Wine, Finance & Astrology

3. WINE 101

Berry Bros 'first to permanently list' Chinese wine

Bay Area winery experiments with aging wine in ocean

Fine Wine: More Palatable Than Rollercoaster Stocks?

Elite Advisers' Wine Fund Favors Burgundy Over Bordeaux

3. The basics for pairing food and wine

Biodynamics is Freaking Me Out

4.  Wines of Portugal 2013 Annual Grand Tasting in NYC

April 18 Le Cercle Rive Droite Bordeaux Right Bank Grand Wine Tasting

May 1 Wine & Spirits Magazine 5th Annual Top of the List Event


Four wine regions, 66 Appellations and 16,000 winemakers: who knew?  Irene, who visited and wine tasted the region last year!

Something I learned:   Until February 26, 2013 I would have said: “If you like Zinfandel, you would find a better expression in Italy with Primitivo.   But a far better expression is Plavac Mali from Croatia.” But this no longer is the case.  According to recent studies by UC Davis as well as the University of Zagreb,  Zinfandel and Plavac Mali are different grapes!  Yet, as cousins so to speak, they taste somewhat similar. 

2) Also, Croatian wines are food friendly and currently a sommelier/wine bar hot pick. We tasted the cooking from the Croatian Restaurant Veslo (Astoria, Queens) which also sports a very good Croatian wine list. 

3) Croatia is joining the Eurozone July 1, 2013.  Many now believe that the Croatian Kuna is overvalued. Still, I have no opinion on the value of the future Euro/Kuna exchange rate.  However, like most, we are bearish for the Euro this summer, which should make American visitors to Euroland happy.

4) For a desert wine Bodren was outstanding with a variety of offerings. To quote them: “As there is never enough hedonism, Bodren Winery is introducing new grape varieties into their production.” In addition to Muscat Blanc, Bodren’s dessert wines are also made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Irene Croatia Tasting Notes:

Even though Croatia is a relatively small country, the diversity and the quality of the wines it produces is impressive, with both whites and reds deserving a lot of attention. Each region has its own typical grape varieties, and while some wineries choose to also plant international grapes such as Chardonnay and Merlot, in my opinion local grapes reflect both the Terroir and the spirit of this wonderful country much better.

 Both my favorite red wines from the tasting were made from Plavac Mali grape, typical of the Dalmatia region. The name of the variety translates as ‘little blue’, i.e. the grapes are quite small and produce full-bodied, concentrated wine. My favorites were Plavac Ivan Dolac 2008 and Grgic Plavac Mali 2008. Mike Grgich was the winemaker of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay which won the celebrated blind “Paris Tasting” of 1976 - the first US wine to win. Today Grgich Hills Estate in Napa Valley makes 6 different wines, and their winery on Peljesac Peninsula in Croatia, which was open in 1995, produces this amazing Plavac Mali as well as white variety Posip.  Grgic Plavac Mali 2008, which can be purchased in US at around $40, has a nose dominated by plum and black cherry aromas, while on the palate you can almost taste the Adriatic breeze in combination with ripe fruit and just a touch of oak.

A white Malvasia grape is typical of the Istria region. My favorite was Matosevic Alba Antiqua 2008 Malvasia Istriana. The wine is aged in acacia barrels, which give the already fragrant grape even more gently perfumed quality. On the palate there are peach, citrus and banana notes, complimented with slight minerality. Another white wine which most pleasantly surprised me at the tasting was Traminac Kvalitetni

2011 from Ilocki Podrumi winery located in Slavonia region. Traminac is the Croatian counterpart of Gewurtztraminer, which in warmer climates is literally bursting with floral and exotic fruit aromas. A fellow taster noted that drinking this wine is like drinking rose petals. Unfortunately, this wine is not currently available in the US, but in my opinion, it's worth a trip to Croatia.


The largest of the everyday NYC wine exhibitions gets “better and better each year” -  A valid quote from an annual attendee. One attends to discover new wines and this year there were several unique wineries (and grapes) among 150+ producers and 600 plus wines. My plus one wine lover was in heaven drinking so freely the nectar of the gods.


         I enjoyed tasting the Vinkara  Anatolla winery  -  Kalecik Karass, a dry red and Narince, white, both unique Turkish grapes varieties.

         However, my strong EXPO favorite wine value discovery was Vinzabod Assenovgrad.  I repeatedly enjoyed returning to their booth to retaste Mavrud, the prized Bulgarian native grape. I recommend tasting their Mavrud Reserve 2011 and especially their Special Reserve 2010. It sports a pleasant and harmonious flavor that is very satisfying and quite inexpensive ($5-$10).

         Of the many food vendors, my favorite was the tasty garlic salad dressing  Garlic expressions.  Its natural purity meant receiving the health benefits of fresh garlic and cider vinegar,  obviously effective as I encountered no problems with any vampires during the show. J


         More food – Even a simple pasta station would be sufficient.  However my female plus one disagreed. She felt there was more than enough to sample given the variety of free snacks from food vendors.

         With so many Italian wines (a plus of course), it would have been nice to see those sections less “Italian” i.e. better organized, by wine regions or at least into North, Central &  South Italy.

         The Tasting booklet needs work i.e. more details. Happily some sections like the Portuguese, South Africa and Bulgarians provided their own tasting booklet.



Some surprisingly good white wines made from the Viura grape such as Bodgas Tandem Immalcula Blanco 2011

Quaderna Via Organic Wines Crianza 2009 A  complex and enjoyable Tempranillo

First time designated on the label-   “Best before 2017” Something more wines that age might wish to copy.

Bodegas Gran Feudo S.L.  Rosado 2012 Granacha:  Best drank fresh from the latest vintage as few are meant to age.

In Navarre Pink Rose is the norm (sange bleed method). In Provence often salmon or orange oxidized or mixed red/ and white. The former is better for food- the latter for aperitifs.



Outstanding food at Brasserie Cognac at 1740 Broadway.  I plan to visit this restaurant in future.

There was an amazing variety of rose tasting styles and bottle sizes.  Apparently the 3L is now a big seller for pool and beach parties.  This makes sense – who would feel guilty drinking only one bottle of wine!

Rose wines match food with White sauces, fish dishes, salmon and Asian cuisine.

My two favorite wineries:

Chateau Du Rouet  2012 Rose Reserve Tradition classic Grenache/Syrah. Soil acidic of volcanic origin- I am a fan of volcanic wines. This is an especially good food matching wine.

Domaine Saint Marie’s high end offerings   VieVite Extraordinaire (75% Grenache, 25%  Cinsault)  80 years old wines  $28 and their new Paparazzi (pricing TBA).  The latter grapes are Grenache, Tibouren & Cinsault.  According to Tunch Doker, the importer, this is a big brunch hit in St Tropez in large part due to the presence of the intensively aromatic Tibouren grape in their rose blend.



I like the average age of these vines: 50+ years and many are still ungrafted pre-phylloxera.  Tinto de Toro is a unique clone of Tempranillo.

Favorite winery in the tasting was Quinta De La Quietud organic  Qinta Quietud 2007 100% Tinta De Toro $35 30-85 year Old wines yet clean taste.

6.  Hanni’s new book stresses wine and food un-pairing

Chapoutier: No AOC for “defective” natural wines

Red White, Wine House

7 a) T/F:  To dream of breaking bottles of wine, foretells that your love and passion will border on excess.                                                          

b) In wine speak the opposite of dry is:  a) wet b) windy  c) sweet  d) hard


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Henry Weingarten
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