“What blows my mind is the passion of great winemakers trying to bring out the truth of the grapes,” says Andrea Lazar, the Wine & Spirits Director at t’afia.
Here’s some of her favorite examples:
$15 or less McPherson 2005 Rosé of Syrah Lubbock, Texas
“Kim Mcpherson is growing some of the best grapes and making some of the best wines in Texas. His focus is on Rhone grape varietals that love the North Texas landscape. This rosé is a perfect way to end the day and start a meal, any day of the year.”
$30 or less Summers Winery 2005 Charbono Calistoga, California
“This is a rare varietal from a family winery -- they only produced 2,000 cases of Charbono in 2005. The grape is thought to have originated somewhere along the French-Italian border but is now found in only 100 acres of California. I love this wine – which has flavors of jammy plum, candied apple and anise -- on its own or with duck or venison.”
$60 or less Adobe Guadalupe 2003 Gabriel (Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon) Guadalupe Valley, Mexico
“Most people would never consider buying a Mexican wine, much less one in this price category. But this gem from the country’s Baja region is all about Mexico and all about great winemaking. When I first tasted it, I was reminded of a great single-village mezcal with its smoky characteristics and complex layering of flavors. This wine has depth and subtleties -- with flavors of leather, smoke, blackberry and roasted fruit -- that unfold like the Mexican landscape (1098 cases produced).”
$120 or less
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“Well, bubbles just blow my mind. Period. And I will spend this much on some really great bubbles. You can never go wrong with the “Grower Champagnes” from the small vineyards imported by Thierry Thiese, like the 2000 Jean Milan “Terres de Noel” Brut – a truly beautiful wine (with bubbles). While drinking said wine, you could also read the book The Healing Powers of Champagne and feel good inside about spending as much on a bottle of wine as an hour of therapy.”
“One of the best wine and food experiences I have ever had was at The French Laundry in Yountville, where we drank the most delightful Trockenbeerenauslese throughout the entire meal, from the liver paté to dessert. It was the wine we kept going back to, again and again. If I win the lotto, I will immediately order some 1993 Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Trockenbeerenauslese, at about $450 for a half bottle.”