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Why I Drink Wine


deangold
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Last night a good customer organized a dinner for 7 and I got to chose the menu and the wines. I was given a budget to work within and no other restraiction other than "let's have a Barolo." My costomer instructed me to have a glass of each as we went along. Prices are winelist prices before the Wine madeness discount.

The wines:

Champagne Pierre Peters Blanc de Blanc NV Grand Cru Brut Le Mensil $65

This wine reveals the lie that is big name champagne. I dare oany drinker of Dom or Crystal or other overhyped overpriced Grand Marques to taste this and not be wowed. If they are not wowed, I doubt they could find a good wine if it hit them over the head! Toast, minerality, steely perfection in the mousse, this is a great chardonnay from a cool climate handled deftly in fermentation and aging that is then transformed into Champagne. A superb Farmer's Fizz from Therry Theise.

Brunello di Montalcino 1998 Cerbaiona di Diego Molinari $150

A nose of puple fruits and violets leads into a palate still quite young loaded with minerality, earth and tar. Very big and still youthful. This is one of the best Brunello made in my opinion.

Primitivo di Salento Milleuna "Sharazad" 2003 $105

A hedonististic wine if ever there was one, but not a hedonistic fruitbomb ala Parker's favorite Australians. This is a low yield red from the heel of Italy's boot, over the top ripe yet with good acidity and tannins. It is lush like an amarone but not raisiny, full bodied and high alcohol but carries it well. Spice abounds. I think I have a bottle left but the 2004 is due next week.

Barolo Bartolo Mascarello 1998 $105

Amazingly intellectual and refined wine after the sensuality of the preceeding wine. This is a Barolo to ponder. Earth, tar, spice all abound but the fruit of the nebbiolo is there too. Bartolo Mascarello was fanatically devoted to producing only a single blended barolo from his various holdings in Barolo that could fetch more money if bottled under tehir separate and famous vineyard names. But this wine shows why he was a blender. Layers of complexity, now smoke, now rose petal, next blueberry or black raspberry, now tar and funk. It was a rollercoaster of a wine, every changing and ever better as it opened in the glass. For now, his daughter who runs the winery is staying committed to her father's style of winemaking, and I hope she continues.

Amarone Giuseppi Quintarelli 1997 $450

This is not wine. It is something else entirely. It is pure flavor and texture. I

took my glass and let each staff member taste it and each had a different discription ("It's like milk", "Port without the heat", "I'd like to see it again in 10 years", "Its so ytouthful at 10 years old", "I can DRINK that", "It's sweet but not sweet" "Oh wow", "Berries") and all were right. This is a wine, in the words of Duke Ellington, "Beyond Category". Think Placido Domingo singing, Stan Getz blowing his solo on Early Autumn, Hilary Hahn playng Bach on Violin, Tiger Woods winning tourney after tourney. Some things are just a wonder to behold and we really shouldn't try to figure out why, but just enjoy being lucky enough to experience them.

Thanks Craig!

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Primitivo di Salento Milleuna "Sharazad" 2003 $105

A hedonististic wine if ever there was one, but not a hedonistic fruitbomb ala Parker's favorite Australians. This is a low yield red from the heel of Italy's boot, over the top ripe yet with good acidity and tannins. It is lush like an amarone but not raisiny, full bodied and high alcohol but carries it well. Spice abounds. I think I have a bottle left but the 2004 is due next week.

Wow, I'm not sure I've ever seen such an expensive Primitivo. Sounds like it might be worth it though assuming you like the over the top style.

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Champagne Pierre Peters Blanc de Blanc NV Grand Cru Brut Le Mensil $65

This wine reveals the lie that is big name champagne. I dare oany drinker of Dom or Crystal or other overhyped overpriced Grand Marques to taste this and not be wowed. If they are not wowed, I doubt they could find a good wine if it hit them over the head! Toast, minerality, steely perfection in the mousse, this is a great chardonnay from a cool climate handled deftly in fermentation and aging that is then transformed into Champagne. A superb Farmer's Fizz from Therry Theise.

Oooooh, this is one of my favourite champagnes!

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Amarone Giuseppi Quintarelli 1997 $450

This is not wine. It is something else entirely. It is pure flavor and texture. I

took my glass and let each staff member taste it and each had a different discription ("It's like milk", "Port without the heat", "I'd like to see it again in 10 years", "Its so ytouthful at 10 years old", "I can DRINK that", "It's sweet but not sweet" "Oh wow", "Berries") and all were right. This is a wine, in the words of Duke Ellington, "Beyond Category". Think Placido Domingo singing, Stan Getz blowing his solo on Early Autumn, Hilary Hahn playng Bach on Violin, Tiger Woods winning tourney after tourney. Some things are just a wonder to behold and we really shouldn't try to figure out why, but just enjoy being lucky enough to experience them.

This is such a great tidbit of writing. I've had some Quintarelli, but never one of his Amazons. I can only imagine.

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