We lazily made our way towards the quaint Niagara-on-the-Lake stopping to take in a taste of the local grape in an area just south of the lake and west of the St. Catharines referred to as the Niagara Escarpment. This area has shale and limestone cliffs from the glacial movements that provide good drainage for the rain and melting snow and allows the roots of the vines to grow deep. Over 40 wineries have cropped up over the years further establishing the Niagara Peninsula as a strong appellation and the jewel in the VQA crown.
When I heard there was a tasting of more than 400 wines from 90 Ribero del Duero wineries at New York's Puck Building, I was really excited. Though Jay and I have been wine tasting in Spain twice now (most recently last summer), we've concentrated our visits in Rioja with brief excursions to La Mancha and Jerez, but haven't yet made it to the Ribera region, about a two-hour drive north of Madrid.
On my first-job-out-of-school paycheck I splurged on a bottle of wine. A 1995 Rabbit Ridge Winery Zinfandel cost about $25 (we found it later down the street for $12 retail), and since we didn't really know much about wine at the time we went by its charming name.
The seminar's moderator, Italian wine expert Charles Scicolone, noted that people often dismiss Puglia wines as "too jammy, pruney, and lacking in acidity," but most of the wines we tasted today proved that perception wrong. I learned there are three main grapes grown in Puglia: negroamaro, primitivo and uva di troia, also known as nero di troia and often combined with malvasia nera, which is used mainly as a blending grape.
The cool thing about Calabria is that the region’s wine producers almost exclusively use regional varietals – primarily gaglioppo, plus arvino, greco nero, and magliocco canino in lesser quantities. (Other regional grapes I've never heard of include nerello calabrese and lacrima nera.) We learned that the Calabria region produces varieties that have disappeared or never existed in other regions.
I think this bottle is from one of our first visits to Shinn in Mattituck on the North Fork of Long Island. We were lucky enough to arrive on a slow day and Barbara walked with just Liz and me out into the vineyard to chat about the types of grapes planted and planned and the biodynamic grape farming processes they employ (She does this as a paid tour now and so worth it)
Shortly after Liz and I started dating in San Francisco we found our shared love for wine and the experiences that could be had in the vineyards to the north. We would spend two or three weekends a month sh...
Bodegas Ysios was one of the first wineries to be completed in the Rioja region by the parade of starchitects - designed by Santiago Calatrava in 2000 and opened to the public (by appointment only) in 2003. Liz and I visited the winery grounds during our first trip to Spain in 2003 when the estate vines were just tiny clusters of leaves on the ground. We actually stumbled upon this stunning structure as we peered across the valley from the hill town of Laguardia and since we were rushing from one town to the next (as always) we didn't have time to inquire about a tour. We did drive up to the building - drawn in by the contrast of the glittering aluminum roof and the bleached cedar walls with the granite and green mountain range behind.
We have become such rose´ / rosado freaks this year. I think we've been through 2 cases of chilled summer goodness by now. We've tried it from every part of the world we can get our hands on...Argentina, Sp...