Stormy weather is a great time for wine. Hurricane Sandy, a.k.a. Frankenstorm is poised to do some damage. Thousands are heading for the hills and my advice is simple. Gather much-needed provisions, pack up a case of fine wine and short of clearing out for a land down under, “you better run, you better take cover. ” Remember, don’t drink and fly.
It’s going to be a cold and wet Halloween night on Wednesday. Here are three hearty reds to help you weather and take shelter from the storm.
The history: Virtually extinct and unknown varietal makes a rare VINTAGES appearance
The lowdown: Cariñena from Aragón in Spain produces bold, gritty wines not unlike Garnacha with tougher edges. Five years of age has helped to soften this example
The food match: Veal Scallopini, dinosaur kale, veal jus
Bodegas Pablo Menguante Vidadillo 2007 (293407, $17.95) will be one of the most unique wines you will discover this year. Umbrage of pencil lead, grilled meat and conifer send smoke signals with alluring animal magnetism. Possessive of a Spanish, almost Castanedan alternative consciousness, a wine of strange hallucination. Will warm the storm-ravaged cockles of the heart. 88
The grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Sousao, Tinta Barroca
The history: The Portuguese Douro equivalent to a Southern Rhône blend
The lowdown: Pulls no punches to put hair on your chest
The food match: Cozido Portuguese Stew
Meandro Do Vale Meão 2009 (244731, $22.95, SAQ 11816574, $22.90) with fist raised in defiance shouts “I’m purple and I’m proud.” Structured like Châteauneuf–Du Pape and floral like Montsant, the Meão is a prevailing fashion statement pronouncement in captivating Douro. The mix of grapes make for a Mr. G- like immense chain of linked events, where the most recent aroma or flavour links back to the very first one noted. The linked notes “bind the totality of the wine in a web of interdependence and connectedness.” 90
The grape: Sangiovese
The history: Known as Sangiovese Grosso in Montalcino, Tuscany
The lowdown: This producer continues to over deliver vintage in, vintage out
The food match: Cured Salame and Prosciutto, hard cheeses
Fattoi Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 (33498, $34.95) gives gregariously of cherries smoking in a cedar sweat lodge. Opens its doors at the first knock for a quick peek into its stylish interior then shuts the iron gate tight. The native’s pipe tobacco and roasted game aromas waft out but the wall of tannin is too high to climb. Open the doors hours ahead and the Fattoi will offer up its pleasures. 91
Good to go!