Author: Grant Henry

Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino

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Name for me something that is under-appreciated, relatively unknown, offers amazing quality . . . and comes in a bottle. You were going to say something about your singing when you’re belting out show tunes in the car, until you read that last bit, right? But I said “bottle,” so clearly I’m talking about the…

d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Red

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With an aromatic nose of ripe red berries, and a hint of baking spices and white pepper, d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Red is a medium-bodied blend is a great burger wine. On the palate, the wine shows red currant, raspberries, ripe plum, a bit of licorice, and velvety soft tannins. The fruitiness from the Aussie-style Grenache and…

2010 Zaca Mesa Estate Syrah

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Greg’s Santa Maria Style oven-barbecued tri-tip demands a Santa Maria Valley wine, right? Yes, and I’ll get to that in a minute. However, I’m selecting the 2010 Zaca Mesa Estate Syrah, from the nearby Santa Ynez Valley. This fruit-forward wine, with flavors of ripe red and black berries, is a very accessible wine.  Smokey oak and a hint…

2011 Qupé Central Coast Syrah

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Qupé Central Coast Syrah. When Greg asked me to come up with a wine pairing for his delicious Grilled Sirloin Medallions with Charred Figs and Gorgonzola, I happily agreed. You see, as a “wine guy” I’m asked to pair food and wine frequently, but strangely, I’m rarely asked to pair wine with steaks. That’s probably…

Val de Mer Crémant de Bourgogne Non-Dosé NV

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Val de Mer Crémant de Bourgogne Non-Dosé NV This elegant sparkling wine from the highly-regarded Chablis winemaker Patrick Piuze is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. The nose is pure Chablis: crisp green apple and chalkboard. The finish is fairly long and toasty, with an assertive yet fine, velvety mousse. In between, the palate boasts lush…

Locations I-1 Italian Red Wine

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The “I” stands for Italy with this interesting blend of Negroamaro, Nero d’Avola and Barbera grape varieties. Crimson red in color, it opens with aromas of raspberries, plum and dried lavender. The flavor profile is one of lush berry compote, with hints of warm spices and lavender flavors standing out. This is a juicy wine,…

2012 WillaKenzie Pinot Blanc

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WillaKenzie Pinot Blanc is an estate grown white wine from Oregon’s Willamette Valley and is made from 100% Pinot Blanc grapes. It has a pale yellow hue with medium concentration, and little variation on the rim. It offers moderate yet enticing aromas of pear, melon, citrus and green apples, with perhaps a touch of orange…

2010 Illuminati Riparosso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

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Illuminati Riparosso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is deep ruby red in color, with aromas of dark red fruit, smoke and spice. With surprisingly intense ripe cherry and raspberry flavors, it’s not entirely typical of many wines from this region, which is a good thing. Yet the wine finishes with old-world elements, including licorice, leather and tar. These…

2011 Artezin Zinfandel Mendocino County

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Bright red fruits, especially raspberry and pomegranate, are the prominent aromas in this classically-styled Artezin Zinfandel from California’s Mendocino County. The flavors, however are mostly dark fruits, followed by nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. I love how these spices tie into the flavors of the Pork’s spicy chutney, and though rich and round, the wine’s…

2012 Gundlach Bundschu Gewurztraminer

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Gundlach Bundschu Gewurztraminer is a pale gold-tinted wine that is highly fragrant, with exotic fruit and spice aromas. Lychee, orange peel, pear and floral aromas and flavors are prominent, but the spice elements such as ginger and coriander interest me more. This Alsatian-style wine’s spiciness marries perfectly with the coriander in Greg’s Duck Breast dish,…