Young’s Barbera, 2006 California

Well, I was all set to declare Summer 2011 to be the Summer of Rose this week, and dive right in to a Rose.  I had one all picked out.  Okay, so maybe I declared last summer the Summer of Rose.  But in my mind, EVERY summer should be the Summer of Rose.  That is, until I saw the forecast.  Rain, rain, rain.  Cold, cold, cold.  These things do not indicate good Rose drinking weather.  So I perseverated about one last Big Red to write about this week.  Which was difficult, because I was reeeeeeeeally in the mood for whites and roses.  But after three straight days of rain, I’m singing a different tune. 

Actually, I don’t know why I didn’t write about this one sooner, considering how popular it’s been at the last few wine sales!  The craze started over the winter with their Petite Sirah.  We sold it out- case after case.  Then we sold out the Syrah.  Now we’ve moved on to the Barbera, and it’s holding steady for us for the moment.  We even decided to put it on by the glass this week!  The Young’s wines really seem to hit the nail on the head for many of our wine shoppers and drinkers as far as value is concerned- this bottle retails for just $12, and it’s formidable size make it a whopper of a deal.   

It’s the epitome of juicy!  A nice combo of dark and red fruits like plums, pomegranates and blackberries, with nice complex notes of kirsch liqueur and light spices.  Barbera is not known for having a ton of tannin, so I’m impressed that all this fruitiness is so potent after 5 years in the bottle.  This is a perfect wine to keep around for entertaining- Burger night, Pizza night, dancing to Michael Jackson: the Experience night… pretty much anything goes with this wine. 

Another reason I love this wine- the label art!  It’s pretty and feminine yet somewhat sultry.  Check out the artist’s website here!  We’ll have this wine on by the glass as long as it lasts, so you can grab a taste the next time you’re in our corner of Five Points!


Estampa Viognier-Chardonnay, 2009 Chile

Yes, I know.  I just wrote about a Chilean wine.  But I warned you that I’m in a Chile phase, so I’m back at it this week!  And this one is WORLDS different than the last Chilean wine I wrote about.  Most notably that it is white, and the last one was red.  However, it is equally delicious and I am equally obsessed with it!  It’s especially fun to say- es-STAM-pa!  You will start to feel South American just by saying it. 

As you can see, I dipped into this bottle just a wee bit last night- just last night.  Not right now.  Definitely not right now, it’s only 2:30!   I would never do that.  Sure, there’s a glass of it sitting next to me here at the desk, but I’m just using it to remind myself of how it smells.  So let’s get to that, shall we?  Pretty notes of jasmine, fresh flowers and perfume are predominant, as this wine is mostly Viognier (85%).  The Viognier shows off nice hints of apricots and peaches as well- then the Chard kicks in a perfect punch of citrus to give it that pnice acidic quench.   Which is what I always search for in a summer white- you want your thirst to be quenched and to feel refreshed.  While at the same time achieving your optimal level of pleasant afternoon-in-the-sunshine buzz.  When this wine is very cold (which is how you will probably want it once July rolls around) it’s more of a lean-mean-heat-kickin’-machine, but if you let it come to just under room temperature (which is how a lot of hardcore white wine fans like thier wine) it shows off more of it’s round viscosity and hints of nice residual sugar.  It’s a true double personality- but that’s just what makes it more versatile! 

Check out Estampa’s website  for further evidence of why I MUST.GO.TO.CHILE. 


Oh, I almost forgot!  You’re going to love me for this one- this wine’s ONLY $11!  No way?  WAY!  If you don’t believe me, stop in to Cellar this Saturday, March 26th from 12-2 for our next Giant Wine Sale & Tasting and give it a try! 

Well that’s all the wine-nerding I have time for this afternoon, but here’s another little fun nugget for you:  my fellow ginger and Columbia wine nerd, James Alford, has just started a wine blog of his own!  He’s got a shite-ton of information crammed in that little brain of his, so be sure to check it out!   Fun reading.  If you don’t understand all the words he uses, you’re not alone.  That’s why Google was invented.  Just don’t dare play him in Words with Friends, or you might not like him anymore.  Just kidding, J.  Good luck in the blogosphere!

A Saturday afternoon quickie…

A beautiful Saturday was spent by me at Cellar on Greene, with the doors wide open and my favorite Pandora stations on rotation all afternoon.  No wine sale today, so it was a fairly quiet day.  So what made it even better?  Ricky showed up at 5:00 with an open bottle of the 2008 Migration Pinot Noir, which MIGRATED (get it??!) all the way from Solstice to Five Points just to see me!

Actually, there was a wine sale this morning at Solstice, which is why this open bottle of Migration arrived at my doorstep.  I got lucky and scored some leftovers!  Anyway, this is a nice little treat for a warm Saturday afternoon.  For anyone that doesn’t know, this is a second label to the celebrated winery Goldeneye, and since I can remember we have sold the bejeezus out of every vintage!  This wine is perfect for that person you know that just LOVES Pinot Noir.  Which is a lotta people.  I guess that’s sort of an obvious statement on my part, but it’s true.  I personally go through wine “phases” as I know many of you probably do.  Can’t you think of one friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, granny, who-ever that is in that phase where they feel like they’re the ONLY ones in the world who know about how awesome Pinot Noir is??  It’s like when you rediscover an old band and go around for days (weeks, even) convinced that you’re the only person on the planet who TRULY appreciates it.  Well, I’m sure their birthday is probably coming right up, isn’t it?  They would love this.  It’s a special bottle, but it won’t break the bank at $28. 

Moving on to the most important part- TASTE!  It’s a delightfully smokey little pinot, with fabulous notes of roasted herbs, mushrooms, violets, cherry cola, and a juicy backbone of red fruits.  It’s classy without being overbearing.  It has a nice “bang” of lush aroma, but not in a “I’m trying to be a Syrah” sort of way.  It’s firm in it’s identity as a Pinot Noir.  Which reminds me- here’s a hilarious “Dear Pinot Noir” letter, which might only be funny in a wine-nerdy sort of way, but I think it’s fantastic.  Go figure.  

I’m off to Vegas next week to drink wine for four days straight!  Follw me on twitter @winesnobsc and I’ll be posting whatever I’m drinking.  Not because I’m such a social media whore, but it’s probably the only way I’ll  have a chance of remembering what the heck I drank while I was there.  Stop in to Cellar on Greene to grab a bottle of Migration!  Or email us an order at!  If you mention that you read about it on The Wine Snob, you can have it for $26 a bottle, how’s that?  Sounds good.  Happy drinking!

Oscar Edition 2011… Veramonte Primus

Okay, so last year I was enamored with Jennifer Lopez’s Oscar dress and wrote a blog comparing it to a delicious, pretty, feminine rose.  I suffered through watched the Oscars again this year because I really loved many of the nominees and looked forward to seeing the winners… anyway, what a snorefest.  Anne Hathaway, you are completely adorable and I loved five out of your seven dresses throughout the evening, and you were the only interesting thing about the awards this year.  James Franco is just too squirrelly.  You’re beautiful and bubbly and did not seem one bit nervous, which was awesome.  There were some great dresses this year, too- I loved Mila Kunis, though I don’t particularly adore the color lavender.  I loved Jennifer Hudson (even though there was clear evidence that her breasts maybe had makeup on??  wtf?) and  there were lots of other pretty dresses on rich people.  Of course. 

But really, who notices what the guys wear?  A tux is a tux is a tux, most of the time.  Like Jerry Seinfeld once said, “a tuxedo was clearly invented by a woman, who thought- ‘well, they’re all the same, we might as well dress them all the same.'”  So this year I decided to give the fellas a thorough examination.  Who was my winner?  Well, he’s a lovely mix of sex appeal and bad boy:

Jeremy Renner!  What a fine specimen he is.  And a damn good actor.  Even if you don’t find him attractive in the classic sense, you must admit that he’s chock full of sexy.  And he is rocking the heck out of this YSL tux.  Now I’m really no fashionista, but the navy detail on the jacket just takes it over the top.  Here he is in his badass role in The Town, rocking the “I’m-sort-of-an-asshole-but-doesn’t-that-make-you-want-me?” look:

Now, where to go from here?  Ah!  the wine.  What wine is classic, yet sultry and edgy?  A traditional blend of grapes that has been successfully modernized, looks clean and polished, and also offers some serious bang for your buck?  Well, since you read the title of this post, you already know.  So enough with the guessing games- Veramonte Primus, 2007 Colchagua Valley Chile!   I absolutely adore this blend of Cab, Syrah, Merlot & Carmenere.  I’m also going through a love affair with Chilean wines in general.  This wine is just FUN to drink.  It’s smoky, spicy, tangy, racy, has deep gorgeous color, and a bountiful nose of herbs, licorice, tar (yes, tar- and it’s not gross), and no shortage of ripe bursting-at-the-seams fruit!  It pulls off all this exotic-ness with such finesse that it’s almost shocking.   Oh and PS- Colchagua = Col-CHA-gwa.

So what does this wine have to do with Jeremy Renner?  Well, nothing technically– but this is what makes wine FUN!  Thinking of ways to draw your everyday life into learning about and tasting wine.  So while you’re google-ing (googling just doesn’t look right) pictures of attractive men and also drinking wine, it gives you an excuse to label it “productive.” 

So I made the mistake of sitting down to write while hungry… which has led me to fantasize about what to eat with this wine.  Just a thought:

When I go to heaven and meet baby Jesus, I want to be surrounded by nothing but cured meats, fresh grilled bread, cheese, olives, cornichons, mustards and any other little accompaniment I can think of.  HEAVEN in and of itself.  I require nothing more.  Except an endless supply of wine.   So we’ve covered almost all my vices in today’s post- sexy guys, good wine, good food, and good movies.  What have I forgotten?  Ah!  we have this wine in stock at Cellar on Greene for $16!  A bargain.  Happy drinking, eating and watching!