Las Lilas Vinho Verde Rose, 2010 Portugal

“My name is Kaitlin, and I am a Rose Addict.”  Ahhh… it feels good to admit it.  I am powerless to resist the charms of Rose this summer.  It’s all I want.  I try to want other wines, I really do.  But when you hit on something as delicious as this Vinho Verde Rose, and it costs a ridiculous $10, it’s hard to fathom drinking anything else.

Check out it’s gorgeous, almost electric pink color!  She’s a purty one.  The color itself is just screaming “drink me!”  Something this vibrant in color just has to be delicious!  And it is.  It’s fresh and quenching the way a Vinho Verde was intended to be, but offers exciting flavors of strawberry soda, watermelon, and fizzy sweet tarts.  Its finish has a perfect lip-smacking “grip” that makes you feel instantly refreshed!

What to pair with this wine?  Hmmm.  How about a 100-degree day?  We have no shortage of those around here.  Or maybe a pool?  a lake?  the beach?  or just a back porch?  I know, I know- I’ve said all these things before.  But I feel very passionately that this Rose should be consumed at all of those places.  I know from experience!  Of course, I’ve also consumed it in boring places like my couch.  Which miraculously became extremely un-boring once I added a glass of Las Lilas!  It’s true, you must try it.

Here’s a shameful moment in my life as a Rose drinker that I’d like to share; I feel compelled to purge myself and just give in to my total and complete Rose obsession- because at this point, there’s nothing else to be done.  So there may have been a bottle of Las Lilas in my refrigerator at some point recently, and I may have been reaching for the cream for my morning coffee, when…  I glanced at Las Lilas and suddenly thought “that would taste good right now.”  I should also admit- I don’t do much before I’ve had coffee- including talk to people.  But this thought entered my head with 100% seriousness.  So deep is my devotion to pink wine, and this wine in particular, that I really thought about having some first thing in the morning.  And that concludes the How Big of a Lush am I? portion of this entry.

If this goes on much longer, I might turn into this:

help me! I love Rose too much!

“I just really love this wine… I want it on a porch… I want it in a pool… I want to taste it all the time!!  …and… wait a minute, what I really want to say is… *sniffff*… Oh, I’m SORRY, I was just thinking about how much I love this WINE… again!   and I just got all choked up when I thought of all the people out there that haven’t tried it!  aaaand… who might LOVE it the way I do!  I mean, there’s so much bad wine out there, and this one just needs people to LOVE it!  that’s all it needs!  *blows nose* ..ohhh, I just can’t handle iiiit!”

Does anyone know if that video is for real??

Lastly, you can sample this wine tomorrow, July 9th from 12-2 at Cellar’s big ‘ol wine sale from 12-2!  Or any night of the week, as it’s by the glass.  For a while.  Maybe forever.

Vi d’Agulla Avinyo, 2009 Spain

I just love it when wine makes babies.  No, really- they can!  If you don’t believe me- you must try this Avinyo, and I’m sure you will be convinced that this wine is truly the love child of the Opala Vinho Verde and a Cava Brut.  This was truly a marriage made in heaven if you ask me!  In no way am I taking away from the genius and popularity of the Opala- it still remains my most visited and commented blog post- but kids, if you were looking for a worthy contender to match the Opala in almost every facet- this just may be your lucky day.

First, how to pronounce- it looks like a mouthful, I know-  the winemakers must have seen this coming because they have a handy little phonetic guide on the back of the bottle for us!  “Vee-da-goo-ya” Avinyo.  See- we’re only on the second paragraph of this entry and already you can sound smart when you come in looking for this wine.  Repeat a few times to yourself so it sinks in.  Vee-da-goo-ya-Vee-da-goo-ya.  It’s fun!

Next, on to this wine’s many uses.  This wine is so versatile it’s practically preposterous.  Like the Opala, it’s extremely low in alcohol- 10.5%- which makes it a perfect AFTERNOON wine!  That’s right- as the last 6 weeks of this Columbia summer is prepared to rear it’s ugly head, you know there’s nothing better than a chilly glass of white wine with lunch.  It’s aromas of spring flowers, tropical fruits, green apple and citrus zest are followed up by perfect minerality and a brisk, frothy, fizzy and thirst-quenching finish.  Perfect with any kind of light fare, in my mind- salads, anything involving citrus (ceviche, a citrus marinade or vinaigrette, etc), and I think it also a perfect apertif wine-  a clever fellow wine writer that I discovered this morning calls it a perfect “close the deal” wine.  Kudos to that one- I wish I’d thought of it myself!  Check out his website here.

Wine Advocate gave this wine a cool 88 points!  Not bad considering it’s only 12 bucks a bottle!  Gotta love that.  In case any of you wine nerds were wondering- the grape in this wine is Petit Gran Muscat- that might make it seem like it’s a sweet wine, but trust me, it’s not- it does, however, have some lovely muscat-like aromas- ie honey, flowers, etc.  But it’s allll fizzy-clean-crisp-deliciousness on the inside. 

I’m not trying to start a War of the Wines here, BUT- I do challenge all of you Opala-drinkers out there to give this one a try!  It really is Spain’s answer to a Vinho Verde, and Spain can make some good wine, y’all.  But you already know this, since you read my blog and you know that I’ve written about more Spanish wines than anything else.  What can I say?  I love ’em.  You can snag this bottle at the Wine Sale TOMORROW- August 7th for the aforementioned price of $12.  Yes, it’s two more dollars than the Opala, but still it’s a steal. 

One more thing- if you’re out and about and shopping for a sparkling wine and you see the Vee-da-goo-ya’s sister wine, the Avinyo Cava Brut– definitely give it a try, too.  It’s a consistant go-to sparkler that always scores well.  Basically these people know what they’re doing.  Hope to see lots of faces at the sale tomorrow!  And PS- we’re going to have LOTS of awesome reserve wines open tomorrow!  Paul Hobbs Pinot (94pts), Swanson Chardonnay (winery only) and I am anxiously awating the arrival of a few cases of EL NIDO this afternoon!  That’s CLIO’s big brother!  Serious stuff.  And who’d have thought- it’s Spanish, too!   Gotta come check this one out.  Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whites You Need for the 4th!

A quick post before our annual summer vacation from July 3rd-7th!  This Thursday night, the 1st, we’re doing a special night of Whites You be Needin’ for the 4th of July.  All of the wines I’m about to blather on about may be consumed for $4 a glass on Thursday night, and then ones you like best may be whisked away with you that very night (after you purchase them, of course)!  Yes, you know you need to stock up that cooler before you high-tail it out of Columbia.  Why do I know you will be doing that?  because that’s what you all did last year!  The night before 4th of July weekend, we had a total of 6 customers at Cellar on Greene.  Columbia was like a ghost town.  Which is fine- have fun, be safe, but STOCK UP!  Especially on some killer summer whites!  What else could you want for the beach?!  Beer, I suppose.  Beer tastes good at the beach.  But so does Opala!  And the rest of the wines I’m about to tell you about….

Opala Vinho Verde (Portugal) really needs no intruduction- it still remains the most visited post out of all the wine rants I’ve created over the last year and a half.  It’s our best seller at Cellar (get it?  seller?  cellar?).  It’s $10 a bottle.  I seriously doubt there’s anyone who hasn’t tasted this wine and not loved it.  It’s light, it’s crisp, it’s a little fizzy, and it’s low in alcohol, so you can practically sip it through a straw while you roast in the sun and never get more than a pleasant buzz.  We have PLENTY in stock, so stop in and grab as much as you need!

Norton Torrontes (Argentina)– this is a new one to me, but I *heart* torrontes, and so do a lot of our regulars.  Stylistically this one’s a bit on the drier side, which is nice for a summer wine.  Torrontes tend to have very flamboyant noses, with lots of bright fruit going on- sometimes hints of candy like jolly ranchers and gummy bears- but then they surprise you when you with their crispness when you get to the palate.  This one has leafy notes, with granny smith apple and tangy lemon flavors.  Delish!  $10 a bottle!

 

Markham Sauvignon Blanc (California) is definitely an above average Cali Sauv Blanc for this price range ($13 a bottle).  California Sauv Blancs are some of my favorites where Sauv Blanc is concerned- I love New Zealands as well, but occasionally I feel as though I’m chewing either a.) a grapefruit rind, or b.) a mouthful of grass.  The Markham offers delightful tropical hints- passionfruit, guava, gooseberry- finished off with nice lemony and white peach notes.   Fantastic alone or delicious with a fresh green salad and a citrusy viniagrette of sorts.  Fish, chicken, even a lightly prepared pork- perfect!  Very versatile wine.

 

Pighin Pinot Grigio (Italy).  Okay, I said it- Pinot Grigio is probably my least favorite white wine.  BUT!  When it’s good, I love it!  And it still has a stronghold over people, because it sells like hotcakes in the hot weather.  The Pighin is from Friuli, which gives it a leg up over other Pinot Grigio’s- the grape manages to maintain it’s intensity.  Peachy stone fruits, a silky texture, a h int of hazelnut, and a touch of melon lead into a classic, clean finish.  Yum!  $10 a bottle!

 

Last but not least, Lonen Charonnay (California).    A lush, rich little Cali Chard, which despite the the amount of “anything but Chardonnay” press there is out there these days in wine-snob land- still maintains strong selling presence… pretty much everywhere.  The Lonen is like a big, ripe basket of exotic fruits- pineapple, mango, light touches of orange blossom and a luxurious, butterscotchy-oaky-toasty finish.  Delicious and a fantastic value for $13 a bottle. 

That’s all I have time for today!  Likewise, if you need some REDS for the 4th, too- just let me know and I will hook it up in a jiffy while you’re sipping away on your $4 glass of white.  And maybe some tuna nachos, too?  That’s what I just had for lunch.  Ah, the benefits of working at Cellar on Greene.  Tuna Nachos whenever I want!

First Post- Opala Vinho Verde!

Hello everyone!  This is my first official Wine Snob blog entry.  For those of you who know me,  you probably understand the satirical tone behind the title “Wine Snob,” but if you don’t, let me explain: I have racked my brain for weeks trying to think of a title that was witty, creative, original, and conveyed that the purpose of this blog is to undercut Wine Snobbery with some good old fashioned BARGAINS and just plain deliciousness.

I thought and thought.  I asked everyone I knew.  I bothered people about it.  I got annoyed when people gave me dumb title ideas.  Katie-whine-oh?  No.  Glass-Half-Full?  Too unoriginal.  Oh-lingering-Wine?  Um.. NO.  Thanks, Ricky.  You are good for nothing.

So, The Wine Snob it is.  It’s not the best, but it’s to-the-point.  My goal will be to pick at least one wine a week and write a nice little succinct and humorous blurb about it.  I will definintely focus on value- but my objective will not necessarily be to have a wine that costs less than 10 or 15 dollars, but maybe a wine that costs $40 and TASTES like it costs $100!  What is better then THAT?!  Nothing.  I cannot hide my bias for wines that are available at Mr. Friendly’s, Cellar on Greene, or Solstice, but don’t hate me because of it.  Please.

So, with all that as a lead-in, allow me to introduce my first wine pick- Opala Vinho Verde!  Some of you may have sampled this at last weekend’s wine sale, or since then at Cellar where we poured it by-the-glass for a few days until-literally- it was GONE in a few days.  But thankfully, we have more on the way!!  EVERYONE, I do mean everyone, who has tasted this wine has raved about it.

opala_vinho_verde-17370805-Big

Simply put, this is the absolute BEST summer wine you can ever imagine.  You could drink it by the pool.  You could drink it while you mow the lawn.  Or after… maybe that would be safer.  Drink it on a porch.  Take it to the river or the lake.  I didn’t even know it was possible for a wine to be thirst-quenching, but it IS.  It SO is.  It is spritely, delicate, a little effervescent, light, low in alcohol (9%), with hints of citrus, apples, pears and a lively finish.  This wine is just FUN.  And did I mention that it is $10 a BOTTLE?!  Yes, it’s true.  You just died and went to heaven.

Speaking of heaven, the bottle even looks like heaven.  It’s pretty and floral and ephemeral and sort of dreamy.  I am trying to think of a celebrity to compare this wine to…. Reese Witherspoon!  Likeable, cute, petite, sort of dainty, but not annoying and cheesy like some little blonde petite celebrities.  Of which there are plenty.  Reese has substance, and so does Opala.

Let me add a little background info on Vinho Verde, for anyone who’s interested-  It’s from Portugal, and it means “Green Wine”, the “green” referring to the fact that the grapes are picked young, and it’s meant to be consumed very young as well.  So don’t buy it for your Mom if you think she’s bound to try to save it for a special occasion.  Bad idea.  It’s made out of a bunch of Portugese grapes you’ve never heard of and won’t remember.  And it’s delicious.  In my world, that’s all you need to know.

I hope everyone got a kick out of my first entry!  Stop in to Cellar on Greene and ask for a taste anytime Tuesday-Saturday.  If you mention that I sent you… there’s no tellin’ what will happen, but you will still get to taste the wine… and then some.  And then take a bottle home and park yourself on the porch for the rest of the evening.  I’ll be doing the same.  Cheers!