Every Saturday, we host one of Asheville’s best free wine tastings from 2 to 5 p.m. It is free to the public and the tasting typically features 4 affordable wines from small family wineries. The “smaller guys” use a more artisan approach in the farming of their grapes and the making of their wines and they are driven more by quality than profit. Much like the local Asheville organic farmer or cheese maker is driven by the quality of their product as opposed to the quantity produced, wine farmers share a similar ideal. At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding, so stop by Table Wine on Saturday’s to taste what we’re talking about! Here what’s on tap this Saturday:
1. Patient Cottat Sauvignon Blanc “Le Grand Caillou” – This venerable producer is based in Sancerre in France’s Loire Valley and this is 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The Cottat family are stalwarts of the land using little or no chemicals in their vineyards and they make their wines with little or no “spoofing” (adulteration) whatsoever. The result is a “Baby Sancerre” of sorts with lively pink grapefruit, kiwi, lemon zest and gooseberry notes.
2. Man Vintners Chenin Blanc – No, this isn’t a small family winery, but instead is what we call a négociant operation, whereby a producer buys grapes to make their wines. In this case, it’s José Condé (one of South Africa’s top winemakers) buying fruit from small family growers in and around Stellenbosch, South Africa. The result is one of our favorite new white wines! It is reminiscent of a dry, fruit filled Vouvray with lovely notes of white peach, melon and flowers.
3. Terra Sigalata “Filon” Garnacha – Look no further than Central Spain for some of the top red wine values in the world, and most of them are based mostly or partly on Grenache/Garnacha. From high altitude, sustainably farmed vineyards in Calatayud, this qualifies as one of the great red wine values we have in the store. With ripe and luscious aromas and flavors of cherry/black cherry, smoke, spice and wild herbs and nice body and texture, this will please a lot of folks!
4. Finca Sophenia Cabernet Sauvignon – Founded by Roberto Luka in 1997, Finca Sophenia is a truly artisan, family owned and operated winery. Their wines have been very well received by the American wine press and consumer……….come taste this one and see why. This is classic, structured Cab at a more than fair price – it offers up notes of cherry and currant framed nicely by toasty oak. There is a terrific balance between acid/tannin and ripe fruit here that is rarely found in a wine in the “value” category.