Since we can’t detox while working at wine shop, we wanted to keep things bright and fun as we moved into the new year. Lighter reds, sparkling rosés and white blends are typically not imagined as perfect for the height of a polar vortex, but we think otherwise. They cheer us up and transport us to that #tbt place, like long Saturday afternoons in McCarren Park, hiking upstate or sipping Feik and inhaling the sea spray at Riis Beach.
With two selections from France – one a lip smacking sparkler and the other a fruity Ploussard – and a tropical white blend from our longtime favorite in the Czech Republic, we wanted to show that January isn’t just a time for the Syrahs and Merlots of the world.
Les Capriades – Vin de France Piège à Filles Rosé (2016)
This Pet Nat is made using mostly Gamay, is a gorgeous transparent coral color in the glass, and features floral, raspberry and soft earthy notes on the nose. The bubbles are delicate on the tongue, with juicy raspberry and strawberry notes showcasing a subtle sweetness. Yet it’s still very clean and precise, owing to briny mineral notes that follow and finish that captures some spiced qualities. It’s balanced and refined but at a price point under 25 dollars, which is precisely why it’s going to fly off the shelves and disappear in a single sitting. (Trust us: you won’t want to share!)
Nestarec –Bel (2015)
A blend of Gruner Veltliner, Muller Thurgau and Welschriesling? Check. 1 Liter? Check. Another hit from the Nestarec “table wine” series? Check. This is a great example of how table wine doesn’t deserve the bad rep it sometimes gets. There are tropical and floral notes on the nose, with a juicy, rounded initial palette featuring pineapple notes. This is balanced with a great pop of acidity and clean, dry finish. It is perfect on its own but it also would be well suited for a night in with a spicy Thai dish from Seamless.
Domaine de la Tournelle – L'Uva Arbosiana (2016)
Easy, breezy and mouthwatering are the best descriptors for this light-bodied, 11% Ploussard from Jura, which is making some of the most exciting wines of the moment. It’s a rich red in color with vibrant fruit and funk on the nose. On the palette, it’s bursting with fresh flavors: red currant, pomegranate, and blood orange, with a tangy acidity and some fresh spices that emerge in the mid palette. By the end, you have some mild and pleasant tannins to round things out, which veer this wine away from what could easily be a rosé. This wine could age for a few more years but it is best drunk young.
Join us next week as we dive into four different wines: including a buzzy French Syrah, a unique Pet Nat from southwest France, a delicious and affordable Chenin Blanc and a fresh Monastrell from Spain.