Tis' the season for grand wine tastings!
Last weekend, I led a group of the North Shore Winers to the Wine Shop of Reading for their 6th Annual Wine Fest, always a fun event. They have 22 wines available for tasting (plus Lemoncello) as well as some snacks, including Aged Provolone from Italy, Four Year Aged Gouda from Holland, Mountain Gorgonzola from Italy, Bussetto Peppered Salami and Duck & Port Pate.
Interestingly enough, I was impressed with a number of the white wines, though you would think that it is getting more to be red wine season. There were plenty of value wines available as well, especially considering the discounts you could receive. So, here are my favorites of the tasting:
2007 Hugo Gruner Veltliner ($11.99) from Austria: A clean, crisp wine with plenty of citrus flavors and some minerality. Would be a good wine for seafood.
2006 Macrostie Chardonnay ($22.99) from Carneros, California: A more Burgundian Chardonnay with little oak involved. A little bit of a creamy feel but with nice fruit, including some green apple, and a moderate finish. This is the type of Chardonnay I prefer.
2006 Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois Grenache-Carignan ($13.99) from France: A dark red wine with a spicy nose. Palate has plenty of ripe, dark cherry and blackberry with moderate tannins and a touch of black pepper. A good value wine.
2006 Aquaribay Malbec ($12.99) from Argentina: A big, bold spicy wine with intense dark fruit. One of the biggest Malbecs I have had in quite some time. Almost reminds me of some bold Zinfandels. This is definitely a wine for beef.
2004 Lan Reserva Rioja ($19.99) from Rioja, Spain: An excellent Rioja, smooth and easy drinking. Plenty of red fruit with some vanilla and cinnamon notes. Good finish and mild tannins. A very good example of what Spain can produce.
2007 Versatil White Blend ($9.99) from Alentjano, Portugal: A blend of three indigenous grapes, this wine was crisp, fruity and very easy drinking. It would be a perfect summer wine or something to pair with light seafood. Plenty of character in this wine makes it a very good value.
2005 Castello D'Alba ($14.99) from the Douro, Potugal: Another blend of three indigenous grapes, though this is a red wine. A delicious, fruit packed wine with hints of exotic spices and a decent finish. This would make a good pizza or burger wine. Another excellent value from Portugal.
2006 Quinta do Coa Reserva ($24.99) from the Douro, Portugal: One of my top three wines of the tasting. This wine uses all organic grapes and is smooth, smoky and packed with lush dark fruits. It reminds me of a Cabernet but with a slightly unique twist, the taste from the indigenous Portuguese grapes. This is a complex wine with a lengthy finish and a bargain at this price. A perfect accompaniement to a juicy steak.
2007 Foris Dry Riesling ($15.99) from Oregon: A dry Riesling with lots of apple flavor and hints of melon. Crisp and satisfying. Where was this wine over my summer?
2005 Valori Montepulciano ($15.99) from Italy: An everyday pizza and pasta wine. Smooth, good red fruit flavors and mild tannins.
2005 Bell Cabernet Sauvignon ($44.99) From Napa, California: This is a small winery that has produced an exceptional wine. This is everything you could want in a Cabernet, and at a reasonable price for all that you get. Very smooth, with restrained tannins, this is ready to drink now or you can cellar it for a time. There is a complex melange of flavors and a long, satisfying finish. This was a Wow wine, an impressive wine that I just had to buy. My top selection of the tasting.
Wine Shop of Reading
676 Main St.