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On the Wine Side - Now What?

Thu, Feb 16, 23
It's a funny sort of "now what?" time of year. The Super Bowl is over. Valentine's Day is history. And there are still nearly two weeks left in February. Doldrums? Not if you enjoy wine. The truth is that any day, any season, any reason is worthy of the exploration of wine, which is a great way to keep the doldrums at bay.

Classes are back on Wednesday evenings here at the store, and Dave and I have been sampling to full rooms (look for an email soon about the March classes). We wine lovers are a curious and enthusiastic bunch! May I propose three ways to have fun with wine during the "now what?" weeks.
Conduct a home tasting of your own. Choose 4 to 6 bottles from a region, or of a particular varietal. Invite a few friends over. Each person or couple can bring foods that you suggest to pair with the wines. Put some simple tasting notes together, then sit down, open the bottles and taste through them.

A couple of ideas would be some Chiantis (for example, Verga Classico, Ruffino, San Felice, Gabbiano and Peppoli) or some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (Nautilus, Kono, Oyster Bay, Nobilo and Love Block would work well), but you can go in all kinds of directions.
Stay outside of your comfort zone. Try something you wouldn't ordinarily try. Do some research to learn about what foods would pair well with that wine. Go for it! My recommendations? Try the Weinwurms Gruner Veltliner, a bright and fresh dry white from Austria. It pairs beautifully with fish, chicken or pasta in cream sauce. Or treat yourself to a Zinfandel, a dry red that's bursting with big fruit. The Wind Storm from California will have you sinking into ripe fruit heaven. Pair it with barbeque or chocolate cake.

Go low, and go high. Have you ever wondered about the taste differences between a lower-priced wine and a higher-priced wine? If your go-to Cabernet Sauvignon is, say Josh or J Lohr, try them against their upper range offerings (the Josh North Coast Reserve or J Lohr Hilltop, for example). 
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We're happy to help you line up some delicious and delightful explorations of wine. Instead of "now what?" being a long, empty feeling, it can be one of great anticipation. Doldrums be gone!
By Tyler Duma