South Asheville’s Best Free Wine Tasting

It’s heating up out there folks!  We’ve noticed white wine sales jumping here recently, and that makes sense, as a cold and crisp white on a warm, sunny day just seems to hit the spot.  But if you’re grilling steaks, chicken or pork, a red wine can often be the better pairing partner.  Join us this Saturday, June 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. as we sample 4 great wines for summer grilling and chilling. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s tasty and it’s informative.  We hope to see you.

1. Der Pollerhof Gruner Veltliner (Niederosterreich, Austria) – Since 1660, the Poller family has been farming mixed agriculture (including wine) in the town of Röschitz in the western part of the Weinviertel region of Austria.  This is the driest climate in Austria, with hot summer days and cool nights, making it a prime spot to grow grapes and produce ripe and expressive wines.  We sold out of our first batch of this wine in no time, but it’s back and it is a perfect summer white with lovely notes of tropical fruits, apple, citrus, white pepper and mineral.

2. Monte Velho Blanco (Alentejo, Portugal) – This is the wine that we refer to as the most dangerous white wine on the planet.  Why, you ask?  Because it is dangerously easy to drink.  A blend of native Portuguese varieties, this one is ripe, round and luscious with flavors of pineapple, mango, apricot, honey cream and spice.  It is a wonderful, aperitif-styled white wine that would also work well with salmon or other fatty fish courses.

3. Case Ibidini Nero d’Avola (Sicily, Italy) – The lovely Gaetana Jacono represents the sixth generation of her family to make wines in Sicily, and she has a very fine and gentle touch with her reds.  This is Nero d’Avola, Sicily’s most important red grape, and it is a really pretty, aromatic, fresh style of wine with juicy red berry notes complimented by subtle nuances of vanilla, herbs and spices.  It is a great mid-weight red to enjoy during the warmer months.  89 points – Stephen Tanzer

4. Valle dell’Acate Il Frappato (Sicily, Italy) – We’ll finish up with another red from Gaetana Jacono, and for the money, this is one of my favorite red wines in the store.  Gaetana produces what many folks believe to be the best Frappato in Sicily – I can say that it is the best I’ve ever had.  It drinks a bit like a Pinot Noir, with lush and silky notes of cherry and strawberry along with subtle floral undertones.  It is a perfect summer red and can be served with a slight chill.

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