Today is National Wine Day – though I admit I celebrate this event considerably more than once a year – and it seems like the perfect time to share some of the wines I’ve been tasting lately.
Like many of us, I’m a creature of habit, so tasting different wines is a must (get it, a must?) for me, so I don’t become too mired in a rut.
Artesa Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, 2013
Retailing at $40, this brightly acidic Carneros Pinot Noir is densely packed with ripe red fruit – strawberries, black cherries and raspberries – and has a pleasant vibrancy. There’s oak but not too much.
Artesa Estate Reserve Chardonnay, 2013
Flavors of honey, nuts and pears combine in this satisfying white that has an almost creamy, buttery mouthfeel. It’s fruity and refreshing and perfect for the patio this weekend. $40.
Antonelli Montefalco Rosso, 2011
Once you fire up the grill, you’ll want to uncork this blend of Sangiovese (70%), Sagrantino and Montepulciano (15% each). Each of the varietals is fermented separately and then blended before aging at least a year in oak, clarifying in cement vats for 6 months and spending another 6 months or more aging in the bottle. The result is a gorgeous ruby red wine that is dry and fruity and perfect for grilled meats and pasta. $21.
Castelbuono Ziggurat Montefalco Rosso, 2011
Get another look at the same blend from this certified organic producer for around the same price ($19). Bright and packed full of red fruit flavors, this – like the Antonelli – is balanced and elegant.
Domaine Bousquet Malbec, 2015
Head to the New World for 100% Malbec grown high above sea level in Argentina. This nearly black wine is spicy and peppery with black fruits like currants, dark cherries and blackberries, and a dash of chocolate. Smooth on the tongue, this will also perfectly complement those steaks or chops on the grill. $12.
Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve
This high-scoring champagne (40% Pinor Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier) glows golden and flows fizzy, with bubbles that endure to tickle the palate. The blend includes wines that have been aged an average of 10 years to build depth and complexity. Hints of vanilla and even coffee keep things interesting and make this well worth the splurge. $60.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.