Whether it’s ham or lamb you’re gonna need bottles of both white and red wine to make it through the holiday weekend. These are my favorites for your Easter basket and they’re all open to try this week – plus they’re 10% off by the bottle this week!
Indaba Chenin Blanc $10
Now that Spring’s here, the secret’s out on one of the best white wine values in the shop. Every time it’s been sunny, I’ve cracked a bottle of this gulpable gem and folks can’t help but fall in love. From South Africa and renowned winemaker Bruwer Raats, this is both light and flavorful, with tropical fruits and a nice cut of acidity that makes it very food friendly. For the price, the quality that goes into the bottle – 20+ year old, dry farmed bush vines, sustainably farmed, just a bit of lees aging in old barrels to add a bit of weight and complexity – is remarkable. Definitely grab a few: one for brunch, one for dinner, and one for whenever!
Banyan Gerwurtztraminer $13
I picked this wine as one of the whites in last month’s Flight Club 4-Pack and everyone had the same reaction: “I don’t usually like white wines, but this was great!” Such is the power of organically grown, small production, cool climate Californian Gerwurtztraminer. Fresh and loaded with flavor like golden pear, apricot, and a hint of ginger spice, this a perfect match for any savory charcuterie or spicy dishes. Skateboarder-turned-winemaker Kenny Likitprakong makes some of the grooviest wines in California, and this is perfect for ham or springtime lounging in the hammock.
Jean-Marc Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis $22
If you want a white to match the richness of the foods on the Easter table, you need to think Chardonnay. And if you don’t like Chardonnay, you need to think Chablis! Chablis has all the fruit and body you like in California Chardonnay but with a zestier note that keeps everything fresh and food friendly. This wine runs laps around many white wines at this price. I’m talking two of Burgundy’s finest winemakers (Jean-Marc & Patrick Piuze) and biodynamic farming. I’m talking notes of fresh-cut flowers, juicy citrus and nectarine fruit, crisp green apple, and a bite of chalky minerality. It’s springtime in a bottle – without all the pollen, of course.
Domaine Vetriccie Rosé $10
From the coast of Corsica comes your new favorite springtime sipper. Family-owned and operated since the 60s, Domaine Vetriccie makes wines that are delicious and bright – and I dare you to find a better wine pairing for deviled eggs! Corsican rosé is gaining plenty of attention and drawing comparisons to Provence (and now you can brag to your friends about how you were into Corsican rosé before everyone). This is mouthwateringly crisp, with juicy strawberry fruit and a refreshing bite of lemon zest on the finish. A perfect pairing for ham but you really don’t need any food, just a warm, sunny afternoon and a long straw!
Expression 34 Pinot Noir 10
Expression is an exciting new winemaking project dedicated to producing small amounts of top Pinot Noir from specific AVAs around the west coast. Their Santa Rita Hills “34” Pinot is a knockout that will convert any Pinot Noir naysayer. Just above Santa Barbara, the Santa Rita Hills AVA makes some of California’s most celebrated Pinot Noir and, true to their name, Expression perfectly “expresses” the reasons why. This is rich and packed with flavors of black raspberry and hints of baking spice but is still cool climate Pinot through and through – displaying a lively finish and firm tannins to age this in the cellar. But you’re cooking the good stuff this weekend, so why wait?!
Les Hérétiques Carignan $11
An incredible value from the south of France, this is the perfect table red. People regularly try this on the tasting bar, double-take at the price, then grab as many as they can carry. Traditionally farmed, from 40+ year old vines in Minervois, this is unoaked and has gobs of brambly, red and black berry fruits, and hints of black pepper. With all that fruit and such a clean, bright finish, this is the ultimate warm weather red, absolutely perfect with burgers, pizza, and, of course, lamb. This is one to stock up on for any get-together because one bottle is never enough.
La Posta Malbec-Syrah $14
Laura Catena (of the famed Argentinian winemaking family) put together the La Posta label to showcase the hard work and talents of the many small growers in Mendoza who never received their due because they couldn’t afford the bottle their own wine. “La Posta” refers to “the tavern” where Mendoza’s “vinateros” regularly meet to share their wines, experience and knowledge. This blend brings together meticulously grown malbec (60 percent), syrah (20 percent) and bonarda, which is known in the U.S. as charbono. The fruit was fermented separately and aged for 14 months in a combination of French (70 percent) and American oak barrels. The result is a rich, full-figured red that displays dark fruit flavors judiciously seasoned with notes of violet, tobacco, lightly seared meat and dried herbs. A remarkable value and a must for a rich meal like lamb.