Surprise Wine Club Portfolio Records for Bruce
What is it like: Native to Sicily, Nero d'Avola is an intensely favoured grape with body and ageing potential. This fabulous (favolosa in english) red is made with 100% Nero d'Avola. The nose is floral and lightly vanilla. On palate the juicy pomegranate and cranberries notes lifted the rich body with medium tannins. Better with red meat, or pair with the beloved Chinese "lobster and cheese braised noodles". Open at least an hour ahead and serve at 16 degrees.
What is it & what is it like? Rosso di Montalcino is very often referred to as "baby Brunello" because it is from the same family and almost literally "cut from the same cloth", as it is also made with 100% Sangiovese grapes. The baby, or Junior, tag refers to the less intense taste compared to Brunello. This is partly because of the choice of grapes and partly the shorter ageing time (16 months for this Rosso).
A good Rosso di Montalcino, as we have found, is just a different expression than Brunello and is to suit different occasion and mood. Its aroma and tastes are more dominated by red fruits, with some Christmas spices and coffee. It is medium in body and tannins, so can fit well with a weekend lunch of roast meat, even pasta. Try to open at least an hour ahead to allow the spices to be expressed better. Serve at around 18 degrees C.
What is it like: this is a fresh, likeable youthful red with aromas of ripe large strawberries and peony, and a juicy medium body. This is a more mellow version of the Dolcetto and can therefore be an aperitif, slightly chilled. It goes very well with starters like cured ham, or a casual meal of pizza and pasta. Try it with BBQ!
What is it like? Made solely of cabernet sauvignon and only in good vintage, "Alexander" will be a familiar friend to most, yet not at all the same. It has the signature black currant aromas and a hint of tar. On palate is where it tastes very different (to, hm, the famous French left bank wines.). It has a clean-cut, lean body that makes the black currant more distinct, and very approachable as the tannins are finer. Drink with your favourite ham or air-dried beef, a lasagne, or more tender meat dish such as braised lamb shrank. Open at least an hour ahead and serve at 16-18 degrees.
What is it like: fresh with a fruity notes of juicy apple, honeydew melon, touch of citrus and some pepper.
What is it like: a crisp rosé with aromas of dried strawberries and a hint of wild rose. On palate it is refreshing and thirst quenching from a balance of acidity and soothing fruitiness. This is a beautiful rosé that goes well with smoked salmon, cured ham, or a light pasta. Try it with Chinese roast (cha-siu, crispy pork belly). Served chilled at 10-12 degrees (from the fridge).
We suggest: you can drink it slightly chilled (12 degrees celsius) as a thirst-quenching aperitif, or slightly warmer (15-16 degrees) to bring out the fruity aromas and light tannins when having lighter food.
What is it like? the tangy and juicy tropical fruitiness of the favorita grape make it a great choice for summer. Be sure to serve it chilled (10-12 degrees C.). A wonderful choice for your outdoor parties, a seafood meal, or on its own as aperitif.
Made in the traditional (classical) method and from Erbaluce grapes, a native grapes from Greece, this sparkling wine has an abundance of fine mousse and a balanced notes of fresh cream, white flowers and mint. Drink by itself or with your favourite seafood dishes.
Basket Mistro - Third selection (April)
What is it like: if you know Amarone already, then it is almost a junior Amarone. It has an enticing aromas of brandy, ripe cherries, even a whiff of cured meat if you allow the wine to breathe longer. There is a good balance of medium body, acidity and tannins, making it a good pair with stewed dishes, roasted duck, or richly cheesy lasagna.
Open at least an hour ahead and serve at around 18 degrees C.
We suggest: drink on its own if you are an experienced wine-lover, otherwise go with your meal, as this dolcetto from Diano d'Alba has enough body and tannins that call for food. Serve at 15-16 degrees.
What is it like? With aromas of crunchy juicy apple and wet stones. On palate it has the juicy fruitiness of red apple, and a sharpness of white pepper, and ends with a nice bitter-sweetness. With its white pepper and tanginess it is great with fish. Served chilled at 10-12 degrees celsius to preserve the fresh fruity notes.
Basket Misto - Second selection (March)
We suggest: the high acidity and moderately rich flavours makes it a good companion to roast meat (try Chinese roasted pork) or cheesy vegetarian dish. Served at 15-17 degrees C.
We suggest: pair it with a cream-based soup, or deeper flavour fish (grilled black cod, for example). Creamier and richer than the Soave Classico sibling, it can be enjoyed alone without food or as apertivo. Serve 10-12 degrees C.
What is it like? With aromas of white peach, hint of jasmine and white pepper, this Pinot Bianco is refreshing and thirst-quenching. A soothing aperitif when it is warm, or when you need a cooling companion to your meal. Serve chilled at 8-10 degrees.
Basket Misto - First selection (February)
What is it like? Only less than 20 producers can use this Alta Langa DOCG which denotes sparkling white made in the same method as Champagne. Made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (Nero), this sparkling Brut has a floral and hint of bread crust in the nose, a refined foam that is gentle on the palate, and white fresh peach in flavour.
Keep in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving.
What is it like: here is a blend of two of Piedmont's native grapes (Barbera and Nebbiolo) and an international varietal (Pinot Nero). Carrying the bright and cheerful character of the winemaker, Mirus has a rather concentrated nose of peony and red plums. On palate it is fruity with the right balance of tannins and body. If you have tried Magistri this one is more mellow and has more body.
Drink it at 16-18 degrees C. and it can go well with most meat or even vegetarian dishes. Try it with the Chinese stir-fried beef and rice noodles!
What is it like?
The Sylvaner grape is more often found Germany, Austria, Alsace (France), and in Alto Adige in Italy.
The Sylvaner in this "Aristos" range is more complex and more length than its sibling the classic Sylvaner, yet it is approachable enough for all occasions. The peach and green apple aromas are more intense, the tanginess from acidity and fruits more pronounced, and the touch is smoother but the wine still feels lively and refreshing. It is a good pair with grilled chicken, grilled cod, or creamy risotto. Serve chilled at 10 degrees.