This was an interesting week, for sure, a busy week, a change of speed in many ways. Far off my usual pace, I tried 16 new wines, which perhaps constitutes a slow week, but certainly not a bad one. Being out of town this weekend, I didn’t get to any of my usual tastings, but a visit to my favorite Austrian restaurant in KC paid dividends in the joy of discovery department. All things being equal, it wasn’t a mind-blowing week, but there were definitely some gems that I’m excited to share with you below.
29 May to 4 June, 2017
The first show-stopper this week was a fascinating combination of style and varietal. Out to dinner with friends, I didn’t snap my own image of the label, but you can see what I thought of it here, based on my Vivino review. The flowery M-T varietal in a sparkling style was something I hadn’t seen before, and I really enjoyed it. If the $15 price tag is right (it was just about that much by the glass in a restaurant), then I recommend this one for summer. PS: “Gluten Nacht” is an inside joke that I’ve since been informed by wheat-industry executives is not funny.
The next great wine of the week was opened to celebrate our close friends and the adoption of their little girl. You can read more of this story at the link below, but in the meantime suffice it to say that this is a wine that’s worth celebrating with. “White from Black,” it’s rich and bold and beautiful, with impressive fizz. We love Schramsberg in this house.
The lone red wine to make the list this week (weird, I know, though in my defense it’s hot here) is a Merlot that a few of my friends didn’t care for. Their complaint was that it’s too big to be a Merlot, and not true to the style they expected for the varietal. For me, it was simply a big, full bodied, flavorful, complex red wine, the varietal not withstanding. I’d be happy drinking a bottle of this almost any night, and it stands alone or pairs with steak. What’s not to love?
So, FYI, picpoul is a varietal. And some folk (volk) make killer wine out of it. Like some other lesser-knowns, it costs less than it should because you’re probably not going to request it by name. The benefits are ours to reap. This stuff is light, crisp, and refreshing, with dominant floral character, and it costs under $20/bottle. Killer juice!
I wanted a little celebratory post-race Sekt after knocking out one of the toughest half marathon courses in the country (for the third consecutive year). This wine, a steal at around $12/bottle, checked every box, but was a bit short on bubbles. From the petroleum notes of a wonderful German Riesling to the toasty notes of great bubbly, it was a really pleasant surprise. Read more in our blog below.
The last winner of the week was a killer Sauv. Blanc from Rombauer. We got back from RENT yesterday, which was absolutely fantastic, and opened this to share with our friend/sitter. It was perfect. Mineral notes, tropical fruits, citrus, and all in harmony, this understated Sauvignon Blanc paired perfectly with a little aged cheese and conversation around the kitchen island while I made dinner. I absolutely recommend this wine.
So, there you have it, another week in the books, and it would be difficult to call it slow with all of the terrific stuff I got to try. As summer comes on strong and I find myself drinking more and more white wines, I look forward to sharing my new discoveries with you. Thanks for reading!