Volume 2, Issue 6 — June, 2007
In This Issue
June 10: Wine & Swine, Grant Park
June 17: Father's Day
June 21: Chocolate! Pure Indulgence, Dunwoody
June 25: Meet the Farmer’s Dinner, Smyrna
Corazón is made by the traditional method, using 100% blue agave, distilled twice in pot stills. Corazón comes in a Blanco, Reposado and Añjeo.
The Beverage Tasting Institute of Chicago rated the Blanco the best Blanco Tequila in the U.S. The Repasdo is kept in white oak casks or vats called pipones for more than two months and up to one year and the Anjeo is aged in new Canadian oak barrels for 2 years to produce a truly balanced sipping tequila.
Corazon de Agave Tequila represents the very finest in Tequila and it is best enjoyed straight. Our price: $38.49 for a gift box of blanco with four shot glasses.
Wine Club Selections
The Lacky is made exclusively for the U.S. and it is tailored to emphasize the ripe, classic, South Australian Shiraz grape. The Lacky is aged in old oak and bottled with no fining or filtration. Deep, rich, full-bodied, and elegant, it reveals plenty of berry fruit, pepper, chocolate, and new saddle leather characteristics. Drink this spicy, earthy effort over the next 2-3 years.
Kiona Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Deep colored with moderate to high bull well-integrated tannins, it will stand cellaring for additional years. However, the Bordeaux style blending with a bit of Merlot and Cabernet Franc will make an ideal wine now for any occasion.
Veramonte Primus 2003
The Primus is Veramonte’s limited production wine. It is designed to showcase the rare Carmenère variety; a grape that was once prevalent in Bordeaux, France, when Chile first began importing French vines. This 'super-premium' blend uses Carmenere as the base. As a result, the finished wine has a concentrated blackberry and cherry flavor mingled with the spicy oak. The nose is blueberries, spice and vanilla. The finish is long and satisfying, making it a great food wine at a terrific price.
These wine-tasting events will begin in July. We are planning to host our first events at El Toro, our next door neighbor. However, we are open to suggestions and recommendations for additional locations. These recommendations can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While white wines typically embody the summer “spirit,” among the themes explored in this latest issue of the Vintage Voice are the benefits of pairing red wines with the quintessential summer pastime—the backyard barbecue.
Whether you are serving smoked meats or simple burgers, these guidelines will help you select the perfect wine to compliment the meal.
In “Priming for a Tequila Sunrise,” our spirited consultant Robert Thomas offers another premier for selecting the right tequila—another quintessential summer beverage.
Don’t like tequila? Had a bad experience? Odds are that you have not tried the real thing and it is time to upgrade, Robert observes.
Along those lines, our featured product this month is the Corazón de Agave Tequila. Corazón de Agave is an ultra premium tequila made by traditional methods.
Subscribers will find the usual coupon for our June wine selections at the end of the newsletter.
Once again, we want to thank you for subscribing to the Vintage Voice and we look forward to seeing you soon at the store.
The Red Wines of Summer Time
But while these summer white wines clearly are the ideal compliment for lighter summer meals, the truth is that many reds could serve as better summer pairings, especially for cookouts.
Grilling with Zin
For barbecue, there might be no better choice than a Zinfandel. The black pepper spice, acidity and ripe tannins will help carry the flavor and texture of the meat, whether using a barbeque sauce, steak sauce or mild salsa.
A Cabernet Sauvignon will pair equally well with fattier meats such as steaks or burgers. The fat in the steak and burgers will help mellow the wine's tannins much like a blue cheese or sharp cheddar.
Smoking with Syrah
In the same vein, both Merlots and Shirazes would better suited for spicier sauces in that the aggressive fruit profile helps support the spice without fanning the flames.
Stuck on White
For barbecued chicken, the fruity profile of a dry or an off-dry Riesling will help accentuate the spices while providing a contrast to the sweet, smoky nuances of the dish.
A Chardonnay will pair well with grilled fish as well as corn on the cob while the herbal nature of a Sauvignon Blanc makes it a perfect compliment to almost all the vegetables and an even better marinade for fish.
A sweeter white wine such as a Gewürztraminer would also be a great choice for spicier dishes such Cajun chicken thanks to this wine’s sweeter profile.
No Right Answer
Red wines typically go well with any red meat and white wines generally pair better with lighter meats and sauces. But there are no hard rules.
So don’t be afraid to mix and match. After all, it is your pleasure that the pairing ultimately should enhance.
Priming for a Tequila Sunrise
The Myth and Gist
If your bottle has a worm, tarantula or scorpion, it’s not tequila. It is mezcal.
There are hundreds of species of agave plants, but the blue agave plant is the only species used to produce real tequila.
Real tequila must also be made in the “Tequila” region of Mexico. Any liquor made outside of Tequila, Mexico, or made out of another species of the agave plant is instead called mezcal.
The Best and Rest
Good tequilas will be made from 100% blue agave — no extra sweeteners, caramel coloring, or fillers like those found in the less expensive "jug" tequilas. As a result, these tequilas will also taste cleaner, fresher, and are less likely to cause a gagging reflex.
Oh Dear, it’s not all clear
After quantity of blue agave, the next factor that determines the taste (and price) of tequila is age.
White, or “blanco”, tequila is unaged. Unlike some other spirits, this doesn’t mean that it will taste raw and harsh. Instead, blanco tequila is the one that embodies the greatest pure flavor of the agave plant. As a result, it will be crisp, sharp, peppery, and slightly sweet with an herbal quality.
White tequilas are great for shooting and mixing.
Reposado tequilas represent the next level of aging. These tequilas are aged for a minimum of sixty days and for as long as a year with most aged between two and nine months.
Aging the tequila subdues some of the peppery and herbal notes while preserving the basic flavor profile and introducing new flavors from the wood such as vanilla, spice, cedar and smoke. In general, the aging process will also make the tequila a little smoother and darker in color.
Resposado tequilas are great for sipping, shooting, and mixing.
If tequila is aged longer than a reposado, then it is called an añejo, or “old”, tequila. These tequilas are aged for at least a year with many aged up to three years or even longer. The extra time in the wood smoothes out the tequila even more and subdues much of the pepperiness and herbal nature of the spirit.
Almost all anejos are also aged in used bourbon barrels, adding a cherry fruitiness to the taste profile.
Aged tequilas are best sipped like single barrel bourbons and cognac.
But What About the Brand
One example of tequila that preserves more of the agave flavor is the Don Julio brand. Another very smooth tequila is the ever-popular Patrón brand.
But if you want to try a rich, dark tequila, you might want to sample a Herradura.
Given that each brand is different, there is no right or wrong brand.
Back to Margaritaville
But if you take the opportunity to try some of the other tequilas, it might help you understand what all the fuss is about. If you already enjoy nice snifter of añejo, keep exploring… there are lots of great tequilas out there!
Recipe: Margarita Martini
Fill a cocktail shaker or a large glass with ice. Add all ingredients and shake. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime or candied lime.
You may wish to lightly salt the rim of your glass. To do so, before chilling the glass, dip the rim into a saucer filled with lime juice, then into another filled with salt. Some people suggest adding sugar to the salt, for a bizarre but intriguing twist.
Entrances from Lawrenceville Hwy and from Dekalb Industrial Blvd.
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1789 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, Georgia 30033 | Phone: 404-633-8242 | www.decaturspirits.com