Uncorked: Festival yields affordable, good wines
There were lots of fabulous $100 wines at the recent South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, Fla., but I know from energetic and persistent comments that newspaper readers are looking for a more fortuitous combination — pretty cheap and pretty good. Happily, there were lots of those, too.
Thirty-six producers from a dozen countries brought four or five wines each to the big tasting, and that's not counting the beers, liquors, smoothies and tasty drinks poured by young women in gold lame outfits that were kind of hard to categorize.
"We come every year," said John Harrington, eastern sales manager for Trefethen Family Vineyards, as he poured a spicy, black-cherry-flavored (but $55) cabernet sauvignon. "We can reach restaurants and merchants as well as the public. It's very good exposure."
"This is our first year," said Eric Latto, 33, of Paducah, Ky., as he sipped a crisp, lime-scented pinot grigio with his girlfriend, Emily Messer, 29. "I've never seen so many wines in one place. We'll be back."
In a rewarding couple of hours, I was able to taste 15 very nice wines, all under $15. Join me.
2010 "Essence" Riesling by S.A. Prum, Mosel (QbA): intense, sweet-tart green pineapple aromas and flavors, crisp and lively; $10.
2009 Periquita by Jose Maria da Fonseca, Terras do Sado, Portugal (castelao, trincadeira and aragonez grapes): deep ruby color, black plum and milk chocolate flavors, sweet and soft; $10.
2008 Uno Malbec by Antigal Winery, Mendoza, Argentina: aromas and flavors of red plums and espresso, powerful and smooth; $14.
2010 Cavit Moscato, IGT Lombardy: fizzy, sweet tangerine flavors, light bodied; $11.
Nonvintage House Jam Moscato, IGT Puglia: light, fizzy and crisp, very sweet orange aromas and flavors, $7.
2009 Castronovo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC: very dark hue, soft and sweet, aromas and flavors of sweet black cherries; $13.
Nonvintage Romate Cream Sherry, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain: very dark and sweet, full-bodied, burnt sugar flavors. $12.
2007 Sasyr Sangiovese & Syrah by Rocca delle Macie, IGT Toscana: very dark hue, aromas and flavors of black plums, bitter almond finish; $11.
2010 Alta Luna Pinot Grigio, Cavit, Rovere della Luna: aromas of white flowers, tart lime flavors, light-bodied; $11.
2010 Planeta "La Segreta," IGT Sicily (grecianico, chardonnay, viognier and fiano grapes): aromas and flavors of tart lemons and minerals, light-bodied; $13.
2009 Fonterutoli Chianti Classico by Mazzei DOCG (sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon grapes): very dark hue, aromas and flavors of tart cherries, full-bodied and hearty; $29.
2010 Jean-Luc Colombo "Les Abeilles de Colombo" Blanc, Cotes du Rhone (clairette, grenache, viognier, rousanne grapes): soft acids, aromas and flavors of green apples and minerals; $12.
2009 Citra Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC: sweet-tart green apple aromas and flavors, crisp and light-bodied; $9.
2010 Epica Red Wine by San Pedro Winery, Chile: very dark hue, aromas and flavors of black cherries and dark chocolate, sweet and soft; $10.
Nonvintage Rosenblum Cellars Vintner's Cuvee XXXII Zinfandel, California: very dark hue, with sweet, spicy red raspberry and mocha aromas and flavors; $14.
Fred Tasker has retired from The Miami Herald but is still writing about wine. He can be reached at email@example.com.