Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Journalist, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant

Drinking out loud. 

Philanthropically Drinking

(This post is a little delayed, let's call it fashionably late)

"Fuggedaboudit." "Get outta hee-ah."  "No soup for you!"

New Yorkers have notorious reputations for being brusque, abrasive and downright rude.  However, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the entire city took on an attitude of "How can I help?" At its  core, New York is really a series of small towns: communities bonded through proximity, hobbies, or vocation.  When your neighbors suffer, you want to provide relief and restore a sense of normalcy.

The restaurant and bar industry immediately mobilized to help establishments that were felled by the Hurricane.  Among the benefits and fundraisers, one in particular caught my eye.  Ardesia, a favorite wine bar, was offering a taste of 6 of their favorite wines for $30, all proceeds benefiting, a nonprofit organization.  In addition, they were donating a proceed of sales of their NY-style soft pretzels to the nonprofit.  Their craveworthy pretzels and a wine tasting?   Calendars marked!

The Whites
Jurancon Sec, Chant des Vignes, Domaine Cauhape, Jurancon France 2011
The wine opened with peach, white blossoms and honeysuckle on the nose.  However, the palate showcased green apple, lemon and quite a bit of minerality.   I don't often drink such floral, aromatic wines as my nose tricks my brain into thinking I'm going to end up sipping a bridesmaid's bouquet, but this wine had a decent amount of acid and a dry finish, making it really enjoyable.

Albarino, Valdemonxes, Rias Baixas Spain 2011
I adore Albarinos and this one was no exception. It smelled of lime and slate with notes of  green apple, mineral, and lemon peel revealing themselves as I sipped. It was smooth, despite the noticeable acid, and even my friend, who almost exclusively drinks red wine, praised this one.

Ribolla Movia, Brda Slovenia 2008
Slovenian wines are completely uncharted territory for me so this was going to be an adventure.  The wine was slightly orange in color, not as deep as the "orange wines" that have been gaining popularity, but definitely outside of the deep-gold-to-pale-lemon spectrum.   Green apple and baking spices appeared immediately but were joined, almost overwhelmed, with butter and oak.  It reminded me of those bold California chardonnays that I dislike and I had a hard time getting through this glass.

The Reds
Marcel Lapierre "Raisins Gaulois" Vin de France 2011
What November wine tasting would be complete without a Beaujolais? This one was a classic, straightforward example.  Light bodied and fruit-driven, cherry and plum played around in the glass on on the tongue.   It's like conversational small talk: simple, easy and comfortable.

Tinhof "Blau+Red" Burgenland Austria 2009
This wine, a blend of Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt,  was a delicious and intriguing pour.  Cherry, plum, earth and a bit of green pepper aromas appeared on the nose.  First sips juicy sips gave way to spinach and tobacco notes, with a long finish that seemed to circle back to black cherry.  I kept going back to this one as I kept discovering something new as the wine opened in the glass.

Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre-Kaesler "Stonehorse" Barossa Valley Australia 2008
What happens when a Cote du Rhone blend goes on a beach vacation?  You get this New World red.
Up front, it was super jammy with scents of blueberry and stewed fruits, along with chocolate and  tobacco.  In the mouth, fig jam and stewed fruits were balanced with pronounced but well-integrated tannins and tobacco.  This wine had a lot of heft and body and was a delicious conclusion to the tasting.