Recently I was reading an article about Cabernet in Food and Wine magazine. The article noted that many wine makers feel there is an obsession with over ripening grapes to get the bold distinction of a Pinot Noir or a Cabernet. I have trouble explaining to people WHY exactly I love the more natural earthy wines. They literally look at me and roll their eyes when I try to explain it. This article helped me put it to words a bit more for me. When you try to make a wine taste like something you risk stripping that wine of its distinction. The wines which are allowed instead to become what nature gave them are much more interesting to me (I hate how pretentious that sounded just typing it). That said, they aren’t interesting to everyone and I know I need to have a mixture of that. So here I have three wines that I love and have been drinking often. I think of each as having a different level of approachability. Think of its like ski trails, the first one is a green circle, the second a square, and the third a black diamond as far as complexity of taste goes.
Bear Boat, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
I have purchased this wine at least five times in the last month. Its available almost everywhere and is a total crowd pleaser. I have seen it for as low at $16 and as high as $20. Just ask your local wine guy for it, I’m sure they will point you towards a bottle as I have even found it in the small wine store across from North Station. (I’m fairly certain the number one item to purchase there is colt 45)
There is a pronounced dark cherry flavor giving it a very full body with a dry finish. Other review note strawberry and vanilla flavoring. The wine is low in tannins. Pairs well with pork and root vegetables.
24 Knots, Pinot Noir, Central Coast
This wine was a favorite of many of my friends during our recent wine tasting. A girl friend brought it over and said she purchased it at Bacco in Back Bay. The name for this wine comes from the fact that the breeze blows through the Salinas Valley and cools the vineyards making exceptional fruit. Expect the velvety Pinot Noir taste with a bit more spice/ tannin than the Bear Boat might offer. It is aged in oak barrels. The flavor will surprise you! It runs for about $15 dollars. It is a great price point for this unique Pinot Noir.
Le Grain de Seneve – Beaujolais
I tried this wine at a French natural wine night wine tasting at the Wine Bottega . The guys at Wine Bottega in the north end had just arrived home from a trip through France. They did a great write up on six plus wines they had enjoyed there. My favorite of the bunch (which I purchased) was this 100% Gamay based wine. Made in the western edge of Beaujolais it’s a funk lover’s dream. This winery has no electricity and uses just the help of a horse names “Reggae Nights”. One review I read put it perfectly “For fans of honest, rustic gamay “.