Asheville’s Best Free Wine Tasting – Friday, June 5th from 2-7 p.m. – There are a number of grapes that just don’t get no respect! These are grapes of historical significance, and they’ve been used to make world class wines for years. Unfortunately, many versions of Riesling, Merlot, and Shiraz leave a lot to be desired, and we’re sure that many of you have had less than stellar examples of each. This Friday, join us for a “Forgotten Favorites Wine Tasting” where we’ll pour you a trio of wines that all demonstrate the virtues of these oft-disrespected varietals. The tasting is free to the public, and the wines are all fantastic. Stop by any time between 2-7 p.m., taste, learn, and save up to 20% on all of the tasting wines.
1. 2012 Schloss Saarstein Riesling (Mosel River Valley, Germany): There is a lot of sappy, sweet German Riesling on the market that would be better poured over ice cream than poured in a glass. This is not one of those! Schloss Saarstein crafts the quintessential Mosel Riesling — lightly sweet, but pulsing with acidity to keep everything nicely balanced. “Whiffs of smoke and struck flint persist from nose to finish, lending dramatic minerality to this otherwise juicy, fruity Riesling. Sunny peach and tangerine flavors are semi-sweet on the palate, but it’s a refreshing wine with a honed elegance throughout.” – Wine Enthusiast, 90 points
2. 2013 Brumont Gascogne Rouge (Southwestern France): Damn that Miles from the movie Sideways! His comment that he wasn’t “drinking any f*****g Merlot” created a bunch of Merlot haters. That’s unfortunate as the grape is responsible for some of the greatest red wines on the planet. Madiran-based producer and winemaker Alain Brumont works magic with the grape by combining it with the rugged Tannat grape, a specialty of the region. The resulting wine balances the plush, fruit forward texture of Merlot with the more earthy, rugged character of Tannat to create an ideal grilling wine.
3. 2012 Shinas Estate Shiraz “The Guilty” (Victoria, Australia): Australian wine sales have been down the past several years, and we think it’s because of all of the goofy “critter label” wines out there. Those are wines with some animal on the label where the producer has obviously spent more money on the label and the marketing campaign than they have on the actual juice inside the bottle. Magistrate judge George Shinas doesn’t produce that kind of wine. Instead, he’s working with old vines and he likes to age his wines for long periods of time in oak barrels. That’s why his Shiraz is so darned good. Rich, layered, super smooth and packed with spicy berry aromas and flavors, this full bodied, concentrated red wine is what true Aussie Shiraz should taste like.