It seems like I'm drinking better & better wines these days, probably a combination of my knowing what to look for, but more importantly a solid supply of above average European wines, which is what I gravitate towards. These recent bottles are a good example. We've been tasting roses lately so at home I opened a '05 Fra Guerau, Montsant Rose from what appears to be a local coop. Wine is a bright-light red, ample fruit and refreshing, 13% ABV. Very nice with a picnic type meal of deviled eggs, hamburgers, baked beans and pan-fried potatoes. My guess is about $10-$12 and well worth it. Next night with grilled portabellos, etc. we opened a bottle of Bourgogne Passetoutgrain that I brought back from France. This was an '02 B-P from Cave de Gamay(12% ABV), in the little village next to St. Aubin, from which the Gamay grape gets its name, though now mainly grown in Beaujolais. Some wine is made with this grape today in Burgundy and a Pasetoutgrain must contain 70% Gamay, with Pinot Noir. This was a very nice example, much like a well-made Cru Beaujolais. Very solid, even on day 3. Raspberries, cherries, earth, a decent village wine. You will problably not see this particular wine here, but if you see a Passetoutgrain give it a try, should only be about $12-$15. BTW, it translates as "take all grapes". And tonight with a red snapper "en papillot" we had the '02 Cht Moncontour Vouvray (12% ABV)which was a perfect match for the fish, cooked with tomatoes, onions, herbs and lemon. These wines constantly amaze me, along with Muscadet, great food wines, and the texture of the wine matched perfectly with the texture of the fish, without being too assertive. '02 seems to have been an above average year in the Loire so snatch up any that you might still see, including Muscadet, Vouvray, Sancerre, as well as the reds from Chinon, etc. It was also refreshing to find moderate alcohol levels in all of these wines.
Richard Fadeley, CWS