Ty’s Picks – Winter 2015

Ty’s Picks

My picks are influenced by basically just two criteria.  I pick wines that are either a great example of a certain grape variety or region and wines that are stylistically “outside the box” and just plain fun.  All of these wines are $20 or under (with just a few exceptions) and will hopefully change your view on what a wine from a certain grape, region or price range can express.  Of course, keep in mind that part of what makes wine fun is that it is so subjective and everyone perceives it differently.  These are just my humble opinions.  That being said, have fun and I hope you enjoy!

Whites:

Deep Sea Chardonnay – Central Coast , CA – Supported by a small percentage of Viognier, the Deep Sea boasts a bright, fruity, slightly floral nose that is deep and captivating. Layers and layers of apple, pear, nuts and toffee unfold on the palate surrounded by very crisp but balanced acidity.  A refreshing cal style with a hint of Mersault.

Bree Riesling ‘10 – Pfalz, Germany – Bree is a fun sipper that is more about balance than power; as good Riesling should be.  Located further south and closer to France than most other German growing regions, the Pfalz is a warmer region and therefore produces riper grapes resulting in less acidic wines.  This wine is drier than some other Rieslings since not as much sugar is needed to balance out the acid.

Sauvion Vouvray ‘09 – Loire Valley, FRA – Light and fruity with impeccable balance; this Vouvray, from one of the region’s classic producers, is a joy to drink.  The Sauvion has just enough sweetness to balance the acid and highlight the peach and honey notes. A great wine for the table or just sipping on the porch on a cool fall evening.

Newton “Red Label” Chardonnay ‘09 – Napa/Sonoma, CA – Harmony is the word that comes to mind with this little gem.  Yellow apple, pineapple, vanilla and just barely browned toast highlight the complex nose. The ripe fruits really come out on the palate where honeydew joins the party.  The finish is rich, crisp, refreshing, fruity, toasty… fruity? toasty? fruity?….harmonious.

Cuvee Anne-Laure Pinot Blanc ’09 – Alsace, FRA – I like my fall & winter whites to have a little more intensity in order to match up to the rich dishes and cool weather of the seasons.  The Anne-Laure definitely delivers in the intensity category.  Ripe peaches, pears and white flowers explode from the glass and follow through on the palate in a rich, balanced fashion.  Another Thanksgiving keeper.

White Knight Viognier ‘08 – Clarksburg, CA – The nose is rich with aromas of peaches, white flowers, pear and citrus.  I like the White Knight because it avoids an oily texture that some Cali Viogniers are prone to.  This wine, and the grape in general , is also a great food wine that will match well with a multitude of different dishes. Hint: Thanksgiving

Reds:

McManis Merlot ‘10 – California – I realize many of you have likely had this wine but I just have to throw it on the list.  McManis is a great bargain brand in general but I think their Merlot is the wine that really shines.  Everything one would look for in a Merlot is there; big cherry cola, red raspberries, milk chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla are present in large quantities on the nose and palate.  The finish is long and silky smooth.  This is a steal at under $10.

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Borgueil  “Cuvee Alouettes” 2010– Loire Valley, Fra – Wow!  A stunning example of Cabernet Franc.  Classic aromas of red cherries, strawberries, violets, herbs and bramble seduce you on the nose.  Great intensity follows on the palate along with silky tannins that offer just enough grip.  Ironically and thankfully, the finish is as long as the name.

Beringer 3rd Century Pinot Noir ’09 – Central Coast, CA – Now this one should be proof that I’m not a snob, and I’m not but still. Bottom line…it’s good!  I bought all they had left of this little ’06 and right now it’s in its prime!  Some of the fruit and spice has softened into wonderful leather and woodsy notes and the tannin and acid are in harmony.  Let it breath for 20 min or but then polish off the bottle cause it won’t last overnight.

Trefethen “Double T” Blend ’07 – Napa Valley, CA – A classic Meritage style comprised of all 5 classic Bordeaux varietals the Double T gets it right.  A fragrant nose of black fruit, sweet oak and spices draws you in.  The wine is softer and rounder on the palate than expected which makes for immediate enjoyment.  Juicy black fruits, smooth tannins and dark chocolate dominate the palate.  A great food wine!

Pozzan Zinfandel ’08 – Napa Valley, CA – The Pozzan gold series is a pristine example of classic Zinfandel.  The nose is rich with red & black raspberries, warm oak & vanilla and white pepper.  On the palate the wine has firm texture with very ripe tannins and layers of flavor.  I drank this over a 3 day period in which it continually evolved and was a pleasure every time.

Moobuzz Pinot Noir ’08 – Monterey, CA – The Moobuzz is a reminder that there are still few great Pinots out there for under 15 bucks.  Good Pinot to me is like an air hockey game playing out in your nose and mouth; back and forth between the fruity notes and the spicy/earthy notes.  With the Moobuzz, raspberry, strawberry and red plum make up the fruit team.  Sauteed mushroom and fall spices of clove, cedar and orange peel make up the spice & earth team.  All these flavors just bounce off each other from all different directions with the finish going into overtime.

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Siegi’s – All about the passion

           I think it was four or five years ago at Oktoberfest that I ducked under a table as a large steel pole came whizzing by my head when the main tent came crashing down.  Amidst the crowded chaos, bloodied people and pounding rain I headed for shelter.  I was eating a brat at the time and still had the little paper boat in my hand.  The bun was soaked so I cast it aside and took one thing with me as I headed to the nearest tent and helped the hundred or so others taking cover there hold the tent down.  That item in my opposite hand that wasn’t holding on to the tent…my Siegi’s bratwurst, sans bun, still a bit of mustard and kraut attached, still good.  True story.

            Thousands of people experienced that crazy disaster on corporate night and thousands more came out in support the next two nights.  Thankfully, Tulsa’s beloved Oktoberfest continues to thrive.  One of the reasons for this has to be the brats.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say how much they love the brats, sausage and potato pancakes at Oktoberfest and how much they look forward to that one time of year they can get the good stuff.  Well, I got something to tell ya… If you don’t already know this, you can get the goods any time you want!  Siegi’s Sausage Factory and Deli and the newly added Siegi’s German Restaurant is the place!  Listen kids, if you only have Siegi’s once a year from that great but limited menu, you’re doing yourself a BIG disservice.  There is so much more!  Their location at 81st and Sheridan is more than worth the drive for all of you mid/downtowners that refuse to venture to the southside.  The sausage selection is impressive and they’re all good.  There’s also reubens, wonderful schnitzel and strudel to be had; and a freakin burger with pastrami!  However, one thing that impresses me even more than all that homemade food is the drink list.

            Me being the booze geek and this being the sommelier’s blog, it’s about time we got to the liquid side of things.  I love Siegi’s simple drink menu and I’ll tell you why. I can’t tell you how many niche or regional themed, restaurants I have been to (Tulsa and out of state) that still only offer the standards (Bud, Beringer and so on).  Typically, there’s hardly anything on the drink list that pairs with or is classically consumed with that region’s food.  Siegi’s is different.  The beer list is made up of the classics like Spaten, Paulaner and Fransiskaner.  As far as wine, there are several good German Riesling choices, from dry to the richer, sweeter spatlese.  Austrian Gruner Veltliner, a classic with kraut, starts off the white list along with a rich, honeyed Austrian Pinot Blanc.  Beyond this, an Austrian Zweigelt (similar to pinot noir) and a German Pinot Noir from the Reinhessen are offered – by the glass!  I’d challenge anyone to drive through OK, ARK, KS, even MO and find a Gruner, Zweigelt and German Pinot by the glass.  You just don’t see it, especially around here and I love it! There’s only one thing that explains the decision to go against the grain like that; to put wines on the menu most people have never heard of… passion.  Passion for the product they serve, the authenticity of the restaurant and the heritage of the food.  I greatly respect the decision to not just sell the same old thing and make easy choices; the decision to do it right.

            Needless to say, Siegi’s is a Tulsa institution and I sing their praises when I have the opportunity.  Do yourself a favor and check it out. Oh, and if you’re wondering where else to find some of those great Austrian & German wines and beers on the list, just come see me.

 Cheers!

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The Zork Dork

        Obviously, I am a certified, bona fide, veritable and official card-carrying cork dork.  A wine geek.  Recently however, it occurred to me that yet another moniker might apply to my overly enthusiastic disposition toward the sauce…Zork Dork!  For those of you not familiar with the Zork, it is a new (and fairly sharp looking I might add)  plastic/rubber closure for wine bottles.  That’s not all it is though… oh no my friends, it’s so much more!  I’ve saved about 10 of these things and I use them all the time.  Months, even years after the wine it originally protected is long gone the little stopper is still a handy kitchen tool.  I use them for olive oil (the good kind) toss the plastic pour spout and it stays fresh twice as long.  Keep vodka or another liquor in the freezer?  Employ the Zork and your days of leakage or frozen screw caps are over.  Drink Moscato d’Asti? The little zork makes a great stopper to keep the bubbles fresh for a day or two.  I’ve even used one to re-cork champagne and it didn’t fly off.  However, as Zork now makes a champagne stopper I don’t recommend this practice, it happened to work is all I’m saying. 

         I know these days there is still a lot of controversy regarding screw caps and synthetic corks versus real cork.  The truth is it really doesn’t really matter.  Over 90% of the wine produced in the world is consumed (or meant to be consumed) within the first 2 years of release.  The type of  closure used for the wine doesn’t even factor in that situation except in a possibly adverse way.  When the cork is bad the wine is bad and you return it to me then I return it to the wholesaler. That little cork has just cost more than it’s weight and worth in time, effort and paperwork. 

        There is something eternally romantic about opening a bottle of wine with real cork with and a classic corkscrew, I will never advocate doing away with real cork, especially in the higher end wines.  Times have changed though, and the advent of alternative closures can be a good thing for many mainstream wines.  I’m not necessarily fond of synthetic corks, screw caps work great; but for overall performance and functionality, it’s gotta be the Zork.  Pick up a “zorked” bottle, hopefully you’ll enjoy the wine, then test out the Zork in your kitchen.  See what all uses you can find for it, I’m betting you too will be a fellow Zork dork in no time.

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Class Full

Thank you for your interest in this course.  Unfortunately, this class is already full.  If you are interested in attending another class on the same subject please reply to the email and let me know so I may schedule another class in the near future.

If you wish to be on the waiting list in case a spot opens up please email or call me at tyler@parkhillssouth.com or (918) 528-6700. 

Sincerely,

Tyler Mirt

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Ty’s picks – May 2011

Ty’s Picks

My picks are influenced by basically just two criteria.  I pick wines that are either a great example of a certain grape variety or region and wines that are stylistically “outside the box” and just plain fun.  All of these wines are $20 or under (with just a few exceptions) and will hopefully change your view on what a wine from a certain grape, region or price range can express.  Of course, keep in mind that part of what makes wine fun is that it is so subjective and everyone perceives it differently.  These are just my humble opinions.  That being said, have fun and I hope you enjoy!

Whites:

Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc ‘08 – Santa Ynez, CA – Vivid aromas of mango and papaya induce a day dream of enjoying perfectly ripe, juicy  fruit on an exotic beach somewhere. These tropical fruits carry over to the palate where beautifully balanced acid supports a long, fresh finish.

Domaine du Salvard Cheverny ‘09 – Loire Valley, FRA – This 85% Sauv Blanc, 15% Chard blend hails from the Cheverny AOC near Sancerre.  A great spring wine, white peach, green apple and lots of minerals are present on the nose with the apple and more minerals taking over on the palate.  The finish is long, dry and refreshing.

Raptor Ridge Pinot Gris ‘09 – Willamette Valley, OR –  A very versatile wine, the Raptor Pinot Gris is a joy to drink by itself yet also begs to compliment a sweet scallop or other light shellfish meal.  Big pear, green apple, grapefruit and light floral notes are present on the nose.  The pear and citrus continue on the palate where a very faint hint of sweetness rounds out the package.

Newton “Red Label” Chardonnay ‘09 – Napa/Sonoma, CA –  Harmony is the word that comes to mind with this little gem.  Yellow apple, pineapple, vanilla and just barely browned toast highlight the complex nose. The ripe fruits really come out on the palate where honeydew joins the party.  The finish is rich, crisp, refreshing, fruity, toasty… fruity? toasty? fruity?….harmonious. 

Za Za Garnacha Rose ‘09 – Campo de Borja, Spain – This wine is like Snickers…it just satisfies.  Bright raspberry and strawberry fill the nose. More of the same on the palate only mixed with a subtle hint of cream (which makes everything better).  The creamy, red fruit goodness sticks around on the finish.  Grab a bottle, sit outside, enjoy life.

Crios Torrontes ‘10 – Salta, Argentina – For those not familiar with torrontes, it’s one of those “best of both worlds” grapes.  A perfumed, floral quality strikingly similar to viognier dominates the nose with aromas of peaches, white flowers, pear and citrus.  On the palate this wine is more similar to sauvignon blanc in weight and acidity.  The rich fruit flavors still come through but in a light, crisp fashion that leads to a long, dry and refreshing finish.  A really fun wine!

Reds:

Root 1 Carmenere ‘08 – Colchagua Valley, Chile – A big nose of deep black fruit with underlying green olive, green pepper and herbs that may compel a brief hesitation but don’t let this scare you. On the palate, the herbs take a back seat. Ripe black plum and blackberry laced with smooth, silky tannin make for a juicy, fun wine that is enjoyable alone but great with a range of different foods.

Corvidae “The Keeper” Cab Franc ‘08– Columbia Valley, WA – This one is a “thinkers” wine. Red and black fruits, leather, smoke and spices all make you think the Keeper is a brooding beast.  Take a taste and everything is still there but the wine is soft, smooth and refined.  This wine is a great example of complexity and power mixed with pleasurable drinkability; sans the need for cellaring for 10 years or more.

Vega Moragona Tempranillo ’09 – La Mancha, Spain – If the film “The Usual Suspects” had a wine, this is it.  This one starts off with big, juicy blueberry and acai berry on the nose and palate.  At first, everything is silky smooth.  Then, just as you are about to gulp it down, the tannins take a firm but pleasant grip like the unseen twist at the end of a good film. 

Hedges Red Mountain Blend ’08 – Red Mountain, WA – Okay, so it’s a little more than $20 but it drinks like it’s $50!  It’s everything you want in a good cab blend with aging ability.   Rich dark fruits, leather, tobacco, oak, vanilla, smoke and cocoa are all present and accounted for.  The Hedges is an incredible value. This wine drinks beautifully now and all those little nuances will only intensify with age. 

Calistoga Cellars Zinfandel ’07 – Napa Valley, CA – I like the Calistoga because it’s unique and appeals to zin and non-zin drinkers alike.  The ripe red and black fruit are there along with the zesty spice but this one isn’t too jammy or overly ripe.  This wine is great on its own but also a great food match.  Try BBQ.

Araldica Barbera D’Asti ’07 – Piedmont, Italy – Barbera is the everyday red wine of Piedmont and for good reason.  Light body and high acid make it a great food partner especially with the many tomato and herb based dishes of the region.  The Araldica is a stunning example for the price.  Dark cherries, raspberries and tar start the show and after breathing for a bit comes coconut, almond and chocolate.  The acid is quite high so sip on a glass while cooking and enjoy the rest with your lasagna.

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Now Open!!!

Greetings Tulsa, 

I am proud to announce that Parkhill’s South is now open for business and we would love for you to come see our beautiful new facility.  A project two years in the making, Parkhill’s South builds on a 47 year Tulsa tradition of service, selection and value.  Our new store is primed to be not only a retail venue, but a south Tulsa focal point for wine, spirits and beer appreciation and education.  Our independent tasting room will be host to public invite tastings as well as regular classes on wine & food pairing, grape varietals and wine producing countries as well as spirits and beers.  As we continue to build our inventory and grow accustomed to the neighborhood, please offer us your suggestions and preferences so that we may better accomodate everyone.  We hope to see you very soon.

A votre sante!

Ty the wine guy

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Food and Wine Pairing Basics

There are some basic rules to successfully matching food and wine. The first being, always drink what you love and the second being that you don’t want the wine to overwhelm the flavors of the food nor do you want the food to take over the subtle flavor nuances of the wine. Here are some very basic guidelines to pairing your food perfectly with wine:

Matching Weights
This sounds complicated, but it’s really very simple. When pairing up food and wine, start by matching the weight of the wine to the weight of the food. Heavier wines like Cabernet and Bordeaux should be paired with heavier (heartier) dishes. Light wines like Pinot Grigio and Riesling should be matched with lighter fare.

Matching Textures
Sweet and spicy dishes accentuate the acidity, astringency and tannic qualities, often referred to as texture of any given wine. Foods high in acids or salt content, tend to dull the textures of wine, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What you’re looking for when pairing food and wine is a delicate balance between the flavors of the wine and the flavors of the food.

When matching textures of food with wine, think about what you want the wine to do to the food and vice versa. For example, if you want to bring out the tannins in a Cabernet, serve it with a sweeter or spicier dish. If you think the tannins in the Cab you plan on serving are too “big”, cut them down a bit by serving it with a dish that is a bit salty and bitter.

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Drink The Wine You Love

The old fashioned rule of red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat is so restrictive and there is really no reason to follow it. The whole idea of pairing wine with food is for the two to compliment one another. Want to drink your bottle of Caymus with a grilled burger, go for it! How about a bottle of Fish Eye Chard with Pad Thai? Why not? Great wine always compliments great food so don’t be afraid to throw all the guidelines out the window and experiment with what wine and food you think pair well together. As always, you will never go wrong by drinking the wine you love, because if you love it, it’s more than likely that your guests will love it as well.

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Price Doesn’t Always Reflect Quality

Wine, like almost any other product on the market, often increases in price as the winery (or brand name) attains more and more recognition. Most times, higher priced wines are fantastic and everything the person drinking it expects it to be, but other times…not so much. For a wine drinker, whether a beginner or a connoisseur, there are few things more disappointing than spending a decent amount of money on a bottle of wine that’s only so-so.

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