Charmeroy Brut Rose, NV France

“Ain’t nobody dope as me, I taste so fresh and clean…”

"don't you think I'm so sexy, I'm dressed so fresh and clean!"

"I love when you stare at me, I taste so fresh and clean."

A moment of sheer genius struck me two days ago as we revisited this wine with the staff- there is NOBODY as dope as this Brut Rose, it’s just SO fresh and CLEAN!!   I can’t stand it.  What is it about Champagne (actually, this is technically a sparkling wine) that makes it so freaking perfect for SO many occasions?  here’s one occasion that occurred last weekend in Edisto:

this guy is maybe *not* so fresh and clean... but the wine is.

Beach?  Bubbles!  Trying to get a jump start on Christmas shopping online?  Bubbles!  A small or large Holiday get-together?  Bubbles!  Friday afternoon?  Thursday at lunchtime?  Bubbles.  Especially pink ones.   And especially THESE.

What’s so good about this?  Well, it smells like strawberries and cream, raspberries, and sweet tarts.  It has a delicate mousse (or bubbly-ness, in technical terms), a lovely thirst quench, and a hint of tart green apple on finish.  And as it turns out, it’s quite an interesting blend of grapes: Merlot, Pinot Noir and a little bit of Chenin Blanc.  Not your typical sparkler, that’s for sure.  The best part?  It’s affordable!  Like super-affordable!  We’ll be slingin’ it at this Saturday’s (10/29) wine sale from 12-2 for 11 bucks!  

Just to temp you even more, doesn’t it look inviting in this frosty glass?

mmmm... pink n' frothy.

I’m pretty stoked that I got to combine two of my favorite things, Outkast and Pink Bubbly in one blog post!  I would pay a large sum of money to see Andre 3000 and Big Boi together.  A girl can dream.  Until then, at least I have scratched old CD’s and Charmeroy Brut Rose.  Can’t make it to the sale on Saturday?  This little pinky is also By The Glass, and will definitely be making an appearance at our next Champagne Tuesday!

Gen 5 Chardonnay, 2010 Lodi

It’s been a minute since I had a Cali Chard that I really flipped over.  Introducing… the Gen 5 Chardonnay from Lodi!

Nowadays, I feel that I’ve picked up on a slight stigma against Chardonnay, especially those from California.  Almost like it’s uncool to like it.  It still sells well, but the millenial generation, specifically, tends to perceive it as being lame.  Their Aunts and Grandmas love Chardonnay, and they’ve had one too many poor, manipulated, over-oaked, cheap Chards at an art opening or gathering that chances are came out of a jug.  Truly, if I had to name one grape of which there is entirely *too much* of poor quality in existance, it would be Chardonnay.  I don’t often want to spit wine out… but I’ve had a couple Chards in the past that I’d sooner take a razor blade to my tounge than drink again.

Okay, those were some harsh words.  But much like the Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay that I wrote about back in the wee early days of this blog, I really, really LOVE  a good Chardonnay at a good price point.  So, in comes the Gen 5!  I really think this is one of the cleanest, purest, most poignant Chards I’ve had in a long while.  It is focused and perky, with bright notes of kiwi, guava, pineapple, prickly pear and (now that its warmed up just a bit) a little hint of vanilla bean.  Check out its crystalline, clear coloring  (okay, I was just dying to use the word crystalline):

Well, the picture doesn’t do it a ton of justice, but it really is a beautifully clean and clear wine.  Maybe it’s because Gen 5 is a certified Sustainable winery?  Perhaps.  I would love this wine even if I didn’t know that about it, but it’s always awesome to hear that a winery is committed to planet Earth-friendly farming and policies.  Lodi actually has it’s own set of “Rules” and standards for Sustainability.  Yet another reason I need to visit that part of California- the Lodi area seems like a community with a sense of togetherness.  Pretty cool.

So what’s the best part of this wine?  Well, it only costs $13!  How’s about that.  This speaks volumes about this wines awesomeness, because I find that wines labelled as Sustainable are often over-priced.  They could probably sell it for $15 and no one would question it.  Sustainable?  Sure, I’ll pay $15!  Actaully, it’s definitely worth $15.  But how nice that it’s $13!  You can try it at the Wine Sale, TOMORROW!  Saturday, August 27th from 12-2 at Cellar on Greene.



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.

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!

Spring Fevah! the only cure is… white wine.

I’m pretty sure I’ve used that tag line before… but don’t hate.  Will Ferrell in a belly shirt hitting a cow bell never goes out of style.  But as for today- we’re having a small and miraculous dose of SPRING in February!  Isn’t it fantastic!  I love how we, in South Carolina, act like it’s been suuuuch a long winter and we’re SO ready for Spring- when the poor souls in New England (and lots of other places, too) suffer a much longer and more brutal winter than we’ve ever even imagined.  But be that as it may, we still get to throw open our windows for a few hours, air out the house, put a spring in our step and rejoice that we live in a Southern climate. 

Which is why I have had a serious taste for white wine the last few days!  And even though those who know me know that Chardonnay is not exactly my favorite grape- I’ve found two that really put me in my place with their deliciousness!   

First is the Novellum Chardonnay, 2009 Vin de’Pays.  I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a Chardonnay since the Chamisal Stainless I reviewed last year!   First because it tastes good.  But keep reading to find out the most awesome reason.  Robert Parker said this about the 2008 vintage of this wine, which I’ll quote since I can’t really put it better:  “The only reason not to enjoy this often over the coming year is if you insist on making an anti-Chardonnay or big-spending statement.”  So, ARE you one of those people who will insist on making an anti-Chardonnay statement??  That is so uncool.  Even worse are people who insist on making big-spending statements.  Just don’t do it.   Who are you really making the statement TO anyway?

Anyway- lovely, lovely, and more lovely is this wine.  Fresh, lively, gorgeous acidic and mineral content, and knock-out fruit- white peach, granny smith apple, tangerine, and a very pleasant hint of hazelnuts and light caramel.  It’s 30% barrel fermented, which translates to a beautiful silky mouthfeel and viscosity.  I really can’t say enough about this wine.  Oh wait- yes I can!  the best part… IT’S $11!  Oh.Em.Gee.  It’s really pretty stunning that this wine can be so good and so inexpensive.  How do they do it?? 

Next is another perennial favorite in the unoaked California Chardonnay category- Four Vines Naked Chardonnay, 2009 Santa Barbara– worth mentioning because it’s also pretty darn good.  And it’s $12!  That’s nothing to sneeze at.  Wine Spectator gave the 2009 vintage a nice little 88-point rating.  My taste generally points me more towards French Chardonnay, but the Naked is a pretty fun wine- more tropical than the Novellum, with lots of citrus, a nice quenching palate almost similar to a Sauvignon Blanc, and notes of pineapple, melon, and pears.  A ripe, flirty little Chardonnay.  This is the Chard that will leave you wondering why so many people hate on Chard.  So lets hear it- why do you think people hate on Chardonnay?  because Grandma drank it?  because they tasted a really cheap disgusting one (or two or three) at some sort of function and decided it sucked?    I’m curious.  

Before I sign off for today, a few items for consideration: the Novellum is available as part of our $90 Mystery Case this week (a new group of wines will be sent out today or tomorrow, but for last weeks- click here).   Huh?  you don’t get our wine club emails?  Tsk tsk.  $90 plus tax for a case of wine can’t really be beat, trust me.  Email us if you want to sign up!  Also it will be at the Wine Sale this Saturday the 19th (it’s supposed to be 75 degrees out!  holla!) from 12-2. 

AND- check Cellar on Greene out in the Free Times this week!  Bite of the Week- Duck Quesadilla.

Wine Sale Bargains!

Yes, ma’am- we’re still having a wine sale tomorrow (10-30), depsite the fact that there is a noon football game!  We’re just hoping that there’s enough of you out there that like wine more than football… or at the very least- wine BEFORE football- that it won’t just be us employees standing around looking at each other from 12-2 tomorrow.  Please, please don’t make us do this!  So today’s post will be short, sweet and to the point- bargains, bargains & more bargains!  Well just five, actually.  But they’re good!!

hot kitchen photo shoot

Here they all are, posing together.  First is Ca’Lunghetta Pinot Grigio, 2009 Italy.  Normally around $10-11 online or at your average Wine-o-rama store, we’re selling for $8 tomorrow!  Here’s all you need to know about this one- it’s light, bright, crisp, and it goes down reallll easy.  Or, in more polite terms, it’s “easy to drink!”  Refreshing flavors of green apple, citrus, melon, and a pleasant zesty finish.  You’re bound to love it.  It’s hard not to find it at the very least, quaffable. 

Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Gris, 2008 California.  If there was one phrase that I would’ve seriously doubted would ever enter this blog it would be Kendall Jackson.  I doubt if I ever would have picked this one up at a store for the simple reason that I tend to stay away from the Big Cali Hype… but okay I’ll level with you- it’s actually very nice!  Brighter and not as “wet” as an Oregon Pinot Gris, it offers some pleasant flavors of apple, spice, lemon zest and nice floral aromatics.  Upon further investigation, it turns out this wine is 88% Pinot Gris, and the rest is made up of various percentages of Roussane, Gewurtz, Viognier, Muscat, Chardonnay & Riesling.  Go figure!  A prettt cool little blend.  Average price- $17, tomorrow for $13!


Time for some REDS!!  Two Pinot’s for all you Pinot-lovers out there… Dante Pinot Noir, 2009 California, just $10!  This is a Michael Pozzan wine, which I did not know until just now when I googled looking for images.  This wine is very competatively priced- it’s price range matches- IE $10 at your average grocery store- don’t even hold a candle to it, as it easily drinks in the $14 range.  Not super new-worldy, it’s a touch more earthy and gamey than you usually find in California.  Sour cherry, cloves, leather, and an easy-going palate.  Not the most complex wine on the planet, but who doesn’t love a good Wednesday wine for $10 that would taste great with a frozen pizza?  I sure do. 

Then we skip to the little “Superstar” of today’s post- J Pinot Noir, 2007 Russian River Valley!  Now we’re stepping up to $22 a bottle for this one, but given that it averages at least $30 a bottle, that ain’t bad!  Plus, this is some great Russian River juice- classic raspberry and strawberry, but with interesting additions like hints of mint, wintergreen, cinnamon, cloves, and lovely dark, rich black cherry.  100% French Oak aged.  This one will be a welcome addition to the “grown up” wine shelf in your house, for when you need something just a bit more, but aren’t willing to break out the reserve wines just yet.  Save those for when it’s December 23rd and you haven’t finished your Holiday shopping.  You’ll need them. 

And last but not least, our old friend the L’Oca Ciuca “The Drunken Goose” Sangiovese-Merlot-Syrah, 2006 Italy.  This has been a staple around here for quite a while and folks seem to really like it.  Maybe it’s the name, who knows!  This little goose is awfully cute, too.  The long and the short of this wine is that we’ve sold it for $10 a bottle in the past, but this weekend we’re marking it down to $8!!  What could be better than a good wine for $10, but a good wine for $8?!  Especially one you know you like.  But if you’ve never had it, remember you can try it on Saturday!  It’s very smooth, versatile, and is more fruit-forward than you might expect from the Chianti region. 

So come check these bad boys out!  Actually, if you come to the sale on Saturday and mention that you read this blog- or at least this post- I might hook you up with a little gift.  I’m something of a baker, didn’t you know?  Can’t turn that down, can you?

Top Five Wine Sale Picks!

In an effort to keep you readers on your toes, I’m switching it up this week- I will not prattle on about one particular wine that I’m obsessing over that week.  Fun as it may be for me, I recognize that not all of you want to scrutinize details about every wine out there.  Nerds like me enjoy getting verbose and creative, but sometimes you just need the facts: will I like it, and can I afford it.  So that’s what we’ll do today!  I’m hoping to make this a pre-wine sale tradition.

First up is the delicious and quaffable Barone Fini Pinot Grigio, 2009 from Alto Adige, Italy (way way north).  I like this wine for several reasons, number one being that’s is fun to say- you can’t just say “Baron Fini,” you have to exclaim with all the enthusiasm you can muster- “Baron-ah Feenee!” and with the best Italian Grandpa accent you can imitate.  Ricky is quite good at it, and I’m sure if you ask him tomorrow, he’ll say it for you.  Did you know he’s part Italian?  Yes, it’s true.  Shoot!  I forgot I was supposed to be all succinct today!  Getting to the point…

What’s it taste like? This is a worthy contender to the infamous Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio- a more stately, substantial style of Pinot Grigio.  It packs a bit more weight and depth than many of it’s brothers and sisters.  It offers a round texture, with notes of pear, quince, ripe apples, straw, minerality and a lengthy finish.  Not as much citrus as you might find in many Pinot Grigios- it is, for lack of a better term- a wine drinkers Pinot Grigio.

Can you afford it? Mos’ def!  While Santa Margarita averages in the $20 range, you can have the wee Barone here for $14 at the Wine Sale tomorrow!  Can’t beat that!

Next we have a truly gorgeous Italian white from Feudi di San Gregorio, their Lacryma Christi. I love many of the Feudi wines- in true Italian style, they make wine out of grapes you probably haven’t heard of- Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, Aglianico, Fiano, etc.  I tasted the Lacryma for the first time last night having no idea what grape it was… my best guess was a Falanghina/Trebbiano combination (and, okay I admit it- I guessed Trebbiano because it’s a widely planted grape, not because I really had a clue).  But I was 20% right!  This is a blend of 80% Coda di Volpe (how’s THAT for a grape you’ve never heard of?) and 20% Falanghina.  But it is 100% fantastic!

What’s it taste like? A pretty, floral nose of white peaches, apricots and citrus peel, a crisp palate, and way-too-elegant-for-it’s-price-range finish.  So Can You Afford it?? Absolutely!  This wine comes in at a killer $13 a bottle! I love it!

One last white- the Foris Gewurztraminer, 2007 Oregon.  Never heard of Gewurztraminer?  Or as I like to call it, Guh-wurtz?  It’s a cool little grape.  It likes cool climates, so you’ll often see it from Alsace, Northern Italy, Germany, and of course Oregon and Washington.  It has a naturally high sugar content which means it can also be made into a delicious dessert wine.  It’s one of the most aromatic white wines you’ll find- notes of spice, with lychee, rose petal, and passionfruit.  Despite all it’s sweet tendenceies, this is an off-dry wine with fantastic acidity and just the right amount of fruitiness and hints of ginger.  Gewurz is often hailed as a perfect Thanksgiving wine because not only does it get along well with all fall flavors, it’s a nice light palate cleanser for your feast.  Yes, it’s only October… but it doesn’t hurt to get some ideas! 

Can you afford it?  But of course.  Foris is just $10!  Holla!

Moving on to some REDS!  I’ve mentioned this wine before (see here) but it really is that good, and we’re moving it at a killer price break this weekend!  Fat Barrel Pinot Noir, 2007 Willamette Valley.  It’s a great expression of Willamette at a great price- light cranberry, raspberry, toast, light oak and a Burgundian “demure” personality that I find quite pleasing.  It’s true to it’s nature, which is becoming more of an issue in Pinot Noir Nerd land.  More on that here.  Sooo… YES you can afford to drink a great bottle of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, because this Saturday it’s down to $17 a bottle!


Well this has already turned must more wordy than I anticipated, so we’ll finish up with the last wine, which I just tasted and am pretty sure will sell like hot cakes tomorrow- the Tamas “Double Decker” Red, 2008 California.  How do I know this?  Wellll based on my observation, we always sell out of juicy, mouth-filling, fruit-forward little Cali Red Blends that cost around $10.  It’s just what people (at least OUR people) like- I call it “Tuesday” wine- wine you don’t feel guilty opening on a Tuesday night when you’re on the couch watching TV and eating frozen pizza and doing your nails… or something like that.  This is a cool blend of Cabernet, Petite Sirah and Barbera.  It’s neutral oak content gives it a nice medium body, notes of blackberry, plum, black cherry and overall an adventurous spirit.  Plus the label is attractive which never hurts! 

Can you afford it?  You might have learned, now that you’re at the end of this post, that I tried not to write about any wines that were high-priced today, so YES- Double Decker Red is only $9!  As Stump would say, “Alll-riiight!”    Hoping to see many of you at the WINE SALE tomorrow, October 2nd from 12-2 in your favorite corner of Greene St!  Drop in, pick up a couple bottles, then off you go to the Annual Chili Cookoff that also takes place tomorrow- one of my favorite Five Points events!

Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay, 2008

So, here I am in the office.  It’s barely noon as I write this, and yet I am dipping into a magnificent glass of wine.  I know, I know… I am at work, and it’s early.  But tonight is my night off!  and this wine is just too good.  I couldn’t possibly write about it thoughtfully without drinking some.  Surely impossible, and inauthentic.  So I consider it an occupational hazard that I must endure for the time being.  Poor me. 

It occurred to me this morning that I have not blogged about a Chardonnay yet.  This is literally a perfect choice to break that spell.  I will also let it be known that I LOVE a good Chardonnay.  Emphasis on the good.  Likewise, I also loathe (in my opinion) a nasty Chardonnay.  In all of 2009, I can’t really say I found a California Chard in this price range that I loved- the last one I recall loving for $14 was  a French Chard called Les Morizottes that we poured by the glass at Cellar and Solstice for quite a while. 

**pause to pour a bit more wine in the glass**

The reason Chardonnay is such a cool grape is that it can take on so many different characteristics.  I read somewhere that it has been called the “chameleon” of grapes because of this.  I find that for my taste, a nice light unoaked chardonnay is where it’s at.  Chardonnay has a natural mineral content that is really beautiful when it is expressed well.  Most people don’t associate this with Chardonnay, as California has made a habit of producing very rich, buttery, oaked Chardonnay.  As Jerry Seinfeld would say, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”  I like a rich, elegant Chard too- but from my experience it is harder to find one that is “good” by my standards in the $15 or so price range. 

See?  here it is, in the office with my paperwork…

Which was a loooong winded way of saying (sorry, I get wordy when I drink wine at noon) that this Stainless Chard from Chamisal is DELICIOUS!!!  Fresh, lively, clean and vibrant.  Notes of pineapple, honeydew melon, green apples, citrus, and a nice light spice on the finish.  This is a cheerful, sunny, pretty wine.  Also, on the plus side, it is one of those wines that looks a lot more expensive than it is.  The packaging is simple and tasteful and they call it “stainless” rather than unoaked, which for some reason makes it seem more high-tier.  Sounds like a genius marketing team was at work here, which truthfully, is okay with me.  I love to think about the reasons people buy things, and something as simple as a different wording is enough, psychologically speaking, to boost sales.  Fascinating. 

We will have this at the wine sale tomorrow, Saturday, January 16th from 12-2 at Cellar on Greene in Five Points for $13!!  And I’d venture a guess that we will put it on by the glass starting next week.  If you stop in, ask me for a taste and be prepared to have your ear talked off (in a good way).  Thanks for reading and Cheers to Friday!  Hope you all started off your weekend at noon like I did…

Special Edition- Reserve Wine Sale Preview!

I have no excuse for not blogging for 5 weeks.  There is nothing to say other than I am slack, slack, slack!  The funny (or not so funny) thing is, I actually wrote a post 2 weeks ago, and then COULDN’T bring myself to finish it.  I just COULD NOT come up with the right ending, and I got disillusioned with it and just left it unposted.  Ponzi Pinot Noir.  Interestingly, it is quite delicious and deserving of being posted.  So maybe one day when I get over my writer’s block, I will finish the darn thing.

But to break the dry spell, I’m going to pick several of the wines we’ll have open this Saturday (TOMORROW, November 7th from 12-2!) at Cellar on Greene and tell you a little bit about each one in the hopes of picquing your curiosity just enough to get you in here!  Saturday’s tasting will be a bit different from our normal Saturday set-up; there will be a charge of $10 per person to come in and taste- but every wine open retails for $30 and OVER!  It’s an amaaaazing opportunity to try some bottles that you’ve never had or might not normally pick out.  Plus, they will be available at CLOSEOUT prices!  And there’s something for everyone- we’ll have Bruts, Rose Bruts, Demi-Sec’s, wines from France, Italy, South Africa, California, Washington, and pretty much all over.

81265896-149x149-0-0_Iron+Horse+Iron+Horse+Vineyards+Classic+Vintage+BrSo, here we go!  First is a fantastic Brut from Iron Horse in CA, their “Classic Vintage” 2004.  For anyone that doesn’t know, most sparkling wine is labeled NV for Non-Vintage, which means it’s a blend of grapes from several different growing seasons.  Whenever a sparkling wine is a Vintage Year, like this 2004, it means that that particular growing season produced grapes of particular high quality, and they had enough character to stand alone in a bottle.  The Classic Vintage from Iron Horse is the most traditional of the Iron Horse Sparklings.  It’s rich, creamy, and goes with everything.  This is perfect for the person that thinks that only France makes good sparkling wine!  Isn’t it nice to prove those people wrong?  Wine Enthusiast gave this vintage 92 points! It will be sold for $28 on Saturday, normal retail is $38!

Next up is an amaaazing riesling, Jakob Schnieder Spatlese, 2007.  Oh please, please someone buy this wine.  My heart has been breaking for months because it is SO GOOD, and no one has noticed it sitting amongst the other rieslings.  This is a vibrant, round, pure riesling with a beautiful refined structure.  Packs a lot of fruit, finesse, and power- white peaches, tangerines, white flowers and candied citrus are all over this wine.  Wine Spectator gave it 94 points!  Normal retail is $36, this Saturday only $28!

This wine is something of a show-stopper; 2007 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir from South Africa.  I hamilton-russell-pinot-noir-2004lovelovelove this wine because it is so unique and different, and extremely well-made.  It scored a nice 93-point rating last year from Spectator. Now, in total honesty, this is not your sister’s friend’s Pinot.  It’s not going to be the light, bright, juicy strawberries and raspberries that a lot of people look for in a Pinot Noir.  This wine has a heck of an earthy substance to it, and it’s not afraid to use it.  It’s bold, aromatic, and ripe with black cherry, bramble, smoke, incense and the finish goes on for days.  We sold out of this wine several months ago at $38 a bottle, and we have a limited amount back in for $25 a bottle!

leserrenuovedellornellaia06bAnother favorite of mine is the Le Serre Nuove della Ornellaia, 2006 from Bolgheri.  Lots of wine nerds that I’ve been reading online say that this wine is “Monumental!”  I’m not making that up.  It scored 94 points from Wine Advocate. Apparently the 2006 was something of a hallmark vintage for this winery.  I have nothing to compare it to, much less the 17 vintages that a certain Wine Advocate reviewer has tasted, but I can say that this wine is LIGHTS OUT.  Beautifully structured and approachable for being only 3 years old, it gives off ripe dark fruit, tobacco, grilled herbs, leather, tar and has an irresistible personality!  Normal retail on this one is $55, this Saturday for $42!!

Alright, and last but not least is the D’Arenberg “Dead Arm” Shiraz, 2006 from McLaren Vale, Australia!  This wine is also very well-known, and scores very high with pretty much every vintage, this year got a 91 from 2002+The+Dead+ArmSpectator and 95+ from Advocate.  Dark purple in color, it is rich with aromas of meat, bacon, truffles, blueberries and blackberries.  Ready to drink right now, but it is built to age and could stand a few years in a cellar, if you have the patience.  Normal retail is $55, tomorrow for $40!!

Remember, there will be LOTS MORE to choose from, this is just a sampling!  I know $30-$40 a bottle is not exactly a small amount of money to pay for a bottle of wine, but keep in mind how 1.) insanely GOOD these wines are and 2.) you won’t find them for LESS!!  It’s the perfect time to grab that special bottle for your wine snob Uncle for Christmas!  And you get to TASTE all of them for $10!  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Plus you can hang out with some of the coolest people in the restaurant business, myself included!  See y’all tomorrow at Cellar from 12-2!!