The Pandemic Wine Club is the Best Birthday Gift Ever!
I turned the big five-one last week and since I have the best son ever...(no mine's the best 🙂) he set me up with one of my favorite local restaurants, Hitchcock, who also happens to have their very own sommelier, Alexandra Stang. And guess what? It's temporarily called The Pandemic Wine Club. Perfect fit huh? What a likely choice for a post-apocalyptic writer.
Alex gave me a call. We discussed what I like this time of year. The Northwest can swing in temperatures wildly from hot muggy days to cold and rainy ones day by day or, interestingly, in the same day. That makes a difference with what you might want to enjoy in a beverage. I prefer the rich bodied taste of deep red wines, but when it's rather warm in the summer, I enjoy the brisk taste of chilled white wines.
Admittedly, I know very little about wines other than this brink into the abyss because there's a whole world of knowledge about wines. It's something I've always had an interest in and would like to know more. Alex asked me about regions I might be interested in. What tastes I enjoy. Since I've prefer dry wines, I'm not a huge fan of the overly sweet chardonnays but apparently there are also dry chardonnays.
After our consultation, she selected four wines for me and I picked them up at one of the Hitchcock's locations on Bainbridge Island.
Now I have a great selection of wines to choose from for that right occasion. Already, my son and I had a virtual wine tasting with the Routas, the rose'. As I'd hoped, it was light, crisp and refreshing on a warm day and not over sweet. It's a wine I'll look for again to keep on hand.
I loved this so much, I asked Alexandra if I could share this service with my local fans and she agreed! Keep in mind, they can deliver or you can pick the wines up at one of their locations here but they are not set up to ship wines as of yet. If you're in the Seattle or Kitsap County locations, you're in for a treat. Click the link and feel free to contact Alex for any information.
Here is the description of the service below. As well as the breakdown of the wines chosen for me. You might have a completely different selection based on your preferences. If you're interested follow the link.
Note: I receive no affiliate favors for this post, I just really thought it was a cool idea 😊. I love how business are adapting in these troubled time and this was just a perfect fit. (My son's the best!)
The Pandemic Wine Club is a remote sommelier service offered by Alexandra Stang, the Beverage Director for the acclaimed Hitchcock Restaurant Group. The club started as a way to share the diverse & delicious wines in HRG restaurants’ cellars with fans, friends & fellow wine-lovers, whilst the COVID-19 shutdown kept their dining rooms closed and their guests hunkered down at home. Unlike other wine clubs, with PWC the client chooses their preferred order frequency, quantity, and price point. Alex provides a phone consultation to discuss categories, style and flavors with each PWC member, then plays 'wine matchmaker,' resulting in a totally personalized selection! Orders are available for pick-up and limited delivery in the Seattle area and on Bainbridge Island. Sign up by visiting pandemicwineclub.com.
Gaintza Txakolina 2017- Located in the Getaria subzone of Spanish Basque Country with its vineyards situated on the bluffs overlooking the bay in Guipuzcoa on the Cantabrian coast, this is a wine that speaks unmistakably of place. From 100% estate-grown indigenous varieties Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza, as well as the maritime variety Gros Manseng, this is a classic Getaria-style Txakolina. Light effervescence and brilliant, refreshing acidity, and low alcohol make it the perfect beach bash pairing. On the nose, high toned aromas of lemon, quince, and green apple layer with sea spray and stony mineral notes. Sharp and tangy on the palate with a practically gluggable appeal that finishes salty and clean -begging you to take another sip! Brilliant on its own, but even better with fried fish, shellfish, and oysters.
Château Routas Rosé, Coteaux Varois en Provence - The Estate of Chateau Routas is nestled between the old town elegance of Aix-en-Provence, and the white sand beaches that line the Gulf de Saint Tropez. An altitude of 350 meters provides cooler nights contributing to both freshness and flavor complexity in the wines. The terrain here, of rocky limestone soils, wheat fields dotted with sunflowers, wild herbs and olive groves, is punctuated by a stunning geological anomaly, the 270 meter-deep Infernet Hole (Devil’s Hole), a canyon thought to have been created by a meteor collision. The hole is a favourite refuge of the local wild boars, which are unfortunately, a little too fond of the Chateau Routas grapes! This is a classic Provencal rose made with the traditional blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose offers tangy watermelon, ripe peach aromas and floral notes, leading to a palate alive with wild strawberries, garrigue mediterranean herbs and salty mineral notes. Crisp acidity and a refreshing finish make this an ultra versatile food wine. Try it with melon & prosciutto with some olive oil & basil.
Le Piane Maggiorina -
Boca was once the heart of a vibrant wine-making area in Northern Piedmont, but with the industrialization that came to the region in the 1950's, the farms and vineyards around Milan were abandoned as people left for the city and the easier money of the factories. These ideal vineyards -- high altitude, terraced volcanic terroirs -- were simply abandoned and reclaimed by the forest. In the 1990s, there was only one producer of note left in Boca -- Antonio Cerri, an octogenarian who made elegant long-lasting Nebbiolo wines to rival anything from the south. Christoph Kuenzli, who came to buy his wines, revered him, and was determined to ensure that Boca would not die with Anotonio Cerri. When Cerri passed in 1998, Christoph bought the estate, expanded Cerri's small vineyard, and carried on the tradition of making great wine in Boca. His vineyards lie between 400m and 450m. They are all south-facing and include some original 80-100 year old vines planted in the "Maggiorina" vine training system that is unique to the area. The roots systems of these old vines are enormous - providing amazing phenolic maturity and complexity without heaviness. The Maggiorina bottling is 40% Nebbiolo, 40% Croatina, and 10 other indigenous grapes from 80-100 year old vines. Nothing added but minimal amounts of sulphur. Vibrant, elegant, and refreshing with red fruit character, spiced with white pepper. Made to be consumed in enormous quantities and with lots of joy.
Poggio alla Guardia - This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Sangiovese is a great introduction to Maremma, the coastal area of Toscana where many of the famous ‘Super Tuscans’ are made. The Poggio alla Guardia is an attractive, fruity wine to drink now and over the next few years. Grilled herb, licorice and tobacco overtones add aromatic lift to a core of succulent super-ripe dark cherry/plum fruit and chocolate flavors in this racy, inviting entry-level wine from Rocca di Frassinello.