gulpable.

My wife liked the earrings I bought her, but she loved her peanut butter and jelly dessert. Sometimes, jewelry just can’t compete with a perfect pairing.
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Three Standout Nero d'Avolas


I enjoyed ten Nero d’Avolas at the "Taste of Italy" seminar and tasting in New York on February 19th. The three below are not only standouts, but also represent the range and depth that you can expect from this up-and-coming grape variety.

Casa di Grazia Gradiva Collectio Nero d’Avola IGT Sicilia 2006 – This striking estate-grown Nero just sings with fresh, rich notes of wild herbs, blackberries, fraises de bois, graphite, and pepper. In all, it’s remarkably self-contained, and should keep on improving over the next 2 – 7 years...

Cantina Viticultori Associati Aynat Nero d’Avola IGT Sicilia 2006 – A more modern Nero, this one buttressed by dark, ripe berry fruit, still-apparent oak, a hint of mushrooms, and a haunting note of licorice on the finish. It’s a brooding Nero that still needs time for its disparate parts to settle into a sense of integration, but 3 – 8 years of cellaring should really reward the patient among us.

Feudo Principi di Butera Deliella Nero d’Avola IGT Sicilia 2005 – Reminds me of warm focaccia with its thyme, sage, and rosemary aromas. The silky, well-integrated tannins, ripe cherry, and subtle hint of plum on the mid-palate provide a sense of density to this surprisingly lithe bottling.
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Monday, March 2, 2009

A Tasty Italian Marathon

On February 19th, I had the opportunity to attend a fascinating tasting at New York's iconic Marriott Marquis Hotel. "The Taste of Italy," as it was officially known, was co-hosted by the Italian Trade Commission and the Italian Wine and Food Institute, and featured 26 delicious wines from all over the Italian boot. Bottlings ran the gamut from Astoria's bright, balanced, peach-and-perfume scented Prosecco di Valdobbiadene to Cantine Leonardo da Vinci's violet, leather, and tea-tasting Brunello di Montalcino 2003...

More extensive tasting notes will follow, but for the time being, check out this video of what my spot at the tasting table looked like after the three-hour tour of Italy had ended:

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