Monday, September 29, 2008

Book Pick: The Wine Trials

Winetrials187x300 I'm always on the lookout for smart, unbiased wine recommendations, and the folks at Fearless Critic Media have assembled a super little guide called THE WINE TRIALS.

The authors, Robin Goldstein and Alexis Herschkowitsch, have done a terrific job of examining some of the most popular, value-based (under $15) wines in an easy-to-read format that's sure to be a hit with the novice and enthusiast alike.

I've had a blast flipping though the pages.  What really has me excited is that I recommend many of the wines found in the book -- so whether I'm right or wrong, at least there are others out there who share my same sense of taste and value.

Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Scott's Pick Of The Week: Riviera Rosé

Newrivieradetail_3I'm not exactly sure why it's taken me so long to write about Château Potelle's (outstanding, well-crafted, easy-drinking, food-friendly...I can go on and on) Riviera Rosé.  I reckon it's because this rosé is such an integral part of my on-hand wine arsenal, I just assume everyone else knows about it.  (All my friends sure do.)

Once springtime hits, then all the way through Thanksgiving, I serve Riviera every chance I get.  I find it especially refreshing when hanging out around the grill.  And since we're talking about often maligned rosé, it makes for a great conversation starter-cum-diversionary tactic for my buddies.  The newbies are never sure what to think about this "pink" wine.  But that all changes with the first sip, which gets them asking all sorts of questions about Riviera and wanting to know more about Château Potelle.  The "diversionary" part comes in because all the engagement over the wine keeps them from fooling with the grill (i.e. flipping their steaks every 30 seconds, which is such a nasty man-at-grill habit).

Anyway, while attending the ZAP Fitness running camp in Blowing Rock, NC, this past weekend, the subject of wine came up one night over supper -- surprise, surprise.  (Side note: ZAP Fitness is home to some of the country's top distance runners, who are subsidized by ZAP Fitness, live on-site, and spend their days training to be their very best.  Pretty cool opportunity, I'd say.  But here's the fun part.  A few times a year, ZAP opens its doors to us mortals by hosting a series of adult running camps.  For all you runners out there--at all fitness levels--it's amazing.  The ability to rub shoulders with elite runners, get expert training advice, and clear your head is unparalleled.) 
Back to supper.

ZAP's Elite Athlete Coach/Coordinator, Pete Rae, asked if I'd ever heard of this great winery up on Mt. Veeder in Napa called Château Potelle.  I practically dropped my fork.  Of all the wineries in all the world, right?  Pete starts in about how he and his wife, Zika, are real fans of Château Potelle's Cabernet Sauvignon VGS (the VGS stands for Very Good, ahem, Stuff), which is an awesome wine, to be sure.  After sharing my sob story about how I'd tried to visit the winery's tasting room last year only to arrive five minutes too late, I shot back asking him if he'd ever had the Riviera.  Pete shook his head no, and I insisted he give it a try.  All the good conversation reminded me just how much I enjoy Château Potelle's wines AND how I needed to seize the moment and post something on the blog.
So here goes:  Run, don't walk, to your nearest wine store and pick up a bottle of Riviera.  You won't be disappointed.  The wine is packed with loads of red berry aromas, while still delivering nice, palate-cleansing acidity, and suprising body and richness for a rosé.  And at about $15 a bottle, it's a super value.