Whew! We are in Anniversary Sale mode around here these days, and that means there is currently an abundance of great wine at great prices that will leave one shaking their head as to what to buy given all the choices. Take a stroll through the Rhone or Burgundy sections here, and you will see some incredible deals! We just sent out an email about our Bordeaux on sale with my top 10 picks amongst those. Being on a strict budget keeps me from jumping too high for those bigger ticket items, but hey, a sale like this has stuff for everybody. What would you say if I told you that we have a Super Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese which has just opened its drinking window, showing ever so nicely, reduced in price from $22 to $13.95??? We do!!!

As most of you know, the majority of wines we import and carry in our shop are from France. Funny coincidence, I love French wine! It’s so easy for me to grab a bottle of French wine on my way out the door whether I’m going to a friend’s house, or chez moi to cook up a little din din. But contrary to what my best friend believes, I am not confined to a particular region, grape, or nation of origin.Long before I began to discover the wines of France (save Bordeaux, of course), I was a regular consumer of Italian wine. I gravitate to the wines of Italy for much the same reason as I do French; character. I look for wines that have something more to offer beyond fruit extract and alcohol. One will find far more complexity in a wine made in a subtle, elegant style. They pair better with food, and are fun to talk about. I hate saying things like this, let alone writing them, but here goes: When asked once by a friend where she should go for a first time trip to Europe, I asked her if she liked food and wine. She said yes.I said go to Italy. I know, I know. But I mean it … still. France is no slouch, mind you; but here, try this. Go to a cafe in France, ask for a glass of wine and see what happens. You’ll get your wine, but probably nothing else. Do the same thing in Italy, and you’ll get your wine alright, but something to eat too. And in many cases the food will be the bomb!

We have been importing the wines (and olive oil) from Tuscan producer Enrico Pierazzuoli for well over a decade. There’s a reason for that. We know a good thing when we see one. Or in this case, taste one. The Carmignano is a blend of 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 80% Sangiovese. When released, this 2005 blockbuster was big and tight, but you just knew that a little time would make a big difference. Well, that time has come. The wine is delightfully sanguine in appearance, and that nuance does not end there. Strong notes of iron high-five the brooding Cabernet Sauvignon fruit on the nose, the palate is firm, but medium bodied, and the finish is harmonious with notes of spice hailing a ride from the iron Cab. It’s meatiness makes it the perfect wine to pop with that herbal roast of … of … of whatever you want to roast, really. This wine retails for $22. Now at $13.95, this is the best sub $15 bottle in our sale!

This wine is certainly not to be missed, but it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our Anniversary Sale! There are deals all over our shop; so pop in, check us out online, or give a call for recommendations. We’re here to help!

Tomorrow morning brings the first league match-up between the Chelsea and Manchester United football clubs. Kick-off is at 8:00 AM PDT. I’ll see y’all down at the Mad Dog In The Fog! –Peter Zavialoff