On the Air

Posted on 30 October 2008

By K.L. Riley

I was recently invited to talk about wine and Swell City Guide on the Jan D’atri show, an Arizona Talk Radio show. Miss D’atri is a saavy and sophisticated woman who is a purveyor of fine living, so it seemed like a natural place for me to talk about wine. I found myself to be a bit nervous before going on the air but Jan made me feel right at home. After the show, the producer received a countless number of phone calls about the wine that I covered so I thought I would dedicate this article to taking another look at what we discussed on-air. 
The concept of the segment was to suggest wine to individuals who don’t know exactly what to order when they are at the grocery or wine store.  I offered up suggestions of different wineries that carry various assortments of wines ranging from high-end to the best value for your dollar.
Wild Horse winery is located in the Central coast of California just south of Napa Valley. The climate here is warm but the ocean breeze cools the berries enough that the wine makers can produce concentrated fruit with a perfect  amount of acidity. Over their 20 year reign they have become one of the leading wineries in central coast which is why I decided to discuss their Pinot Noir. I was first turned on to Wild Horse Pinot Noir about 4 years ago and it always comes to mind when I want a nice, smooth pinot with acidity. The bouquet is strong with hints of ripe cherries, pomegranate and asian spices. The palate offers a medium body with great acidity that can accompany red or white meat and seafood. In addition to the Pinot Noir Wild Horse Winery also makes a Chardonnay, Viognier, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. All of these wines are a great value for the dollar and I guarantee they will be a homerun at the dinner table.
There isn’t much I can say about Robert Mondavi that hasn’t already been said. This family is one of the reasons Napa Valley is as popular as it is now. They have been making wines since the 1960’s and  won  first place in a historic wine tasting in Paris in 1976. Robert Mondavi is from Napa Valley so it seemed very appropriate for me to include one of their wines on the radio. I chose the Sauvignon Blanc because of its value and its subtleness.  Most Sauvignon Blancs’ have a tendency to retain excess citrus and it overpowers everything else (especially wines from New Zealand). The Robert Mondavi  Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect balance.  The bouqet will give you lemongrass, hay, ginger, and passion fruit, and the palate is very zesty. You will taste light citrus, honeydew melon, and a toasty oak.  They prove that Napa can produce an assortment of varietals at a consistent level, not just Cabernet.
The third bottle was Veuve Clicquot  Yellow Label Champagne.  Veuve  Clicquot  is located in Reims,France and has made a great champagne since 1772. Just in case you don’t know a wine can only be called champagne if it is from Champagne,France.  Champagne is a region in France about three hours northeast of Paris. Any other carbonated wine from anywhere else is called Sparkling Wine. The Yellow Label is dominated by Pinot Noir with a touch of Pinot Meunier, and a third Chardonnay. It is also a blend of 50 Crus , mainly Grands  and Premiers  Crus. I have found Yellow Label to be extremely consistent and a perfect Brut Champagne. It will grab your tongue with absolute freshness, acidity and fruit. The bouquet will give you touches of vanilla, fruits, and raisins. The bubbles are very refined and this champagne is always my first choice for any occasion.
Throughout the years I have been very fortunate for many reasons. Having the opportunity to speak on the radio about one of my passions was another great chapter in my life.  Hopefully everyone can gain some insight from my recommendations and will be able to enjoy any of these products with their family and loved-ones.

Wine Quote of the Week:   “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
Ernest Hemingway
Death in the Afternoon

Categorized | Wine Lover