Fallen Stars

wine fireworks     After the latest attempt to get Pennsylvania out of the business of selling wine and liquor failed, I realized that I would miss the Chairman’s Selection program that offers some very good wines at a deep discount.  The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (P.L.C.B.) is the second largest purchaser of alcohol in the world so it has tremendous buying power.  The buyers at the P.L.C.B. do a great job sorting through the wine market to come up with plenty of interesting wines that would have gone unnoticed and bring them here at attractive prices.  If you live in or visit Pennsylvania often you probably have gotten accustom to the antiquated laws regulating alcohol sales within the state but if you are new to the state here is a quick primer.  Bottles of wine and spirits must be purchased from a P.L.C.B. store, no wait you can also buy wine produced in Pa. from the winery or a business associated with them.  Only full cases of beer and malt beverages can be purchased from a beer distributor and you must buy six packs from a bar or six-pack store. Now that everything is crystal clear I hate to tell you that is only the tip of the regulatory iceberg.  There are deals to be had in P.L.C.B. stores and I recommend visiting a “Premium Collection Store” for the best selection.  The P.L.C.B. website and smart phone app makes it easier to navigate the state store system in Pennsylvania.  I have listed the website and where to get their mobile app.  I recommend taking a look at the Chairman’s Selection section whether you are in the store or online for the best deals available. Happy Hunting!  www.finewineandgoodspirits.com  For free mobile apps  go to ITunes or The Google Play Store.

2013 Cossetti Dolcetto d’Asti

2013 Cossetti Dolcetto d'Asti

2013 Cossetti Dolcetto d’Asti

I tried this wine purely on a recommendation made by Trib Total Media wine expert Dave DeSimone and I am glad that I did.  2013 Cossetti Dolcetto d’Asti is offered by the P.L.C.B. as a Chairman’s Selection on sale for $15.99 (Product code Luxury 33495).  The Cossetti family have grown wine grapes and made wine since 1891 in the rolling hills of Castelnuovo Belbo.  To keep the pure flavor and aromas of the delicate Dolcetto grapes they are fermented in stainless steel tanks.  In the glass it displays a light ruby-red color with a floral nose.  The flavors of cherries and red berries are contained in a medium body of fresh acidity and mild tannins.  The finish is dry but retains some fruit flavors.  I think if you pair this wine with Italian food you should avoid the red sauces and match it with the light sauces especially if they contain mushrooms or mild cheeses.

Bodega Goulart Malbec Clasico 2010

goulart_classico_mal10     It is no secret that I am a fan of Goulart Malbec simply because they consistently market a quality wine at a fair price.  Bodega Goulart Malbec Clasico 2010 doesn’t disappoint on either of those points.  The deep red color of this malbec proves to be an accurate prelude to flavors of red fruit carried in a firm body that displays a friendly structure.  The surprisingly smooth tannins are held throughout a short finish.  I.W.C. gave this offering an 88 point rating.  It would be hard to find a glass of comparable malbec for less than the $11.99 a bottle price at P.L.C.B. stores or the even lower prices that can be found online.

3 Pennsylvania Wine Festivals

     May 8th thru May 10th will be the dates for three separate wine festivals presented by Fine Wine & Good Spirits, which is the retail arm of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (P.L.C.B.) who control and regulate all alcohol sales in Pennsylvania. 

Wine Festival in Hershey will be held Wednesday May 8th on the Concourse at the Giant Center in Hershey Pa.  V.I.P. Tasting is 5:00-6:30 P.M. with tickets $95 per person and Grand Tasting 6:30-8:30 P.M. with tickets $45 per person.  Parking for the event will be free and festivities benefit Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.  For more information, including a list of vintners go to http://www.winefestivalinhershey.com

Pittsburgh Wine Festival will be held Thursday May 9th at Heinz Field East & West Club Lounges with V.I.P. Tasting 5:00-7:00 P.M. and Grand Tasting 7:00-9:00 P.M..  Ticket prices for the V.I.P. Tasting are $250 per person and $125 per person for the Grand Tasting with the V.I.P. guests welcome to stay and enjoy the entire evening.  This is the eleventh year for this event and will feature 165 vendors showcasing 500 different wines while benefiting innovation and discovery at U.P.M.C..  Pittsburgh Wine Festival is running a special limited time price offer of two Grand Tasting tickets for the price of one and can be accessed at http://www.pittsburghwinefestival.com.

The New Philadelphia Wine & Food Festival is Friday May 10th at Lincoln Financial Field SCA Club from 5:30-9:30P.M..  This year’s expanded program combines food, 600 different wines, access to wine makers and chefs coupled with demonstrations, educational sessions and intimate tastings.  A silent auction will be held throughout the evening with the proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  V.I.P. Tasting with early entry 5:30-9:30 P.M. is $250 and Grand Tasting with general admission 7:00-9:30P.M. $125 per person.  To purchase tickets and get more information go to www.phillymag.com/wineandfoodfest/index.hmtl

Alta Vista Malbec Mendoza Serenade Vineyard 2009

Vineyard in Mendoza Province, Argentina.

Vineyard in Mendoza Province, Argentina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     I received a comment recently on my post “Bodega Goulart The Marshall Malbec 2009” from Erika Goulart the owner of the Bodega Goulart Winery in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  She thanked me for commenting about her wine and wished me well.  This particular post is the most viewed of all my posts and receives views nearly everyday, so with this in mind I will be modifying my subjects to better match the interests of my readers.

Alta Vista Malbec Mendoza Serenade Vineyard 2009 continues the long tradition of Mendoza Malbec but is a little stronger in structure and has more than ample alcohol content at 15.5%.  This wine can be best described as rich and dense with aromas of vanilla mixed with wild berries.  The flavors are as deep as one would expect with chocolate and blackberry giving way to oaked cedar then finishing with a spicy bite.  Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate gave this vintage a 94 point rating which makes the P.L.C.B. price of $39.99 reasonable.  The P.L.C.B. website www.finewineandgoodspirits.com can be used to locate this wine by using the product code 39823.