Monday Miscellany

  • Check out Lenn’s site for my latest posting on our recent European grab bag tasting. 
  • I’ve lived more or less across the street from Zap Wines for almost three years but only walked in for the first time a few weeks ago. It never seemed that promising. (See here for yourself.) But damned if it isn’t one of the most remarkable wine stores I’ve ever seen. For starters, all the price and name tags are handwritten and almost impossible to read. Second of all, the selection is truly remarkable. Aged Austrian Rieslings from the Wachau — on a 10% off sale rack, no less — Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, a pretty obscure Italian red from Le Marche that I can’t even find in the bible, aka the Oxford Companion, and tonight’s purchase, a 1995 Viña Gravonia from López de Heredia. López de Heredia put the “old” in “old school.” These are seriously aged wines — including the whites, and, unbelievably, the rosés — that make zero concession to current preferences for fruit-forward, fresh wines. The Viña Gravonia is an intentionally oxidized white with a more than passing resemblance to sherry. It’s nutty, savory, and more than a little bit bizarre. I think every curious drinker should try wines like this on occasion. We like foods that are on the border of delicious and off-putting (stinky cheeses, truffles, oysters, etc, etc) but we’re rarely as adventurous with our wines. 
  • There was a semi puff piece in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about the Antinoris, Italy’s first family of winemaking. Interesting timing, considering the recent investigation into possibly fraudulent Brunello di Montalcino coming from Antinori and other major producers.

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