Wines To Go Buy This Week

New Kid In Town - Cerridwen Pinot Noir

There's talk on the street; it sounds so familiar 
Great expectations, everybody's watching you 
People you meet, they all seem to know you 
Even your old friends treat you like you're something new 

- New Kid in Town, The Eagles

There's a new kid in town when it comes to Sonoma Pinot Noir and her name is Deborah Bennett.

Have A Drink On Me - AC/DC Wine Comes to Market

It goes without saying that AC/DC is not the first name you think of when it comes to wine.

Wine to Go Buy This Week - Lilu by Clos DiDi, a Carneros Chardonnay

Clos DidiI recently had the opportunity to try a terrific small-production, Sonoma chardonnay that I highly recommend. Lilu by Clos Didi is liquid gold, the kind of chardonnay that appeals to even those people who don't typically choose chardonnay.

Pecorino: A Bridge Between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc

Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling. Pinot Grigio.

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Two Wines for Dad on Father's Day of Course!

Father's Day is around the corner and that means time to gather mom and the siblings to decide what to get Pop for Father's Day. Chances are you already have some ideas but I'm here to add one more idea to your list. If Dad likes wine, hunt down one of these two as either a gift or just something out of the ordinary to pop open at Father's Day dinner:  

2008 Quickfire Merlot - Top Chef, you know the award-winning Bravo food show, selected the Terlato Wine Group to craft two elegant wines that are refined, well balanced and -most importantly- food friendly. The result was a Quickfire Chardonnay and this, the Quickfire Merlot. Ever since the movie Sideways, Merlot has had to live down an undeserved bad rap. It's one of my favorite red grapes. At just 13.7% alcohol it has an old-world quality that will be great with your Father's Day BBQ. You can find this for around $18-$22.

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Three Wines to Serve on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is right around the corner which means lovers across the globe will be seeking out the right wine to romance their dates with for the evening. With this in mind, I bring you the IntoWine guide to Valentine's Day wine:

First let's handle the issue of chocolate. Despite popular opinion, wine and chocolate are actually quite difficult to pair as either the sweetness of the chocolate overwhelms the wine or, in the case of sweet wines like Port or dessert wine, the sweetness of the wine overwhelms the chocolate. So what do you serve? I find champagne to be the ideal wine pairing for chocolate as it offers a distinct contrast to the sweet chocolate in both taste and texture. Plus the bubbles can only serve to enhance your Valentine's Day mood. My recommendation: Try the Taittinger "La Francaise" Brut Champagne. An authentic, quality champagne but, at approx $35,  not so expensive you'll break the bank either. 

So what if you aren't seeking a wine to pair with chocolate and instead just want the right wine to sip by the fire while you romance your date? I have two suggestions for you:  

Wines to Go Buy This Week: "Comfort Wines" - A Zinfandel by Glenn Hawk and Tulip Hill's Cabepulciano (yeah you read that right)

I live in San Francisco and January weather here means 50 degrees and rain. Constant bone-chilling rain, or so it seems. And before the rest of America emails to remind me how good I have it and how freaking cold it is in New York or Ohio or whatever other frozen tundra they call home, I'm just gonna say that when you are cold, you are cold, and comfort food -and comfort wine- goes a long way towards warming your heart when Old Man Winter starts to have his way with you. So with this in mind, I bring you two comfort wines you should go buy this week.   

Glenn Hawk Zinfandel - I typically don't gravitate to Zinfandel. I associate Zins with "cocktail wines", that is, wines that are delicious for a few sips of a single glass but can be a bit too fruity and overwhelming for those of us who tend towards enjoying multiple glasses. So I don't recommend many Zinfandels simply because I don't drink many of them. Every once in a while I stumble back down the Zinfandel path and am reminded of how good the varietal can be. I recently tried the 2009 Glenn Hawk Zinfandel from Livermore Valley (just south of Napa in the shadow of Mt. Diablo).

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Truchard Pinot Noir and MR Mvemve Raats de Compostella

Wines to Go Buy This Week: A Carneros Pinot Noir by Truchard and a South African Bordeaux Style Red by the (barely pronounceable) MR Mvemve Raats.

As frequent IntoWine readers know, in November we are launching our own wine club, The IntoWineClub, in partnership with the California Wine Club (more info on the club here if you are interested). While there are a lot of moving parts, how it works is that the folks at California Wine Club ship me wine samples that are being considered for future club shipments and then I provide feedback and such about the wines that will be included in those shipments. Recently I received my first batch of samples and, let me tell you, I am thrilled about the quality of the wines. I simply can not wait for our club to launch in November. With this in mind, I give you this week's installment of "Wines to Go Buy This Week":

Truchard LabelTruchard Pinot Noir 2006 - Was going to wait to recommend this until our IntoWineClub launch the first week of November but I'm gonna let the cat out of the bag early. This Truchard Pinot Noir is one of the wines being considered and I could not be more pleased to share the news that this wine is going to be in the inaugural IntoWineClub shipment. So what about the wine itself? For me a tell-tale sign of a good wine is that it is delicious and easy to drink from the first sip to the very last and always leaves you wanting more. The Truchard Pinot Noir passes that test with flying colors. From the Carneros region of Napa, Truchard Pinot Noir is an ideal wine for anyone curious about discovering Northern California Pinot Noir. It's also reasonably priced at approx $35 retail. "Reasonable" is relative of course as some might say $35 for a wine is outrageously expensive. For a quality Carneros Pinot though, this is priced more than fairly as you can certainly pay much more than this for a similar wine. As for the IntoWineClub, you can sign up here if you are interested.  

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Bargetto La Vita and Tahbilk Marsanne

Wines to Go Buy This Week: An "Italian-fusion" California Red by Bargetto and Tahbilk Marsanne, a deliciously rare single varietal white. 

This past weekend we filmed the latest round of IntoWineTV videos (the first video will be live in about a week, we're moving away from wine reviews to wine discussions. Sort of a wine version of The View if you will). As is typical when we film IntoWineTV, the cast and crew had the luxury of indulging in many fantastic wines. Heck these shoots have almost become an excuse for everyone involved to share their latest wine faves. Over the course of the weekend I discovered two wines that made me do a double take and which are the basis for this week's "Wines to Go Buy This Week":

La Vita Label

La Vita, Bargetto Family Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2006 - This wine arrived in a recent California Wine Club Signature Series shipment (and kudos to CWC as yet again they delivered a hit. I love the Signature Series.). La Vita is an unusual California red blend in that it is made from the traditionally Italian varietals of Dolcetto, Refosco, and Nebbiolo. Traditionalists may scoff at the notion of a California producer making its version of an Italian red -I'm just waiting for someone to complain that this wine has "no sense of place" - but the end result is a delicious wine that reflects qualities of both California and Italy. If this were a restaurant this wine would be labeled "Italian fusion". No it's not authentic or traditional but it is delicious, unique, and well worth a try (though at $60 a bottle, it's hardly a value buy). Buy Bargetto La Vita

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Chateau Bonnet White Bordeaux and Clark-Claudon Cabernet Sauvignon

Wines to Go Buy This Week: A Crisp Summer White Blend by Chateau Bonnet and a Complex Napa Cabernet by Clark-Claudon Vineyards

Labor Day weekend is here and people across the US are gathering to toast the end of summer. As Labor Day marks the tipping point between hot summer nights and cool autumn evenings, my wine recommendations this week will focus on both a cool, refreshing summer sauvignon blanc to savor on these last days of summer and a full bodied Napa cabernet for those upcoming autumn evenings by the fireplace. So as we say farewell to summer 2011, here are two wines to go buy this week:

Chateau Bonnet LabelChateau Bonnett Entre-Deux-Mers Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Muscadelle Andre Lurton, 2010 - Now say that 5 times fast! A quick lesson for those of you who are unfamiliar with French wine: The French label their wines slightly different than we do in the US as they emphasize the place more so than the grape varietal or the producer. In this case, the vineyards and winery are located at Chateau Bonnet, the region is the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation of Bordeaux, the grapes are a blend of sauvignon blanc, semillon, and muscadelle, and the producer is André Lurton, whose family has presided over the vineyards for over 100 years. White Bordeaux is almost always a blend of primarily semillon and sauvignon blanc, with a few other varietals permitted. So why do I like this wine? It's light, crisp, low in alcohol (12%) and at approx $15 a bottle, a fantastic way to introduce yourself to a white bordeaux without breaking the bank. This wine is ideal for a warm end-of-summer picnic that calls for a cool refreshing beverage.

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