Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Monday, November 17, 2008

From Beaujolais to Brigitta!

Okay, so I am not the wine expert here. That title would go to either Jim Doutre, or David Borzo.

I do have some recommendations to make however for this week's tastings and they're more on the pedestrian side of wine enjoyment, i.e. the daily sippers that don't require much thought, and don't trigger tryer's remorse* on opening.

Number one is a delightful Italian red wine from Zaccagnini called Cantina Zaccagnini (2004 Reserva, from Sam's Club $13.00)
made from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes. It's a truly great dry red table wine, not overly robust, but with touches of licorice, vanilla and berries mixed together to make your mouth happy alone and with foods.

I thought of lamb as a good complement, but I think it would be equally at home with all manner of country foods. I've never woasted a wabbit for stew, but I can imagine such a dish on a heavy wooden table next to my full glass and Gina Lola Brigitta's heaving bosom.

The distributor's web site goes into far more detail (like those experts will) and suggests more food pairings and taste comparisons (leather, plums, blackberry, black pepper, oregano, assorted herbs and a violet robe, which I assume is for Gina after dinner.) and the winery's tasting info is more complete in it's description. They make a lot of the stuff (+/- 95,000 bottles) so it's in ready supply near you.

I'm just saying that for $13 it's a no brainer that gets better as it breathes. After finishing a deep and mystical Syrah last week, I opened this one for guests and was pleased w/ the vanilla opening tastes and subsequent berries and dusty finishes. It was

Wine #2
Tis the season for Beajolais Nouveau and as any SERIOUS wine person will tell you, it's young, it's grape juice w/ a kick and it is not a SERIOUS wine. Some would say it shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as the word wine while others revel each year at its release. In fact , the region as a whole is seen as a bargain for buyers looking to purchase land, vineyards etc.

So, like who cares?

Beaujolais Nouveau is FUN for all those reasons. It is young and fruity and way too easy to quaff, gulp, spill and giggle over.
Qualities that make it um, FUN.

If you want the history of the stuff, suffice it to say there are billions and billions (Carl Sagan couldn't be reached for comment) of articles on the proud history, how the young, fruity beacon of 1st harvest is not available prior to the 3rd Thursday of each November, how the Brits used to send their envoys across the channel to grab their stash from the French and even how the Japanese tried to use international time zones to cheat on the opening dates. This made SERIOUS FUN people mad.

All that aside, it is great w/ Brie and a warm baguette, and people you like to be around while the warm fuzzy buzz of a silky smooth red makes its way across your sensory landscape.

In the past, we have enjoyed many varieties, and used to buy the Georges Duboeuf by the case. Pretty label, but honestly rarely the best of the bunch. Many alternatives are springing up to the true version, including early releases of Gamay grape juices from California.

BUYING ADVICE -- We say, rush to your wine shop on Thursday this week and buy no more than enough for a bottle or two between you and your friends (imaginary and otherwise) so you can get some fast and celebrate the nou nou nouveoh like a true Francophile. Then go back later in the weekend, or early next week and sample the other choices that showed up on your merchant's shelves. The big boys get their's in the stores first because they have the distribution muscle. The other, lesser knowns are often worth the wait.

For 10 fun facts about Beaujolais Nouveau see our friends at Into WIne.

We always love this wine as a fun addition to Thanksgiving holiday parties, and it's still good through Xmas. After that, you're drinking wine that was fresh and nouveauity but isn't so much anymore, and you should be moving on to the more SERIOUS winter wines, or champagne for the New Year.

So, get busy and get to your local Sam's Club for some of the Zaccagnini and/or to your wine shop for ze Beaujolais Nouveau and relax with your wines. Gosh.


*Tryer's Remorse, not unlike it's younger sibling, Buyer's Remorse, this is the guilty feeling you get when you open a bottle that was:
1. Expensive
2. A gift
3. An expensive gift
4. The last of a vintage or varietal in your collection
5. Your last bottle, period

So you wart over whether it or the occasion (or your guests) will be good enough to merit setting the cork free.
BAH. If it is too precious, sell it to someone for a large sum and buy cases of guilt-free offerings.

No one goes to their grave wishing they'd enjoyed less great wine -- they go the their grave thinking things like "oh shit!"

Shameless Plug:
Save $10 off + $0 shipping on our All Red Tasting Pack at MyWinesDirect. Use code ALLREDSAVE at checkout. Offer valid 11-1 to 11-30-08.

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Blogger Saucy Joe Sullivan said...

I have been discouraged at the lack of variety of the Beaujolais Nouveau in some major stores over the past couple of years. I have to go back three years to really have more than a two labels available to the crew.

It's a shame that wine buyers don't get into the festive spirit of the wine. Take a chance!! They'll be available tomorrow!!

Wed Nov 19, 09:44:00 AM CST  

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