Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ring In The New Year With These Sparkling Suggestions!

Only a few days remain until we bid farewell to 2009 and welcome a fresh start to a new year. While we wave goodbye with one hand, we will certainly hold a glass of bubbly in the other.

With that in mind we developed a list of bubblies that will help make your New Year's Eve fun. Since sparklers are great food wines, we give pairing ideas too so you can also begin the evening with some bubbly.

Sparkling wine is typically thought of as a special occasion wine. That simply should not be. Bubblies, as we call them, are great to pair with food and for that reason should be considered a main wine at any happening that has food, including New Year's Eve celebrations. But why?

Sparklers usually have higher acid levels than still wines and are great options for foods of high acidity (ie., salads in balsamic dressings, prosciutto).

Sparklers cleanse the palate when having with high fat foods (ie. cheeses, quiche, deep fried foods), and cut through the fat nicely.
On the contrary, sparklers are not good usually for pairing with fruit. A fruit's sweetness usually clashes with a sparkler's acidity.

Cheese is an easy food for sparklers - try hard ones - Manchego or Parmigiano Reggiano or soft ones - Brie or Camembert.

Enjoy our bubbly suggestions!

Jean Francois Merieu, Loire Valley, France ($18.99): Not Champagne but from the Loire Valley, this dry sparkler is mostly Chenin Blanc with some Chardonnay. Divine and our first choice after Champagne, this bubbly has a bright nose of apples and pears with hints of citrus.

Perrier Jouet Fleur Brut Champagne 2000 ($153.99): This is a specialty sparkler that is one to impress and proves true time and time again. Doesn't hurt that it rates 94 points. Perrier Jouet is a producer that's most known for its "flower bottle," one of Champagne's most recognizable designs.

1+1=3 Cava Brut, Spain ($15.99): This Spanish sparkler has smooth, dry, citrus fruit flavors that make it a great alternative to Champagne.

Grandial Brut, France ($10.99): If you want something from France but can't do the price of Champagne this should be your choice for a dry bubbly. This surprised us and others recently who had it at an in-home wine tasting.

Thierry Triolet a Bethon Brut Champagne ($37.99): Delicious yeast on the nose & palate, this Champagne has a mouth feel of golden delicious apples & fresh baked bread. You can't expect a better Champagne for the money!

Jacquart Rose Mosaique 1999 Champagne ($57.99): From the famed Champagne house, Jacquart, this Rose is lovely with soft notes of cranberries, raspberries & dried bread. The perfect Brut!

Carpene Malvolti Prosecco, Italy ($16.99): About an hour drive from Venice, Carpene Malvolti is a leader in Prosecco production. This dry Italian sparkler has delicate, fresh pear notes that end in a full, pleasant finish. Our Prosecco of choice for 2009's end.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wonderful Winter Wines

2007 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Chardonnay, Oregon. This wine is crafted of grapes from three vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains, Oregon. It's stainless steel fermented to retain the fruit's purity, flavors and aromas and then sits a little in neutral French oak to augment textural richness and create a more balanced and complex wine. It is truly delicious!! ($22.99)

2006 Milbrandt Traditions Merlot, Washington State. Washington State has been continuously producing top notch wines, and this Wahluke Slope Merlot is another to put on the list. Mostly Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Barbera produce rich aromas of ripe plums, cherries, toasted oak and blackberries. ($16.49)

2006 Zin 91 Old Vine Zinfandel, CA. A recent Wine Club selections, this Old Vine Zinfandel was sourced from an exceptional vineyard in California's Dry Creek. The wine is well structured with a unique resinous pepper-spice. The ripe, full bodied, juicy character of red raspberry marries nicely with the more supple dark plum and cherry flavors. A fantastic wine for the winter season. ($14.99)

2008 Ferraton Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, France. The Ferraton Crozes-Hermitage Blanc is made from 100% Marsanne a unique white grape that is in white Cotes du Rhone. It delivers aromas of acacia, fresh flowers and roasted almonds while the palate is soft with a great minerality and an offering of white peach. Not something you see everyday, but this is truly a magnificent bottle of wine. ($19.99)

2007 Ferraton Cotes du Rhone Villages, France.This wine is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah; it offers aromas of lavender, black currants, licorice, and spice. Medium to full-bodied with silky tannins, it has a beautiful purity and long finish. It can be consumed now or will improve with 3-4 years aging as well. A sleeper of the vintage and a real staff favorite!! ($14.99)

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Wine Festival Yields Forty Thousand Meals for t... | MyPRGenie

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our New Savory Selections

2008 Elderton Unoaked Chardonnay, Australia. A medium, bright wine, this clean, crips Chardonnay offers fresh melon and peach on the nose, with a subtle note of spun sugar that appears the more it breathes. It has lovely fruit flavors of sweet cantaloupe with a tangy, orange peel note too. This Chardonnay covers the palate beautifully and is wonderfully soft on the finish. ($15.99)

2007 Twenty Rows Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, CA. The grapes for this lush Cabernet Sauvignon come from two renowned vineyard sources in Napa Valley - Howell Mountain and Yountville foothills. It has penetrating aromas that begin with a presence of black currant, graphite, hints of earth and undertones of espresso. It is bright yet plush, with black cherry, blackberry, licorice, chocolate and smoke flavors, all neatly layered for complexity. This is great Napa Cab for the money. ($20.99)

2008 Weingut Rotes Haus Gemischter Satz, Austria. From Austria's capital of Vienna, this white field blend of mostly Gruner Veltliner, Weissburgunder and Riesling offers fine, fruity aromas on the nose of citrus and apple. It has a wonderfully seductive texture and is incredibly well balanced on the palate. Great length, it has a perfectly fruity but dry after taste. Rarely are we lucky enough to taste such a unique and pleasing wine, a true find. ($20.99)

2008 Domaine du Cros, Marcillac, Lo Sang del Pais, Philippe Teulier. This name is a mouth full - Whew! Made from the hearty Fer Servadou grape, or Mansois as it is known locally, Marcillac is one of those secret wines of France that holiday makers never experience. We've found even Francophiles haven't heard of this gem! We love its untamed quality - seductive, spicy and peppery with a velvety, raspberry-charged palate and grassy finish. A taste of the real France. What a fantastic bottle of wine. ($14.99)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Give The Gift of Wine

Holidays are times to give thanks and also times to celebrate. We want to offer ideas that will bring joy to your family and friends - wines that will bring people together...for holidays...for all year.

Whether or not you are ready, the holidays are here!

If it's hard to know what to give to a friend or loved one this holiday, it sometimes is even more difficult to know what to give "the boss" or a corporate client.

Does a great bottle of Barolo, Magnum of Chateauneuf du Pape or 90-point rated California Cabernet convey the appropriate message? Or would a wine basket say it better?

We look forward to helping with your gift giving - corporate or personal. The Savory Grape is proudly selected to help many RI and national companies choose the perfect holiday gifts - whether it's 50 wine baskets shipped out-of-state or a single bottle delivered to Smithfield.

To plan your orders, please contact Jessica Granatiero (jessica@thesavorygrape.com) or Sabrina Solares (sabrina@thesavorygrape.com).

This Week's Savory Selections!

2007 Almira "Los Dos" Grenache/Syrah, Spain. This electrifying blend of Old Vine Grenache and Syrah truly took us by storm, unlike any wine we've had from the area of Campo de Borja. Bold aromas of ripe raspberries,and minerals erupt from the glass while spicy raspberry fruit coats the palate with a very pleasant mineral finish. ($10.99)

2006 Dominio de Heredia Rioja, Spain. It never gets old finding wines that over deliver for the price. Rioja's Heredia is one - 100% Tempranillo from 25+ year old vines. Fine, fresh berry fruits and spices awaken the nose while the rich dark cherry fruit, smooth mouth feel and perfectly balanced palate seal the deal. ($14.99)

2007 Foris Pinot Noir, Oregon. Classic Oregon Pinot Noir. Brimming with Asian spices, sandalwood, cherries and raspberries, the aromas highlight fruit with a little oak spice playing a supporting role. The palate is well balanced, plump upon entry, with brisk acidity and fine grained tannins trailing into the finish. Delicate, delightful and delicious. ($19.99)

2008 Foris Pinot Gris, Oregon.
You're first welcomed by aromas of pear layered with tropical notes of guava and coconut. Asian spices are subtle yet evident in the nose and on the palate along with hints of cardamom and ginger. Flavors of Kiwi and melon add freshness and provide a smooth transition to a crisp, clean finish accentuated by a distinctive minerality. ($15.99)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Giving Thanks With Wine.

When we think of Thanksgiving, many things come to mind - family, food, friends, food, football, food, falling leaves and food. Finding the perfect wine for the Thanksgiving table can challenge the most accomplished wine aficionado. It's no snap to find a wine that works with bacon-braised Brussel sprouts and sage infused stuffing.

Don't let this deter you from enjoying wine with the meal. The best approach is to consider wines you just plain like and wines that are good "food wines" in general. In any event, wine at the table will brighten your Thanksgiving. Here are suggestions that are off-the-beaten path, and remember, we're here to give you ideas based on your meal.


2007 Domaine de La Citadelle Le Chataignier Blanc, France. An electrifying blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Rolle, don't let the name of this French white scare you off. Formerly served at Al Forno in Providence, it's plump and forward with tasty melon, peach and papaya backed by a clean, round and creamy finish. Perfect with Turkey! ($16.49)

2007 Albert Bichot Chablis, France. Bichot's Chablis (Chardonnay grape) has lovely freshness/plumpness to the nose with a pleasant acacia perfume. The palate is fresh featuring peach and citrus fruit with nice floral overtones. This is a great alternative to the heavily oaked Chardonnays. ($22.99)

2008 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling, Germany. An elegant, crisp, and fruity Riesling with a hint of natural residual sweetness, this wine has the typical light character of the Riesling. It has just the right amount of sweetness, even non Riesling fans will enjoy this one. ($15.49)

2008 Grooner Grüner Veltliner, Austria. The Grooner Grüner is fresh, crisp and perfect for Thanksgiving. Tart green apple and citrus aromas lead to tropical flavors on the palate. Grooner has a wonderfully, balanced acidity and a soft very round mouth feel. Perfect for any occasion. ($13.99)

2007 Domaine Monpertuis Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, France. Zesty citrus and pear aromas, along with a slow-building floral quality lead you to juicy orchard fruit flavors with a snap by tangy lemon and lime. This is a refreshing, energetic style with an emphasis on delicacy, not power. This is just the one for turkey, sweet potatoes and butternut squash bisque. ($45.99)


2007 Angelini Pinot Noir, Italy. Red berry aromas with candied apple, plum and hints of cranberry fill the nose. A velvety soft entry on the palate delivers candied apple flavors, plum and subtle hints of spice. This is a great match for traditional Turkey and it's fixins. ($11.99)

2008 Faillenc St Marie Rose, France.
Made from Syrah, this off-dry Rose is a great Turkey wine. It has just the right amount of fruitiness and acidity that it will be a nice partner for the many Thanksgiving dishes, including stuffing, mashers and yams. ($16.49)

2007 Chateau de Pizay Morgon, France. This wine is made from the grape Gamay Noir which is a relative of Pinot Noir and is the perfect Thanksgiving wine. It is lovely. This will be one of our Turkey Day selections. The nose is greeted by ripe fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry along with subtle hints of earth. Be careful; this wine may make you forget about the meal. ($17.99)

2005 Domaine Houchart Provence Rouge, France. This Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend will surely please this Thanksgiving. Lush berry aromas with undertones of spice fill the nose while red berries, generous acidity and balanced tannins coat the palate. It may not be your typical choice for the holiday, but you'll see just how quick this wine will settle in with the family and with sausage stuffing. ($12.99)

2006 Cosentino The Zin, California. This Zinfandel is a great choice for one wanting a heavier wine for Thanksgiving. It's luscious, rich & filled with flavors of black fruit - boysenberry, blackberry & black cherry. A smooth wine! It's great and will be just as great with turkey's dark meat, candied sweet potatoes and yes, brussels with pancetta. ($23.99)

2007 Albert Bichot Gevery-Chambertin Pinot Noir, France. This king of Burgundy is a testament to the greatness that Pinot Noir can achieve. It's welcomed with earth aromas, ripe cherry, black currant and herbal notes. A velvety attack enrobes the beautiful structure of the wine reinforcing its tastiness. ($48.49)

1999 Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino, Italy. This we think will make your dinner special. This 1999 Brunello is primed and ready to go; the aging has been done. Subtle aromas of spice, blackberry and cherry lead you to a medium-bodied palate with rounded tannins and fresh finish. If Pinot Noir just doesn't cut it for you, then this may be your choice. ($65.99)


Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz, Australia. What's red, bubbly and tons of fun to drink? Sparkling Shiraz! This wine offers it all. A full bodied offering that combines attributes of fruit, sweetness and bubbles to deliver rich concentrated flavors and a full and rewarding palate. Pop the top at the table and watch the jaws hit the floor. Enjoy with dinner or dessert. ($18.49)

Piazzo Moscato D'Asti, Italy. What better way to end a lovely meal than with a small glass of fresh Moscato. Sit back and relax as light, yet bursting, flavors of pineapple and peach consume your palate. Sip on its own or with fruit tarts, Italian cookies and pumpkin pie. ($19.99)

Tre Monti Passito, Italy. The nose of this dessert wine is full of dried and candied fruit. The body shows notes of citrus zest and candied apricot. Delicious! It's great with biscotti, pecan pie and shoofly pie. ($29.99)

Ramos Pinto 20 Year Tawny Porto, Portugal. Ramos Pinto is a great, well known house in Portugal. Its 20-year Port is divine. Full of nutty, caramel flavors, this is the perfect choice to top off a night! ($72.99)

Friday, November 6, 2009

November Is Here!

November is here, and there are two things that we need to think about this month - Thanksgiving, of course, and the arrival of the 2009 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau, which is released at the strike of midnight on the 3rd Thursday in November (November 19th).

Holiday Collectibles.

If you're in search of the perfect gift that really says Happy Holidays to your friend, special loved one or client, here are a few of our "Holiday Collectible" suggestions.

Large format bottles - Newly expanded selections of 1.5 L and 3 L wines are perfect for a wine aficionado.

Older wines - for someone who has everything and doesn't want to open an older vintage wine in their collection, it would be nice to give them a wine that already has bottle age on it.  Contact me and I can help you choose something ideal!

Single Malt Scotch - Many wine aficionados are also scotch aficionados. Pair a nice bottle of wine with an aged scotch for a great duo.

90-point wines - Consider putting together a collection of wines in a basket or a recycable wine tote with ratings of 90-points or higher. That gift will really stand out.

Please contact me with any questions regarding these Holiday Collectible concepts.  Email me at jessica@thesavorygrape.com.  And Happy Holidays!

This Week's Savory Selections - Our Star French Performers

2008 Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone, France. Spice box, red cherry and black currant aromas lasso your nose and prepare your palate for a ride full of flavor. Reminiscent black berry flavors fill the mouth with subtle hints of spice through the finish. A silky rendition sure to please, this is great with pot roast or vegetable stew. ($15.49)

2007 Mission La Caminade Cahors, France. This Malbec, Merlot blend, from the Cahors region, took us by storm today. Rich berry fruit, licorice and subtle herbal notes fill the nose, while berries, pepper and soft spice tones glide across the palate with pronounced tannins. It's perfect for boulder dishes. ($11.99)

2008 Giraudon Bourgogne Aligote, France. Is Chardonnay boring you? If so then you really need to check out Aligote. A lovely, bright creamy white that's fresh, clean, ripe and refreshing. With similar characteristics to Chablis, at a fraction of the price, Aligote is a great fall choice and a wine to consider for Thanksgiving. ($13.99)

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Wining" About Holiday Gift Giving?

Oh the holidays! Once it starts to get cold and before any snow hits the ground most people are happy that the season of giving is on the way. “This will be the year!” you think, “This will be the year I will get everybody something thoughtful instead of a generic gift card.” It’s a month away if not more at this point. You’ll have time…..right?

But, the reality is that you are a busy person. Between home, work, your pets and social life who has time to walk around a mall or drive from one boutique to another? That’s why at The Savory Grape we’ll do it for you. With the ability to ship to all but 9 states (those whose laws prohibit it) and the ability to hand deliver anything within the state of Rhode Island we can make your gift giving painless.

For starters we offer a selection of charming themed gift baskets to choose from. Do you have a friend who recently traveled to France? You could send them a “Viva France” basket complete with extra virgin olive oil. Available as low as $35, we can make the basket as small or as extravagant as you like. Want something unique? Call or e-mail us your specifications. If you have a friend who loves chocolate, but is allergic to nuts and only likes wine from the Pomerol appellation of Bordeaux, France we can create something tailored. If you’re running even shorter on time our gift baskets are available for sale online as well.

Another thing we offer at The Savory Grape is our Savory Sipper Wine Club. Especially if you are a Rhode Island resident you understand how frustrating it is to not be allowed to be part of wine clubs from California or other parts of the US because Rhode Island is one of the many states wine cannot be shipped to. To allow Rhode Island residents that same luxury we offer a wine club that can be hand delivered to your door. Available in 4 levels (The Explorer, The Enthusiast, The Connoisseur, and The Collector) our wine club memberships are a great way to try new wines or add to your collection. Just like our gift baskets, memberships can be purchased online. So, for your friend who loves wine, but doesn’t know where to begin exploring, a membership where they get 2 bottles of wine a month complete with vineyard history, tasting notes and a recipe perfectly paired with their wine could be the perfect gift.

We understand that you are a busy person so let us tie the bow, dot the “I” on the gift card and fluff the tissue paper. Our goal is to make every gift a unique special one without costing you the time it would usually take to put it together. Who knows? You may not buy one gift card this year.

Wines For Tailgating!

We picked 3 wines with typical tailgating food in mind; hot dogs, burgers, chips, etc. All the sorts of food you would find at the Superbowl. But in doing research we found that there is a small uprising in people tailgating before Operas! We find it a bit odd, but as a play on that sort of person who is tailgating, but enjoys the finer things in life we also selected a nicer bottle of wine that plays on football.

2006 De Lisio Quarterback, McLarenvale, Australia. A red inspired by the wonderful things that can be accomplished with a little well orchestrated teamwork, Quarterback is a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, and Grenache. The result is a full bodied red with scents of smoky cedar, spice and black fruit. The deep red palate is riddled with hints 0f clove and ripe opulent fruit. This wine speaks to the tailgater who loves the finer things in life. So kick back in your fold out chair in the parking lot of your favorite football team while your steak sizzles on the grill and enjoy the teamwork behind the Quarterback. Under $25.

*A quote from the winemaker should you want to use it “Tony De Lisio,” “Celebrate when your team has achieved that glorious win, it is useful as a reminder of what can be achieved with teamwork.”

2007 Ravenswood Zen of Zin, Sonoma County, California. This bold, smooth red wine instructs on its back label to "Pour often." Especially among friends. Perfect instruction, I think, to bring this wine along with you the next time you tailgate. It’s deep cocoa, toffee and blackberry jam flavors accentuate the roasted charred flavors of your boldest grilled creations. Casual and easy, this wine is perfect for the tailgater surrounded by friends. Under $12

2007 The Crusher Chardonnay, Clarksburg, California. Just because you feel like white wine doesn’t mean you can’t tailgate too. Pale golden in color this white is rich with vanilla bean and custard notes, layered with tangerine and pear aromas. The palate is rich and textured with tropical notes of coconut, guava and papaya. To round things out it finishes with crisp red delicious apple and baked apple pie flavors. The Crusher is full and creamy with a backbone tough enough to handle the hearty foods you encounter while tailgating without sacrificing the delicate flavors you crave. Under $15.

Wines that Age with Marriage Sampler – Now, 1, 5, & 10 Years

The wedding is over and you have many wonderful years ahead. For the wine lover there’s no greater way to celebrate those milestones than to uncork a special bottle of wine. For those worthy occasions pick the wine that would be well suited for that special moment.

Now: When you return from your honeymoon, enjoying a treasure to toast your future together is a perfect way to wrap up a romantic getaway and nothing says romance like sweets for your sweet. The Trentadue Chocolate Amore, Alexander Valley, California is sheer decadence with molten chocolate cake a la mode. This unique dessert wine is a Merlot based, Port-style wine inspired by the delicious Ports of Portugal. Infused with natural chocolate extract it’s a dessert itself. (Under $25)

1 Year: When one year has passed, celebrating with bubbly is without a doubt the right
way to go. Schramsburg Blanc de Blancs. Made in California, this bubbly is made in the “Méthode Champenoise” meaning that it is made the same way bubbly is made in Champagne, France but without the high cost that usually comes along with that distinction. Made from Chardonnay it is dry with light nutty, fruity notes. Perfect for your, this bottle is under $50.

5 Years: Your fifth is your “Wood Anniversary.” While this may not immediately seem glamorous, we take this as an invitation to recommend a lovely oaked red blend to enjoy on your fifth anniversary. The 2006 Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank, Napa Valley, California will easily stand the test of time and be lovely in 5 years. Classic and made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this red is rich and lush with great blackberry, coffee and plum flavors. This bottle is under $65.

10 Years: By your tenth anniversary you deserve to enjoy a bottle that has been aged to perfection much like your marriage has been. Toast to 10 more years with a bottle of 2005 Chateau Certan de May, Pomerol, France. Splurge is what we say here to this wine that scored 92 points out of 100. This treasure from the Pomerol region of Bordeaux is powerful, yet extremely balanced. Just like your marriage, this wine will only get better with time. This bottle is under $150.

The Savory Grape Happenings

Banfi Harvest Wine Dinner. We are pleased to present, with Siena Cucina EG, a Harvest Wine Dinner with Castello Banfi & Banfi Vintners on Tuesday, October 13. The five-course evening will begin with an opening reception at 6:45 PM and dinner commencing at 7:30 PM. Please click here for the evening's menu. Tickets, $85 including tax and gratuity, must be purchased to attend, and tickets, once purchased, are nonrefundable. We hope you can join us for this great night. To purchase tickets, please call TSG at 886-9463 or Siena at 885-8850.

Savory Grape Fall Charity Wine Festival. Roughly 20 tickets remain for The Savory Grape Fall Wine Festival on Sat., November 7, 6-9 PM at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. Monies from the Festival will be donated to the RI Community Food Bank. Tickets are $50 per person ($45 for active wine club members.) Auction packages will go online next week. For more information on the Festival, click here or visit TSG's News & Events page. To purchase tickets online, click here or contact The Savory Grape, 886-9463. If you are unable to attend but would like to make a contribution, you can do so securely online at RICFB. We look forward to a great evening!

Wine Harvest

As we welcome Fall, one of the most fun activities occurs this time of year - Wine Harvest. This is when vineyard folk pick their grapes. August through October marks prime time for harvest in Europe and North America. Harvesting is the first step that our favorite grapes make on their way to the bottle, and it's usually the busiest for vineyards.

If you're considering visiting Wine Country in the US or abroad, this is a great time to engage in the picking and "stomping" of grapes. (If you dislike crowds this isn't the time to go!) If it's too late for you to make it this harvest, check the local vineyards to see what activities they might have planned. It's a grand time to "Stomp" and get your feet wet with "the juice."

The Savory Grape Reopens At New Location!


As Sabrina, Pat, Nino and I continue to run around putting finishing touches on The Savory Grape 2.0 at 1000 Division St., we will officially open the doors at 4 PM on Wednesday, September 30. We hope you will pardon any "incomplete" appearances and stop by the new location.

As we settle in over the next couple weeks, we will hold a Grand Reopening Celebration for the weekend of October 16th. So stay tuned for more details. If you can't make it in soon, you can get a glimpse of the new shop by visiting the web site of client and photographer David Dadekian who blogged about us today. Click here to see some of the pictures from David.

We also will hold our regular tastings this weekend on Friday, 5-8 PM, and Saturday, 3-7 PM.