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Saturday, June 26th, 2010:

Spanish Whites for Seafood…and Paella! – The Party Source – 1:00-3:00 PM

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  • June 17th, 2010

    Australian Shiraz a GREAT Value

    This post is from Timothy J. Gabelman, the Cincinnati Wine Pairing Examiner with www.examiner.com. Tim is a contributing writer to Uncorked Cincinnati, discussing food, wine, and local tidbits!

    The search for value-oriented wines can be fraught with peril. There are so many appellations and varietals that require more work and manipulation than can be squeezed successfully into a $10 price-tag. However, when a winery does it right, the rewards are astounding.


    Take, for example, California Chardonnay: in a recent examiner article that compared Napa and Central Coast bottles, the Central Coast Chardonnay clearly won out because it did not rely, as the Napa did, on the liberal use of secondary malolactic fermentation and oak. Cupcake Vineyards was able to craft an elegant, Chablis-style Chardonnay and sell it an extraordinarily inexpensive price because little was done to the juice after pressing the grapes.

    The better-known Napa Valley has too much ridding on the marketing and brand recognition of its appellation; to craft a poor Napa Chardonnay would be tantamount to destroying the Napa wine-manufacturing industry.

    California reds are another matter entirely. Pinot Noir requires too much work at every step of the process for a value bottle to be produced that can do the grape justice. Cabernet Sauvignons can be value-oriented but become prosaic. It seems that California is designed to produce great wines with a hefty price, if you want a recognizable appellation. Luckily, though, in this global market age, wines from all over the world are readily available.

    Australia continues to lead the pack in the production of tasty wines that speak to the appellation in which they were produced and that are inexpensive and value-oriented. Rosemount Estates Australia Shiraz 2007 ($9.99) remains a perennial favorite: it opens with a jammy, bright raspberry and plum explosion that tapers toward peppery, spicy chocolate notes. It was served with a cheese course consisting of a soft Brie, lightly smoked with hickory, and a Baby Havarti, with pepper water-crackers. The soft tannins of the wine and the chewy fruit notes blended beautifully with the soft cheeses and complimented each other well, while the peppery crackers and spicy notes from the wine worked in harmony at mid- and late-palate point.

    The International section of my local grocery store is a treasure-trove of under-appreciated finds that are great for any occasion, especially new-world wines. Pickup an Australian Shiraz, an Argentinean Malbec, or a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon at any price-point, the wines are sure to impress.

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