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Halloween is a once a year opportunity to act as something else, to assume persona not ours and often opposite of ourselves.
These wines are other than what they seem. They wear their costumes well. Be fooled, and enjoy it.
Vinho Verde wines come from the Minho region in Portugal. Most are less than six months old with a slight fizziness, distinct freshness, and no vintage date. Here is a vintage dated, still, single variety example. Not your father’s Vinho Verde.
The Linhares is made from Loureiro and shows the grape in a very serious light. There are notes of bay laurel, acacia, lime and apples. Pair with lighter foods like green salads, shrimp, and steamed or raw shellfish.
French wine powerhouse Famille Lurton partnered with fourth generation winemaker Andres Blanchard to create an Argentine winery devoted solely to white wine. Blind tasters would be fooled for this is white Bordeaux grown in the new world.
The 95% Sauvignon Blanc is deftly subdued by it’s barrel fermentation and treatment. The Sémillon fattens out the wine. Pair this showy wine with seafood in a rich cream sauce.
Winemaker Filippo Mangione presses the juice from red grapes immediately to make this white as his homage to the tradition of the Sicilians’ making a base for metodo classico (sparking) wines.
The minerality and acid are intense. The flavors are bright, almost tropical: passion fruit, peaches and white flowers with a whiff of flinty smoke. This wine is perfect for intense the flavors of a garlic, olives, and caper sauce on pasta.
Pinot Noir should not grow this well in the Languedoc; the area is too warm and the sun too intense. Don’t tell Chateau de Pennautier though. The charmed domaine sits in an AOC called Cabardés that enjoys the cooling effects of a high altitude wind gap.
This medium bodied Pinot Noir shows notes of dark cherries and berries with a dash of spice and a silky mouthfeel. It's the wine for deck drinking or the second bottle opened for the evening. It is substantial enough for grilled pork tenderloin or portobellos.
Slovenia is a Balkan state that gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Think of this picturesque Alpine land as a continuation of the Italian area Friuli. Many grapes and winemaking practices are the same.
Villa Brici’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a polished, medium bodied wine wearing the price tag of a pauper. Aromas and flavors of cassis and cherry will sidle up to a hamburger or chicken equally well.
Shelton Vineyards is the largest family owned winery in North Carolina in NC’s first designated AVA, Yadkin Valley. The cooler climate of the area allows for the cultivation of Vitis vinifera grapes.
Tannat is a thick skinned and notable tannic grape that can be hard and brash. Here though, Shelton has trained the beast into an elegant beauty with bright raspberry and plum notes. The wine is begging for a blue cheese garnished steak.