Beer and wine selections for summer
Paolo Scavino, Rosso vino da tavola, $16.50When it comes to winemaking, the Italians definitely know what they are doing. And when you are looking for a meaty wine to pair with a flavor-heavy meal you need look no further than Paolo Scavino – Rosso vino da tavola. This red table wine is a great choice when you are looking for something bold but easy to drink.This red table wine is interesting because it is made in Piedmont in northern Italy and made mostly from Barbera grapes, which are thought to have originated in the area. The wine is a deep red color and has flavors of currants and cherries. The grape enjoys a warm climate and can offer large crops. The wine has low tannins and an alcohol content of 13.5 percent.Koren O’Neill, manager at eat! drink! in Edwards, suggested pairing this big-flavor wine with two big-character cheeses. She recommends one of the restaurant’s most decadent cheeses, speziato al tartufo, made with truffle oil and rolled in cinnamon and nutmeg. If you are looking for cheese that might be just a tad bit lighter but still want great taste she will point you toward a piave, an Italian cheese that is a mix between parmesan and an asiago cheese. Both offerings are made from cow’s milk. O’Neill also noted that while mixing cheeses with wines from the same country or region is not imperative, they do compliment each other nicely. She also notes this wine will always be good with a hearty Italian meal.
At $16.50 the wine definitely delivers on taste and value. Next time you are making a big pasta dinner try this wine out and make plain old spaghetti a little more interesting.- Jessica Slosberg, Daily CorrespondentShoofly Buzz Cut 2004, $12.The wine world is a-changin’. It used to be that any wine with a twist-off top was strictly reserved for either those on a strict budget, the fool-hardy or the underage. It never graced the table of a serious wine drinker. Things have changed and the Shoofly Buzz Cut 2004 from Australia is proof.
This wine is made from a blend of four distinct grapes that were crafted together to make one killer white wine. The wine is made mostly from Viognier and Verdelho. These grapes give the wine a tropical fruit flavor and hint of peach, but rather than making the wine sickly sweet adds a little bit of drama to the flavor. The crisp, excellent finish can be attributed too Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The wine is not too dry, not too sweet, but somewhere in the middle and very enjoyable.Don’t take my word for it, I bought the wine on the recommendation of most of the eat! drink! staff. They liked it and so did I. It went quite well with a bowl of vanilla ice cream – the light fruit flavors made it seem like a grown-up fruit sundae. This wine is practically a steal and will make even the most reluctant white wine drinker reconsider because of the multi-faceted taste. So go ahead and try this white wine blend, and as the company said, “twist away those summer days.”- Jessica Slosberg, Daily Correspondent
Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale, $4.50.England’s Black Sheep Brewing Co. has taken up the daunting task of translating on of the funniest movies of all time into, er, beer. But is it as wonderful as vast tracts of land, or does it fart in your general direction? This beer was commissioned to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Pythons, and it’s been going strong since.I expected a much darker, heavier beer, but Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale is actually closer to a pale ale, with fruity notes mixing with hop flavours and a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. It pours a hazy amber color, forming a nice one-finger head without too much carbonation. Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale feels medium-bodied on the palate, and while the malts aren’t very strong, the beer features satisfying bitters like a true English pale ale.Face it, if you buy this beer, you’re doing it for the label and the love of all things Python. What you’ll get is a pleasant, English-style ale that is neither overpowering nor underwhelming, and it might sneak up on you with its bright flavors and mild texture “tempered over burning witches,” as it says on the label. No need to bring out your dead or run away – this is the beer to have while you “eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.”- Ted Alvarez, Arts & Entertainment Writer