Soter

Soter

Reserve North Valley

Willamette, Oregon

2017 / 13%

In the words of one Michael G. Scott; “I’ll be back, and I am back!”  It’s a Christmas miracle boys and girls.  The man, the myth, the legend… Everyday Wine Guy is back!  Did you miss me?  It has been a hot minute!  Quick rundown of the Wine Guys life over the past few months:

School is going about as well as one would expect.  Wine Guy has been quarantined multiple times and now his school is closed till the 4th.  Rejoice!  Luckily, I personally haven’t caught the VIDS yet, and currently can’t wait to get vaccinated – so as to turn into the first round of zombies!  I imagine I’d be one of those chill zombies that still likes to party but may eat ya brains a lil.

Pinot is loving life with dad being home; aside from the one fateful day I dropped him off at the vet where he lost two beloved body parts (despite this he remains an Ausshole).  The Wine Guy’s soccer team lost in the Sectional Finals, which brought on some heart break.  Man, it’s hard consoling crying high schoolers.  Hopefully they haven’t discovered drowning their sorrows in vino like the Wine Guy!  I kid I kid…. Aside from that, he was awarded Coach of the Year and is currently living his best WFH life.

Ok, now to the wine; I know I said no more Pinot’s from Willamette, but this is some gooooood shit.  So I had to write about it.  There is a reason I didn’t include its price though… it was a gift.  And boy, do I wish I could receive gifts like this more often.  I would welcome the opportunity to become the most boujee wine drinker there is!

This is one of those wines that just makes you feel all warm and cozy inside.  It also helped that I had a great view while enjoying it… and no I’m not talking about Pinooch.  This wine pairs exceptionally well with good company and a charcuterie board!  Please, never drink this wine alone, or any Soter for that matter.  They’re just too good to consume alone.  This is a classic Willamette Pinot, dry, velvety smooth, light, with a delicious follow through.

My company for the evening claimed to taste lots of fruits, and that you should drink this wine in the fall, while she dropped crumbs all over the floor…. Per usual.  However, what really put this tasting over the top was the hummus drizzled with Greek extra virgin olive oil that accompanied the wine.  Now, I’m not just saying that because this olive oil was definitely imported by the Mafia (please don’t break my knees) but there was something about the two of them paired together.  It was phenomenal.  Aside from that, you’re going to want to drink this wine with a light meal, appetizers, or by itself.

This is an ideal holiday wine to be shared and enjoyed with those you care about most.  Especially during COVID you may have fewer of those opportunities so take advantage of them while you can!

Unlike Mase, ya boy won’t be dropping this and bouncing for good!  He’s back to stay ladies and gents!  Enjoy the holidays and I hope all you crazy cats and kittens are safe and healthy!

Cheers ya filthy animals!

WineGuy!

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“Orange Wine”

Before I get into this post, I’d just like to say I have very strong feelings on the term “Orange Wine.”  While it’s being used to describe and label certain wines these days, it’s completely wrong in my opinion.  The correct term for the wine is, “skin contact” or “skin fermented” wines.  “Orange Wine” is just a flashy way to bring a classic wine process to today’s click bait happy society.

Trending in the wine world is something called Orange Wine.  Orange Wine is white wine made using red wine techniques.  While it has found popularity today, it’s actually made with one of the oldest techniques in the wine making world.  It can be traced back centuries to certain regions of the world.

To make red wine, producers begin by macerating the juice of the grapes with their pigment-bearing skins.  This technique is used to add color, and tannins, which add to the texture and structure of the wine (the taste).  When fermentation is complete, the winemaker draws the skins away from the wine to begin the wine aging process.  Conventional white wines are made differently.  Winemakers sometimes allow the juice to soak with the skins for a few hours or a day so as to keep a pale almost pigment less color.  The juice is removed much quicker for fermentation, which leads to less color and undetectable tannins.

Now to make “Orange Wine,” this process is flipped.  The juice is allowed a prolonged time of contact with the skins of the grape.  Which adds to the orange pigment (sometimes even amber).  This process adds a whole new experience to the tasting of the wine, – introducing more character, tannins, and structure.  These wines are often unfiltered which means you will find more sediment in the wine (the wine skips the filtration process, instead allowing the yeast to naturally settle on its own).  Don’t be turned off by this, just decant it or filter it when you pour it.

This process was first crafted centuries ago in the Republic of Georgia before it made its way to Slovenia and Northern Italy.  Now it’s becoming a trendy wine across the globe.  However, the best so-called “Orange Wines” succeed because of the beautiful tasting characteristics they carry.  They express many nuances of beauty and culture in profound and distinctive ways.

The term “Orange Wine” is now trendy.  It’s similar to the hipster fashion trends that start in NYC and make their way across the globe.  The true terminology for it is “skin contact” or “skin fermented” wines.  So, what I’d suggest is you try a bottle or a couple.  I’ve only had a few bottles so far and they’ve been hit or miss.  I’ve found that the cheaper ones tend to be bad.  Well not bad, just not wines I personally enjoyed.  The ones that I’ve really enjoyed have been in the $15 to $30 range.  A couple of them have been just outstanding.  I’ll add those at the bottom. 

What I’ve found so far is that skin contact wines are much more robust than their “normal white wine” counterparts.  If you’re like me, someone who prefers red wine over white, this might be a good lead up to expanding your interests in white.  When you find the right bottle, they really do taste delicious and nothing like your “standard” white wine.  They’re refreshing, robust, crisp, dry, and just all around a fun tasting experience (excellent summer wines).  You really can taste the tannins that you’d generally find in red wines.

If you have a store that you frequent often and trust the manager or salesperson, ask them for their recommendation.  Skin contact whites are a little tricky to find so you may have to broaden your search a little more.  The two that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far are The Hermit Ram – Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Field Recordings – Skins. These two have truly been superb.

This has been a slightly different post; however, I hope you enjoyed it!  Now you can go join the trend with a little more knowledge of the history of skin fermented wines for your next conversation.

Meinklang

Meinklang

Prosa Rosé

Burgenland, Austria

2019 / $17 / 10.5%

We have a new #1!  You heard it here first!  (Because where else would you hear it?). New.  Number 1!

“No matter if you like it, here take it, sit down and write it!”  This shit is fire!  Straight fire flames!  Ya mans went on a search for the perfect summertime drink and knocked it out of the park!

When given the choice between aqua naturale or aqua con gas, ya mans always goes con gas.  I’ve gotten into some heated arguments with some folks who will remain nameless, over this particular topic.  In my opinion, there is nothing better than a cold crisp drink with some bubbles to it.  It’s refreshing, it’s delicious, gives ya a lil burp here and there, and it’s just ideal during warm months.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoy cold natural water but when given the opportunity at a restaurant my boujee ass will go con gas all day every day.

Meinklang is a frizzante Rosé and it’s just delicious.  If you’re like me and enjoy frizzy drinks, then you’re going to want to get a bottle of this!  It reminds me of an Aperol Spritz!  And boy do I love a good Aperol Spritz.  While the tastes are nothing alike, the carbonation and refreshment of this bottle are on point!  When you drink Prosa, you’ll wish you were sitting in Piazza Della Signoria, eating cured meats, smoked mozzarella, and listening to the songs of Florence!  Instead, you’re… doing quarantine stuff.  True, Meinkland is far from Italian, but that’s what Daniele is reminded of.  So, take it or leave it.

Seriously, I cannot recommend this enough.  It’s really good wine (like delicious ass tasting wine) that is really refreshing.  This is ideal for the summer.  You’re not going to drink this in the winter.  So, I suggest you buy a few bottles, throw them in your fridge and have them handy for a warm summer evening.  This wine goes perfect by itself or can easily be paired with all kinds of foods.  I actually had it with a Shake Shack burger, and it was DYNAMITE (insert good times – dynamite videos)!

This wine combines two of my favorite things…  Wine and bubbles.  I’m a full-grown, Pre-K man child.  Getting drunk is essentially you returning to your 4-year-old self anyway.  Buy it.  It’s only $17!  Drink it.  And if you don’t like it, unsubscribe. 

Taste – 9

Smell – 8

Recommend – 10

Complexity – 7

Price – 9

Overall – 43 out of 50

Find it Here!

Doesn’t show it, however for Westchester peeps you can find it at Suburban Wines and Spirits in Yorktown.

SICKNESS!

To my loyal readers and followers! I must apologize for my lack of post this week. My immune system has let me down big time for these past 10 days! I have been pretty sick for the last week and a half and have been unable to enjoy the beautiful grape for my readers. But more importantly for myself! Trust me it sucks being sick but oh man oh man it hurts not being able to enjoy my daily vino fix. I’m hoping to be back in the liquid saddle early this week so I can get a post out by Wednesday. If not – pray for me. I kid…… but seriously….

Mount Etna

Alright, so for this blog post I’m doing things a little different.  Unfortunately, I was unable to review a wine in the past week and will instead be diving into the wines of Sicily, especially those from the slopes of Mount Etna.  If you’re an avid follower of theverydaywineguy you’ve learned about my love of Willamette Valley and The Finger Lakes.  Well, now you can add wines from the slopes of Mt. Etna.  In the coming months you’ll probably read about my new found love for a different wine region of the world.  I’m a well-travelled wine connoisseur.

As many of you know Sicily is renowned as the origins of the Mafia, oil skinned paesanos, the creation of the cannoli, and most recently, pumping out superb vintages.  Specifically, from the slopes of Mt. Etna.  You can certainly find phenomenal wines from all around Sicily but I’m going to specifically stick to the vineyards on the slopes. 

The dominant grape growing from the rich volcanic soil is the Nerello Mascalese which benefits from high mineral content, higher elevation, and rainy climate.  Often times transferring that minerality into the wines giving them much depth and character.  If you’re a fan of fruit forward wines, then these aren’t for you.  If you like dry, well-structured wines then look no further than wine makers from Etna’s slopes.  I’m specifically talking about red wines (Etna Rosso) but if you’d like to learn more about how Sicily’s Terroir is impacting Italian white wines I’ll link a great article from the New York Times (NYT’s let me get some love clicks if you’re seeing this).  I didn’t want to just rip info from them, don’t wanna get hit with that royalty money.

I’ve sampled a number of Etna Rosso’s but really fell in love with two specifically.  Le Vigne di Eli and Tenuta delle Terre Nere (which happens to be number 10 on my top 10 list).  I liked these two specifically because they reminded me of rustic homemade wine done perfectly.   Both needed time to open up but when they did, boy was I was brought to the Italian countryside sitting in a handmade chair, around a handmade table, feverishly talking with my hands.

If you’re in the mood for a white wine instead, please look no further than one of my prior reviews about DonnaFugata, an excellent summertime wine.  Apologies again for my lack of wine review, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed our little jaunt down Sicilian lane.  And the next time you’re in a wine store just ask the manager for an Etna Rosso (if in the mood for red) or a Carricante (if in the mood for white).

Find Le Vigne di Eli near you Here!

Le Vigne di Eli delivered to your door Here!

Find Tenuta delle Terre Nere near you Here!

Tenuta delle Terre Nere delivered to your door Here!

Update 2.0

Well it’s been a while, and I know my loyal readers have been itching – only figuratively – for a write up.  This will just be a quick update for things to come.  I’ve been reflecting on the blog as a whole – where it currently is, and what’s to come.  I’ve also received some great feedback on what I’ve presented so far.  One consistent theme is that this isn’t a wine blog for the everyday guy, and I can understand why.  From the way I describe “mouth feel” to the smells, and flavors I experience, that’s not what the everyday wine guy cares about.

It’s also been brought to my attention that eating a bowl of pasta, drinking a glass of wine, and watching the neighbors kid behave like a total fool can come across as “creepy.”  And yes, as I read that back I can see why that might be.  But as a teacher of young children there are few times where I can openly mock them for their foolish behavior.  That being the case, when the opportunity arises and under appropriate circumstances, I will happily mock away.

Looking ahead, I will keep my posts as simple as possible with what the wine reminds me of, or makes me think of, what I’d like to pair it with in the future, and my recommendation for the type of occasion the wine should be enjoyed.  I’ve also revamped my review process to fit in a 50-point scale.  My five categories will be taste, smell, complexity of the wine, how willing I am to recommend, and price.  Each category will be worth 10 points in total with the highest score possible being a 50.

Smell – 1-10, 10 best aroma

Taste – 1-10, 10 best tasting

Complexity – 1-10, 10 more complex

Recommend – 1-10, 10 highest recommended

Price:

0-10 = 10 points
11-20 = 9 points
21-30 = 8 points
31-40 = 7 points
41-50 = 6 points
51-60 = 5 points
61-70 = 4 points
71-80 = 3 points
81-90 = 2 points
91-above = 1 point

Update

Going forward I will no longer be factoring the price of the wine into my overall rating of it.  I will simply be rating the wine on a 1 to 10 scale.  1 being an overall poor tasting experience and 10 being the best overall tasting experience.  I will still be assigning a “value” to the wine during all of my blogs.  The value types will remain the same (one time buy, casual night, impressing company, special occasion, and top tier).

Moving forward, I will include the price of the bottle along with places you can buy if I can – but price will have no bearing on the review otherwise.