Tag Archives: Argentina

Famiglia Meschini Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

Cost: Average price $14-$16

Where buy now: Byerly’s Ridgedale, Solo Vino, Sorella Wines & Spirits, South Lyndale Liquors, Swirl Wine Bar, Thomas Liquors & Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Vintage: 2008

Famiglia Meschini Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

Sometimes all you need is a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke. What if I told you you could swap that Coca-Cola for a Cabernet?

This week’s pic is an homage to steak and cab, but in a good, down home kinda way. I was recently up in the Cloquet area, about two hours north on Hwy 35, and home to the “World’s only Frank Lloyd Wright designed gas station!” (Yawn) My in-laws live up there and many years ago, they introduced me to a hamburger joint that’s been around since 1960: Gordy’s Hi-Hat.

Gordy’s food is a real treat, and since it is only open Spring through Fall, it has become a righteous annual rite. The place doesn’t look like it’s been touched for decades, just the way I like it. Phenomenal hand-pattied burgers, crispy fries, amazing Wild Alaskan Cod fish sandwiches (don’t get me started about the malts and shakes!). When I go, I usually throw all caution to the wind and get a double cheeseburger w/ fried onions.

This trip, I only got a single. To go. Boy, that was stupid.

Since we ate a late brunch, it was time already to head back to “Da Cities”. But we HAD to make a stop at Gordy’s, so I got a cheeseburger to go. That puppy made it all the way back to town. As we were driving, I could smell nothing but the greasy goodness that was an all-beef patty, fried onions, cheese and melty condiments. You know what I smelled? I smelled America, folks, and it couldn’t have smelled any sweeter.

Once home, I raced to unpack the car. For the entire ride, I had one wine in mind to have with my delicious spoils. Famiglia Meschini Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva.

Why pair a smooth Cab with a greasy burger? Because it’s brilliant.

Years ago while on a business trip, I ate dinner at a hoity-toity Chicago steakhouse called Gibson’s. I dined with the president & CEO and a writer from the Boston Globe. I was really young and wanting to do the “right” thing. But on that night, I just didn’t crave steak tartare or a filet. I needed a cheeseburger and fries. So, that’s what I ordered. The Boston Globe writer said, “You know what, that sounds good,” and she had the same. Sometimes, right is just right. Nowadays, I typically choose to drink a Cab alongside a good burger. It’s nostalgic for me.

Oh yes, the wine. Silly me. I’ve waxed poetic about Famiglia Meschini in a previous review. http://www.thesavvylush.com/white-wine-of-the-week-|-white-wine-reviews/famiglia-meschini-premium-white-blend.htmlFamiglia Meschini

I just love that they are doing this as organic as possible. Making wines they like, importing and selling it all themselves. Again, this equals savings to you and me! The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva is a triumph. Upon opening the bottle, scents of black cherry, oak and history come pouring out. This Cab isn’t super dense or thick, it’s just lovely. It has the usual characteristics of a Cab: bold, dark cherry fruit, slight oak presence and full bodied. And, at a price of around $13.99, it’s even more wonderful. If you’re a fan of Cab’s and enjoy the likes of J.Lohr or Liberty School, I implore you to give this one a try.

Red wine, red meat-damn son, let’s eat!

Finca Flichman Extra Brut Sparkling Wine

Cost: Average price $10.99

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquor Store

Grapes: 80% Chardonnay, 20% Malbec

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Vintage: N/A

Finca Flichman Sparkling Wine

I love the band Boston. I think they are awesome. I remember waiting in line for “The Demon”- a roller coaster at Six Flags Great America. To get your adrenaline levels even higher, they’d pump classic rock tunes while you wait. With their tune “Smokin’” a-blaring, my similarly coiffed (read: big) girlfriend warbling along, I thought, “Yep, they got the goods.”

This memory got me thinking: what wine would rock dudes drink? I know, I know- I’m sure their fair share of Jägermeister, whiskey, beer and whatever else they have on hand flow like water, but what about the vino? The easy answer would be champagne: celebratory, popping corks, liquid fizzing and oozing all over them and their groupies. A barbaric, animalistic kind of simile if ever there was one.

I think I’ve found that wine, nay, bubbly. But, at this price point, you can afford to spray it all over you and whoever else flashed the security guard.

This week’s white is not actually white, but a pale, orangish pink. It is in it’s own category, actually, but since it does contain 80% Chardonnay, this is what I offer up to you. (Cleveland: are you ready to rock?!?!?) Straight outta City Pages Best of 2012 Liquor store, Zipps, I bring you Finca Flichman Extra Brut! This wine is all suds and fun. Persistent bubbles overfloweth like sweet sounds from a Marshall stack, while the orangey pinkish hue jazzes it up like a good pair of leather pants. Yeah, it’s cool, and cool people drink pink wine.

This is a great wine to have on hand for any occasion. It’s light, a little fruity, a little citrusy, a little dry, and definitely not shy on bubbles. When you’re done drinking it, you can belch with the best of ‘em. (I drank this down with popcorn, ‘cause that’s how rock ‘n roll I was on a Monday night.)

With a $10 price point, bring it to a birthday party, toast to someone’s good fortune, get naked and shake it all about – or all the above. However you unleash your inner rock star, grab this sparkling wine and turn it up to 11.

Famiglia Meschini Premium White Blend

Cost: Average price $11.99

Where buy now: Byerly’s Wines & Spirits, Minnetonka- $11.99, Swirl in Afton – $11.99

Grapes: Torrontes, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Vintage: 2011

Famiglia Meschini Premium White Wine Blend

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Eugenio & Teresa Meschini, co-owners of the winery Famiglia Meschini. They met at St. Thomas University, where he was a Chemistry major and she was a French and Business major. Guy meets girl, falls in love, marries, they have babies, yadda yadda yadda. A few years later, they invest in a vineyard being developed by a good friend near his hometown of Mendoza, Argentina. For me, THIS is where the magic begins.

Eugenio & Teresa

Early on in our visit, the Meschini’s came clean: they are not wine purists. They are atypically fearless with their blends, always brainstorming new combinations. Also, these folks are not afficianados in lab coats, J Crew khakis and dark rimmed glasses discussing the aromatic nuances of wet dog and feet (two ACTUAL terms used by wine critics- I cannot make this up). The Meschini’s come to the wine industry having been lovers of the grape and making what they enjoy. As Teresa put it, “We make wines, but not to impress. If no one else likes our wine, we’ll just have to drink them.” Amen, sister!

Eugenio then discussed the early 1990s wine-boom in Argentina. In the mid-20th Century, Argentine wines were “crap”- nothing but glorified church wine at best. He firmly believes, though many Argentines don’t want to admit it, that the French influence during the 1970s/early 80s was crucial. He said the French brought new techniques and standards, including the use of stainless steel tanks and coal, that advanced the local production of today.

Famiglia Meschini is located about 3200 ft above sea level right at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, facing West. The vines get hot sun during the day and cool night breezes to maintain a balanced stress, which provides depth and character to the grapes. Meschini vineyards sell 90% of their grapes to other wineries. What they do with the other 10%, well, let’s find out.

Spring sippin’ on the patio

I tasted two from their line: a white blend and a Malbec-Syrah blend. For those die-hard Malbec lovers, I implore you to try the Malbec -Syrah. The white blend is like a white Bordeaux, but with a Latin kick from the influence of the lightly effervescent Torrontes. I poured a glass one sunny afternoon and sat back on my patio. “Ah, life is good,” I thought to myself. The sun glistened off the condensating glass of light golden nectar. The aroma of apple and citrus fruit are apparent, and upon first sip, these flavors swirl around your mouth. There is also an ever so slight hint of what I’d call vanilla oak. It’s soft and round, not super sweet nor syrupy, yet a little heavier than a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Torrontes due to the Chardonnay. The Ugni Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc keep the crisp acidic citrus and floral notes balanced while the Torrontes gives it that apricot Latin kick of fizz I was referring to earlier. (Whew! Time to grab my labcoat and glasses after that diatribe.)

This is a fun wine! Drink it minus food distractions and you’ll enjoy it. Or, I paired it with a combination of grilled cod, spicy Asian noodles and spinach salad. (I know- WTF? It was at the end of the month as was our grocery budget.) This wine would pair well with fish and salad but it would also pair well with spicy Asian fare. I had enough for one glass, and let a couple girlfriends sample it, instantly they asked where they could get it. That’s a ringing endorsement!

I implore you to support this great family vineyard. If you live in the Western Metro, you know I’m sending you to Byerly’s in Minnetonka (PS, their wine sale is happening right now.) If you live in the Eastern Metro or Western Wisconsin, check out Swirl in Afton. Live in the city? Sorella Wines, France 44, Solo Vino, Thomas Liquor, South Lyndale Liquors are a few as well.