I believe that sitting around a table covered with tapas while surrounded by friends and enjoying a high quality Rioja is a memorable pleasure that everyone should get the chance to experience. When you find yourself in this situation I hope that your wine glass is filled with Viña Equía Rioja Reserva 2007. This Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain will not disappoint with its tight structure, great balance and smooth tannins framed by a noticeable acidity. The bright cherry red color of this Rioja leads you flawlessly into a complex palate of red fruits and spice followed by a long finish to be savored with classic tapas fare. This offering received a 92 point rating from both The Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. I have found that it pairs surprisingly well with chocolate, but I have had several people highly recommend it as an excellent choice to serve with lamb. The real mystique of Rioja is that they are superb wines at a reasonable price, pair well with small plates and can set your imagination free to enjoy the simple pleasures around you or allow you to picture yourself in the green mountians of Basque country.
Have you ever wanted to bid on a great bottle of wine offered at a wine auction but could not stand the thought of sitting in a room filled with wine snobs while holding a little paddle with a number on it. If your answer is yes then you are in luck because Morrell & Company Fine Wine Auction is conducting an internet only auction on Wednesday February 27th at 10:30 a.m.(EST) on their website www.morrellwineauctions.com. Bids may only be placed by absentee bid and live bid. Absentee bids may be placed now and the live bidding will be available online at the commencement of the auction. To participate go to the website and register, peruse the catalog of offerings then place a bid if you find something you like. If you intend to bid live, Morrell recommends using their Live Bidding Simulator to check your computers compatibility to prevent any issues when live bidding starts. Need more information? Call 212-307-4200
I hope that I have given you some motivation to get out and about this summer so you can make some fantastic new memories. Keeping with my theory that you do not have to spend a lot of money to get good wine, I would like to make some suggestions that will make for a well stocked cooler.
Let’s start with some reds!
1. Albeno Munari Tempranillo Calaveras County 2007 WE/88 $13.99
2. A to Z Wineworks Rosé Oregon 2011 $11.99
And now three highly rated proprietary Red Blends!
3. Bodegas Dios Ares Crianza 2008 WA/90 $12.99
4. Bodegas y Vined Luna Beberide Fincala Questa 2007 WA/90 $11.99
5. Boutari Elios Mediterranean Red Peloponnese 2009 WS/87 $12.99
Now it’s time to give these tasty white wines their time in the sun!
1. Alomos Torrontes 2007 WS/87 $10.99
2. Boutari Moschofilero Matinia 2010 WS/88 $12.99
3. Breemerton Verdelho WA/89 $12.99
4. Adegas Gran Vinum Nessa Albarino Rias Baixas 2008 WA/88 $12.99
These are just an example of the rated wines that are available at a reasonable price. I think you will enjoy any of these selections and know that you will find many others in your journeys.
The Monongahela Area Library Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tour Fundraiser was held Saturday evening under a spectacular blue sky at the Ripepi Winery and Vineyard. The guests were treated to a vineyard tour by owner and winemaker Rich Ripepi. Rich kept the crowd entertained with his ability to weave his encyclopedic wine knowledge and storytelling together to create an atmosphere of fun, humor and learning. We returned from the vineyard to find our tables had been set with a variety of cheeses to complement that evenings wines. Rich conducted the tasting with a detailed explanation of each wine while fielding questions. I had a great time at this event and urge any wine lover to take any opportunity to meet and talk to a seasoned winemaker because their abilities are truly impressive. Rich Ripepi has reason to be proud knowing that four of his wines had just won medals at two different wine competitions.
The 36th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition in Santa Rosa, CA: Niagra – Silver Medal De Chaunac – Silver Medal
The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Diamond- Silver Medal Vidal Blanc – Bronze Medal
Congratulations to all the members of the Ripepi Winery family.
Perry Creek Zinman Zinfandel El Dorado 2007 is grown and produced in the El Dorado AVA within the Sierra Foothills region of California. Best described as a luscious cherry and raspberry beginning with a peppery finish. This wine is very easy to drink and is very versatile with a wide range of food from pizza and burgers to grilled steak. Wine Enthusiast rated at 88 points makes this one you should consider for a summer gathering that includes grilling and friends. PA L.C.B. product code 20908.
- #Sunday Supper: Wines For The Foods That Move You! (enofylzwineblog.com)
- St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2008 (whywineblog.com)
- Great Wines for $20 (readingbyeugene.com)
- The Dos and Don’ts of Grilling (williams-sonoma.com)
Prosecco is often mistakenly called Italian Champagne but that isn’t a bad comparison. This sparkling wine is made from the Prosecco grape the oldest cultivated grape in Italy. Mionette Prosecco D.O.C. Treviso Brut has received a 89 point rating from the Wine Enthusiast. This wine has a 11% alcohol content and a R.S. of .9. Pop the cork and pour a glass to enjoy the pale straw color with your eyes, lift it to your nose to smell the fruity aroma of pear and citrus then finally taste the golden apple and peach with the light body and dry finish. This wine should be enjoyed fresh and certainly be consumed within 3 months of purchase. Serve with appetizers and mild cheeses but another use is as an excellent base for a Bellini and other sparkling wine cocktails.
Calling Prosecco Italian Champagne is meaningful for me because Champagne is associated with memorable events and that is the case for me. My lovely wife and I have celebrated our wedding anniversary twice at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Both times we had dinner at Osteria del Circo where the staff lined up to greet and congratulate us upon our arrival. Circo is a Tuscan styled restaurant that boasts a wine list of 900 selections from all over the world. We were led to our table that looked out onto the lake and it famous dancing waters. She ordered Prosecco to complement her Mediterranean Sea Bass. I can still see the thin strings of bubbles rising in her glass as she enjoyed the evenings celebration. Where we will be celebrating this year is still unplanned but I hope you will make great memories in your life that include great wine.
I am pleased to report that I have a new bottle of Riesling resting safely in my wine rack at home. I bought a Chateau Ste Michelle 2010 Riesling, which is a blend of Riesling from the Columbia Valley of Washington. Blending the best qualities from several different wines allows a wine maker to use the strong attributes of one wine to complement the short comings of others. When done with a skillful hand you end up with a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts. This product is always a consistent example of a off-dry that is pleasant to drink and matches a wide variety of foods. The Wine Enthusiast gave it a 90 point rating and I would agree with that assessment. The other choice I considered was the Chateau Ste Michelle 2010 Harvest Select Riesling, but it had a R.S. of 4.98 compared to the 2.29 R.S. of my purchase. The much sweeter style of the Harvest Select would have been a good pick for asian dishes especially Thai food so I will remember that for another day.