Schramsberg Brut Rose “Mirabelle” NV, California ($28.99): Made primarily of pinot noir and chardonnay from California’s North Coast in the traditional methode champenoise, the Mirabelle is a benchmark American sparkler with delicate aromas of strawberries, currants and citrus zest. Perfect as an aperitif, or light hors d’oeuvres and brunch!
Kumeu River Chardonnay, “Estate” 2012, New Zealand ($35.99): An incredible chardonnay from a country better known for its sauvignon blanc, the Estate chardonnay is distinctively Burgundian in style with restrained aromas of tropical and stone fruits, all lingering with a creamy yet mineral-driven finish. This would rival any village-level Burgundy. A must try for those who still think Anything But Chardonnay! WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2015 #54
L’Umami Pinot Noir 2015, Willamette Valley ($19.95): A new project from Laurent Monthalieu of the NW Wine Company, Umami refers to the savory and meaty qualities often found in mushroom of the Pacific Northwest which surround the vineyards. This is a light-bodied, lively pinot with aromas of pomegranates and cranberries, as well as earthy notes and red baking spices.
Buglioni Valpolicella Ripasso “Il Bugiardo” 2012, Veneto ($27.99): With the density and intensity of an Amarone, this full-bodied red has notes of raisins, chocolates, cedar and tobacco. Perfect with a steak of an after-dinner cheese like Roquerfort or Parmaggiano.