But my sister is an expert in wine. My beverage expertise is focused on make an excellent fruity cocktail. She finally put fingers to keyboard and is willing to share some of her vast knowledge on wine.
From sister T:
Here are some wine notes for your blog.
Welcome to the first in a series of occasional wine notes!
My friend Tracey recently introduced me to Malbec, a varietal grown primarily in South America. I went over to her house for a Shiraz tasting and left with a buch of Argentine malbecs.
I was impressed. They are food-friendly, and fruity but not flabby. Malbec tends to be less tannic than sangiovese, the primary grape in chianti wine. Good with meats, Italian and Mexican foods.
I had the Amancaya Cab/Malbec blend with a risotto: Amancaya
It's definitely drinkable now. No cellaring necessary.
Last summer Mike and I went to Monterey for Fourth of July weekend. The Carmel Valley is becoming a destination for wine-lovers who are seeking to avoid the crowds of Napa and Sonoma. The climate there is warm enough to grow merlot grapes, yet due to its coastal location, it is also cool enough for chardonnay and the notoriously finicky pinot noir grape. We tasted some excellent examples of each.
Highly recommended are the 2002 Logan Pinot Noir from Talbott Vineyards, a steal for under $18 per bottle. Unlike many wineries which strive to be everything to everyone, Talbott only produces chardonnay and pinot noir. The Logan pinor noir is one of the best California pinots I've tasted. Elegant yet full-bodied, it pairs well with turkey, salmon or pasta. Unfortunately, the 2002 is sold out but the 2003 is coming soon. http://www.talbottvineyards.com/wines.html Their they do not have wide distribution, you can sometimes find their wines at www.wine.com or specialty retailers such as Wally's in Los Angeles.
Another find is the Georis 2002 Arroya Seco merlot, a rich, velvety wine that bears no resemblance to the insipid mass-produced California merlots produced by some of the larger labels. At $22 per bottle, it rivals wines that cost twice as much. It pairs well with heartier fare such as steak, venison, sausage, and lasagna. Georis, a tiny producer with limited distribution, is exceedingly hard to find, so snatch it up if you can.