Wine Picks- September 2011

Posted on September 7, 2011 – 6:01 AM | by Admin
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By Michele Hébert

Hervé Villemade, Domaine du Moulin
2009 Cheverny
Sacramento Natural Food Co-op  $12.99/bottle

Warm summer nights, roast chicken, and Cheverny rouge remind me of my time in New York. I’d often get home from work after 11pm with a bottle of Cheverny in hand; my husband would have procured a tasty roast chicken from the French deli down the street. We’d sit on the hill at Fort Greene Park and eat and drink with the fireflies. When I saw Hervé Villemade’s Cheverny rouge at the Sac Co-op (for the great price of $12.99) I felt sharp pangs of nostalgia for those summertime picnics. The appellation of Cheverny is most known for their white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, but they make lovely, light wines from Pinot Noir, and occasionally and in this case, also from Gamay. Villemade’s version is superlative: full of juicy dark berries, wild brambles, and lip-smacking acidity. Pick up a roast chicken and a bottle of Villemade’s Cheverny rouge and join me in recreating one my favorite memories — sans fireflies of course.

Valle Reale, “Cerasuolo”
2010 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
58 Degrees and Holding $8/glass

I recently had a glass of rosé and a sandwich for lunch at 58 Degrees, and it was very enjoyable. The friendly bartender and decent jazz made for nice ambiance, but the marriage of the Valle Reale Cerasuolo ($8) and the Muffaletta sandwich ($10) was what really made the lunch so agreeable. Cerasuolo means “cherry red,” and that aptly describes the deep pink color of  the wine. The grape is Montepulciano (not to be confused with the Tuscan town of the same name), and the wine is made in Abruzzo, Italy. Full of berries and herbs, dry but fruity, and with a pleasant bitter edge to it, this rosé was the perfect match for this sandwich. The Muffaletta is a New Orleanian sandwich, and 58’s version featured salami, prosciutto, olive tapenade, arugula and shredded mozzeralla. I alternated robotically between sips and bites, each begging for the other. The accompanying salad was made from beautiful little red leaf lettuces, but like almost every other salad in town it was overdressed. I recommend finishing the wine with the sandwich and then tackling the salad so the overwhelming vinegar doesn’t foul the taste of the wine.

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