Sometimes, you just want some comfort wine ...

Saturday, December 15, 2018 12:10 PM

Sometimes, you just want some comfort wine ...
The Gates At Domaine St. Remy

Sometimes, you just want some comfort wine ...

It's true that some pretty fancy, special wines are gifted and consumed during the holidays. I have helped many customers find some special bottles for gifts and for themselves. I probably don't need to mention that I am one of those customers! I've been lucky enough to receive some special wines as gifts as well, and for that, I am very grateful.

As a friend of mine regularly says, "There are traditions, but there are no rules." For me, when it comes to special wines, fancy or not, there is one rule:  It must be shared. This is a must. As independent as I tend to be, I do not waver from this rule. I have a handful of wine loving friends with which I share the fancy stuff, but you won't ever see me reach into one of my boxes here and take home a Leoville Las Cases to enjoy with some takeout on a Tuesday. Of course, these friends also have been very generous with me.

There are a couple of occasions on the horizon for which I have an inkling to bring something special, but when the madness of December at TWH simmers at the end of a weekday, I just want to get home and relax, cook up some dinner and have a glass of wine or two. A wine that really does the trick for me is the 2016 Domaine St. Rémy Rosenberg Pinot Noir. It's a special wine in its own right. It's complex, delicious, doesn't cost a lot, and it's pretty versatile.

Coming in just under $20 (mixed case price), I don't feel like I need to share the experience each time I have a glass of it, but hey, I'm in the industry and like to drink complex, delicious wines ... even if I'm going home alone on a Wednesday night. The aromatics are proper - red berries, strawberries even, crushed autumn leaves, forest floor, and a hint of the sauvage. The palate is lightweight and lively, the fruit expressive and the complexity abundant. And though the fruit is a ripe, signature Pinot Noir fruit, there is something unmistakably Old World about this wine. It's dry, there is no perceptible sweetness to it at all. Its versatility is where it really hits home. Though it wouldn't be my first choice with a rib-eye, it is my first choice with a Neapolitan Pizza. In fact, it will work with almost all red sauce based Mediterranean cuisine. It goes great with burgers and pork chops, heck one can even enjoy it with salmon!
Founded in 1725, Domaine St. Rémy is in the Alsatian town of Wettolsheim, just southwest of the region's picturesque showpiece, Colmar. Corinne and Philippe Ehrhart have several holdings in the vicinity, including Grand Crus Brand, Hengst, Schlossberg, and Goldert. Certified organic in 2010, they are now farming biodynamically, and have been certified since 2012. They produce Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Auxerrois, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and they make a sparkling Crémant using Chardonnay. We've been working with the Ehrharts for over 15 years and are happy to be their California importer.

Okay, T minus 10 days until Christmas! For this occasion, we will be open the next two Sundays from 12 noon until 4:00 pm. The weather looks a bit gloomy outside with rain expected tomorrow. I'll be in the shop tomorrow, but after that, it will be back home for dinner and a glass of that delicious, complex, comfort wine:  the 2016 Domaine St. Rémy Rosenberg Pinot Noir! - Peter Zavialoff

Halve at ’em

Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:53 AM


I bet you had a strange feeling all week that there was something special going on but you couldn’t quite pinpoint it, could you?  Ok sure, Monday was the birthday of both Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern (irony anyone?), today was Make Your Dreams Come True Day, and Friday the beloved Bucks will be making anappearance at Oracle Arena.  However, there is something else of note….Something near and dear to my heart.  Yesterday happened to be my half birthday.  That’s right, I’m (cough, garble, mumble something) and a half years old, which makes me a less-than-thrilled-to-be-aging Cancer.  However, instead of moping about this inevitability, I am choosing to celebrate it.  As such, I have made this week all about halves (or half of this week really, since Monday wasPicco night and last night I was recovering from Picco night).  So, I signed up for a half marathon, I incorporated half-moon pose into my yoga practice, I wore my hair in a half ponytail, bought half and half for my coffee, and have only been wearing clothes on the upper half of my body (just kidding!).  Of course, as a wine geek, I also thought it rather apt to open some half bottles of wine, and in doing so, I’ve started a new tradition.

In keeping with the theme, I half-arsed my dinner tonight and ordered take-out from one of my fave little neighborhood Thai joints.  Certainly a delicious way to celebrate getting older and a fine excuse to open a half bottle, which I rarely do these days.  I don’t know why I don’t drink more half bottles.  To say nothing of how practical they are they’re also just kind of cute.  In fact, I’d like to suggest that we all drink more half bottles.  It shouldn’t be difficult seeing as how most notable wine lists have a half bottle section or allow you to BYO(h)B, and on the retail end, TWH has a plethora of fantastic half bottles from which to choose.  Now what was I saying…. Oh right, the goods.

Well, I ordered the spicy green curry with prawns, so I knew I’d need something delicate enough for seafood, round enough for curry, and something to fight the heat.  I also figured Ishould practice what Ipreach…. No brainer = Alsatian Riesling.  So, I picked up a half bottle of the 2006 Ehrhart Herrenweg Riesling.  Fun facts: The Ehrhart family’s winemaking history dates back to 1725 (how many half birthdays is that!?).  They committed themselves to organic farming two generations ago and the wines are currently all certified organic.  They also have a reputation for making outstanding wines that are at once elegant and age-worthy yet have incredibly refreshing minerality and fruit.  That pretty much sums up my opinion as well, but I will elaborate for all you faithful readers out there.

At first whiff, which came to me before I put the glass anywhere near my nose, the pear and green apple notes really stood out.  As I swirled and sat, the mineral components, honeysuckle, apricot, and other exotic fruits & floral notes started to jump out more.  On the palate, I was pleasantly surprised by how much lemon and minerality came through.  It still had a hint of residual sugar, but not as much as I expected.  Although, at 12.5% alcohol, I suppose that makes sense.  Still, the acidity and sugar were nicely balanced- not too sweet, not too racy.  It was also rich enough for the curry, but again, not too unctuous.  Not half bad!  In the end, the only thing that was not in any way a “half” was my belly.  That was quite full.

At some point before my half-birthday week is up, I’d like to hit Swan’s Oyster Depot or Hog Island Oyster Bar for oysters on the half shell because I’ve got a half bottle of 2007 Domaine des Buissonnes Sancerre I’d like to crack open.  That is, unless someone can suggest a better place for oysters in Half Moon Bay….

Emily Crichton

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