What's New in July
A Sherry Evening
At the end of a long day, when the work is done and the shadows are getting long, there’s nothing like kicking back with a glass of fino and some olives and cheese. The complex saline and yeasty flavors make it the ideal companion for these kinds of savory snacks. Fino seems made for that tranquil moment before dinner.
And after starting off with a fino, may we suggest an amontillado to go with the central part of your meal? Its nutty character provides a wonderful counterbalance to a rich main dish.
And to finish, try a moscatel, if you like things sweet, or an oloroso, if you prefer them dry. The perfect way to finish off a sherry evening.
Besides being simply delicious, fino is also surprisingly versatile. Last month we told you about the Andalucian gin and tonic and how a little fino can bring the umami. Here’s another idea that puts fino into a new context and gives the drink that saline touch. Try this one when it’s hot out.
In the Press
"Top Picks from Star Importers"
From Food & Wine
By Ray Isle
Top Sommeliers’ Favorites
For this month’s column, I spoke to seven sommeliers from restaurants around the country that are run by F&W Best New Chefs. I asked each of them to name some of their favorite importers—people they trust to bring them wines that are as good as the cooking of chefs they work with, like Gerald Hirigoyen at San Francisco’s Piperade and Fabio Trabocchi at New York City’s Fiamma. Then I narrowed their recommendations down to one importer per sommelier, tasted a variety of wines from the importers’ portfolios and chose three or four terrific wines from each that show a broad range of prices, regions and styles.
Why Importers Matter
Here’s a wine-insider tip: One of the best ways to predict whether a bottle is likely to be good is to check the importer. The top importers have impeccable taste, and it’s almost a given that any wine in their portfolios, whether it retails for $8 or $80, is apt to be superb.To find the name of the importer, check a bottle’s back label—usually the information (or a logo) is printed there.
Seven Great Importers
The sommeliers I spoke to chose importers with a wide range of specialties. Jorge Ordoñez, the owner of Fine Estates from Spain, focuses on Spanish wines, as does André Tamers at De Maison Selections. Dalla Terra brings in excellent Italian wines. Peter Weygandt of Weygandt-Metzler concentrates on artisanal, small-estate wines from Europe and Australia, and Martine Saunier of Martine’s Wines has a similar small-estate focus, though her portfolio is largely French and particularly deep in Burgundies. Wilson Daniels and Vineyard Brands are somewhat larger importers, each with a deep selection of top wines from around the world.
Fred Dexheimer, BLT Restaurant Group, NYC
De Maison Selections
2004 Luberri Biga Rioja ($19)
Spanish winemaker Florentino Mertinez Monje uses low-yielding, old Tempranillo vines for this flavorful Rioja. It’s full of black pepper and black raspberry notes, softened by a year of aging in oak barrels.
2006 Do Ferreiro Albariño ($29)
Organic viticulture and native (not manufactured) yeasts amplify the personality of this vibrant, lemony Albariño from Rias Baixas region in northwest Spain. It has an evocative, almost saline aroma, like spray from the ocean.
2005 Joan d’Anguera Finca l’Argata ($30)
Joan and Josep d’Anguera, among the top talents in Spain’s Montsant region, produce this dense, black cherry-rich Syrah blend.
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