WRITTEN BY PHILLIP SILVERSTONE
Recently I had the opportunity to host a really enjoyable “Wine-tertainment” event for The Columbia University Alumni Club of Philadelphia. It was quite an evening because we had a smashing turnout and everybody was super attentive and it was the first time I had worked with Rachel Hendrickson a beautiful model and actress and singer who agreed to pour the wines and then, in front of the audience, record her first two weekly features for my radio show: “Rachel’s Rave Reviews” which alternate between theater reviews and healthy lifestyle suggestions. She also sang for us.
You must listen to this week’s show to hear her review and then hear her stunning voice. There was another reason the evening was a success and I have my dear friend Stan Bowers to thank, once again, for that. Stan owns the Wine Merchant, a wine import and distribution company in King of Prussia. Stan and his wife Barbara are familiar faces on the Main Line. Rumor has it he arrived on the Mayflower, but I’m not completely convinced that’s true. Although I’m sure I’ve seen his signature is on the Declaration Of Independence. The Wine Merchant has the unique talent of always finding me liquid gems. So when choosing the wine selection for my event, I looked to Stan for his advice. And, lo and behold, his recommendations were spot on. So I thought I’d share the list with you. The PA Wine stores carry the items.
Here are the wines I poured. Along with my brief notes. Every one of them is a must have this Holiday season.
Jaume Serra Cristalino extra dry (Catalan, Spain) Special Liquor Order code 57682 $11.29
Made in the traditional Champagne method with secondary fermentation in the bottle. Varietal Blend: 50 percent Macabeo, 35 percent Parellada, 15 percent Xarel-lo. Delicate toasty nose. Apple and mineral flavors. And clean, crisp finish.
S. A. Pruem Essence Riesling (Mosel, Germany) PLCB Code 9593 $11.99. My old mate Raimund Pruem makes the best wines in Germany. Aromatic perfume, with scents of apricot and peach. Fresh fruit flavors of apricot. The ONLY German wine you should be buying in PA.
McManis Family Vineyards Viognier (Northern California) Special Liquor Order code 67512 $11.29
The majority of fruit came from McManis’ own Estate Vineyards and the juice was cold fermented in Stainless Steel to retain the unique fruit characteristics of Viognier. Light straw color, with summer fruits perfume which are also found in the delicious taste.
The Crusher Pinot Noir (Clarksburg, CA) PLCB code 3694 $14.99 – Now $12.99
Berry perfume, with a slightly smoky cranberry flavor. The most delicious Pinot Noir I’ve had in some time. A marriage of the famous Sebastiani Family winemakers and the Wilson Family grape growers.
Callia Alta Malbec (San Juan, Argentina) PLCB code 5155 $8.99
I find it impossible to believe the quality of this wine given the absurdly affordable price!
A magnificent ruby color with a cherry perfume which carries through into the flavor. Wow!
Casalone Rosso Toscano (Toscana, Italy) PLCB code 5330 $13.99
Produced by Casali di Bibbiano, one of the most luxurious and exclusive destinations in Italy. Owned and operated by successful restaurateur, Alberto Guadagnini, the 18th century Casali di Bibbiano country estate operates as a luxury villa with overnight accommodations and a full-production winery. Made from Sangiovese (70 percent) Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot (30 percent). A big wine for red meat dishes. A great alternative for the more traditional Chianti. Much cleaner and more zestful thanks to it’s aging for almost a year in French oak barrels.
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears regularly in Ticket. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining