I can't bring myself to do it. I can't sit here and try and tell you that these wines are perfect for Valentine's Day. All week, in the midst of intense winter weather, gridlock traffic and postponed events, we have searched for any glimpse of hope...is that the sun peaking out for a minute? I'm allergic.
Honestly, I can't get down with using Valentine's Day as a prop for a wine tasting. Don't get me wrong, I'm getting my wife flowers (and a bottle of wine) but it's not because the greeting card companies told me to (I'm looking in your direction Hallmark).
Fact is, Valentine's Day is a perfect excuse to get cheesy. Make a fancy reservation (no one else thought of that), cook a special meal (if there's any food left at the grocery), get a special bottle of wine (hey we have that!). But in all honesty, the underlying idea (without the purely commercial aspects) of Valentine's Day is to stop a minute and appreciate a loved one. Sure there are other ways to do it then a bottle of wine, but you know, everyone needs a great glass of wine after this week and before the next (huge) storm.
So, please join us tonight. We've been going a bit stir crazy here in the shop as the neighborhood slowly digs out, we want to see you...so we put together a great set of wines for the tasting tonight. Call them Valentine's Day Wines, call them anything you want...just come and get some!
And don't forget, NEXT Thursday, 2/19, the Amarone Abbondanza will roll out in full force...update your calendar!
The (Valentine's Day) Lineup:
Fondo Bozzole, Cocai, Lambrusco Rosato, Lombardy $20
The boys at Fondo Bozzole have done it again. These guys make one of our favorite classic lambrusco's, the Incantabiss, and this year they have made a new wine for the first time. Using an old variety of light colored lambrusco called marani, they have created a delicate yet delicious rosato with a full on champagne level bubble. If there ever were a wine perfect for San Valentino, this would be it.
Peter Lauer, Barrel X, Riesling, Saar, Germany $23
Lauer's wines have a cult following and for many riesling geeks this master of the lower Mosel is a hero winemaker. These wines combine the old-school element of letting the wine be as ripe as possible on the vine yet also fermenting without additions of sulfur, pushing the wine in one direction or another. The Barrel X is a classic cuvee and runs the fine line between halbtrocken/feinherb and kabinett levels of sweetness/ripeness. This convinces me, and riesling ain't always my thing.
Dom. Nicolas Chermin, Petit Grobis, Beaujolais Villages, France $18
It's getting harder and harder to find great under $20 Beaujolais these days. It's a good things and a bad thing...the region of Beaujolais as certainly elevated itself, which is great, and people are finally catching on, which is also great...until the winemakers raise prices because the quality is so good. We've got plenty of outstanding $35 Bojo these days, but where's the good under $20 stuff...right here. Oh, and it's got a nice red label to match the roses you're getting for Valentine's Day.
Meinklang, Burgenland Red, Austria $18
Just about a year ago our Katie was over in Austria tasting (drinking) this wine right out of the the tank. I'll speak for her and say that even before she went on this wine trip she loved the Meinklang wines, and after...well, she's now a life long proponent of them. And for good reason, the wines are excellent. While this wine is bright, fresh and fun (a blend of blaufrankish, St. Laurent and zweigelt) you might think it has more place at a spring time picnic....think happy thoughts...we're almost (not even close) there.
Broc, Carignan, California $30Chris Brocway has officially arrived. This once lone wolf, small time winemaker now has his own warehouse and forklift, oh and a huge following. I think I saw one of his wines in the gas station on I-90 west. Anyway, for my this is one of Chris' best wines in a while. He toned down the carbonic maceration and focused on old vine fruit and structure of the carignan he loves to work with. This is a generous and straight up delicious wine. We love you Chris, even though you're officially mainstream.
Quinta do Infantado, Ruby Port, Portugal $20
Ok, we're giving in completely. This wine is entirely geared towards Valentine's Day, and yes, it pairs perfectly with chocolates (grab some for sure from our friends over at Coconuts in the neighborhood). But also, it's great, reliable and traditional ruby Port from our favorite Port producer.