Summer Sippers

2016-07-04 16.42.44-1
Summer Break!

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a break from writing. I have many articles pending publication, so I felt like it was a good time to experience a summer break again. When I taught college, I had summers off, three months off. That is probably the one key thing I miss about teaching, time off to do other things like writing, studying, and traveling. I always came back refreshed for the fall semester.

In the wine business, summer and fall are the busiest time of the year, so it can be exhausting to work all day, then evenings and weekends, too. I think we all need time to free our minds, even if we are doing what we love. Furthermore, I love enjoying wine in the moment instead of writing a post in my head or taking photos. However, it has become almost automatic to think this way. Therefore, when I tasted the following three wines, I was not planning to write about them immediately, but they pleased me so much that I wanted to share them with you now. All three are perfect for summer and beyond. Enjoy!

2015 Alpha Estate Malagouzia
2015 Alpha Estate Malagouzia, Turtles Vineyard, PGI Florina, Macedonia, Greece (sample, around $23)
I have only had Greek wines one time, at a conference reception, so essentially, this is my first, focused tasting of a Greek wine, the 2015 Alpha Estate Malagouzia Turtles Vineyard, PGI Florina (Macedonia, Greece), obviously my first malagouzia as well. My first impression of this wine is that it’s reminiscent of torrontés. In the glass, it displays a pale, greenish-yellow hue. Honeysuckle and stone fruit aromatics leap from the glass. Mouthwatering grapefruit, green apple, and melon flavors intertwine with a sur lie induced, textured mouthfeel. The result is a wine that’s both juicy and substantial, with tangy acidity and a finish that goes on and on. Find this wine through Diamond Wine Importers and distributors nationwide.

2013 Cave de Turckheim Pinot Blanc Tradition

2013 Cave de Turckheim Pinot Blanc Tradition, Alsace, France (sample, $19)
The 2013 Cave de Turckheim Pinot Blanc, Alsace, is a lot like me, perhaps, misunderstood and underrated because many don’t know what pinot blanc is. It’s a mutation of pinot noir and a versatile white wine that you can pair with almost anything, even quiche. Given that, I decided to pair it with my dinner eggs, since eggs are my primary protein of choice these days. It’s fermented and aged in stainless steel and contains a smidgen of auxerrois, which enhances the fruitiness and spiciness of this wine. Aromas and flavors run the gamut from citrus peel, to crisp apple, to white peach, with medium acidity and a creamy texture. Pair this with brunch fare like eggs, or with a wide range of foods like seafood, shellfish, salads, and soft cheeses. Contact importer Magnum Wines International to find this wine.

2016-07-20 18.30.58
2014 Trentadue Winery Pinot Noir

2014 Trentadue Winery Pinot Noir, Marcucci Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California ($28)
Trentadue Winery is known for their Alexander Valley reds, but winemaker Miro Tcholakov crafts a lovely pinot noir with grapes sourced from Marcucci Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. It showcases pretty floral and cherry notes. Layers of black cherry, spice, and earth envelope the palate. The wine’s juicy, cinnamony finish seals the deal. Only eight barrels were made. This wine was part of my spring wine club shipment. This single-vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a steal at $28. It is available directly from the winery and Trentadue ships to most states.

I am going to return my summer break now, but stay tuned for my pending articles for American Winery Guide and Snooth, as well as an upcoming movie review and details from my August trip to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, California!




  1. I haven’t heard Alsace Pinot Blanc described as “musky” before…it’s nearly always clean and fruity when I’ve tried it 😁

    I’m a big fan of the Cave de Turckheim, they have an excellent range at good prices!

    1. I read that in a couple of articles when I was doing some background research. This isn’t my first time having Alsatian Pinot Blanc and I would agree with you. I love Cave de Turckheim, too. I used to work for the importer before I moved to Napa, so that’s how I am able to receive their samples.

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