1st Bottle Red: Fitapreta Vinhos Tinto 2018

For the wine snob: 40% Aragones, 30% Trincadeira, 30% Alicante Bouschet makes up this great wine. Three of the Alentejo’s regions most familiar grape varieties—Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez and Trincadeira—go into this warm, rich and southern-feeling wine. Fitapreta is the culmination of a partnership between a young, dynamic Portuguese winemaker and a British-born viticulturist, dedicated to a new examination of terroir in the Alentejo.

For the rest of us: Ripe fruits, vanilla and potpourri on the deeply perfumed nose. Smooth and sweet on entry and then tighter in the midpalate, offering bitter cherry, blueberry flavors and hints of vanilla with fine tannins. I would pair this with rack of lamb, short rib or charcuterie.

1st Bottle White: 2018 Thevenet & Fils Mâcon Pierreclos Blanc

For the wine snob: 100% Chardonnay, it is half hand harvested and half machine harvested and it’s usually in late September. Most vines range from 40- 60 years, with some above 70 and some young vines under 10. Following partial destemming wine ferments spontaneously in concrete vats for 2-4 weeks. dedicated progeny. The Thevenet family, for three generations, has also conducted a successful nursery business producing fine quality grape vines for many family-owned domains in Burgundy and Champagne.

For  the rest of us: This Chardonnay is light, elegant, and mineral rich from concrete barrels instead of oak. This makes for a crisp refreshing notes that allow you get what the Macon region has to offer. For this wine I would pair it with a white fish, aged cheeses, pastas with an extra virgin olive oil.

2nd Bottle Red: 2018 Bodegas Antidoto Ribera del Duero

For the wine snob: Antídoto is located in the province of Soria, in perhaps the coolest microclimate of the Ribera del Duero. The resulting wines are considerably fresher and more elegant than is typical from the appellation. Ribera del Duero is located in northern Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive from Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back more than 2000 years, it was in the 1980s that 9 wineries applied for and were granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status.

For the rest of us: Bertrand Sourdais is a French winemaker that brings a resemblance style of Northern Rhone to this wine. Notes of ripe black currants, plummy and a nice hint of spice with chalky tannins.  This is a delicious young red. Great for charcuteries, pork dishes and cheeses.

2nd Bottle White: 2018 Ransom Cattrall Vineyard Pinot Gris Eola-Amity Hills

For the wine snob: 100% Certified Organic Grapes, the fruit was whole cluster pressed, settled and racked to a stainless steel tank and a neutral oak barrel. A cool early spring delayed bud break slightly, but warm weather helped the grapes catch up in time to bloom right on schedule in mid-to-late June. While the summer was warmer and quite a bit drier than usual, temperatures topped out in the low to mid-nineties with few extreme heat spikes, setting up a balanced year with great concentration

For the rest of us: Aromas of pear and lemon verbena. The palate offers flavors of crisp lemon zest and apple with a wonderful minerality. The wine finishes with a nice richness and vibrant acidity. This wine would pair well with cured meats, spicy food and pork.

1st Bottle Reserve Red: 2014 Julien Sunier Morgon

For the wine snob: 100% Gamay, The harvest is conducted entirely by hand. A careful selection is done in the vineyard, so that only the grape bunches which will go into the tank are returned to the winery.  Each transport bin is large as well as shallow so that grapes are not crushed in transit. Vines are an average age of 60 years old.

For the rest of us: : Red fruits such as cranberries, cherries are the driving flavors with spices like anise, silky tannins and a earthy undertone with a nice long finish. This wine would pair well with veal, pastas and pork dishes.

1st Bottle Reserve White: 2018 Daniel-Étienne Defaix Chablis Vieilles Vignes

For the wine snob: 100% Chardonnay, an average of 40,000 bottles produced annually. This is a wine of exceptional concentration for a village level appellation. It is always a true expression of the kimmeridgian soils that make Chablis so distinctive. The vines are 45 to 70 years old and the grapes are harvested mechanically and are aged 3 years in stainless-steel tanks.

For the rest of us: This Chablis is wonderfully concentrated with a lively fresh note, followed by a sense of ripe fruit and hints of honey. Neutral oak and lees aging for 12 months add rich complexity to this Chardonnay. The finish is incredibly long and mineral-driven. Pair this with mild soft cheeses, salmon and shellfish.

2nd Bottle Reserve Red: Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvee 2017

For the wine snob: Cris and JoAnn Cherry moved to Paso Robles in 1996 to open a restaurant, partake in the burgeoning wine scene and raise their children in the country. In 2001, they purchased their first grapes to make wine for their restaurant. And so began Villa Creek Cellars, their best expression of west Paso Robles’ Rhone grape varieties.  Today, they farm their own certified biodynamic and certified organic vineyard, the MAHA Estate in the hills west of Paso Robles. They continue to purchase grapes from the region’s most esteemed vineyards and strive to create exciting wines that reflect the land from which they originated.

For the rest of us: 2017 Willow Creek Cuvée is a blend of  70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. It has aromas of plum, red fruits, forest floor, and a hint of smokiness to a generous palate of rich, savory berry tart fruit like strawberries and raspberries. It also has nice spice notes that play well with tannins.