We’re looking for summertime bargains this week, following my “zagger” philosophy: If everyone else is “zigging,” I’m looking for higher quality at lower prices by “zagging.” It doesn’t always work, but this week it works for me.
An important announcement about the August eWine Sampling: It will be at Cajun’s Wharf Ponchartrain Room, bringing back our always popular Winery of the Month tasting. This month we’ll sample wines from Ron Bunnell’s most recent releases, called RiverAerie (that means “Eagles’ Nest.” Ron and Susan live in Washington’s Columbia River Valley, plus the newly arrived 2005 Bunnell “vif” and another new Bunnell Blend called “a pic” (each app. $35 retail). Cost is $15 per person and includes a cheese table from Little Rock’s exciting new downtown establishment, Copper Grill & Grocery, 300 Third St.—innovative restaurant and takeout with various and sundry upscale grocery items next door and one of the city’s most impressive cheese selections. I’m asking for, but not exactly requiring, reservations. Just call me at (501) 529-5993….just so we’ll have enough wine and cheeses, handouts, etc.
Friday at 11:30 a.m. you can hear my weekly radio program, The Wine Show, KABF FM 88.3 Little Rock. Around the state and around the globe, you can hear it live on the internet or download it for later. There’s a link from my web site www.brucecochran.com, or go to www.kabf883.org
That’s it for this week, so open the attached eWine “mini lesson and locally available recommended wine”, or read on if you have a Fayetteville Free Weekly, and
Taste something good this week!
Torrontes is one of those wine grapes that is little known here but much loved in its native home. While originally from Spain, though little grown there today, torrontes is Argentina’s most popular white wine.
It’s becoming better known here in the United States, but it’s still eclectic enough to have a great price. Rarely does an Argentine Torrontes cost more than $10 or so.
And it’s gaining fans, who, like myself, enjoy its flowery nose and softly spicy taste. It’s somewhat similar to a gewürztraminer. It’s also very versatile, being good with spicy foods, mild cheeses or alone. I like to pour it for diverse groups of people, as this style tends to appeal to wine veterans and novices alike. A lot of wines don’t, but torrontes is very people friendly, and makes a fun aperitif or surprise wine.
Torrontes is grown in Argentina’s most famous wine region, Mendoza, though some of the best ones come from the Salta province farther north.
The arid Andes foothills make organic farming easier, and there’s a big movement toward this. There’s also a trend toward higher elevation vineyards. All are irrigated from Andean mountain snowmelt, through a complex, five hundred year-old series of channels and small canals.
Some of the good Mendoza bottlings available locally include Lo Tengo, Norton and La Terza. Don Rodolfo is from Salta province. (Retail: Around $10)
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