A Case For The Fall
Well. Today is Veterans Day. A big, heartfelt thank you to all of those who have volunteered for military service. Truly. I mean it. It’s because of the sacrifices veterans have made, that I’m able to do what I do in peace and security.
So what do I do? Well, today I’m writing about wine.
Stop. Don’t tune this out. People always tune out my wine posts. So let’s make this about something other than wine. Let’s make it about people. Because what makes any shopping experience fantastic? It’s the service.
The two names that get all the attention in Troy are Vic and Heather. But today I’ve got two other names that you should get to know.
So Heather buys all the wine for Twenty-Two 2nd Street Wine. But here’s what she tells me about the current status of this great little shop:
Steve Reisman and Andrew Schwendeman are really taking the lead on the daily retail operations of the store. Andrew is a Certified Sommelier, with a PhD in Genetics and Steve is a master wordsmith who really forms connections with our guests through his words about the wine we sell. I feel so lucky to have found both of them.
Although if you happen to walk into the shop on a Saturday, you’re likely to find either Heather or her new hire Corey Mitchell. He apparently shares Heather’s passion for natural wine, which is a good thing, since he’s surrounded by it.
Perhaps you remember that I love this little wine store, and twice before have gone in looking to buy a mixed case of wine. The goal is always the same. I want to find six different wines, a combination of reds and whites. My preference is towards wines in the old-world style, that go well with the foods of the season. I’d like two bottles of each, and would like the whole thing to come in all-told under $150.
It’s a tall order, and when I worked directly with Heather in the past, it was a challenge to put together. But she came through.
Recently, I popped in and met Andrew for the very first time, and I only gave him an hour to figure out this puzzle. He did a brilliant job, but came in just a hair over budget. That means instead of an average cost of $12.50 per bottle, I got out of there spending just over $13.25 a bottle.
Honestly, I think these wines are better than even more expensive bottles elsewhere. So what did I get? Here are the write ups from Steve.
Clos Lojen Bobal ($15)
“Bobal is a grape native to the AOC of Manchuela around Valencia, Spain. Fruit-forward, with bright acidity and lower alcohol content, this wine is a very easy-drinking red. Winemaker Juan Antonio Ponce works biodynamically in the vineyard and tries to keep his cellar practices as natural as possible, using minimal SO2. His adherence to natural winemaking methods and the indigenous varietal of Bobal have made him something of a young pioneer for winemaking in Spain.”
Tenuta DeAngelis Rosso Piceno ($11)
“This blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese is a phenomenal exercise in balance along the Italian emotional spectrum between frivolity and severity. Montepulciano takes the lead with bright tannins and fruit notes, while the Sangiovese keeps the wine firmly anchored (without being overbearing). A great red for many different foods, but it really shines with bread, olive oil, and fatty meats.”
Agnanum Falanghina, Sabbia Vulcanica ($16)
“A smooth-drinking Italian white wine from the steep terrain outside Naples. Native yeasts, volcanic soil and proximity to the sea bring a brightness and stone-fruit quality to this varietal. Winemaker Raffaelle Moccia uses no chemicals in the vineyard, preferring natural methods and experienced ingenuity to develop indigenous varietals and maintain the unspoiled character of the terroir.”
Domaine de la Louvetrie Muscadet ($14)
“An outstanding welcome into the world of Muscadet! This wine comes from iconic winemaker Jo Landron, who works almost exclusively on various approaches and treatments of the varietal Melon de Bourgogne, the grape of Muscadet. Certified organic, Landron also does work with biodynamics, and has been making Muscadet since the 1980. Jo’s wines are some of the best expressions of Muscadet that you can find anywhere, and after a few sips, you’ll see why!”
Domaine Seailles Cotes du Gascogne ($14)
“A red blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Armagnac, France created by winemaker Jean Laberenne. Laberenne has been certified for organic winemaking and making wines since 1997, bringing a natural approach to the traditional Bordeaux blend. Dark and silky but with an undercurrent of tannic structure, this is a perfect wine for a Fall evening.“
Moulin de Gassac Pinot Noir ($14)
“What happens when you grow Pinot Noir in the Languedoc? You get a wine with depth and vivacity! Moulin de Gassac founder Aimé Guinert brought his passion for Nordeaux and Languedoc together to create wines that express the unique terroir of Southern France. This wine has dark, earthy fruit notes like fig and prune, but maintains a brightness characteristic of Languedoc reds, keeping you from falling too deeply into autumnal reverie.”
If you’re interested in this case, or putting together a mixed case of your own, you should feel free to call or pop in. There is a 12% case discount which makes it more advantageous to buy wine in 12 bottle increments.
All told, this one came in at $159.67 which for these parts, given the quality of the wine, feels like a relative bargain. On an ounce per ounce basis, I’ve bought beer that’s more expensive than these wines. But that’s just crazy stupid beer.
The point is that so long as you don’t store your wine above the fridge or near a heater, it will be fine for several months. You don’t need a fancy wine rack. You don’t need fancy wine glasses. You don’t even need fancy wine words to appreciate good wine. You just look at the color, give it a big sniff, and take a sip.
I wrote a whole post ages ago about why I buy bottles two at a time. If I do say so myself, it’s fairly clever. And if you want to check it out, you can do that here.
Or you can just come down to The City Beer Hall tomorrow at 3p and talk to me directly. I’ll be there with my Yelp Plinko board, playing free games for Yelp Schwag. They are doing something called Local Yokel and it’s all about local food.
After that, I’m going home and will be glad the house is stocked with plenty of wine.