Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should drink.
I. Brand & Family Enz Vineyard Mourvedre - $55.99
Ian Brand has been making incredible wine primarily from Monterey County in California over the past decade earning him SF Chronicle winemaker of the year in 2018. He sources his old vine Mourvedre from what many vignerons consider the most coveted source in all of California, the Enz vineyard, planted in the 1920s. His Enz Mourvedre is the finest I have tasted domestically, giving even great Bandol a run for the money. The wine shows aromas of sweet red fruit and baking spice. The medium to full bodied wine has great energy with a crisp red raspberry and blue fruit palate. Try this delicious red with winter dishes like lamb stew or beef short ribs.
2019 Ridge Vineyards, Three Valleys Red Blend, Sonoma - $35.99
The winter chill has finally broken me down - I need a fatty steak and a glass of red, glugable wine. While living large, I like to keep to the classics. Ridge Vineyards was established by an Italian immigrant, Osea Perrone, in 1885 where he first carved terraces out of the, now prized, native limestone soils of Monte Bello Ridge. Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon was featured in the legendary Judgment of Paris tasting, where California wines ranked higher (while blind tasted) against French wines - by a panel of French judges. Of course, the French were shocked and insisted that their wines would age better - but 10 years later at the Re-Judgment of Paris, Ridge was awarded the highest score! The Three Valleys Zinfandel dominate blend is a rich, bone warming beauty of Sonoma. This wine is bursting with cherry and blackberry fruit notes - balanced by earthy minerality and peppery spice. Drink while wrapped in your warmest blanket.
HAUS Bitter Clove - $32.99
Looking to imbibe with less alcohol, HAUS Bitter Clove has you covered. At 18% this lower alcohol aperitif is perfect for creating fun cocktails or sipping on the rocks. Made with high-quality, local California ingredients and a grape brandy base, this lower sugar option will help you stick to those New Years goals. On the nose, warm earthy notes mix with baking spices like clove and cinnamon and these open up in the glass to give you the feeling of drinking a rich Amaro or a mulled apple-brandy. The slight bitterness is balanced by sweet and spiced flavors, leaving you wanting another taste, hopefully without the hangover.
2018 Fattoria di Gratena, Gratena, Chianti DOCG - $24.99
At Fattoria di Gratena the family's vineyards share their farm with 2,000 olive trees (the source of their award winning olive oil) in the Tuscan hills, about 10 miles outside Arezzo.
Here, winemaker Fabio di Ambrogi is committed to full organic viniculture.
His Gratena Chianti is made from 100% estate grown Sangiovese, hand harvested, fermentated with native yeasts in stainless steel, unfiltered, and aged 9 months in a combination of old and new Tonneaux oak casks.
This medium-bodied wine opens in the glass with aromas of sweet spice that leads to a palate of lightly toasted red fruit. Rippling acidity aids a fine lingering finish.
This will pair nicely with fresh pasta tossed in a zingy tomato based sauce.