Grapes: 51% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc
I was recently asked, “Lush, what’s your go-to Costco red wine around $10?” Without hesitation, I said “the Kirkland Signature Napa Valley Meritage at $10.99”, and for a couple reasons. First, it’s one of the few wines I’m able to consistently find in every Costco, so it’s very accessible. Also, it’s quite good.
This is a “you’re new to wine and drink Apothic Red, now try this instead” wine (hey, that rhymed!). It’s plum-cherry juicy fruit love balanced with musty/dusty soft tannins. This is a “some of my girls like it dry, while some of them like it sweet” girl-night wine. This is a “it’ll drink real easy but first make it swirl, swirl, swirl” wine. My oh my this Kirkland Napa Valley Meritage opens up showing off a softened structure of sour cherry and balanced peppery notes. All this without being too dry on the tongue.
Grab two glasses, pop the bottle and throw the cork away. Laugh, cry and double fist cheeseball smeared crackers while you dish dirt and regale stories with your bestie. If you see the Kirkland Signature Oakville Merlot, I do like that a wee-bit more, but that comes with a price tag of $17.99. With the $7 savings, I’m buying me some chocolate to join that cheeseball.
But of course I kicked off 2016, with an Italian. Pertinace Barbera d’Alba is one of the more expensive wines I’ve bought at Costco ringing in at a *gasp* $14.99!
First whiff and taste = rip red fruit. It smelled almost sweet-like. At first this Barbera was tight on taste, begging to develop. Have patience my friends, let her get comfy and she loosens up a bit, balancing cherries, tobacco and tannins. Pertinace Barbera d’Alba is like a seductive burlesque dancer, subdued at first then exposing its talents, creating a memorable experience.
2016 New Year Resolution: exhibit more patience.
Who are we kidding? It’s to drink less wine in sweatpants.
Where buy now: Zipps Liquors, Thomas Wine & Spirits, Apollo Liquor, South Lyndale Liquors, and Whole Foods in Maple Grove.
Grapes: Assyrtiko 100%
Region: Santorini, Greece
My brother’s name is Nicholas. Naturally, we call him Nick, but NOT in front of my Grandma Alice. “Call him ‘Nicholas’- he’s not ‘Nick, the Greek.’” she would growl.
Please don’t misunderstand my dear Grandmother, she loved the Greeks. In fact, she had friends in her hometown of South Bend, Indiana from all over: first generation Greek, Polish, Hungarian and Jewish immigrants. She was an educated lil’ spitfire who taught junior high Algebra and Geometry for 30 years, and from whom I inherited my crimson locks and my, ahem, crumb and condiment catching chest. She was the best! Not just because she let me eat countless Ding Dongs, drink coffee at age seven, and parade around the supermarket in my Wonder Woman Under-Roos (though all of those things were AWESOME). Grandma Alice taught me that we have one life, so we might as well enjoy it.
I couldn’t agree more.
Sure, there are days when I wish I wore a single-digit dress size or jeans that don’t leave a mark on my stomach by day’s end. But I have an appetite for good food and wine, and if you plan to swallow your food and drink, an all wine diet a single-digit size does not make.
I mysteriously received a Greek wine sample last week. It was the first sample in a _long_ time I have deemed worthy of an article. [Also, it was the _only_ sample I’ve received in a long time.] Sigalas Santorini, is a dry white wine made up of 100% Assyrtiko grapes harvested from 60 year old vines. Assyrtiko is a snappy, crisp number. It’s quite pale in color, like diluted Ginger Ale. If you haven’t experienced minerality in a wine, you’ll notice it here. It’s dry with a pithy citrus thing going on. I’d recommend this to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc lovers. While it doesn’t possess the grassy undertones, the acidity and minerality has me betting it would go over well with those folks.
So, the Greeks can make good wine. Great wine, in fact. Plus, on a hot and humid day, it was perfection. I know, I know, it’s more than $15, so by definition, it’s my Snob bottle of the month. I’m sure you can find it on sale for around $15. If not, bring it to a dinner party and really draw attention to the fact it’s Greek wine. Folks will be fascinated and instantly find you intriguing. There you go, introverts, now you have a party starter.
If Grandma Alice were still around, we’d likely split a bottle of Santorini and give a big ol’ “Na zdrowie!”. Heck, she probably wouldn’t have needed to Google the Greek word for “cheers” like I did. (It’s “Yamas”.) However, we’d both be grateful this wasn’t a red wine, for we’d have looked to see we dribbled wine on our, ahem, shelves.
My quick trip down memory lane, I found a few photos of Grandma Alice and me.
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