Wine Advisor's Premium Edition
The next biweekly edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor's Premium Edition goes to subscribers by E-mail tomorrow. In this edition, I'll be recommending an outstanding Spanish red wine that's a relative bargain at its "next tier" price point, along with a taste test comparing a relatively young wine with an older bottle from one of the top producers in this Mediterranean region.
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The lure of the new
In a world divided between wine lovers who enjoy returning to the same old favorites and those who can't get enough of the strange, offbeat and new, I keep my feet planted firmly on both sides of the fence.
Of course I love the old familiar wines, and whether it's a Chianti or a Burgundy or a good California Cabernet, a taste that brings back memories of wines enjoyed over the years will always make me smile.
But I can't deny an utter infatuation with new and different wine experiences, as a quick review of Wine Advisor topics over just the past couple of weeks will reveal. In that short period alone, I've delighted in Sicilian Inzolia and Nero d'Avola, Puglian Negroamaro and Aglianico from Campania and even the truly offbeat Pineau d'Aunise of the Touraine.
It's hard for me to say whether I get more enjoyment out of the comfort of the familiar or the excitement of the new, and so I think I'll just keep on having it both ways.
TALK ABOUT WINE ONLINE
And of course, any time you want to talk about wine, you're always welcome to join in the conversations about wine in our interactive Wine Lovers' Discussion Group.
If you prefer to comment privately, feel free to send me E-mail at email@example.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.
And now, let's stay in the "offbeat varieties" mode for today's tasting report. It's another Aglianico, similar to the wine from Taburno in Campania that I featured among others on April 7, but this one is from Vulture (named after an extinct volcano) in Basilicata, the "sole" of the Italian "boot."Tenuta le Querce 2000 "Il Viola" Aglianico del Vulture ($15.99)
Very dark reddish-purple, this Southern Italian wine's hearty character shows in an almost blackish color in the glass. Warm and plummy aromas are accented by a note of licorice. Mouth-filling black-fruit flavors, plums and prunes, are structured by tart acidity and smooth tannins. A touch of oak adds a slight earthy quality, but fruit is dominant, with a snappy tang that goes well with food. U.S. importer: VIAS Imports Ltd., NYC. (April 18, 2004)
FOOD MATCH: A versatile food wine, it pairs easily with grilled red meats, roast poultry or cheeses, and went just as well with a meatless option, a light-style variation on Alfredo-sauced pasta, accented with fresh sage.
VALUE: It's worth paying this upper-teens price once to try a very fine wine from an offbeat variety and region; but the local price I paid is well above the median for this item, with vendors in some parts of the U.S. offering it at more competitive prices under $15.
WHEN TO DRINK: No rush to drink this one, as fruit, acidity and tannins in balance suggest it might gain complexity with another two to five years under good storage conditions.
WEB LINK: The winery Website,
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: The U.S. importer lists distributors by state on this page:
Locate vendors and compare prices for the wines of Tenuta le Querce at Wine-Searcher.com,
California Wine Club: Free gift set for Mother's Day!
Mother's Day is May 9, and for the first time ever The California Wine Club is offering a $70 Wine Gift Set - Free!
Place a Mother's Day Gift of three months or more, and in the first shipment Mom will receive two bottles of award-winning California wine, an 8-page newsletter, Wine Fundamentals DVD, a set of Wine Charms and an Engraved Wooden Collector's Wine Crate. It's a $70 value, absolutely free. Each month is just $32.95 plus shipping and will include two bottles of wine hand-selected by club owners Bruce and Pam Boring, as well as their entertaining 8-page newsletter, Uncorked. There's never any bulk, closeout or private label wine and every wine is 100 percent guaranteed.
To order this special Mother's Day Gift Set call 1-800-777-4443 and be sure to mention The 30 Second Wine Advisor.
This week on WineLoversPage.com
Here are links to some of our recently published articles that I think you'll enjoy:
Guide to Italian Wines: VinItaly 2004
Wine Lovers' Discussion Group: Are wine lovers presumptuous?
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:
Merlot and more (April 16, 2004)
Offbeat Sicilian white (April 14, 2004)
Austria revisited (April 12, 2004)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Spareribs from France and Italy (April 15, 2004)
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive:
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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
Monday, April 19, 2004