Here’s a 30 minute video one of my favorites wine regions in the world. Who doesn’t enjoy and respect a Spring ritual of blessings for the vines?
Saturday night, I dressed in my skinny jeans and a white t-shirt, my glittery navy blue pumps I bought a year and half ago and looked forward to wearing them for the first time. I completed my classic, simple, sexy outfit with my genuine Chanel earrings and long strand of faux gray pearls. I looked good and I felt confident.
I strutted my way to a meetup dinner at Feng Shui. Meetup(s) are an easy way to meet new people in a group setting and do fun activities with others when you have no friends 🙂 I’ve never met these people and I’ve never been to this restaurant. The group of people who attended were super fun! We really had silly, simple fun at this hibachi dinner. The whole evening was a joy 🙂
Prior to the dinner, I reached out to The Passionate Foodie, a friend of mine and a professional food and wine writer. I’ve never had Sake before and he is a master Sake Educator, I think one of a very select few in the U.S.
Anyway, I copied/pasted the online Sake menu from the restaurant and sent it to him (with what I planned to order for dinner) for his opinion on which Sake would best pair with my dinner choice. He responded promptly and recommended the Kimoto- dry and umami, which would go well with my choice of strip steak and lobster. Oh man, was I excited to go try this Sake with dinner. I have a lot of experience with wine and food pairs but Sake is new and I get excited to try new things!
Seated at the hibachi table, menu in front of me, I happily and eagerly searched for my Kimoto to order. Ugh, there was no Kimoto and the Sakes on the menu had descriptions with no mention of umami. I asked the server about the Kimoto, she had no clue. I asked her if they had changed their Sake menu and she answered no, they had not changed the Sake menu. Her Asian face stared back at me, confused by my request for Kimoto and discussion of the Sake menu. I showed her the Sake menu from their website, that I copy/pasted on my phone, she was clueless. She grabbed my phone out of my hand and said she’d bring it to the manager to see if they had this Kimoto! Off she went, my iPhone in her hand, before I could say Sake.
OMG, now this turned into a huge deal and she had taken my phone!
My table mates found this quite entertaining and teased me that I was needy 🙂 and we had a good laugh. She returned and informed me that they in fact did change their Sake menu and I had the “old menu” listed on my phone. She left again. She returned – brought me a bottle of some random Sake and asked me if this is one I would want to have ” Many customers order this one” she told me, yet she was unable to provide any information about this Sake. Now mind you, I had already told her I know nothing about Sake and therefore know not which one to order. This random bottle she showed me meant nothing to me. Huh? Now, my confused face stared at her. I asked her if she’d tried any of the Sakes on the menu. She answered she doesn’t drink 😦 I wondered- was this server even 21 years old?
For the love of God! now what? I found this all quite hilarious but at the same time, I really wasn’t looking for this absurd drama.
Wanting my new-found meetup acquaintances to see my kind and thoughtful side and a quick ending this server drama, I thanked her for the time and effort she put into this, but assured her I would figure it out.
In the end, I ordered a scorpion bowl, which is a safe bet and always a pleaser.
So…en route to becoming a member of The Wine Century Club a few years ago, I researched 100 grapes and tried many wines. The entry level requirement is 100 grape varieties. There are higher levels as well. Here is a link to the club website: winecentury.com.
Please check out the poll found in my earlier post titled The Wine Century Club.
Here are some facts about the 2 wines (both are now on my favorites list) and a couple of grapes that were new to me.
2013 Colomé from Valle Calchaquí, Salta, Argentina… grape variety is Torrontés.
Torrontés has quickly risen to become Argentina’s signature white-wine grape, and one of the most widely grown. Torrontés wines range in style from light and fresh to heady and intensely perfumed, often expressing spicy character and aromas of white flowers. The cooler climate here helps with the retention of acidity, yielding a light, refreshing white wine with tones of jasmine and orange blossoms. The wine I tasted had a longer finish, good acidity and floral notes. It reminded me of a Viogner or a Gewürztraminer, both noted for floral a bouquet.
Salta, in the far north of Argentina, is home to some of the world’s most extreme vineyard sites. Many sit at lower latitudes and higher altitudes than anywhere else on Earth. Interestingly, these two factors balance each other out; the cold temperatures associated with high altitude are mitigated by the high temperatures found at these latitudes, producing bright, intensely flavored wines.
2011 Kanonkop ” Kadette” from Stellenbosch, South Africa… grapes varieties are Pinotage 57%, Cabernet Sauvignon 26 %, Merlot 14%, Cabernet Franc 3%.
Pinotage grape is a native product of South Africa, developed in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and the more obscure Rhone varietal, Cinsault, was born in South Africa. The professor hoped to combine the virtues of the two grapes. Pinot Noir is recognized for its aromas and flavors, but can be difficult to grow. Cinsault yields an abundant crop and is resistant to disease. Pinotage typically produces deep red wines. Some have been criticized for sometimes smelling of acetone. The wine I tasted had no aroma of nail polish. Pinotage tends more toward dark fruits, tar, tobacco, and chocolate; sometimes touches of banana have been noted. The grape also tends toward high tannins and low acids.
Pinotage is easy to grow and ripens readily. Plantings didn’t really get started commercially until the 1960s, and, despite a few successes, acreage dwindle from then until the 90s and then the end of apartheid and end of international boycotts on South African products. Interest in South African wines was high, and Pinotage in particular as it was unique to the country.Kanonkop’s Pinotage vines were some of the first commercially planted Pinotage to be established in the Cape and most are over 50 years old. Hardly any irrigation is needed due to the ideal soil type and location.
Kanonkop is a fourth generation family estate, which was originally purchased by JW Sauer, a cabinet member in the parliament of the Union of South Africa. The name Kanonkop was derived from a kopje, something from which a cannon was fired in the 17th Century to alert farmers in outlying areas that sailing ships had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town.
It’s so nice to have a few minutes to write to you. My dog Elvis is improving but we still have a long way to go. I celebrated two things over the weekend. The first and most important- Elvis started bearing weight on his affected hind leg. The second- I have an appointment with a local school department to discuss writing and teaching a curriculum for the kids on Self Love and Self Care. Afterall, so many people have to re-learn how to really love when they hit adulthood. So, let’s teach them young, when it really makes a difference for communities and families.
So, in celebration, I bought myself some Scotch. I will be writing on each one I taste in the upcoming posts. The posts may still be brief as I’m still dealing with a lot at home right now, but I do like to share my experiences with you whenever I can jot down some quick notes. I hope you’ll give this Scotch a try and leave a comment if you have tried it. Enjoy!
Below you will find a photo of the cutest little tasting pack from Glenmorangie. I spent $25 US dollars and the tasting pack has 4 different bottles, each one is 100 ml.
I’ve tried one, which is also shown below in the photo. This is Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, aged 12 years in Sauterne barrels. It’s called Nectar D’Or. It is a gem, for sure. The choice of barrels , along with the aging of 12 years really provides a smooth finish, not too smokey or peaty at all. There is a viscosity to this one. I enjoyed this gold-colored scotch on the rocks. It’s silky and ever so slightly sweet. Scotch from Highlands is less smokey compared to Scotch from the Isle, which is more smokey. This Nectar D’Or is Luscious!
Glenmorangie’s website reveals this interesting tidbit: “The Tarlogie Springs, Glenmorangie’s own water source and most prized asset, is the product of rain that has been forcing its way through layers of limestone and sandstone for a hundred years. These natural minerals give it its ‘hard’ water qualities and provide Glenmorangie with a raw ingredient unique amongst Highland distilleries. Our ancient ancestors drank here, considering the pure, mineral-rich waters of the Springs to be sacred”.
I’ve had one thing after another going on since late last summer. My dog Elvis had a torn ACL right hind with surgical repair and a 6 month recovery , now his left one is torn and surgery mostly likely next week. His sister has just been diagnosed with Cushings disease so I have my hands full at the moment, not to mention I work a day job as a nurse practitioner. So, Wine and Meaning will be reposting some fun articles to keep you entertained and informed during my hiatus and I will be back asap. Thanks for all your good wishes and understanding and loyalty along the way. God Bless each of you.
It’s always a good time for Sparkling Wine! Too many people I know enjoy it only for celebration. Think of sparkling wine as an everyday wine. There are many good producers offering bottles in the $15 USD range. I recommend a Brut (dry) version. Sparkling wine will go with just about any food you could try pairing with it. This Friday after work instead of cooking, pair take-out Chinese food with a sparkling wine.
Here’s a tip: try something new by enjoying your Champagne or Sparkling Wine in a white wine glass instead of a champagne flute. You’ll find it enhances the aspects of bubbles, aroma and taste.
There are several other glass types, more commonly used for Sparkling wine.
The flute is a stem glass with a tall tapered or elongated shape, designed to retain sparkling wine’s carbonation by reducing the surface area for it to escape.The champagne flute was developed in the early 1700s.
The coupe is a shallow saucer shaped stemmed glass. Romantics will tell you that the shape of the coupe was modelled on the breast of French queen Marie Antoinette. The facts tell us the glass was designed in England in 1663.
The tulip glass has wider flared body and mouth than the flute. Some think the tulip glass allows more of the aroma than a flute while still slowing the loss of carbonation.
Stay in touch with Wine and Meaning. Here’s a link to a previous post on several influential female Champagne producers:
Alessandro Rivetto, amarone, Barbaresco, Barolo, best wine lists, Etna Bianco, Franciacorta, Italian sparkling wine, italian wine, Italian wines, lambrusco, Lorenzo Baricca, New York city, New York City Green Market, Ormeasco, pomoria bianco, Tarallucci E Vino, Trebbia di Lugana, Vin Santo, wine, wine and food pairings, Wine Director
This blog is named Wine and Meaning. Meaning is finding the connection between things. I admire Tarallucci e Vino’s philosophy of wine : “it should embody the true character of the grape, the people and the land where they are grown”. This philosophy fits right in with the heart of this blog. I enjoy learning about places, the people and their passions, the climate, the geography, the food and wines of the world. In psychological terms, this gives me a connection to the world: a common ground with others of hobby, passion, and community. Wine is the bridge.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lorenzo Baricca (Wine Director and Partner at Tarallucci e Vino (4 locations in New York City). His professionalism and extreme knowledge is highlighted in our conversation as you will read below. Many vineyards he works with in Italy are small batch, family-run and biodynamic. Some of the grapes he offers cannot be found anywhere else in the US except on the wine list at Tarallucci e Vino. Terroir is a way to talk about the connection between food or wine and the place from where it’s grown. Terroir is a way of adding meaning to the food and wine we enjoy. At Tarallucci e Vino, Chef Ben Lee has announced that each week, Tarallucci will feature a farm from which they get fresh produce at the New York City Green Markets. Lorenzo discussed Chef Ben Lee’s long time cooperation with the GREEN MARKET FARM and Chef maintains close relationships with many of the farmers. Tarallucci e Vino has a special selection in their menu called DALLA FATTORIA. This consists of dishes created based on ingredients from two selected farms for that week. Chef creates one appetizer and one entree from products that come only from the week’s chosen farms(s).
Tarallucci e Vino
Abruzzese restaurateur Luca Di Pietro founded Tarallucci e Vino to capture the authentic taste and casual elegance of Italy’s dining culture. The culinary philosophy at Tarallucci e Vino adheres to the Italian ideal of high quality, sustainable, seasonal food, sourced locally and prepared to highlight the natural beauty of the products. The menus rotate with the seasons, using crops from the neighboring farmer’s market and from a network of local purveyors.
Recent two-time Ospitalità Italiana Award winners for authentic Italian cuisine, Tarallucci e Vino is rated “the best and the most true to the Italian way” by Vanity Fair and lauded as “satisfying in every way” by The New York Times.
Lorenzo grew up in in Vezzano sul Crostolo, Emilia Romagna watching his grandfather make wine. He owned and opened wine bars in Italy before moving to New York. He joined the Tarallucci e Vino team in 2007, becoming a partner in 2013, and has made it his mission to fill the wine list with unique, small-batch producers. He takes frequent trips back to Italy to see his family and to discover new winemakers. (Bio courtesy of The James Collective)
Lorenzo and I had a fantastico conversation about the wine list at Tarallucci e Vino in New York City.
W & M: What is your wine for every day?
LORENZO: ONE OF MY FAVORITE WINES FOR EVERY DAY IS LAMBRUSCO, EASY TO DRINK, LIGHT AND REFRESHING. YOU CAN HAVE IT AS AAPERITIVO, WITH PASTA, MEAT OR EVEN FISH. IT IS VERY VERSATILE. I GREW UP DRINKING LAMBRUSCO AS A LITTLE BOY. MY MOM MIXED IT WITH WATER FOR ME WHEN I WAS LITTLE. IN THE AREA WHERE I GREW UP, EVERY FAMILY HAS A BOTTLE OF LAMBRUSCO READY FOR EVERY LUNCH AND DINNER.
W & M: What is your special occasion wine?
LORENZO: AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA ( I CONSIDER IT TO BE MEDITATION WINE MOST SUITABLE TO DRINK IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE) AND WINES WITH THE NEBBIOLO GRAPE, LIKE BAROLO OR BARBARESCO IF IT IS FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION DINNER.
W & M: Do you have a favorite wine quote?
LORENZO: LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK BAD WINE.
W & M: Please give a brief history of your time in Italy as owner of a wine bar before moving to New York.
LORENZO: MY BAR FOCUSED ON A FEW DRAFT BEERS AND LOCAL WINE FROM SMALL PRODUCERS. WE USED TO PREPARE EVERY DAY, SMALL BITES TO OFFER TO OUR CUSTOMERS DURING HAPPY HOUR. MANY LOCAL PEOPLE, BUT ALSO SOME TOURISTS, BECAUSE WE WERE LOCATED ON THE ROUTE TO THE NATIONAL PARK OF APPENNINO REGGIANO AND CLOSE TO THE CASTLE OF MATILDE DI CANOSSA. WE USED TO ORGANIZE PRIVATE PARTIES AND OUR “CHEFS” WERE ALWAYS MY MOM, HER SISTERS AND SPECIAL SUPERVISION BY OUR GRANDMA. EVERYTHING WAS HOMEMADE AND WHEN POSSIBLE DIRECTLY FROM OUR GARDEN.
W & M: I see that you work with many vineyards that are family-run and biodynamic, and some of the grapes you offer cannot be found anywhere else in the US. Please list one of the wines you have with those grapes and name the grape. How often do you return to Italy to discover new winemakers?
LORENZO: I GO TO ITALY EVERY 3 TO 4 MONTHS. EVEN IF I AM ON VACATION, I CONSIDER MYSELF VERY LUCKY BECAUSE MY WORK IS MY PASSION. I ALWAYS TRY TO VISIT SOME PRODUCERS TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW. TARALLUCCI e VINO IS THE ONLY RESTAURANT IN THE UNITED STATES TO CARRY THIS SPECIAL LAMBRUSCO CALLED LAMBRUSCO BARGHI, L’INCONTRO, CANTINA PUIANELLO– ONLY 2800 BTL AND ONLY ONE PRODUCER . THIS IS A SPECIAL VARIETAL OF LAMBRUSCO. IT WAS CONSIDERED EXTINCT, BUT A FEW YEARS AGO THEY REDISCOVERED A FEW PLANTS IN ONE VINEYARD. THIS WAS A FAMOUS LAMBRUSCO IN THE 1800’s AND IT WAS MENTIONED IN MANY BOOKS OF THAT TIME. I AM SO PROUD OF THIS BECAUSE IT IS FROM MY AREA OF ITALY.
W & M: Let’s talk about a couple of wines of interest to me on your wine list: please tell the readers about each wine.
Frizzante wine (sparkling)– Franciacorta, Ferghettina, Brut (Lombardia) … pronunciation-franchacorta
LORENZO: THIS IS A BLEND OF CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NERO. VERY FINE PERLAGE AND CLEAN AFTERTASTE. STRAWBERRY AND APRICOT ON THE PALATE. LOCATED CLOSE TO LAKE ISEO. IT IS A SMALL PRODUCER WITH VERY HIGH QUALITY PRODUCT. ELEGANT, MEDIUM BODY, PERFECT AS APERITIVO OR WITH OYSTERS.
Bianchi wine (white)– Etna Bianco, Bianco di Caselle, Benanti ’11 (Sicilia)
LORENZO: 100% CARRICANTE HIGH MINERALITY BECAUSE IT IS MADE IN A VOLCANIC SOIL. IT IS DRY WITH A PLEASANT ACIDITY AND NICE AROMATIC PERSISTENCE. TASTE OF ANISE ON THE PALATE. BENANTI IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST PRODUCERS OF WINE IN ITALY. GOOD PAIRING WITH SEAFOOD.
Spergola, Pomoria Bianco, Cantina Puianello ’14 (Emilia Romagna)**** this is from his home town 🙂
LORENZO: 100% SPERGOLA MEDIUM HIGH ACIDITY, WITH FLORAL NOSE, THIS WINE IS UNIQUE. SIMILAR TO SAUVIGNON BLANC BUT MORE FULL BODIED AND CRISP, WITH GREEN APPLE ON THE PALATE AND A TOUCH OF TOASTED ALMOND ON THE AFTERTASTE.
Rossi wine (red)– Etna Rosso, Rosso di Verzella, Benanti ’12 (Sicilia)
LORENZO: GRAPES- NERELLO MASCALESE AND NERELLO CAPUCCIO, IT IS A WINE WITH HIGH MINERALITY BECAUSE IT IS MADE ON VOLCANIC SOIL. MEDIUM BODIED, IT IS RICH IN FRUIT ON THE NOSE LIKE RASPBERRY, POMEGRANATE AND PLUM. INTENSE AROMA WITH HINTS OF VANILLA.
By the bottle– Ormeasco Superiore di Pornassio, Guglierame ’11 (Liguria) 100%
LORENZO: ORMEASCO HAS VERY SIMILAR DNA TO DOLCETTO FROM PIEMONTE. MEDIUM-FULL BODIED DRY WINE, RUBY RED COLOR, WITH NOTES OF LICORICE ON THE PALATE. THE PRODUCTION IS VERY LIMITED DUE TO THE TERRAIN. THE VINEYARDS ARE PLACED ON TERRACES, EVERYTHING IS HAND-KEPT. THE WINE IS PERFECT WITH STEW MEAT OR FISH AND WITH MEDIUM AGED CHEESES.
W & M: I’d like to give you my choices for a meal, start to finish. Would you please recommend a wine to pair with each course and briefly describe why you chose that wine to pair with these food choices.
Brushette Course: Baccala 5 which is cod, potato, artichoke, mint
LORENZO: 100% TREBBIAN DI LUGANA, FAMIGLIA OLIVINI, MARKED MINERALITY, MEDIUM LIGHT, WELL BALANCED, FRESH GOOD MINERALITY
Cheese Course: Caciotta del Lazio which is sheep milk served with Chef selected condiments
LORENZO: COULD BE MANY PAIRINGS- BARBARESCO, ALESSANDRO RIVETTO, A BAROLO, TANNINS ARE MORE GENTLE, WITH A NOTE OF MINT AND TOBACCO, IT CAN MATCH PERFECTLY.
Secondi Course: Sogliola which is a pan roasted local sole, saffron sun dried tomato & green olive relish
LORENZO: ETNA BIANCO, PIETRAMARINA. IT IS A COMPLEX WINE, WITH INCREDIBLE ELEGANCE. THIS IS DELICATE, SO IT WON’T OVERWHELM THE TASTE OF THE WHITE FISH.
Dolci: Vin Santo Wine and anise cookies: why do these two pair so well
LORENZO: BECAUSE IT IS SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU HAPPY AND SMILE. USUALLY IT IS SHARING A PLATE OF COOKIES, SOMETHING I LOVE TO SHARE WITH FRIENDS.
On that note W & M says …Lorenzo, you made me smile and this wine list makes me smile. Thank You for the unique wines and your passion certainly radiates in the wine list at Tarallucci e Vino!
A while back, I took a poll: “what are you drinking during this Nor’Easter?” Thanks to all who participated, this made it such fun whilst snowed in. Special thanks to Roz for your suggestions and encouragement.
The wines listed below have provided comfort, joy and coziness to some of us in the Boston area during a storm that dropped 3 feet of snow. When one is “cooped up” inside for more than a day, watching the snow fall and drift by for 36+ hours, one has to find something with which to look forward. Maybe it’s a day to cook so here’s that perfect wine to pair, or maybe it’s a day to enjoy the quiet and reflect. Drinking fine wine provides an occasion for pleasure and opportunity for thought.
Voltaire said ” Taste invites reflection.” So here are some of our favorites for you to try.
Roz– 2012 Chasse Gardee, Fitou. Fitou is a red-wine appellation at the heart of the southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. The ‘Fitou’ from which the wine (and the appellation) gets its name is a small village just a few miles from the Mediterranean coast. Blend: 45 % Cargnan, 35 % Grenache, 20% Syrah.
Erika and Jo-Ann in London to each receive WSET Achievement Awards- Celebrating with Tio Pepe. Tío Pepe is a brand of Sherry. It is best known for its fino style of dry sherry made from the palomino grape.
Karin– Moet Chandon Impèrial Rosè Champagne paired with Davio’s Rueben Spring Rolls with Russian dressing dipping sauce. Brut Impèrial Rosè is a blend of the three wine varieties, with an emphasis on Pinot Noir, embodying a fruity character. Rosè with shades of copper, good intensity.
Shareen– 2009 Muga Reserva Rioja paired with chicken quesadillas. Brilliant ruby color. Black raspberry and smoky oak scents, mineral and spicecake notes. Dense with intense flavors of black raspberry, mocha and vanilla. Very full, velvety wine, finishing with smooth, ripe tannins and a vibrant red berry quality.
Lori and Ray– 2006 Conn Valley Vineyards Eloge. The 2009 Eloge offers glorious aromas of cedar or cigar box wood notes, a creme de cassis core of concentrated dark fruits, red currents, violets, spice and toast from the oak. Blend: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot.
Anne Marie– Hard Cider, the choice of the Patriots Team
Tres– 2003 St Supery Elu. Napa Red. Aromas of dark fruit, blackberry and black plum combine with elements of espresso, vanillin and molasses. Notes of smoky oak and dusty terroir, flavors of dark plum and cassis with anise and toasted barrel attributes. This red blend offers a finely textured silky structure.
Lasha– 2010 Chateau Coufran. Haut-Medoc appellation. The French vineyard of Chateau Coufran plants 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Haut-Médoc is a land of red wine, not too powerful with a delicate bouquet of vanilla and black fruits.
Mike– Chianti Classico Riserva, he’s visiting Florida of all places during our epic snowstorm! The Chianti Classico region is central to the region and arguably the most famous. In 1996 it was awarded DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status, to raise its perceived quality. All Italian DOCG wines are actually tasted and analyzed in a lab to meet government approval. If the wine passes, it will receive an individually numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork. Chianti Classico’s are also the wines that you will see bearing a black rooster on the neck of the bottle. Blend: at least 80% Sangiovese grape, other red grapes permitted to make up the rest of the blend.
Jonathan– 2011 Guigal Cote du Rhone. Deep, dark red. Aromas of red berries and spices. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensely aromatic wine. Or maybe 2014 Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc depending on dinner. Santa Rita’s internationally popular, best-selling “120” Series of varietal wines recalls the heroes of a pivotal event in Chile’s successful 19th century struggle to overthrow Spanish rule. History relates that in the early 1800s Doña Paula Jaraquemada, then proprietor of the Santa Rita manor house and estate near the Chilean capital of Santiago, famously gave refuge in the cellars of her property to 120 Chilean patriots. When a brigade of Spanish soldiers arrived at the expansive one-story ranch house in search the band of rebels, the feisty matriarch stated she would rather see the Spanish burn the property to the ground, with her inside, then let them step foot within her family home. Thus it was that band of 120 men that lived on to fight another day, and the dwelling, now the site of Santa Rita’s highly acclaimed Doña Paula Restaurant, occupies a unique place in Chilean national history. Blend: 100 % Sauvignon Blanc. Pale straw color, bouquet of citrus blossoms and peaches, rounded out by appealing herbaceous notes. Nuances of citrus fruit and white peach, supported by a zesty acidity and smooth texture that lingers on the palate.
Hello readers, take a minute here. Really take a minute!
How often do you take just a minute to stop, remember and savor an experience using sound, sight, touch, smell and taste? Some refer to this as mindfulness. Think back to an experience that created a feeling of “all is right in the moment.”
I recently had a wine and food experience that was one of those moments where things just came together, effortlessly, perfectly and it made me pause. There was a synergy happening, a cooperation between food and wine: and synergy makes me feel happy.
Here’s that food and wine pairing, easily recreated in your own kitchen. Sirloin steak with truffle butter (available at most grocery stores) paired with 2009 Barolo red wine from winemaker Damilano Lecinquevigne. The vines range from 30-50 years old. The wine is from the Nebbiolo grape which is grown in five vineyards (Lecinquevigne) with calcareous-clay soils. This Barolo has undertones of truffles, rose, violet and leather. The Nebbiolo heartland is the tiny Barolo region in Italy, in fog-prone hills just south-west of the truffle town of Alba. Nebbiolo takes its name from nebbia, Italian for the fogs that characteristically envelop these hills in autumn.
Each wine from these various terroirs retains the key qualities which define the classic Barolo style. This means the “tar and roses” aroma, a bright ruby color, structured tannins, high acidity and high alcohol.
The name Barolo means the consumer knows that the wines have a minimum of 38 months aging prior to commercial release.
It’s a gem of a wine to enjoy right away but also can age really well.
This wine is under $15 in the Boston area and is made from grapes that will impress both the novice and the connoisseur. It’s a likable wine that is a safe bet for gift giving season, won’t break the bank and is different than most wines known to the average person. Its full body and rich mouthfeel is a crowd pleaser.
Here are some facts about the wine and 3 grapes that were new to me on the crazy and fun journey to becoming a Wine Century Club member.
🙂 🙂 🙂
Grange Des Dames 2013 Ventoux, a white Southern Rhône wine. Grapes are Clairette (40%), Grenache Blanc (40%), Bourboulenc (20%). This wine is delicious and can be enjoyed through the entire meal. I paired it with lemon risotto topped with asparagus and grilled scallops. The second day, I did not pair with any food and it was equally as enjoyable on its own. It has moderate acidity, peach, citrus and floral bouquet with a full body mouth feel, making it a satisfying but easy wine to drink. It’s 13% alcohol and I paid $10 for the bottle.
Clairette Blanche is a white wine grape variety most widely grown in the wine regions of Provence, Rhône and Languedoc in France. Clairette Blanche was often used to make vermouth, as it produces wine high in alcohol and low in acidity, yielding wines that are sometimes described as “flabby” and which tend to oxidize easily. These problems have been partially overcome by blending it with high-acid varieties.
Grenache Blanc is the fourth most widely planted white grape in France. It produces rich, full wines with bright flavors and crisp acidity. Grenache Blanc originated in Spain, and still plays a role in the wines of Rioja and Navarre. From Spain, it spread to France and has thrived in the vineyards of the Rhône valley and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Bourboulenc is rare, but is allowed into a number of white wine appellations of southern France. The variety is found in the regions Southern Rhône, Provence and Languedoc. Bourboulenc has been grown in southern France for centuries, and has been proposed to be of Greek origin. It has high acidity.
The appellation of Ventoux reflects higher altitudes and cooler climate than most Côtes du Rhône. Listed as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1990, the Mont Ventoux site is the privileged setting for vineyards working with respect for the region’s natural environment and for its historic and cultural heritage. Ventoux wines were served at the table of the kings of France. On the slopes of Mont Ventoux, amid holm oak, white oak, cedar, beech, larch and pine, the Mediterranean and Alpine worlds meet. The area is home to many rare or endemic plant species. This vitality and profusion of scents is a potent influence on the wide range of AOC Ventoux wines.