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.

From France with Love – Oct. 24, 2014

Posted by on 3:35 pm in This weeks wines | Comments Off


This wine is produced in the Village of Mâconnais in southern Burgundy. As with all of France the ‘terror’ here is integral to the flavors one finds in the wines. The soils of Mâconnais are predominately clay and sandstone on limestone bedrock, which accounts for the minerality you’ll find in this wine. Fermentation is carried out in stainless steel (to enhance minerality), but a touch of oak is added for depth of flavor. This wine displays a slight honeysuckle aroma on the nose. The palate is fresh and fruity with a refreshing finish.
Pair with something like creamed chicken or stuffed peppers. Cheeses such as Gruyere or unsmoked Gouda would also work well.

Alsace Blanc

From Mâconnais you would head northeast about 5 hours to get to Alsace along the border with Germany. The Kuentz-Bas vineyard has been in production since 1795. Their property is located in the village of Husseren-les-Châteaux and is one of the highest points in all of Alsace. In 2004 Jean-Baptiste Adam bought the property and added Samuel Tottoli as head winemaker. Both Adam and Tottoli focus on wines that show exceptional terrior. The soils here are dominated by loess, silt and again limestone bedrock.Though lighter than the Albert Bichot selection the aromatics of this wine necessitate it be poured second because these aromas remain in the glass even after finishing. Dominated by floral aromatics this wine remains bone dry with citrusy flavors and a touch of smoke. This wine is a great match for all manner of shellfish, or enjoy it by itself

Andre Brunel
Côte du Rhône Villages
Cuvée Sibrine

Côtes du Rhône lies to the southwest of Alsace below Burgundy. Andre Brunel is best known for his Châteauneuf-du-Pape of Les Callioux. He also maintains this vineyard in the village of Chusclan on the Western bank of the Rhone. This wine is a blend of 75% Grenache with the rest made up of predominately Syrah (20%) with a touch of Mouvedre.  Most of the Grenache in this wine is de-stemmed which helps provide roundness to the wine. The entire cuvée is produced in stainless steel barrels which helps make this wine supple and full.

Pair with pork and bean tacos, or pub fair- think shepherds pie. Also great with Cheddar cheeses.

Chateau Fleur de Rigaud
Bordeaux Supérior

For the next red we head west to the land of gilded chateaus and big chewy red wines. Unlike Côte du Rhone where red wines can be made from a myriad of varietals in Bordeaux things are much more restrained. The main river in Bordeaux is the Gironde; two smaller rivers, the Dordogne and the Garonne, feed into it. If you’re standing in Bordeaux looking west towards the Atlantic, wines produced south of the Garonne and Gironde Rivers are sometimes referred to as “left bank” wines- the wines produced to the north of the Dordogne and Gironde Rivers are referred to as ‘right bank’ wines. Wines made in the left bank are required to be majority Cabernet Sauvignon (as this wine is) and those made on the right bank  must be Merlot based wines.This wine is blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. You’ll note classic aromas and flavors of Cassis and Currant with smooth tannins that make it easy to drink right away.

Pair withhearty red meats and your favorite cheeses.

Special for the Week:
Domaine le Sang des Cailloux
Cuvée de Lopy
Vacqueyras 2012

This wine is a real treat for sure. If you’ve had Vacqueyras before you may find this wine a bit atypical of the region. Usually these wines are quite meaty and gamey on the palate. Not at all this one. Domaine le Sang des Cailloux (literally blood of the stones) has been under the guiding hand of Serge Férigoule since 1990 and Serge has turned this domaine into one of the powerhouses of Vacqueyras. The grapes for his wines all come from the Plateau des Garrigues which is made up of clay, limestone, and the famous galets roulés (rounded stones). These stones become relatively hot during the summer days which keep the grapes almost baking through the evening- this makes the wines here intensely flavorful. The arid soil tends to create lower yields which further concentrates the flavor in the wines.Unfined and unfiltered these wines are produced with indigenous yeasts and are hand harvested. This is as old school as it gets. Thanksgiving anyone?

October 10, 2014 Wine Tasting Notes

Posted by on 4:50 pm in This weeks wines | Comments Off

Oct. 10, 2014

Cornaro Pinot Grigio:
Now here’s an inexpensive white to keep in your basement or fridge year around. While the Veneto region is known for it’s red wines the area makes lovely cool climate whites as well. By far the most modern of all the wine regions of Italy Veneto’s adopted the latest technologies to reduce costs, which is easy to see in this wine.
A pale greenish wine in the glass, this Pinot Grigio has a rather herbaceous nose with hints of citrus fruit. The mouth is gentle and delicate with green apple flavors. Great on it’s own as a starter (serve very cold) or with light fair.

Vinaceous Divine Light Verdelho:
STOP SEARCHING! You’ve found as perfect a classic dry white as you’re going to find under $20.00. This wine is sourced form two locations in Western Australia. WA’s regions are renowned for their cool nights and long sunshine hour, and are unique in the world. The region has almost every style covered. This wine comes from near the Margaret River and Manjimup. The former providing lush tropical fruit aromatics and the later adding edge and vibrancy. Because this wine’s fruit profile falls somewhere between Semillon and Chardonnay it’s pretty versatile with food, but it’s a very smart match for asian food in particular.

Andeluna Malbec:
I really wish they made more Malbecs that taste like, you know, Malbec. Let me explain- for years the MO of many Argentinian producers was to ver extract the wine to produce something more akin to low to mid-tier California Cabernet Sauvignon. The result was to push down Malbec’s natural and lovely acidity. Not the case here. This wine is classic Malbec, and we love it. Now Andeluna has produced a sumptuous wine here, no doubt, but it has a near perfect balance of black fruit (think mulberry) and red fruit (think pomegranate). And of course the classic Malbec acidity makes this wine a treat. Sure your teeth may be blue after a drink of this one, but you’ll be smiling anyway.

Andeluna Cabernet Sauvignon:
Our second Andeluna wine is a Cab. Bottom line is this wine punches way above it’s weight class here. If this were form Cali. we’d be in the mid-20’s, easy. On the nose there are sweet blackberry notes with hints of oak. The palate is soft and ample with red fruits and tobacco spice jumping out. A supple mid-palate leads to surprising length for a wine at this price point.

March 28th Tasting

Posted by on 5:57 pm in Free Wine Tasting, Tastings, This weeks wines | Comments Off

Made from 100% Malbec. Manually harvested from 35 year old vines. 1 day maceration in temperature controlled steel vats; 10 day fermentation with selected yeasts at 14°-16°C; 30 days of batonage (stirring of the lees) serves to enhance mouthfeel and floral aromas.

Intense pink color with violet hints. Fresh red fruit bouquet, strawberry and cherry flavors, balanced acidity, dry and lingering finish. Excellent with tuna or green salad, pasta, spicy Asian dishes.


Domaine Augustins

Vouvray Sec

When we tasted this wine we were absolutely mesmerized – it shows vibrant fruit on the nose with a dose of minerality that is typical of the region. This wine exudes an intensity and concentration yet also a finesse in the way it lilts across the tongue. It is vinified in a dry style and shows a gorgeous acidity which escorts the wine along its lengthy finish. Delicious! A winner with scallops or other seafood favorites!



El Sierro
Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon


Dark ruby in color with a rich aroma of red fruit and light spices. It is a real knock-out with delicious flavors of dark cherries, blackberries and vanilla all perfectly integrated. The Tempranillo provides wonderful spice and fruit, while the Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure and depth with the beautiful use of oak.



 El Cortijillo
Made from 30 year old vine Tempranillo (100%).
Up front aromas of raspberry and cherry fruit, medium to light weight, Rhône wine in character, cherry fruit flavors, followed by bright acidity. Reminds of a mythical cross between a Pinot Noir and a Côtes-du-Rhône. Pleasant and fun, bistro red.

“Dark ruby. Red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by subtle pepper and spice. Juicy and seamless, offering plum raspberry and cherry flavors and good, straightforward appeal. Finishes smooth and spicy, leaving a bitter cherry note behind. Offers very good value, with a blend of energy and power that allows it to work with a wide variety of foods.”
- Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (September 2012), 88 pts


Posted by on 5:02 pm in Free Wine Tasting, This weeks wines | Comments Off

Chateau Fontenille

Bordeaux Blanc

 Light gold color in color, this white Bordeaux possesses an invitingly pure nose with aromas of citrus fruit and white peaches.  The palate is nicely balanced, full bodied with a bright acidity. The finish is lightly peppery with lingering fruit notes. This wine will perfectly accompany seafood and grilled fish, and is also amazing with goat cheese.  Should be drunk within three years to keep its freshness, but it can also be kept, getting rounder and more balanced in the bottle.


Little James’ Basket Press white
Vin de Pays d’OcFermented and aged in vat – 55% Viognier – 45% Sauvignon BlancThe Minervois mountains offer a fantastic cool microclimate very well adapted for sauvignongrowing. This cépage expresses really well there. Our Viognier is a « selection massale» made in Condrieu : it does give another dimension, a great aromatic complexity with notes of lemon rind, tangerine marmalade, watermelon and peach. A simple, classic expression of two ancient grapes, it can be tasted as an aperitif, or be a nice accompaniment to manydifferent dishes such as grilled vegetables, fishes, stilton, blue cheeses, asparagus, chickenwith morels, risotto with truffles…etc…



Honoro Vera


A young red wine. 100% Garnacha. Ripe cherry red in colour with a garnet rim. Intense nose dominated by ripe fruits (raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant), balsamic sensations and with minerals and spicy aromas. A fruity wine, floral, fresh and easy drinking, tasty, and producing a very pleasant fruity sensation on the palate. Ideal with stews and casseroles, vegetables, rice, mushrooms, sausage, snouts and trotters, mixed grills, short and medium cured cheeses, white meat with red sauce, etc.






A benchmark example of the wines of the Saint-Chinian AOC, which lies within Languedoc in southern France. Aromas of Plum and Bing Cherry dominate the nose, with ample elements of perfume, fall leaves and baking spice bringing interest and complexity. The first sip seems delicate, but rapidly expands, filling the mouth with  robust berry fruit, flowers and spice. Bright and elegantly balanced, this would be a perfect accompaniment to robust soups & stews, as well as a variety of game meats and, of course, steak.


Posted by on 2:50 pm in Free Wine Tasting, This weeks wines | Comments Off


Las Lilas Vino Verde $9.99

A bright taste of summer in the dead of winter; Las Lilas Vinho Verde is floral, citrusy & lightly effervescent with a clean, dry finish reminiscent of distant sea breezes. Made from native Portugese varietals  Loureiro and Treixadura grown in the mountains surrounding the Duro river in the southern end of the Vila Real district (county), this is traditional a summer wine but serves as a delightful complement to fish and salads year round.  Try it with chowder, gumbo, or white bean and kale soup.

McManis Viognier $13.99

Viognier is a white grape noted for its rich mouthfeel and (when grown in warmer climes) bold tropical and stonefruit (apricot, peach, nectarine) aromas & flavors. I find the typical viscosity makes it an excellent option for winter. Light straw in color, the 2012 McManis Family Vineyards Viognier has aromas of Peach, Pear and Apricot. The rich, velvety wine is full of fruit flavors promised by the aroma. The long fruit finish has a slight note of minerality, but is smooth and lacks any of the bitterness often associated with this variety.

Palama Arcangelo Negroamaro Salento $13.99

While the name of the grape may not be familiar, Negroamaro often sees use in Italian blends you may have enjoyed, such as Malvasia Nera,  Sangiovese and Montepulciano; 100% Negroamaro wines are distinctly less common.   Larger-than-life winemaker Ninì Palamà brings us this powerfully built, yet enchantingly elegant wine named for Ninì’s father and mentor,Arcangelo. This vibrant Negroamaro from Salento is at the cutting edge of Puglian winemaking today. Clean, yet not stripped of fruit character, this wine boasts remarkable layered aromas of steeped spices (although it is fermented in cement vats and sees no oak). A fantastic value, we would humbly place this wine among the best, most expressive, fresh-style wines from anywhere.

Fantini Farnese Sangiovese $13.99

While this Sangiovese from Farnese Italy is aggressively fruity & spicey, with big & round aromas of cherry cordial and cranberry preserves flirting with black peppercorns and dried chilies, it doesn’t lack for complexity. Pleasing notes of coco, leather, humidor tobacco and clean vineyard earth play a vital supporting role, adding up to a wine that is obviously Italian, but dangerously drinkable. Perfect for most any red-sauce pizza you can imagine, tomato based pasta dishes, chili, burgers or venison stew.


Wine Tasting 1-17-14

Posted by on 3:37 pm in Free Wine Tasting, This weeks wines | Comments Off


Scaia- Garganega/Chardonnay

For wine geeks, the most exciting thing about Italy is how much there is to discover: while there is ample acreage devoted to world famous grapes like Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Gris, there are literally hundreds that may have never been grown anywhere other than a few miles from the field in which they were discovered. Garganega, while not widely know, is far more widely grown than that, currently holding the #6 spot among Italian varietals. While it is noted for its high yields, when well handled it produces tangy, medium bodied whites with almond, citrus and floral notes. With this blend, Scaia has coaxed out grapefruit, orange and pineapple aromas, underlain  with notes of apple, peach and pear rounded out by a hint of fresh flowers. On the palate, it is very well balanced, with more citrus and hints of almond and hazelnut. Food friendly, but also great on its own.


Agriverde- Piane di Maggio

An amazing value in an organic white, this is very typical for a Trebbiano from Abruzzo and is perhaps best described as Pinot Gris turned up to 11. Intense yet delicate on the nose, with aromas of lemon, pineapple & orange zest stiffened by a floral backbone. Medium bodied with a zesty acidity and slight bitterness on the finish, this wine would be ideal for Sushi, Thai Green Curry or Cesar Salad



Saint Cosme- Cotes-Du-Rhone

clay and galets roules (rolling stones) soils, 100% de-stemmed and aged in tank to preserve fruit purity and freshness. An intense and flavorful version of Cotes du Rhone, part of the blend comes from the excellent region of Vinsobres. The 2009 vintage was a Top 100 Wine of the Year in WineSpectator which brought attention to this little gem. Look for an inky purple/black color leading to deep dark aromas of black fruits, licorice and tar followed by a tangy, fruity mid-palate of more black fruits with hints of white pepper, mint and eucalyptus. The tannins are remarkably silky for the size of this wine. Pair with rustic country fare, stews, braised meats, roasted turkey, grilled chicken, baby back ribs and more.


Beau-Rivage- Bordeaux

This Merlot heavy Bordeaux blend also features Cab Sauv and Cab Franc. Light raspberry and cherry jam on the nose supported by a touch of leafiness. Moderate weight on the palate – with some herbal notes and juicy raspberries finishing with good acid balance.



Wine Tasting 1-10-14

Posted by on 4:29 pm in Free Wine Tasting, This weeks wines | Comments Off

 Sauvignon Blanc
A bright lemon color with an aroma of golden apples and tropical flowers. This medium to light wine has tastes of gooseberry and kiwi with hints of melon and citrus. A very crisp and fresh wine that is easy to drink and great with seafood and spicy dishes.


Love over Money
Green Eyes Gruner Veltliner

The grapes were hand picked at optimum ripeness at the end of September. The grapes come from several vineyards and selected in the cellar.
The bunches are pressed whole, the juice is then fermented slowly in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
The wine is bottled young in order to preserve the natural fruity flavors and the freshness from the grapes.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Light yellow.
Nose: Attractive aromas of green pear, baking spice and caramel.
Palate: It is crisp and fruity, well balanced with good acidity and a little spice on the finish.
Other: Green Eyes easily pairs with salads, fish, and white meats, as well as mildly spicy foods.

With dark purple color, this blend has aromas of blackberry jam, green peppercorn, sour cherry, and toasted cedar. In the mouth, the flavors are reminiscent of red raspberry, cherry tart, pomegranate, vanilla bean, caramel, and hints of clove. The finish shows French oak notes of caramel and American oak notes vanilla and hints of dill as well as black cherry fruit and dried sweetened cranberry. The 2011 Merlot would pair great with Greek food such as Gyros and Spanakopita as well as olives and dried meats. This would also go great with a grilled eggplant and vegetable sandwich with a basil aioli alongside some fried onion rings. Pizza and burgers are an easy pairing any time of year.
7 Year Crianza Tempranillo

Known as Spain’s ‘noble grape’, Tempranillo is renowned for producing full-bodied reds that exude berry flavours, as well as those of plum, tobacco, vanilla, and fresh herbs. It is the main grape used in Rioja and tends to produce full-bodied wines that are a rich ruby in color. This is a mature wine from Valdepenas which shows the characteristic strawberry fruit of Tempranillo and softness from extended ageing. Grapes from 30-year-old vines were treated to a slow fermentation before seven years of maturation (including two in oak).


Wine Tasting 1-3-14

Posted by on 1:19 pm in Free Wine Tasting, This weeks wines | Comments Off

Campos de Luz Chardonnay/Viura/Muscat

Campos de Luz is a stunning value line from a single estate in Cariñena, Family owned and run this winery produces fresh fruit forward wines with varietal character and modern appeal. Their vineyards are up to 80 years old. Campos de Luz means “Field of Light” and that is just what you get in these wines. The white blend is un oaked with the muscat giving it an added complexity and floral component, the chardonnay lending body, roundness, and fruit, while the viura lends freshness and a crisp, dry, citrus finish. Fruit forward yet dry it is very user friendly and easy to drink.


Hermanos Lurton Rueda Verdejo 2011

“The light apple and mild citrus aromas are nice. It feels fresh and medium in intensity, with notes of peach, apple, pear and citrus…lemony and fresh on the finish.”
87 Points Best Buy Wine Enthusiast


Leese-Fitch Pinot-Noir

Dark Garnet in color, the 2012 Pinot Noir smells of ripe fruit from the orchard; sweet plum, raspberry cobbler, Bing cherry, with vanilla whipped cream and just a hing of apricot. The flavors start ripe with cherry preserves, summer plum, fresh strawberry pie, brioche, and finishes with hints of earthy notes, portabella mushroom, clove spice, and dried cranberry.


2012 Maipe Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Made from 100% hand-selected Cabernet Sauvignon from the best parcels of the estate. The grapes are carefully chosen and fermented in small lots to preserve the vineyard identity.
70% of the resulting wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels to fully reveal the character of the Andean terroir, and the remaining 30% is aged inconcrete vats. A ripe, fleshy style, with blackberry and fig sauce notes laced with bittersweet Grenache. Powerful and layered, with classic Cabernet aromatics. Dark and ripe, with a nice loamy edge lurking on the finish.

“Made from 100% hand-harvested Cabernet Sauvignon, two-thirds of the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve spent 12 months in French oak and one-third in concrete. It is a classic Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon from alluvial soils. Maipe owns significant acreage in two main vineyards, Agrelo and Alta Mira. Classic notes of creme de cassis, cedarwood and vanillin are accompanied by a wine with a beautiful, full-bodied texture, deep, rich, concentrated flavors and a long finish. For $15.00, it is impossible to find a Cabernet Sauvignon this good from anywhere else in the world.

Maipe is one of my favorite value selections from Fran Kysela as the wines are exceptionally well-made, and sell for a song.”
– Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Issue #208, August 2013), 92 pts


November 11-8-13

Posted by on 1:28 pm in This weeks wines | Comments Off


Made from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grown on hillside vineyards in the southern part of Tuscany, where the soil is calcareous and well-drained. It is fermented at low temperatures to minimize the influence of yeast and then racked into stainless steel and bottled early to help capture varietal freshness. Light, yellow-straw in color with a rich, fresh and fruity bouquet, the palate is delightfully full and well-rounded combining vibrant character from both varietals, and ending with a crisp, zesty and lengthy finish. Served chilled, Fumaio pairs well with shellfish, chicken, and Turkey. Perfect as an aperitif.

Four Mile Creek

Over the past few vintages, the Four Mile Creek White Table Wine has distinguished itself with consistent “Best Buy” accolades. In fact, since 2010, there have been only 21 California white wines under $15 rated 88 points or higher by the Wine Spectator and 3 of those have been Four Mile Creek White Table wines. We think that is pretty impressive, especially for a wine with such humble origins.

Little known, in fact, is the beginning of the Four Mile White. Four vintages ago, NOvy Family Wines bottled their Viognier, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc, and simply had some lees-filled wine remaining from the bottom of the tanks. Somehow, all of this leftover wine was pulled together into a single-stainless steel drum and, after some time, it was fantastic! It was then that the Four Mile White was born.

The 2012 vintage was blended together in tank from the very beginning, the first vintage where some components were purposefully fermented together. The final blend in 2012 ended up being a bit higher on the Sauvignon Blanc than previous vintages, with the totals being 66% Viognier, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, and 9% Gewurztraminer. The wine itself is forward and fruitfilled, with the aromatic whites really taking over the nose. The palate is a bit rounder and fuller than the last two vintages and with a bit more weight. This too is balanced out with crisp acidity (no malolactic fermentation on this wine).

Tinto Figaro

Figaro is 100% Garnacha, made from a selection of the best grapes grown in the oldest vineyards. While not truly an “oaked wine”, a short stay in oak barrels provides a nice spicy flavor boost.

Tasting notes: Bright violet. Dark berry and cherry aromas show a jammy aspect. Supple and gently sweet, with good lift to its black raspberry and boysenberry flavors. Smooth and broad on the finish, leaving behind a hint of spiciness. Extremely easy to drink and an excellent value.

“This 2012 Tinto (100% Grenache) offers uplifted, fragrant notes of licorice, lavender and black cherry jam. Intense and spicy with medium to full body, and not a hard edge to be found, this is a classic, seductive, consumer-friendly Grenache to drink over the next 1-2 years. ”
– Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Issue #208, August 2013), 89 pts

Lodi Zin

The Zinfandel grape is a hearty variety that produces grapes with high sugar levels, often resulting in wines with a high alcohol content. Thought to be a relative of Primitivo that is found in southeast of Italy (the boot heel), Zinfandel can be made into a wide range of wine styles, including White Zinfandel, light or full bodied red wines, and even late harvest desert style wine. However Zinfandel, especially Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, is usually made into a full bodied, spicy red wine with characteristics of red fruit, raspberry, and cherry.

Produced in the heart of Lodi AVA.

98% Zinfandel + 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Bottled after aging in French and American oak for 9 months.
Ruby red in color, with red fruit, raspberry, and spice on the nose. This wine is medium in body, with notes of ripe cherry, cedar box, cinnamon, anise, black pepper, and hint of smoke on the palate. It has a long, silky finish.


Tasting 10/4/13

Posted by on 2:14 pm in Free Wine Tasting, Tastings, This weeks wines | Comments Off

Happy First Friday! This week, in addition to pouring a particularly global selection of wine in honor of our national and local community of immigrants , we’re enjoying another First Friday art opening with B & W photographic transfers from local artist and graphic designer Rhoda Miller. She enjoys creating in a wide variety of mediums and is drawn to portraying texture and emotion through visual expression.

Terres de Saint-Louis
Blanc de Vendanges
Produced from vines growing on hillsides overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The elevations of these vineyards(200-500m)provide the cool night time temperatures and warm sun-filled days needed to produce this wine. While it is very delicate  on the nose with light citrus and pear aromas, this wine bursts open on the palate, displaying a remarkably full body with ample flavors of peach and melon and a lingering finish. This is a remarkable white wine with character and elegance, and  is a perfect accompaniment to ratatouille, sea bass with fennel, sushi,  a broad range of Thai cooking, and Indian curries.

South Africa


Star Tree

Nouveau Blanc

Pale straw-gold in color, this wine has aromas of tropical fruit and honey, with notes of orange blossom. Quite sweet on the palate – but not overly so – the flavors are reminiscent of fresh cut pineapple, melon, even plum, with a hint of orange zest. The finish is surprisingly brisk and clean.


Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon
Our Arete’ Merlot-Cabernet Blend is a master blend of the two great Bordeaux varieties. Merlot for color and a fruit-forward focus and Cabernet Sauvignon for structure, balance and tannins. The French knew long ago that these two varieties completed each other and they have been married for centuries. A big wine with deep, rich tones. Dark fruit such as black currant and cherry prevail. The finish is long with notes of smoke and vanilla. Pairs nicely with roasted meats, braised root vegetables and grilling.

Sierra Cruz

As a member of the Cabernet Sauvignon family, carmenere (pronounced car-men-yare) originated in Bordeaux as one of the red blends of that storied region. Chilean winemakers have embraced it and several wineries in that country produce it as a single varietal. The nose was strong with plum and dark berry fruits. It combined with hints of spice and herbs for a complex bouquet. This wine was smooth on the palate, silky even. This wine was spicy. Black Pepper dominated  the palate all the way to the finish and mixed with black currant and cherry to enhance the complexity.