1st Bottle Red: 2019 Capolino Perlingieri 'Brizio' Aglianico Campania IGT

For the wine snob: 100% Aglianico grape which is native to southern Italy and is the dominate red varietal for this region. Grapes are selected by hand, controlled temperature fermentation in stainless steel. Matured 8 months in stainless steel and aged from 3 up to 36 months from release. My goal is to produce authentic wines without extremisms. Therefore my wines are filtered, I use selected yeasts, I add sulfites to the minimum extent necessary and I will not try to convince you that a defect is to be understood instead as a distinctive feature of a wine.

For the rest of us: A young Aglianico to drink now, and every day. Ruby red with violets, plum and cherries on the nose. The palate shows balanced freshness and acidity with soft tannins. The name Brizio is a tribute to the winemaker’s great grandmother, Carolina Brizio. Pair this red with grilled meats, lamb or bold red sauce dishes.

1st Bottle White: The Brand Winery, The Electric Chardonnay Acid Test Pflaz, Germany 2018

For the wine snob: 90% Chardonnay, 10% Riesling. Certified organic since vintage 2017. In the vineyards, they will only spray low amounts of copper and sulfur. They are also practicing biodynamics in the vineyard and use assorted soaps, oils, herbs and teas on the vines. The brothers Brand, Daniel and Jonas, have brought natty winemaking to the far northern Pfalz, a cool-climate, limestone-rich, totally overlooked region.

For  the rest of us: Electric Chardonnay Acid Test, a totally unexpected combo of 90% Chardonnay planted on the classic limestone soils of the region, and 10% Riesling for an extra jolt of acidity. This has minerality but with an edge, nothing buttery about this Chardonnay. You will get a lot apple and pear fruit which comes from the 10% Riesling. But it makes this wine interesting and food friendly. Food pairing for this wine can go to a few places.  You can do rich fish like salmon or tuna, and, you can do pork, chicken or fresh vegetable dishes (vegetarian).

2nd Bottle Red: Bodegas Albamar 2017 “Fusco” Mencia, Ribeira Sacra DO

For the wine snob: 100% Mencia Grape, The Alba family owns about 2.5 hectares but also sources from about 10 hectares spread throughout the region. Their winery and land is close to the Atlantic Ocean, near the mouth of the Umia River in the heart of Galicia’s Rías Baixas. The old-vine Mencia is sourced from about 1.5 hectares planted on terraced slopes composed of slate soil. The old vines are located around Chantada in the Lugo part of Ribeira Sacra. Xurxo Alba farms as naturally as possible.

For the rest of us: Showing ripe and grapey aromas, the 2018 Fusco is a very primary Mencía that was bottled unoaked to show the raw character of the grape. It’s juicy and bold, with berry and herb aromas and flavors, a soft texture and nice fruit showcases the area and grape. This would be good to pair with game, such as venison or elk.

2nd Bottle White: Paradigm Rose of Merlot Oakville, Napa Valley, CA 2019

For the wine snob: 100% Merlot grapes, Paradigm consists of four contiguous parcels totaling fifty acres. Paradigm is a self-contained winery estate; including fifty acres of vineyard, the winery, two homes, a warehouse, a barn, and an acre of olive trees. We pick by hand, we sort our fruit by hand in the field and at the conveyer, we pumpover by hand, we do not run to the computer first thing in the morning during harvest…we meticulously go from tank top to tank top and smell each tank.

For the rest of us: First you noticed the great light rose petal color of this wine. The aromatics of the wine is fresh and clean you will get cranberries, strawberry and some pomegranate fruitiness. Crisp acidity and flavors that match the aromas carry the wine across the palate, but has a heavier body and dry. Pair this wine with fresh salads, grilled chicken, tuna or a cheese board.

1st Reserve Bottle Red: Martha Stoumen Nero d’Avaloa 2018 Mendocino County, CA

For the wine snob: 100% Nero d’Avola, only 565 cases produced. Although originally from Sicily, Nero d’Avola is one of California’s future classics. With depth, tannin, and acidity to age, this grape thrives here. We are one of less than a handful of CA producers, but others are planting this warm climate variety as we speak. Stoumen, also has the oldest Nero d’Avola vines in California at 33 years old in Mendocino County.

For the rest of us: Destemmed, fermented in concrete tank until dry. Pressed and put to neutral barrel on lees. After 12 months: racked off lees, vineyard components blended, and put back to barrel for a total of 18 months barrel aging. Bright acidity and red and black fruits are balanced with approachable dusty tannins , still young with enough acidity to be aged for the next upcoming years. Grilled steak, roasted duck breast or hard cheeses will pair well with this California Nero d’Avola.

1st Reserve Bottle White: Maison en Belles Lies 2018 Santenay Blanc AOC

For the wine snob:  100% Chardonnay from Burgundy. Fruit is harvested by hand from biodynamically farmed vines. Chardonnay grapes are direct pressed. Fermentation occurs spontaneously in barriques with indigenous yeast. The wine is aged for 16 months in barriques sur lie with no bâttonage. As for the name Belles Lies, it derives from a practice developed by 17th century monks who would dry their barrels and rub them with the lees from the previous vintage. A fitting technique for a vigneron who is yielding pure, traditional translations of place. Pierre Fenals biodynamically farms and uses no sulfur, no commercial yeast, no chaptalization, no additives, no fining and no filtration. Each vineyard parcel gets its own fermentation vat; normally stainless steel for whites and old oak for the reds. Fenals lets his red grapes macerate whole for one lunar cycle before pressing them, picking them during a rising moon and then pressing when it sets. He macerates whole bunches, never de-stemming his reds. He uses natural corks that have been branded with a hot iron instead of printed with ink; he says that the ink changes the flavor of the wine.

For the rest of us: A golden color with appealing citrusy notes like lemon custard as well as white flowers that also follows through on the palate with hints of nuttiness. Great balance of acidity and minerality which makes this a great wine for food as well as by itself. I’d pair this with seafood like lobster, salmon, soft-medium distinct cheeses, pasta with white sauce or pâté.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Familia Bonfanti Alpha Malbec 2015

For the wine snob: 100% Malbec, Familia Bonfanti is a third generation family winery located in the Perdriel sub-region of Lujan de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. The estate dates back to 1915 when the grandfather planted the first vineyard to Malbec. In 2005 the family completed the construction of it’s gravity fed, micro winery located on the property. The winery owns two small vineyards; one in Perdriel, Lujan de Cuyo, planted to Malbec, and the other in Barrancas, Maipu planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

For the rest of us: This 100% hand selected Malbec comes from the 85 year old estate vineyard of Perdriel in the sub- region of Mendoza. Lush, rich, ripe fruit of crushed strawberries and blackberries notes with hints of anise and spices that evolve into a smooth and balanced finish medium to full body with fine tannins. This Malbec can be paired with meaty dishes like Lamb, Bolognese or Beef.