New Feature: CV, The Wine Guy, talks Red Blends
Meet CV, one of the newest additions to the Co-op family. CV is our resident wine guy and our newest cheese specialist. And he’s here to give you generous, succinct, friendly advice on wines (and cheese). CV is quick to say that he’s not a wine “expert” — he’s not the person to go to for fancy terminology — but he does know wine, and approaches it with robust energy and a desire to match wine with people, food, and experiences. Each week, CV will pow-wow with us about geographic regions, specific varietals, wines with a purpose, etc., and give you two wine recommendations at two price points, below $10, and below $16. (With a darn good bargain or occasional splurge thrown in from time-to-time.)
Have suggestions for where CV takes us next? Email us at community(at)skagitfoodcoop(dot)com.
For week one, we’ll keep things nice and friendly — kicking off autumn and this new feature with Red Blends.
Red Blend #1: 2010 Claret from Donati Winery
Geographic Origin: Paicines AVA, Central Coast, California
Varietals: 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Fun fact: AVA stands for American Viticultural Areas, which identifies the appellation of origin of a bottle of wine.
CV Says: This wine isn’t from one of the big shot wine regions in California; Paicines is a very small, unique California AVA that most people don’t know. This red blend from the Donati family is out of site, with a flavor profile of strawberry, cocoa, ripe cherry, and cola. Those are classic red blend adjectives, all of those. People who like red blends are familiar with those adjectives, and taste. Now, sometimes a wine’s flavor profile is the power of suggestion. If I say, “cola”, and you take a drink, you might recognize that and simply agree with me. But, most of time if you read a flavor profile and then drink the wine, it’s more of a “Wow, that really is cola.” reaction, and it can really enhance the wine. The people who can put words to flavors are few and far between. So, you have to trust the people who tell you about flavor. I trust our wine representatives, and their descriptions.
Red blend #2: Contrada di San Felice
Geographic Origin: Agricola San Felice, Tuscany, Italy
Varietals: Merlot 50%, Sangiovese 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%
CV Says: This is a really fun, really drinkable red blend. It’s led by Merlot, which tends to be a pretty darn friendly grape. It matches the American palette nicely. It has lots of fruit, and it’s not going to be tannic (that astringent, bitter taste sometimes associated with red wine). This wine is made for the Palio di Siena (known as Il Palio), a horse race that takes place twice a year in the city of Siena, in the Tuscan region of Italy. A contrada is a district, or neighborhood, within an Italian city. Seventeen of Siena’s contrades compete (in a friendly, but spirited way) against each other in Il Palio. This red blend was made for the outstanding, big, loud parties that are held, in each contrada, during the races. You drink this wine, and it’s easy to imagine the flags, the people, the colors. This wine is about tradition. Contrada is a typical Tuscan wine: it’s pleasant, not complex, and easy to pair with all kinds of food.
If you find yourself at a loss in the Co-op’s wine department, and have a question, please feel free to ask any Co-op staffer for help. Or look for CV, in one of his uniform wine distributor ball caps.