Overheard by one of our customers, it has been the neverending summer, which to my mind has meant the neverending glass of Rosé. If I could rebrand AWC it would be called Rosieland, and not just for the indifferent and unflappable Korean bar mistress, Rosie, of the television show M*A*S*H. I love Rosé, our associates can’t keep their hands off it, and you love it as well, as long as it’s not from California.
I was going to mark the end of our ongoing tribute to the pink this weekend as the close of summer fairly much curbs its desirability, even though I personally would drink it in the dead of winter and with a steak–Bandol please. And yet as fate would have it, we have a couple of new additions coming on board starting today. One of our favorite importers of German and Austrian wines, Bill Mayer, showed us two heavy-weight examples from Austria that will segue nicely to our changing schedules, weather and mood, and be a couple of big brothers to our current offering from importer, Rudi Wiest, the light and carefree Rosé of Pinot Noir from Schloss Schonborn of Rheingau.
Not many German Rosés come across our desk, much less Austrian, and this should reward me with a solid Jeff Berlin star (wine buyer of A Cote restaurant in Oakland, and definitely the man of all things off the radar), and give you our loyal customers a unique taste of the pink from the less usual suspects. St. Laurent, Zweigelt, and Blaufrankisch are the grape stars here, the red mainstays of Austria, turned into deeply colored, richly flavored, fleshy and structural Rosés. Flight cost $16.25.
And this is as good a time as any to remind everyone of the impeccable, hand-crafted pates and creamy duck mousse from Scott Brennan of The Fifth Quarter Charcuterie which go all so well with Rosé. $5.75 for one, $14.75 for a sampler of all three. The pork and chicken pate with sour cherries and hazelnuts is back in stock today and well worth trying for the lightness the chicken brings to the pork.
Another rebranding name my daydreams considered was Taste of Portugal. As hokey as it may sound the inspiration is right on; Portuguese wines have never been better and the food stuffs coming from the country equally fly under the radar for superb price to quality ratio. Our representative from HGC Imports, Kevin Hogan, informed me of the unusual fact there is not one Portuguese restaurant in San Francisco, much less a wine bar. We will attempt to make a minor dent in changing that here in the East Bay with a pop-up we are planning in the coming weeks featuring libations and comestibles all things Portuguese.
Such a pop-up will heartily feature the super high quality tinned fish of Portugal. Kevin informed me that if you are ever in a Portuguese wine bar, you will see the shelves lined with all manner of canned seafood which the Portuguese proudly down with a wash of Vinho Verde (don’t forget to check out the Aveleda we have on the tasting menu) and Dao and Douro reds. Along with our Portuguese spiced sardines, please try our two new products from Taste of Portugal, tasty morsels of seafood protein, Squid Stew and Octopus, both in a red sauce. $5.50 each.
Next week we will be offering a Justino Madeira flight, featuring a Colheita ’96 and ’98, and a 5 Years Old Reserve.
This Is Truly The Last Call On Bluxome Street Pinot Noir 2012. $23, Before Case Discount.
I do not think I need to further elaborate on this fruit chockful, unfined and unfiltered Pinot love produced in downtown San Francisco, with grapes hailing from Russian River Valley. Go ahead and ask for a free taste, because you are only going to make it go faster once we have opened the gates and let everyone else taste.
I Am Still Sitting On A Pretty Pile Of Riedel Stemware . . .
. . . namely flutes and Chardonnay coupes. Impress your Labor Day guests with great stemware to add the right impact to that fine wine. I am taking your cost almost down to my cost. Please inquire.
From The Survey . . .
. . . it appears many of you still are not aware AWC is available for special events. I may add to that we are now also available for special food and wine pairing events. We are currently working with a caterer who can handle your specialized culinary needs, while I have the severely hard job of figuring out the vinous potion to pair with each victual. We had the first run of such an event last Saturday to much success. We can handle groups of fifteen to fifty, weather permitting for patio seating. Please call for more details, 510-523-9463.
Karen Is Looking For AWC’s Keystone While Many Of You May Be On The Pursuit Of Some Trim
Which brings me to more new offerings in wine and cheese land this week.
Pinnacoli Primativa Di Manduria 2013, $15.50
Yesterday, I paid the last installment of our possessory interest tax for 2009-2010. Long story. But it got me thinking about taxation and our new wine arrival this week, the antidote to California Zinfandel, Pinnacoli Primativa from Italy’s hot boot heel, Pulgia. The proprietary name of this wine is Terra del Trulli, which refers to the “trulli” or anicent stone dewellings with cone shaped roofs which are topped by “pinnacoli,” symbols of good fortune.
These home were built of fine flat stones, without mortar, and for good reason. Legend goes when the tax man was making his way to the next village, the people would gather up their belongings and remove the crucial keystone. Tax man would witness a pile of rubble and move on. The villagers would then return and rebuild their homes. Tax evasion, 1400s style!
The juice is as good as the story with black fruits dominating and accentuated by wild fennel and thyme aromas and flavors. If you’re a fan of Negroamaro you’ll like this one.
Trim Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, California (Mostly Paso Robles), $12.50
Our ever popular Vampire Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, also at $12.50 and also mostly composed of Paso Robles fruit, has a worthy contender with equally enough interest in the name, for those in the know. AWC associate, Dan, laughed when he saw the label.
“Don’t you know what “trim” is, Karen?”
“I’m just an old-fashioned girl from the midwest.”
Trim refers to a very special part of the female anatomy. Here are a couple of examples of use:
“Man, I’m going to get me some trim tonight!”
“No, you cannot pack my trim in a box and take it with you to San Diego. My trim stays here. At the wine bar. Unused.”
Here is the definitive definition from the Urban Dictionary.
Now, I don’t think this woman exactly exists, but the wine does. Juice sourced by the estimable Ray Signorello of his eponymous winery and made by a Frenchman, you have here a moderate left-bank style Bordeaux, comprised of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot, with no offensive oak, and nice green pepper backbeats of the Merlot to the bright cherry Cabernet Sauvignon. Not an insipid bottle of Cabernet for the small change, but the high production values match the wine’s earnest sentiment; “Everyone deserves a little TRIM now and then.”
Cheese, I Love It!
The ice cream of all cheeses, Vachrousse D’Argental is back in stock, along with the mouse’s wet dream, Old Québec Vintage Cheddar 3-Years Old. Last but not least is one of my favorite cheeses of all time, Jean Roussey Munster Géromé. This is where “trim” has entered my lexicon. “Now, I know this cheese is washed rind, fairing to pungent, veering to stinky with age, and still quite delectable, but I want a trim version. Fresh. As fresh as inherently stinky as fresh can be. If this is not trim, I’m sending right back down the rabbit’s hole. Do you understand me?”
I gave it the Charmin squeeze test and took a sniff. It seems trim. We’re opening it tonight.
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Cheers from the crew at AWC,
Cybele, Julie, Jaclyn, Maura, Dan & Karen