Tastings around Richmond

Tonight at the Wine Cellar in Midlothian – FREE from 5:00 – 8:00

1. SOLAIRE CHARDONNAY by ROBERT MONDAVI $18.45
2. SIMI SAUVIGNON BLANC SONOMA COUNTY $17.35
3. PARDUCCI PINOT NOIR CALIFORNIA $14.45
4. PARDUCCI MERLOT MENDOCINO COUNTY $12.45
5. SOLAIRE CABERNET by ROBERT MONDAVI $19.95

Tonight at River City Cellars in Carytown – FREE from 5:00 – 7:00

Avondale 2007 Chenin Blanc: Grown in South Africa since the late 17th century, Chenin Blanc remains one of the country’s premier white wine grapes.  A progressive estate that practices organic viticulture, Avondale makes this crisp, citrus scented Chenin Blanc.

Forrest Estate 2006 Sauvignon Blanc: Located on the northern tip of New Zealand‘s South Island, the Marlborough district has become synonymous with vibrant, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc.  The 2006 Sauvignon Blanc from Forrest Estate is no exception with flavors that recall citrus peel, guava and sweet grass.

Barnard Griffin 2007 Rose of Sangiovese: Peach and strawberry notes come to mind in tasting this dry yet fruity rose made from the Sangiovese varietal in Washington State.

Durigutti 2005 Bonarda: While Malbec is undoubtedly the most recognized grape produced in Argentina, the Bonarda grape, imported from northwestern Italy,  is the most planted.  With hints of tar and spice meshing with blueberry and black cherry, this medium-bodied red has softer tannins and a great sense of balance.

Yalumba 2006 Bushvine Grenache: Produced from Grenache vines averaging sixty years old  in the Barossa region, this full-bodied Australian red has ripe berried flavors as well as hints of cocoa, clove and flowers.

ps: Don’t forget to bring your own glass (unless you like plastic)!

Tomorrow night (5.24) at Bella Vino Stony Point – FREE from 3:00 to 9:00

Domaine de Coussergues Sauvignon Blanc          Vin de Pays D’Oc, France $9.99/bottle

I’ve been drinking this white for several years now and it has always satisfied.  It is a snappy little wine from the south of France.  There’s citrus fruit and a hint of green grass and a lively finish.  It’s oh so easy to drink too much of this wine, so look out!  Have it with grilled vegetables and feta cheese.

Picpoul de Pinet                                              Coteaux du Languedoc, France $8.99/bottle

“Picpoul” means “lip-biter” in French (or so I’ve heard) and that perfectly sums up this wine.  A light white with green apple fruit and a crisp, almost tart, finish.  The grapes for this wine are grown within sight of the Mediterranean (a picture:  http://www.kysela.com/south/pomerols.htm).   Maybe it’s my imagination, but I can almost taste the salinity from the sea breeze in this wine.  Grill up some shrimp and other shellfish and gobble them down with this wine.

Resonata Nero D’Avola                                 Sicily, Italy $9.99/bottle

Nero D’Avola is a grape indigenous to Sicily that has been compared to Syrah.  I think the comparison is accurate:  this wine has a smooth texture, black cherry and raspberry fruit and a slightly spicy finish.  This is rib wine.  The bright fruit in the wine will meld well with sweet, spicy BBQ sauce.  That said, it would be easy to drink alongside anything.

Maipe Cabernet Sauvigon                           Mendoza, Argentina $10.99/bottle

Here’s another one of those great deals from South America. A Cabernet with plump fruit and a little mocha on the finish.  It has big flavor even at a small price.  This wine is made from grapes grown high in the Andes, in a dry climate that allows the fruit to get to  maximum maturity.  If it’s really hot outside,then this wine might be a bit heavy, but once it starts to get dark and cool down, you can crack it open and have it with your main course.

Make sure to get out and enjoy this great weekend and try some new wines. Cheers!

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