I have known Alana Gentry of Girl with a Glass virtually for quite awhile, but finally got to meet her live in person at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland this year. (It seems we are on a roll of wines from those I met at the conference, doesn’t it?!)
She was as much a delight and powerhouse in person as she is online.
Here’s what she has to say about herself:
My life is about wine, food and travel. I love new experiences, meeting people and creating beautiful memories. I write because I am compelled to share my discoveries and joys with others. I’ve been to almost 500 cities in the world and when I’m home, I make a gourmet dinner and pair it with wine every night. I was first published at thirteen years old and my first play was produced at age sixteen. I’ve written three books and I started Girl with a Glass seven years ago. I’m especially interested in the global wine scene and “re-emerging” markets like South America, South Africa, Austria and Greece, and I adore small wine producers (artists) everywhere. If I can experience a new culture and one perfect pairing every year, I’m happy.
Alana’s 5 Wines to Enjoy:
One white wine under $20 and widely available in the US:
- 2009 Bonterra Chardonnay (USA), $13.99
I am very picky about Chardonnay and I really love this wine. It has all of the elements of a thoughtfully-made, restrained Chardonnay. 70% of the fruit went through malolactic fermentation in French and American oak. It was then blended with 30% fruit from stainless steel tanks and finished off in neutral oak. For me, that is a winning combination; the malo cuts out the bitter acidity that I find nasty in “naked” Chardonnays and grapes from the stainless steel tanks keep the wine from being overwhelmed by oak flavors.
One red wine under $20 and widely available in the US:
- Novas Limited Selection Carmenère / Cabernet Sauvignon ($15)
This is what I call a Saturday night wine – complex, smooth, drinkable now. Very nice wine and incredible value from Chile.
One splurge (whatever splurge might mean to you):
- Artiste Effervescence East Willamette Valley Sparkling Wine Method Champenoise (NV)
(170 cases produced) Bion Rice is a “Master Blender.” Located in Los Olivios California, he uses old world assemblage techniques with new world terroir. Everything Bion makes is unique, delicious and exciting. $75
…and two others of her own choosing (these may be either easy or hard to find):
- 2008 (or ’09) Tikal Patriota, Argentina, $16
This is one of my favorite bring-to-a-party or gift wines. It has bold Napa-like fruit with the balance and acidity of France. All fantastic. (60% Bonarda 40% Malbec) Color is clear and deep dark purple. Very exciting wine. Just gorgeous, balanced. Dry, melted tannins, refreshing acidity, full-bodied & extended finish. All the pieces are harmonious. Made by Ernesto Catena, one of my top 10 winemakers to follow. (Tip: If you’re serving lamb at any of your upcoming holiday parties, this a great wine pairing. Fairly easy to find online.)
- 2010 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve, Carneros, Napa Valley $40
The Carneros region is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you are going to get. Discovering this gem blended with Napa fruit was surprising and rewarding. All of the elements come together, nice fruit and excellent winemaking. Beautiful expression of California’s diversity and one of my favorite grapes.
Have you enjoyed any of these wines? Do any sound interesting to you? Tell us what you think…
Looking for more suggestions? Check out the VineSleuth 5 Wines to Enjoy archives.
Would you like to share your 5 Wines to Enjoy on Vinesleuth Uncorked? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a note and we’ll talk.