Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should drink.
2020 Avalanche Pinot Noir - $29.99
This exciting new to the shop PInot Noir comes from a family owned winery in the heart of the Swiss Alps in the Valais region. Pinot Noir thrives in the high elevation soil rich in limestone and chalk providing for wines with finesse and elegance. This wine shows aromas of red fruit and a welcome earthiness. The palate has notes of wild strawberry and raspberry leaf balanced with bright acidity. Try this food friendly wine with mushroom tart or spaghetti carbonara.
2019 Martha Stouman Benchlands Red Mendocino - $35.99
If you've yet to dip a toe into 'new California' or 'natural wine' one of the better starting points surely is with Martha Stoumen's wines. Martha studied with top wine makers in Sicily, Germany, France and California and is using her compiled knowledge to make straight forward expressive wines that defy expectations. Her organic and minimal intervention practices yield wines with grace, balance and depth that are invariably clean (a pitfall of some natural wine practices) and often powerful but never heavy.
The Benchland Red is a perfect example of the results she gets. Made with varietals usually associated with heavy red wines (Petit Sirah, Zinfandel and Nero di Avola), Benchland is instead snappy and refreshing with lovely spice and floral notes that frame the wild berry core flavors. She has set out 'to see what California tastes like' without the usually heavy handed interventions of more commercial winemakers. If this is it, I'll be snapping up as much as I can before her miniscule production becomes impossible to find.
Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company, Blå - $31.99
Just because we are doing Dry January this year doesn't mean we are content with the usual array of sugary sodas and boring bubbly waters. I splurged on a bottle of Copenhagen Sparkling Tea to pair with some sushi and I was absolutely in love after the first whiff. Started by Sommelier Jacob Kocemba during his time at a Michelin starred restaurant in Denmark, they offer two different NA options that are tea based. Blå is based on 13 teas and starts out with delicate aromas of Jasmine, chamomile and hints of citrus with just a kiss of sweetness. It is truly complex and absolutely lovely. We all deserve a good glass of bubbles, even if we are teetotaling!
2019 G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo - $27.99
G.D. Vajra is one of our favorite organic producers out of the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. This particular bottling from Vajra is my all-time-favorite, a perfect unadulterated example of why I love Nebbiolo. This wine is aged in 100% stainless steel, so there's no oak influence as with Barolo or Barbaresco! Lovers of Pinot Noir and Gamay will find this wine to be a perfect Italian alternative - as the body is light and the acidity is snappy! Floral notes of roses paired with juicy cherry, cassis, and wild berries make for an aromatic adventure you will want to take time and time again.
RICCA TERRA Bronco Buster, Riverland, South Australia - $26.99
When the Ratcliff family took over the Ricca Terra farms, they sought to create a sustainable vineyard and chose grape varieties that matched the warm, dry climate of South Australia's Riverland. Bronco Buster is a white blend made from Mediterranean grape varieties, primarily Fiano and Vermentino, these are hand harvested, co-fermented, and stored in stainless steel. The nose is bright with tropical notes, citrus fruits and light floral undertones from the Fiano. On the palate this wine has graprefruit, lime pith, light honey tones and a touch of umami richness. Combined these create a bright, tart, fresh wine that will have you dreaming of summer, but will pair nicely with your hearty winter foods.