rosé, Uncategorized

Do you drink pink?

IMAG3674Normally, we would feel like we were just settling in to summer… but it seems like every year, our summer starts a little earlier.  Whether its the anticipation of  fresh rosé arriving, or the weather changing sooner (like a June summer!  What?) or the anticipation of vacations! Either way, we are seeing an increase in people that drink pink every year and we are thrilled.  Rosé isn’t what it used to be.  It’s not your grandma’s jug in the fridge (not that there’s anything wrong with that Grandma! <wink>).  We see rosé coming from all over the world now and at many different price levels. So the two questions we hear all the time are…does price matter and is darker really sweeter?

Here’s the thing. Don’t be afraid of affordable wine! Sure. Price CAN matter. But as with anything, you can find a great wine to fit your budget. And when the occasion allows itself, you can surely find one to spoil your palate.  We are firm believers in quality to price ratio.  And we truly believe you can find an affordable every day Rosé and you can find that incredible pale Tavel you keep hearing about, and splurging on it…is ok!

‘Its dark! It must be sweet!”. We’ve heard this countless times and sure. Some of the dark rosé’s are sweeter. But its not always the rule. If you aren’t sure, check the alcohol level…the color comes from skin contact, so its not always a sure fire way to know. Look for a rosé over 12%…

But.  When in doubt…ask us!  That’s what we are here for!  And we love talking about wine!

Here are a few favorite’s this season:

Esquin Exclsive: 2014 Clos Alivu Rosé, Corsica ~ $18.99/bottle

Hot Seller: 2014 La Spinetta Rosato, Italy ~ $19.99/bottle

Fresh off the boat!: 2014 Serpolet  Rosé, France ~ $12.99/bottle (this sexy little bottle come in…well, just that!  a little bottle!  375ml available for only $9.99! 

Esquin’s Rhapsody of Rosé Sampler: 6 bottles to try! only $59.99

 

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red wine, Uncategorized, Washington

A Twist on Washington Red Wine: Comparing Cork and Screwcap

Hogue Genesis Merlot 2003
The cork versus screwcap debate gets most contentious when talking about how red wine will age when sealed under one closure versus the other. So it was a rare treat to be invited to attend a seminar hosted by Hogue Cellars to taste five bottles of 2003 Hogue Genesis Merlot, each sealed under a different closure. How, at 8 years of age, would each red wine fare? (Read my previous post to see how Hogue’s screwcap-sealed Riesling performed starting with the 2004 vintage.)

After sampling the red wine in glasses A-E we found out what kind of closure was used to seal the bottle:

  • A: Saranex* screwcap (with nitrogen dosing)
  • B: Saranex screwap (no nitrogen dosing)
  • C: Synthetic cork (low oxygen ingress)
  • D: Natural cork
  • E: Synthetic cork (moderate oxygen ingress)

*Saranex is a barrier film that is more oxygen-permeable than a tin liner.

My favorite? The Merlot in D, sealed with a natural cork. As Co Dinn, Director of Winemaking for The Hogue Cellars, stated, it showed “how well cork can do when you get a good one.” Even though we were discussing Hogue’s shift to 100% screwcap closures with their 2009 vintage, this was not an exercise in cork-bashing and Co’s respectful attitude and thoughtful critique of a variety of closures was much appreciated.

My least favorite was the Merlot in Glass A.  It just tasted flat. Which seemed to confirm Hogue’s decision not put any nitrogen in the headspace (area between wine and closure). The red wine needs that extra oxygen for development of secondary characteristics over time. As far as B, C, and E, they all had qualities I enjoyed and good balance between tannin and fruit; D and A just happened to stand out for reasons good and not-so-good, respectively.

Rather than looking at this issue as a battle between cork and screwcap, I found myself most intrigued about the research that Hogue did into finding the right screwcap and accounting for variables (such as sulfur level, addition or omission of nitrogen, and measuring oxygen ingress) to fine-tune the process to enable a red wine to age properly. If you really want to nerd out, there is much more information about Hogue’s screwcap study. (Including spider graphs! Which just sound cool.)

So how do you feel about putting reds sealed with a screwcap in your cellar?

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Italy, Uncategorized, wine

VINO 2011: Italian Wine Discoveries

vino 2011 day 1 002
Greetings from VINO 2011 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, a wine conference sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission. How do you navigate a wine tasting with over 80 producers, each pouring multiple wines? Do you try them all? Although tempting (purely in the interest of seeking more wine knowledge, ahem), the answer is no. I did a quick survey of the room and honed in on one target: bubbles. I’ve always loved the wines of Northern Italy for their freshness and purity so it was no surprise that I flipped for the sparkling wines of Maso Martis from the Trento region. Pure, elegant, and crisp, I found a lot to love from the Brut, Brut Rosé, and the Brut Riserva.

Maso Martis

The sparkling wines of Maso Martis and Alessandra Caroni, Export Manager.

Another highlight was a red wine from Talis in Friuli, the Purpureo. It’s a Bordeaux-style bend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve been recently exposed to a ton of red wine that has been lavishly slathered with oak, so it was a great change of pace to drink a red that tasted of fruit and varietal character(s) rather than oak. I guessed that the Purpureo was unoaked, but it turns out it gets a brief stay in the barrel. But don’t confuse unoaked with wimpy; it had plenty of tannin to balance the fruit. I wish I just could have walked off with the bottle, headed to the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria, and curled up in a big chair with only a good book to accompany my wine. (I guess it wouldn’t of hurt to ask if I could have done so, no?)

Mauro Cencig of Talis Wine

Mauro Cencig of Talis Wine shows off the delicious Purpureo.

So what are some of your recent wine discoveries?

Full disclosure: The Italian Trade Commission has provided my transportation and accommodations.

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Uncategorized

Welcome to the Esquin Wine Blog!

South America 192
Greetings, fellow wine lovers! This is Jameson and I am taking the reins of all things blog-related for Esquin Wine Merchants. Before I get started, let me give you a little background about myself.  I moved here from Chicago (where I dabbled in the food and wine industries) almost six years ago to pursue my desire to work in the wine business full-time. And I haven’t looked back since. Here’s what you can expect to find here:

  • Passion and enthusiasm about wine
  • Lots of food and wine talk, with an emphasis on pairings
  • A love of all esoteric and unusual wines from Picpoul to the Puget Sound
  • Loads about Washington wine
  • Unwavering desire to see more regular sparkling wine and Champagne consumption
  • Interviews with local, national, and international wine personalities
  • Dispatches from vineyards and wineries near and (fingers crossed) far
  • Notes about restaurants from the humble to the fancy
  • Beer. Yes, beer. Occasionally. As any winemaker will tell you, it takes a lot of beer to make a good wine.

Here’s what you won’t find here:

  • Superior, snobby, elitist attitudes about wine
  • The word “seamless” and all other worthless wine descriptors
  • Lackadaisical, sporadic updates by robots

Please let me know what you would like to see and read about; I appreciate all praise, kudos, flattery, constructive criticism, and glancing blows. Cheers, everybody!

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