Friday, April 10, 2020

Wines in the time of Quarantine

These frightening times may make perusing wine lists seem like a quaint pleasure of days gone by. But it is also important that we maintain our sanity and composure during tough times, and there has never been a time in our collective lives when we have needed to do that more. As Lord Byron said, "Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil." So perhaps you should gift one of the following to your favorite healthcare worker, grocery store clerk, or delivery person the next time you see them:
Bodegas Bianchi - 2019 Malbec and 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bianchi is a family-owned winery established in 1929 by Italian immigrants to Argentina. Its vineyards are in the San Farafel region of Mendoza, which offers different terroir than most other parts of Mendoza. The 2019 Bianchi Malbec has a great intense color with fresh and complex aromas that offer spice, fresh plums, blackberries and figs. The wine is round and complex with a full mouth-feel, medium structure and a harmonious and fruity finish.  We paired this with Moroccan meatballs and it was lovely.

The 2019 Bianchi Cab Sauv has a beautiful, intense color with fresh and complex aromas that offer spice and floral notes. It is initially sweet, with a full mouth-feel, medium structure, with gentle and ripe tannins. It is fresh, elegant and easy to drink.

Both wines are exceedingly affordable at around $16 per bottle.
Vintage Longbottom 2018 H Chardonnay (Adelaide Hills)

This a great, complex Chardonnay from one of Australia's best winemakers for around $30, which seems too little for a bottle of this quality. It receives 90 points from Wine Enthusiast and is excellent with all types of spring and summer food.
Luca Bosio 2018 Langhe Arneis 

This wine is made from Arneis grapes, an ancient varietal that has regained popularity and is grown in the southeastern part of Piedmont, Italy, in the foothills of the Alps. The grape's nickname is "little rascal" - love that! It has a clean, floral nose, with hints of pineapple, apricot and peach that follow through to the palate and refreshing finish. It is great with chicken and pork, as well as fish and savory vegetable dishes - perfect to kick off spring and throughout the summer. A bottle can be had for around $17.

Georges Duboeuf 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau Rose

The new wine is here, just in time for spring! Beaujolais Nouveau is a French tradition that celebrates the first wine of a new vintage. This fresh and fruity wine is bottled only a few weeks after harvest and is meant to be enjoyed immediately upon release. It brings back memories of a completely random fireman's picnic in a small Alsace town I stumbled upon many years ago, in which I consumed 
Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc 2017

This is a very fine wine from the famed Alsace region of France. It is bone dry and excellent paired with fish, cheese and cured meat. Floral and fruity with notes of honeysuckle and pear, vibrant, acidic, easy to drink. What's not to love for $20?

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