Free Wine Tasting - Asheville, NC - Table Wine

Friday Winedown - Greece and Southern Italy

Friday, September 9 at Table Wine from 4-7pm – South Asheville’s Coolest Wine Store – Taste 8 Wines For $5………Free For Grape Nuts – Mike Tiano from Haw River Wine Man will join us to pour wines from his portfolio as we taste a delicious set of wines from Greece and Southern Italy. Although vines had been cultivated from the wild Vitis vinifera grape for millennia, it wasn’t until the Greek colonization in 800 B.C. that wine-making flourished. Years later, in 2 B.C., the toga-wearing Romans defeated the Carthaginians (the Greeks occupying southern Italy at the time and expert wine makers) and Italian wine production really began to flourish.

Enough with the history lesson, let’s get on to the wines and what you’ll be sampling. Though the names and grapes might not be familiar, I promise you there’s nothing weird or distasteful about any of them, other than the fact that they remain to be some of the greatest wine values on the planet. Join us this Friday as we hop from Greece to Sicily to Southern Italy and taste each of these historic region’s wines……………togas are optional!

1. Skouras White Blend Peloponnese, Greece – George Skouras has been a key figure in the new Greek wine industry since the mid-1980s. A graduate of Dijon, Skouras returned from his studies to help spearhead his family’s estate.This is the type of white wine served in bars and restaurants throughout Greece. It is an uncomplicated blend of Roditis and Moscofilero that smells delicately of rose petal, musky citrus, and apple.

2. Sigalas Asirtiko/Athiri Santorini, Greece – Sigalas is unquestionably one of the top producers on the island of Santorini and in my opinion, one of the finest in Greece. Their vines are extremely old and ungrafted and the wines produced from them are completely singular. This blend of 75% Assyrtiko (the winery uses an alternative spelling) and 25% Athiri is a great introduction to the white wines of Santorini. It is dry and light bodied, with citrus notes, high acidity and intense minerality. It’s good to see that trusted periodicals like the Wine Advocate are noticing wines like this – it got 90 points!

3. Colli dell Murgia Erbaceo Puglia, Italy – Colli della Murgia is a true family owned and operated estate in Puglia, an area dominated by large cooperatives making mediocre wine at best. The estate is run by brothers Franco and Valentino DiBenedetto, and they are one of the few producers in all of Southern Italy practicing organic viticulture. Their Erbaceo is a blend of two ancient varietals originally planted by the Romans in the 12th century. Fiano Minutolo and Greco are blended together to make this ripe, exotic white wine that displays notes of ripe pear and tropical fruits.

4. Skouras Red Blend Peloponnese, Greece – George Skouras strikes again with this Cru Beaujolais lookalike crafted primarily with St. George (aka Agiorgitiko). It is a friendly, mid-weight red wine with tons of cherry and raspberry fruit and a bright and lively personality. This would make a great everyday house red for folks who like soft, low tannin reds.

5. Valle dell’Acate Frappato Sicily, Italy – It is believed that Frappato is a crossing of Sangiovese and another, unidentified grape variety, but it is well known that it produces some of the prettiest wines on the island of Sicily. So pretty in fact that the Wine Advocate gave this one 91 points! Almost Pinot Noir like, with suave red fruits and spices, this one picks up more floral and mint notes with air and is just a pure delight to drink.

6. Vecchia Torre Primitivo Salento Peninsula, Italy – We carry 4 wines from Vecchia Torre, one of Italy’s finest cooperatives, so if you like this be sure to ask me about the others. It is a well known fact that Primitivo possesses the exact same DNA as Zinfandel, so feel free to call this Italian Zin. From old vines situated in the village of Leverano, this is a great introduction to the grape and to the typical flavor and style characteristics of southern Italian red wine. It is ripe and mature with notes of plum, black cherry, cassis earth and leather.

7. Colli della Murgia Selvato Puglia, Italy – Colli della Murgia was the first certified organic Italian producer to come into our wonderful state and we’re proud to stock their wines. Their Selvato is a blend of Primitivo and Aglianico and this is a wine for braised meat if there ever was one. Raspberry, red currant and warm spice are all present in this delicious, slightly rustic red wine from Southern Italy.

8. Fontanavecchia Aglianico del Taburno – Aglianico is one of the oldest varietals planted in Italy. It was originally planted by early Greek settlers, and it was one of Italy’s most unique and singular varietals. The grape is thick and dark skinned, producing wines of power, depth, and concentration. This one is a great introduction to the grape, and it won’t break the bank. The wine is best described as rugged, masculine, and full bodied when young, but with a couple years of age the wine slowly softens up. Here we have the 2006, which has a couple years of age on it. It smells of wild berry fruit, leather, minerals, tobacco, and mint. Serve with roasted meats or hearty stews.

10% 0ff 6 mixed bottle, 15% off 12 mixed bottles and 20% off 60 mixed bottles