Love VA Wines?

Go over to Fermentation and read this post.

I knew that these laws were being pushed here by lobbyists. As we were visiting Virginia Wineries earlier this year at least one of them, Tarara, had a sign up asking patrons to sign a petition against the enactment of the law forbidding VA wineries to sell directly to retailers and restaurants. Something they had previously been permitted to do.

I wish I knew what good, if any, wine distributors actually did. To me, it seems like they are simply a middle-man in the process of getting wine to retailers and restaurants, thus driving up the cost for the ultimate consumer and hurting small wineries, especially local ones who could use any leg up they can get.

The development of this law makes me sad for the future of the wine industry in VA. And for me, since I doubt I will be able to get the Governor’s White from the Williamsburg Winery for $7 in the store anymore.

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Everyday Wine Take # 5,555

No, just kidding. I have no idea how long I’ve been searching for something I can drink inexpensively as an everyday table wine. At times, I find something I really enjoy, but then eventually get bored with, or simply want to try something new. I find it’s great to have some fall backs for a Tuesday night that you know will be decent, are well priced and will work with your food, but at the same time, I’m always itching to try something new.

Which brings me to tonight’s wine. I picked it up today at the Curious Grape for $10.99. It had a real cork closure, is from Sicily and is 12% alcohol by volume. The bottle is an Alcesti 2005 Grecanico. I had to bust out my Oxford Companion to Wine to get some info about this grape as I have never had it nor heard of it before today. Jancis Robinson writes “Sicilian white grape variety whose total vineyard area increased from less than 3,000 ha in 1980 to 5,172 ha/13,100 acres in 2000. The name suggests Greek origins and the wines currently made may not be maximizing its full aromatic, rather sauvignon blanc-like potential.” Okay, that helps, but doesn’t give me any idea of what I should really expect from this wine.

So here are my opinions. Have you ever been to an orchard when the apples are just past their peak in the sun? Or where they are crushing apples to make cider? That’s what the nose of this wine reminded me of. Also, with an odd little hint of pine. In the mouth, it’s tart apple with a little citrus zing on the end. Crisp, and it matched well with the Asian Basa filet I sauteed lightly in butter, salt and pepper and our purple mashed potatoes (thought of you Brent when I made these tonight!). I think I will have to buy another bottle of this varietal from another producer so I will have something to compare it to, as I had absolutely no expectations going into this wine.

A Trip to the Wine Shop

I spent a good part of the afternoon nosing around the Curious Grape today. Although it’s winter and the more likely choice for wine is a nice heart-warming red, we still like to drink the occassional white, especially on nights where I serve light seafood dishes. And, sadly, we have almost run the course of white wines purchased on our Sonoma trip. I ended up purchasing seven bottles for around $78, not a bad deal. They range from $6.99 to $21.99 and all but one were purchased in my pursuit of everyday wine.

Additionally, I was searching for my entry for WBW #29. Keeping in mind my indecisiveness over which bottle of sparkling wine to review for the previous WBW, I didn’t want to get caught in the same trap this time. So I figured I would poke around the wine shop and see if I could find anything on my own before asking the salespeople for a recommendation. Sadly, it appears that vineyards don’t seem to proclaim on their bottles that they are biodynamically produced, at least none of the bottles I looked at did. I found myself cursing the fact that I hadn’t thought to print out the list of producers over at Fork and Bottle. If you have yet to purchase your bottle and you are unfamiliar with biodynamic wine like me, I definetly suggest bringing a list!

When I asked the clerk for help, she couldn’t immediately point me to one. She showed me a few she thought were biodynamic wines, but couldn’t confirm for sure. Even though she was incredibly busy (they were setting up for a champagne tasting in light of the impending arrival of New Year’s Eve) she took the time to look at their inventory log on the computer and point me to some that most definetly were biodynamic wines. And so I am now the owner of what I think is my first ever bottle of biodynamic wine.

I must admit I am still a little skeptical. Plus, it was a little pricier than I am normally willing to spend on something I haven’t tested. But, I’ll try anything once. So come January 17th, we shall see!