TOP 5 WINES
If you are familiar with our TOP 5 wines format, just skip to the wine reviews below.
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 at the 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.
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 introduce 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.
TOP 5 WINES
TASTE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL
When guests ask if I ever miss working as a sommelier in Las Vegas,
I answer, of course, because I miss the opportunity to
TASTE NEW WINES EVERY DAY!
Distributors visited daily and introduced me to winemakers,
brand managers, and winery owners from all over the world.
They would open bottles from obscure regions, tiny producers,
and small allocations other wine professionals or customers
might never have the opportunity to taste.
I know how blessed I was in my career to not only begin
in such a world class position, but also now as a
seasoned veteran with her own wine store and lounge.
A major focus for me here at SOMM Wines is to give back!
Both locally, by offering Fairfield products-
Fishback & Stephenson Ciders
Jefferson County Ciderworks Ciders
Pickle Creeks Herbs Olive Oils & Balsamic Vinegars
Spring Sunrise Ghee
internationally, by offering wines our guests might not have
the chance to purchase in any other wine store.
This is the reason I named the store SOMM!
We should all have the opportunity to taste
like a professional sommelier.
1. Von Winning, Riesling Extra Brut,
Pfalz, Germany NV- $35.99
If there is one thing you should know about me by now-
I LOVE GERMAN WINE!
This stunning example from Von Winning is a sparkling dry Riesling.
Yes, I said sparkling. Yes, I said dry. Riesling, like many other varietals, can be made still or sparkling, and to a variety of ripeness levels or sweetness. This effervescent version encapsulates all of the joys of a dry Riesling-
little to no residual sugar, tropical stone fruits,
earthy limestone and river rock.
Add to that a shot of bubbliscousness (yes, I made that up)
and you may have the perfect aperitif.
It is my absolute favorite wine to pair with sushi!
It cuts through tight hand rolls and elevates sashimi.
2. Tikves, "Belo Special Selection,"
Sopot, North Macedonia 2020- $22.99
This white wine screams
Belo, Macedonian for "white," is a refreshing blend of the
indigenous varietal Smederevka, with Riesling, Marsanne, and Roussanne.
Tikves is the oldest winery in Macedonia, established in 1885, but do not discount their modern workings. The winery farms organically and sustainably, along with the use of solar panels for renewable energy.
The wine is crisp, ethereal almost with its high acidity and floral components. It begs the palate for another taste. A master taster would dissect this wine for hours... it opens up to more layers as it sits in the glass.
3. Rainer Sauer, Silvaner Trocken,
Franken, Germany 2016- $28.99
I know, I know... back to Germany.
This wine is a perfect example why I am such a champion for German wines. So many indigenous varietals were overlooked by importers years ago, chasing that Riesling high. I'm so thrilled that The German Wine Collection, headed by my friend Jenna Fields, is continuing the work of Rudi Wiest, now retired and forever a great friend of ours and German producers. These wines deserve the spotlight for many reasons, but I'll stick to this singular example. Silvaner grows predominately in the Franken region of Germany and has held royalty status amongst growers for centuries. It is silky, inviting, acidic, and layered with stone fruit, melon, and minerality perfect for any occasion.
It dances on the tongue yet shows its age well.
4. Arendsig, "Inspirational Batch 3," Chenin Blanc,
Robertson, South Africa 2020- $32.99
This lush beauty is a crowd pleaser from the wine gods.
Guests looking for a slightly sweet, soft caress are equally intrigued as the serious white wine lover imbedded in the appreciation of the Chenin Blanc varietal. Chenin Blanc is another grape that can be made into a still or sparkling wine and with a varying degree of sweetness. In this instance, the wine has a been made from a single plot with minimal intervention and native yeasts. Although the owner/winemaker is fifth generation on this land, he is the first to bottle his own wine! It burst with honeysuckle, white stone fruits, and a honey texture that lasts for minutes. This is a great example of a family-run winery with dedication to detail.
5. Stolpman, "So Fresh-Crunchy Roastie," Syrah/Viognier,
Santa Barbara County, CA 2021- $26.99
Do you ever serve a red wine chilled?
This is not a trick question, rather an introduction into something entirely new! When wines are allowed to start fermenting BEFORE OR WITHOUT pressing the grapes, the process is called Carbonic Maceration and produces a juice so fresh it can be bottled and sold much faster than traditional reds. The addition of the white varietal Viognier to this wine lifts the palate and flavors even higher, allowing this wine to be best served slightly chilled. Enjoy flavors of cranberry, blueberry, herb, and refreshing acidity with or without food. This is a Saturday afternoon kind of wine!
THANK YOU FOR READING MY LATEST INSTALLMENT OF
TOP 5 WINES
Read the other posts on the
SOMM Tasting Journal blog!