Friday, January 30, 2009

This Week at River City Cellars

Hello Everybody!

Don't forget about our big event coming up on Thursday, February 26th! That's right, in honor of Virginia Wine Week we're hosting something a fantastic night of Barboursville Wine, 1 North Belmont Food AND RCC Cheese! Call 804.355.1375 for details.


ps: A great piece on The Virginia Wine Expo and Barboursville Vineyards will hit the paper in two weeks, so sign up before we sell out!

Free Wine Tasting
Friday, January 30th, 5-7pm: Piedmont, Italy!
(Peter's Notes)

While each of Italy's twenty regions produce wine, the Piedmont region, even more so than Tuscany, is considered by many to be the best wine producing region in the country. Located in the rolling hills and Alpine stretches of northwestern Italy, Piedmont has more designated wine zones(called Denominazioni di Origine Controllata or DOC's) than any other region in Italy. Ranging from exuberantly perfumed, low-alcohol sparklers such as Moscato d'Asti to ageworthy, majestic reds such as Barolo and Barbaresco, the wines of Piedmont offer an incredible variety of aromas, textures and food-pairing possibilities (especially for heartier, winter-friendly fare). This Friday, I'll provide a vinous overview of Piemontese wines as I sample out five wines from this famous region. Here's the lineup this week:

Fratelli Ponte 2007 Roero Arneis: Crisp yet aromatic, this dry white wine has aromas that remind one of various citrus fruits with hints of freshly cut fennel and mint thrown in. Elegant and compelling!

Andrea Oberto 2007 Barbera d' Alba: Located in the Barolo subzone of La Morra, this small, family-run producer also makes other outstanding Piemontese wines including this full-bodied red that has flavors that recall dried cherries, freshly-turned earth, and cedar.

Renzo Seghesio 2007 Dolcetto d'Alba "Pajana": Made by the Barolo house, Renzo Seghesio, this single-vineyard Dolcetto is full-bodied with ripe plum-like flavors as well as hints of woodsmoke and espresso.

Ferrando 2007 Canavese Rosso: Located in the northwestern corner of Piedmont, near the town of Carema, Luigi Ferrando makes complex and supremely well-balanced wines including this dry red made largely from Nebbiolo with a smaller component of Barbera. Tarry, herbal, spicy, and understated fruit elements mesh together in this intriguing, definitively Piemontese wine.

Paolo Saracco 2008 Moscato d'Asti: While many Piemontese producers make Moscato d'Asti almost as an afterthought within a portfolio based largely on full-bodied, dry reds, Paolo Saracco actually focuses on making this ethereal, off-dry sparkling white wine with peach and floral aromas.

Don't forget to bring your own glass, unless you like health-department mandated plastic medicine cups!

(Sara's notes)
Howdy Cheese People!
Ah, Mimolette! Everyone's favorite, edible cannonball is thankfully back in the shop! Pockmarked and ugly on the outside (due to many a minuscule mites munching mandibles, I might mysteriously mention) -- but marvelously delicious and most tasty within -- this shockingly orange, 18-month aged, French cow's milk just might be heir to the Aged Gouda throne! You do remember how much I love the Aged Gouda, right? Well, this cheese is similar in concentration and vibrancy -- but different in a je ne sais quoi kind of way. Delicious!

We also have several pounds of Morbier meandering in our direction, back by popular demand! This French, cow's milk cheese with its tell-tale stripe of vegetable ash down the middle is rich, creamy, nutty, and aromatic. But despite its washed rind stinkiness, it is mostly mild on the inside and it melts most magically!

If you couldn't tell already, this cheesemail was brought to you by the letter M! In addition to the above mentioned, I also have Manchego, Manchego with Rosemary, Munster, Midnight Moon, Mahon, (St.) Marcellin, Mousse Royale, and many, many more!

Buon VAppetito! Thursday, February 26th, 5-7pm
Did you know that Chef Frits Huntjens of 1 North Belmont makes house calls? Sort of.

He'll march down the block on Thursday, February 26th to RCC's event space for a night of extraordinary hors d'oeuvres, fantastic fromages and Virginia vino. You're invited!

A Champagne Sabering with The Modern Gentleman (wine & spirits author/raconteur Jason Tesauro) kicks-off a splendid tasting on the eve of the Governor's Cup and the VA Wine Expo. Guests will enjoy a standing affair with a dazzling array of Frits' fare, Sara's savory cheese selections and mingling wine lovers as we sip highlights from Barboursville Vineyards, Virginia's most honored winery*:

On the docket:
Brut NV - house sparkler for the Inn at Little Washington
Viognier Reserve 2006 - unoaked and reminiscent of the classics from Condrieu
Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006 - Old-world inspired cabernet
Octagon 8th Edition 2005 - elegant Bordeaux blend that is the most decorated wine in the state
Malvaxia Passito 2005 - hand-crafted, vin santo-style dessert wine.

Reservations required. Cost is $35 per person, all-inclusive. Must be 21+ to attend. Please call 804.355.1375 to reserve (space is limited).

*Octagon was served at the Inaugural Dinner...natch'.

(Peter's notes)
La Sauvageonne 2007 Coteaux du Languedoc "Les Ruffes"
Produced in the South of France, this full-bodied red, made from Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault, has aromas dominated by riper cherries, smoky-meaty notes as well as all manner of spices. A generous wine at a fabulous price!
$13.99 per bottle.

Want a taste?
We have one open for you!

(David's notes)
Okocim Porter
Lately it has been cold, rainy, and just plain miserable, rather like a nice day in Northern Europe. So why not drink a great Polish beer... Okocim (I think it's pronounced O-ko-chim) Porter is a Baltic style porter. Though English porters introduced the style to Central and Eastern Europeans, the brewers in these areas lager the beer. This makes for a slightly lighter, and maybe a little sweeter beer that generally has a good bit more alcohol. Stop on by, we'll have one open for sampling all week...

Southern Tier
"Back Burner" Barleywine Style Ale

Arcadia Ales
"Hop Mouth"
Double IPA