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Unusual Reds for Summer

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Unusual reds for summer, CHILLED. Any European vineyard cellar will be below ground.  The average temperature for whites and reds naturally chilled to 55 degrees

Written by Valerie Hail

Grands Fers Fleurie:  Of the ten Cru Beaujolais, I prefer the Fleurie for summer drinking and summer foods.

Fleurie lends its floral perfume nose to lilacs. It’s aroma is delicate but very much a medium body wine that can stand up to hearty flavors such as southern style BBQ, and fried oysters, macaroni and cheese.

The terroir of Domaine des Grands Fers soils is crushed ancient red granite. Christian Bernard blends his various plots to create Grands  Fers Fleurie, using separately vinified grapes from 110 year old vines from his family’s original planting.

Beaujolais is interesting because the vinification of the Gamay grape is made by carbonic maceration.  This unique process uses whole cluster grapes in a sealed carbon – dioxide filled tank. This starts the fermentation.  Generally the Beaujolais wine is finished in a week or so.

However, Christian ferments phis different plots separately, whole cluster, employing carbonic maceration for a twelve day period. After a six month elevage in oak foudres, he bottles the finished wine., making it an unusual red for the summer.

The Fleurie is a delicate red yet so appealing with the olive tapenade, grilled eggplant, or gazpacho.  The Fleurie has a floral essence to it.  I like to pair it with slightly spicy foods.

$17 – $19

Lambrusco di Nicchia

One of the reasons that I loved working in the fine wine industry, is that it is steeped in history.  This Nicchia di Lambrusco di Modena was named after a courtesan, the Countess of  Castiglione, who became a spy, aka, secret agent, for Italy and traveled to Paris for that reason around 1848.

Lambrusco is a sparkling wine from Cantina di Carafoli in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy.  Common blending of varietals include Croatina , Marzemino, Brachetto and Bonarda.  Slightly Spumante, this Lambrusco is refreshing poolside, picnic or BBQ.

Serve well chilled,  Lambrusco is a food friendly wine with dark black currant and ripe berries on the palate.  It is fruit forward in the mouth, yet the wine finishes dry and clean. Drink alone or pair with spicy foods such as a Diablo sauce on any pasta, enchiladas verde, simple fare such as tacos or fajitas.  It prefers spicy food.  $12- $15

El  Capricho Assemblage

Tannat blend 2017 this a cooperative of several vintners in Uruguay.  Originally, it’s home was France. It is the “ National grape of Uruguay.”Bold flavors enhance this highly tannic, rich wine.  (It is rare to have a 100% Tannat.)

This blend of 50%Tannat, 25%Tempranillo, 25%Cabernet is huge.  The label actually reads TTC – abbreviation of these grapes.  Definitely a BBQ wine, anything grilled, robust flavors,  gamey.  Vegetarians:  portabello mushrooms, grilled eggplant, spicy grilled and tapenade stuffed acorn squash.  Grilled garlic basted rustic bread . $14- $16

 

Valerie Hail

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Valerie Hail

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