Around the World in 80 Sips- Wines of the Week

Host of the Event

The Crowd

I attended an excellent event thrown by Bottlenotes Around the World in 80 Sips. This is a great opportunity to learn while “drinking around the world”. Virtually every style of wine can be sampled in one place.

Click here to see the wines poured

Below are some wines that really stood out, for me. The exclusive retail sponsor was Sherry Lehman so most links from the event go back to their site. But I included some terms to look for (or ask about) if you want to try another similar wine. I also included a wine searcher link so you can find the wine we drank, at a location near you.

France-“Champagne”…technically it isn’t Champagne.

Jaillance, a wine growing cooperative in the South of France poured two of their sparkling wines- 1 sweet and 1 dry.

1. Clairette de Die Cuvee Imperiale NV- Sweet (only slightly sweet)
A sparkling wine-not true champagne but who cares? Very interesting floral nose of roses and honeysuckle. Great Champagne alternative at a great price-$18
Click here to find it.

2. Cremant de Bordeaux, Cuvee de l’Abbaye NV-Dry (not too dry)
Cremant is a generic term which describes sparkling wine from France made in the traditional Champagne method but not grown in the Champagne region. So you can find a good value “Champagne” by searching out “Cremant” on the label.

Traditional yeasty toasty nose with almonds. A steal at $15!
Click here to find it.

Dessert (sweet)

Chateau du Trignon Muscat Beaumes de Venise 2008-$19
For those of you that don’t think you like dessert wines, give this a try. It is light yet rich with honeysuckle and candied fruits-a great price!

“Beaumes de Venise” (look for this term on the label) is an appellation of wines from the eastern central region of the southern half of the Rhône Valley. This style of wine from that region is a sweet fortified wine called Vin du Naturals.
Click here to find it.

New Zealand-Central Otago!

New Zealand-Pinot Noir

Central Otago (O-TA-GO) is the Southernmost wine growing region in the world. This is one of my favorite regions for bargain Pinot that drink well when they are released (you can drink them right away).

Amisfield Central Otago Pinot Noir- 2007

not light bodied but classic velvet mouth feel of Pinot, balanced with some savory (spice) and restrained fruit. unlike some other Pinot’s we tried it did not have a bitter or green finish. Drink this now! $40
Click here to find it.

Tempranillo from Spain.


Bodegas Luis Canas Crianza 2006- $15
Red fruit with oak. wine has some leather aromas as well- good value.
Click here to find it.

2006 Matarromera– a large mouthful of wine with an elegant finish. Aromas and flavors are a complex mix of red and black fruits. Very amazing wine for Tempranillo fans, but hard to find. Search it out.-$26

United States

Spring Mountain Sauvignon Blanc-My favorite white wine of the evening came from an unusual source-the buzzed guy hanging aroung the table proclaiming that this was the best Sauvignon Blanc in the place.

He was right-it was in a French style, minerally (wet stones) yet with California fruit-grapefruit and peaches.

“Sancerre” and “Pouilly Fume” are both from the Loire Valley of France. Both are terms to look for on the label if you like mineral-style Sauvignon Blanc.

At $40 it is a little expensive but really well made.
Click here to find it.


Cannonball Merlot– The producer was pouring 2 wines, cabernet and merlot and actually suggested that we drink the cab first. You normally taste lighter bodied wines before fuller bodied wines. I found out why…their merlot wine is very full bodied and chewy and actually BIGGER than their cab. An excellent steak wine! $15

A great label…too much fun. I always expect wines that have such a cute, clever label to have no substance-but this one delivers.
Click here to find it.


Australia has created/marketed a category of wines labeled “GSM” which stands for the grape varieties in the wine (Grenache/Shiraz/Mouvedre). These wines are meant to replicate the southern Rhone region of France that produces similar blends. If you enjoy this blend you should also look for the French version- “Gigondas, Côtes du Rhône, Vacqueyras, or Châteauneuf-du-Pape” on the label.

Mouvedre/Grenache/Shiraz (aussies pronounce this SHUR-AZ not SHUR-OZ)- a medium to full bodied wine tasting of baked, chocolate covered cherries-seriously. A long, smooth finish.
Click to find it.

Emiliana Coyam-$30
Chile has some of the oldest existing original rootstock in the world because they were not attacked by the Phylloxera louse epidemic thay caused most of Europe to replant all of their European vines on American rootstock (which is reistant to the disease). chile is also are not restricted by old world laws that dictate where grapes are grown and which grapes can be used in a wine. This wine is an example of what can be accomplished with some creative expression…and it is organic.

This wine contains (45% Syrah, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Carmenere, 3% Petit Verdot) and is aged in French and American Oak.
Big bold fruit + spice. Alot of aromas and flavors going on in the glass-fruit, chocolate, cigar box, spices. I went back for another “sip”. This might be my favorite wine of the night!
Click here to find it.

We plan on returning next year for 80 more sips…Please let me know if you try any of these wines.

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