From the Bar – 3 wines from southern Europe reviewed

Three wines up this week.  Pennsylvania operates under a state store system for liquor purchases in the Commonwealth.  When I was quite a bit younger, the state stores didn’t have much of a selection, Black Velvet, Riunite,  wine coolers, etc.  But the PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) now has professional staff to select what the state system purchases, which has improved the selection vastly.   They’ve also opened a website: which has online exclusives and very nice sales.  Alas, they do not ship outside of Pennsylvania.

As a result of one of these sales, and free shipping, I purchased four wines, three of which will be reviewed here.  The last, La Gitana Fino Sherry will be another entry.  They were chosen because of their curious places of origin, the Basque region, the Languedoc and Verona.

Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli 2009 –  a wine from the Basque region of Spain.  The color is a pale straw with a tinge of green.  The green tinge gives a good hint to the green apple and yeasty champagne flavor, backed by a extremely fine carbonation.  I find this a very nice wine for the current hot and humid weather in Pennsylvania.  At the moment, it’s $15 at the website, quite a good deal.

L’Ostal Cazes Minervois Estibals 2005 –  a wine from the Languedoc region of France.  The Languedoc is southern France on the Mediterranean coast, and has been the center of a lot of curious mysticism including the “san graal / sang real” Christian mythology, and a lot of real history, including more
Christian mystics, the Cathars who were annihilated by the “true church”.

The wine is a deep royal purple, full of the scent of dark cherries but quite dry.  There is a little oak to smooth out the tannins.

Sartori Ferdi Bianco Veronese 2006 – “Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”  But with a wine like this, the Capulets and the Montagues would have had reason to join hands and celebrate.  Called a “super white”, a term that I find has no agreement on the definition; this wine has a wonderful butterscotch aroma and a taste of fresh pears. It is a lovely intense yellow to reflect the rich, though not sweet, wine. I very much recommend this wine, especially at the current PLCB price of $10.

2 thoughts on “From the Bar – 3 wines from southern Europe reviewed

  1. PA has a great system if you are a socialist who believes that a group of 9 in Harrisburg should choose the wine for a state of 12 million people. Do some research and see how that none of them are certified.


    1. oooooh, a “socialist”. Poor thing, pity you don’t seem to know what that actually means. Any more false ad hominem attacks you’d like to offer? It does make me ever-so in awe of your ability to reason.::chuckle::

      Well, Albert, if you think you can do better, I’d suggest in applying for a job there. I have seen openings relatively recently for exactly such positions. And “certified” in what? I do expect you to be less vague. From the Culinary Institute of America? From the Society of Wine Educators? Which one, of many claimaints to give “certfication” (no such thing as some universal approving authority, and the online certifications are certainly amusing), would you approve of? I find the claims about such things about as valid as people who declare themselves “movie critics”, it’s all dependent on one’s subjective opinion. You don’t like anyone who doesn’t have some claim of “expert” (and I’m sure only those you approve of), which I find essentially useless in such a personal area such as taste. Why should I think that these “experts” you find so important to have any more more ability to know what I like than the “9”? I certainly find that “movie critics” have nothing to do with what *I* like.

      And, Albert, I have *done* research and I know that one of the problems of a free market system is that I would be beholden to the masses who drink Riunite and Jack Daniels. No one would carry wines from the Basque region if they didn’t sell. The state system allows the opportunity to take a chance on something that might not appeal to everyone. It’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but I enjoy the benefits I get from it. Now, rather than whine about wine, I’d suggest you look at the nice selection and order yourself something.


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