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TOP 5 Wines for January 2022

Anyone who has met me knows I am a HUGE John Cusack fan.

The height of my crush was in the late 1990's. He was in his peak of his acting career...and single! My college roommates and I were such dedicated future-girlfriends that some nights before bed, we would kiss our poster of John, featured in the film Grosse Point Blank,

and whisper "goodnight." Sorry ladies, the cat is so out of the bag.

I'll make it up to you later.

Another favorite John Cusack movie of ours is High Fidelity.

His character Rob, a constant flirt and reluctant record shop owner,

tries to win back his current ex-girlfriend throughout the movie.

While pursuing his ex, he decides to visit his Top 5 ex-girlfriends of all time.

It's raw, accurate, and lovely. Did I mention the soundtrack kicks ass?!

Right about now, you're saying, "Krista, what does this have to do with wine?"

It's simple. John's character Rob constantly creates his lists of Top 5...

Top 5 songs for the day, Top 5 records of all time, and Top 5 worst breakups.

It's his way to categorize and I guess quantify his own history.

In the end of the film, he creates a record label called Top 5 Records.

I'm creating Top 5 Wines.

Each month, I will throw up my Top 5.

It may be by varietal, country, or producer. Read and find out.

Maybe I'll even discuss an ex-boyfriend or two?! Probably NOT.

So, now that we all know why we are reading this, how shall we start?

As John says in the movie...I'm feeling kind of basic today.

And yes, I'm listening to the High Fidelity soundtrack as I write this!


that I am excited about right now.

1. Pietro Caciorgna, "Guardoilvento," Etna Rosso, Sicily 2017- $32.99/bottle

This wine is as mysterious as a new lover. The nose is exquisite. Herbaceous basil, eucalyptus, and fresh mint. It's almost medicinal, as in it may heal you after one glass. The palate is a very different experience. The herbaceousness folds into tart red fruit, with medium plus acidity. I'm searching for the usual tell-tell volcanic soil prevalent in Mt. Etna fruit.

It's dormant, but that intrigues me. I'm sure there is some whole-cluster pressing involved, hence the green notes. If that confuses you, read my blog posting about whole-cluster wines!

2. Domaine Drouhin, "Arthur," Chardonnay, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2018- $45.99/bottle

As in the afore mentioned love affair, sometimes a little time is all you need. This gorgeous Burgundian style, winter-weight white wine from the French powerhouse family Drouhin unfolds in the glass layer after layer. The tart acidic green apple of its youth has transformed into a caramel covered honey crisp with notes of ripe lemon tart and crust.

It's focused and voluptuous.

3. Heitz Cellar, "Lot C-91," Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016- $99.99/bottle


Sometimes, 50 years is the right amount of time needed in between bottlings!

The Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon is an homage to the 50 years Heitz has been making estate fruit Cabernet Sauvignon. The last bottling of Lot C-91 was in 1969 by Joe Heitz himself. Personal side note- I'm stoked it's a 2016...I am collecting birth year wines for my kiddo and this should age beautifully for her 21st birthday.

4. MASI, "Costasera," Amarone Della Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy 2016- $65.99/bottle

Speaking of birth year wines...

The Boscaini family has cellared reserve bottles of special vintages,

like birth years and anniversaries, dating back to the 19th century.

I have had the pleasure of enjoying several bottles of this very wine

dating back to the 1960's...with Celine Dion's family! Yes, there is a story there!

This 2016 vintage is full of flavor.

The Amarone process is what makes this wine bold and unique-

Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes (aka Three Sisters of the Veneto)

are laid out on bamboo racks to dehydrate over the winter months.

This adds a concentration to the remaining sugars and flavor components.

The wine is fermented dry, but shows rich flavors of coffee, nut,

scorched earth, berry, and dried fruits.

Amarone holds up incredibly well to full flavored dishes and time in bottle.

Drink now, or hold for a special occasion!

5. Domaine Bitouzet - Prieur, "Bourgogne," Blanc, Burgundy, France 2018- $39.99

As with my love of John Cusack, I am equally confident you know

of my love of Burgundy wines. The Chardonnay grape shines in this climate and terroir. Collectors spend millions of dollars chasing the ultimate balanced expression of fruit and earth.

I hunt for the best value wines to share with customers. This bottle is a treasure.

Fruit is partially sourced from Meursault, my personal favorite site for Chardonnay.

(Feel free to read up on my Meursault obsession in my blog.)

This adds the complexity and minerality, lifting the bright fruit right out of the glass.

FRESH does not begin to explain the vibrancy of the acidity and structure.

It's a downright steal for the price.

There they are...

the TOP 5

of January 2022.

Feel free to call/email/text

any questions or comments.

I hope to share a glass

with you soon!

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