South Asheville’s Best Free Wine Tasting

We’ll have a special guest with us this Saturday, May 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. for our free tasting.  John McCarthy will be in town from Chapel Hill to pour some really great white wines that are sure to make you take notice.  He’s a good friend, he has a great palate and he just recently started his own distribution company which is heavy on really tasty, small family estate European wines.  Join us from 2 to 5 to taste some delicious white wines and one really super-duper red.  Here’s the lineup:

1. Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso – This one liter bottling of pure joy comes from the far northern reaches of Italy, in the Alpine foothills.  The Orsolani family has taken great efforts to keep this indigenous Italian varietal from going extinct and we thank them for that.  This wine is crystalline pure, with fresh notes of pear, lemon, green melon and limestone mineral.  It is best served ice cold for a garden or patio party and drunk with reckless abandon.

2. Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso “La Rustia” – This was the wine of the week last week, but it appears that few of your noticed or were too scared to try it.  Join us this Saturday to “try before you buy” the very first Erbaluce to receive the coveted “Tre Bicchieri” award from Italy’s Gambero Rosso – this is Italy’s top wine reviewing journal and a Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses) award is the highest honor they bestow upon a wine, the equivalent of a 95 to 100 point score from Parker or Wine Spectator.  It is pure magic in a bottle!

3. Vincent Ricard Touraine Blanc “Le Petiot” –  Vincent Ricard just started estate bottling his wines about 8 years ago, and he’s all ready climbing the ranks.  Biodynamic farming, hand harvesting, extended aging on the lies and all that good stuff result in truly expressive wines.  This is what Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc is all about.  Deeply aromatic and exotic with notes of tropical fruits, flint and wild herbs, this wine is nicely textured and rich as well.  Try it with sushi or aged goat cheeses.

4. Domaine Daulny Sancerre – We will step it up a notch with Etienne Daulny’s Sancerre, another Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc that makes my head spin.  Many wine lovers, me included, believe that the best Sauvignon Blanc on the planet is made in Sancerre in the eastern part of France’s Loire River Valley.  This is not a grapefruit bomb, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but instead boasts more mineral-driven notes of gunflint and smoke along with green pea and green apple notes.

5. Pirro Varone Primitivo di Manduri “Casa Vecchia” – From one of the master producers of Primitivo (Italian Zinfandel) and based in Puglia, this is a wonderfully pure and heady taste of southern Italy in a glass.  Velvety smooth and full, this wine is packed with ripe blueberry and plum fruit accented by clove and other baking spices.  It would make a great companion to dry spice rubbed pork or chicken.

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