From The MetroWines Book Review Department
Photographer Christopher Herwig first noticed the unusual architecture
of Soviet-era bus stops in 2002. Over the next 12 years, he covered more than 18,000 miles through 14 countries in the former Soviet Union hunting down these bus stops! The local bus stop proved to be fertile ground for local artistic experimentation in the Soviet period, and was built seemingly without design restrictions or budgetary concerns. The result is an astonishing variety of styles
and types across the region, from the strictest Brutalism to exuberant whimsy.
I bet you're thinking a bottle of Russian Wine to Read it With
but the Russians are not exporting a significant amount of bottles.
The varietals in country include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Read all about Russian Wine:
And Pair it all With
The BIG RED of The Week
Bing cherries and red currant in the nose with numerous subtle undertones.
These are carried forward to the palate with bright, mouth-filling fruit with just the perfect hint of tannin. Winemaker Kent Rasmussen truly believes that
the North Coast has the perfect terroir for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
*** $19.99 ***
Metro Wines Blogs
From The MetroWines Book Review Department
Prepare for The Next Isolation!
In 1945, the owner of "Gino" an Italian red sauce joint, commissioned
Flora Scalamandré, wife of legendary textile house founder, to design wallpaper
for his drab Manhattan restaurant. When it came to covering walls,
the primary goal of Gino Circiello was to hide the splatters of marinara sauce
on the walls! The zebra design is now available in many colors. The pattern has endured because of the way they hop so unexpectedly into relatively
conformist rooms. The motif, says NYT, is a go-to choice for enlivening
powder rooms, foyers and hallways. SanFrancisco designer Maria Haidamus said:
"It adds whimsy to an otherwise sober setting."
Rooms covered in Scalamandré zebras have made cameo appearances
in movies including "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "The Mighty Aphrodite."
Your Celebrate and Decorate with Scalamandré Wine:
La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva 2015
Here's a solid, straightforward red that opens with aromas of sour cherry
and a whiff of new leather. The ripe fruity palate exhibits juicy blackberry,
raspberry and a hint of anise. It's easy drinking, with soft tannins.
*** $22 ***
And a BIG can of Stanislaus Red Sauce, $14.99!
Tired of Watching the Detectives?
Want to Be a Detective?
This is your chance (and mine!) to be the best, Sherlock Holmes.
New York Times says "Dear Holmes" is "an epistolary mystery experience."
It works like this: A series of missives addressed to Sherlock Holmes arrive
in your mailbox asking for your help on a case. The sender could be
a Conan Doyle regular like Inspector Lestrade or someone new to you.
The first dispatch sets up the scenario by outlining the details of the crime
or conundrum, with observations about the suspects or events.
Over the month, more letters and clues arrive.
I have already signed up for 6 months. If any of you decide to play along,
let me know so we can compare notes! The game is afoot!
BUT TO DO IT RIGHT......
OK. You will need a quiet space, preferably a rainy day, a candle for mood
And, of course, it's elementary, a bottle of sherry to sip while you solve.
Auguste Dupin was Sherlock Holmes before Sherlock Holmes, a genius detective who first appeared in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” by Edgar Allen Poe,first published in 1841. In that story, the first locked-room mystery,
two women are dead and only a bloody straight razor, two bags of gold coins
and some tufts of hair are found in the room with their bodies.
Even Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock, acknowledged Poe's influence."Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?"
So it is only fitting for us to choose a bottle of Amontillado Dry Sherry
a la "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allen Poe.
The Not AS BIG RED of The Week
Rickety Bridge Pinotage 2017 $26
First, mea culpa, we did not realize how popular this wine would be
and did not buy enough the first time around.
We then, and you (sorry) had to wait, literally for the boat.
But, finally, it's back. Come and get it!
Western Cape, South Africa. Red fruit forward with black and blueberry flavors
in the background while the light oaking accentuates flavours of red currants
and blue berries. A velvety palate with well-integrated tannins
which are supported by subtle smokinessleading into a lingering finish.
Perfect for wild game, spicy foods and Indian dishes.
*** $19.99 ***
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
After the smashing success of the visit
from The Reel Molloy Fish and Chips Food Truck this past Friday,
*** The British Are Coming BACK ***
Friday, June 26th from 11am to 2pm
in the "car park" @MetroWines.
You can order on location or online ahead:
And we will have a selection of beers and wines ready to GO!
BORED Out of What's Left of Your Mind?
Get Colorful and Creative.
Tie-Dye! It's Back!
and with Wine
11 Weird Ways to use Wine from Bob Vila including fabric dye!
Your Tie Dye it With Wine should be an organic, land conscious wine
but celestially influenced (read: biodynamic!) and value minded!
From Catalalinia, Marc Isart is head winemaker at the much acclaimed Bernabeleva,
where he is spearheading the property’s transformation to biodynamics. Isart works
on “getting back in touch with the home soil, nature and farming.” The La Maldición label
(translates to “The Curse”), named for the laborers’ struggles to reach and then work
the land at this secluded property in Valdelichia, Madrid. These vineyards are located
in the Arganda del Ray sub-zone within the Viños de Madrid DO.
Tinto de Valdilecha is a blend of 75% mature-vine Tempranillo and the local white grape,
Malvar, making up the balance. Both varieties are co-fermented with natural yeasts,
on skins for 20-25 days, and aged in cement and stainless steel tanks. Pure, pleasant weight, floral-tinged, cherry/cola fruit, lined with wispy tannins and refreshing acidity.
A delicious,high-grown yet generous country red and an absolute bargain.
*** $15.99 ***
$13.59 when you buy any 12 bottles.
Get in the Tie-Dye Mood with The Fifth Dimension
and "Age of Aquarius- Let the Sunshine In"
But for those who want to go totally authentic, The Fifth Dimension
combined these two songs, scattered throughout the play, from the musical "Hair" (1969).
The original "Let the Sunshine In" was not preceded by "Age of Aquarius"
but rather by a song titled "The Flesh Failures."
Remember, this play was about a developing culture,
race relations, sexual identity and politics and well, Viet Nam.
Warning: This combination is, shall we say, a little different than The 5thD!
But lest you think tie-dye is all about counter culture,
maybe it WAS but now it IS Chanel
and Versace and Proenza Schouler and Louis Vuitton and...
Over the years, we have all learned that
a badly made Chardonnay is JUST PLAIN BAD.
Irredeemable. You can't even use the thing to make salad dressing.
This is White Burgundy from France at an unbelievable price.
JUST PLAIN GOOD.
Third-generation Burgundian vigneron Pierre-Emmanuel Sangouard spotlights
the classic clay-limestone soil to craft this white Burgundy. A green-glinted golden
color in glass, Sangouard’s 2018 brilliantly expresses its Mâconnais origins
with white Burgundy aromas of clay-limestone soil, lemon zest, and white peach skin.
Crisp, brisk, and stony on the palate blending yellow plum, white peach,
and Meyer lemon fruit with mineral undercurrents, lively acidity, and complex undertones
of browned butter, and raw hazelnuts. Vinified and aged in stainless steal to preserve its minerality. Long finish with echoes of calcareous terroir. Sustainably Farmed. 13%ALC.
Unbelievable Value at $17.99.
Head for Space!
Hey, everybody is doing it!
Jeff Bezos said: "The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource
is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel." He also said we need to go to space because we are destroying the earth. Let's put aside the fact that his great wealth
could be spent on efforts to cure cancer, get kids out of poverty, feed the hungry,
does Bezos see his part in the destruction of the environment?
HINT: Shipping. Shipping. Shipping. And every aspect of it.
Back to the Point. * SPACE*
Engage. Commit. Lift Off
With Grape Abduction from Slovenia
Imported by Phillipe Bourgeois. Grape Abduction Rosé is a slightly darker pink
than typical of the South of France. Bursting with ripe wild berries, wild strawberries,
and a hint of freshly picked violets. The darker hue comes from the red grape Žametna Črnina, one of the oldest grapes in Slovenia. On the palate, the wine is round, fruity,
with a refreshing acidity that carries all that red fruit aromas across the tastebuds
to a long and smooth finish. $15.99. 10% discount on 6. 15% on 12.
BIG "Red" DEAL of THE WEEK
Tarima Monastrell, 2017, Alicante, Spain
The image of the Passion Flower was chosen for Tarima because the blossom
never ceases to amaze and entice people around the world. The vivid colors
and complex structure draws you in for a closer look just as the colors
and aromas of this wine attract your attention. Made from Monastrell grapes
grown on gnarled vines in the rugged, arid climate of Alicante, Tarima blossoms
in your glass with notes of licorice, chocolate and a hint of dark violets.
*** $11.99 ***
*** Big RED of The Week ***
H. Mynors 2015 from Sean Minor
This is not a new bottle to the shop but when we looked online and found
an "average price" of $17.99 going as high as $24 for a bottle,
we thought we might remind you of this price to quality ratio winner!
Does Bi-Lingualism Make You Smarter?
This will certainly be hotly debated.
Debate over a bottle of "bilingual wine."
What? Lieu Dit is California wine from French grapes with a French name.
"We're committed to making balanced, lower-alchohol wines, no matter what the grape.
To achieve more balance in our wines, we harvest our fruit early." Lieu Dit
Melon de Bourgogne, originally from the Loire Valley in France,
grown and made wine in Santa Maria Valley, just north of Santa Barbara. 2018. $19.99
And Lieu Dit Chenin Blanc, a varietal native to the Loire Valley as well,
grown and made wine in Santa Ynez Valley. $19.99
Magnifique! Yowzer! (bilingual)
The People at the Next Table are Real Stiffs
To give the look of a a fuller restaurant and to ease the discomfort of being isolated at a table,
many restaurants are bringing in mannequins or fake diners made of plastic or cardboard.
What does one order when you a sharing a table with literally, plastic, people.
This is the time to experiment. Try something new.
Hey, you are already having dinner with blow up dolls!
Bodegas Ponce Reto 2018
“Reto is the first white wine made in our winery.
Produced from 4 different vineyards 40-60 years old.
Grape varietal is Albilla and vineyard soil is mainly calcareous.
Wine is aged for 8 months in old barrels 600-700 liter capacity."
From a cooler year than 2017 resulting in slightly lower alcohol and higher acidity.
The vintage represents a style that is fresh, complex and mineral, with an austere profile and integrated oak.
It's still young and shows more primary notes of freshly cut grass and aromatic herbs,
but the core is striking minerality and spark of the granite soils. Cool-climate profile, with marked acidity,
that should keep the wine alive in bottle for a good 5 years or more.
One of the freshest Mediterranean whites from Spain. The price is simply unbelievable.
Very Difficult to Find
*** A Geodesist ***
NYT defined the profession as: Someone who calculates the Earth's shape and size,
gravitational field and orientation in space over time. Who does this?
I did some research. Turns out Gladys Mae West did it and slammed it home!
Gladys Mae West (née Brown) (born 1930) is an American mathematician
known for her contributions to the mathematical modeling of the shape of the earth
and her work on the development of the satellite geodesy models that were eventually incorporated
into the Global Positioning System (GPS). West was inducted into the USAir Force Hall of Fame in 2018.
*** A toast to you Gladys Mae West ***
UPHOLD 2017 California White from Ryme
All profits donated to support the planet!
Lemon and tart tangerine citrus, good body,
balanced acidity, smooth with nice finish.
*** $16.99 ***
Peru, Potatoes and Potato People
National Geographic writes: Since at least 5,000 BC, Peru has been dining on spuds.
More than 4,000 varieties grow in country. But diversity and the cultural value
of the crop are being threatened by industrialized agriculture. Inventive chefs,
including Virgilio Martinez, are working to boost the status of the potato
and other traditional Andean mood often called "Novoandina."
At his restaurant, "Mil," in the Sacred Valley, you will find varieties of potatoes
in an 8 course Andean focused meal.
Gordon Ramsey on The Potato King in Peru
All About Traditional High Andean Food
*** $15.99 @MetroWines ***
** YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS **
Some say Covid launched a groundswell of early mid-life crises. Whatever.
Your Contemplate Where You Went Wrong and Where You are Going Wine:
And THE BIG RED OF THE WEEK
Although not at the mid-life point yet, I asked Brett Watson to pick a bottle to steer the process.
And he said: "Ascent! 100% cabernet from a vineyard site just next to the fabled Pride Mountain Vineyards
that straddle the Napa and Sonoma County line. Ascent is a side project of well respected winemaker
Andrew Geoffrey. Well aged, integrated classical Cabernet for a quarter of the usual Napa cost. "
The generous fruit will allow this wine to age gracefully for years.
This limited-production masterpiece sits prettily in the glass with opulent aromas
of blackberry, red plum, and red cherry, accented by generous wisps of cola and chocolate.
The palate is anchored by dense flavors of cassis, licorice, and black olives,
and the tannins are still impeccably structured.
Compare, if you can find it, at $54.
OK. I realize Ascent is a little higher in price
but do I have to remind you:
THIS IS YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS.
(I already had mine.)
EMPAHSIS ON MID-LIFE!
*** WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? ***
Or you could go the red sports car route and pair it
with this race car lover's dream house in LA for $62 million.
Your Call: $62M for $54?
*** BEANS ***
Wine & Spirits Magazine Talks Beans!
"Beans, beans, a glorious staple. They last forever!
Don't skimp on the herbs and spices
and you will find you have a hearty comforting meal for your table.
"Earth, rusticity is the name of the wine game here"
with particular focus on muscular Uruguayan wines.
W&S suggests Garzon Tennat with Black Beans.
The 2018 scored 92 Points from W&S and Wine Enthusiast gave 90 Points.
One of the best sellers @MetroWines.
And The Big RED of The Week
German Bruzzone ferments this Tennat in cement then ages it
in a mix of French Oak barrels and casks, creating a clean, austerely red.
Expect turmeric and green peppercorn scents with solid dark fruit.
Structured and balanced, wine will go in bottle several years but is ready to drink now.
$19.99 at wine.com
(It really is beginning to tick me off the way wine.com is horn swoggling customers.
And they get awards for it! I feel a fight coming on....)
Beating Online Everywhere! $15.99 @MetroWines
Still Life Painting "Three Wines": by Laurin McCracken
Mr. McCracken was born in Mississippi and lives in Ft. Worth Texas.
I am certain that you can find a local artist to paint your bottle!
Anyway, this whole genre got me to thinking, what wine would I like to have on canvas?
Well, it would need to be one that I also like in the glass,
like the story and want to share it with others.
Nikolaus and Carolin Bantlin originally came from Germany
but fell in love with the south of France, rock climbing and biking on holidays.
They discovered a large sheep pasture in Fitou, France,
with a small number of vines around that inspired them to start making wines.
The vineyards at Les Enfants Sauvages are hidden by the surrounding garigue
with no neighbors in sight. The only threat is the overgrowth of vegetation and the wild pigs!
Why "Les Enfants Sauvages?" Simply put, as a tribute to Jim Morrison and The Doors.
The duo behind the wines drew inspiration from The Doors’ song “Wild Child”—
about finding salvation in the wild state of nature. They took the French translation for their name.
A blend of 40% Cinsualt,40%Syrah and 20% Mourvedre
The result is a lovely, finesse-driven red that’s atypically light for the region.
Delicate, fresh cherry and strawberry flavors complemented by subtle mineral and earth notes.
Crisp acidity and a dry finish. Drink alone or with food. You can also put a chill on it.
There's a lot of WILD in this bottle!
And that whole Doors Thing!
Just in case you don't remember the Doors or the song,
Here is Jim Morrison and The Doors on (get this) The Smothers Brothers in 1968:
Whoa. Totally worth a painting!
$24 at GnarlyVines BUT $22 @MetroWines!
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Get Healthy. Stay Healthy!
According to legend, when the plague came to the city of Yogyakarta
on the Indonesian island of Java, the sultan ordered his citizens
to cook sayur lodeh and stay home for 49 days. The plague ended.
And so began a practice that continues to this day.
Spicewalla @MetroWines! 3 Pack Set, $12.49
And Your Pair the Sayur Lodeh With Wine:
You will need the acid to cut through the coconut milk.
And a palate that will blend with the many flavors in the recipe
$19.99 at wine.com (Shameful)
*** $16.99 @MetroWines ***