Bloggers Select Favorite Wines
There's plenty of debate in the blogosphere about wine. Here are some selections from a group of wine bloggers:
Raphaël Bartucci Bugey Cerdon $20
"There's no more romantic way to tell her she's one of a kind than to break away from the chattering masses and their Dom Perignon and Cristal, and turn instead to this sweet and fizzy pink bubbly from the Jura Mountains near Savoie in eastern France. A blend of 80 percent gamay and 20 percent poulsard, an indigenous regional grape, it's made by an ancient method that was used to produce sparkling wine hundreds of years before champagne was invented. Its lovely scent blends fresh strawberries, rising bread dough, and subtle earthiness. Fizzy and crisp, it's well off-dry, but good acidity keeps it from cloying, juicy strawberry flavors hanging on in a long finish. It makes a fetching partner for quality chocolates, but it will fare just as well with hot-and-spicy Asian fare: Few wines go as well with five-chile-pepper Thai food. One good source of this and other Bugey Cerdon labels is Chambers Street Wines in New York City."
Robin Garr, editor of the Wine Lover's Page, www.wineloverspage.com
Pierre Peters Champagne $28
"Nothing says I love you like Krug Rosé Champagne ($250). But for those without the rock-star budget, I like Pierre Peters Champagne. Unlike most of the bubbly from big houses, this is made by the grape grower. So it's an artisanal producer, and that has two implications: It's more winelike in character and, second, it's not well known or widely available. It's made from 100 percent chardonnay, with notes of green apple, pear, minerality, and a faint whiff of smoke. The sugar level is balanced, so it pairs well with a variety of foods, particularly seafood and savory hors d'oeuvres, but I could see it working well with Asian foods and perhaps even a steak. As far as chocolate goes, though, this wine would not be my first pairing."
Tyler Coleman, wine educator who writes the Dr. Vino's Wine Blog, DrVino.blogspot.com
2003 L'Aventure Optimus Red Blend, Paso Robles, Calif. $45
"When thinking about wine for Valentine's Day, I'm always thinking about what my wife will like. She's a fan of rich, bold red wines, and this blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, and petite verdot is one of her favorites. Winemaker Stéphan Asseo is a master blender and has woven a gorgeously textured tapestry of blackberry, tobacco, and cherry flavors that lingers powerfully for minutes on the palate. This is a blockbuster of a wine, and an excellent pairing with chocolate. I recommend a lamb shank braised in red wine followed by dark-chocolate truffles fed to you by hand in the dim candlelight." (Available from Brown Derby International, Missouri)
Alder Yarrow, founder and editor of Vinography: A Wine Blog, www.vinography.com
More on Wines:
• Uncork the Lowest Prices (Dec. 11, 2006)
• Great Wine Buys: An Expert's Picks (Dec. 1, 2006)