First off, happy new year one and all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and got to enjoy some special pours with family and friends.
Last year was certainly a busy one for me. I went on a number of trips, notably one to Italy, courtesy of the wonderful people at Banfi Vintners, and one touring a variety of wine regions along California’s Central Coast. I also attended a number of wine related events and tastings, got my Certified Sommelier accreditation, and began more seriously pursuing my studies in culinary arts. That said, I was a little disappointed with the number of articles that I have had the time to write this year, and I felt that I simply did not get around to covering some great, and truly deserving discoveries.
That’s why today I’m debuting something new. In addition to my regular articles, this year I plan to also launch a series of mini articles that I’m calling my “Sip of the Day”. I still plan to launch my full length articles throughout the week, but on the days in between, these will give me the chance to quickly talk about some of my most recent finds. Each “Sip of the Day” post will cover one wine, briefly talk about its story, give some tasting notes, and talk about where to get it. As most of my regular posts usually talk about at least two and sometimes up to five or so wines, the idea behind the “Sip of the Day” is to give me the freedom to cover whatever I want, without having to figure out what other wines I can group together with it for a full length article. I’ll be able to offer more variety and my posts will be much more current.
On a related note, I also intend to post my #WWDN, What’s Worth Drinking Now, statuses on Facebook and Twitter more often. I’ll be giving updates on my most recent discoveries as I find them, so if you want to stay updated with the latest be sure to follow me or friend me up.
I’m looking forward to sharing some awesome finds with you all in the upcoming year, and I can’t wait to put my newest changes to work. Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous 2012.
So now that the introduction is out of the way, we can get down to business with our first ever “Sip of the Day”. Today we’re talking about a wine that brings some serious quality for the price. The other night I was making coq au vin (a French braised chicken dish that uses a whole bottle of wine in the cooking liquid). I stopped into my local Trader Joe’s just to pick up a bottle or two of something decent to cook with, but while I was there something else caught my eye.
Sitting there quietly was an estate bottled red from Minervois priced at only $10. I figured, since I already needed a bottle to cook with, I’d crack it open and give it a try, and if it wasn’t good enough to sip, it would still surely be good enough to make coq au vin with. Virtually no risk. Well, the gamble paid off, and that bottle is now the star of today’s post.
The wine was a red Minervois from Chateau Vaissiere. Minervois is a sub region within the Languedoc-Roussillon area of southern France. These wines, and many other southern French wines, are very commonly great values because they are generally lesser known. The climate in the south is warmer too, allowing the grapes to ripen more fully, bringing out a fruitiness that is likely to win over drinkers of New World wine. By law, all red Minervois must be a blend. Up to 40% of the blend may be made up of Carignane, while the remaining 60% or more may consist of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, as well as a combination of various other native varietals. Minervois wines are known for bringing a combination of ripe fruit and earth flavors, and for their silky textures, so let’s take a closer look.
Oaky vanilla-like tones introduce this wines aroma with deep berry notes emerging immediately after. Sweet smelling kitchen spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg appear, giving way to a subtle foresty undertone, notes of blackberry bush, and a hint of black pepper.
Bright, rich, and incredibly ripe on the palate, this wine is loaded with deep fruit tones. Forest berries, plump blackberries, and tea leaves show at first, with black stone, espresso, and black pepper also making an appearance. This wine is very full bodied and velvety, almost faintly creamy, with a great balancing acidity. A great wine even at twice the price, this is easily…
Worth Buying. 90 points.
Please Leave a Comment
The Grapevine: What’s your New Years resolution?