CV, the Wine Guy, Talks Turkey: A Review

For the last two weeks, CV has been giving us the scoop on unique, interesting, undoubtedly drinkable white wines for your Thanksgiving table. Next week, we’ll start on a thorough review of gift-worthy reds for December. Until then, here’s the complete list of CV’s Turkey Wines:

Happy Thanksgiving, dear Co-opers!

CV the Wine Guy_Turkey Whites 2Cune — Monopole Rioja 2013
Region / Country: Rioja, Spain
Varietal: Viura
Price: $12.99
This is 100% high-altitude Viura from the Rioja Alta subzone, in North-Central Spain. It’s going to be dry, with marvelous notes of white peach, Meyer lemon, and mineral accents. The texture is quite rich, but crisp, citrusy acid keeps it lively. This bottle of wine is perfect for someone who knows wine, someone who wants to have something really fun on their Thanksgiving table.

Tomero — Torrontes 2012
Region / Country:
Varietal: Torrontes Riojano
Price: $11.99
Torrontes Riojano is very aromatic — a lot of floral aromas will come off the nose. This is a supple, fruity white, with flavors of pineapple and pear. The flavors of Torrontes should be a perfect, unusual pick for Thanksgiving.

Montinore Estate — Borealis White Table Wine 2013
Region / State: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietals: 39% Gewurztraminer, 37% Muller-Thurgau, 19% Riesling, 5% Pinot Gris
Price: $13.99
BIODYNAMIC! This is a lovely blend of Gewurztraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. What a wonderful and unique blend: each of these individual wines would make for a great turkey wine. Together, it will be delightful. With notes of peach, yellow apple, pineapple and bright citrus, it has the acidity to balance out and contrast with the fruitiness.

Albet i Noya — Xarel·lo 2013
Region / Country: Catalonia, Spain
Varietal: Xarel·lo
Price: $13.99
ORGANIC! This is a fun, unusual wine. Xarel·lo produces highly textural wines, with a lemon-like acidity and stonefruit flavors. This is less fruit-forward than the other wines we’re featuring this week, but features a well-balanced, crisp minerality that will add some refreshment to your Thanksgiving table.

Skagit Valley Food Coop_CV_Rose for TurkeyChâteau Grande Cassagne — 2011 Costières de Nimes Rosé
Region / Country:
Rhone, France
Varietals:
45% Grenache, 45% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre.
Price:
$9.99
This is a lovely Rosé — flavors of raspberry, watermelon, rose petals, which are classic flavors and aromas of a well-made Rose. The electric pink color of this wine is really quite fantastic. You can easily imagine how great this bottle of wine will look on your holiday table. It would sparkle next to the turkey.

 

Skagit Valley Food Coop_CV_Gilbert CellarsGilbert Cellars — 2013 The Grower
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington
Varietals: 61% Chardonnay & 39% Riesling
Price: $14.99
This bottle of wine was built to go with turkey. It has that bit of sweetness that goes well with turkey, but in a classier style. It’s a style of wine that will suit a number of palettes. People who drink (good) wine will recognize the weight of the Chardonnay and the creaminess that comes with it, and the beautiful lift that comes off of a Riesling.

Skagit Valley Food Coop_CV_White Wines for TurkeyForis Vineyards — 2012 Moscato
Region / Country: Rogue Valley, Oregon / United States
Varietal:
Moscato
Price: $11.99
This Moscato has been a Co-op favorite for a long time. In a frizzante (instead of fully sparkling) style, this wine is lightly effervescent, with tiny bubbles that balance out the juicy sweetness of the grape. Peachy-floral aromas with a light and lively palette.

Bouza — Albariño 2012
Region / Country: Montevideo, Uruguay
Price: $17.99
This is a very sophisticated, special bottle of wine. This is a really fun wine. It is full of minerals, full of expression. It is made by a terrific winery that is getting much-deserved accolades and attention.

Klostor Pinot Grigio 2013
Region / Country:
Rheinhessen, Germany
Varietal:
Pinot Grigio
Price: $8.99
With strong flavors of citrus and minerals, this tangy wine will go perfectly with turkey for people who want a traditional food wine. This wine comes in once a year, and then it’s gone. Try it while we have it!

+Red Blends for Thanksgiving
And, to wrap things up, two turkey-worthy reds for you:

Gilbert Cellars’ Uncle Cragg’s — 2012 The Pilgrim, $14.99
Red blend from Columbia Valley, Washington.

Skagit Valley Food Coop__CV_LaPetiteFontaineMaison Richard Côtes du Rhône — 2010 La Petite Fontaine, $9.99
Red blend from Rhone, France.
Part of the Chateau la Nerthe family of wines, which has been producing wine throughout the southern Rhone Valle for 800 years. And is famous for it. A friendly, everyday, earthy wine with notes of black cherry and raspberry. It finishes clean, with a highlight of cedar and spice. All-in-all, perfect.

 

CV, the Wine Guy, talks Syrah

Skagit Valley Food Coop_CV the Wine Guy_Syrah_10.27.14Syrah #1 : Barnard Griffin Syrah 2012
Appellation: Columbia Valley, Washington
Alcohol by Volume: 13.9%
Price: $14.99
Wine Enthusiast Rating: 90 points
CV Says: Some people would arguably say that Syrah is the best varietal for Washington — it does very well here. Barnard Griffin was established in 1983. The vineyard is in the Columbia Valley, and the winery in Redmond. The tulip label featured on the Syrah is being retired — Barnard Griffin also uses (and increases to use) a newer label with a gold griffin. I think the first Barnard Griffin tulip label was for the Tulip festival here in Mount Vernon. I’m not certain of that, but it is a nice, familiar look to those of us in the Valley.

Syrah from this state of ours is very well known and liked. Syrahs has varying levels of intensity — this one is approachable, but it has a lot of luster. This is a serious wine. Syrahs in general are serious wines. They’re full of fruit, but they’re also full of leather, and the denseness the grape has to offer. This is a wine that would be good for fall meals; it would be wonderful with lamb. It would be fine with steak, or other cuts of beef. It would stand up well to anything that had a bit of spice, or heat, to it. The Barnard Griffin Syrah has the flavors of cassis, and ripe, dark fruit, such as plum or cherry.

Syrah #2: Alvarez Nölting Fedriani Laffitte
Appellation: Valencia, Spain (Eastern Mediterranean Coast)
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price: $9.99
Wine Enthusiast Rating: 93 points
CV Says: This Syrah is … BAM! Full of flavor. It has a lovely hit: it’s not like a hit over the head, but it will get your attention. This is a bona fide, obscure classic Spanish Syrah. For this wine, it’s all about the extraction. If it’s in the grape, they’ll get it into the wine, and the color of the wine is testament to that committed extraction: it’s inky and opaque. The Fedriani Faffitte is a dense, thick wine. While CV and I (Rachael, his interviewer and scribe) were chatting about Syrahs, we were joined by our Kitchen Manager, Lisa (a fantastic cook in her own right)m who was looking for a wine to serve with a bone marrow appetizer. This was the wine of choice. Its suppleness makes it a surprisingly adaptable food wine: it would pair well with hard cheeses; dark, nutty chocolate; or lamb. Or, of course, you could go the route CV and I both did independently, and enjoy it with “it”.

Style wise, the Barnard Griffin is a light Syrah; the Fedriani Laffitte is BIG. The former actually has a higher alcohol content, but due to the style of the Spanish Syrah (and its extraction process) it’s a much bigger, heftier wine.

The Bounty of Bulk: Use Your Noodles

Skagit Valley Food Coop_Bounty of Bulk_Oct 27Welcome to our latest segment focusing on the wondrous world of bulk: pasta. Buying in bulk is great for saving money on these pantry essentials, from couscous to spaghetti to shaped pasta. The Co-op stocks a dozen different types of noodles and pasta, including gluten-free quinoa and corn rotelle.

Accessorize your noodles with some garlic, onions, and leeks (local from Ralph’s Greenhouse in Mount Vernon, WA) and you’ve got a great base for many meals. Choose hearty and healthy whole grain pastas, and add seasonal vegetables, cheese, tofu, or your preferred cut of meat. Here are a few choice recipes from our customers and staff:

Seasonal Vegetable Orzo Salad Recipe

Orzo - “orzo” is the Italian word for barley. However, orzo pasta is made from semolina durum wheat, not from barley. It’s a versatile, rice-shaped pasta. A classic for cold vegetable salads and comfort meals, use orzo to add texture to soups. It’s a great deal in bulk — only $1.79 per pound!

Make a delightful, yet simple orzo salad: Read more The Bounty of Bulk: Use Your Noodles …

CV, the Wine Guy, knows a good bargin!

SVFC_CV Wine_Bargin RedsThis week, CV The Wine Guy is giving us the scoop on three bargain wines that the Co-op frequently carries. The first two wines can be found stacked around the column that is just in front of the Bakery case in the Deli area. The third is at the column near the Deli to-go case (on your way to or from the cheese island). All of them are a steal at $7.99 each!

Bargain Red
: 2012 Codice (pictured on the left)
Producer: Dominio de Eguren
Geographic Origin: Castilla (Vino de la Terra)
Varietal: Tempranillo (Spain’s most native grape type; good for full-bodied wines, with spicy red fruit flavors and aromas)
Price: $7.99
CV Says: Margarette is the wine representative that sells us this wine — she has wonderful wines at great prices. The bottle does not list the varietal, and really — that’s not necessarily important. Codice means tradition, or the codes, in Spanish. There are a lot of rules and regulations for wine making in all of the European countries. In Spain, in the last 10 years, the new generation of wine makers got permission to not follow those rules “to law”, or, at least, could ignore them without getting fined. It was decided that, as long as the new ideas were shared amongst the wine makers of a region, an individual wine maker could go off on their own. This has created a nice synergy in Spain; there’s a lot going on there. Some of the old funkiness that was carried on by tradition, maybe in a negative way, is gone. And that’s really been a positive thing. This bottle of wine has probably seen just a little bit of wood. It’s going to have lovely berry and cherry flavors to it. This is a bottle of wine that will go well with a simple meal — pastas, pizza, any  kind of hearty sauce. It will hold its own. It’s not going to be dry in any sense; it’s going to have a fair amount of fruit on it. It’s a bottle of wine that pleases many. 
Read more CV, the Wine Guy, knows a good bargin! …

New Feature: CV, The Wine Guy, talks Red Blends

CV the Wine Guy_Skagit Valley Food CoopMeet CV, one of the newest additions to the Co-op family. CV is our resident wine guy and our newest cheese specialist. And he’s here to give you generous, succinct, friendly advice on wines (and cheese). CV is quick to say that he’s not a wine “expert” — he’s not the person to go to for fancy terminology — but he does know wine, and approaches it with robust energy and a desire to match wine with people, food, and experiences. Each week, CV will pow-wow with us about geographic regions, specific varietals, wines with a purpose, etc., and give you two wine recommendations at two price points, below $10, and below $16. (With a darn good bargain or occasional splurge thrown in from time-to-time.)

Have suggestions for where CV takes us next? Email us at community(at)skagitfoodcoop(dot)com.

For week one, we’ll keep things nice and friendly — kicking off autumn and this new feature with Red Blends. Read more New Feature: CV, The Wine Guy, talks Red Blends …