Category Archives: Wines

Wines for Your Pasta for Under $15

As we move into cooler weather, dishes become heartier, savory, and full of fall produce. For pasta, this can mean anything from an authentic Bolognese to a savory butternut squash and sage gemelli. Whether you’re making a quick after-work dinner with dry pasta and your favorite jar sauce, or taking a lazy Sunday to cook your pasta and sauce from scratch, your hard work deserves a satisfying glass of wine. We’ve picked four of our favorites for under $15.

Reverdito-Barbera-D_27alba-2007-Label2009 Reverdito Barbera D’Alba (Piedmont): $12.99

A rising, young star in Piedmont, Michele Reverdito adheres closely to the best of traditional methods in his winemaking. Big and leathery with rich fruit and a little licorice and truffle on the palate. Superb acidity with a delicate and persistent finish. Serve with Bolognese.

82109_DEFAULT2009 Rocca di Fabbri Montefalco Rosso (Umbria): $14.99

The Rocca Di Fabbri Montefalco Rosso is a blend of 65% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, and 20% altre uve a bacca rossa. Intense ruby and golden red in the glass with a rich nose showing hints of wild berries. The palate is well-orchestrated, firmly structured, dry and lingering, making it a great companion for a cream or cheese-based sauce.

buglioni-il-valpolicella-valpolicella-classico-veneto-italy-100912972011 Buglioni Classico il Valpolicella (Veneto): $14.99

Buglioni is one of the best-kept secrets in Verona – wines that are full of fruit but not too syrupy or sweet. Bright ruby red with fragrant and intense aromas of cherry, delicate berry fruit and spices. Dry, harmonious flavor, fresh and persistent. This wine is perfect for pastas with fall vegetables or seafood and fish.

 


Stampa
2012 Ottella Lugana (Veneto): $14.99

Made with Trebbiano di Lugana harvested manually from Ottella’s vineyard. Intense straw yellow in the glass with a bouquet of candied fruit and citrus. A warm and very deep palate with persistence and finesse. A fine choice for white wine with any pasta dish, especially with fish or white meat.

Stop by to pick up a bottle for dinner! Even better, let us put together a sampler case of 3 bottles of each for 10% off and we’ll deliver it to your home for free. Just call us at 617.262.0363 to set it up.

Cheers,
Jeff

And the Big Winners Are….

boston-wine-expo-77What does one do on a stormy Sunday in February?  Head over to the Boston wine-expo2012-4Wine Expo of course!  Yes, 3 of Bauer’s own braved the snow storm like many others and headed down to the Seaport World Trade Center this past Sunday. We spent the day sipping and spitting our way through France, Italy and the US.  Not to mention a lovely visit to the Grand Cru Lounge courtesy of our friend Carla Morey.

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After checking in Colin, Tom and I set off in search of wines that we haven’t had before.  We wanted to discover wines that could be brought into Bauer and be easy for us to sell.  Seemed like a simple task.  Well, maybe not so simple but fun at least.  We headed on over to the Chateauneuf du Pape table and our eyes lit up in delight as we saw a wonderful representation of the Southern Rhone region of France.  We tasted the likes of Le Vieux Donjon, Mas de Boislauzon, Domaine Lafond , Domaine Tour Saint-Michel and others.

Although we could have spent all day there, we remembered our mission.  We Soleraspied this small group of tables towards the middle of the room with an Italian flag on the sign above.  Jackpot!  We  headed straight over.  It was at this table manned by charming and kind Italian representatives where we tasted the showstoppers of the Expo.  There were three standouts at this table full of finely crafted wines.  First, the Solerea Cerasuolo Rosato from Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.  Rose season is heading our way and we love to find some new ones to add to the ranks.  This delightful rose had more weight than a rose from Provence making it ideal for any time of the year. Intense fruity aromas and flavors meld with delicate floral notes and banana nuances, beeswax and custard cream. It was well-structured with a long finish.

The second standout wine of the day was the Cantine Cipressi Macchiarossa Tintilia (Molise D.O.C).  Made from the indigenous Italian grape Tintilia that has photo 1strong depth, deep color with evident but soft tannins.  It was highly aromatic (think plums, sour cherry, licorice and black pepper).  Since none of us have ever had this varietal before we were very interested in it.  Turns out Tintilia wines are fairly rare because of its notoriously low-yielding vines.  After a quick swirl I stuck my nose in the glass. Spicy, with lots of fruit and lots of intensity. Various spices, blueberry, plum, cherry, raspberry, maybe a bit of herb, a little earth, all shifting and swirling around. This wine had a great depth of sweet fruit flavors, with some vanilla, accompanied by a moderate level of tannin, and just the right amount of acidity to even out the structure of the wine.  It was exciting because it seemed to offer something new every sip.

And now for the wine that stopped me in my tracks.  From Sicily came Tenuta di Casterllaro Nero Ossidiana made from a blend of 60% Corinto, 20% Nero d’Avola, and 20% other varietals located on deep sandy and volcanic soils (pumice and obsidian).  The fruit was fermented without stems and without imagestemperature control. Then it underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel followed by eight months of aging after which it was drawn into stainless steel vat for settling.  The wine exhibited light berries and wood box on the nose.  Inky black and medium-bodied with depth and flavors of red fruit, earth with a good amount of acidity.

After being wowed and awed with all the wines at the table we finally get the bad news.  These wines are NOT available in Massachusetts yet!  What?? No!  So why am I sitting here and writing about them for you?  Because they were that good.  Because now I want more of them. Because we are hoping that one of our distributors will head our cry to bring these spectacular wines in.

Yeah…you…you know I am looking at you.  Get these wines on your portfolio.  Please.

Freaky, Geeky and Weird?

Lately it seems all we hear about is orange wine.   The newest rage in wine has been referred to as a wine geek’s wine, a freaky wine and just plain weird.  Huh.  Considering this so-called novelty is really the traditional method of white wine making, I can hardly agree with these descriptions.  Is it that different than the more familiar methods? Yes, but not freaky.

Nowadays, you know that white wine is made through harvest, crush and the immediate move of the juice to the fermentation vessel.  The juice spends absolutely no time on the skins so as to not impart any tannins or astringency to the wine.  This is all in the pursuit of the perfect white wine.

To us, it is more interesting to read about winemakers turning their backs on innovation (making technically perfect wines) in favor of experimentation.   Before the modern style of wine making came to be, wine was left to macerate with the skins to provide color, phenols, and tannins.  The color ranged from pink, yellow to a vivid orange.

The term orange wine is a bit of a misnomer, by the way.  It really should be referred to as skin-contact whites because the term doesn’t necessarily describe the color of the wine but more of a winemaking process/style.  The result is a white wine of a silkier, emollient texture with a more exotic flavor profile.  If you are looking for another white wine other the Gewürztraminer to accompany your spicy fare than this wine style is for you.  Think any umami foods like mushrooms, garlic, aged cheese and fish sauce.  Because these wines command attention, I wouldn’t say orange wines are meant for casual drinking.  Stick to the more familiar style of white wines for the “sitting on the back porch, having a glass” evenings.

For our part, Bauer has two different orange wines to offer you:

2011 Attems Cupra Ramato Pinot Grigio Ramato :   Cupra Ramato continues a

Attems Cupra Ramato

tradition of the Republic of Venice, since “ramato,” or coppery, was the term that referred to Pinot Grigio in contracts. A special vinification practice led to the use of this term: the must remains in contact with the skins for 36 hours and this practice gives the wine a very distinctive coppery hue. Attems Cupra Ramato boasts a rich, fruity bouquet, and opens full and weighty on the palate, with multi-faceted flavors.   It is perfect when paired with fatty fish, with delicate or vegetable-based antipasti, the ideal companion to summer dishes, and is delicious as well as an aperitif.  This wine is a great entry point into orange wine.

And

2007 La Stoppa Ageno:  This wine is made from a combination of three white

La Stoppa Ageno

grape varieties: Malvasia, Trebbiano, and the extremely local Emilia variety known as Ortrugo, with the majority of the wine being Malvasia grown on 36-year-old vines.  La Stoppa spends the next 30 days in contact with the skins. After this it is pressed off into a combination of steel tanks and neutral oak barrels where it ages on its lees (the sediment that settles to the bottom of the barrel) for 12 months before bottling without filtration of any kind.  A gorgeous medium amber-orange color in the glass, with a distinct haze of cloudiness, this wine has a phenomenal, almost otherworldly nose of exotic flowers, saffron, and orange creamsicle. On the palate it is weighty, with a texture that is almost tannic in quality, gripping the tongue with a velvet glove. From a flavor standpoint it is nearly indescribable — brown sugar, honeysuckle, saffron, cream soda, and unbelievably, the distinct flavor of coffee and cream on a finish that can be measured in minutes. Evolves gorgeously in the glass, and I highly recommend decanting for 1-2 hours prior to serving, especially if you can keep it cool while decanting.

Enjoy the La Stoppa with hard Italian cheeses, charcuterie, pork and oily fish like salmon or swordfish.

So there you have it.  Orange wines for everyone!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Bauer and Cow & Crumb

This past Saturday Bauer was lucky enough to host Hilary Koloski from Cow & Crumb again for a tasting of her Valentine’s Day themed cookies and some of Bauer’s best dessert wines!

The savory snacks offered up to Bauer’s faithful were delicious.  Hilary’s three Valentine’s themed cookies: Sexual Chocolate (dark chocolate and dried cherries), My Honey is Nuts (honey & cream glaze, chock full of home made honey roasted peanuts baked into a honey cookie dough) , and Roses for your Date (Oats are ground with flour to give this date-filled cookie a delicious nutty undertone and chewy texture, rolled in sugar sifted with edible rose petals) were moist and mouthwatering good.  Hilary also brought with her a Cow & Crumb staple, C&C L’Orange (Cranberry, coconut, orange zest and white chocolate) which is a crowd favorite.

Hilary's Spread of yummies

For Bauer’s half of this decadent tasting, we supplied the dessert wines to pair with Hilary’s cookies.  We started you off with the Hugel Cuvee Les Amour Pinot Blanc that picked up the orange zest and white chocolate in the C&C L’Orange. Then we offered our La Spinetta Moscato D’Asti that seemed like it was made just for the My Honey is Nuts.  The honey and floral characteristics of the Moscato picked up the honey and roasted nuts in the cookie so perfectly.  With Hilary’s Roses for my Date, we paired up the Marenco Brachetto.  The nose of fresh strawberries and rose petals picked up the rose in the cookie.  Who knew that roses in a cookie could be so delicious?!?   Last, but not least, Hilary’s Sexual Chocolate was offered with a taste of the Domaine La Fage Ambre.  The rich, port like nose and flavors of La Fage’s 100% Grenache dessert wine was perfect with the rich dark chocolate.  So much so, that tasters and Bauer staff alike kept going back for more!

The wines.

Cow & Crumb is an online store (for now) that ships all over the country and offers an array of different choices.  Check them out at www.cowandcrumb.com for a full list of Hilary’s treats!  Great to give as gifts to both your loved ones and as a gift to yourself! If you haven’t had the chance to try the Gran-ooh-la-la than you need to do yourself a favor and order some.  Bar none, it is THE best granola I have ever tasted.  Howie and I have obsessed about it since we tried it back in December!

Gran-ooh-la-la!

Wine, Hangovers & Work…Thanks Boston Wine Festival!

With head in hand, I take my sip of coffee and swallow down the enormous portion of Advil I need to start my recovery.  It seemed like such a great idea yesterday and today I can only say…ouch. But we had a great night at the Boston Harbor Hotel for the Opening Reception of the 23rd annual Boston Wine Festival.  So the pain is worth it.

About 5:45 last night, Howie, John and I started shaking off the dust of an otherwise normal workday.  We put on our nice duds and set off for the Boston Harbor Hotel in great anticipation of delicious wines and Chef Bruce’s ridiculously good food.

For once, the traffic gods were on our side and we got to the BHH early.  In our world, that means a quick stop at the bar before heading to the reception.  Howie, John and I cozied up to the bar and ordered some spirits to “cleanse our palates.”  Yeah.  Right.  Like we really needed an excuse for a pre-game cocktail.  Naturally, we weren’t the first ones there.  Our friend Donna was one Manhattan in already and she was feeling festive!

After our pre-reception cocktails, we approached the Wharf Room right on the water and I knew we were in for a special treat.  In fact, I was so in awe of the beautiful setting that I totally forgot to take a picture.  So here is a stock picture I pulled off the internet to give you an idea of what it looked like inside.As we walked in we were greeted by both Chef Daniel Bruce and a lovely young women holding a tray of Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Brut.  Chef enthusiastically welcomed his friends from Bauer Wines and told us to get inside to taste his delicious food.

Chef Daniel Bruce & Howie

Stepping inside, we were wowed by the surroundings but it didn’t take us long to get on task.  Heading right over to Tom Vincent’s table we indulged in the 2008 Mica Cabernet from Napa Valley.  Silky with rich black fruits, Mica lingered perfectly.  We also tried Sean Thackery’s Pleiades Old Vines.  A blend of several varietals, it was earthy with rich, mouth filling flavors of bold cherries, raspberry liqueur and a hint of oaky vanilla.

Next we took a quick stop to see our good friend Jacob Jata to see what his table was offering.  There we were poured Ramey Chardonnay and Donelan Family Winery’s Venus, a delicate offering of 90% Rousanne and 10% Viognier.  If the Venus is any indication of the rest of the Donelan Family’s portfolio, I am guaranteed to have a great dinner with them on January 18 at the BHH (tickets still available!).

Jacob talking wine.

From there on out, it was a blur of good food, great wine and fun conversation.  Yes, John and I took a time out to enjoy some of Chef ‘s food.  We would have never made it if we hadn’t.  Not to mention, who would want to miss out of Chef’s creations?  That’s just crazy (Yes Howie…I am talking to you).

Seared Tuna, Calamari, Lobster, Hake Cake and Pork Tenderloin.

The highlights for myself were the Mica Cabernet and both of the Trimbach Wines: 2004 Reserve Personelle Pinot Gris and the 2005 Frederic Emile Riesling.  Howie loved the Elio Grasso 2006 Barolo, the Forman Vineyard’s Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Sean Thackery’s Pleiades Old Vine.  John agreed with our choices but added in the La Jota 2007 Cabernet Franc and the 2009 Justin Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.  We may have had our different favorites, but we all agreed that there were some stellar wines being poured for us.  I can’t lie…working in the wine business does help one get a bigger pour than the average person.  Perhaps that is why I felt so awful this morning.  Yup.  That’s exactly why John and I are walking a little slower, head hanging, and intolerant of any noise today.

More pictures of our night for you but first, I must warn you.  My camera’s battery died and I was forced to take pictures with my iPhone.  So, by no means, are these high quality pictures:

John & Chris

John taking a time-out from tasting

John posing with his wine

Donna, Howie and John

One Incredible Lady from South Africa…Wendy Appelbaum

On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to meet the dynamic Wendy Appelbaum of De Morgenzon Estate in South Africa during Legal Sea Foods wine dinner featuring her.  A woman who is serious about winemaking, Appelbaum had a dry sense of humor with hints of feistiness that entranced me immediately.  Her voice had the deep guttural sound that reflected years of cigarette smoking (something she admitted to after a few coughs), and what she had to say that to her audience about winemaking in South Africa was smart, concise and fascinating.   Her outward appearance was as meticulous as her speech.   This woman exuded intelligence, stateliness and a frankness that was refreshing to listen to.  Thankfully, she patiently waited to talk about her vineyards while Sue and I frantically took our seats.

I admit it.  We were late.  Sue and I missed the hor d’oeuvres because we were also at the First Republic Bank’s Grand and Premier Cru Burgundies tasting.  We sipped on outstanding white and rouge Burgundies from Christie’s auction house in preview of the auction that benefits Hospices de Beaune.  Despite knowing that we had a wonderful dinner in front of us it was indeed hard to tear ourselves Corton-Charlemagne, Mersault and Mazis-Chembertin.  Thankfully though, we were not the last to arrive.  A couple of people walked in directly after us.  Whew…

I was happy to learn that De Morgenzon farms organically and bio-dynamically.  Considering that Bauer has a growing Organic Section and an ever growing clientele looking for Organic wines, I was pleased that I could add these wines to the list.  They dedicate themselves to the philosophy that a bio-diverse and an ecological sensitive environment produces infinitely better grapes.   Applebaum said with a smile, “If you get a headache tonight, it won’t be from my wines.”  Sure enough, she was right.  No headache for me later that night.

Part of their organic philosophy was to plant wildflowers in between their vines so they can rely on natural pollination and yeasts.    They describe their vineyard 91 hectare garden with 55 hectares of carefully tended vines and flower beds surround the entire farm.  In the background there are purple mountains and a blue sky overhead, the kind of picturesque scene a city dweller like me only dreams about.   Could it be that natural aspect that makes Appelbaum’s wines so delicious?  Well, that and the fact they pump Baroque music throughout the vineyard to make both the vines and farm workers happier.  Yes, Baroque music is best and Rock is the worst for vine happiness.  Twenty-four hours and day, seven days a week you will hear the likes of Bach, Mozart, Handel, Richter and others played through strategically placed speakers around the vineyards.  The Appelbaums believe that sound energy from the Baroque music has a positive effect on plant growth and the soothing sounds encourage the vines to grow faster and healthier.

Music, the surrounding gardens, happy farm workers, the majestic scenery, and loving owners like the Appelbaums, it is all working to make wonderful wines out of South Africa.

Pictures of the dinner:

Pistachio & Caper crusted Salmon

Short Ribs with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and local apples

Celebrate Argentina!

Every once in a while something unexpected crosses your lips in the world of wine.  You go to a tasting and you think you know what to expect: a typical wine from a region………..And then something remarkable happens:  You are completely surprised.  You find yourself immersed rather than just a warm body filling the room.  You become ignited with ideas, brain and taste buds stimulated.

I had such a day last Thursday when I attended the Wines of Argentina conference and tasting at the JFK Library.  As I rode the Red Line, I admit, I wondered why I was going.  I told myself that I know what Argentine wines such as Malbec and Torrontes tasted like.  I already liked them and I knew the region fairly well through my reading.  I also told myself that this wine fad was soon to fade and Malbecs would soon join the ranks of Australian Shiraz: over-planted, over-hyped, and after a couple of years, I wouldn’t’ be able to sell them.

As I stepped into the JFK Library, I saw Bauer’s good friend and ally Cathy Huyghe from Red, White Boston.  Always the wonderful hostess, Cathy introduced me to fellow blogger Meghan M from Travel Eat Love (traveleatlove.com-check it out, it’s one of my favorite blogs) and Katrin A from winedinewith.us (another amazing food and wine blog to check out).    We, and others, were allowed the special treat of meeting with Edgardo del Popolo, winemaker and viticulturist at Dona Paula, and Tomas Hughes, Agriculture Manager at Bodegas Nieto Senetiner.  In this insightful round of Q & A, we learned why the climate and altitude of Argentina makes for great wine and not just Malbec.   Most importantly for me, I learned that Argentina is doing everything it can to not be pigeon-holed by their most famous varietal.  Malbec may be their flagship wine but it is not their only one that is worthy of critical acclaim.  Torrentes, the only native grape to be grown and made into wine, is delicious, but winemakers like Edgardo predict that Cabernet Sauvignon is going the next big thing coming out of Argentina.  After their discussion about how consumers are moving away from “green” flavors like mint, leather, and eucalyptus in favor of fruit forwardness, I would have to agree.

I had the great pleasure of tasting 6 young Malbecs that afternoon and the one that stood out to me Tomas’ 2009 Nieto Senetiner Terroir Blend.  It was earthy but fruit forward.  Hints of vanilla and oak were there but not overpowering in the nose.  The flavors had vanilla, chocolate, dark red fruits and just a smidge of herbiness.

The three wines that were not Malbec should be mentioned because these are stars on the rise. Michel Torino Don David Torrontes, Altos Las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda and Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon were three very distinct wines that, indeed, changed how I looked at Argentine wines.  The Torrontes had a Muscato feel in the mouth while aromas and flavors of orange peel, white flowers and nuts came through.  Bonarda, the native French (Carbonne) grape varietal, had delicious, sweet tannins with dried fruit aromas was juicy with just the right amount of earthiness.  Lastly, the Cabernet Sauvignon had 10% Malbec blended and it was meaty, smoky with ripe cherries, cassis, blackberry and licorice.  Outstanding.

Here’s what won me over to Argentine wines and in particular, their Malbec.  I tasted the 1977 Weinart Malbec and it showed me that Malbec may be great when they are young, but aged Malbec is spectacular.  The Weinart 1977 was the first bottling of Malbec for Roberto de la Mota and it showed the amazing aging potential of this varietal.  Silky smooth with root vegetable flavors, it had characteristics of aged Rhone wines.  The tannins were fully-integrated and when I popped a piece of Brie in my mouth before the second sip, I found wine Nirvana.

So thank you Wines of Argentina for showing me the beauty, grace and wonder of Argentine wines.  You are not just a wine fad destined for obscurity; you will prove to all that you are a powerhouse in the New World ready for to take your place among the great regions of wine.

Hola Rioja

As the weather threatened all day to put a damper on our Rioja celebration on October 1st, we could only sit back and wait.  I looked nervously outside every few minutes while I set-up all afternoon.  Dark skies looked ominous and the store was quiet. Uh-oh.  Tonight’s going to be a dud I thought to myself.

Would the rain or the threat of rain keep people in?

As it turns out, my answer was no.  The rain held off and the Back Bay showed up to help us celebrate our month long promotion of Rioja.  Known as the “little black dress” of wine, Rioja is one of the most food-friendly wines on the market.  Winemakers in the Rioja region of Spain only release their wines to the public when they feel that they are truly ready for consumption, so when you purchase a bottle you can open it with confidence that night.  They also age well, so buy the Gran Reserva to save for a special occasion and know that you can store the wine until you are ready to open it.

Food among some Spanish flair

 

Because we wanted to feature as many wines as possible we set up two tasting areas.  One right in the front of the store and was manned by Kristen Butke of European Cellars, Eric Solomon Selections.  Kristen poured for the eager crowd two high-end Riojas and two other Spanish wines.  She started everyone off with the 2010 Gessami Gramona (a muscat blend), then a 2006 Izadi Reserva Rioja, 2006 Orben Rioja and 2008 Black Slate Priorat for fun.

Tom helping Kirsten at front table

Muga and Juve

The Riojas

The second tasting area had both Marco Dreary of Winebow Boston and Coleen Noonan from Tapeo Restaurant.  Marco was pouring for the crowd a 2007 Juve Y Camps Gran Reserva Cava, 2009 Muga Bianco, 2009 Sierra Cantabria Tinto, 2007 Sierra Cantabria Crianza and the 2007 Muga Reserva.  Coleen’s adjacent table, for the tapas, was set up with a Spanish flair with flamenco dancer figurines and a shawl to decorate the table full of goodies.  And by goodies, I mean Chorizo y Apricot Skewers, Croquettas de Pollo (chicken croquettes) and Gorditas (prunes Stuffed with goat cheese).  The food went fast as no one could resist the delicious tapas that went perfectly with Marco’s wines.

Howie, Marco, and Coleen

Tapeo's yummy spread

All in all, it was a great night for us all!  Thank you everyone who came to kick off this great month dedicated to all things Rioja, from our staff to our guests to Marco and Kristen for pouring amazing wines.  I especially thank Tapeo Restaurant for spending a couple of hours with us and offering something delicious for Bauer’s faithful to try.

Vibrant Rioja and Laura P…you made it possible for us to host such a great event.  What a wonderful night for everyone! 

Cheers!

Ladies enjoying some Cava

Karen and her friend

Rioja and Tapas

Some of the crowd

Hey, I’m More Than Just a Cute, Fuzzy Face

After 12 years I have picked up a lot of wine knowledge from my humans.  All day I listen to Howie, John and Nick discuss wines with customers and amongst themselves.  You could say I have picked up a thing or two and I want to start sharing that with all of you.

Recently, I have been joining Corinne in the office as she writes because she likes the company and I get lots of attention.  Watching her work,  I got to thinking about my take on this store and my contributions.  I’m more than night-time security with a cute face and my voice needs to be heard.   I made it clear to Corinne

Sitting with Corinne waiting for a pat

that it was time for me to start my own recommendations.  As the king in this place, she immediately obeyed.  I always get what I want. I hope it will work on you too.  Let me send out the Jedi mind trick now:  mmmmmm…..tuna.  You want to give me tuna.  Delicious tuna….NOW.

But I digress…

You can ask Howie or John about their personal favorites and they will tell you all about them. Want my opinion?  Look around the store and you will start to find little grey cat stickers on my favorites.  I figured that was the easiest way to make recommendations since I am sleeping all day before my nighttime security shift in the store.

My wines right now are the NV Perrier-Jouet Champagne, 2010 Frisk Prickly Riesling, 2004 Trimbach Pinot Gris (hey…that’s named after me!) Reserve Personelle, and 2009 G.D. Vajra Langhe Ross.  Come check them out and make sure you buy one before they are gone!

Cheers!

Gris 

A Rose by Any Other Name…

As the worst heat wave Boston has seen in a long time finally subsides, I can’t help but wonder-what were people drinking?  Other than water, did Bostonians still imbibe?  As the thermometer crept up, I craved rosés.  Every bottle that was pink screamed out…DRINK ME!  I’m refreshing!!!  As someone who has never turned her back on Bacchus, I listened, opened and enjoyed every sip.

Rosés are probably the most misunderstood wine in America.  Men and women alike seem to think pink automatically means sweet.  Thanks to the White Zinfandel craze of the 70s and 80s, we have been tainted.  Men, of course, think a wine that is pink is an assault on their masculinity…so not true fellas!  A dry, crisp pink rosé can be your best friend on a hot day.

Of course, not all rosés are made alike.  Like any wine, they reflect the terroir that they are grown on.   There are three different countries as of late that I have tasted the rosé and smiled with delight: France, Spain and the United States.

Embrace the “joie de vivre” and pick yourself up a bottled of sun-blushed rosés from Provence.  Made from the red grapes Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and occasionally a little Cabernet Sauvignon, Provencal rosés are pale in color, fun to drink and refreshing.  They are soft and delicate with crisp ripe fruit flavors and in particular the strawberry notes we have come to expect from rose.  I can highly recommend the mas de la dame we have here at Bauer.  At a great price, this wine is a true summer pleaser for all.

Aside from Provence, the Rhone valley produces arguable some of the best rosés in the world.  Mainly produced in the Tavel region, where rosé is exclusively made, these wines are serious, ambitious and vibrant in color.  Made from a Rhone red blend, they are full-bodied, bone dry with a bright acidity that makes them especially food friendly.  A wine that says they are from the sub-region Bandol are worth every penny.

Although not your typical rosé region, I do need to make special mention of my favorite rosé from the Loire Valley.  From the sub-region, Chinon, comes a delicious rosé made from Cabernet Franc.  It’s fuller bodied, fruit-forward and spectacular with grilled spicy shrimp kabobs.

Aside from France, you can find fuller wines from Spain that are especially food friendly.  Normally a blend of Garnacha, Monastrell and a smidge of Syrah that gives your palate something to cheer about with being ever-so slightly sweet, lower alcohol and bright acidity.  Meant to be drunk young, you will have aromas of strawberry with fresh cherry and currant flavors.  A perfect example is Senoiro de Sarria 2010 Rosado from Navarra.  And at $9.99 a bottle….you can’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy this gem.

Sometimes referred to as blush wine, please don’t call my next category the dreaded White Zinfandel.  Washington State is producing rosés that cannot be compared to the sticky, sweet pink wines the US produced in the 70s and 80s.  Nowadays, rosé from the West Coast leans towards  bright tropical fruits, citrus and Mexican orange blossom on the palate with great acidity and lively finish.  Winderlea Vineyards in the Willamette Valley in Oregon is producing wines from the oldest and most highly regarded sites in Oregon.  Made from Pinot Noir this is a fun summer wine with some serious pedigree.

So now that we are sliding quickly into August…Think Pink for the rest of the summer and Enjoy!