Sunday, March 04, 2007

The best wines found in Pennsylvania... Who'da thought?

As much as the Handsome Venezuelan and I enjoy, cherish and thrive at La Casa Amarilla in the Poconos, the fact that wine and liquor sales are goverened by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has usually prompted us to shuttle our wines from our local wine vendor here in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Before I proceed, let me tip the turban to these lovely folk at Slope Cellars on 7th and 15th here in Brooklyn. Their entire back section of Slope Cellars is filled with "Cheap & Tasty" wines, that have rarely failed to please. All wines boxed here (as opposed to shelved) are 10 bucks or less, and we've found quite a few memorable quaffs here.

In a similar vein, I have been tickled fuschia with the new development at my "State Store" in Pennsylvania. They have instigated a new program called Chairman's Selection, using the entire state's buying power to get some great prices on some outstanding wines.

Not sure who this "Chairman" is, but I'd love to bend my elbow with him/her over a few weekends, cause this muthafuka knows wine. We've not had one bottle that disappointed us. And then there were a few that just slapped us in the face and made us sit in a corner till we felt humbled.

Here's two that deserve a long drive to find...
Australian Grant Burge Barossa Shiraz 2004
Exceptional balance with a perfect tannin presence. Just dries the palate enough to let the flavor of the wine sit there until the next sip, even if it's 5 minutes later. Full fruit, but all plum, prune and bing cherry, nothing bright and berry here. The wood flavor is so integrated you don't experience it as the oakey barrel flavor you get used to. More chocolate and earth.

This Shiraz reminded us both of a French Bordeaux 1998 St Estephe we brought back from Paris. That wine was about $28 in Paris in 2003. This beauty was $10 this weekend. I can only hope there's a case left when we return Friday night. They suggest it could handle up to 10 years of cellaring. For me, that's the greatest challenge this wine presents. Purchasing enough to have some left in 2014.

Chilean Montes Sauvignon Blanc 2006
This wine makes me want to have a restaurant just so I can make this my house white.
I've already given a bottle of this to Uptown/Downtown Eastside Lady C as well as Isla Sue. Haven't heard their opnions, but every time I open another bottle, I am infatuated all over again. It's so bright and crisp it reminds me of a Portuguese Vihno Verde. Neither the HandVen or I can decide if the slight effervensence is in our minds or our glasses. (Some have opined that the effervesence is in our heels. We decline comment.) Lots of citrus, especially grapefruit in a glass of this Sauvingnon Blanc, also fields of green grassiness. Exceptionally bright and acidic, probably too much for some, but I just find it an exceptionally gifted teenager of a wine. We bought the last two bottles on Saturday. Please order more Mr. Chairman.

I know I promised input of Chile. I'll try to get back on that track soon.

For now my pretties, Contented Eating (and Drinking)
Big Mary

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