What We Drank Last Week: The Quarantine Chronicles, Volume 1
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Since the quarantine culture began in March, we've had more of an opportunity to drink some really great and varied wines from our cellar. Usually, we get about 4 nights a week when we can truly sit down and enjoy an evening with food and wine, the other 3 nights are working (concert) nights. Obviously things have changed and we have had a bit of extra time to cook (well, Liz is the chef) and seven nights to enjoy our wine finds.
Once a week we will be showing you some of the bottles we've enjoyed the prior week. We'll pick some favorites, tell you why they stood out and usually include some food pairings. If there is anything else you want to know about these wines, leave us a comment and we will do our best to answer it.
Disclaimer - we had a small but socially distant dinner outside where we shared some of these bottles, just in case y'all thought we drank all of this on our own!
These wines represent purchases from Garagiste, WTSO, InVino, Costco, and Wine.com
From Left to Right...
2016 Domaine Les Hauts de Mercurol, Crozes Hermitage (Rhone Valley, France)
2018 Sinister Hand, Owen Roe, Yakima Valley, Red Blend (Washington State, USA)
2018 Renato Ratti, Barbera D'Asti (Piedmont, Italy)
2010 Quinta Da Romaneira, Douro Tinto (Douro Valley, Portugal)
2010 La Velona, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Sangiovese (Tuscany, Italy)
2015 Cantina Gabriele, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (Abruzzo, Italy)
2014 Ca' Rozzeria Barbaresco, Nebbiolo (Piedmont, Italy)
2017 Moccagatta, Langhe Nebbiolo, Nebbiolo (Piedmont, Italy)
2015 Florent Descombe, Fleurie Cru Beaujolais, Gamay (Beaujolais, France)
Liz's favorite this week was the Crozes Hermitage - all Rhone wines have this really distinctive earthy smell, but on this wine it wasn't totally overwhelming. It's an immediate identifier if you ever do a blind tasting. The nose was had hints of barnyard, herbs, and a hint of that signature Rhone funk! We paired it with a sous vide NY Strip Steak that was finished on the grill, baked potatoes, and arugula salad. We don't drink Rhone wines often, but I think we need to start finding and drinking more! This wine was purchased from Garagiste.com - just about everything we have purchased from them has been from high quality, small producers, and wines that we have loved!
Mike's standout of the pack was undoubtedly the 2010 Brunello. What a terrific wine from a terrific vintage in Tuscany. This glass brought me back to our visit to Tuscany in 2016 - it's difficult not to be nostalgic about such a special place. The nose was enticing and jumped out of the glass promising something great on the palate and it delivered! The tannins are well-integrated into the wine at this point and gave a long, persistent finish. Wow. We purchased 4 bottles of this wine from WTSO a number of years ago, and this was the second bottle we've opened (the first over 3 years ago). The wine is drinking really well at present and we are glad we waited. Patience, FTW!
Best value wine of the week - Quinta da Romaneira, Douro Tinto. We bought this wine for $10 bucks from WTSO. TEN DOLLARS - great value! It was surprisingly complex in taste, but light on alcohol at only 13.5 percent. Many of us are familiar with the famed fortified Port wines from the Douro, but most of these same growers and producers also vinify dry wines. If you are looking for a wine that brings you incredible bang-for-your-buck, try something from Portugal.
Taken in the Douro Valley 2019. With a view like this, the wine HAS to be good!