Travel & Tasting Notes From A Couple of Wine Lovers

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An Ancient New White Wine.

New to VinoDuo, that is.  Greco di Tufo, from the Campania region of Italy, has a 2,000 year pedigree. But Lisa discovered it today at Il Casale in Lexington, Mass.

Golden color, pleasing mouth feel but not heavy, a little fruit and lots of minerals. But not minerally. Strange but pleasing combo ideal for a light meal or cheese course.  Not great sipping alone. Great alternative to Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio…for which there should ALWAYS be an alternative.



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A Rosé for All Seasons

We were disappointed to learn that the Nordstrom in Burlington had closed the stylish Blue Stove restaurant, a small plates and wine haunt for VinoDuo. A few years back, Lisa discovered Whispering Angel rosé at Blue Stove and it quickly became a favorite before the wine took a dive into sweet and sad. The Blue Stove replacement is Bazille, a slightly cheaper, slightly more mainstream restaurant with the same sleek bar and a brand new wine list. Thankfully, Whispering Angel was gone. In its place, a Provencal rosé from Jean-Luc Colombo. And damn if it didn’t suck Lisa in too.

IMG_20180103_155335622.jpgThe Cape Bleue 2016 is produced in Marseilles with the classic Rhone grapes Syrah (67%) and Mourvèdre (33%). Colombo has been dubbed the “Winemaking Wizard of the Rhone” and he obviously waved his wand over the Cape Bleue. There’s a bit of limestone and peach on the nose. Dry but not bone dry. Subtle but not boring. Salmon colored but not fishy 🙂  Lots of fresh fruit on the nose, dominant peach and a hint of honeysuckle. If the Arugula Salad with Lump Crab and Avocado had taken any longer to arrive, Lisa would have licked the glass dry.  Unlike the burst-of-summer rosés she gravitates towards, the Cape Bleue has enough heft to get her through the winter.

And this wine is so cheap! At $9/$10 a bottle (less than Bazille charges for one glass!) we’ve found our new house rosé.

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Perfect End Of Summer Sancerre

Flinty. Tart. Sharp. Qualities you wouldn’t look for in a mate but ones that Lisa gravitates towards in a white wine. As summer winds down and oyster season ramps up, we found a $20 Sancerre with a crisp, tart taste to add to your raw bar. Domaine des Hauts de Maimbray 2014 is bright and lively, with grapefruit or lemon undertones. A classic Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, the wine is dry without producing cotton mouth; IMG_20170913_171851563tart without prompting a pucker; and drinkable on its own or with shellfish. Lisa once pledged allegiance to Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, NZ, with the wet granite, limestone notes. Sancerre has moved to the top of the heap, offering the citrus profile of NZ wine without the stone aftertaste.

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A Tale of 2 Roses

IMG_20170704_124723459Celebrating American independence from England with French Rose at Eastern Standard.  Chateau Pigoudet Grenache/Cinsault “Premiere” from Provence for Lisa and Dom. Roumagnac Negrette and Syrah “Authentique” from Fronton (SW France.)

The Authentique? Lots of flinty limestone with gentle nectarine/ strawberry notes. Medium salmon color with a fresh nose. Terrific with grilled cheese or any other cheese of your choice. Fronton is an AOC unto itself in Southwest France, within the Aquitaine region. At $11 a glass and about that for a bottle in the stores, it’s a bargain.

And the Premiere? Lighter salmon color, honeydew and granite on the nose.  Dry as a bone, lemongrass and mineral flavors.



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Plonk Plonk Fizz Fizz Part 3 – The Fizz

anaAnd now, the Fizz. If you’ve been tasked with bringing the bubbly to a cookout, birthday or pool party and want to keep the price under $15 a bottle, here are three inexpensive options. We recommend two of them and  our clear favorite [and the cheapest] is Anna Codorniu Reserva Blanc de Blancs Brut Cava.

Happy summer everyone!





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Plonk Plonk Fizz Fizz Part 2 – The Reds

IMG_20170417_203400373Our journey into red plonk territory wasn’t nearly as successful as the whites were. Of the four wines we tasted, just one was worth buying– the Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 2014. But even there, the vote was a split decision. Gary liked it enough to buy again, Lisa would drink it again if placed directly in front of her. 

Can anyone out there in VinoDuo land recommend an under $12 red worth drinking?  Drop us a line and we’ll do a taste test and report back.