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Bacchic Reflections

Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

Life itself is the proper binge.

                                                                     Julia Child

                                                         
 
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Reds worth cellaring...Cabs, Pinots, Other
                            B.E.'s Cellar Notes

Special Aged Wines:   B.E.'s Discoveries

Virginia/North Carolina:   B.E.'s Discoveries

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Wine Books for Wine Lovers
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Articles by B.E.   see  B.E. in print
      Starting a Wine Cellar:   B.E.'s  Wine Tips
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B.E. on organic and biodynamic wines
                  see  article


EVENTMonday, June 11, 2018 at Mandolin in Raleigh
We locals (Triangle NC) know the delights of Debbie Moose's writings on food. Her new book Carolina Catch is a book not to miss--especially for lovers of fish and seafood. Our Carolina waters--rivers, lakes, coasts and sounds--abound in fish and shellfish, and Debbie knows delectable ways to celebrate them.  Chef Sean Fowler of Mandolin restaurant in Raleigh is a fish and seafood specialist, too, and will celebrate Debbie and her new book with some cunning creations at a dinner on Monday, June 11, paired with beers from Fullsteam.
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/mandolin-11380029461



WINE BUY(s) OF THE WEEK

Elicio Vermentino 2017  Rhône Valley  $15**+  
Vermentino, happy to report, is much more widely planted today--its bright, crisp fruit and tangy mineral accents make it an excellent summer white, a very good match for seafood and shellfish. This "Méditerranée" wine from the southern Rhône is dry and most appealing, as well as excellent value.

Villa Ragazzi Rosato di Sangiovese 2017  Napa Valley   $28*** 
The pale salmon tint of this dry rosé belies its bright fruit intensity and piquant zest. It was excellent with sautéed coho salmon on a recent evening, but it would be a delightful aperitif on summer's warm evenings with bruschetta or goat cheese canapés. The limited production from this esteemed small estate means it is much in demand; not easy to find but you can order online at villaragazziwine.com  


Wine In The News:   Interesting images of the recent meeting between China and North Korea, whose leaders appear to enjoy fine wine--goblets of red adorned the round table in Beijing--a fine Burgundy or Rhône perhaps?--while the North Korean sipped a white wine (Riesling?)  In the last decade or so China has played an increasingly active role on the world wine stage--Hong Kong boasts multi-million dollar wine auctions and is the key market in Asia for fine wine; China is rapidly expanding its own young wine industry. On Kim Jung Il's (Kim Jung Un's father) last train trip to China in 2011 one of the armored cars, according to news reports, was loaded with cases of fine wine, including Bordeaux and Burgundy. It appears that he may have passed along his taste for fine wine to his son.
   Update: Ooops! China just threatened a 15% tariff on American wines (among other items) in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.  "On hold" though-stay tuned.
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REDS
Dry Creek Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2016   Dry Creek Valley   $16-19**+
  One of the best values in quality Zins--black fruit flavors of ripe berries (think black raspberry), hints of black pepper, lively and well-balanced, juicy and vibrant.  Excellent value.
Rodney Strong Vyds Upshot Red Blend 2015   Sonoma    $18-22**  Fruit-driven red dominated by Zinfandel, so lots of ripe-berry flavors. Sturdy, meaty red recommended for roast or grilled meats and savory cheese dishes. Very drinkable now but will develop further with 3-5 years.
Paris Valley Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  California  $12.99**+  Hard to find a young Cabernet with character and flavor but not overwhelmed by tannin- I strongly recommend this one--with fruit sourced from the warm Paso Robles region of the central coast it teems with  generous ripe-berry flavors.  Very drinkable.  Great value!
Terrazas de los Andes Malbec 2015   Argentina     $15-18**+  Succulent black fruit flavors make this a smacking good red. Warm and generous; excellent value.
Domaine Guy Farges 2014 Saint-Joseph Terre de Granit   Rhône Valley   $23-29**+   Among my favorite  Rhône reds--some go for much more but this one, with its lovely rich berry flavors, is an excellent value; well-balanced and elegant, and quite drinkable now.  An excellent choice for roast or grilled meats. Check it out at A Southern Season--the 2015 should be in market soon.


Choice Whites
Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 Sauvignon Blanc   Dry Creek Valley***
$17-20, and well worth it--one of the tastiest Sauvignons I've had recently, due perhaps to  13.5% musqué in the blend which lends spicy accents to the zest of tangerine and the creaminess of lemon curd. Very well-balanced, youthful and fresh, an excellent choice for seafood and shellfish (also beet and goat cheese salad). wbow
Angelini 2017 Pinot Grigio  Veneto  $10-12**+ 
While some consider them the cliché of white wines Grigios are hard to beat in affordable dry whites for summer's seafood and casual sipping--get 'em while they're young and fresh and at their best, as in this 2017 from Angelini:  clean, crisp, with tangy bright fruit and a nice touch of minerality. And a bargain!
Fento Bico da Ran Albariño 2016  Rias Baxias, Spain    $15-18***  Hard to find, but surely the best Albariño I've tasted recently--dry, enticingly crisp and flavorful, with bright notes of citrus and a hint of spice. Available on line.
Mount Eden Chardonnay 2015  Edna Valley   $23-34***+  Don't say you don't like Chardonnay until you've tasted this one! Rich, intense flavors of toasted nuts, buttery apples, lemon zest, very nicely balanced with a deft touch of oak. Lingering finish very appealing--lovely with the likes of turbot or halibut with butter-sauteed mushrooms.   
Hugel Classic Riesling 2015  Alsace***   $19-23     If you want to know what a classic, pure dry Riesling is, buy this wine! Aromatic, with hints of floral and mineral, superbly balanced, with an acidity that gives it great verve, and fruit that is enticing. I love 3-year-old Alsace Rieslings with Asian foods!
Château Graville-Lacoste 2015   Bordeaux   $15***  An excellent white Bordeaux, balanced and graceful; this blend of sauvignon blanc and sémillon has a broader flavor profile of stony citrus, very clean, a superb choice for fish and seafood. 
Le Paradou Viognier 2016  Languedoc-Rousillon $15**  Appealing floral fragrance, nice and fresh crispness. An excellent aperitif.


,
   
Bubbles.........I always have one on ice, just in case. And a great way to launch a fine dinner: 
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs   Carneros  $18-24**+  Bright and charming, with a long creamy finish that is very appealing. Excellent with smoked salmon.
Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé   Carneros **+ $20-29  This sparkler--the flaming color of sunset--is lively and crisp with bright berryish accents. Made from pinot noir, a grape that excels in the cool Carneros region of Sonoma County.  A charmer.
Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs NV, California, $18-22**+  Tiny bubbles, bright, clean fruit, dry and quite delicious. Keep this sparkler on hand  as a great aperitif, year-round.  I've tasted this wine several times with great pleasure. An excellent value, too.
Mumm Brut Prestige  Napa Valley  $19**+  It's dry but the bright hints of peach and vibrant citrus whet the appetite with effervescent appeal. Also excellent value.


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                                                                                                          ©Barbara Ensrud