Tag Archives: Italian wines

La Maialina Gertrude Rosso Toscana – Bright Fruit and Italian Leather

Everyday Glass is dedicated to finding the best wines money can buy for under $15 – wines that you should be proud to serve to guests or enjoy with a simple 30-minute dinner recipe. We try every wine that we sell to make sure you get only the best. This blog is a collection of our favorites.

Here’s a foolproof winter survival plan: make a huge batch of a rich pasta sauce (the kind with lots of Italian sausage, garlic, and onions) and freeze it in serving portions. Stock up on Gertrude, our wine du jour. Enjoy quick weeknight pasta dinners all winter long with a deliciously juicy and leathery Tuscan red.

La Maialina GertrudeLa Maialina is a notable producer of Tuscan wines, and their range under $15 is really impressive. Gertrude has been a longtime bestseller at Bauer’s year after year, so if you haven’t tried it yet, have no fear. For an everyday red that is full of Italian character, it’s a total score.

2011 La Maialina Gertrude Rosso Toscana – Tuscany, Italy ($12.99) is unmistakably Tuscan with aromas of rich red fruits and hints of earthiness and leather. Flavors of sweet cherry are nicely balanced by earth and spice, with a smooth and dry finish. A perfect pairing for quick pasta with tomato sauce.

Drink this wine because:
– There’s an adorable pig on the label (that’s Gertrude, and her story is on the bottle).
– You get a big Super-Tuscan style red for under $15.
– It’s an easy pairing for that amazing pasta sauce you made and froze.

Drink up and enjoy your everyday glass!

Cheers,
Bauer Wines
bauerwines.com

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!