The Dialog Wines Blog

The Summer of Dialog

 Published on: Thursday, May 12, 2011

There is plenty to talk about as it has been too long since my last blog post. In that post, I made a concerted effort not to plug any of my wines but I am pleased to say that I have had a few readers ask me to talk a little about some of the wines that Dialog represents and I’m more than happy to oblige. There are plenty of great wines currently available, a few more intriguing wines about to hit the market and of course, at Dialog Wines, we are always searching for the best of the best. So, it is almost mid May and I am going to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about “The Summer of Dialog.”

Imagine this. You walk into a restaurant and ask for a glass of Chardonnay. From there, you have the following exchange with your server:

The server says “no, we are not serving any Chardonnay by the glass.”

Hmmm… no problem, you respond by asking for something else that is familiar to you and decide to go with a nice light glass of Pinot Grigio. Again, the server says “I’m sorry, but we are not serving any Pinot Grigio by the glass.”
A little frustrated at this point, you ask “well what are you serving by the glass?”
The server is to the point and replies without hesitation, “Riesling.”

I can guarantee you that conversations just like this one happened in the New York City wine bar known as Terroir. Terroir owner and Sommelier, Paul Grieco (who is Canadian I might add), dubbed last summer “The Summer of Riesling,” in his establishments. Mr. Grieco gave his customers a choice of Riesling, Riesling or Riesling for his by the glass wine selection. How could he possibly get away with this?

It is actually quite easy. Riesling is so diverse and comes in so many different styles, he could always introduce the customer to a style they liked and ultimately, a new wine experience. I’m going to suggest you consider having your very own “Summer of Riesling.” Here are a few different styles and price points of quality Riesling that is available to you right now:

Tesch Riesling Unplugged ($18.43) You might have already heard about this wine as I’ve been singing its praises for months. This is a bone dry German Riesling with brilliant acidity and a crisp, clean freshness that will please all palates.

Tesch Karthauser Riesling ($25) The big brother to Tesch Unplugged, this wine is considered to be Spatlese level on the German Wines ripeness scale, meaning that its grapes sugar levels are a little higher than Unplugged. A slightly higher level of residual sugar and the acidity to balance it out, you have to try this wine with anything from pasta to seafood. Or just enjoy it on its own before dinner.

Trisaetum Estate Riesling 2009 ($40) From a small family owned estate in Oregon, yes this wine is a little expensive for some but the scores and rating are usually around 93-94 pts from most critics. This wine has a touch of sweetness as well that is brought on by something called Boytrytis. If you don’t know what it is, look it up! It will help you understand why some desert wines are so expensive! Its one of those times when rot can lead to a pleasurable experience believe it or not.

Staying with wines that are currently available or perhaps I should say “have been available,” Mark West Pinot Noir and both Avalon California Cabernet and Avalon Napa Cabernet are still HOT HOT HOT! We can’t seem to keep these wines on the shelves but I want to ensure all the California wine lovers out there that these wines are coming back in larger quantities and should be more readily available to you very soon.

I’m very excited about some of the new wines that have recently been added to the Dialog Wines portfolio. I’m pleased to announce that two of these wines have been released today!

For all the Mark West fans, Mark West California Chardonnay has just been released! Great news for Chardonnay lovers and fans of the Mark West Pinot Noir. Its under $19 and I expect white wine lovers will enjoy this wine with seafood, white meats or on its own with friends. Here is a copy of the tasting note written by the winemaker:

“Our 2009 shows aroma of lemon meringue, ripe pears and the amazing minerality note of the first rain on stones. Barrel aging contributes a brown sugar component on the nose. Our medium bodied wine enjoys flavors of honey dew melon, lemon curd and a cream layer reminiscent of a 50/50 bar.”

Sound delightful? It is.

Veuve Doussot Demi-Sec Champagne is an off dry style champagne. I think it works best as an digestif, after dinner drink or with dessert. But that is really up to you! You can enjoy it anyway you want. This Champagne is small production and Newfoundland is the first and only to have it in Canada. At just $45, it is the best value Champagne in market!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about the upcoming “Perfect Pairings” show that the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation is hosting. Dialog will be there in full effect with some new wines for you to try and pair up with the available food dishes. We will be pouring a nice selection of wines including the previously mentioned Mark West Chardonnay and Veuve Doussot Champagne. As well, we will be pouring a couple of wines from Washington State made by Charles Smith Wines. (http://www.charlessmithwines.com/)

Charles Smith was named the 2009 Winemaker of the Year by Food and Wine Magazine and I must say that he produces quality wines in a great package and at a great price. Before settling in Walla Walla, Washington and becoming a world class winemaker, Charles managed rock bands throughout Europe. Talk about a career change!! His rocker roots can be seen through his marketing and brand image.

His Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon ($26) is all about balancing fruit and finesse. The Velvet Devil Merlot ($19)… well I think the name says it all. Its making Merlot sexy once again! You will have to taste it yourself to get the details. Come on out to the show on June 24th and 25th for a preview.

Our continuous quest to find the best of the best will take us to Bordeaux and the Vin Expo in June. Thousands of producers and thousands of wines. This could be overwhelming but as they say, “someone’s gotta do it, might as well be us.” We will find something spectacular to bring back to Newfoundland to share with our loyal customers.

The “Summer of Dialog” begins soon. Stay tuned for continuos updates about events, activities and new wines. There are exciting things on the horizon but I can’t give them all away in one blog as I need something else to write about later. Also, as soon as I get over my technical difficulties (I need a new camera), Dialog TV will begin. Keep tasting, talking and enjoying wine.

Cheers,

GW

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“This past Friday, I was invited to do a wine tasting with the Newcomer’s Club of St. John’s. The event was in support of funding for Ronald McDonald House in Newfoundland.”

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