Le Pianate
Un Paio 2016
Umbria Italy
Sagrantino 50%, Sangiovese 30%, Merlot 20%
Winemaker Andrea Trulli
Biodynamic and organic

Pour and it’s a shining ruby star. Inhale and there’s cherries, plums, apple blossoms (just like the ones from the orchard I grew up in), orange, and some earth/smoke. Take a sip and here’s the tart cherries, raspberries, strawberries, a touch of orange, some white pepper and a mix of earth, spice, and butter. Fits like a glove and makes me want more. I have to watch myself because I could totally drink this whole bottle.

Pairs with Cheez-Its: smooth sweetness with a touch of orange peel and flowers

Full disclosure: I stuck to my usual rules, and did not google the winery before the tasting post was finished because I want to write with no outside influence. Afterward, I always like to find out who the winemaker is, what the area looks like, etc. Oh man, was I surprised. I have known Andrea for years. He always mentioned his grapes, but never ever told me the name of his wine. What a kind, sweet, unassuming, and extremely talented guy. Andrea keep up the good work!

@docwineshop @docwinebarny @lepianate #lepianate #AndreaTrulli @indiewineries @cheezits #cheezit #wine #naturalwine @worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #italy #biodynamic #organic #umbria #Sagrantino #Sangiovese #Merlot

Tangled Tingle of Fun

Tenuta Belvedere
WAI 2018
Sparkling Rosé
Oltrepò Pavese in Provincia di Pavia Lombardy Italy
Pinot Nero 100%
Organic, biodynamic, ancestral method
Winemakers Federica and Gianluca Cabrini

Pretty, pretty orange pink glass named after a respectful and auspicious Thai greeting. Sniff and there’s a salty breeze, strawberries, orange blossoms, and raspberries. The first taste is a tangled tingle of young strawberries, raspberries and an orange peel dash, a little hay, some mineral/granite and seltzer. Nothing sugary about this glass. It’s clean, elegant, and fresh fun summer love.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: raspberry and strawberry presents but still not sugary. Everything is fresh

Tenuta Belvedere’s wine history dates back to the 19th century, and now it is helmed by the latest generation. Federica Sarchi joined her life with Gianluca Cabrini, he felt the call of the vines, and now they hold the reigns of the winery. From all I find, they are firm believers in the old natural ways and are organic and biodynamic. I really wish I could learn more about them from their website but it is currently under construction, so I will rely on Facebook and Instagram for a little more insight. What I’m finding is a beautiful vineyard with bird nests and ladybugs, a happy family, darn good people, hard work, and a lot of other wines I’m dying to try.

Oltrepò Pavese is the largest wine producing area of Lombardy and they seem to be really into Pinot Nero. This comune is a foodie’s dream. Not only are there amazing wines of diverse native grapes, but there’s also their much loved and revered salame di Varzi. Oh what I wouldn’t do for a slice right now. Another find from the area is their truffles! They range from white to black and are oh so wonderful. Take a tour with a dog and maybe you’ll win the lottery. You can also rent a Vespa (and score a picnic basket), cruise along city streets or roll through the countryside in style.

Venturing outside of Oltrepò, yet not really that far is the Castello di Montesegale (still in Pavia). The site may have had a foothold of a tower as far back as the 11th century, but the Castello was officially built in the 14th century and over the years destroyed and rebuilt to it’s regal medieval status. Now the ancient architecture houses a museum of contemporary art that was launched back in 1975, and has exhibited the likes of Ernesto Treccani (who founded Corrente) and Julian Schnabel.

On to one more thing outside of Oltrepò, but still in Pavia. This I truly stumbled upon and had no idea this was possible, but you can test drive a Ferrari on a real race track for an hour or two. You can let that baby just go and go and go. Does it make me a little scared to think of trying it, YES! Would I do it if I could…hell YES!

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No Sapiens 2017
Baja California Mexico
Grape is unidentified, farmer thinks Dolcetto. Louis-Antoine Luy who collaborates with the Téllez family thinks it’s Cariñena.
Biodynamic, dry farming, hand picked, and gently stamped by foot
Project of brothers Noel and Jair Téllez and winemaker Louis-Antoine Luyt

Shiny dark glistening ruby glass. Breathe in the cherry, cola, blueberry, and fennel. Ready to take the sip? It’s full of cherry, salt, smoke, tart plum, and oddly dark chocolate. Yes, I’m not going to lie, when I first found Bichi (which also means naked), I got pulled in by the label on their “Listan”. The same artist (Daniel Pezzi) also did “No Sapiens”. Would love to find his website, but not finding anything, and would love to see more of his creations. Let me know if anyone can point me in the right direction.

@vinewinenyc @bichiwines @winesbichi @josepastorselections #josepastorselections #wine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #vinewinenyc #dolcetto #cariñena #bajacalifornia #mexico #biodynamic #naturalwine #bichi #danielpezzi

Basking in the Sun

Cascina degli Ulivi
Bellotti Bianco, 2019
Cortese 100%
Piedmont Italy
Biodynamic and organic

A glass of spun gold…breath in and embrace the orange, lemons, and maybe a touch of rosemary. Sip and there’s apples, peaches, lemon, some tangerine tart tingle, and a bit of mineral. It’s a fun friendly wine that asks you to take it out on a boat and bask in the sun.

Pairs with Cheez-Its: brings out the lemon and adds some smoke. Very smooth.

Side note: This weekend, I’ll have to revisit Jonathan Nossiter’s Natural Resistance to reflect back on Stefano Belloti’s life and how while he was here on this earth, broke the rules and championed the natural ways. Louis Dressner Selections has a lovely post honoring him and an interview with Belloti from 2011.

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A Tip of the Hat

Flat Brim Wines
Fortune Teller 2019
Red Wine Blend
Columbia Valley
Produced and bottled in Portland Oregon
Pinot Meunier 70%, Pinot Gris 30%
Grapes are sourced from sustainable vineyards
Winemaker Ian Atkins

Gave this one a slight chill. Poured a glass and it’s cloudy, ruby and intriguing.

Breathe in and there’s heady floral perhaps orange blossoms, tart cherry, salt and slate. Sip and there’s cherry cola, orange peel, and smoke. Are we heading toward a cocktail feel? Keeping on swishing, and there raspberries, and a tangy tingle. Oh this is fun, and for some reason a certain Blue Nile song has become an earwig for me. Miss that band and love the album.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Smoothes any tart out into velvet. No rough edges. Just smooth love like Paul Buchanan’s voice.

@flatbrimwines @vinewinenyc @coeurwineco #wine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #vinewinenyc @worldbyglass #PinotMeunier #PinotGris #ColumbiaValley #Portland #Oregon @thebluenileofficial

Honeysuckle Love

Cantina Su’entu
Su’aro 2018
Bianco blend of native grapes
Marmilla IGT
Sardegna Italy

A bright bold glass of gold. At first whiff there’s citrus, like tangerine and lemon with a splash of grapefruit. As it goes on, out comes hibiscus, honeysuckle,  rich melon, apricot, a dash of salt, and just deep beautiful flowers…whew that’s a lot and we haven’t even had a first sip. Here we go! Luscious melon and honey and all sorts flowers, a little orange peel tang, and a nice touch of salt.

Pairs with Cheez-Its: makes the honeysuckle and melon go wild. Where’s the prosciutto?

Here’s another bit of smooth sweetness with Sarah Vaughan, Honeysuckle Rose

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More to Love

Cacique Maravilla
Pipeno Pais 2019
100% Pais
Bio Bio
Yumbel Chile
Organic, biodynamic and vegan friendly
Winemaker Manuel Moraga Gutiérrez

First thing you should do with this red, is slightly chill it. Yes, you heard me, cool it a little. Pour and there’s a deep dark ruby that you can’t see through. First sniff and I’ll let this breathe a little more, so I’ll play with the cats while I wait. Earthiness lingers and opens to plums, blueberries, cherries, and some little salt/mineral. Here goes the first sip, and it’s tart, cherry, and out comes some orange, and wait for it…dark plums appear. It’s lush, delicious, and then there’s a hint of cinnamon, a little pepper, and I do believe a little smoke. I’m in love, and there’s more to love with this bottle. It’s a whole liter.

Pairs with Cheez-Its: mellow goodness cherry plummy

Cacique Maravilla, located in Yumbel, Chile, is helmed by Manuel Moraga Gutiérrez and his amazing mustache. Seriously, it’s a work of art. Back to the winery, from what I find online, the Gutiérrez family has had long ties to Yumbel which stretches back seven generations when Francisco Gutiérrez decided to settled down. Also his nickname is the winery’s namesake, which means Magnificent Chief. The vineyard is dry farmed, and is gifted with rich trumao/volcanic ash soil. There is no intervention and minimal pruning. As for the winemaking, it’s all natural too. It’s made with natural yeasts from the grapes and no filtration. What a beautiful and wild land. There’s a wonderful gallery on their website showing snapshots of the vineyard. There’s sheep wandering in the vines, glistening bunches of grapes and then them being crushed, and what looks like a delicious celebratory barbecue. Oh this is making me hungry, and wishing I had another liter for today.

On to the Bio Bio region…outside of Los Ángeles is the Laguna del Laja National Park where you can find the Antuco Volcano and Laguna del Laja. From what I’m reading the Laguna is a beautiful emerald green and has debris from past eruptions throughout the shoreline. Evidently, you can also go salmon fishing here. The park is also great for birding. Some of the multitude of feathered friends include Bandurria, Condors, and the Rufous-bellied seedsnipe. Other wildlife include pumas, foxes, and my personal favorite the Vizcacha.  The snow capped volcano looming in the background is technically still active but no major eruptions for eons. Back in April 2013, a pilot logged that he saw ash emissions, but after further investigation the VAAC attributed it to a wildfire.

Next we stop off in Concepción to visit the Casa del Arte José Clemente Orozco, located at the University of Concepción. My particular interest is in the mural by Jorge González Camarena. In 1960, Chile had the massive and devestating Valdivia earthquake which was on a scale of 9.4 to 9.6. Mexico reached out to assist the Chilean government on rebuilding (which included rebuilding Casa del Arte) and this is how the Mexican artist, González Camarena, became inspired to become involved. From 1964-1965, he worked on the mural “La Presencia de América Latina” which depicts the history of Latin America with all it’s triumphs, trials, beauty and at times death. Above the mural is a quote by Pablo Neruda, “Y no hay belleza como esta belleza de América extendida en sus infiernos / en sus cerros de piedra y poderío, en sus ríos atávicos y eternos” translation: “There is no beauty like the beauty of America spread out in its hells / in its mountains of rock and power, in its atavistic and eternal rivers”. From just seeing the stills and video, I can feel the intensity and overwhelming emotion of this mural. I can just imagine how powerful it would be to stand before it.

Back to Yumbel and their deep tradition of the Feast of San Sebastian which is celebrated on both January 20th and March 20th. Thousands gather from near and far to visit the San Sebastián Sanctuary, participate in the procession (some on their feet and others on their knees), and light candles. This March’s was cancelled due to covid, but from what I’m seeing in 2016 there were 500,000 that made the pilgrimage. Now that’s passion.

@vinos_naturales #CaciqueMaravilla @docwineshop @docwinebarny @selectionsdelavina @zevrovineselections @cheezits #wine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #chile #Pais #BioBio #Yumbel #Chile #lagunadellaja #casadelarte #mural #art #SanSebastian #JorgeGonzálezCamarena #PabloNeruda


Dominio de Tares
Cepas Viejas 2011
100% Mencía
Bierzo (León) Spain

First night in Alicante and while wandering around found El Portal Taberna. Luckily we were able to sit at the bar, and (wish I could remember the sommelier’s name) we were guided through fabulous food, wine, cocktails, and conversation. This is why I love Spain so much, everyone has always been so kind, friendly, and more than happy to share with you what they love about their city. Anyway, one of the glasses I thoroughly enjoyed was Dominio de Tares’ “Cepas Viejas”. Within the label design is braille that also reads Cepas Viejas which translates to old vines. Hoping to one day in the future to again sit at this bar, relax, and imbibe. Miss you Spain!

@dominiodetares @elportalkrugambassade @bodegasdominiodetares @elportaltabernawines #wine #Spain #Mencía #Mencia #Bierzo

A Little Friulano Slang

Borgo Savaian di Bastiani Stefano
Aransat 2019
Friuli Orange Wine
Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc
Cormons Italy

Color is gold like a bar from Fort Knox. Let it breathe a little before the whiff. There’s dark tangerine or grapefruit peels (that have been flamed), orange blossoms, and wet concrete after a cleansing rain, and wait…a hint of pine needles. Swish and swirl and take the first sip. Again there’s orange blossoms and now flamed orange peel. It’s heady, and then takes my memories back to an orange jolly candy from my childhood. I think there’s also a bit of kumquat, definitely salt, and some granite. This is a beautiful clean wine. Oh and the more you know: Aransat is Friuli slang for orange.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes it oh so sweet gold. Brings out the orange oil. Burn that peel!

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Going Places

Domaine de L’Oubliee
(translates to Domaine of the Forgotten, ok this is haunting and romantic)
Les Valseuses 2018
Vin de France Petillant
Bourgueil France
Chenin Blanc
Organic and vegan
Winemaker Xavier Courant

Glistening pale yellow color with a ton of bubbles. Inhale and it’s citrus, sea breeze, and herbal. It’s hard to just sip this pét-nat. So fresh and lively. It’s tangy and sweet. There’s lemon, pine, herbal, yellow plums, floral which I think is honeysuckle. It’s bubbly sweetness.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Even more heightens the sweetness

So Xavier Courant loves the work Bertrand Blier, and each of his wines are named for Blier’s films or books that speak to the grapes. I would love to know why he picked the infamous “Les Valseuses” for this happy wild pét-nat. John Tutturro’s “The Jesus Rolls”, (yes, it’s the same character from “The Big Lebowski”) which seemed like forever in releasing, is an adaptation of the 1974 film, and appears to now be finally available online. Quite a cast. May have to add it to next weekend’s list.

@vinewinenyc @louisdressnerselections #louisdressnerselections #wine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #vinewinenyc @worldbyglass #LesValseuses #pét-nat #pet-nat #cheninblanc #Bourgueil #France #BertrandBlier @xaviercourant @Les amis du Domaine de L’Oubliée @JesusRollsFilm @BigLebowskiMovie #thebiglebowski