Top Ten So Far at DWS


I was recently asked to list the top ten items I would stock in my wine cellar. The person who asked me did not realize I’m just a newbie, and I didn’t disillusion her. My response was ‘sure, I’ll make a list.’

Trouble is, I’m not sure I can find ten wines I really liked just yet. There have been some pretty passable ones, but really special wine? There are just a few, and what makes them so great is not just the wine itself, but atmosphere, what I’m eating at the time, how long it has been open and allowed to mellow, my mood and more.

So far I can easily recommend BC Ortegas. These include Recline Ridge and Larch Hills, varieties I have tried thus far. The Trebbiano from Farnese was a nice surprise. Naked Grape bottles some lovely wines, including a Chardonnay, while I know I’ve tried a couple of Rieslings with success, and both from BC. I also had an enjoyable¬†Chardonnay/Riesling blend from Australia.

For reds there are only a few. These include the Argenitian Fuzion or a Malbec from the same country and¬†La Joya Merlot. You may note a lack of winery names: this is because I simply cannot remember and need to write things down. You may have said the same thing to yourselves: ‘oh, I’ll remember. No need to write it down.’ Nice try.

I’m not sure, maybe seven wines up there, and not all ‘favorites’, some just passable. Include the Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc but only with a meal or you’ll be face down in your bowl of potato chips before you know it. I seem to recall enjoying Ernest and Julio Gallo White Zinfadel and White Ganache, but be careful: the latter displays sweet flavors and a creamy texture. Imbibe in moderation or you’ll get cavities.

I may be up to ten bottles now. Expect the list to change with a bit more experience (otherwise known as drinking). Who knows, maybe I’ll have one list for red and another for white by the end of the year. Let’s make that the goal: 7 months, lots of wine to drink. Time to flex the corkscrew and get busy.

Going Up-Market

A restaurant with a vast wine list makes me wonder: is their a wine cellar below where we are eating which is as big as the restaurant itself, or even larger? There has to be to accomodate all of the choices some restaurants, such as Water Color Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Their list is very specific, listing varietal, region, as well as price. Champagne choices include Barnaut Blanc de Noir and 1996 Veuve Clicquot “La Grande Dame” Brut. Dont’ even ask how much that one costs. As my wise husband always says, if you have to ask the price you can’t afford the wine. Many, many Chardonnays are listed as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfadel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Meritage, and a selection of less prosaic wines. Regions represented include just about everywhere: Chile, the Iberian Penninsula, the Antipodes, Germany, Austria, and more. Only Canada and Lebanon seem to be missing.
I’ve taken a couple of dishes from their sample menu and suggested pairings for these. First of all, Ahi Tuna: try the Laurent-Perrier Brut. With Short Rib Ravioli, go for Atlas Peak Napa. Perhaps, with the Black Grouper, a Rose Elyse California. Beware, however: some wines are available by the glass, but many come by the full or half bottle.
Mind you, those who can afford to go to a restaurant like this one don’t need a caveat from me.