This blend combines Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre from Calaveras County.
This winery produces batches with priority on ‘aroma, texture and terrior’ rather than mass-produced brand-name wines, reliant upon ‘high residual sugar and alcohol.’
Klassen’s describes Big Mouth Red as follows:
“Big Mouth Red is a rich, bold and almost opaque in color. The nose is full of violets and licorice. The mouth feel is powerful and the finish is long and leathery. It is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre and it serves well with leg of lamb, grilled with lavender, kosher salt and rosemary.”
This wine is available at Cranberry Liquors for $14.99.
For more information, click here for the winery’s website.
Thanks to Jeff at Norabella’s and Dominic from Bertani Wines and Sterling from Ruby Wines, our distributor and coordinator for the wine dinner. At $65 a head, I firmly maintain this is the best gourmet dining on the Cape made better by the price.
The food and wine were outstanding and paired very nicely. Dominic, in addition to talking us through wines from the northeast of Italy, brought an extra treat: A 31 year old bottle of Bertani Amarone for us all to taste and it was delicious! But I’m getting ahead of myself…
We started with a fun white wines fun blend of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, called Due Uve (Two Grapes). Very pleasant and fun wine to go with our first course of Ribolita, a comfort food soup of beans, pancetta and potatoes served with homemade croutons. The wine had good structure and a bit of a honeyed flavor to it – perfect for an aperitif! The Due Uve White retails for $18.99.
The second course was two jumbo shrimp, generously stuffed with crabmeat and served with the Velante Pinot Grigio. This is a serious food wine, excellent minerality and a great buy at $14.99 per bottle.
The third course consisted of sausage pepper and spinach risotto croquettes served with Bertani’s Due Uve Rosso, a blend of Pinot Noir and Corvino. Bertani, with their Due Uve blends is hoping to appeal to the American palate with something a bit brighter and fruitier than your basic Italian wine. An excellent effort and $18.99 per bottle.
The fourth course brought us right into the heart of fine cuisine. The Roasted Veal with spiced cabbage, fresh horseradish and smokey bacon was accompanied by the Bertani Amarone Villa Arvedi. At $59.99 per bottle, you expect something exceptional and this wine was definitely a fine example of Amarone. But it gets better…
Dominic brought along a 1980 vintage Amarone to share with all of us. What a pleasant surprise! The nose on this wine let you know you were about to taste something very special — and it was excellent. Elegance and complexity are the trademarks of an older, fine wine which has stood the test of time. Not sure what the price of this one is or if it’s even available but it was phenomenal.
Finally, desert brought us right back to Cape Cod in November: A delicate Pumpkin Bread Pudding paired with Bertani’s Recioto della Valpolicella. The Recioto is a sweet red. Dessert wine in the spirit of a Sauterne. A 500 mL bottle retails for $14.99 and it’s worth every penny.
Which leads me to a final note: Why don’t we dress up our dining with dessert wines? It’s such a nice way to finish a meal. Maybe worth your consideration as we come into the holiday season.
I had the great pleasure of visiting France last week for a week of mostly family reunion. Spring was in full bloom and temperatures were in the 70’s. A day trip to the region of Vouvray gave us a chance to enjoy that great weather and taste some fine white wine from the region.
Vouvray wine is made from the Chenin grape and brings a wide variety of styles depending mostly on how ripe the grapes are allowed to become. From dessert sweet to bone dry, Vouvray brings something to the table for everyone.
We visited a cooperative where over three million bottles of wine are currently residing in caves where the temperature never varies more than plus or minus two degrees all year long. That, in and of itself, makes Vouvray a wonderful place to make (and store) wine. The most surprising aspect of this tour is the statistic that over 80% of the Vouvray wine made is a sparkling wine, much like champagne.
Lunch was served outside starting with a cold platter of pate and other charcuterie followed by beef and some of the finest french fries I’ve ever tasted. The wines we had were a delicious complement to our meal. What else would you expect from the heart of the Loire Valley?
With the colder weather, Saturday barbecues are definitely fewer and farther between. That said, a few hamburgers made there way to the Weber this evening. A nice bottle of Kaesler Stonehorse GSM fills the bill for wine with this meal.
The 2006 Stonehorse GSM from the Barossa valley is composed of 45% Grenache, 44% Shiraz, and 11% Mourvedre and was aged for 12 months in seasoned French and American oak. Dark ruby-colored, it has an attractive nose of cedar, spice box, earth notes, and black cherry. This leads to a forward, easygoing wine with savory red and blue fruit flavors, plenty of spice, and a silky finish. Drink this outstanding value over the next eight years.
This wine packs a punch that will stand up to all the fixings you might put on that hamburger.
A serious wine but one that can absolutely be enjoyed with casual drinking. Not to sound like some pretentious wine snob but you can taste hints of tobacco, cherry and a touch of vanilla. This puppy fills the mouth with all kinds of flavor.
Even with an alcohol content of 14.5 this wine is anything but hot. A very mellow drinker that paired well with filet and creamed spinach. All kinds of complexities that work well with red meat as you would expect from a good cab. A very good bottle worthy of your consideration.
OK – maybe like some of you, I’ve been scared away from cheap pinot’s since I watched that foolish “Sideways” movie (if you haven’t seen it but like “middle-aged, time-to-act-like-adults” movies, its for you – if you don’t like whiney, “I’m 45 and my life stinks movies”, save your five bucks).
Getting over the fear of Pinot’s that cost less than $50 is easy with 3 Girls. Sometimes you just want to have something different than a cab or merlot or zin, and this one fits the bill rather nicely. From Oak Ridge Winery, the oldest operating vineyard in Lodi California, this pinot noir is an easy drinking wine that can be paired nicely with a lot of the fall comfort food dishes (meatloaf, medium spicy chili, pot roast, etc.) we enjoy as the weather gets cooler. It doesn’t fill your mouth the way a big California cab does nor is it as complex as a zinfandel, but it does have a lot of flavor.
So in short, more interesting than a merlot but not something that you need to wrestle with over a T-Bone. I give 3 Girls Pinot Noir a big thumbs up and worth picking up the next time your in the store.
It’s a commonly understood rule of wine drinking that you drink your white wines chilled. Doing this hides the ‘imperfections’ that may be found in the wine.
Having said this, the Masciarelli Trebbiano d’Abruzzo I had with dinner was straight out of the wine fridge – kept at temperature but by no means cold. And it was delicious!
Tropical fruit on the nose (some say pineapple), a slight effervescence or ‘spritz’ when you first taste it and an even, balanced taste and finish. Green apples dominate the flavor profile. If you want to switch it up from your favorite chardonnay or want to try something with a bit more substance than your favorite pinot grigio, trebbiano is an excellent choice. And this bottle is 100% trebbiano and does this varietal proud!
Organic Wine: I’m not sure how I feel about that concept. If you’ve ever visited a vineyard, you probably know the folks who grow those grapes are very in touch with the climate, the soil and the plants which deliver the grapes. I don’t think any serious winemaker would do anything to compromise the delicate ecology responsible for delivering a fine wine.
So when a wine shows up that is certified organic, I wonder what that really means. I understand there are criteria established by independent third parties and if a grape grower abides by these standards, their wine is considered ‘organic’. I still think describing your wine as organic is mostly a marketing tool. Good wine requires careful treatment of the local environment. Sustainable farming is part of that. It’s been done by grape growers for years.
All of this to tell you about an organic wine we have at Cranberry Liquors. Earth 2.0 Tempranillo is organic wine from the Navarra region of Spain, up north between Rioja and Bordeaux, France. It is made from 100% tempranillo and delivers a rich and fruity flavor – I detect raspberries – and is a delightful red wine with food or without.
Of course, all of the marketing and advertising revolves around doing the right thing for the planet. Earth Day specials are part of the mix. But when it comes right down to it, the distinguishing character of this value bottle of wine is not that it’s organic but it’s a great bottle of wine for the price.
Dinner tonight was a lovely boneless pork roast with potatoes and sauerkraut. Comfort food, by most anyone’s standards. So what to serve for wine with this?
I’m sure I could have gone with the German, or if preferred dry, French Riesling. Pork and sauerkraut logically call for that. Instead, I noticed a bottle of La Linda, Malbec Rosé chilling in the fridge. A twist top and tight schedule said ‘go for it’ — so I did.
What a lovely bottle of wine. The color is almost a bright red – suggesting a fruitiness you might not prefer. Let me tell you this bottle of wine had substance. A dry rosé with color. Strawberry without the sweet. A serious wine with a playful color.
On the nose, you notice an earthiness that tells you this is not a toy wine. On the palate, La Linda Malbec Rosé is light like a sauvignon blanc but serious like soave or gavi. Not a patio pounder pinot grigio by any means.
Needless to say, this wine went well with the pork roast. Surprisingly, it went well with the after dinner chocolates!