Due to family vacationing, I’m getting a slight jump start on the monthly wine product review roundup (I’ve got plenty of wine coverage coming, so don’t worry your pretty little inebriated heads over that, ok?). And, thankfully, I’ve got two fairly-priced wine preservation gadgets from the sample pool that are absolutely worthy of your (sober) consideration.
First up is the ingenious little Repour Wine Saver (a 4 Pack runs about $9). The Repour is the brain child of chemist Tom Lutz, and employs similar oxygen-absorbing tech used in the produce industry. The idea is that the slightly top-heavy but also non-toxic repour is used in place of the bottle’s original closure after opening, and chemicals in the Repour attract most of the oxygen in the bottle, thus prolonging the life of any wine you have left over in the bottle. Effectiveness is, naturally, reduced the longer you leave the bottle unstopped, and the more open space that’s left in the bottle, etc.
The Repour was run through some independent lab tests, has the nod from some sommeliers and wine pros, and in my limited experience works, almost too well, causing some of the wines I “Repoured” to close up temporarily. The only real drawback is that the Repour is a one-and-done product (you basically use one per bottle) and needs to be discarded after each bottle is finished. It will definitely get you several extra days of drinking from an open bottle of vino; the company claims that you can get up to a month, but anyone who is doing that either doesn’t known how to sell wine (in on premise settings) or doesn’t know how to drink it (in consumer settings)…
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The latest article in my storytelling Monferrato journey is now available over at MyNameIsBarbera.com, and in it we take a deeper dive directly into the terroir (and I mean down to the dirt level!) of the venerable Nizza DOCG.
Those of you who have been following along with my Northern Italian antics might recall that we already compared Nizza Barbera wines to James Bond, and I need to warn you that I inject that comparison with a healthy dose of prose steroids in this most recent piece. You have been warned.
What I didn’t have opportunity to dig into during the penning of this article was the specifics of my personal experience with older Nizza wines, which came via the excellent talents (and, thankfully, well-stocked wine library) of the venerable Tenuta Olim Bauda. I close with a handful of pics from my 2016 visit to that beautiful estate, ostensibly to increase whatever jealous rage I’ve already induced by mentioning the library tasting (warning, cute winery-dog-eating-grapes included)…
- 09 Giovanni Negro Roero Arneis Brut (Roero): Fresco, fresco, fresco! More textural than complex, but in this bubbly case it's enough. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
- 13 Careglio Roero (Roero): Chewy dark cherries, aromatic well-worn leather, freshly sprouted violets, and heaping helpings of spices. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 13 Matteo Correggia La Val dei Preti (Roero): Roero Nebbiolo that's floral, minty, lovely, and dark, but also wholly accessible. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
- 15 Consorzio San Michele Invidia (Vermentino di Gallura): If you like 'em tight and stony, then get ready to pucker up to this one. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
- NV Marcato 36 Mesi Monti Lessini Durello Brut (Veneto): Raging acids, but it'd be tough to find a better Summer sipping bargain. $10 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 12 Weingut Florian Weingart Bopparder Hamm Engelstein Riesling Kabinett Feinherb (Mittelrhein): That time when apples were gorgeous. $26 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 14 Guy Breton Regnie (Beaujolais): You can cover delightful in earth, pepper, and funk all you like, but delightful it will remain. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 14 Stewart Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): You wanna get bold? You wanna get bold? Cuz this is ready to get bold, brah! $68 A- >>find this wine<<
- 15 Stewart Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay (Sonoma Mountain): Lip-smacking tastiness, wrapped up in just a bit too much silk. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 16 I Stefanini Monte de Toni Soave Classico (Soave): Like Summer fun in bottle form, with a side of lemons on a slate plate. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
All smocked up and ready to go
By the time that you read these words, the results of the 37th (!!) annual San Francisco International Wine Competition should be publicly available, so I thought that I would share some of the highlights among the event’s big winners.
The SFIWC is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Under the watchful eyes of Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue and Director of Judging Tim McDonald, SFIWC assembles a top-notch volunteer crew and some of the best and most experienced tasters in the U.S. wine biz (and yes, I’m still trying to figure out why they keep inviting me to judge).
That large, talented team happens to be chock full of some of the funniest, liveliest, and kindest people in wine, and so it’s a real pleasure to interact, work, and generally just break bread with all of those folks.
Sweepstakes and super tasting require smocks, not capes…
We also happen to taste some killer juice over that weekend, all done blind within categories, in panels of 3-4 people, with “super tastings” and an eventual sweepstakes round to help determine the best-of-the-best. It’s from that latter category – the wines fully deserving of having Tenacious D’s To Be The Best as their theme song – that I draw my personal competition highlights…
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