Cava in the morning

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Last night was a good night. While it was crazy St. Patrick’s day festivities outside (a drunken celebration over the death of a former Italian slave that brought Catholicism to Ireland; that"s what George called it and we were saying how appropriate that actually was), I was in the calm environs of Bar Amalfi sharing some wine that I picked up with the owners and another customer, Malik.

The first wine I brought in was an interesting red from Telavi Wine Cellar, in the country of Georgia. I had purchased their white the previous week, so this week I tried their other wines, which in fact were two different reds. We started with an Akhasheni, which is made from the Saperavi grape, and while it has a tannic level, it also has a very interesting sweetness giving you both cherry and strawberry flavors and a compensating level of acidity. I gave Malik a glass and he asked me about reds, like what I would recommend. At that point he mentioned that he missed the Carmenere that they used to carry, and as luck would have it, I had a bottle of reserve Carmenere in my car which I fetched.

Well, the conversation(s) got interesting as we focused on what music was proper to play and Malik and George got into a nice debate regarding which wines were better, those from Chile or those from California. Al and I left them to themselves while we just joked about other things. I consumed some braised short ribs and had some chicken made for me with a Marinara sauce, which went down nicely.

I then left them with the remains of the Carmenere and took the rest of my other bottle with me. Comically, two women in a car beeped, stopped and asked me where they could get them some wine; I told them where the state store was.

Upon returning home, I watched the movie Religulous, or really, it watched me, as I had gotten into a nice Cava by Catellroig. Cava is the Spanish equivalent of champagne, and this one was both inexpensive and lively. There is nothing like a bubbly in the morning that still has divine effervescence; this one was very lively. While this wine is dry (it’s a brut) it actually is fruity and has some very apple-y hints. If you’ve got someone there, which I don’t, it’s the perfect morning after thing to reach for.

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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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