Our Wine Experts Selections
As the days get longer and hotter, we tend to change our drinking habits from heavy, oaky whites and heavy, tannic red wines to a lighter style. The light whites seem more refreshing and we tend to shy away from high alcohol reds. (Although, a big, juicy Porterhouse on the grill still begs for a full bodied red.) Here are just a few of our new favorites for summertime sipping!
Encosta dos Curiosos
Encosta dos Curiosos (‘Vineyard of the Curious’ in Portuguese) is the name of the centuries-old estate where grow the grapes of this wine, located on the sunny ocean-side hills about 30 miles north of Lisbon.
The wine is the result of careful selection of the best grapes from the estate. No herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used, and grape fermentation is traditional, without the use of artificial enzymes or agents.
Here you find clayey-calcareous soil and clayey-sandy soils, very fertile soils which improve the growing and quality of the grapes. Climate is mostly sunny and mild, tempered by the nearby Atlantic Ocean, with an average rainfall of 500 ml per year.
The wine has a dark ruby color, an exquisite aroma and a pleasant taste. With an average acidity it is very well structured with soft tannins.
Color: Dark ruby red
Palate: Ripe fruit with a smooth and elegant ending
Food Pairing: It is ideal for red, white and game meat.
Alcohol: 12.5 %
Total Acidity: 3.90
Volatile Acidity: 0.54
Aging: 3 months in the bottle
Chateau Julien French Kiss
This refreshing blend of Chenin Blanc & Viognier was made for everyday enjoyment, from grapes grown in premier regions throughout California. Explore the beautiful aromas of luscious peaches & ripe apricots, complimented with vibrant acidity making this wine just as memorable as your first “French Kiss”. Pairs nicely with fresh salad and seafood. Serve Chilled.
Korta Barrel Reserva Carmenere
Viña Korta was founded in 1990 and is dedicated exclusively to the production of fine export wines. The winery’s roots can be found in 1948 which was the year when José Korta established Curtidos Korta. Today, Viña Korta’s business is concentrated mainly in Curicó, Chile, which lies 195 kilometers south of the capital Santiago. The top wine region of Sagrada Familia is located on the 35th southern parallel.
Viña Korta produces, sells and markets its wines under its own brands and under private labels. Its own brands include K42, Curicó River, Korta Varietal, Barrel Selection and Korta Gran Reserva. Under the care of the winemaker Ricardo Pérez, the company counts with 200 hectares of planted vineyards. The vines include Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah, Merlot, Carmenère, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier.
La Crema Pinot Gris
The 2012 vintage in Monterey was ideal for growers and winemakers alike. Relatively mild conditions allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, developing concentration and lush fruit character that are hallmarks of extended hang time on the vine. Monterey Pinot Gris in particular benefitted from this additional time to mature, while still retaining its naturally juicy acidity and freshness.
Fruit was gently hand-harvested at night and during the coolest part of the morning at 23-25° Brix. At the winery, the fruit was gently pressed and fermented cold in 100% stainless steel to capture the vibrant fresh fruit character. Press fractions were separated to keep the light press juice from the more intense harder press lots. The lots were fermented separately to full dryness, taking nearly a month to complete fermentation. Just after primary fermentation, the wine was sulfured for stability and racked to prevent malolactic fermentation, once again preserving the fresh fruit quality of the wine.
Bliss Pinot Noir
This 2010 Pinot Noir is the initial offering of all Estate fruit from our Feliz Ranch. This single vineyard wine has aromas of fresh cut flowers, which are followed by flavors of cherry cola and strawberry. The elegant finish is highlighted by notes of vanilla spice.
Versatile enough to pair with everything from hearty salads to your favorite white meat. Perfect with a cranberry, feta, and walnut salad, chicken piccata or partnering with your favorite fare.
Grapes: Estate Grown
Appellation: Mendocino, CA
Vineyard Source: Feliz Ranch
Harvest Dates: September 10th, 2010
Release Date: January 2013
Barrymore Pinot Grigio
Wine is all about the journey. Any wine lover would have to agree. The discovery of new wines, new regions and new vintages is what keeps wine exciting to novices and enthusiasts alike.
For Drew Barrymore, it was the journey that propelled her to delve into the world of wine and with an eponymously named Pinot Grigio. A fan of crisp, fruity white wines, Barrymore has created a wine that reflects her style and personality: fresh, dynamic and fun.
In the northeast corner of Italy, is the Triveneto area, consisting of three regions: Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto. These regions lie just below the alps and are known for producing crispy, fresh white wines.
A pale straw color, this charming Pinot Grigio has hints of fresh apricot and lively citrus flavors.
GRAPE: Pinot Grigio
DESIGNATION: Delle Venezie I.G.T.
VINIFICATION: Fermented and aged in stainless-steel tanks to preserve its fresh fruit character
CASES IMPORTED: 6,000 (12/750ml)
Dominio De La Plana Rioja
Robert Parker – 90 Points. “Dense purple; aromas of exotic spices and black cherry; dense, layered, and sweetly-fruited.”
Tasting Notes: Intense core tones of deep garnet with violets. Aromas of blackberry, cherry, red currant with the palate adding a hint of pepper and clove. A full bodied wine of great character and personality.
Here’s an easy, great recipe pairing for this Rioja:
Caribbean Grilled Steak
1 teaspoon(s) salt
3 tablespoon(s) olive oil, divided
¼ cup(s) fresh lime juice
1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into bite-size chunks (about 3 cups)
1 ½ pound(s) flank steak or boneless beef sirloin steak
1 package(s) McCormick® Recipe Inspirations Caribbean Grilled Steak
PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 15 mins
1. Mix salt and all of the Spices except Red Pepper in small bowl until well blended. Stir in Red Pepper to taste, if desired. Brush steak with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Rub with 2 tablespoons of the Spice mixture. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
2. Stir lime juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into remaining spice mixture. Set aside. Thread pineapple chunks onto skewers.
3. Grill pineapple skewers over medium heat 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally and brushing with 1/2 of the juice mixture. Grill steak over medium-high heat 6 to 7 minutes per side or until desired doneness, brushing with remaining juice mixture. Slice and serve steak with pineapple skewers.