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Wine of the week: Carmel SelecteD Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Israeli wine has a long and mostly obscure history; if it’s known at all, it’s for kosher wine, which has not traditionally been something one wants to be known for. The Israelis Read More »

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Winebits 341: The Neo-Prohibitionists’ new study

A roundup of the recent news from the Centers for Disease Control that excessive drinking is killing 1 in 10 working-age Americans, another scientific study in the Neo-Prohibitionist effort to stop us Read More »

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The Wine Curmudgeon visits The Reverse Wine Snob

Jon Thorsen is one of the hottest wine writers in the world these days, showing up on all sorts of most influential lists, as a Wine Blog Awards finalist, and with a Read More »

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Fourth of July 2014

The blog is mostly off today for the holiday, but will return on Monday with our usual features, including the cheap wine book giveaway with Jon Thorsen, the Reverse Wine Snob. Enjoy Read More »

winereview

Fourth of July wine 2014

Why does the Wine Curmudgeon do a Fourth of July wine post (for seven consecutive years, in fact)? Because the holiday is a birthday party, and what do we do at birthday Read More »

Fourth of July 2014

fireworks

The blog is mostly off today for the holiday, but will return on Monday with our usual features, including the cheap wine book giveaway with Jon Thorsen, the Reverse Wine Snob. Enjoy July 4, and especially this video — Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton from the incredible Trio II, singing “High Sierra” (courtesy of jpspanishfan2 at YouTube). Harmony doesn’t get much better than this.

And you don’t have to be of a certain age to understand what music lost when Ronstadt, who has Parkinson’s, realized she couldn’t sing anymore.

Fourth of July wine 2014

winereview

Fourth of July wine 2014Why does the Wine Curmudgeon do a Fourth of July wine post (for seven consecutive years, in fact)? Because the holiday is a birthday party, and what do we do at birthday parties? Drink wine and celebrate, of course.

Consider these bottles for your Fourth of July wine — and don’t forget the porch wine concept, where what you drink has as much to do with how hot it is as anything else:

• Villa des Anges Old Vines Rosé 2013 ($9, purchased, 12%): This rose from the south of France, made with cinsault, features barely ripe strawberries and is so fresh that it almost doesn’t taste like wine. Highly recommended, and certain to be in the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame. Yet another example of what a great grape cinsault is for rose.

Pacific Rim Riesling 2011 ($10, sample, 11.5%): Washington state white is medium dry, with a touch of lime fruit, honey in the middle, and wonderful oiliness. A sophisticated sweet wine, and especially for the price. Chill this, sit on the porch, and you won’t mind too much how hot it is.

Handcraft Petite Sirah 2011 ($10, sample, 14.5%): Intriguing, inexpensive California red that benefits from the addition syrah and zinfandel — more structure, less over the top fruit. It has petite sirah’s plumminess and spice, but isn’t too heavy (despite the alcohol).

• Gloria Ferrer Private Cuvee NV ($15, purchased, 12.5%): This sparkling wine, without a UPC code, was on sale at Kroger at  one-third of what it would have cost in the restaurant where it was supposed to be. How it ended up in a grocery store is a mystery, but if you see it at this price, buy it — firm bubbles, some caramel, and fresh green apple fruit. Failing that, the  Ferrer Sonoma Brut, often on sale around this price, is an equally fine value.

More Fourth of July wine:
Fourth of July wine 2013

Fourth of July wine 2012
Wine of the week: Stephen Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
My lunch with Provence

Wine of the week: Campo Viejo Brut Reserva NV

wineofweek

Campo Viejo brut reservaThe Wine Curmudgeon is always ready to recommend sparkling wine, and even more ready to recommend it given the  United States’ 238th birthday this week. So why not mark July 4 with Campo Viejo Brut Reserva NV ($10, purchased, 11.5%), a Spanish cava that combines quality, value, and a history lesson?

That’s because Spain played an important role in the U.S. victory in the War of Independence, declaring war on Great Britain and providing money and supplies for George Washington’s army. Campo Viejo, meanwhile, is a well-known Spanish producer in Rioja, whose wines offer an introduction to Spanish tempranillo at a fair price. The cava, though not what the producer is best known for, is a solid offering somewhere between Cristalino and Segura Viudas.

That means the Camp Viejo has more sweetness than the Cristalino, but not so much as to be sweet. It’s not as polished as the Seguras, but still provides lots of apple fruit and maybe even some peach, as well as some very impressive bubbles. The best way to know this is a wine worth drinking? It will be gone before you know it, and you’ll have to open a second bottle when you watch the July Fourth fireworks.

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