What To Drink Now: Wine During A Pandemic


I read a funny quote the other day noting that if we think we have it bad now, keep in mind in 20 years our world will be run by people educated by day drinkers.

As we find ourselves tempted to open our normal evening bottle of wine a little earlier in the day, make sure it is a quality selection, like one of these exceptional options. Drink #withme #AloneTogether #Cheers & #BeSafe

Long before Champagne came to be, the Limoux area of Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France had discovered the ability to create the traditional method sparkling wine that made Champagne famous. Very crisp and bright, Faire La Fete Brut Cremant de Limoux ($19) showcases a classic style, with a vibrant mousse delivering flavors of green apple, almond, and brioche. Holistically farmed grapes are hand-harvested from limestone filled vineyards, giving a crushed stone mineral note to the finish.

Striking and luscious, JCB No. 69 Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose ($28) celebrates the lust for life that radiates through all the JCB wines. With juicy red currant, red raspberry, and red apple notes, the traditionally made sparkler has lovely richness, while maintaining a light freshness. Creamy, rich, highly elegant, and always beautiful, Domaine Carneros Le Reve Brut ($120) delivers ripe pear, golden apple, and white flowers, with toasted brioche, meringue, and marzipan.

Melding stone fruit and white flowers, Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier ($16) is the perfect combination of freshness, almost like springtime in a glass with jasmine, ginger, white peach, and tangerine. Wild yeast fermented and concrete egg aged, from estate-grown fruit in Australia’s McLaren Vale, Yangarra Roux Beaute Roussanne ($50) is well rounded, fresh, and lively, with spicy ginger, apricot, honey, and tangerine. South Africa’s Wolftrap delivers an incredible bang-for-your-buck wine in their Wolftrap White ($12) blend of Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Viognier. Slightly peppery and spicy, with a round, creamy palate, the honeydew, honeysuckle, ripe pear, and creamy vanilla filled wine lingers with a long, balanced finish.

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region has a defined flavor profile of ripe citrus, gooseberry, and tropical fruit cocktail. In 2018 Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) was created to protect and honor the premium reputation of the region’s wines and define a set of farming principles and quality standards for their members. Guidelines include sustainable farming practices and ensuring 100% of the fruit is grown in the region and bottled in the country. Members of the group include many of the region’s finest producers, including Cloudy Bay, Astrolabe, and Whitehaven. Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($20) melds tropical guava and lilikoi with soft herbs and lemon peel. Also, from Marlborough, Ponga Sauvignon Blanc ($13) highlights crushed stone minerality, with white peach and orange blossom.

Central Coast, California Chardonnay is a beautiful thing. Regions like Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Maria Valley, and San Luis Obispo showcase the essence of the cool-climate variety. Hahn SLH Chardonnay ($25) from Santa Lucia Highland reveals stone fruit, creme brulee, and vanilla notes. From coastal vineyards reaching from the SLO Coast to Monterey, Chamisal Stainless Steel Chardonnay ($18) shows a pure expression of fruit, without oak influence, delivery ripe green apple, lemon-lime, fig, and fresh herbs. From Santa Maria Valley Cambria Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay ($22) opens with aromatic citrus blossom followed by mandarin and green fig.


Pinot Noir

From Central Coast’s Arroyo Seco AVA, Wente Riva Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir ($35) enjoys one of the longest growing seasons for the variety in California. The long season ensures fruit fully ripens while maintaining gorgeous freshness and acidity, with flavors of ripe red berry, and bing cherry. Very smooth and light, Hess Select Central Coast Pinot Noir ($19) shines with floral rose, violets, and plum. More austere, and well-structured, Goldeneye The Narrows Pinot Noir ($86) from northern Anderson Valley leads with forest floor and truffle notes, balancing earthiness with black cherry and toasted hazelnut.

Quintessa Vineyards

Cabernet Sauvignon can run the gamut from lush to rustic and dense. Highly concentrated, while maintaining a delicate softness that is somewhat surprising for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Quintessa ($190) highlights their Rutherford AVA vineyards gracefully, keeping you engaged through the multi-layered finish. With aromatic floral notes of violet and lavender, melding into espresso, dried tobacco, and dark cherry, Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon ($95) is highly concentrated, well structured, and completely inviting.

Regal and refined, Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon ($285) opens powerfully with crushed blackberry, pencil lead, and leather. Out of the gate, the wine struts its intensity, but with a bit of time to breathe, the robust palate reveals an endless charm. Aromatic and sophisticated, Lail Blueprint Cabernet Sauvignon ($80) shows roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and warm baking spice, with cherry and ripe berry. Bonus, in addition to 10% of the purchase of Lail Wines going to organizations dedicated to fighting climate change.

From organically grown vineyards, Ehler’s Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($65) presents purple flower, cedar, savory balsamic, and Asian spice. Napa’s Gamble Family Cabernet Sauvignon ($60) balances a structured palate with a velvety finish, melding black fruit, licorice, espresso, and spice. Delivering unbelievable quality for the price, J. McClelland Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) offers leather, earthy tar, and pencil-led characteristics. Revealing a true Bordeaux blend from reserve quality vineyards throughout Napa Valley, BV Tapestry ($65) showcases a refined elegance, with crushed stone, ripe plum, licorice, and toasted spice.