About four times a year, our go-to liquor store, Yankee Spirits, in Attleboro, MA, holds a grand tasting. Twice a year for wine, and twice a year for beer. The process is fairly simple – walk in, show your ID, pay a $5 suggested donation, and wander the aisles tasting sample after sample. For the wine tastings, they do something very dangerous. They give you a booklet with prices, and a number. That way, when you taste something you like, you just tell the pourer your number and they set a bottle aside for you. They also offer most bottles at a discounted price. So by the time 8 o’clock rolls around, you’re half in the bag and have no idea how the register could possibly say $200.
They are genius.
Thankfully, Jeff and I didn’t get there until 7. The event is typically from 5-8, so we only had an hour to rush through the tables. But in that hour, we did some serious damage! Imagine what we would’ve done had we gotten there on time! But even in our inebriated stupor, we made some really great purchases!
Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California. ~$30
This Cab is rich and smooth with cherry and blackberry fruit flavors. The velvety palate offers a soft earthy note followed by vanilla, nutmeg and chocolate. Elegant tannins round out the long finish. The perfect match for steak au poivre and garlic mashed potatoes.
Jammy and fruit-forward, this 100% Zinfandel has notes of blackberry, plum and cherry followed by notes of black pepper and spice. A bright acidity balances out the rich tannins and a hint of fresh herbs and dried fruits lingers on the finish. Try with barbecued ribs or braised beef.
Masi Campofiorin Ripasso, Veneto, Italy. ~$20
This is one of my favorite wines. It is a Ripasso style wine which means some of the grapes were dried on straw mats before being pressed creating a rich, raisin note. The palate is smooth and elegant with earthy flavors of tobacco, cedar and spice. Dried plum, cherry and raisin flavors are balanced by ripe tannins on the smooth finish. Serve this red with hearty pasta dishes such as lasagna with meat sauce or sausage and peppers.
Charles Krug, Family Reserve, Generations, Napa Valley, California. ~$40
An elegant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this red has vibrant aromas and ripe berry fruits and candied cherry. The palate is rich and round with nutmeg, mocha, blackberry and earth. Pair with filet mignon, hearty pasta dishes and mature cheeses.
This oak-aged Pinot Noir has a luxuriously rich mouthfeel with notes of cherry, plum and vanilla. The palate is rich with sweet baking spices and dried herbs. Elegant tannins and s sweet acidity round out the long finish. This wine is perfect for herb-crusted salmon, spice-rubbed pork loin and a soft goat cheese.
Ripe cherry and plum aromas lead to a soft palate with notes of black cherry, earth and spice. Hints of dried herbs and minerals are balanced by a touch of vanillin-oak on the long, smooth finish. Serve with broiled sockeye salmon, seared tuna, and roast chicken or turkey.
Perrin Reserve, Cotes Du Rhone, France, ~$10
Bright berry, cherry and raspberry aromas lead to a soft and fruity palate. The bright and acidic mouth is balanced by spicy black pepper and smoky earth notes. This red is extremely versatile and is great alongside herb roasted chicken, pork chops and hearty pasta dishes.
This port-style dessert wine has a bright and perfumed aroma of rose petal, orange peel and raisin. The palate is soft and luxurious with dried fruits, sweet baking spices and caramel flavors. The finish offers a rich sweetness balanced by a bright, clean acidity. Enjoy this wine lightly chilled alongside blue cheese, toasted nuts and biscotti.
I’m already looking forward to their Spring tasting. Hopefully some of these bottles will keep us warm through the winter!