Our good friends at Webster’s Fine Stationers had us to pour at their recent poetry reading. If you missed it, you missed some excellent poems by local poets Judith Terzi and Linda Dove. Fortunately, Lori and Scott Webster carry both their books, but it’s still special to hear them read by the poets.
We also had some great wines. And if you were there, here are our notes. Now, as always, this is not to prove we have a better palate than yours – because we don’t. It’s just to coordinate what you taste with what we taste, so that when we say something tastes like peach and you taste raspberry, you know that when we say peach, you’ll taste raspberry.
Dolce Vita Prosecco Brut NV
Type: Slightly tart sparkling white
What makes it special: Well-made and reasonably priced
Plays well with: Snacks, cheeses, finger foods
Most proseccos, which are Italian sparkling wines, tend to be on the sweet side. Not this one. It has a clean nose and very light color. The flavor has some tart fruit and it’s dry enough to make a good palate cleanser before the next bite of party food. The sharpness does back off after a few minutes but the wine does best with food on the plate.
Toque et Clochers Cremant de Limoux NV
Type: Sparkling white
What makes it special: It’s French, but not champagne
Plays well with: Appetizers, nuts, brunch
The nose on this straw colored bubbly has a light hint of oak. The taste is clean, but without the wood. There are good acids and the wine is bone dry. The finish at the back of the palate is somewhat short but it goes so well with food you won’t have time to miss it. 12 percent alcohol makes it easier to get another sip or glass on your way back to the brunch station. Hold the mimosas, please.
Twin Vines Vinho Verde 2010
Type: Off-dry white
What makes it special: White wine from the home of Port
Plays well with: Salads, seafood and Indian summer
Vinho verde means “green wine” or the first wine that is ready to drink when the harvest is over. This generally means the wine has carbon dioxide from the fermentation still inside it making it fizzy. But it is not a sparkling wine in the traditional sense. It needs to be enjoyed early and comes in a regular bottle and a screw cap.
The Twin Vines 2010 Vinho Verde has a fruity nose and a flavor of some citrus, myrhh and acidity from being picked younger and the carbon dioxide fizz.
Crucillon Garnacha 2009
Type: Dry red
What makes it special: A good example of one of Spain’s signature grapes
Plays well with: Meats, grilled vegetables
This imported Spanish red has the ruby color of a good Grenache – as it’s known in the US and France – and a nose of violets and red fruit. The taste has good acids along with the cranberry and sour cherry that makes this a wine that food will make better. There are sufficient tannins to support opening the next bottle in a year or two.