Under the Table Wines

We love picking interesting, exciting wines every month for our Under the Table members. If you want more information about this year’s wines or ideas of what foods to pair with them, the details below are here to help.

 

February 2019

Red: 2015 Herdade do Rocim Touriga Nacional, Alentejo, Portugal

Known for its cork trees more than anything else, the Alentejo region in the southern part of Portugal is worth your attention. The wine culture is growing here, and there are lots of stunning values to be found. Herdade do Rocim, like other wineries in the area, wants to show off the fruit and complexity that their grapes can offer. Touriga Nacional is one of many indigenous varietals used to make Port, but here you can taste the purity of this varietal. Bold and silky, the wine has layers of purple & blue fruit flavors. There’s acidity balancing the big flavors and lingering tannins—it’s what you want in a cold weather red. Pair this wine with food that’s equally bold, whether it’s blue cheese or roasted duck with plum sauce. Retail: $16

White: 2016 Vinha de Lage hiatus Alvarinho, Minho, Portugal

Since the 17th century, the Sottomayor family has been making wine in the Minho region of northern Portugal. They created the Hiatus label to expand the reach of their wines throughout the world. Owned by a Madison resident who works in conjunction with her aunt, Hiatus showcases the fresh vibrancy of Portuguese whites. Their Alvarinho (aka Albariño) is just as at home in the cold winter months as it will be in summer. The wine has good weight, bracing acidity, and layers of tree fruit and floral notes. Roast some pork chops with an apricot glaze or drizzle honey over triple crème and call it a night. Retail: $14

January 2019

Red: 2016 Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy

South of Asti, the Maccario brothers founded their winery thirty years ago. For generations their family had sold the grapes they grew, but the brothers decided to start making wine from their grapes instead. They’ve become specialists in stunning Barbera. Their Lavignone Barbera d’Asti is perennially one of our favorite Piedmontese reds, and this vintage shows you why. With a bold black cherry note and supple mouthfeel, this lighter-bodied red is easy to like while still being interesting and complex. With a wine this friendly, you can serve just about any food, but we highly recommend pairing this wine with roasted chicken with mushrooms or with a variety of Italian cheeses for a fun wine & cheese night. Retail: $16

White: 2016 Castello ColleMassari Melacce Vermentino, Tuscany, Italy

Owned by a brother and sister duo, Castello ColleMassari produced its first vintage in 2000. They built a four-story winery that uses gravity rather than electricity to do most of the work for them. For their Vermentino & Vermentino blends, they use the Melacce label, which gets its name from the Melacce River that flows through one of their properties. This Vermentino is made from certified organic grapes and shows off the exciting characteristics of the varietal. The wine is aromatic and round with notes of herbs, green apple, and lemon. With more heft than many whites, it’s a good white wine for the colder months. Serve with a whole roasted fish or a salty hard cheese, such as Pecorino Toscano. Retail: $15