GRAPE: Schioppettino REGION: Friuli COUNTRY: Italy AVE PRICE: $55
A tiny sniff of this wine will not only brighten your day but also will send you deep into your memory bank. At leasts that’s what it did for me. I remember my great aunt greeting every single individual who walked into her restaurant with love. Her place was called Sergi’s Ice House and was located in Little Italy, Baltimore. Her father immigrated from Sicily at the turn of the Century. He arrived in Philadelphia and made his way to the Anthracite coal mines. I can’t begin to imagine the hell at these camps. The shit I like to complain about these days is cupcakes and daisies compared to that life. When telling his family about his experiences he told them that the coal mines, “It wasn’t for him”. He then moved on to Philadelphia and sold day old fruit out of a cart. One day his cart was hit by a vehicle and destroyed. The owner of the vehicle gave him some cash and he headed to Little Italy in Baltimore and started making cheese. The health authorities shut him down. So he then started a business delivering ice. That’s where my Aunt got the name for her restaurant, Sergi’s Ice House.
I remember how much love she showered every person who walked through the door. Her restaurant had a heart and a soul. She’d go from table to table in making sure everyone had what they wanted. I can still smell and taste of her salads, pasta, and last but not least, the pizza! And more than that I remember her strength, honesty, love, and amazing stories. She passed away on June 1, 2017 at the age of 99.
I found warm memories of family and love in Bressan’s 2011 Schioppettino. It’s charming and elegant. It’s philosophical. It’s beautiful and has a fragrance resonating of dried rose, pine, with a subtle herbaceousness. It would definitely be worn as a perfume. If wine-making is a dance with nature then drinking this wine should be like a slow dance with a lover. You’ll experience some dried rose, mint, spices, along with a delicateness of warm berries.
If you’re not down with decanting, you better drive this wine slow. An hour or two of air you’ll feel it penetrate every fiber of your body and soul. You’ll experience a velvety explosion of pleasure in your mouth. There is no spitting this juice. This wine is free jazz when it comes to expression. Although I do not know the winemaker personally, basing it on this wine alone, I have to believe he is man of great emotion and passion and possesses a special relationship to the land.
WEB: Scuola di Vino & Bressan
GRAPE: Chardonnay APP: Champagne COUNTRY: France PRICE: $51
I feel surrounded by a paralyzing energy. If I could, I’d wrap a big bandage filled with love around the earth. It’s occupants are wounded. A big cheers to those who love and a big fuck you to those who don’t. And so long to my neighbor who committed suicide this morning. Although I didn’t really know you well. I’m going to plant some flowers in your honor.
On a lighter note. I need to drink more Champagne, so I can learn more about Champagne. But I’ll need to drink more Champagne. And who can afford Champagne? I love Champagne. I think Champagne is a need, not a want. I’ve had maybe 4 bottles of Champagne this year. So I don’t have much to compare this to. Regardless, Champagne Doyard Revolution has tiny, tight, persistent bubbles. It’s gentle. A load of finesse like a ballet dancer moving across a stage. All pleasure in the mouth. It’s looks pretty, smells like a pretty, taste pretty, and makes you feel good. Even on an ugly day like today where we could use some smiles. @champagne_doyard @skurnikwines
WEB: Skurnik Wines
GRAPE: Albariño REGION: Rías Baixas COUNTRY: Spain AVE PRICE: $23
You’re the taste of the sea or so it seems. An apple or peach, citrus, silky, and fresh. It doesn’t matter, cause you go down fast. You just don’t last. Ahhhh.
GRAPE: Mtsvane REGION: Kakheti COUNTRY: Georgia AVE PRICE: $20
Growing up in Baltimore City is akin to fermenting on the skins, seeds, and stems. Step up and you’ll find that diplomacy comes wrapped in a fist. We may have a blunt edge, but our honesty and big hearts charm.
I’ve been thinking that childhood is fermentation for people. Fermentation in my neighborhood required that our mothers often filter our foul mouths with soap. I’m not joking. My friend’s mother made him wash his mouth out with soap. Unfortunately, he swallowed quite a bit too much and his mother had to take him to the hospital. I assure you this taught him nothing and his mouth was dirtier than ever afterwards.
doqi Mtsvane may have been made close 6,000 miles from my hometown, but drinking this wine I have to imagine that the people of Georgia have quite a bit in common with the people of Baltimore. They must be mentally tough and have a solid work ethic. The doqi Mtsvane Qvevri 2014 is the perfect cultural fit in Baltimore. Why? Because, this wine is diverse. It’s firm, yet has an elegant charm. It’s salty and savory. It cleanses your mouth. It’s liquid gold and transcends your local. doqi is delicious on it’s own and you could sip it while you’re working the corner or overlooking the harbor from Federal Hill. It could be consumed by in a dive bar or at a fancy dinner. Like the people of Baltimore, the juice was fermented on the skins and seeds.
Baltimoreans get yourself a bottle and grab your local favorites; crab cakes, Lake trout, chicken box, or Polock Johnny’s sausages. But honestly, my favorite pairing is still dumping a ton of @oldbay_seasoning all over a bag of salty/oily chips. We don’t get crab chips up in here (helLA) so I got to make my own.
WEB: Blue Danube
GRAPE: Blend REGION: San Diego County COUNTRY: USA AVE PRICE: N/A
Unlabeled bottles of wine are quite attractive, feel a bit dangerous, and taste better. That isn’t scientific, it’s just the way I feel. This bottle was the home vineyard project from the makers of Los Pilares @michaellospilares & @villamarta77 The grapes in this pretty juice were Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, & Syrah. I had forgotten about this bottle. It had been sitting in a cool dark closet and it help up quite nicely. The juice was under a crown cap that wasn’t really on the bottle properly. But for whatever reasons held up wonderfully. Michael & Koleman have embarked on a great project planting a high elevation vineyard in the San Diego mountains. I’m excited about it and hope I’m around in the future to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Thank you both for sharing this lovely bottle of juice.
WEB: Los Pilares
GRAPE: Humagne REGION: Valais COUNTRY: Switzerland AVE PRICE: $46
I typically love Alpine wines. This an interesting wine. But on this day it wasn’t my favorite. This wine is made from a Swiss grape called Humagne Rouge (Cornalin). The grape is originally from Aosta Valley in Italy but now primarily grown in the Valais region of Switzerland.This particular wine is light in color, earthy, a bit rustic and has a solid structure. You can taste some cherry. You’ll get a touch herbal and peppery notes like in a Syrah, and at moments even reminded me ever so slightly of a well structured Pinot Noir.
WEB: Cave Caloz