All posts by The Savvy Lush

Borsao Berola

Cost: Average price $14

Where buy now: Sorella Wines & Spirits

Grapes: Garnacha, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Spain

Vintage: 2009

Borsao Berola

I can’t tell you how depressed I’ve been the past couple of weeks. You see, I fell victim to a nasty cold-turned-sinus infection. A decidedly unwelcome guest who decided to “play house” with my body for over two weeks. What did this mean? It meant no energy, no going out, no breathing through my nose.  Now, breathing difficulties are one thing- a bad hand dealt, for sure. But what made this personal was it meant two more horrible things: no drinking and no tasting. Good God, why? WHYYYYY?!? Life, as I knew it, was over.

After a full week, I tried some vino. I had to. My blood was curdling from the lack of sweet nectar. It was like a sailor suffering from surly scurvy at sea. You know what? Terrible. Ugh. Disgusting. I honestly thought it was corked. Goddamn my faulty tastebuds, trampled, tainted by zinc lozanges and antibiotics. So, it was back to drinking mugs of hot water like an old Betty.

Almost a full week later, I gave it another try. This time with a bottle of Borsao’s Berola. A Spanish blend of Garnacha, Syrah and Cabernet. Clouds parted, gorgeous rays of sunshine beamed through. It gave my once “Weekend at Bernie’s” taste buds something to embrace,  and I got to taste it paired with a ribeye steak, mushrooms and arugula. I was back baby, I was back!

This wine froliced on my tongue. I can’t tell you how happy I became. I then realized truly how much of my happiness revolves around taste. Alas, I’ll save that deep shit for my therapist.

Let me get down to the wine flavors. Mmm, glorious flavor. Purply blackberry Garnacha married with the smokey jam of Syrah, finished off with Cabernet tannins- a delightful berry-y, woody jam of a wine.

If Evodia is a go-to, spend the few extra bucks and buy this. Drink alone or with food. Drink, be happy, and never take these things for granted. I know I shan’t.

Elicio Rosé

Cost: Average price $10

Where buy now: Sorella Wines & Spirits Sale – $5

Grapes: Grenache & Cinsault

Region: France

Vintage: 2011

Elicio Rose

Rosé typically rings in Spring, but with the sub-freezing BS throughout March, Spring seems eons away. I’m grasping for anything to help remind me that better weather will be here. Remember what your patio looked like? Remember the smell of multiple grills burning food stuffs throughout the neighborhood? Remember not cursing to yourself every time you walked outside?

Besides sucking down 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D and gluing my face to my light box, Rosé will be my third little helper. This trifecta will prevent my soul from succumbing to this never-ending weather suckage.

Today, I was right hungover. After seeing my new favorite local band, The Blackberry Brandy Boys, then staying up eating pizza with the hubby, watching Netflix until we passed out on the couch around 4am, I “made my bed”. So I laid in it. Well, on a reformer carriage. I got my sad ass out of bed for my 11:30 Pilates class then laid around watching some March Madness.

Later, we met a friend at Sorella Wines & Spirits for their Spring wine sale. There were tons of wines to sample and I didn’t want a one. I wanted a bed and maybe a doobie to help me slip off into a winter slumber. My husband got a glass and went with- the old “hair of the dog” strategery. He emphatically sang the praises for the Elicio Rosé. That’s right, my husband is a pink wine drinker. Listen up all you men: there’s no shame in this. A lady loves to see a man bury his face in a pink glass to check out the nose, then wrap his eager lips around the glass as he confidently wets them with the pink nectar.

Anyways, *ahem*, his sheer excitement was quite refreshing for these tired eyes so we grabbed a glass to join in. Wow. The nose had a strawberry/watermelony whiff. Not sweet like a jolly rancher but a bright fruit forward flavor, creamy body, balanced by a mineral dryness. We took a sip, then looked at each other. It’s good. Really good. Wait, it’s on sale for $5? It’s stupid good!

Now, we are counting down the days for Solo Vino’s Rosé Tent Tasting May 19th. Perhaps you think our standards for Rosé are low due to anticipation, but I don’t think so. I think this is some damn good French juice, so at this price, I had no choice but to stock up. If you’re at all on the fence about Rosé, pick this bottle up and give it a try, a $5 non-gamble that will have you sucking down bottle after bottle. So, if we can’t have Springtime physically, we can at the very least, have it mentally. This Elicio Rosé will help get you there, at least until the real thing arrives.

Poggio Anima Uriel Grillo

Cost: Average price $13-15

Where buy now: Sorella Wines & Spirits, Zipp’s, The Wine Thief, Surdyks

Grapes: Grillo/p>

Region: Sicily, Italy

Vintage: 2010

Poggio Anima Uriel Grillo

This has been the Winter of white wines. Contrary to my usual Winter drinking, in 2013, white wine consumption rivaled the red wine. Expanding pallet? Different diet? Maybe, but it likely has more to do with the fact that I just love discovering new wines to love. I love to love wine.

Oh look- the folks I love at Poggio Anima, makers of delightful reds (see Anima Belial and Anima Asmodeus) are making white wine, too! The Poggio Anima Uriel is 100% Grillo. Grillo is a Sicilian grape that is often used to make Marsala, a fortified wine. It’s also used in varietal blends such as my personal favorite, Insolia, in addition to Sicilian Chardonnay & Catarratto. It is not a varietal I have seen in pure form, however.

I’ve bought this bottle a few times already as it’s become my after work go-to “cocktail”. Poggio Anima’s Uriel Grillo smells of tropical fruits, apricots and peaches. It’s aged in stainless steel, so no oaky thickness here. The tropical fruit is light and refreshing yet this wine has a rounded mouthfeel with balanced minerality and acidity, completed with a snappy finish. If you like Pinot Grigio or Soave, give this a try. If you like dry Riesling, give this a try. It doesn’t contain the same amount of sweetness but a similar mouthfeel and tropical fruity goodness.

There are few writers I trust implicitly, and one of them is local fave, Bill Ward. He writes Lifestyle & Wine (rather redundant, really) pieces for the Star Tribune. Even better, check out his website: Decant This, This He’s witty, descriptive and I always seem to align with his thought process. Bonus, he’s a hoot with a great sense of humor to match his Tennessee drawl. I noticed on FaceBook he was sampling a Grillo of a different brand. He said it had mineral goodness, lemon flavor and a stark finish. The folks he was sampling it with were all giving it glowing reviews.

This has become a household staple and I know you’ll dig it just the same. Plus, with a sale price tag of under $13, it’s hardly a gamble. Bring this puppy to your Spring/Summer grill outs and impress your white wine drinking friends with this gem. Or, just crank the heat, hunker down, and start practicing for outdoor drinking season.