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Quattro Mani is the brainchild of Domaine Select Wine Estates. It is an offering of second label wines from some of Italy and Slovenia’s best winemakers. The 2010 Quattro Mani Barbera is made by Danilo Droco, one of Piedmont’s greatest winemakers. Not only is the Quatro Mani Barbera a zippy little wine, it’s also a great price at $8.99 a bottle. In fact, it’s one of the best wines priced under $10 that I have tried.
We spend a lot of time thinking about drinks but I was still taken aback by the impact that six beverages had on world civilization. In his book, History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage explores the effect that beer, wine, distilled spirits, tea, coffee and Coca Cola had on civilization and world history. It’s nothing short of remarkable.
This week’s Wine Wednesday was a bright, crisp, zippy white. The wine didn’t pretend to be anything that it wasn’t. It was simple and refreshing and evoked days of summer during the dead of winter.
This week’s high/low weekend is a comparison of the new world and old world styles of wine. Australia is representing the new world with a Riesling from Edna Valley. I bet a few of you didn’t even know that Australia made Rieslings (you are not alone). But, they certainly do and if you enjoy Riesling with petrol characteristics, then you should really try Australia. The old world is being represented by Spain with a traditional, classic Rioja based on the Tempranillo grape. Both of these wines are great food pairing wines.
In addition to its great price, there are two other things going for it. A great label. I know that I have cautioned against buying wine based on how much you like the wine but sometimes I am a bit of a hypocrite. But, this time, I didn’t actually purchase the wine based on the label but on a recommendation. That didn’t mean that I wasn’t enjoying the label – I truly was (and when I found the model for the label – a women drinking a glass of wine abreast a bear, I liked it even more).
This bargain wine is made from certified organic grapes in Mendocino County. Mendocino County is a cool growing area just north of Sonoma and has long been a leader in the organic grape movement in the United States. What is great about this wine is that is is organic and can still be found for under $10. We paid $8.99 for it.
Fresh for the New Year, Sandemam’s created this fragrant winter sangria. Great for a playoff party, for the non beer set. If you can’t find clemetines, it’s OK to substitute fresh oranges.
Winter Spice Sangria
1 bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto
4 oz cinnamon Schnapps
3 clementines, quartered
6 oz cranberries
18 oz sparkling clementine juice or soda
6 oz cranberry juice
4 cinnamon sticks
Ground allspice to taste