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Wine 101


Introduction
Wine Making Process
Wine Storing
Decanting
Wine Tasting
Wine Serving
White Wine Grapes
Red Wine Grapes
Wine & Food Pairings
How To Read a Wine Label
Wine Glossary
Wine Recommendations
Wine Recommendations

Introduction

Introduction

 

Well this is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, as far as the wine section goes. Let me first state that I do not have as sophisticated palette as say Robert Parker, but who does. I do not have the resources as say, wine spectator, nor the expertise. Their opinions are very valid, and in fact, I often consult their ratings and learn from them. As I tried to convey in this section, wine is very personal. Unless your palette is highly sensitive and trained, you are not going to distinguish among the subtle nuances of various producers, appellations, vintages and the like. The recommendations of these fine organizations are meant as a guide for your enjoyment. Experimentation with different wines within your budget can be exciting, rewarding and fun. In the end, it is your specific opinions that matter. The more you know, the more you experiment, the more you reading, then the more discerning you will become. Your ability to make these distinctions will be enhanced and you will be rewarded by the pleasures that wine drinking offers. I am not referring to some quick buzz or some game of how much can be consumed. Instead I am referring to the interplay between wine and food and the subtleties that you can identify. Remember, the grapes pick up flavors from the environment surrounding them. The soil, the air, the water, the sun, the temperature all factor into the grapes’ development and hence its qualities, tastes and aromas. Identifying these and their interaction with food can be a very pleasurable experience.

 

The wines I have selected here are some that I personally enjoy and recommend. This is not to say that it is a complete list nor should they necessarily be your favorites as well. Use it as a starting point along with other references. Build your own repertoire of wines that you enjoy. I have intentionally omitted vintages for several reasons. The first is that other organizations such as wine spectator do a much better job at this. The second is that certain vintages may not always be available in your area. And finally, build your own list. My list is typically purchased for under $25 per bottle and in most examples, quite a bit less. You do not have to spend great sums to get decent wine. The list is a work in progress, as should yours be. Take the time and enjoy!


Bogle Petite Sirah

Alamos Malbec

 

This Argentinean wine is available as a reserve as well as a non-reserve version of this Varietal.

 

For the reserve:

 

The nose offers concentrated cherry and raspberry with delicate violet hints. The mouthfeel is intense and rich with ripe red fruit interwoven with subtle vanilla, anise and toast. The finish is long and lingering with sweet and soft tannins.

 

For the non-reserve:

 

The wine presents a dark purple color with violet highlights. The nose offers bright black cherry aromas with light floral notes and a touch of toast. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with ripe, concentrated cassis and black raspberry fruit flavors interwoven with a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging. This finish is long and lingering, with ripe, velvety tannins.

 

Food Pairing

 

This wine pairs with very hearty foods such as grilled meats, steaks and barbecue.







Bogle Petite Sirah

Bogle Petite Sirah

 

Ripe summer blackberries and plums are evident in both the nose and palate of this wine. Black fruit and spice, are also evident as well notes of supple leather and toasty oak that envelop the flavors through the finish. This gives way to wisps of caramel and vanilla. Firm tannins make this a wine that can develop for years to come, but you won’t want to wait that long to enjoy it!

 

Food Pairing

 

Try this unique wine with rich meat dishes of lamb, pork or game and their hearty sauces.













Clos du Bois Chardonnay

Clos du Bois Chardonnay

 

Brilliant silver straw in color, the Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay exudes rich aromatics reminiscent of ripe apples and pears with hints of stone fruit and citrus. The intense fruit-forward flavors are bright and juicy with ripe apples, pears and fig, highlighted by nuances of toffee and vanilla. The creamy mouthfeel is a result of hand stirring the lees (sediments resulting from the fermentation process) during barrel aging.

Food Pairing

The richness makes this Reserve Chardonnay a great match for fresh shellfish, seafood and poultry, especially with cream – or citrus-infused sauces. This wine is also an excellent companion to veal or pork.

 




Monte Antico

Lohr Merlot

 

The J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot has a dark plum red color with purple hues. The aroma is dominated by blueberry, raspberry and cherry fruit and layered with lifted spicy, cedary oak. The palate is greeted by an array of red fruits similar to those on the nose, with tar, cedar and forest floor adding complexity. The wine has a full mid–palate and finish that carries the wine through, with a lingering hint of fruit and licorice spice.

 

Food Pairings

 

This wine would be ideal with roasted beef or lamb with a berry–based reduction sauce.







Monte Antico

Monte Antico

 

This is blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The best selections are blended and aged 1 year in oak (80% in Slavonian barrels, 20% in barrique) and at least 6 months in the bottle, achieving a graceful balance of voluptuous berry tones and flexible yet sturdy backbone.


Dark ruby in color, its bouquet of leather, earth, herbs, black cherries, licorice and plums is confirmed on the medium to full-bodied palate – round, spicy, elegant, and attractively fruity.

 

Food Pairings

 

Excellent with tomato based pasta or risotto, as well as meat, fowl and cheese.

 




Monte Antico

Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay

Distinct aromas of ginger and lemon zest are joined by toasty coconut, melon and caramel alongside a mineral, flinty cedar chest oakiness overlaid by notes of honeysuckle. Well-balanced with a solid acid backbone, the wine is rich and medium-heavy with a broad, yet firm, mid-palate. The long, lingering finish displays a touch of spice and lively acidity. Flavors of lemon, apple, pear, pineapple and cantaloupe, Sonoma's full cornucopia of fruit, join a nutty, spicy, lightly oaky profile.

Food Pairings

 

Complements poultry, shellfish and vegetables and is ideal with goat cheese or sheeps' milk cheese.