Tag Archives: Solo Vino

Flaco Tempranillo

Cost: Average price $9

Where buy now: Solo Vino, Zipps Liquors, Sorella Wines & Spirits, Stinson Wines & Spirits

Grapes: Tempranillo

Region: Spain

Vintage: 2011

Flaco Tempranillo

Not only do I have a great Skank pick this month, but I can also tell you how to get your hands on a FREE bottle on November 1st or 2nd!

First, let me talk about Tempranillo. It’s the best goof-proof, budget-friendly wine out there. And by no means is it a one trick pony.  Spain is the largest producer of Tempranillo. These thick-skinned grapes are grown in regions that have hot days followed by cool evenings. This creates a concentrated, yet balanced flavor.

These burly skins make for a tannic wine (tannins = presence of skins, seeds and stems).  It is aged in oak, giving other nuances of flavor, such as vanilla, smoke and wood tannin.

So, pop the Flaco Tempranillo then give it a few to breath. Aromas of plum and earth emerge. Take a sip and you’ll further enjoy not only the plummy, earthy flavors but you’ll also taste a hint of toasty vanilla, green pepper and spice. It’s an agreeable little number.

Tempranillo is typically food-friendly, and this one really benefits from a food pairing. Don’t get me wrong, you can send this baby down the hatch by itself all night if you want. I just think this Flaco comes alive with food. Again: goof-proof.

As the temperatures get cold, more folks are cooking indoors, baking and using their slow-cooker. Drink this wine with your homemade enchiladas or slow-cooked pulled pork. This wine pairs well with BBQ ribs, and most things grilled or roasted. Due to the earthy quality, if you’re a veg, a mushroom risotto- or anything with mushrooms or mushroomy sauce, really- would work splendidly. I have to give my gal, Amanda, a shout out because this wine pairs well with her Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Soup: http://healthylifehappycook.com/2012/cookingtips/roasted-red-pepper-garlic-soup/Roasted Red Pepper Soup

You know how much I like a good sausage [*ahem*] and this wine pairs really swell with the Moroccan Lamb sausage from Kramarczyk’s. The smoky, earthy wine really compliments the garlicky, earthy lamb sausage. I’m imagining it in my mouth and I can’t think of anything better. I mean it.  


You may already be a winner! No, I’m not knocking at your door with this bottle and lamb sausage, BUT, I’ve partnered with Solo Vino in St. Paul to give you a sweet ass deal:

This Thursday, November 1, and Friday, November 2, stop in to Solo Vino http://www.solovinowines.com/Solo Vino between 5:00-7:30 PM, buy a bottle of wine, any bottle (PS- it’s their Fall Sale where everything is 20% off). At check out, mention that “The Savvy Lush” sent you, and you’ll receive this bottle of Flaco Tempranillo for FREE! While you’re there, Solo Vino will also be tasting other delicious bottles.

So dig this: you’ll visit one of thee best wine shops in the Metro, sample wines, buy the one(s) you like at a discount AND get the Flaco Tempranillo for free! You’d be simply mad not to take advantage of this. Mad I tell you!

Well, that is, unless you hate fun.  I’ve heard about you pricks.

Hendry 2011 Rosé

Cost: Average price $15

Where buy now: Solo Vino

Grapes: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Primitivo

Region: Napa Valley, California

Vintage: 2011

Hendry 2011 Rosé

Yep, you’ve probably all been waiting with bated breath for the next Red wine of the week (or, perhaps semi-bated breath?). My day job responsibilities prohibited me from sticking to task, once again. And what’s this?  Another Rosé? Oh, just shut up and trust me.

I was introduced to this Rosé at Solo Vino’s Rosé Tasting a couple week’s back. After reviewing my notes, this one was starred by both myself and my husband. Say “hello” to Hendry Rosé from Napa Valley.

Admittedly, I am not as familiar with Napa as I am Sonoma Valley, but this wine embodies all the things I love. First, it hails from a family owned farm (since 1939!). Second, they solely use their own estate grapes to produce wines. They make wine in small batches and that can only lead to quality. This 2011 Rosé marks their 20th vintage!

This wine is created using saignée (Sahn-yay), which means bleeding in French. The saignée method is when the juice is allowed to macerate (soften in liquid) the skins, which is done to extract a certain color. When the wine turns the desired hue (pink, salmon, cranberry, puce, etc.), the tank is then opened to let the wine “bleed off” into another tank to be fermented and made into Rosé. The remaining wine stays in the tank to macerate longer to give the wine a deeper red color, and later is fermented to become a “standard” red wine. Such elaborate technique to refine nature into your bottle of wine! It’s all quite blinding, this science.

This wine is made with the following grapes: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Primitivo. If you are fans of any (or all),  this is your Rosé. If you are STILL hesitant to try pink wine (I’m looking at my “manly” friends), this is one to start with. It’s totally pink and fruity, but man up. Hell, drink it from a giant ceramic stein, your leather flask, or a hollowed out animal horn if you must- I won’t tell!   

Yeah, I know I keep saying Rosé embodies smells and tastes of strawberry, spice and everything nice. But if I could reach out of your screen and give you a glass of this right now, I would. (Don’t you sometimes wish you lived in the classic video for Aha’s “Take on Me”? No?!? Oh, right, me either.) This wine is dry, balanced with a little citrus and a little herb and goes with _everything_. I’ve had it several times now and I can’t find one thing this wine clashes with.

This is such a pleasing, Summery, drink-on-your-patio-until-you-get-perma-grin kinda wine, I can’t stand it. I even ran back to Solo Vino to buy more because it’s made in such a small batch. Folks, there are only a couple cases left and then, bye-bye 2011 Hendry Rosé. I guess that means every Rosé truly has it’s…  Well, you know.

Domaine d’Arton YSL Rosé

Cost: Average price $11.00

Where buy now: Solo Vino, Zipp’s Liquors, Byerly’s Ridgedale, Pairings Wine & Food Market

Grapes: Syrah

Region: Gascony, France

Vintage: N/V

Domaine d’Arton YSL Patrick de Montal YSÉ

If you leave The Savvy Lush with anything this week, remember this name: Arton.

This week’s red and white wines are both from the same winery: Domaine d’Arton. You may have heard some buzz about Solo Vino’s 4th Annual Rosé Tent Tasting held last Sunday. http://www.decant-this.com/2012/05/21/he-belongs-to-that-wine-rose/ If you haven’t, let me enlighten you so you attend next year’s soirée.

Chuck, Rob & Co., from Solo Vino put together a collection of 144 different wines, mostly Rosé, but also a smattering of whites, Pinot Noirs, and Lambruscos to mix it up a bit. A mere $30 allowed you to sample ALL the wine you’d like, but it didn’t stop there. Wonderfully complimentary hor’s d’oeuvres were also liberally served. I was told 60 lbs of Kramarczuk’s sausage was involved. Two words, kids: lamb sausage (no pun intended?).

But I digress. With wine drinking buddies I’ve gotten to know on Twitter in tow, we had ourselves a real good time! The particular table that had us a-twitter (pun intended) was the table that brought us the Arton. What makes this “the Arton” so special?

Following the Rosé Tent Tasting, it should be no surprise that this week’s red is a Rosé hailing from Gascony: Domaine d’Arton Rosé. The Arton (ar-TONE) Rosé is made with Syrah and embodies smells and tastes of peach and mild raspberry with tinges of citrus rind. Nay, it’s like a peach raspberry tart that’s sat in the window of a cottage in Gascony as the soft winds drizzle it’s floral and herbal whispers on top. (Wow – that came right out of my ass. Sounded good though, huh?) Truly, it’s soft, fruity, light, flavorful with a hint of tartness, just to round it off. Perfect for those who both love Rosé and those who are unsure and are just about to start experimenting. Oh, how I envy you people! It is an incredible wine for the usual price of $11.99, right now you can buy it at Solo Vino for only $8.79- a small investment for a remarkable wine.

Now, let’s back this train up.

The more and more I write, the more and more I learn about wine. Not the drinking part- I have that down. I’m talking about where it comes from, who supplies it, how it’s purchased, yadda yadda. Here in lovely, scenic Minnesota, we don’t have the luxury of being out in the vineyard learning from the farmers themselves. Most often we are relegated to shelf-talkers, the interwebs or your local wine shop’s windbag. Now, there is nothing better than exploring and finding a wine all on your own, believe me (ahh, the Russian River Valley-*sigh*). I’d assert that the next best thing is to consider other ways to discover wine, or, in other words, help your wine find you. Rather than suffering the classic “wine elitist vs. poor plebian” dichotomy, it’s time we close the gap. I know that many of you care about where your food comes from, how it was made, and who was involved. Doesn’t it only make sense to know where your wine comes from?

This week, I introduce you to Ulf. Until about 10 years ago, Ulf was an engineer. Quite simply, passion and wine steered him on a new course, and now he’s a one-man show. Travelling to Europe a couple times of year, he frequents small vineyards and imports amazing wine. He seeks the stuff not many folks, and I mean folks anywhere, get exposed to. Since he’s doing the importing and distributing himself, these wines don’t suffer a crazy mark-up. We can thank Ulf for introducing us to “the Arton” and allowing it to be readily affordable. Righteous, Ulf. Score one for the vulgar proletariat.