– November Wine Blitz ✓
– Thanksgiving ✓
– December Wine Blitz __
– Hanukkah __
– Christmas __
– New Years __
Man, the Holidays are moving by quickly! We hope everyone has recovered from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday . . . did I miss any?? But thank goodness it’s Wine Newsletter Wednesday!
Just to remind you, the last of our three annual Wine Blitzes officially kicks off next Thursday, December 6th and runs through Sunday, December 9th, at which point we’ll take 20% off 12 or more bottles of wine mix-and-match with free delivery in San Francisco. If you anticipate going through at least 12 bottles of wine between now and May 2013 for holiday parties, New Years, gifts,and general consumption, this is your last chance to stock up with such a steep discount for a while!
And don’t miss our Wine Blitz Preview Tasting is this Friday, November 30th from 6PM – 8PM at 18 Reasons. We’ll be pouring plenty of new wines that we’re excited about for this final Wine Blitz. We’re also pleased to welcome Berkeley-based winemaker Chris Brockway to this Friday’s tasting event where he’ll be pouring five of his wines. Chris was named the SF Chronicle’s Winemaker to Watch in 2012, and this tasting is a great opportunity to stop by, meet Chris, chat about his wines, as well as explore many other exciting new wines for our December Wine Blitz!
Chris discovered a vineyard plot in Solano county growing a grape that is today known at Valdiguié. For a while, growers in Napa thought this grape was Gamay, the ubiquitous grape of the Beaujolais region. However, the clever researchers at UC Davis have since determined that this grape is unique and in fact a little known varietal native to the Languedoc, France. But, it’s understandable that growers in California confused this grape with Gamay for so long since it produces wines dark in color but low in alcohol, with very similar flavor profiles. Chris has even made this wine using carbonic maceration, an old, traditional Beaujolais winemaking technique that brings out brighter fruit qualities. This bottling is light on its feet with bright strawberry and cherry aromas. Light in body (and alcohol) this wine is too quaffable and makes a perfect bottle to sip by a cozy winter fire.
Perfect Pairing: Roasted butternut squash stuffed with wild mushrooms
The grapes for this wine come from a very special vineyard site. Chris is proud to say that he saved this vineyard from “Cabernetification” by preventing the now 120 year old Carignan vines on the site from being ripped up. These are vines that are planted on their original root stock – a true rarity as the great majority of vines in the world today have been grafted. Carignan itself is an outsider in California these days, with very few plantings of this fun Spanish grape remaining. As the name, Carbonic Carignan suggests, Chris also makes this wine using carbonic maceration – allowing the whole fruit to ferment from the inside out before crushing them. The result is a light and fresh wine with bright red fruit aromas followed by a bit of spice and scents of wild herbs from those old vines.
Perfect Pairing: Smoked salmon and grilled chicory salad
2010 Broc Cellars Vine Starr Zinfandel – $24.99; Blitz Pricing – $19.99
This wine is named after Chris’s great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle born in 1801 in Norway – yes his name was Vine Starr Brockway. This is one of Chris’s original bottlings and is meant to be a lighter style version of the typically bold and spicy Sonoma Zinfandels. The blend varies slightly every vintage and this vintage is mostly Zinfandel, blended with a very small percentage of Syrah. It makes a great everyday red, with a medium body and plenty of dark fruit and spice qualities like black pepper, huckleberry, and cardamom.
Perfect Pairing: Spice rubbed spare ribs
The latest seasonal release from Cowgirl Creamery is here! Their winter cheese is Devil’s Gulch, a creamy, bloomy rinded cheese made of Jersey cow’s milk from John Taverna’s dairy. Essentially the same cheese inside as their other seasonal cheeses (St. Pat, Chimney Rock, and Pierce Point), the dusting of toppings rotates seasonally. Devil’s Gulch is topped with blend of dried sweet and gently spicy peppers from All Star Organics Farm in Nicasio. The peppers are not at all overwhelmingly spicy and just add a pleasant sweet and mild kick to the rind. These mini wheels are just arriving in the store today, so swing by and ask us for a taste!