Tag Archives: Zipp’s

Mitolo “Jester” Vermentino


Cost: Average price $14

Where buy now: Zipp’s

Grapes: Vermentino

Region: Australia

Vintage: 2011

Mitolo Jester Vermentino

What’s more depressing than sitting home alone on the most gorgeous evening of the year knowing that all your friends are rockin’ out to your favorite band?


Don’t feel sorry for me (not that you did)- I had every opportunity to join them.  And, make no mistake, I’m not trying to diss on anyone in attendance. I applaud your patience in fighting traffic and parking woes. I applaud your legs and stamina for hours of standing amongst thousands of sweaty drunkies. I even applaud your ability to enjoy a general admission concert. Alas, this is something I cannot get into.  No one act/rock-band/circus act could miraculously change that.

Unless the band was Wilco.

Wilco- now there’s a band that will transcend time. I’ve been a fan for years, watching and listening as the ever-evolving band moved from the “alt-country” (whatever the eff THAT means) of Uncle Tupelo, to the ruggedly dirty sweet A.M. and Being There, to the sullen beauty of Summerteeth and the Billy Bragg/Woody Guthrie collaborations of Mermaid Avenue.  Then, to the major personnel overhaul (RIP Jay Bennett), the experimental Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born; then on to the collaborative orchestra era ushered in with Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (the album), to the latest, perhaps greatest, Whole Love album. I love this band. I love the current line up; Jeff Tweedy (Frontman, song writer) Nels Cline (guitar), John Stirratt (bass), Glenn Kotche (drums) and the ever-so-cute [*sigh*] multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone.

And, contrary to popular belief, they are not just for 40-something white dads.  Having never fathered a child, and being a shade under the 40-year mark, I am proof positive.

How does the Savvy Lush cope with such failure?  Why, I drank myself into a happy place with a bottle of Mitolo “Jester” Vermentino.

As I continued to drink, cursing myself for letting my general admission fears deter me, I took solace in a wine that comforted me in my home-body experience. So, let me be distracted by explaining what I’m drinking. I picked up this Aussie Vermentino because Jeff (#1, not Tweedy) at Zipp’s told me he dug it. Yep, I’m that easy.

Admittedly, I thought Vermentino was solely produced in Italy and Sardinia. But alas, this wine, Mitolo “Jester”, comes from the McLaren Vale of Australia. This region is said to have a climate similar to the Italian Mediterranean area.

All chilled and ready to get up in my glass, the Mitolo “Jester” Vermentino made my eyes, mouth (and *fwee-fwooo*) a-water. I also picked up Cypress Grove’s Truffle Tremor cheese http://bit.ly/11hxlIq/Cypress Grove because Jeff thought a goat cheese would pair well.

This wine has great flavor but is not overly fruity. It’s light, crisp and dry, boasting of minerality. Try it and you’ll understand what minerality is. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, give this wine a try. It has that grassy hint to it the kids love, along with acidity and hints of citrus. This wine is lower in alcohol, so drink it up with grilled seafood or with this incredible truffle cheese. Oh, and for cryin’ in the sink, please pick up Cyprus Grove’s Truffle Tremor at the Seward Co-op! The center is soft ripened goat cheese surrounded by a creamier layer all roaring with truffle goodness. Grab a Rustica baguette and schmear it on. The acidity of the wine pairs quite well with the soft mushroom/goat cheese funk.

I enjoyed the pairing so much that for a moment, I completely forgot I was home alone; listening to “Hate it Here” off Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky album.  Huzzah to the artists that stir something within us, especially whilst I swirl my other inspirations.

M. Lawrence Sex Dry Brut Rosé

Cost: Average price $16

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: Blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & reserve wines

Region: Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan

Vintage: N/V

M. Lawrence Sex

The arousingly descriptive term “Pink sparkler” conjures up several images: a Pride Parade novelty item, a Georgia O’Keefe inspired [spread?], or perhaps the pyrotechnics found at a Celine Dion show. However, I’m talking about a dry brut Rosé outta Michigan, cleverly named “Sex”.

I’ve never bought into the whole Valentine’s Day myth, but don’t let my semi-cynical ideologies keep you from your fun. Ever. In spite of my annoyance, I’ve declared Sex the official wine of Valentine’s Day, 2013! It’s pink (duh), it’s tantalizing, it’s tart & fruity fun and it hails from right here in the Midwest. Need I say more?

Whether you’re hoping to get lucky or want to drown your single sorrows, the titillating Sex will “love you long time”, so to speak (if only for 750 ml. worth).



Famiglia Meschini Carmenere

Cost: Average price $14

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquors, South Lyndale Liquors, Swirl My Wine, France 44, Apple Valley Liquor, Century Wines and Spirits, Tonka Bottle, The Wine Shop, Liquor Barrel Golden Valley, Richfield Liquor Store No. 1

Grapes: 90% Carmenere, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Colchagua Valley, Chile

Vintage: 2010

Famiglia Meschini Carmenere adorned with dribbled wine stain

I waxed poetic about Famiglia Meschini’s Pinot Noir last week. Now, let’s get a little dirtier, wait, I mean “earthier” and drink some Carmenere. I first tried this wine at the now defunct Babalu Restaurant [now Bar La Grassa]. I really liked it. Since then, I haven’t been wowed by Carmenere. It always seemed to be too high in alcohol with harshly gritty spice. Would I ever find a good Carmenere for under $20 that didn’t taste of cheap vodka and mudpie?

The FM Carmenere hails from Colchagua Valley, about 500 ft above sea level, in the Central Valley. This valley is where most of the award winning Chilean wines are coming from. Vines grow in a mix of soil, sand and granite. The typical hot daylight temperatures are yielding full bodied reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah and Carmenere.

I fell in love with this wine upon first sip. What makes this Carmenere stand out is the 10% Cabernet, which for my palate, balances the wine. It’s medium bodied with dark, smokey fruit flavors, followed by chocolate undertones and fresh cracked pepper- all of which scream “FALL WINE”! The tasting notes state the wine is aged in American oak that is 50% new and 50% used. The newer oak helps give wine that smoky, toasty flavor. If this is something you enjoy, start looking for labels that say “aged in new oak”. Clever.

I’m deeming this my Autumnal wine. (One cannot say that word enough, IMHO!) As the days continue to shorten and the cooler breezes start to invade, this wine will become your best friend. Grill up flank steak and make tacos- this Carmenere would pair beautifully.  Then, keep that fire stoked- s’mores with dark chocolate would be sooo stupid good with this wine. Or, simply pour a big ol’ glass, snuggle up in a blanket with your dog/cat/child/”Rabbit” (ahem), and sip as you watch the leaves gently fall to the ground. You know how I’ll be spending my Autumnal (yes!) weekends.

If you’re interested in sampling this wine (and other Savvy faves), you’re in luck! I’ll be at Zipp’s Liquors on Sat., Sept. 15 from 4-7pm. C’mon down to say hello (and/or “Autumnal”), and meet their wine buyer, Jeff. This is a great, easy-going environment to sip, sample and hang. Should you want to buy a bottle or two (or nine), you’re in luck: Zipp’s will have special sale prices during the tasting!