Do Bianchi Holiday Dinner Six-Pack

The Holiday Dinner Party Six-Pack offering below ($137.93) includes six wines and pairing notes for a dinner party for 6 people — with pairings for 6 courses, including the aperitif and dessert.

If you’ve been following my blog, Do Bianchi, this year, you know that in early November I spent the week traveling with legendary wine importer Kermit Lynch, who had asked me to help him organize listening parties for his new record Man’s Temptation and to emcee his events. All of the wines below are imported by Kermit, who made his name in the late ’70s importing French wine and over the decades by turning America on to natural-style wine that tastes of place and that expresses the people who make it. He’s not a natural wine dogmatist by any means. As he likes to say, he likes it when “you can taste nature in the wine.”

Above: That’s me with my buddy Mark Sayre (awesome sommelier here in Austin) and Kermit, center.

It was a thrill for me and Tracie B to get to hang out with Kermit and crew and to taste and dine with him (he nearly cleaned me out of all of my older Barbaresco one night here in Austin at a BYOB bbq joint downtown after his event!). I’ve also been working with his distributor here in Texas, writing for the company’s new website. And so I’ve had the chance to taste and enjoy a lot of his wines lately. I’ve put together this six-pack based on what me and Tracie B have been drinking and the wines that have really won us over lately. I guess it’s kind of selfish: it’s the six-pack that I would want YOU to serve US if we came over for dinner! 😉

This is my last offering for 2009 and I’ll be shipping and delivering the wines next week while I’m in California. Delivery is free for San Diego residents and I’ll be coming to LA on Monday and Tuesday: so for LA residents I can deliver then, if you like.

Thank you again, to everyone, for all your support with Do Bianchi Wine Selections and everything in my life in 2009. What a year it’s been! Tracie B is so good to me and takes such good care of me and we have a truly blessed life here in Texas (with the occasional visit to California!). Your support over the last year has meant the world to me and makes the joy of our union all the more sweet!

Do Bianchi Holiday Dinner Six-Pack
$137.93 plus tax and shipping and handling (if applicable)

to order, simply send me an email by clicking here

Tintero Non-Vintage Grangia
(sparkling white from Piedmont)

aperitif, as your guests arrive

Tracie B and I fell head-over-heels in love with this wine this year and we drink it often at our favorite Austin wine bar, Vino Vino. It’s a dry, gently sparkling white wine made from Favorita (Vermentino) and a smaller amount of Moscato grapes grown in Piedmont (northwestern Italy). It has everything that we love in food-friendly wine: LOW alcohol and bright acidity and fruit. It’s truly my favorite aperitif and seafood and appetizer wine for 2009. (“Grangia” is a dialectal form of granaio or granary, btw, because the grapes are sourced from vineyards dominated by a classic 19th-century wood-frame rustic granary at the estate.)

Punta Crena 2008 Vermentino Vigneto Isasco
(still white, Liguria)

antipasto/appetizer/seafood first course

Acidity plays an important role in this wine but the main elements that wow me are its freshness and minerality. The tiny village of Isasco overlooks the Tyrehhenian Sea about halfway between Sanremo and Genoa (not far from Nice) and the vineyards are located on steep slopes that face south overlooking the sea. There is wonderful savory, salty flavor to this wine that makes it ideal for the smoked fish appetizers that you find in the trattorie of the Ligurian coast towns.

Cantine Valpane 2006 Barbera del Monferrato Rosso Pietro
(rich but not tannic red, Piedmont)

appetizer/first course/pasta with meat sauce/risotto with mushrooms or butternut squash

This is another one of those super-groovy discoveries of Kermit. Most folks think of Alba and Asti but in my view (and experience), the BEST Barbera comes from Monferrato, where the nutrient-poor, ancient marl and sandy subsoil is ideal for creating wines with intense minerality and earthiness. This wine is ALL ABOUT umami (savory) flavors: earth, mushroom, rock… Totally traditional in style, this wine is also a great example of a carbonic maceration: the winemaker loads whole clusters of grapes into a vat and lets gravity break the skins and start fermentation naturally with native yeast. As in the wines of Beaujolais, it helps to create intense fruit flavor. Wine geeks with LOVE this wine. And we love it, too!

Here’s a link to a geeky post I did about this wine for a client here in Texas.

Sesti 2007 Rosso di Montalcino
(rich gently tannic red)

second courses, grilled and roast meat

Tracie B and I first tasted this wine in May in San Francisco at the Kermit Lynch portfolio tasting. Sesti is actually a newer winery in Montalcino, owned by a rather colorful Venetian astronomist who favors biodynamic farming practices and who was able to obtain some excellent growing sites in my favorite part of the appellation (in the very southwest subzone) when he bought a castle there in the 1970s. I can’t really tell if this guy walked about of a Woody Allen movie or a John Waters movie but I do love his wines: they are totally traditional in style, aged in large Slavonian oak casks. The key is the right growing sites and the right attitudes about producing Sangiovese that expresses the place where it is made: the 2007 vintage, an excellent one in Montalcino from what I’ve tasted so far, made for a tannic, rich expression of Sangiovese. The Rosso di Montalcino is sourced from younger vines and so is approachable already: Tracie B and I cracked a bottle the other night and we just loved how grapey and real it was, with tannic backbone and minerality. Killer wine.

Giamello 2004 Barbaresco Vincenziana
(rich tannic red, Piedmont)

ripe stinky cow’s milk cheeses

Okay, if you’re still reading, this wine is MY NUMBER 1 PICK FOR 2009, both in terms of price and quality. I don’t even think Kermit understands how awesome this wine is (Stu and Rikkers are you listening?). I was completely blown away when I tasted this Barbaresco grown in the Ovello cru of Barbaresco (at the northern peak of the appellation). This is just one of those wines that hasn’t exploded yet and the reason is that the winemaker wants it that way (he told me so himself when I called him after tasting his wine; he really just doesn’t want to sell that much; he makes about 5,000 bottles a year and just wants to keep things simple). This is the killer, rustic-style OLD SCHOOL Nebbiolo that we go crazy for and there is still some of the 2004 left. If anyone wants me to place an order of 6 bottles of more, I’m offering at $34 a bottles (YES, $34!). I’ve got a couple of extra bottles coming with this order and I can get more. And there is plenty of 2005 available, too (also very good but 2004 is the better and longer-term aging vintage in my opinion).

Here’s a link to a detailed post I did about Giamello.

Tintero 2008 Moscato d’Asti
(gently sparkling, sweet white wine, Piedmont)

fresh fruit, sweets, desserts etc., but fresh fruit my number 1 choice for pairing, also a great brunch wine

I love drinking Moscato d’Asti at the end of a meal because it’s low in alcohol, it’s fresh and clean and a great palate-cleanser, and it’s the only wine that I like to pair with fresh fruit (in Italy, it is the ONLY wine traditionally paired with fresh fruit). Moscato d’Asti is made by fermenting Moscato grapes once in a pressurized environment. The winemaker then stops fermentation and gently filters out the live yeast, creating a wine that has residual sugar and very, very low alcohol (usually around 7%). This wine is a simple and simply beautiful way to end any meal (or serve to your guests for brunch the next day).

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Do Bianchi Holiday Dinner Six-Pack
$137.93 plus tax and shipping and handling (if applicable)

to order, simply send me an email by clicking here


Filed under Current Inventory, Six Pack, Special Offering

4 responses to “Do Bianchi Holiday Dinner Six-Pack

  1. Monroe Bryant

    Dude, I was just as KLWM today to stock up. Went back for some more of that Giamello 2004 Barbaresco Vincenziana. You could not be more right. Incredible value. The wine just takes you where it wants to go without you having to try to appreciate it. Delicious.

  2. Dan Perrelli

    any chance we can have dinner while you’re in town? Or maybe lunch on Monday? Dan

  3. Susannah

    I love the Punta Crena wine. How funny. 2B selections looks great. Buon anno a te e la bellissima Tracie B.

    • @Susannah I’m just seeing this now! Thanks so much for the comment and buon 2010 anche a te! I wish I would have been able to go to Vino 2010 and hear your panel!

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