A selection of Monday to Thursday night wines
As much as we like to discuss that lovely bottle of brunello that we had a couple of weeks ago, the cold hard facts are that most of the time most of us are happy to find an enjoyable wine for under $20.
So, how are prices determined? In Bermuda, for every glass that we consume, we are handing our government $1 to spend wisely for our benefit.
The output of a vineyard is measured in tonnes per acre.
Think of it this way: one tonne is very low and ten tonnes is high, but both lots can only share what one acre of sunshine, rain, wind, humidity and the soil can offer. I like to say that the one tonne of grapes has ten times the “goodies” (complexity) as the ten tonnes, as an acre can only offer what it has.
A fine bottle, for instance the mentioned brunello, may be the product of three to four tonnes per acre and the wines we will feature today may see twice that tonnage or more. Let's say that four tonnes is equal to 600 gallons of wine or about 3,000 bottles.
For most fine wines, a very light pressing of the grapes takes place and only the best must is extracted, whereas winemakers striving for lower prices press more intensely.
Land costs and labour also vary greatly around the world.
Our goal is to be able to offer a varied selection of pleasant, well-made wines that sit on the store shelf for less than $20 and I would like to mention a few in that category.
An August arrival was Pasqua Malvasia, a white with subtle fragrance and hints of exotic fruits. Its flavour is dry, tangy and well-balanced with good acidity. Its red partner is a Sangiovese that is characterised by soft tannins and ripe fruit.
Both are from Puglia, both have the IGT classification and both are the result of a gentle pressing of the grapes to avoid any bitter tannins.
We have bought this wine in for many years, but only in magnums. The bottles are $15.70. The Pasqua family is one that I have known for most of my time in the wine trade and I respect their ability to offer well-made wines at very fair prices.
For $15.85 we have a new red, white and rosé from Portugal, all known as Vidigal Porta 6. We just handed out an information pack to our sales team that tells them that British celebrity chef James Martin, who works with the BBC, has said that Porta 6 Red is one of the nicest reds that he has tasted during ten years on his show.
I also understand that a large chain of wine stores in the UK had a problem when they introduced these wines as demand caused their website ordering system to crash.
Porta 6 Red is a blend of 50 per cent aragonez, 40 per cent castelao and 10 per cent touriga nacional. I confess to only being familiar with the last one as it is highly important in the making of fine port. This wine combines warm flavours of jammy fruit with aromas of violets and touches of spice.
Porta 6 White is a make-up of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and arinto that exhibits fresh tropical and citrus fruits with highlights of passion fruit.
Porta 6 Rosé consists of another important port grape called tinta roriz, along with syrah and castelao. The wine is light and fresh with summer berry flavours.
We manage to hit our target with $19.35 for three new ones from Casa Rojo in Spain which are their Musso range. Although we retail some of the Casa Rojo wines for up to $35 the Musso selections are in our midweek selection group.
Casa Rojo Musso Sauvignon Blanc is zesty and aromatic with notes of white flowers, pear, peach and apple.
The red is from the tempranillo grape that is responsible for some of the greatest Spanish wines. It has a strong presence of wild berries, especially blue cranberries, blackberries and cherries. This tempranillo has round tannins, well-balanced acidity and a pleasant, long finish.
Casa Rojo Musso Rosé is made from classic Spanish garnacha grape that is also responsible for most of the fine French rosé wines from Provence, although when this grape travels from Spain it is usually referred to as grenache.
This rosé is elegant and gives us delicate aromas of strawberries and other red fruits. Add citrus and subtle spices and you have a perfect summer sipper.
Please stay tuned (my first job was in radio) as I can see that we will need to have another article of this nature, as there is much more to discuss.
For instance, I have not even mentioned the most asked for brand in the USA, which also happens to be by far the most requested here. It sells for $15.40 a bottle, $29.75 a magnum and even features little quarter bottles for $4.35.
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail email@example.com or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George's (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm