October 22, 2013 at 9:25 am | Uncategorized | Post A Comment
Let’s just say “some wines take time” to develop and mature to become the best that they can be. Actually statistics claim that 95% of all the wine made in the world is meant to be drunk young. When you consider all the big wine houses that produce fair priced ready to drink good quality wines in volume, that’s what the public wants and gets. Plus add in all the white wine lovers that prefer most of their wines young, with only a small percent worth aging. There are lots of wines that do become better with age, mostly coming from the higher end vineyards along with a premium price tag. This is where you need to do your homework. When you come across a fairly large and well stocked wine list in a nice restaurant be on the lookout to find a few sleepers just ready for the picking. If the restaurant displays the years of the vintage look for 8 to 15 year old wines that may be fair priced and ready to drink. With a restaurant that has been around for a while you may find some gems that the owner bought at a lower price when released and still has a few left to offer on their list at a fair price. These are often vintages that are no longer available while most places selling that wine will be offering a much newer vintage for the same price.
The Litchfield Saltwater Grille has always prided itself on a quality well rounded fair priced “Restaurant Wine List.” With that said I am going to help you out and do your homework for you. Kind of keep this to yourself because all the selections that I suggest to you are in limited supply. Here are a few for you to enjoy.
My first choice on the list of sleeper selections at the SWG is a wonderful California Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. Clos du Val 2002. French born winemaker Bernard Portet has been producing great wines on this estate since 1972. If your plans include the SWG’s Prime New York Sirloin or the amazing French boned Prime Pork chop then this wine is what you want. With its oak aged, deep aromas of plum and cassis, rich black currant and toast flavor this full bodied wine with its exquisite depth and very long finish will be the gem you were longing for. This Stags Leap District Napa wine is a wine lover’s find at a staggering low price of only $79.00
After a few exciting visits to the wonderful Alexander Valley in California and learning the history of “Cyrus Alexander” I have fallen in love with all the wines they produce. Cyrus, a California potato farmer made a name for himself in the late 1800’s as he worked the valley and eventually owned some of the land he farmed. The SWG has a classic Bordeaux style wine on the list from the Alexander Valley Vineyard their flagship wine called “Cyrus” This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and a few more treats has that special signature taste that only Cyrus is known for. With its black currant notes, exotic spice and its mellow tannins this 1999 Red blend will tantalize your taste buds and redeem your trust in “Restaurant Wine Lists”.
A segment on wine lists that has become very popular in the past decade is the wines that are grown down under, the Australian wines. Most restaurants offer the more popular and commercial vineyards that Australia is exporting, with recent vintage releases and middle of the road pricing. Keep your eye out for highly rated known wines with a bit of age to them for a built in value. At the SWG you will find a rare gem that has been a #1 seller for the past few years. While our supply is low there are a few left in our cellar. The “2000 Laughing Jack Shiraz” from the Barossa Valley in Australia offers a great purple red, medium to full bodied well balanced wine worth a fine gourmet dinner at the SWG. This sultry fruity Shiraz with its touch of oak along with its deep black fruit, rich coffee and chocolate essence, pairs perfect with a fall dinner by our lounge fireplace. You might even taste a bit of Australian mint or eucalyptus. This down, “Under priced” at $95 for this beautiful bottle of wine will have you dining like you hit the lottery.
Keeping an eye out for the sleepers on those dreaded “Restaurant Wine Lists” always pays off. Every wine list has a few gems. Know your wines, know your likes and dislikes, do your homework and don’t be afraid to try something new. Cheers to being a better wine shopper while you’re out having a wonderful meal.
ALBE GALOTTA, WINE CELLAR MASTER, CHEF
BLOGER, FOOD LOVER.