Shawn is another one of those awesome bloggers I met at the Wine Bloggers Conference this summer. His site, Wandering Wino, has great winery reviews with not only beautiful photographs and videos, but also great stories and interviews with winemakers.
I started working the restaurant business at 19 in a Coco’s coffee shop style restaurant. They only had Inglenook and Bud Light on tap. Moving up over the years to higher end restaurants, I found myself working for a well known restauranteur. The wine list had ’61 Bordeaux and vintage Champagnes that cost more than my car parked across the street. At the time I mainly drank beer, but began to grow an interest in things I could not afford.
Just prior to exiting the restaurant business, my wife and I honeymooned in wine country, and we were both bit in a serious way. It was just the beginning. My palate has changed maybe a few times in the past two years and I can only reflect on more recent wines. I believe in drinking wines with soul, and a couple of these would sing James Brown if they could.
Shawn’s 5 Wines to Enjoy
One white wine under $20 and widely available in the US:
I am not certain to just how widely this is available and reason for my additional selection. A delicious, refreshing and dependable wine that is not over manipulated like so many Chards out on the market.
I love acid and minerality. This wine brings both. On a hot summer day, for the price, it beats out a lot of good beers.
One red wine under $20 and widely available in the US:
Wildly available and an easy clutch wine that is great to get your party started and pairs well with a wide array of foods. I love it with good old fashion BBQ.
One splurge (whatever splurge might mean to you):
One of the greatest pairings I’ve had was with a warm butter cake at Mastros. Angels sang.
Two others of his own choosing (these may be either easy or hard to find):
- Presqu’ile Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Barrel sample)
The winemaker told me this wine would be 2/3 blended with another Chardonnay. While I was crying he said he’d bottle a magnum for me before it’s all blended away. Minimalistic approach with maximum payoff. Dieter, the winemaker, calls it a “thinking man’s wine.” I call it the “shhhhh wine,” because I don’t want to hear anyone while I just sit, sip, and listen for singing angels.
I’d be hard pressed to think of a single wine from Bien Nacido that I haven’t liked a lot. Happy to say I still have a half case left of this brilliant wine. This wine was built to age, and age well it has. Fantastic mineralality and acidity that makes me feel regal drinking it.
Have you enjoyed any of these wines? Do any sound interesting to you? Tell us what you think…