Binny’s Wine Managers Steve Reiter and Chris Speir joined Wine Buyer Barbara Hermann on a trip to one of France’s most famous wine regions, Bordeaux. They tasted barrel samples of the 2013 vintage – now in the early stages of its en premier campaign – visited Chateaux and negociants. Steve reports from the road:
I expected the city of Bordeaux to be large (the 9th largest in France) but not quite the expanse that it is. We’re staying in a charming, modern sprawl radiating from the river with a modern, urban feel. However, the “Centre” or old part of Bordeaux, is just as large, and definitely has the rustic feel I expected. With stone buildings, colored shades of earthy white, grey, orange and green, it reminds me a lot of Venice. Old churches and architecture dot town squares where people pass time. We wander a few hours through the alley-like, brick-layered streets. I would hate to have to park here. No wonder there are so many bikes.
Blind Tasting: Chardonnay & Cabernet
Recently, a bunch of Binny’s wine consultants got together to do a blind tasting of chardonnay and cabernet. No, we didn’t blindfold our employees. We put a bunch of wines in brown paper bags and let the chips fall where they may. Wine education comes in many forms, but one of the most humbling is to asses a wine without knowing the name, region or price. Here are six of our favorites after the jump, all chosen blind.
This month, our “wine guy” is actually Barbara Hermann, Binny’s fine wine buyer. Barbara has traveled all over the globe and has decades of experience under her belt. She is an eight-time winner of Geja’s blind wine tasting. So we went to her with this month’s Ask the Wine Guy question. Check out Barb’s answers after the jump.
“I sometimes hear wine drinkers use words like ‘jammy’ or ‘buttery.’ Are these typical wine descriptions?
Do they literally mean what they sound like?”
You know that expression, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We hear that wine has that same effect, too. So why not mix them together? This custom cocktail is fresh, crisp and sure to put some pep in your step this Valentine’s Day! This white wine spritzer is perfect for a party of two – or twenty!
Fun fact: This Fruity Wine Spritzer was created with love by Dan’s wife, Ani!
Binny’s Lincoln Park was lucky to host Stephan von Neipperg last night during a seminar and wine tasting. A class act, Mr. Von Neipperg stood at the check-in to the entrance of the newly unveiled cellar seminar room and greeted and talked with all 45 lucky guests as they came in….
Binny’s Wine Buyer, Bob Calamia traveled to Jerez to seek out Spain’s top sherry and learn a thing or two about this timeless region. Bob reports from the field:
World headquarters for sherry is Jerez in Southwestern Spain. Two things make sherry unique – its proximity to the Mediterranean and the high level of chalk in the soil. The chalk gives sherry some of its characteristic mineral flavors, but the soil’s biggest contribution is its ability to retain moisture. Jerez gets most of its rain in the fall and winter, and the chalk sustains the vines in the dry spring and summer. The climate is warm enough to ripen palomino fino – the primary grape of the region – and when grown in the chalky soil, it achieves a quality found nowhere else.
More photos and info after the jump!
BINNY’S LINCOLN PARK PRESENTS
Ch. Angelus and Ch. Daugay
Open House Tasting
Tuesday, January 14th, 5-7pm
Join us on January 14th from 5-7pm to meet Jean-Bernard Grenie, owner of the legendary Bordeaux estate Chateau Angelus and Chateau Daugay. Mr. Grenie will treat you to several vintages of Daugay and Angelus (recently promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classe “A”), including Daugay 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 as well as Angelus 2006 and the 99-point 2009, which Robert Parker called “a candidate for one of the finest Angelus produced to date.” Don’t miss out on this special opportunity.
Whether you’re impressing the boss, giving the perfect gift to your loving significant other, or just finding a special bottle for the holidays, Binny’s has the answer. Sure, we have hundreds of high end wines. But our friendly, knowledgeable and good looking wine consultants will help you find the perfect wine gifts without the dreaded stress. A few ideas to get you going:
It’s called the Coravin, and you can get it at Binny’s. If you’re already in the know, then you’ll be excited to learn that Binny’s is pretty much the only retailer anywhere between New York and California where you can buy this thing. Check it out on binnys.com.
If you’re not in the know, then you’re probably wondering what kind of device famed wine critic Robert Parker would refer to as:
“The most transformational and exciting new product for wine lovers
that has been developed/invented in the last 30+ years.”
Holy cow, right? What could this amazing device be?
It’s called Henri Leblanc, and we think it’s the best thing going for under ten bucks.
See, sometimes, we feel like real consumer advocates.
We weren’t happy with inexpensive bubbly in general. We wanted to offer a value – something clean, fresh and easy to drink. We already have a good product in Cuvee Tradition, but we wanted to offer a step up in quality that’s still a great value. Something wine nerds would drink, and something they wouldn’t mind popping on a Wednesday. So we went to work.
It took five months. Five months of combing catalogs, tasting samples, beating up suppliers. We narrowed it down to just a few possibilities, then tasted them blind against the best of the category. That’s when we found our bottle:
Henri Leblanc Brut Blanc de Blancs
Orchard fruit on the nose, with citrus over granny smith apple and some cream. Creamy on the palate, with bright green apple and mineral undertones. Warm and inviting, vibrant and energetic. Drink it on its own, but we won’t mind if you mix it in a mimosa or bellini. – Binny’s Tasting Note
For more wine news any time, check out the Wine Hotline.