“What do you like to drink?” asked an acquaintance recently, who is not in the wine trade. I opened my mouth to respond, then paused. The answer is not so simple. I mentally took stock of the latest bottles to have brought me the most enjoyment, and the labels that ran through my head were not of well-known wines like white Burgundy, red Bordeaux, Alsatian Riesling, or Provençal rosé. They did not even include wines that were once deemed obscure but now commonly accepted by the general wine-drinking public, such as cru Beaujolais, Chinon, or Etna. No, I instead recalled an inky-black, chewy Muristellu from northern Sardinia, a luscious, honeyed, stony Corsican white from the indigenous Biancu Gentile grape, and a bright, juicy, wonderfully quaffable chilled Grolleau from the Loire Valley. “Variety,” I replied. “I like to switch it up as much as possible.” The idea that there are just a handful of types of wine out there (Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay? Pinot Noir or Cabernet?) is now thoroughly outdated. Great wines come from countless regions all over the world, many of them totally foreign to the average person, and are made from a seemingly infinite number of different grape varieties, each one offering a unique palette of aromas to satisfy curious drinkers. If you’re like me, you’ll get a thrill not just from savoring the tried-and-true classics over and over again, but also from trying novelties that open our mind to the never-ending possibilities the wine world has to offer, all while stimulating the palate with new flavors. Take a look at some of the more unusual whites we currently have in stock. Who knows, your house Sancerre may well be replaced by something else you can’t even pronounce, much less locate on a map.
**Use promo code CURIOUS20 to take 20% OFF wines in the collection!** (valid now through the end of the month)
One of the most affordable wines in our entire portfolio comes from a vineyard site that is among the steepest, hardest-to-work parcels upon which you’ll ever lay eyes. You might think that heroic viticulture comes at a cost, yet somehow the delicate, fragrant Moscato d’Asti Marco Tintero ekes from his precipitous Sorì Gramella plot—a true marvel of Italian viticulture—lands on our shelves at a mere $14.
We’ve been working with the Montanets for nearly three decades now, a partnership that was a no-brainer, given that Bernard Raveneau first taught Jean Montanet the techniques and importance of getting things right in the vineyard before anything comes into the cellar, and it was Marcel Lapierre who showed Jean the splendor and purity of natural winemaking. It has always been and remains a great pleasure to work with Jean and his son Valentin, both of whom are ever smiling, ever optimistic, and quick to joke at their own expense. But don’t be fooled. Their wines—every last one of them—are world-class, serious, and, most important, delicious Burgundies.
Much ink has been spilled about the great wines of Italy. Entire books have been written about her two superstars, Barolo and Brunello; other appellations like Barbaresco, Chianti, and Amarone are right behind, logically sharing representation in the annals of Italy’s vinous hall of fame. For the thirsty traveler, it is a similar story: Tuscany and Piedmont are obvious destinations, home to a thriving wine scene complete with fine dining, luxury hotels, guided winery tours, and scenic vineyard aperitivi.
The only thing we like better than great wine is great wine that doesn’t cost much and we’re happy to report that a bottle of great wine can still be found for $20 or less. We’ve put together a collection of our favorites all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and a couple of sparklers.
From a tiny village nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees to Burgundy’s golden slope and the prestigious vineyards of Piedmont, we have just received dozens of exciting wines from many distinct regions in France and Italy.
Drinking the wines of Corsica is akin to a visceral immersion into the natural wonders of the Île de Beauté: each sip is the liquid sum of sea, sun, stone, wind, and the wild maquis herbs that make up this stunning land. But beyond this, it is also a window into the Corsican identity and the strong local culture that has been forged as a result of the island’s turbid history. From this perspective, there is no better portal to understanding Corsica than through the wines of Antoine Arena.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa