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Shiraz - Longview Vineyard

Date: Thu, May 20, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
Sauce: sauces
Cheese: cheese
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Sauvignon Blanc - Penascal

Date: Thu, May 20, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Sauvignon Blanc - LangeTwins

Date: Thu, May 20, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Chianti Classico - Gabbiano

Date: Mon, May 17, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Zinfandel - Ridge Pagani Ranch

Date: Fri, May 14, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Malbec - Montes Classic Series

Date: Thu, May 13, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Summer Wines

Date: Mon, May 10, 2010


It's been a great Spring, but Summer and hot weather are as inevitable as August. As the weather gets hotter, we like our food lighter and our wine colder. That means its Summer wine season again. Even if you are a red wine drinker, it’s hard to pass up a well chilled, crisp glass of a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, white Bordeaux, Pinot Grigio, Muscat, Chenin Blanc, Torrontes, Riesling, Gewurztraminer or Viognier. It’s also permissible to drink some red wines colder than you normally might. Lighter red wines like Beaujolais (Gamay) and some lighter Pinot Noir’s will stand up to the cold, as well as very fruity or very sweet red wines like an Italian Lambrusco or Brachetto d'acqui. The cold will suppress the sweetness and accentuate the fruitiness of these wines.

Summer also means grilling; fish, chicken and pork prepared simply, without those savory, but heavy sauces we like during the colder months. Whether you're planning a cookout, a picnic or a light dinner on the patio, these Summer wines pair very nicely with simple, un-sauced, grilled and roasted meats of almost any variety; especially milder flavored meats like chicken, turkey, ham and veal. Sauvignon Blanc pairs particularly well with citrusy salad dressings.

Why do we drink wine chilled in the first place? Most of us would agree we drink to be refreshed. And, most would also agree that cold drinks refresh more than hot. So we drink wines as cold as we can. That is, we drink them at the lowest temperature at which the characteristics of the wine are not compromised by the temperature. White wine tolerated cold better than heavy red wines, so we drink white wines colder than red.

Cold tends to suppress the production of aromas, but white wines depend less on aromas for flavor that reds. We drink white wines in smaller glasses because we don’t need the big glass to concentrate the aromas and the smaller surface-area preserves the cooler temperature. White wines are typically more acidic than red wines, and acidity is complemented by cooler temperatures. We call it crispness. Cold also accentuates the unpleasant nature of tannins; plentiful in red wines, but not in white.

If you’re drinking on the patio, remember your wine is going to warm quickly. So, chill you glass, over-chill the wine, and keep the bottle in a wine-bucket filled with a 50/50 slurry of water and ice. If you don’t have a wine-bucket, I suggest a really good quality insulated bucket that won’t sweat on your table and holds temperature for a long time. Otherwise, just get a really cheap one made out of plastic. A $5.00 plastic bucket is perfect for the patio or a picnic and you can find them at many liquor and party stores.

Speaking of cheap (or inexpensive if you prefer), there’s no point in spending a lot for wine you’re going drink cold enough to counter outdoor summer temperatures. You just won’t be able to taste all the goodness you’re paying for. Reserve the good stuff for those indoor parties.

Cellar Notes

Here are examples of four of the Summer wine varieties mentioned above. A couple of them are a bit more pricey than I might normally drink for summer, but the sweet white Muscat and the sweet red Brachetto are surprisingly refreshing when consumed very cold. You can find examples of the other Summer wines mentioned on my website. Just steer your browser to virtualwineknow.com and click “Find a Wine”. You will also find more information on the wines below, as well as food pairing suggesting.

Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc
Murphy-Goode Chardonnay
J Vidal Fleury Muscat
Brachetto dacqui Pineto Marenco

A note about vintage – If you are unable to locate a vintage shown in Cellar Notes, with some significant exceptions, you may find the next vintage year very similar. Modern viticulture and production methods have reduced, although not eliminated, dramatic year-to-year variation.

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Pinot Noir - Evenstad Reserve from Domaine Serene

Date: Mon, May 10, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Brachetto D'Acqui - Pineto Marenco

Date: Fri, May 7, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Grenachen - Quivira Vineyards

Date: Thu, May 6, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Zinfandel - Edmeades Mendocino County

Date: Tue, May 4, 2010

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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted
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Zinfandel - Surh Luchtel

Date: Thu, Apr 29, 2010


DescriptionName:Zinfandel
Color:Red
Grape(s):Zinfandel
Appellation:Napa Valley California
Maker:Surh Luchtel Cellars
Vintage:2007
Cost:$28.00
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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted beef, lamb, game and game birds.
Sauce: au jus, savory, tomato, mustard, peppercorn,chil
Cheese: Hard cow and sheep cheese
Other: Spicy foods and cuisines

Taste ProfileNotes:This well-focused Zinfandel is intense, vibrant but ripe all at the same time. It’s raspberry, pomegranate, red licorice, cinnamon flavors lead to a clean finish that emphasizes fruit, not oak.
Quick Classification:Dry Red



Private NotesSource:KWWG 100429 Met Gary Luchtel
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Syrah - Surh Luchtel

Date: Thu, Apr 29, 2010


DescriptionName:Page Nord Vineyard Syrah
Color:Red
Grape(s):Syrah
Appellation:Page Nord Vineyard Napa Valley California
Maker:Surh Luchtel Cellars
Vintage:2006
Cost:$28.00
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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted beef, lamb, pork, game and game birds.
Sauce: Au jus, savory, tomato, mustard, peppercorn
Cheese: Hard goat cheese.
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Taste ProfileNotes:The 2006 Syrah has blueberry, blackberry and floral components. It is dark, opaque, purple with inviting sweet aromas of blackberry, cherry, current and toast. Its texture is lush with medium weight. The flavors run from blackberry, blueberry, licorice, kirsch, and black pepper. The fruit is well-defined, balanced with a lingering finish.
Quick Classification:Dry Red



Private NotesSource:KWWG 100429 Met Gary Luchtel
Comments:

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Petite Sirah - Rosenblum Cellars

Date: Thu, Apr 29, 2010


DescriptionName:Heritage Clones Petite Sirah
Color:Red
Grape(s):98% Petite Sirah 2% Zinfandel
Appellation:Contra Costa County California
Maker:Rosenblum Cellars
Vintage:2007
Cost:$18.00
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Food PairingsMeats & Seafood: Poached, grilled, fried, baked or roasted beef, pork or fowl.
Sauce: Au jus, savory, mustard, peppercorn
Cheese: Medium and hard cow cheese, medium and hard sheep cheese.
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Taste ProfileNotes:This wine exhibits great color with a bouquet and flavors of ripe blackberries, plums, chocolate, black pepper, violets and spice. Contra Costa will soon be known as the Mecca for
Petite Sirah.
Quick Classification:Soft Red



Private NotesSource:Cafe du Bois 100427
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