Wine Recommendations all in One Place
Join the club! Whenever I’ve got a new favorite, a newsletter mention, or a collaboration I’m genuinely excited about, you will find it here. When possible, I’ll include links to purchase online, otherwise pull up this post at your favorite local store!
La Valentina ‘Spelt’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva
A wonderful winter red from chilly, mountainous Abruzzo. They know all about keeping warm in the winter! Ripe cherry, blackberry and mixed berry jam. Brambly, yet bright with a velvety palate and long warm finish. $22
Food and Wine Pairing: Pair with stewed meats, rich pasta sauces, and lamb kebabs.
Skouras Saint George Nemea100% Agiorgitiko (Αγιωργίτικο)
Agiorgitiko is one of Geece’s most prolific and versatile grapes. Depending on the climate, soil, farming style and winemaking it can range from light and fruity to snappy and round with pleasant tannic quality. This one ages for one year in neutral French Barriques. The nose is packed with blackberries, raspberries and ripe strawberries with just a touch of tobacco and spices such as clove and cinnamon. Medium and peppery finish. $20
Food and Wine Pairing: Bright, fruity and rather complex, this dry red stands up to red meats, including lamb, steaks, and salami and aged cheeses. Try it chilled with robust fish like salmon or swordfish as well.
THYMIOPOULOS Naoussa Thymiopoulos
Xinomavro ( Ξινόμαυρο) is a prestige grape, grown in the northern part of of Greece (Macedonia). It’s for high levels of acidity and tannins, which allow it to age brilliantly while evolving into a satiny palate, much like Nebbiolo, Italy’s prized grape, used for Barolo and Barbaresco. In fact, It’s aged for one year in large French barrels to smooth out the tannins and round out the fruit. I tried a 2016 and the wine was lively and balanced with a lot of bright red fruit, as well as rich plum, and a long, mouthwatering and slightly smoky finish. I tried a 2016 and it was still incredibly vibrant. $24
Food and Wine Pairing: Don’t be fooled by the complex aromas. This wine is sleek and elegant. Avoid overly heavy sauces. Enjoy is as you would a Barolo ora Burgundy, with mushrooms, roasted meat and poultry.
Darom by Yatir Rosé 2021
Produced in Israel’s hot and sunny Negev Region from a blend of Grenache, Zindandel (Primitivo), and Red Muscat, the aromas are a blast of big fruit and flowers. Dry, mineral, mouthwatering finish. $26 circa.
Food and Wine Pairing: A silky, yet clean rosé, this wine is also great for sipping on its own, but accompanies salmon and seafood, as well as crunchy salads without too much vinegar-based dressing, i.e. tabouleh.
Leone de Castris ‘Five Roses’ 2020
From the heeltap of the Italy’s boot heel, Salento, Puglia. Intense deep pink color with bold fruit notes to match. Ripe berries and pretty purple floral notes. It’s luscious yet clean on the palate with a long, mouthwatering finish. $20 circa.
Food and Wine Pairing: This rosé is plush enough to drink on its own but pairs with fuller-flavored (highly seasoned) seafood dishes.
Nino Negri ‘Quadrio’ Valtellina Superiore 2018
In the mountainous area of Lombardia on the border with Switzerland, Nebbiolo is known as Chiavennasca. This bottle is filled with red fruit: cherry, raspberry, and pretty floral violet.
Food and Wine Pairing: It’s well on its way to velvety, but if you drink it now, pair it with succulent meats like brisket or baked ham.
Yaffo White 2021
This super fresh blend of Chardonnay and Viognier is hand-harvested in the Judean Mountains in Israel. The wine is aged on the lees (yeast) but not oak-barrel aged. Bright fruit and floral aromas and crisp acidity with a lingering mineral finish.
Food and Wine Pairing: Smooth enough for salads and pickled vegetables, complex enough for poultry and seafood.
Ramon Cardova Rioja Crianza 2018
classically styled Rioja, made from 100% Tempranillo and aged in American oak barrels for one year. It’s got dark fruit, spice, savory herbs, and just a hint of vanilla. Try it with tapas, like bacon-wrapped dates (turkey bacon as a K option).
Food and Wine Pairing: Piquant and juicy, it works with roasted meats but also Spanish tapas like bacon-wrapped dates and chorizo.
Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino
I just tasted this last week! Give this guy a nice decant, or leave it open an hour or two before you start. Deep dark cherry, bright raspberry, some smoky leather, a touch of anice, violet (floral purple themes), sweet spices, and vibrant but balanced tannins.
Food and Wine Pairing: Meat and tomato-based sauces, mushroom, wild game, aged pecorino.
Terre del Barolo Barolo
A classic exemplar of aged Nebbiolo. There’s a tannic kick to it along with a glistening smoothness. The aromas are emerging beautifully, if delicately: rose, violet, red berries, black and red cherry, and leather. Age it or drink it now. $30 circa.
Food and Wine Pairing: Barolo is an exquisite wine experience, but as always I recommend eating something. White truffle pastas, simple roast or stewed meats, ie, not too heavy sauce, taleggio or castelmagno cheese, and wild game.
Donnafugata Lighea Dry Muscat 2020
A stunning wine tasting experience! You’ve probably had a Moscato and it was probably sweet. Now imagine all of that creamy rose and piquant dried apricot on the nose with a crystalline dry palate and a mouthwatering finish!
Food and Wine Pairing: Honestly, it’s great alone, which I rarely suggest, but is also delicious with a simple white fish baked or broiled with herbs.
Planeta La Segreta Il Bianco Sicilia DOC 2019
A blend of local grapes Grecanico and Fiano, plus international varieties Chardonnay and Viognier from Planeta’s vineyards in the deep southwest region of Agrigento, Sicily. More specifically, a hilly area very close to the sea.
Think: sun-baked, and sun-dried fruit aromas! Pure fruit, no oak. Everything has a deep, ripe, yellow, even tropical tone to it. Lots of lime and honey too. Big aromas, silky palate, dry and mouthwatering finish thanks to a constant salty sea breeze.
Food and Wine Pairing: Baked whitefish with herbs, spaghetti with sea urchin.
Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole 2018
A Bordeaux-style blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 37% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. It ages in for a less than a year in old and younger barrels, so the fruit flavors are front and center.
Deeply colored, juicy, with a bright red fruit, and zingy cherry. It’s still young and filled with energy, but definitely a medium-bodied mouthful with years ahead to soften up.
Food and Wine Pairing: Beef tagliata with mushrooms or summer truffle (tartufo nero).
Château Ferran 2016
In an area more famous for Cabernet-dominated blends, Merlot is the leading lady in this assemblage at about 70%.
The remaining Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are aged in a combination of old and new wood. With age the wine is smoothing out, but is still prickly and bright with notes of black tea, blackberry, plum, earthy ripe fruity and a distinctive mineral finish.
Food and Wine Pairing: Try with Duck confit or Peking Duck (minus the cucumber).
Aix Rosé Vins de Provence
A classic, affordable and quintessential rosé made in the Provençal style! A blend of Grenache, Cinsualt, and Syrah, it’s light, yet fleshy strawberry and raspberry, sea breeze of course, and some herbaceous Mediterranean herbs.
Watch our rosé episode of 21 Days to Wine, featuring AIX Rosé!
Food and Wine Pairing: A sun lounger and a good friend, or a grilled seafood platter.
Colle dei Bardellini Vermentino “U Munte”
A smooth and absolutely coastal Ligurian Vermentino with a clean and refined nose packed with sage, thyme, tarragon and fennel. Medium-bodied and silky with a long refreshing finish, reminiscent of the sea.
Food and Wine Pairing: Opulent crustaceans like lobster tail and white fish dishes heavy on the herbs and citrus like sole meunière.
Château de Campuget Rosé Costières de Nìmes 2019/2020
Find 2020 online.
Watch our Video review!
Evocative of spring and a harbinger of seaside sipping we’ve all been looking forward to! This wine is an exceptional representation of traditional rosé winemaking. Light berries, strawberry tops and sea salt! Download our tasting notes.
Food and Wine Pairing: Seaside or poolside, with great company and a salade niçoise.