I base most of my drinking around what I’ll be eating, with the wine sort of playing second fiddle. If I’m in the mood for barbeque, for example, I’ll think about the wines I have on hand that would go with ‘cue, and then once my wine is chosen, I can follow up with a recipe that I think will work with it. Ok, so that’s one mighty loud second fiddle, but with wines like this you'd better pay attention!
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Two To Try:2008 Sobon Hillside
2007 Pedroncelli Mother Clone
There are tons of people talking about Gamay these days, referring to the wines as “baby Burgundy” and the like. Truth is the best of Gamay do resemble some Burgundy, especially with a bit of age, but the wines I’m thinking of are best described on their own terms, full of fresh fruit in an easy-to-like (drink) style. Gamay is about as food friendly a wine as one can get. The prefect match though? You got it, roast chicken. Stuff some herbs under the skin, throw a lemon and some garlic in the cavity, and pair it with Bojo on the back porch.
Two to Try:2008 Jadot Beaujolais Village
2008 Edmunds St. John Bone Jolly
Here’s a tip: Edmund St. John is a winery that flies under the radar but never fails to produce complex, balanced wines at very fair prices. If you’re not familiar with them, make a point of finding out about their wines.
Ok, so this is a bit of a stretch in many ways. The red wines of an entire country, how am I going to go about dealing with this? Well, I’m not. I will say that there are tons of great, inexpensive wines coming out of Portugal. In a certain way it’s the last frontier, especially of Europe, where obscure varieties and old vines have met innovative and adventuresome new winemakers, supplying the world markets with incredible deals. Rich, rustic wines that drink well on release and yet can benefit from time in the cellar, that’s Portuguese reds in a nutshell, and an idea for another email series – inexpensive wines for your cellar! Stay tuned.
The Portuguese wines I've been drinking tend to be classically structured wines perfect for stews and braised meats. They're a little rustic so you don't have to get fancy with the spices, and just so I can sneak something Italian in here, I 'd serve it with polenta! Yeah I eat a lot of polenta, at least it's cheap!
Two to try:2007 Porca de Murca
2006 Lavradores de Feitoria Douro Tinto
Want to know more? Don't miss part one of Six Wines for a Cheap Drunk.
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10 Questions for Jeff Lefevere
Jeff Lefevere, founder and editor of the award-winning site Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto, does away with the velvet rope and offers intelligent, accessible insights into the wine business and culture as a whole.