Friday Wine Down: Asheville Wine Lovers Unite!

(Friday, January 10th from 4-7 p.m. — $5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts) – That’s right; Friday Wine Downs are back and they run from 4 to 7 p.m. and the cost is $5/person.  If you’re a Grape Nut, however, not only is the tasting free, but you can stop by any time on Fridays to taste through the wines.  If you don’t like crowds, it’s a good idea to get here before 5:00.  Either way, now is a great time to either renew your Grape Nuts membership or to join up.  For more details on what it means to be a Grape Nut, just click here.

For our first Wine Down of 2014, we’ll pour some budget busting reds and whites from the classic wine growing regions of Western Europe.  We’ll start with a dry and aromatically pleasing liter of Austrian Gruner Veltliner before we move to an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc-based, White Bordeaux crafted by a Master of Wine.  Moving into the reds, we’ll start with another Austrian “liter of wine love” in the form of a friendly, Pinot Noir-like Zweigelt.  After that, we’ll pour you a hearty and rustic red from Mediterranean France, and we’ll finish up with an Italian Corvina that The Wine Advocate named one of the top red wine values of the year for 2013.  Stop by, “wine down” your week and get your week end off to a good start at Table Wine each and every Friday from 4 to 7.

Here’s a list of the wines we’ll be pouring this Friday:

1. 2012 Carlo Huber “Uber” Gruner Veltliner 1 Liter (Burgenland, Austria)
New York-based importer Carlo Huber helped to assemble this dry, quaffable and enjoyable wine perfect for any occasion.  It offers up an enticing nose of ripe apple, peach, tropical fruits and white florals leading into a zesty, refreshing palate or mixed citrus and orchard fruits.

2. 2012 St. Glinglin Bordeaux Blanc (Bordeaux, France)
Master Sommelier Richard Betts, former sommelier at the Little Nell in Aspen (my old stomping grounds), is the man behind St. Glinglin.  Roughly translated as “when pigs fly”, you can read more about the project and the label by clicking here to access a Wine Spectator article.  Essentially, he’s working with a veteran Bordeaux negociant (François Thienpont to be exact) to create affordably delicious wines, and his White Bordeaux is exactly that.  Bright and aromatically complex, this one burst out of the glass with aromas and flavors of green apple, white peach, lime and jalapeno pepper.

3. 2012 Zum Martin Sepp Zweigelt 1 Liter (Vienna, Austria)
Zweigelt was “born” in 1922 when Austrian researcher Fritz Zweigelt crossed a very highly regarded Austrian grape (Blaufrankisch) with a lesser known member of the Pinot Noir family (St. Laurent).  The resulting wine takes on many of the characteristics of Pinot Noir — light, juicy and fresh, this one offers up smoky notes of cherry, raspberry and strawberry……..even better, it comes in a 1 liter bottle that gets you an extra 1/3 bottle of wine!

4. 2012 Chateau d’Oupia Les Heretiques (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
The  late Andre Iché was one of the first small family growers in the Languedoc to quite selling to the local cooperatives.  It was a very controversial move at the time, but one that helped propel many others to do the same with the net result being that the quality of wines from the region improved dramatically.  These days, the winery is run by Andre’s daughter, and this is one of the great red wine values in the world!  The current vintage is 100% Carignan, from vineyards ranging in age from 40 to 100 years old, and the taste is more honest than Abe Lincoln.  Bright and pure, it exudes notes of fresh cherry, spice and plum……..yum!

5. 2012 Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia Rosso (Veneto, Italy)
The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner proclaimed this wine as one of the top Italian values of the year.  Composed entirely of Corvina, the “headlining” grape in Valpolicella and Amarone, this is about as drinkable, friendly and complex as red wine can get for under $15.  Fresh berries, peppery mineral, and damp earth dominate the nose leading into a fresh and juicy palate of  just picked berries and peppery spice.

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