Friday Wine Tasting

Friday Wine Tasting

Red wine pouring into glass

Jump to Tasting Notes
Downtown Wine & Gourmet is the result of many evenings spent tasting, learning and talking about wine with friends old and new. Before we ever opened, we recognize how valuable it is to be able to try a wide variety of wines from all around the world. We don’t just want to sell you wine; we want to help you understand it and to learn the differences that climate, soil, and the vision of the vintner create in a finished wine. We want to help you discover, and fall in love with, wine you might never have thought to try. To those ends, every Friday from 5-7 we host a tasting featuring four different wines, generally two whites and two reds.

Tasting notes are provided to help you pick out the diverse aromas and flavors present in the wines, and we can usually tell you quite a bit more about where the wine is from, how it was made, what it was made from, and the person or people who made it. It’s a fun, easy and laid back way to educate your palate (after all, the best way to learn about wine is to try a whole lot of it!). Many folks in the ‘burg have made our tasting a Friday night destination and linger over their samples, taking the time to appreciate and discuss the wines with their friends and family. Our wine tasting time offers a social environment for diverse groups–but each individual having their interest and/or appreciation of wine in common.

Periodically, we will have special tastings where we feature a single producer or importer and are joined by the vintner or a representative of the winery. In the past we’ve featured Orin Swift (Dave Phinney via Skype), Thorne-Clark, Eagle Eye, DeMarie, Castle Rock, Small Vineyard Selections, Vina Siegel (vintner Alberto Siegal) and LOCAL Bluestone Vineyards (with vintner Lee Hartman) and many others. We also occasionally host tastings focused on single styles such as sparkling, dessert or Port wines.

Want to join in the fun? Sign up for our mailing list (in the right column) to receive weekly tasting notes as well as notifications about special tastings.

Holiday Wines Part Two

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Iluri Pinot Grigio

This wine comes to us Veneto Italy, which is prime Pinot Grigio territory. The winery sources quality fruit and produces their wine in Abruzzo. A classic food wine this 100% Pinot Grigio will not disappoint, with Thanksgiving or any meal. An intense bouquet of white fruits, ripe golden apples, and pears compliment the gentle acidity of this wine. A palete of ripe peaches and spice round everything out. The finish has a slight almond note which is a tell tell sign of quality Pinot Grigio.
Montevento Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Perhaps you recall my mentioning Abruzzo in an email from a few weeks ago. Well in Abruzzo it’s all about Montepulciano. I quite like what Megan Handley from C-Ville magazine had to say a few years ago on the subject. “If ever there were a wine that could answer our prayers in this winter and economy of discontent, it would be Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It’s red, alcoholic, consistently tasty, meant to be drunk young, divine with weeknight pasta, and best when it’s under $15.” This one scores all around, though it is not particularly high in alcohol. Montevento pours a lovely garnet red color. The nose show aromas of red plums, and blackberries. The palate is much the same story, with a juiciness and softness that is wonderful to have at this price point. Quaffable might be too strong, but it does go down smooth. Classic Italian acidity means food is an easy match.
Espelt Old Vine Garnacha

Now we’ve poured quite a few Spanish Garnacha’s lately. But you’ll recall from last week that I said Rhone reds are a classic pairing. This wine drinks more French in style to me than your typical Spanish Garnacha. You be the judge. This wine comes to us from Emporda, which is north of Priorat, in historical Catalonia. The vineyard sits almost directly on the overlook of the mediterranean sea. This microclimate is what gives this wine its unique character. From Robert Parker, “Made from 100% Grenache planted in decomposed granitic soils, and aged four months in new and used French oak, this deep ruby/purple-colored 2012 Garnacha Old Vines demonstrates what high quality can be found in obscure Spanish appellations. Aromas of kirsch, lavender and strawberries emerge from this medium-bodied, dense, rich 2012. Enjoy this delicious Spanish red wine over the next 3-4 years.”

90 points: Wine Advocate
90 points: Steven Tanzer’s Int. Wine Cellar

Wine’s You’ll Want to Know…

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Dr. Loosen Dry Riesling
The Dr. Loosen estate has been in the same family for over 200 years. When Ernst Loosen assumed ownership in 1988, he realized that, with ungrafted vines averaging 60 years old in some of Germany’s best-rated vineyards, he had the raw mate- rials to create stunningly intense, world-class wines. To achieve that, Ernst dramatically restricts crop size, uses only organic fertilization, insists on very strict fruit selection, and employs gentle cellar practices to allow the wine to develop its full potential with a minimum of handling.

This wine is the counterpart to Loosen’s off-dry offering. Elegant and rich characteristics are evident because of the slate-soils of Mosel. Great lemon and citrus notes harmonize with the richer stone fruit aromas and flavors.

Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries of the Year, 2014

Family Pasqua Sangiovese
Pasqua’s history begins in Veneto, Italy in 1925. In the 1940’s the family began branching out of Veneto and purchasing land to the south and west. Today they make wine throughout Italy representing a variety of styles, both traditional and forward looking.

This Sangiovese comes from Puglia, which is the tip of the heel of Italy. This is the warmest region of Italy, making this Sangiovese a riper more full and smooth expression of the grape.

Rich and full-bodied this Sangiovese retains the natural aromas and flavors of the varietal you’ll be familiar with- red berries and cherries, with cedar, tobacco, and earthy notes. Very approachable.

Tilia Malbec
Till comes from Mendoza’s Uco and East Valley. Because Tilia is a sustainably driven wine producer they utilize irrigation for watering (the area where these grapes come from receive less than 8″ of rain a year). The water comes from mountain snow runoff, of which there is plenty. The dry, arid climate means very few insects, so they do not use pesticides. These conditions also limit precipitation based fungus diseases which would need to be controlled by spraying fungicides. The grapes from the Eastern Region have very ripe, rich fruit flavors and excellent mid-palate depth and concentration.

90 Points Wine Advocate for the 2014 vintage

Something a Little Different

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Chateau de Valmer Vouvray

First owned by VII of France, Chateau de Valmer has been in the Venant family for four generations. They have made significant improvements to property including replanting a 14 acre parcel called Le Clos, which is the highest point on the property.

A lot of folks will associate Chenin Blanc with sweeter wines, but Loire produces Vouvray of every style. Including this lovely wine. Round yet crisp, is the best way to describe this wine. The nose shows aromas of crisp golden apple and white flowers. The palate is nice and full, but the minerality keeps this wine supremely balanced.

Frey Vineyards Organic Chardonnay

So we are constantly getting asked about organic and no sulfite added/sulfite free wines. About a year ago I was introduced to Frey Vineyards. These guys are the first and largest organic winery in the US. Paul and Beba Frey first planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling on their ranch in Mendocino in early 60’s. 50 years later they are still producing great organic and no sulfite added wines.

Now let’s address the issue of sulfites. They are a natural byproduct of the wine production process. To produce a sulfite free wine requires filtering and other processes to remove the sulfites from the wine. Doing this changes the flavor of the wine. I tend to find sulfite free wines a little thin and lacking in flavor.
Frey Vineyards Chardonnay is stainless steel fermented and exposed to minimal neutral oak to add body and depth. This wine is fruity and well defined- classic flavors of apple, pear and caramel are all present. Great for a risotto, or roasted veggies.

Frey Vineyards Organic Pinot Noir

The grapes for Frey Vineyards are grown in the Redwood Valley AVA of Mendocino California nestled up to the head waters of the Russian River. Again this wine is Organic with no sulfites added.

The 2013 Pinot Noir is fairly light and delicate. Flavors of strawberries and pomegranate come to mind. There is a subtle spice that makes this wine interesting. Smooth and floral on the finish.
Bruno Zanatta Cannanou di Sardegna

Hopefully you were here to get to try Bruno Zanatta’s Vermentino. So I will not rehash the Bruno Zanatta story. The grape in this wine is called Cannanou di Sardegna. This is simply what they call Grenache on the island of Sardinia. The interesting part is Grenache was planted on the Island by the Argonese when they took control of the island in the 14th century. While the varietal has always been popular on the island this Sardinian expression of Grenache is starting to become popular in Italy and here in the states.

This wine is fermented in Stainless steel and ages in the bottle 3 months before release. This wine is fruity and fresh. Medium-boddied with flavors of blackberries and spice, this wine has very soft tannins. Drink now.

Four Wines Under $60

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Charles Dupuy Sauvignon Blanc
Apologies for no picture. At the end of the day though it is all about what’s in the glass. And what this is folks is declassified Sancerre from the heart of one of Loire’s best regions for Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll remember a few tastings back we tried a Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. These wines are known for their great acidity, and a minerality you don’t find really anywhere else. Declassifying this particular wine allows Dupuy and us to introduce this kind of quality Sauvignon Blanc to a whole new audience. This Sauvignon Blanc has the classic minerality you’re looking for was present but subdued fruit aromas and flavors. Crisp and clean with a linear structure keeps you coming back to the glass.

 

August Kesseler Riesling

August Kesseler took over the estate the forms his vineyard in 1977. As a young man he trained learned about wine working in the USA and France. Today he has expanded his original holdings by 18 hectares. The grapes for his ‘R’ Riesling come from Rüdesheimer Berg. Kesseler believes that here Riesling finds its best growing conditions. The groups are quite porous which cause the finds to grow deep. This helps protect quality and consistency because the vines are not hurt in wet seasons but can finds ground water when it’s dry. You’ll notice this wine is a little more lush than your typical Mosel Riesling. This is because the slopes are steep and it’s warmer here than Mosel. The resulting wine gives flavors that are familiar to Riesling (apple, peaches, some citrus) but the body and weight will appear more full here.

 

Ernest Catena Padrillos Malbec

August Kesseler took over the estate the forms his vineyard in 1977. As a young man he trained learned about wine working in the USA and France. Today he has expanded his original holdings by 18 hectares. The grapes for his ‘R’ Riesling come from Rüdesheimer Berg. Kesseler believes that here Riesling finds its best growing conditions. The groups are quite porous which cause the finds to grow deep. This helps protect quality and consistency because the vines are not hurt in wet seasons but can finds ground water when it’s dry. You’ll notice this wine is a little more lush than your typical Mosel Riesling. This is because the slopes are steep and it’s warmer here than Mosel. The resulting wine gives flavors that are familiar to Riesling (apple, peaches, some citrus) but the body and weight will appear more full here.
Rivarey Rioja Crianza

09 Crianza under $11? Yep. This really is what Tempranillo should taste like. This wine has seen a minimum of 12 months in oak and 12 months in bottle before release. This wine is right where it needs to be in terms of drinkability and shows quite well even at this price. The palate has generous blackberry and cherry fruit, with hints of herbs and smoke. The palate is slightly plump but certainly not extracted feeling on the palate. The tannins are cool but well integrated at this point.

First Tasting of the Year

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Well we are back after a little hiatus during the December push. We had an absolutely fantastic Christmas and obviously hope you did as well. The wines for this week’s tasting all hail from South Africa. We hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!

Bayten Sauvignon Blanc

So the actual name of the vineyard here is Buitenverwachting… Did you get that? Well the locals didn’t much care for it either and have taken to calling the vineyard Bayten for short. This is one of the oldest producers in South Africa. They’ve been making wine since 1796, if you can believe that. The vineyard is located just a few miles from the Ocean in the Cape of Good Hope.

The soils here have large amounts of decomposed granite, helping maintain Sauvignon Blancs classic minerality even though the past 4 vintages have been quite warm. The wine is crisp and zesty showing classic aromatics of lime and gooseberry. The palate is tart and with pepper and herbal flavors supported by lovely mineral flavors.

La Capra Viognier
What a fun wine and cool vineyard. So the label for this wine tells you quite a bit. First off, in addition to making wine Fairview is also a goat farm. From the farm they produce their wines but also goat’s milk cheeses as well. The Viognier produced here is a little different than what some will be used to from California or Virginia. There is not as much in the way of stone fruits to this wine and it is much more ethereal than the oily heavy examples coming out of Australia. Intense aromas of orange blossom and peach with a hint of spice abound on the nose. The rich yet rounded mouthfeel is accompanied by fresh fruit flavors and a lingering ginger finish.
Tormentoso Bush Vine Pinotage

‘Cabo Tormentoso’ is literally translated as stormy cape or cape of storms. It was the original name for the Cape of Good Hope given to it by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomieu Dias who first rounded the Cape in 1488. 
Tormentoso is part of the Man Vintners group, with the goal of producing vineyard focused wines at a reasonable price.
The fruit for the Pinotage is selected from several of their vineyards. The goal with this wine is to produce an ultra modern bright berry driven style Pinotage, rather than the rubbery, smokey examples you’re probably accustomed to.
A delicious, full-bodied Pinotage with typical aromas of black cherry, toasted marshmallows and sweet fruit. The soft, rich tannins and plum flavors on the palate are enhanced by the addition of a little Syrah. 
This wine will pair well with lighter meals such as grilled, roasted or sautéed foods, or spicy chicken

90 pts. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Tormentoso Cabernet Sauvignon

The deep, pebbly and weathered Malmesbury shale soils in the Agter-Paarl region are home to our dry-farmed, 5-wire-trellised Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. These tough conditions allow for smaller, flavour-filled berries which are then barrel matured for a full 12 months. An inviting nose of sweet coconut, tobacco and classic Cabernet Cassis is followed through on the palate, and enhanced by the vanilla oak flavours from the barrel maturation. The juicy red wine-gum flavours provide a lingering, lengthy finish. This full-bodied, wine with its soft tannins pairs well with meaty dishes, strong cheese, pasta dishes, grilled mushrooms and dark chocolate.

Happy Holidays!

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Laird Family ‘Big Ranch’ Sauvignon Blanc

The Laird Family has the distinction of being the largest family own producer in Napa Valley. Their Big Ranch Sauvignon Blanc is one of my absolute favorite Cali Sauvignon Blancs. 100% Stainless Steel fermentation. This one has a very alluring aromatic profile- think pineapple, asian pear, or honeysuckle. The palate is medium bodied with more tropical fruit flavors and a delicate undercurrent of flinty rocks and minerals. The finish is herbal and sustained. Pair with Asian cuisine. Would do well with garlic butter and prawns or younger goat cheeses as well.

Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Chardonnay

Another one of my personal favorites. Jim Clendenen is one of the true stars of the California Wine world. His Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are some of the best you’ll find from Santa Barbara, which puts them high in the running for some of the best in the world in my book. The 2012’s are going to produce a knock out vintage throughout California even at these price points. This one is a barrel fermented (French Barrels) and has that classic California full body and weight. Great tree fruit flavors on the palate with a bright finish.
Foxglove Zinfandel

Foxglove is the entry-level négociant line from the Varner Brothers, Bob and Jim. Sourced from fruit in the Paso Robles AVA, the 2012 Zinfandel has a springy, berry character. Generous bodied, moderate alcohol style wine with lively freshness. Soft and smooth tannins that leave a great taste on the palate with that classic Zin spice. Pair with burgers and fries, or other bar foods.
Foxglove Cabernet Sauvignon

For those of you familiar with the Foxglove label and the Cabernet more specifically will know this wine never disappoints. Generally this is a very fruit forward style Cabernet. There is a balance and polish to this wine that is hard to beat. The refinement here definitely belies the price. Pairs well with softer cheeses, root vegetables and cheesy potatoes.

 

A Great Tasting Lineup – 11.21.2014

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Rudi Weist Rein Riesling

Rudi Wiest has been importing German wines to the US since the mid-70’s. The goal always being to show the best that the German wine regions have to offer. This particular wine is selected and blended by Rudi Wiest himself from fruit sourced out of Rheinhessen. Fantastic green apple, lemon zest, and slate notes, with just enough sweetness to make it a real mouth and crowd-pleaser. Great with Indian and Asian cuisine.

 

Louis Max Beaucharme Chardonnay

Louis Max was founded in Burgundy by Evgueni Louis Max, a Georgian in 1859. While traveling through France he filll in love with Burgundy and decided to start his own vineyard. This wine pours a golden yellow. As with all of Max’s wines this sees time in French Oak barrels before bottling. The nose is round and full showing apple and pear fruits, custard and hints of oak. The palate is full and round from the aging and the time it sees on the lees. A nice weight and great body for a great white wine. Great as a starter or with fresh salads and fish.

 

Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #61

The Marietta folks make this non-vintage wine as their version of European table wine. It is a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Carignane, with other varietals blended to round out and refine the wine. Ripe, juicy fruit and a lush mouth feel are the hallmarks of Old Vine Red, with peppery spice and dusty earth adding an extra level of richness. Moderate but focused tannins ensure this blend will stand up to almost any food.

 

Bodegas Lozón Altos de Luzón

This lovely wine is a blend of 50% Monastrell and 25% each Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Hand harvested and sorted to insure minimal damage to the fruit, and aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels.

This wine pours an inky purple color indicative of Monastrell. The aroma is powerful and fruit forward with ripe blackberry and plum aromas. Notes of vanilla and toasted oak are present as well. The palate is smooth and viscous with overripe fruits and full tannins. Good acidity and mineral character as well. Try with Steak and mushrooms, lamb and smoked meats.

A Very Special Cider Tasting – 11.14.2014

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Foggy Ridge, Serious Cider

Foggy Ridge Cider was started by cider maker and apple lover Diane Flynt. The aim was to revive the cidermaking tradition, while improving it with modern cidermaking tools. They harvest ripe cider apples (all chosen for their balance of tannin, acid and complex flavors) from three orchards and craft small batches of carefully selected cider blends. Serious Cider, as the name suggests, is their most austere offering. This one I would describe as a table cider or a European Cider. This one is a blend of European and American varieties. On the nose you pick up aromas of apple, and apricot. The palate is lively and zippy with creamy layers as well. This would work well with sweeter Asian cuisine.

We will be pairing this with a new Triple Cream Goat Brie we just got in from Woolwich out of Ontario, Canada.

 Old Hill, Yesteryear 

Old Hill Cider was founded by husband and wife Shannon and Sarah Showalter after they purchased their orchards from Shannon’s father in 2002. For three years now Old Hill has been producing some of the very best ciders in on the market, and right here in the Shenandoah Valley. Yesteryear is Old Hill’s take on a drier style cider. This food friendly, every day cider shows characteristic apple flavors. It has a nice body with a more round finish than the Serious cider. Pair with stir-fry, white meats and seafood.

We will be pairing with the Drunken Goat from Queso de Murcia al Vino. Jumble, Spain

 

Old Hill, Betwixt

Betwixt is an off-dry offering from Old Hill. This one is quite unique showing interesting aromas of apple and strawberry hard candy. This one has a lovely creamy finish as well. Try with very spicy dishes, vinegar based Barbecues, cobblers or on its own.

This will be paired with another new cheese to our shop- Carr Valley’s Aged Gouda (cow’s milk). Wisconsin, USA.

 

Foggy Ridge, Pippin Gold

Pippin Gold is a unique blend of 100% Newtown Pippin hard cider and apple brandy from Laird and Company, the country’s oldest distiller. Pippin Gold is delicious as a dessert cider or sweet aperitif. Some have swooned over peaches soaked in Pippin Gold served with homemade pound cake. Also great with blue cheese and dried fruits.

Finally we will be pairing this with a smoked Blue Cheese called Moody Blue from Emmi Roth out of Monroe, Wisconsin.

Happy 10th Anniversary – 11.7.2014

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Trouillard Brut Extra Special NV

The Trouillard family has been producing Champagne since1896. Now under the guidance of patriarch Bertrand Trouillard, the families estate continues to carry on the family traditions while adding his own stringency and tireless quest for perfection.The soils of on the Trouillard property are heavily chalk laden. This combined with two years of aging on the lees create this wines lighter fruit profile along with crisp, yet creamy texture.
Villa Wolf Rosé of Pinot Noir

The Villa Wolf property is located in Pfalz, Germany. The winemaking team of Sumi Gebauer and Patrick Möllendorf place particular emphasis on producing wines that are sustainably produced and minimally processed.They utilize age old production methods such as fermentation and aging in large, neutral oak casks, and spontaneous fermentation with natural yeasts.The Villa Wolf Rosé is a true rosé, made with a brief maceration before pressing to extract a lovely salmon color. It is light and refreshing, with bright berry and fruit flavors and a clean, zippy finish. This is one of my favorite rosés and we’ve carried it through the years. This is a great wine for rich fish dishes like Lobster bisque, but also works exceedingly well with holiday meals.

Castelmaure Cols de Vents Corbières
50% Carignan, 35% Grenache, 15% Syrah

Corbières is a relatively large AOC that lies in the Languedoc region, in the Southwest of France. Because of it’s Mediterranean climate the wines produced there tend on the acidic side. Not so for the tiny holdings of Castelmaure. There the Serre Mountains are to the south protecting them from the Mediterranean and helping this microclimate maintain a more continental profile, which means a bigger more fruit forward style. Brambly berry, cherry and raspberry, spices, black pepper … all are present in this authentic French country wine. There are also some aromas of herbs giving it minty, herbal notes, that are quite refreshing as well.
d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Shiraz

If you’ve been coming to our tastings for a while you’ll definitely remember this one from the very beginning. This was one of our best sellers early on. D’arenberg is one of the most important wineries in McLaren Vale. In 1912 Joseph Osborn, and self-described ‘teetotaler’ purchased the Milton family’s 25 hectares of land in McLaren Vale. His son Francis Osborn promptly gave up medical school and began working on the family’s vineyard. After a century the vineyard remains in the family’s name. The nose of this wine shows dark fruit aromas that follow through on the palate- think plums and blackcurrant. The tannins are fine with d’Arenberg’s trademark earthiness helping keep this easy going wine in check. Try with lamb or full flavored game dishes.

Fun Fact:

The Stump Jump label pays homage to the Stump Jump plough, which was invented in Australia. As the name suggest the plough allowed farmers to easily navigate over stumps and underbrush without getting tangled up.

Italy versus California: An Old world/New World tasting 10.31.2014

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Corte Alla Flora – Giuggiolo Bianco
The Cragnotti family purchased this 300 acre vineyard in the 90’s. Situated in the Montepulciano in Southern Tuscany, the family has turned this vineyard into one of the largest producers in the area. The Toscana Bianco is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Incrocio Manzoni. Two things stand out about this wine: freshness and balance. The nose of this wine shows fresh fruit aromas of grapefruit and especially lemon. On the palate this wine is fresh and soft with a great balance of weight and acidity. Try with salads, fresh fish, and other light fair.

Ministry of the Venterior – Chardonnay – Russian River Valley

This cheeky group is directed by the wine-making team of Daniel O’Donnell and Charles Hendricks. These guys have worked for some of the biggest names in California- from Aubert and Leducq to Spring Mountain and Steltzner. 2012 was a pretty great year for California wine especially given how tough 2010 and 2011 where. The temperatures where fairly moderate and there was an abundance of cooling fog. The nose of this wine is dominated by citrus with a touch of minerality. Flavors of stone fruit dominate the palate with minerality throughout. Like Rumbauer? You’ll dig this one too. Pair with chicken, salmon, creamy cheeses, or your favorite mac & cheese.

 

Corte Alla Flora – Giuggiolo Rosso

The Toscana Rosso from Corte Alla Flora is to my mind the authentic table wine style one might encounter at a café in Florence. In fact this wine reminds me of a table wine I was served at the market in Florence when I traveled in Italy. This wine is made from 100% Prugnolo Gentile. You might be wondering, what is that? Literally translated in means gentle prune, but it is simply a clone of the Sangiovese grape and is what folks in Montepulciano refer to the grape as. This wine is a beautiful garnet red color in the glass. The aromas are typical of the varietal showing violets, leather, and red fruits. On the palate this wine is exceedingly soft and velvety- a real pleasure to drink. Letting it rest in the glass will reveal wood aging, which to my mind is hardly ever a bad thing. Because this wine is quite dry and high in acid it is great with tomato based dishes, such as pasta bolognese. Might also work well with grilled red meats. Frankly at this price and drinkability you’ll probably enjoy it with just about anything.
Ministry of the Venterior – Zinfandel – Lodi

As previously mentioned 2012 was a great growing season, which ended with quite a long Indian summer. This allowed the Zin vines in Lodi to hang into October and they were picked at optimal ripeness. Oddly enough there is an interesting connection between this wine and the other Italians we are trying. In point of fact, Zinfandel is actually related to the Primativo varietal, which is grown heavily in Puelia (the heel of the Italian boot). The nose of this wine shows an interesting herbal quality combined with jammy red fruit aromas of raspberry. On the palate this wine is rich and supple and those jammy flavors carry over with a spicy finish. Any sort of red meat will go well here along with rich sauce dishes. Oh and pizza. Definitely try this one with pizza.