Bargain Alert!
$7 Red from Portugal

by Nannette Eaton on August 3, 2016

“No nation is drunken where wine is cheap.” — Thomas Jefferson

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 6 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots

Run as fast as you can to your local Trader Joe’s and stock up on the Tuella Douro red. It’s juicy, unpretentious and delicious — and with the price of $7, we recommend stocking up for summer entertaining. And it’s delicious. (Did we already say that? It bears repeating.)

The Tuella came to our attention via our friend Liza of Brix Chicks. The Chick was taking a wine pairing course at Las Positas College, the final project was to create the most synergistic pairing. Liza’s team stretched their pairing experience by selecting Garlic Pannacotta with Tomato Soup, a perverse combination of flavors, textures and acids that would stump the most experienced vinophile. To find the optimal pairing, the group tasted 27 wines, at every price-point from $6 to $90, and the Tuella dominated the pairing competition.

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 3 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots

The Tuella has juicy fruit and medium tannins. As Jon Thorsen at Reverse Wine Snob notes, the wine is even better on day two (or day three, in the Wine Harlots opinion) so it makes it perfect for those who don’t finish a bottle in a sitting. (We’re not sure who those folks are, but we’ve heard they are out there!)

The perfect pairing? Wine Harlots say this is the ideal backyard barbecue wine, excellent for any grilled proteins. Otherwise, if you want a daring pairing, go with the Brix Chick recommendation of Garlic Pannacotta with Tomato Soup — yes, not only does it pair — it rocks the pairing and challenges those conceptions of “what works.”

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 4 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots

The music match is Aimee Mann’sThat’s Just What You Are” from the disc I’m With Stupid.

The details: 13.5% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: Douro. Grapes: touriga franca, tinta barroca and tinto cao. Vinter: Symington Family. Available exclusively at Trader Joe’s. Price: $7 ($6 in California and Arizona.)

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 5 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots
Photo credit: Nannette Eaton ©2016

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oil painting by Sophie Gengembre Anderson. 
Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things.
private collection.

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Where are the Wine Harlots?

by Nannette Eaton on June 11, 2016

wonder woman

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Villa Maria Pinot Noir “First Sip of Fall”

by Nannette Eaton on October 15, 2015

“The first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.” ― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Villa Maria Marlborough New Zealand Winery

Join Villa Maria for the “First Taste of Fall” Twitter event on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific to celebrate the harvest and chat and taste the first sips of the 2014 pinot noir release. Use the hashtag #NZPinot to track, follow along and contribute to the conversation — using the hash during the event qualifies for awesome prizes.

For the event, here are the key players and their Twitter links. Of course you need to follow Villa Maria, as well as Helen Morrison, Senior Marlborough Winemaker at Villa Maria, and Josh Hammond, Marlborough Winemaker at Villa Maria. Moderating the “First Taste of Fall” is the awesome Janet Fouts, and if you haven’t followed me at Wine Harlots on Twitter, it’s about bloody time! The wines being sampled will be the Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2014 ($15 USD) before it’s highly anticipated release to the U.S. market and the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2013 ($20 USD). Both wines exemplify the flavor and complexity of New Zealand Pinot Noir and the commitment to quality Villa Maria is known for.

Villa Maria A Year in the Vineyards-Harvest New Zealand
For more information about Villa Maria, be sure to check out their website, and get social with them on Facebook and Instagram. Here’s a brief bio on the winery: “The Villa Maria story is one of absolute passion. Each wine is crafted in the unique, fruit-driven style of New Zealand, showcasing the very best of the country’s distinct wine regions. Villa Maria sources grapes from New Zealand’s premium grape growing regions, including Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, and produces wines in state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in Auckland and Marlborough. The winery Sir George Fistonich started in 1961 is still family owned and stands as an icon of superior quality and innovation in New Zealand winemaking. Villa Maria was also the first wine company in New Zealand to declare the winery a “cork-free zone,” sealing all wines from the 2001 vintage onwards with a screwcap to ensure quality in every bottle. Dedicated to minimizing environmental impact, Villa Maria has pioneered sustainable viticulture and winemaking since the 1990s, and is one of the very few wineries that have acquired four certifications as proof of the ongoing commitment. In 2015, Drinks International named Villa Maria the most admired wine brand in New Zealand and fourth most admired wine brand in the world.”

Put Villa Maria on your calendar (and your table) for Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific — and make it a delicious date.

Photo credit: Villa Maria ©2015

Disclosure: Compensation is being provided for this announcement, as well as my participation in the Twitter wine party.

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