Monday, November 21, 2011

Welcome to Wines Over Somerville

Yep, another wine blog.

As someone who reads many other blogs, it's with mixed feelings that I start my own.  I know that there are a multitude of more established choices out there, and that the likelihood of people willingly coming to this tiny corner of the internet is rather unlikely.  It's especially daunting because I'm starting from scratch.  In fact, as I type this, no one even knows that this blog exists (well, except me of course).  But, having tossed this idea around in my head for a year or so, it feels like time to start.  Why?  Because I have a lot of things to say.  So let's start off with some background on who I am and why you should read this blog.

My name is Deacon Chapin, and I live in Somerville, MA.  I live just around the corner from the venerable institution Wings Over Somerville (which incidentally delivers delicious wings very quickly), hence the name of this blog.  I teach 7th grade math to students with Dyslexia, and in my free time I drink wine, beer, and spirits, cook and eat food, and do myriad other activities not necessarily related to a wine blog (like exercise).  In addition to being a teacher (and therefore making slightly less money than your average tollbooth worker), I am also a graduate student at Boston College, pursuing a Masters degree in education.  So, as you might have worked out by now, the focus of this blog (though by no means will it be exclusive) is on relatively inexpensive wines, or wines that provide an outstanding QPR (quality/price ratio, not Queens Park Rangers).  QPR is a nebulous topic, as a wine can have outstanding QPR and cost $5/bottle, or $300/bottle, but it makes sense in my head.

Anyway, lets start this thing off properly with a bottle that I enjoyed this weekend with friends over a delicious dinner.

2010 Domaine Clos des Vignes du Maynes Macon-Cruzille Cuvee 910

Well, how about that for starting off with an easy to understand name?  This is a very obscure wine that I purchased at Chambers St. Wines in NYC when visiting there in September.  I asked the incredibly helpful clerk for 6 bottles under $25 that I wouldn't be able to find in Boston.  This, he said, was likely the most obscure.

The AOC, Macon-Cruzille, is so small that there is no Wikipedia entry for it, nor is it in any of my wine books.  From the "Macon" part, this wine is obviously from Burgundy, and from the Maconnais, more specifically.  I was able to determine that this wine was an attempt on the part of the vintners to make wine the way it would have been made in the year 910.  That means all the grapes were crushed, by foot, together and aged in wooden vats.  There is no added SO2, and the winery is certified biodynamic by Demeter.  The blend is roughly equal parts Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Chardonnay, a blend that I can confess I have never seen before.  All it was missing was a bit of Aligote and every major and minor grape from Burgundy would have been included.

I opened this wine to go with a casserole of awesomeness prepared by a friend of mine, and four of us settled down to eat and drink.  The wine was popped and poured into my everyday glasses.  The first thing that is noticeable about this wine is the appearance.  Owing to the fact that there is a substantial amount of Chardonnay in the blend, the color of this wine is far from your average red wine.  It is more like a deep rose.  Also, due to the fact that it is completely unfiltered, there is a beautiful cloudy quality to it.  The nose was the first clue that this wine was going to challenge my definition of what "wine" is supposed to taste like.  While the nose showed bright red fruits (cranberry, cherry), it also showed a distinctly barnyardy component, as well as something that I can best describe as "sour dirt."  That said, it was a beautiful nose, and was not off-putting.  On the palate, this was as close to some Flemish Sour ales and Lambics that I've had as it was to your average California Cabernet.  The overwhelming flavor was of sour cherry with a green apple component (I assume from the Chardonnay) and undertones of sweet plum and blackberry.  There was good acidity and the fruit was juicy but not cloying. 

If you're lucky enough to live in NYC or anywhere that you can buy this wine, and you like unusual, funky blends, I suggest you try this out.  My favorite thing about wine is trying the wines that are "out there," and this surely qualifies.

I hope you continue to read this blog in the future, and I'll endeavor to keep it shorter, and sweeter, than this one!

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