Welcome to your Black Winer Newsletter for Monday, July 20, 2009

Table of Contents

Wine tastings will be returning, and other news

Good afternoon all,

I have been quite tied up for the past several weeks. For one, I was recoding the functionality of the newsletter to add a table of contents for easily accessing different parts of it. It took me a couple of days to figure it out, but I've got it done. Now, I just have to expand it a little more which I will probably do next week. I am also going to be changing the article pages somewhat so that people can easily see a link to post their thoughts. That will probably happen in the next 2 days.

I also renamed the pages of the site for better SEO. I was talking to a potential client that needed their website updated and more functionality added to it; actually they needed a good does of reality, but that's another story (I ended up turning down the 'opportunity'). But as they grilled me on SEO (search engine optimization which is a 'technology/format' which allows your pages to be ranked and indexed with search engines such as Google), I typed in Misterio Chardonnay, which is something I recently reviewed. Well, four of my websites were in the top five results given, and that was before Snooth.com (which had significant investment) and even before the website for the wine's producer itself!

So, everything is a work in progress, but it's moving.

Wine tastings will be coming back, but I haven't decided where yet, but at the same time, I am looking at a nice tasting for maybe 100-200 people in September or early October. I am hunting for an occasional second [person] that will accompany me to some tastings with wine importers.

Lastly, I am looking at maybe putting together a small dining and imbibing group of a maximum of 25 people. Since I have some connections with some local chefs and what not, we might be able to get a nice monthly thing going, with the chefs rendering some creations that you won't find on the menu. I'll put some more out on this soon.

Well, that's all for this edition of the newsletter. The summer is hot and I recommend a nice chilled blush wine!

Latest Reviews

Finally, a Passito

Brand NameCantini Fratelli Pardi
Wine NameSagrantino di Montefalco Passito 2004
Wine ClassRed
Wine TypeSagrantino
Alcohol Percentage13.5%
Price$30 - $50s
Site Rating10 (on a scale of 1-10)

Several months ago, I wrote a review on the Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco 2004 by Cantini Fratelli Pardi. For that remember it, I was happy to find a Sagrantino, but upset because I didn't realize at the time that it was Secco, or dry. So, I wind up finding the rep for the distributor and ordered down several bottles of the Passito; only one showed up and the price was $33. I bit the bullet and bought.

Yesterday, as we were having a 'guys after work drink and gab fest,' I suggested that we go back and open up this wonderful bottle of Opera that I received from Terranova Imports. While we were almost done that, I pulled out this little beauty, and we all love it (we consists of myself, and Chefs Al Paris and Eric Hall).

This wine really deserves a rating of 12; it is full-bodied and contains the lushest amount of dark plums, black currants, and dark cherries. While you can detect the slightest amount of tannins as soon as you taste, this is immediately replaced by the cornucopia of flavors pouring forth.

I can't wait until more people start drinking this wine over here, because then, the price will start to come down.

A nice smooth Zinfandel - fully of berries and dark

Brand NameMountain View Vintners
Wine Name2006 Clockspring Zinfandel
BottlerMountain View Vintners
CountryUnited States
VineyardClockspring Vineyard
Wine ClassRed
Wine TypeZinfandel
Alcohol Percentage13.9%
Price$10 and Unders
Site Rating9 (on a scale of 1-10)

I don't think that we drink enough [true] Zinfandel. It has gone forgotten amongst the crap of White Zin (I better write and article about this). When I like a nice red that isn't too heavy and has great flavor aspects for just about anything, I can always turn to a bottle of Zinfandel, and this one was no slouch.

Let's get past the deep inky purple color and deal with the flavor which is a nice concentration of dark plum and cherry, with a nice little whisp of smoke at the finish. It's neither too light in body, nor too heavy, being the right weight and viscosity on your tongue that this Goldilocks likes. I would swear that you can get the faintest trait of caramel on the back of this, which makes it quite interesting.

While I originally was going to give it a rating of 8, that last little bit of taste, in addition to the price, made me up it another point. Well done Mountain View!

Dry, dry, dry, for those that love dry reds

Brand NameMountain View Vintners
Wine Name2006 Merlot
CountryUnited States
Wine ClassRed
Wine TypeMerlot
Alcohol Percentage13.9%
Price$10 and Unders
Site Rating7 (on a scale of 1-10)

Okay, this wine is not half bad, but I am not a fan of dry wines. This Merlot has ample berry flavor and a finish that is not a drop-off, but a solid amount of maybe 30% smokyness. Not bad, maybe good for someone that is a fan of dry wines, but not my cup of tea.

A somewhat dry Chardonnay hiding behind a mask

Brand NameFina Flichman
Wine NameMisterio Chardonnay 2007
AVAMendoza Province
Wine ClassWhite
Wine TypeChardonnay
Alcohol Percentage13%
Price$10 and Unders
Site Rating7 (on a scale of 1-10)

Okay, the truth was that I needed a white wine that didn't cost much to get me over until payday, so after about ten minutes, I chose the Misterio. I was honestly thinking of getting an inexpensive 1.5L but then I didn't want to have a serious amount of crappy wine on my hands (one person came through the other day trying to make amends, but brought along a crappy 1.5 liter of Bolla Cab that tasted worse than a purple crayon dipped in water).

I am wondering what this Chardonnay is blended with because for the most part, it is very demure in both flavor and acidity, becoming something akin to a stronger Pinot Gris. However, in that incarnation, it becomes something lovely to behold for just a wine to sit back ad relax with; it's mutability allows it to flow with many different dishes, never impacting the flavor of what you are consuming, but merely quenching your tongue.

Lobster wine

Brand NameCantina Santa Maria La Palma
Wine NameAragosta
Wine ClassWhite
Wine TypeVermentino
Alcohol Percentage12%
Price$10 and Unders
Site Rating7 (on a scale of 1-10)

Made from the Vermentino grape, and with a mixture of tart acidity and waylaid citrus, this wine is perfect for seafood dishes, and probably not much else. It should be consumed with food and not by itself.

Pair it with some peel and eat shrimp, crab, or lobster, and this baby is gold.


Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

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