#millesimaBA,Bordeaux,Cabernet Franc,Cabernet Sauvignon,Contest,France,Merlot,Sauvignon Blanc,Semillon,Wine

Bordeaux ~ Les Hauts de Lagarde 2015 ~ The Red and The White of It

The Red and The White of It

Last evening, with our friend Corinne, we had dinner tasting and enjoying these two very special Bordeaux wines: Les Hauts de Lagarde 2015 – Blanc and Rouge.

We began our food and wine tasting with humus and endives as an appetizer. We were so involved with Corinne having just returned from the Netherlands, I forgot to pour the Blanc. Once we sat down, it became an embarrassing moment, but no one held it against me. Both the blanc and rouge were poured at the same time, so we could go back and forth with all of the flavors. As it turned out, the wines and foods were perfect in this accord. We enjoyed the following:

  • Roasted, paprika and herbs chicken with roasted white potatoes, which had soaked in the juices of the poultry while cooking.
  • An organic garden salad of lettuce, tomatoes, shredded carrots, sliced persimmons (from our orchard), cucumbers, cranberries, celery, and scallions.
  • Gallettes ~ One slice was apple, the other was sour cherries, served with organic vanilla ice cream.

This was a very simple, peasant meal. It was easy to go back and forth, sipping what wine seemed to match what we were eating at the time.

  • Les Hauts de Lagarde 2015 Blanc ~ This white wine was soft and round, from its Semillon grapes, and yet the Sauvignon Blanc brought out its tartness, leaving a delicious grapefruit flavor lingering on my palate. The roasted potatoes made it all blend really well… the tart and the smooth…
    • With the salad, I favored the Blanc, sure that the dried cranberries and fresh persimmons had something to do with that. Still, it also paired well with the Rouge. Just a bit of sweet can make a salad work with a salad for me, since I love fresh, raw vegetables.
  • Les Hauts de Lagarde 2015 Rouge ~ For a Merlot, this wine was as I always wanted a Merlot to taste… Soft, smooth, and just blending in, not dominating. When I read – this morning, not last night – that this wine pairs well with poultry – not mentioned in what pairs well with the Blanc – I was stunned. I had discovered it accidentally, but I’m here to attest that this is spot on for this wine.
    • The rouge, had we tried it with the hummus, would have worked beautifully.

[This is the famous Mirror d’eau – Mirror of Water – in Bordeaux.]

Vin de Bordeaux ~ Les Hauts de Lagarde 2015 ~ The Red And The White of It

Appellation Bordeaux Contrôlée

This is a designation for generic wines of Bordeaux, which are about 50 percent of the wines from the region. These wines usually sell as “value” wines. The label designate simply reads, “Appellation Bordeaux Contrôlée.” They’re very enjoyable for their prices. And, they make up the “house wine” category, while Margaux is saved for special occasions and guests who appreciate the wine’s significance.

So, when Natural Wine Merchants offered the opportunity to taste their Vin de Bordeaux Appellation Bordeaux Contrôlée ~ Les Hauts de Lagarde 2015 wines, it was an offer that I just couldn’t refuse.

Two bottles with the same label arrived. The only differences:

  • Color of labels slightly different – Green for the blanc, with brown and red for the rouge
  • Capsules also different colors – Silver for blanc and copper for rouge
  • Back labels tell the story
    • Blanc: 60% Sauvignon, 40% Semillon
    • Rouge: 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc
  • Other detail – SAME
    • Location: Saint Laurent du Bois, Entre-Deux-Mers (Between Two Seas) region, Bordeaux France
  • Other details – DIFFERENT
    • Tasting notes: White ~ Yellow pale with iridescent hints. Aromatic, citrus fruits with aromas of white flowers. Lively, rich, with the fine presence of acidity. Serve at 45°F
    • Tasting notes: Red ~ Garnet red; aromas black currant and raspberry sherbet. Medium body, well-balanced with supple tannins. Serve at 60º-62°F
    • And, of course, what foods to enjoy with each wine. Blanc, vegetable platters, oysters, seafood, fish, appetizers, grilled salmon; rouge, red meat, poultry, pasta dishes, and your favorite cheese

[Image from Travel France Online]

Saint Laurent du Bois, Entre-Deux-Mers region

Château de Lagarde ~ Vignobles Raymond

From Entre-Deux-Mers, I knew approximately where the vineyard was located. Cabernet dominating? (Left bank) Merlot dominating? (Right bank) These are the telltale signs for which side of the water to find a vineyard, from whence the grapes originate.

And, these grapes were organically grown (Agriculture Biologique), as well as their being part of a non GMO project, verified. (I avoid GMO at all cost, when I have the option.) This really pleases me about Natural Wine Merchants, located in Grants Pass, Oregon. Oregon, in my humble opinion ~ having traveled to 40 of our 50 states ~ is the epitome of a state that is progressively natural in the US.

Our history: The future is in the bio

From Château de Legarde’s Website: The Raymond Family has always been a family farmer in Saint Laurent du Bois*. The first generation of winegrowers at Château de Lagarde is in 1850 with 15 hectares [37 acres]. Today, the Raymond Vineyards are the largest organic farm with 180 hectares [445 acres].

From Natural Wine Merchant’s Website: In 2000, we tend to believe that it was fate which made Lionel Raymond purchased Château Joumes Fillon (an organic vineyard). Because of Lionel’s strong beliefs in the respect of environment and the terroir he decided to convert the whole vineyard (130 hectares) to organic agriculture.  It was a quite a bet, and most winemakers in the area thought he was pretty crazy. It is twice the work of a conventional vineyard. Located in the Entre-Deux-Mers, not far from Bordeaux, our wines have grown in the villages of Saint-Laurent-du-Bois, Saint-Martial, Saint-Felix de Conclude since medieval times.

*Saint-Laurent-du-Bois, in the southwest of France, is commune. It’s located in the Gironde department of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the largest administrative region in France. [See the map for Nouvelle-Aquitaine.]

Here I am, once more honoring that I was inspired to learn about Bordeaux, to better round out my wine knowledge. It will now have to be a life of learning about this one eponymous, world class wine region. I really don’t care which wine regions anyone learns about; however, without a good dose of Bordeaux, that person is still limping through the process. Please don’t judge me as an elitist in this evaluation. It’s just an observation, 12 months later. As much as I’ve learned, I’ve only approached The Miroir d’eau… Yet to enter the heart and soul of Bordeaux.



2016 Wine and Spirits Books for the Holidays

Each year I enjoy putting a list together of the best wine and food books I read throughout the year. This year is no exception. Here are my 2016 Wine and Spirits Books. And, here’s headed to your Black Friday shopping…

A Zentrepreneur’s Guide ~ by vintner Ron Rubin and Stuart Avery Gold

We’ve got secrets. Secrets that we’ve shared with you these many pages, with the impassioned hope that you will share what you’ve learned with others who seek an inward light through a shadow of change. p. 142

When people, as gifted and talented as Ron Rubin and Stuart Avery Gold, want to make the world a better place by giving people the tools to enrich their lives (and in this case it is I who received the benefits with their book), you’ve just got to go for it.

Blinders ~ Michael Amon

I’ve been in wine business since ’93. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, along comes Blinders!

In fact, I can’t remember ever devouring a book this quickly. And, even if I hadn’t been flying, for some time off, I still would have put everything non-urgent aside and just read through it. Michael Amon’s debut book Blinders is a must read, if you love to be captivated by the first sentence onward… Simple, easy, no frills, “Trilby saw her before she saw him.”

Blinders, if you don’t know, are people who taste wine blindly, and then go on to name 1) wine grape variety, 2) year produced, and 3) wine brand producer. The ideal of sommeliers, then imagine a bumpkin in a pumpkin patch. Now, you’re on your way to an exuberantly lively and amusing great time.

Bourbon Curious, Second Edition ~ Fred Minnick

If you don’t know anything at all, it’s best to start with the best person to explain the mysterious. In this case, a spirit… I was exposed to Bourbon as a kid, because it was my mom and dad’s favorite spirit. Then, it got revisited via the culture of Mad Men’s exploits. Now, thanks to Fred Minnick, I understand so much more about bourbon and whiskey, and am looking forward to that moment when I order my next spirit, but it won’t be a Manhattan.

According to Fred, bourbon, like wine, has its own culture. If you love bourbon, this isn’t news to you. Minnick calls it the most misunderstood spirit on liquor store shelves. I’m betting that he’s right.

Corkscrew ~ Peter Stafford-Bow

This is a classic and is my #1 recommendation for the audacious among us for the holidays.  I laughed so hard I cried occasionally. This is a very, very funny man, and not intended for the delicates among us.

I’m glad I lived long enough to read this one… This is the funniest book I’ve ever, ever laugh-out-loud read. I thought I was telling tales when I wrote Road Warrior Survival Guide… Doesn’t even hold a candle to what I just finished reading. Corkscrew, The highly improbably, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer. I can promise you, you don’t know anyone who’s more funny… Entertaining to the Nth degree, really jolly. If there’s a glass ceiling for how much you can laugh while reading a book, Peter Stafford-Bow has broken it.

Drinking with the Democrats ~ Mark Will-Weber

My first thought was Camelot. I, as much as anyone else, was as entranced as everyone else. I also didn’t realize until just now, that both presidents have ties to assassination. Pure Coincidence.

Meanwhile, what was Camelot like, during those years while we were asking ourselves what we could do for our country… amid avoiding the Vietnam War?

Joe Kennedy‘s fortunes were a result of being connected to the Mafia, ergo, they owned the presidency (whether or not we enjoy knowing that). Enough documentaries have emerged from history for us to be informed – as possibilities…  Mark writes: “… it is hard to envision Camelot-or at least the Jack and Jacky version of it-without daiquiris, the occasional Bloody Mary, or the finest French champagne.”

Drinking with the Republicans ~ Mark Will-Weber

You may not remember Chester. He didn’t win an election. He became President after James Garfield‘s assassination. Garfield was president for only 200 days… This one is a lesson to be considered, when choosing a VP. If a dandy has been chosen, then don’t be surprised when the party animal takes over. Arthur’s wife Ellen Herndon died suddenly in 1880, before Chester had taken office, so Chester Arthur’s sister Mrs. Mary McElroy came into the White House to serve as First Lady. Both of them had an appetite for splendor, and they spent equally well.

Fruitful Aging ~ Tom Pinkson

It’s a very spiritual book and since wine is a spirit… It works for this wine blog, in my humble opinion, especially for my spiritual friends, of which I have plenty.

Tom begins, “A silver tsunami of increasing longevity is sweeping across our nation. Over the next several decades, the number

of Americans over age 60 will increase by nearly 70 percent, the largest increase for any age group in the population… Will it be positive? Fulfilling? Meaningful?”

Tom’s book is all about giving people the emotional tools to begin living now, so that there will be no regrets, by presenting a panoply of examples for what’s important as we prepare to exit stage right. Tom makes certain that we know, as elders, this is time that has the potential to be our best years yet, as we continue to define our worthiness, repair what’s yet to be mended, and provides exercises to that end.

If a glass of wine or two comes into that quality of life, too, I know Tom won’t mind, since we’ve been at a party with a good amount for wine for those who wanted it.

Swallow This ~ Mark Phillips

I love this guy Mark Phillips… He’s the brains behind WineTasting.org.

His site begins with “Making Wine Fun.” Yes, indeed, he’s got quite the sense of humor. I learned a long, long time ago, make what they have to learn be as much fun (and funny) as possible, and even the most complicated concepts become easy for nearly everybody. And, he also subliminally admits, wine is complicated. Say what you want about it needed to be easy, but even Mark admits to some lotus layers still unfolding. It is what it is… A magical mystery ride.

A trilogy, parts 1 and 2

The Charlemagne Connection ~ R.M. Cartmel

With my father having been to Burgundy, I was led right into this wine-based, mystery novel. From the moment I opened the book, I was engrossed, loving The Charlemagne Connection. It’s one of those where it’s really hard to put it down. I’d awaken at 3:00 a.m., and decide to read for a couple more hours, after having taken it to bed with me the night before. It’s that wonderfully written.

And I thank David Clark (my father was a David Clarke, too), because he’s guided R.M. with bits of viticulture that I know (from 20+ years in this business called “wine”). However, because of France’s history of wine (imported by the Romans when they invaded Western Europe, until Charlemagne drove them back to Italy), the lexicon is so much more rich than what we know in our very new US wine grape growing history, that I learned even more.

The page corner folded down moment ~ p. 85-86

The conversation resumed as if it had never been interrupted. ‘Do you really think they’d steal stuff?’ Truchaud asked?

‘Oh come on. The only way to stop people stealing stuff is to give them enough money so that it doesn’t hurt to buy it. I suppose it’s partly our fault for pricing the good wine the way that we do, but why make it cheap when fat cats are very willing to pay loads for it? I would even go so far as to think the fat cats wouldn’t buy ours if it were cheap. There would be no exclusivity. That’s what they are really paying for, you know; a label to when the plebs don’t have access.’

The Richebourg Affair ~ R.M. Cartmel

A book of “who done it” in France’s Burgundy region of Nuits-Saint-Georges… It is the first in a series of two novels of “Not all is at it seems in the peaceful vineyards of Burgundy…”

If someone you know loves a great mystery novel set in wine country, this one will make someone very happy, this holiday season. It’s set in the methodically arranged vineyards of Burgundy, and things get a bit rumpled for a short time, with Commander Charlemagne Truchaud, our hero detective.

The Secret of Altamura ~ Dick Rosano

If you’re looking for a wine county novel to read, Dick Rosano’s books won’t disappoint you. He’s an excellent author. Also, for your gift giving, when a friend or family member is an avid reader and loves wine, this is for their library that won’t disappear, once the bottle is opened. Some of us love our wine libraries. Anything Dick writes is highly recommended in my world.

Prolific is the word that best describes Dick Rosano, and that’s prolific with five stars. As was written in The Washington Post:

“Original in conception, well-researched and deftly written.” The Washington Post

The Secrets of My Life: Vintner, Prisoner, Soldier, Spy ~ Peter M. F. Sichel

Reading Peter Sichel’s memoir is like taking an advanced course in not only wine history, but also wine in wine marketing. Sichel touches upon the American market. But, more important to those of us who already know a bit about the United States’ wine history, his adventures as they relate to Europe, including what happened to the business of wine during World War II, connect some very important missing dots in wine history’s chronology. At least it did for me. This is an advanced course for anyone who’s serious about understanding the business of wine.

It’s also a real eye opener for someone just learning about wine. It will equally move you into a fast forward mode.

Vertical ~ Just in and reading it as I write this ~ Rex Pickett

Miles and Jack are back… If you loved Sideways, as the book and/or the movie, here we go again, as Miles trips his way into Oregon wine county, slurping Pinot along the way. Unabashedly, he dumps a dump bucket over his head to please an adoring crowd… What else is coming? I’ll get back to you. Or maybe, you’ll get back to me about Passion and Pinot on the Oregon Wine Trail.


Cabernet Sauvignon,Carménère,Champagne,Chardonnay,Chile,Concha y Toro,Culture,Don Melchor,Export,France,Holiday,Iberian Peninsula,Imports,Italy,Port,Wine

Thanksgiving Wines ~ What Our Immigrant Forefather Would Have Brought, If Only…

If you’re of Native American descent, your forefathers arrived first on the North American continent. Once the Bering Straight had waters receding, people migrated from both Asia and Northeastern Europe. Who were the first ancient settlers to arrive and cultivate California, for instance?  The Central Pomo people, who immigrated to California more than 8,000 years ago, and the Miwok tribesmen came next (1,000 years later) looking for much the same life that continues to drive people to California today… searching for a life that would be sustaining and fulfilling. They lived here without interference from others migrating for many thousands of years. It wasn’t until boats were able to carry people on the waters for great distances that a new migration began. California was untouched until Russian fur traders settled at Fort Bragg in the 1800s.

So, here we all are, immigrants one and all, along with the remaining Natives, who shared their bounty with the first Europeans to arrive in Virginia, and remain as peaceful people. Being true to the first Thanksgiving, we’re all pretty much immigrants. And, if your forefathers could have brought wine with them for this day to share, here are a few varieties they would have brought from their ancient grape vines. This is also based on how today’s Thanksgiving day meals have evolved.

Family and Friends Arrive ~ French Heritage

People arrive, bring on the Champagne. Any event is more joyous, as the bubbles greet you! Bring on the Limoges china, too, so set a worthy heritage setting. Soft, incredibly delicious, and chilled to perfection, so the day begins on the best foot forward.

Slow sustainable viticulture defines this Champagne house. This is an independent, family-run Champagne house. Their vineyards are located in the heart of the Champagne region of France. They control the quality of their wines with every stage in the process. “Our viticulture is slow and sustainable, the BRUNO PAILLARD house uses only the first pressing of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, and each cru is produced separately in oak barrels or stainless steel tanks.” Tasting this wine was such a pleasure. I’m a total fan, and am so pleased that I am of French descent. My family name dates back to Bernier. It’s a noble name, something I haven’t known until of late. It also explains a lot to me, for my love of France. This BRUNO PAILLARD is a celebration of the French immigrants who have moved into the United States and shared their culture. It a sumptuous wine to share on Thanksgiving day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day… Let’s just keep going, shall we?

Appetizer Time ~ Spanish Heritage

Starting out with simple (and simply delicious) wines, with a bit of devilish thrown in for good measure, Concha y Toro has their Casillero del Diablo wines ready to begin the day’s festivities. These value wines are spot on for pairing well with however your appetizers go… One for white wine foods and one for the red wine foods. I’ve always loved these wines, because they consistently over deliver with each vintage. They’re coming highly recommended… true to their varietal character.

I’ve kept a Bon Appétit magazine since November 1994, called “Ultimate Thanksgiving.” This has been my Thanksgiving Bible ever since. Recipes have become my tradition and I’m going to walk you through what I’ll be creating, yet again. Appetizers are not in this book, however, so I’m headed somewhere else for you. Cheese plate with fruit is easy-peasy for you and will pair well with your cheeses and fruit with the Casillero del Diablo  Sauvignon Blanc. What will take a bit of time will be Tex-Mex Wantons. Using ground meat (turkey, beef, whatever you please) scramble it with Spanish spices, diced green peppers and onions, place a dollop of the stir fried mix into a wanton that’s had a bit of water placed on it, then fold and deep fry. Make plenty, because they go fast! This is the one to enjoy with the Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon. Spanish food, Spanish wine… you’ve got a great beginning.

Soup Time ~ French Heritage

  • France
    • Les Vignes de Bila-Haut
      • 2015 Cotes du Roussillon by Michel Chapoutier
      • 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Villages by Michel Chapoutier

Would you like a red or a white with that Creamy Leek Soup with Bacon and Shallots? Hello Bila-Haut, you’re my choice for either wine with this soup recipe. Either has just enough acidity to make it all so smooth, regardless of red or white, as it balances out the creamy soup. If you have one of each, you’ll be the star, satisfying all palates.

This wine is a constant favorite of mine, and an easy “house wine,” like so many others of these imported wines.

From their HB Wine Merchants Importer’s site: In the South of France, this area produces large quantities of wine. Some of the best regions like Corbieres and the Cotes du Roussillon produce much smaller yields and focus on quality rather than quantity. This is also a region where organically grown grapes are quite possible due to the favorable weather conditions.

From the Domaine de Bila-Haut website, the beginning of their story: The Roussillon history is complex and compelling, and has at times been quite violent. Terraces on stony soil, with a rich geological background and a climate that man has adopted for his crops. The Roussillon was bound to attract Michel Chapoutier’s attention. He decided to locate his domain at Latour de France. Black and brown schist to give the wine a solar touch. Gneiss for minerality and freshness. Combination of Limestone and chalk for strength and balance. Three varieties of grapes grow on the land covered by Domaine de BILA-HAUT. Syrah, with its savage aromas of scrub and spice. Grenache, so full of surprises. And Carignan, for mineral wines with crispy tannic notes. The “Vignes de BILA-HAUT” and the “Domaine de BILA-HAUT Occultum Lapidem” are the main expressions of this terroir. Visit the site for more insight.

Salad ~ Italian Heritage

It’s always fun to have someone of Italian descent joining us, and Rosa Regale is a favorite to serve during this time. Very easy to enjoy, goes down maybe even a little too easily. My first taste, I knew it was nectar of the gods. This is an aromatic, semi dry, sparkling wine; so, serve it with a salad. This might seem really unlikely, but give it a try. This was how I had my first salad with a wine – with a semi dry Symphony wine, with a bit used in the dressing. If you mix your own dressing, like I always do, use lemon in place of vinegar, and the sparkling in place of water, before you add your olive oil…. It will become a seamless compliment for your salad dish. And, don’t forget to pour the wine to go along with the salad for that final effect.  Voila!

From the Rosa Regale Website: In 1979, John and Harry Mariani, family Proprietors of Banfi Vintners, acquired a mid-18th century winery, known as Bruzzone, revitalized it and renamed the facility Banfi Piemonte. Here, with the same detailed care as a century ago, our skilled winemakers produce “Rosa Regale” Brachetto d’Acqui D.O.C.G. This rare Brachetto, a semi-dry, red sparkling wine cherished by the courts of Europe over two centuries ago, owes its reincarnation to Banfi.

Turkey & Gravy ~ Spanish Heritage

Apricot-Glazed Turkey with Roasted Onion and Shallot Gravy

  • Marques de Casa Concha
    • 2014 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay ~ Chile
    • 2014 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere ~ Chile
    • 2014 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Chile

Now we’re ready for the bird, whatever it may be, turkey, quail, duck, goose… There is a mixture of dark and light meat, so serve one of each, depending on the flavors that you’ve worked into your presentation. I love the Bon Appetit Roast Turkey with Herb Butter and Gravy recipe – going with the Chardonnay. Or, if you’d like a Southwestern Turkey with Garlic~Ancho Chili Paste and Gravy, I’d go with a Carmenere. Finally, enjoying the Apricot-Glazed Turkey with roasted onion and Shallot Gravy… pass a leg and the Cab, please.

Back to our Spanish forefathers, who sent over the Portuguese explorer Columbus. They knew what they were doing. I don’t know if Columbus gave them all of the details, though. This Marques de Casa Concha brand is now celebrating its fortieth anniversary. One of its hallmarks is its consistency in providing excellent wine. As a world leader, the name Concha (y Toro) will always lead you to very tasty wines. As they continue on, they are continuously committed to making wines of extraordinary quality, with a strong focus on innovation. I can attest to their quality, loving their wines.

The Ending to a Great Feast

~ For the Cigar Group ~

  • 2013 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon, Puente Alto Vineyard Chile

“Pulling out the Don Melchor, you’ve pulled out your best foot forward. This one is for friends who relish beautiful Cabernets,” said she as she wiped the drool from her chin. From the Maipo Valley of Chile, this wine is a high elevation one. Puente Alto D.O. is a wine producing region within the Maipo Valley, and it’s located on the southern fringe of Santiago, the capital. The area has a distinct terroir for high quality, and Don Melchor over delivers. Prices have a medium-high range of $100. This one is for wine lovers. Make sure the label isn’t covered by anything, but… even if it is… when you taste a wine of this quality, you might do what I did… Spontaneously exclaim – Whoa!

Puente Alto is a wine-producing region within the Maipo Valley on the southern fringes of the Chilean capital of Santiago. The area was one of the first in Chile to be recognized as having a distinct terroir for the production of wine, in a country that is historically better known for high production than for high quality. This Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon is to be shared with your most wine geeky friends. I once told a friend, who loved to trash wine, when I pulled out a Robert Mondavi Reserve, “This one’s too good for you, Susan. You can’t have any.” Want to see someone get real when that happens. Yes, I shared, and yes, she was gentle and kind. This wine is one of these… Meant for worldwide wine connoisseurs, because this one is extraordinarily scrumptious. Just before the Port arrives, sit back and savor, with or sans cigar… It’s a rare treasure.

Portuguese Heritage ~ Dessert Time

  • Portugal

For the first 20 years of my life, I lived on Lisbon Street, drove to the beach by going through Lisbon and Lisbon Falls, Maine. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I would be standing in Lisbon, Portugal, looking at their expansive river, trying to imagine Christopher Columbus leaving port and headed to the New World… But, history happens. I love Portugal. I’ve written copiously about the country, the art, the culture, the foods, the people, and her wines. I feel so lucky and for that I constantly give thanks. It is perfectly fitting that I end this banquet with a 1986 Sandeman Old Tawny Port, that’s rested for 30 years.

Interestingly, this cape was also part of our Wild West, as cowboys (caballeros) crossed the plains herding cattle… I’m betting anyone who watched early TV remembers this western coats. And, I’ll drink to that with a Sandeman Port… As we close out our Thanksgiving evening: well wined and dined, and holding these memories to spill over into our Christmas holiday season as well. Any and all of these food and wine pairings will work for you for the next month into the New Year.
Happy holidays!


Imports,Italy,Nero D'Avola,Sicily,Wine

A Sicilian Thanksgiving? You Betcha with MandraRossa Nero d’Avola


www.vinoglocal.it/post/567/vini-e-vitigni-autoctoni-della… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know that wines from Sicily are elegant and really affordable? With most of them selling for under $20, they make perfect “house wines,” too. During the holidays, especially if you’re of Italian descent, these wines will happily grace your table and heritage. Guests will be able to savor your past, while enjoying your wine presents/presence. Even if you’re not Italian, we all look for perfect wines to have with poultry… Pinot is a natural, right? So are Beaujolais and Nero D’Avola.

Today’s About Nero…

This year I’ve been reintroduced to Nero d’Avola as a wine variety; love having this wine variety as part of my 2016 imported wine learning curve, and have realized that the lightness of this wine is also a perfect compliment for meals featuring birds as their entree.

Nero d’Avola pairs perfectly with our Thanksgiving fare, because of its light bodied ripe cherry, sweet spices, and a background of soft, silky flavors.

Thanks, MandraRossa Costadune Nero d’Avola, for some perfect food pairing suggestions.

  • Charcuterie Board: Having smoked meats, cheeses, olives and dried fruits for easy appetizers, Nero d’Avola is an easy red wine to serve your guests.
  • From the Grillo: Nero d’Avola is a light, drinkable red wine that’s low in alcohol, perfect for grilled veggies.
  • Nero d’Avola is also an ideal turkey pairing wine, especially if you’re already in the “Pinot Noir or Beaujolais” groove.
  • Holiday Rib Roast or Rack of Venison? The beautiful, single-variety Nero d’Avola will be your special-occasion surprise with roasted meats.
  • Lamb? Indeed!


2015 MandraRossa Costadune Nero d’Avola, Sicilia DOC

This Nero d’Avola prefers growing in along Sicili’s sandy coastline near sand dunes. The soil is characterized as calcareous and medium textured. Its closeness to the sea gives Nero d’Avola a beautiful texture of softness ready to be enjoyed now… like Thanksgiving… right now. MandraRossa Costadune Nero was grown in Menfi, Sicily, and is 100 percent of this variety.

Menfi is a commune in the Province of Agrigento, located about 44 miles southwest of Palermo and about 37 miles northwest of Agrigento.

Deeply colored, 13.5 percent alcohol, it tasted? Lots of smooth cherry flavors, it fermented dry and shows smooth richness.


Other Nero D’Avolas tasted in 2016


2013 Stemmari Nero D’Avola

The Stemmari Nero D’Avola also comes from Sicily. This one, having three years on it, was very soft and inviting. The color reminded me of light colored garnet freesias; so bright and alluring. Aromas filled the Pinot glass bowl, delivering a richness of summer blackberries. I enjoyed flavors of edible lavender and wild violets. This wine has perfect medium bodied flavors and has a deliciously smooth finish. Without any coaxing at all, this Nero could also become one for teaching your friends about wines from Sicily.


2014 Allesandro di Camporeale Donnatá Nero D’Avola, Sicilia DOC

What an alluring wine this one is… It drew me in with its floral, fragrant aromas, and delivered an array of black fruit… cherries, rich dark plums, a bit of spice, and sweet licorice finish. The acidity is well balanced, with a 14 percent alcohol level. It’s a superb example of what I was remembering and expecting. Give it a try. It won’t disappoint if you’re a Syrah fan. The Allesandro di Camporeale Donnatá has those characteristics, minus the saddle leather; so, I now understand the reference to Shiraz versus Syrah. Get out the pasta sauce, Jose, I know what’s on the menu when we’ll be enjoying a Nero.


Mama mia (sorry, couldn’t help myself), this is a delicious one to keep around for all of those red wine lovers looking for a smooth red to go with recipes that include any birds. The quails that I feed in our back yard don’t know how lucky they are that I’m not a hunter this (or any) Thanksgiving…

Thank you to Wines from Sicilia DOC for helping me to explore their mosaic of flavors. thinking reds? Besides Nero d’Avola, you can also explore a Frappato ( Frahp-part-oh) and a Perricone (Payr-ree-coh-nay).


Books,Wine,Wine Importer,You've Got to Be Kidding Me

Corkscrew, by Peter Stafford-Bow, a wine buyer, through his lens

Perfect for any wine library of the book kind

A favorite line: p. 182: “These days everyone knows about biodynamics, of course. Every fashionable young winemaker worth his marketing budget is skipping around a vineyard somewhere saying prayers under the full moon and spraying cocktails of armpit sweat and chamomile over the vines. But back in the 1990s this was the sole preserve of environmental fruit-loops and deranged German spiritualists.”

Corkscrew ~ The highly improbable, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer

I’m glad I lived long enough to read this one… This is the funniest book I’ve ever, ever laugh-out-loud read. I thought I was telling tales when I wrote Road Warrior Survival Guide… Doesn’t even hold a candle to what I just finished reading. Corkscrew, The highly improbably, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer. I can promise you, you don’t know anyone who’s more funny… Entertaining to the Nth degree, really jolly. If there’s a glass ceiling for how much you can laugh while reading a book, Peter Stafford-Bow has broken it.

You can’t anticipate any of it, your eyes will bug out of your head as you read it. You’ll wonder, how will he get himself out of this one? You’ve just got to read it to understand that I’m not joshing you. This book is hysterical, as he nails his characters with great depth of understanding and humor.

As I was reading the book, I went over something in my mind of something I recently thought… The line, “The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Really… Names are always changed to protect the author from the guilty party’s lawsuits. And, there are some pretty intriguing characters within this story that I’d want to protect myself from, too. I remember walking into a wholesaler’s warehouse once, whose walls were “six feet thick,” they declared. It took me about a half hour to first find the place, as I went around and around a block, not even seeing the warehouse… It was right there, but I couldn’t see it. Someone had to come outside and guide me in. Yeah… like that.

About The Author

This is Peter Stafford-Bow’s first novel, and if this is his first, I’m first in line for his next. Writing and publishing a book is so much more than thinking it, writing it, and viola! It does take a lot of time.  I’ll be patient, sorta.

Peter has had decades of experience in international wine trade, and he’s worked for some of the largest retailers in the world. He’s been to every major wine region, and tasted wines that most of us don’t even yet know exist. He’s writing under an assumed name to avoid anyone realizing that they might be a character of interest.

This one review I really like and sums it up really well:

John Staughton, Self-Publishing Review

October 3, 2016


“Boasting casual storytelling mastery and the sharp-tongued wit of Tom Robbins, Peter Stafford-Bow presents an incredibly amusing and unpredictable tale. For wine lovers or those who simply love a great story, this is a mad ramble through the tangled world of wine, taking readers across two continents and countless adventures of one exceptional character, Felix Hart. Corkscrew is a strange cross between a thriller and a farce, but Stafford-Bow pulls it off with panache – and a self-aware smirk on his face.” ★★★★½


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Wine Country Time ~ Hurry up and wait

Living in the country, although I’m not a farmer, I’m farming something… God only knows what. Probably patience.

We moved into the Mayacamas Mountains, knowing that Internet was going to be a bit slower. Having had Comcast and having to switch to AT&T, we didn’t know service was also going to be slower; although, we were warned.

One of my very last blog posts had me declaring: Returning From a Hiatus ~ The Wines that Awaited, while some were just handy to enjoy.

Yeah, that was super terrific. I then had only three new entries and our internet and phone line with AT&A, which had been flickering since coming in, finally bit the dust on November 3. It took us back down with it.

And so the daily persistent cellphone calls began. Jose got some very imaginable excuse… Each person on the same day, within minutes of each other, had some new and interesting reason.

  • EXCUSE #1: Your line is down, we’re giving you an appointment, we’ll call to tell you when, and have a blessed day. (What?)
    • The return call hours later… You have an appointment for November 9, between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
      • Jose made many calls after that, on that day.
      • They all ended in “and have a blessed day.”
      • Jose called every single day after that, until November 9. (He should win a persistence prize.)
    • November 9, no one arrived. The calls began again, after we had had many a blessed day, but no phone service.
    • November 10 ~ sorry, we’ll be there tomorrow, and have a blessed day.
      • I pulled the “I told you so.”
    • November 11 ~ Sorry, we’ll get there sometime, we don’t have a clue when now, into the foreseeable future, and have a blessed day.
  • EXCUSE #2: The rain you had wiped out a slew of people in your area, and we’ve sent a crew from LA to fix your situation. It’s not just you, sir. We’re swamped. (There went the hope, and have a blessed day.)
  • EXCUSE #3: Fiber optics were cut. It has thousands of lines within the tubing, so we’re trying to find that just right one line, and do have a blessed day.

On Friday the 11th, in the afternoon, driving back from going somewhere else to get on line, TA-DA, there was the AT&T truck, at the foot of the hill! Jose let me out of the truck to get a conversation going. By 7:00 p.m, or so, we were back on line. It was our line… nothing more and nothing less. No floods, no cutting line sabotage, our line was too told and needed replacement.

Nine days no land line and no Internet… I don’t recommend it, unless everyone else in the world is also down.

The good news is that samples I had been discussing with my connections prior to the hubbub were still arriving. I just couldn’t get into on-line documents to process it all.

Now, I’m back again, and I don’t want to ever say, third time’s a charm. We also had satellite installed – back up for a back up.

Meanwhile, I did get to read the funniest book I’ve ever, ever laugh-out-loud read. I thought I was telling tales when I wrote Road Warrior Survival Guide… Doesn’t even hold a candle to what I just finished. Tomorrow’s blog will be for this one. It deserves its own title of Corkscrew, The highly improbable, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer. I can promise you, you don’t know anyone who’s more funny… Entertaining to the Nth degree, really jolly, bring on the thesaurus to find more synonyms. If there’s a glass ceiling for how much you can laugh, Peter Stafford-Bow has broken it.

For now, that’s what’s been going on. Jose and I are exhausted. Websites he was working on for launching, slowed to a screeching halt, my wine stories were bubbling below the surface, but I did get some unexpected down time to continue with the move-in… Wine Country time… Hurry up and wait…



Tasting Sicily with Allesandro

Image borrowed from the Wines of Sicily Website. I highly recommend that you visit this site for more information and beautiful images of the island.

Many write about Sicily having a mosaic of flavors. In a booklet that the Wines of Sicilia DOC has distributed. It begins:

If to travel through Sicily means to dive into the history of humanity, from the mysteries of ancient cave dwellings to the magnificent Baroque cities, then a voyage in Sicilian wine means discovering not only a single region, but also the whole, rich continent of wine.

Hum… something to now aspire to see first hand.

Continuing: There are more than 50 indigenous Sicilian grape varieties cultivated in more than 10 different areas of production on the island. Within only a few miles the terrain can change in altitude from sea level to over 3,000 feet, encountering winds, a diversity of microclimates and varied types of soils. Each year, the grape harvest lasts longer than 90 days, from the beginning of August in areas closet to the sea through late October in Vineyards in higher elevations.

In just these two paragraphs, if you never knew anything about Sicilian wines, you’ve just learned a bunch.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to discovering more about this unique geography, geology, history, culture, viticulture, and humanity, as it relates to Sicily and its unique terroir. (I’ll have more to report, as new Sicilian wines arrive, which are already in the queue.)

For now, let’s discover an indigenous variety, too…

The Nero D’Avola

Nero d’Avola is pronounced neːro ‘daːvola, which translates into Black of Avola. It’s named after Avola in the far south of Sicily, with its wines being compared to New World Shiraz. As a logical inference, that would make it also akin to Old World Syrah; but, perhaps not having the spiciness of the New World Shirazes of Australia. So, we have some context as we begin. The last time I tasted this wine was a 2008 in 2011. It’s just been too long (six years between vintages), I’d say. But, I’m really looking forward to establishing a new memory

Before even opening the bottle of wine, we now know what to expect from the Black of Avola grape, right? It’s  considered the most important red wine grape in Sicily. It’s also one of Italy’s most important indigenous varieties, Known for having sweet tannins with plum and/or peppery flavors; my palate is getting ready. As I write this, I have to stop and pull the cork.

Just for an added point, Nero D’Avola contributes to Marsala Rubino blends. This wine is a stand alone variety. Here’s what I tasted:

2014 Allesandro di Camporeale Donnatá Nero D’Avola, Sicilia DOC

What an alluring wine this one is… It drew me in with its floral, fragrant aromas, and delivered an array of black fruit… cherries, rich dark plums, a bit of spice, and sweet licorice finish. The acidity is well balanced, with a 14 percent alcohol level. It’s a superb example of what I was remembering and expecting. Give it a try. It won’t disappoint if you’re a Syrah fan. The Allesandro di Camporeale Donnatá has those characteristics, minus the saddle leather; so, I now understand the reference to Shiraz versus Syrah. Get out the pasta sauce, Jose, I know what’s on the menu for dinner, now… and which wine we’ll be enjoying.



Buzet you say? Sans Sulfites Ajoutés Buzet, okay…

SANS ~ The Wine that “respects both Man and Nature”

2015 Sans Sulfites Ajoutés Buzet

  • This wine is a beautifully soft and delicious wine. It’s completely food friendly, a ballet on your pallet.
  • As I read about their wine, this indicates why I found the wine to be so alluring: The grapes were harvested at full maturity and the vinification carried out without the addition of sulfites. The tannic extraction favoured soft delicate tannins yet enhanced the fruitiness of the grapes to its maximum potential. A wine that is particularly delicate and fragile due to the absence of sulfites, it was left to mature in the vat protected from the air.
  • I highly recommend this wine from the Buzet region of France. It’s simply splendid.

Let’s get to it… Buzet… Where are you?

Having French DNA, I don’t mind saying this to you, to help you pronounce French correctly, if you have any doubts. Mostly, you’re not going to pronounce the last letter of many words. Examples:

  • Cabernet
  • Merlot
  • Petit Verdot – double whammy

So, let’s review, and leave off that last letter.

  • Buzet
  • SANS (without)
  • Ajoutés (sulfites)

As much as I know about wine (25 years as a wine professional), there’s a million times more that I don’t know. The more I know, the more I realize what I don’t know, in this wine world. For instance, I’ve been loving on Bordeaux this year. Burgundy, in the past, has been my love (and I still love the Burgundy region). The delicacy of Pinot Noirs are perfect for my cursed super palate. I’ve had to train myself to appreciate the joys of Bordeaux, and now I’m all in. I didn’t start out this way, so I’m later to the party than I could be.

Now, when queried about French wines, I’m all over it. And so, when I was asked if I’d taste this Sans Sulfites Ajoutés Buzet, I was intrigued; not just for the wine, but also for the Buzet region. “Where is Buzet,” I thought.


[Image borrowed from the Buzet Website.]

Buzet, France

Buzet is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), representing wines from Southwest France, in the department of Lot-et-Garonne. (The Garonne is a river in southwest France; this I learned as I explored Bordeaux earlier this year. This made it much easier to visualize Buzet’s location. Its production area is spread across 4,400 acres, as it borders Garonne on the east and the great Landes Forest to its west.

The appellation Buzet has 198 wineries. Varieties grown in this region:

  • REDS: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
  • WHITES: Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc

The Buzet region’s mission is to ensure the quality of the grapes that are produced, experience the greatest respect for the environment and biodiversity in the process. SANS Sulfites Ajoutés, translates into Sulfites Added. How much sulfite does a wine have, usually? Organic wine-making in the US typically limits the threshold level of sulfites to 100 parts per million (ppm). Levels are generally even much lower, to about 40 to 80 ppm. With no added sulfites, you can rest assured that every precaution has been taken.

It’s interesting to note that in their annual report explaining that from the work they’ve done over the last 10 years, the Buzet wine cooperative has won the international Award of Excellence in Sustainable winegrowing. This was issued by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT).

The Terroir of Buzet

From the Buzet Website: The terroir is an even mix of alluvial boulbène, clay, alluviums, gravel and clayey limestone, with the highest hilltops at 150 metres [492 feet]. The warm oceanic climate is perfect for the vines to express themselves. The mean annual temperature is 13°C [55.4°F] , rainfall is low and the sun shines 1936 hours a year. The wonderfully sunny autumns are perfect for ripening the grapes, an essential factor in making fine wines.

Now, we know a lot more about another French wine region, n’est ce pas?





I missed Bourbon Month, Again

How could I miss it? Well, I was moving a home of 19 years, two offices, and a second business… Maybe next year will be “Third Time’s a Bourbon Charm!”

I’ve just done a revisit and know that Bourbon lovers want to think about this one for the holidays coming up, now that we’re headed straight toward “the season” to be merry and bright.

Meanwhile, speaking of spirits, this is the season of “spirits,” with all Halloween, or All Saints Eve, spirits abounding.

Bourbon Curious, by Fred Minnick

A Simple Guide for the Savvy Drinker

If you don’t know anything at all, it’s best to start with the best person to explain the mysterious. In this case, a spirit… I was exposed to Bourbon as a kid, because it was my mom and dad’s favorite spirit. Then, it got revisited via the culture of Mad Men’s exploits. Now, thanks to Fred Minnick, I understand so much more about bourbon and whiskey, and am looking forward to that moment when I order my next spirit, but it won’t be a Manhattan.

My last experience with Manhattans was my first wedding. It was my dad’s beverage of choice, so that’s all anyone was served. What a mess, and I write this with all due respect. Let’s just say, my mother was in the middle of a busy main street, as we drove off to our honeymoon. She was directing traffic in the middle of the street. Oh dear…

So, I want to enjoy this next experience in a more thoughtful way. And Fred Minnick has lead me to the altar, once more, for a better view.

According to Fred, bourbon, like wine, has its own culture. If you love bourbon, this isn’t news to you. Minnick calls it the most misunderstood spirit on liquor store shelves. I’m betting that he’s right.

I’m going to give you my 10 takeaways from Fred’s book. Test yourself. See if you’re a bourbon aficionado; or like me, just learning for real…

  1. Flavors of bourbon: vanilla and caramel, with cinnamon and nutmeg notes.
  2. “All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.”
    • Whiskey = distilled beer aged in barrels.
    • Bourbon = made in USA and the grain is corn.
    • Scotch = Made in Scotland and the grain is barley.
  3. From the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s guidebook, types of bourbon:
    • Bourbon whiskey
    • Straight bourbon whiskey
    • Blended bourbon whiskey
    • Blended straight bourbon whiskey
    • Bottled-in-Bond bourbon whiskey
  4. Whiskey versus Whisky
    • With the “e” = American and Irish
    • Without the “e” = Scotch, Canadian, Japanese
  5. What you can TRUST on a whiskey label… the rest is marketing jargon
    • Proof
    • Age of whiskey
    • Type of whiskey
  6. Presidents and whiskey
  7. Tricks to getting used to bourbon
    • Hot sauce on your tongue as a training, when NOT tasting bourbon (Yeah, it burns like that.)
    • Bourbon is 80 proof, or 40 percent alcohol, so you need to learn about its “hotness,” first
  8. Sources of flavor
    • Pre-fermentation
    • Yeast
    • Distillation
    • Wood
  9. In order for whiskey to be called bourbon, it must be stored in new charred oak
  10. Forward flavors
    • Grain
    • Nutmeg
    • Caramel
    • Cinnamon

There you go. How did you do? Are you a bourbon fan and knew all of this? (If you are, you must have a book, too, right?)

I’m going to put this book into my annual wine and spirits books for the year, come December. If you’ve got a family member or friend who loves bourbon, this book is “must have” in a wine and spirits library. I’ve only ever-so-briefly touched on Bourbon Curious. There’s still much to explore. This link gives you the skinny, you’ll have to read the rest. It’s also a “must have” book for anyone studying for her of his Master Sommelier’s test.




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Returning From a Hiatus ~ The Wines that Awaited, while some were just handy to enjoy

This hasn’t a respite hiatus, not by any stretch of the imagination. It’s been moving from and then to a new home and new offices “time out.” It’s been 19 years since we’ve moved. I still can’t believe how much stuff (nice word for it) that we accumulated in life. Just the garage was a nightmare, never mind the closets, bookcases, and wines. Happy to be on the backside of the move: unpacking, donating, trashing, finding the right closet for it all, big etc

The 99 Bottles of Wine on the Wall are back on the wall. The cat is adjusting, but still petrified of being on a mountainside, so not going out for any longer than a few minutes. The garden contents – mostly – came with us. Sigh…

I just opened a box and said, “There you are!” Now to get back on track with some pretty wonderful wines. The wines are from around the world, and that’s where I’m going this week with you… Around the globe and back again. As you can see, the tasting had begun before the move…

  •  Spain
    • 2015 Senda Albarino
    • 2015 Senda Mencía
  • Portugal
    • 2005 Sandeman Old Tawny Porto, Rested 10 years
    • 1986 Sandeman Old Tawny Porto, Rested 30 years
  •  France
    • 2015 Sans Sulfites Ajoutes Buzet
    • Les Vignes de Bila-Haut
      • 2015 Cotes du Roussillon by Michel Chapoutier
      • 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Villages by Michel Chapoutier
  • Italy
    • 2015 Rosa Regale from Montalcino Italy
    • 2014 Allesandro di Camporeale Donnatá Nero D’Avola, Sicilia doc
  •  Chile
    • 2016 Concha y Toro Sauvignon Blanc
    • 2015 Concha y Toro Cabernet Saugivnon
  • United States
    • Oregon
      • 2012 rainstorm (no capitalization)
    • California
      • 2015 Merisi Pinot Gris, Carneros ~ Sonoma
      • 2014 Merisi Petite Sirah, Lake County

Spain is First

Two of the Senda’s wines have been written about, two have not. I’m finalizing the other two. The two already reported were these:

As a wine brand, I thoroughly enjoyed Senda’s wines. First for the delicious, clean, and crisp flavors. Just as important is that the varieties are indigenous. Most of the world has adopted the usual suspects, autochthenous to France. Europe has enough history that varieties arrived a long time ago, and have formed in their present state. So, tasting wines from Europe allows for you to be tasting history. Why mostly France’s varieties have migrated to the new world and have taken off is most likely due to some excellent marketing, emanating in Bordeaux and some from Burgundy. The rest of France is catching up… As is the rest of Europe into the US.


  • 2015 Senda Albariño
    • Albariño is the most recognizable variety for a Spanish white wine
  • 2015 Senda Mencía
    • Number 168 on my Wine Century Club list, edging toward 200 unique wine varieties tasted

From Senda Verde ~ SENDA VERDE is a collection of artisanal wines from unique regions in northern Spain that follow the 43°N parallel, stretching from coastal Galicia eastward along the northern coastline. In contrast to the rest of Spain, this area is lush and green from oceanic and geologic influences. The region is referred to as “España Verde” (Green Spain).

Mencía is a Spanish red grape variety that’s primarily found in the northwestern part of the country. It’s planted on more than 22,000 acres, and it’s primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra, and Valdeorras regions. Growing in both Spain and Portugal, the logical inference is that it was brought in by Roman invaders to that specific region, since it’s not found anywhere else in the world. 

Gerry Dawes has written: In both Bierzo, at the gates of Galicia in León province (Castilla y León), and in Ribera Sacra in Galicia’s Ourense and Lugo provinces, the native mencía grape, grown in precariously steep vineyards and often clinging to treacherous schist- or slate-strewn hillsides and Roman-style terraces (the Romans were making wine here 2,000 years ago!), is responsible for some of Spain’s most intriguing and delicious terroir-laced red wines. 

  • 2015 Senda Albariño
    • A favorite wine for me to be ordering in restaurants, I’m in love with Albariño. So I held this one for last, because the learning curve wasn’t going to be there… just the pure enjoyment. It didn’t disappoint. Albariño is a crisp, clean, and lean white white, with tons of floral notes and flavors of apples and apricots.
    • From Winesellers: The finish is fruity and with mineral nuances. Our Albariño’s fresh acidity makes it a fine contrast to foods that are rich, salty, oily, fatty, or mildly spicy. It also pairs nicely with tart foods such as vinaigrettes, capers, leeks, and tomatoes. The wine is an excellent accompaniment to fish and shellfish.
    • This is why I love it so much, it’s so versatile.
  • 2015 Senda Mencía
    • This is a medium bodied, red wine has beautiful violet floral notes, and prominent fruits of strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate.
    • I loved it and it was very easy to enjoy. I highly recommend all of the Senda Verde wines.
    • 13.5 Percent alcohol is right where enjoyment with or without foods happily meets.

Great wines, affordable prices, what more could we ask for, except to open the bottle and enjoy! All of these wines are as refreshing and delicious as the labels suggest.

Imported by Winesellers, Ltd.