Seasonal Wines from $18-$40

It’s that time of year when the calendar calls it spring but the cold nights make it seem like it is still winter. This means it’s a perfect time for winter reds that also drink well during spring weather.

Thanks to Kobrand, we received samples of wines that fit both seasons. You might not have heard of all of them, but don’t let that stop you. These are good wines!

BARDA By Bodega Charca 2015 ($29.99)
BARDA is a beautiful, balanced, smooth and 100% certified organic Pinot Noir from Argentina. This medium-bodied wine features red fruits, vanilla and spice. It’s also very food-friendly, which means you can try it with pasta, roast beef or salmon.

Agricola Punica Montessu Isola dei Nuraghi 2014 ($30.99)
This Italian beauty is primarily made from Carignano, a Spanish variety found in Sardinia, and blended with 10% each of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich, silky, and intense depth with flavors of black fruit and hints of caramel, consider pairing it with tomato-based pasta dishes, lamb or pork.

St. Francis Winery and Vineyard: Reserve Merlot 2014 ($39.99)
The Reserve Sonoma Valley Merlot is rich and velvety with lush texture and flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, spice and cassis. This wine will pair well with steaks or other meat dishes — on cooler nights, crisp spring evenings, or at summer barbecues — and you can also try it with dark chocolate brownies for dessert.

Masi Agricola Campofiorin 2012 ($18.99)
This easy-drinking, good-value wine features tart black cherry, licorice and dark chocolate on the palate, with vanilla, cinnamon and spice notes. Its versatility means it will complement lasagna and other pastas with rich sauces, beef dishes, and mature cheeses.

Tenuta di Salviano Lago di Corbara 2013 ($17.99)
A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this full-bodied wine is the described as the Umbrian answer to the Super Tuscans. A great value for all this richness in a hearty wine, which will pair well with pizza, grilled meats, risotto or hard cheeses.

So what are you waiting for? We recommend that you give these wines a try!

Cheers,
Margot and Dave

 

 

Thanksgiving Wines

ThanksgivingWondering what wines to pour over the Thanksgiving holiday? A special bottle to take to a family dinner or an evening with good friends?

Below are some wines that were sent to us to sample in time for the holidays. Thank you to the wineries who shared their bounty! We think all of these wines would pair well with different courses of a Thanksgiving feast.

img_0323Feudo Maccari 2013 Saia Nero d’Avola ($25)
Nero D’Avola is a perfect pairing for the main course, whether you go with traditional turkey, holiday roast or even rack of venison. Or before the meal, you could also serve it with a charcuterie board of smoked meats, cheeses, olives and dried fruits. The wine opens up with aromas of espresso and black plum, followed by juicy ripe cherry, sweet spices and a long finish. Simply lovely. Be sure to decant it for a few hours before serving. This vintage received a score of 90 by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Nero D’Avola is the most widely planted grape in Sicily.

img_0321Willamette Valley Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir ($55)
This delightful medium-bodied Oregon Pinot Noir features spicy, earthy notes, along with Thanksgiving flavors of cranberry, tart cherry and savory pumpkin. Sourced from old vines in the Willamette Valley, this is one powerful wine that will pair well with any mushroom-based side dishes or butternut squash.

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2015 Pinot Blanc ($24)
We love the minerality of this Pinot Blanc, which has a beautiful nose of pears, oranges and other citrus notes. We would typically enjoy this as a summer sipper on the deck, but we also think this would go well with your Thanksgiving salad or even with turkey and stuffing, if you prefer white wine.

img_0324Terra Di Montenegro 2012 Toscana ($35)
Another wine from Italy caught our attention, because we first experienced wines from Monteverro in August. This full-bodied beauty blends Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) with Cabernet Franc (30%), Merlot (15%) and 5% of Petit Verdot to round out the flavors.

Dark ruby in color, the wine opens with black cherry and cassis, with a bit of spice and fresh ripe fruit on the palate. If your main course is steak or roast beef instead of turkey this year, this Bordeaux blend is for you. Wine Spectator gave this wine 90 points.

Enjoy your holiday feast – and have a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Cheers!
Margot and Dave

Wines from Italy

Last week, we enjoyed wine from Argentina. This week, we tasted samples from Italy.

NeroFirst up, we opened a Nero D’Avola from Sicilia DOC, when our neighbors popped over for a visit. It seemed fitting since Peter is from Sicily, and Nero D’Avola is a popular Sicilian grape.

This wine from Villa Pozzi featured aromas of ripe cherry, sweet spices, a bit of licorice and cocoa, and was rich and smoky on the palate, with a royal ruby color. It would pair well with grilled or roasted meats, or you could taste it with medium-aged cheeses, like we did. And at an $11-price point, this is a good value wine with smooth tannins and a fuller body than expected.

We also decided to try a Nero D’Avola from another winery — 2013 Morgante Nero D’Avola Sicilia, which is another good value red ($16) that is fruity, rich and would go nicely with spaghetti and meatballs.

From Sicily we switched to Tuscany, and sipped on three wines from Monteverro Winery: the Monteverro Chardonnay Toscana, Vermentino di Monteverro and Verruzzo di Monteverro.

IMG_4055The 2012 Chardonnay was unlike any we have tasted before — not a hint of buttery notes but strong minerality and layered, with a long, slightly salty finish. We paired it with fresh crab that our neighbor caught and cooked for us — the wine’s salty/sea air notes were a perfect complement. We’re not usually big fans of chards, but this is not a typical Chardonnay, including the price point at $80.

Another white from the winery, 2014 Vermentino di Monteverro, is more reasonably priced at $25. It also shows strong minerality, similar to the Chardonnay. Light and refreshing, this is a great summer sipper on the deck.

We also enjoyed the 2013 Verruzzo di Monteverro ($22) — fruity but dry, this red wine is best decanted before tasting. According to the tasting notes, Veruzzo has “the power and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon, the aromatics of Cabernet Franc and the softness of Merlot, all united in a red wine full of aromas, Italian character and elegance.”

So now you have some choices, if you want to try something new from Italy.

Cheers!
Margot and Dave