Wine of the Week: Covey Run Gewürztraminer 2010

This off-dry, which naturally means slightly sweet, white wine is the perfect pairing for spicy food and Asian food. And of course spicy Asian food (not all of it is).  It goes great with Indian and Thai food, and lo and behold, they're Asian. It's pronounced "guh-vertz-trah-meen-er" by the way. It's got enough acidity to balance the sweetness, despite being known as a grape that lacks acidity.  It's got honey, melon, and pear flavors and a really lovely floral nose.  Two glasses made an OK meal at P.F. Chang into an absolutely wonderful lunch.  Need I say more? Covey Run is in Washington State's Columbia Valley, but there are many excellent wines (Trimbach, and Hugel & Fils to name two)…

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Bargain Wine of the Week: La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Luberon Blanc 2010

It's time for a white Wine of the Week. And this one's an amazing value. From the Rhone region of France, this wine (the name means "the old farm") has got White Grenache, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanci, and Roussanne, and delivers flavors of green apple, lemon, and pear; nice and zesty but with enough backbone from the Grenache to give it some body.  This is great wine when you've got a lot of people to serve and don't want to break the bank, and want to give 'em something other than some run-of-the-mill Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. You can find this wine at about $6-8.  Really. Get some.

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Wine of the Week: Banfi Chianti Classico 2008

For thirteen bucks, you really can't do much better. That's my opinion, and it's also the opinion of a bunch of wine Judges at the Ultimate Wine Challenge in NY City this past May. Normally I don't put too much stock in wine contests, but this one I liked, especially as the tastings were blind and the top scorers were were then tasted by a whole different group of judges. And they put a lot of emphasis on affordable and value wines.  This is certainly one of them. Anyway, what a great food wine: medium bodied, with flavors of black and bing cherries, a hint of leather, nice acidity, and enough tannin to chew on but not overwhelm you. Most of this is Sangiovese,…

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Wine of the Week: Marques de la Casa Concha 2008 Cabernet

Chilean wine has come a long, long way from the $3 plonk I drank in college. This very good value bottle comes from Concha Y Toro, a winery run by people I've come to really appreciate. Concha is actually a huge operation with a slew of labels-including Casillero del Diablo, Don Melchor, Cono Sur, Terrunyo, and Los Robles-but they're very focused on quality, and in many ways resemble a collection of boutique wineries rather than a major production house. The 2008 Marques de la Casa Concha Cab is one of those wines that could easily have become an overripe, over-tannic, high-alcohol fruit bomb. Instead, it's nicely structured and well balanced, just moderately powerful and lush enough. There's a little mint…

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Viognier In 2010!

This is among the world's most aromatic whites, with a rich, viscous fullness, often a relatively high alcohol content and even some distinct spiciness on the palate. If, for example, you're used to light, innocuous Pinot Grigio, this wonderful grape might just knock you over - it makes one of the most distinctive white wines on the planet. And depending on where and how it's made, you'll get flavors or aromas of almonds, fennel, citrus, honey, apricots, white peach, pear, and so much more.  In fact, this wine is so rich you may perceive some residual sugar even when there isn't much. Most Viogniers are made to be dry table wine, but there are several late-harvest dessert Viognier wines, too,…

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Wine Of The Week-Good Pinot Grigio

I know, I know, everyone reaches for Santa Margherita at a holiday party or a restaurant. Hey, they spend a lot of money on advertising and the brand name is well known. But between us, it's not really good wine, and it's absurdly expensive for what you get. That's why the Wine of the week is Maso Canali Trentino Pinot Grigio. Why is this really good wine? Well I could blather on about late-harvested grapes, stainless steel fermentation, lots of contact with the lees, the fact that the same family has been farming there for 500 years, or that they don't do malolactic fermentation. The most important reason, though, is that the good folks at Maso Canali use the Passito…

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