Monthly Archives: February 2013

  1. Wahaka Mezcal (Part 2): Where it Comes from

    At the Premier Group, one of the reasons we like to visit wineries and distilleries it to get a feel for the place our products come from as well as get to know the people and traditions of the region. This philosophy of discovery has made us a top retailer and has also lead to some relationships with great people over the years.

    My meeting with Paco Garcia from Wahaka Mezcal was supposed to be a short tour and tasting. As he sensed my desire to really know his Mezcal and my love of Oaxaca, he asked if I would open my whole day to him. I jumped at the chance.

    I had the opportunity to see all three types of Maguey (a type of Agave plant used for Mezcal) up close, to touch them and see where they are grown.  I would later get to taste the delicious and unique Mezcal that each plant produces.

    The farmed Espadin (I think this is what most people picture when they think of Agave plants)

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  2. Great Wines for Under $10: La Corte Salice Salentino 2010

    This has to be one of my favorite recent finds. The 2010 La Corte Salice Salentino is a stunner. I did not expect such a delicious, full bodied and bold wine with a perfectly smooth finish at this price point. Too often I have come across tight, bitter Italian reds that put a large grimace on my face that lasts until I can stop feeling fur on my tongue.
    La Corte Salice Salentino is made up of 85% Negroamaro and 15% Malvasia Nera grapes. The wine is produced in stainless steel and oak. It has a dark ruby color and surprisingly quite jammy. Plum, dark berry, tobacco and even gingerbread greets the nose and sweet and smoky fig lingers long after your first taste. This wine is excellent with crusty bread, tapenade, and Italian hard cheeses.

    This is a terrific find for the sale price of $9.99.

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  3. Great Wines for Under $10: Ken Forrester Petit Cabernet-Merlot 2011

    First off, let’s be clear; there is nothing petit about this wine except for the price which is $9.99. This wine is a bit of an oddball in that it is from South Africa where Cabernet-Merlot blends don’t come readily to mind. What is perhaps even more puzzling is that Petit tastes more like an old world style Bordeaux than a bold, jammy fruit bomb.
    The Petit Cabernet-Merlot (59% Cabernet and 41% Merlot) is medium bodied with a classic, dark ruby color that hints at the refined fruit to come. Wild strawberry and raspberry mingled with cedar greet the nose while plum and spicy notes follow on the tongue. Crisp acidity and fine tannins are complimented by a touch of cocoa. Pair this wine with food you would normally pair with a red Bordeaux. Steak with red potatoes and broccoli a gratin, or broiled Lamb Chops with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.
    The Petit Cabernet- Merlot 2011 earned a 89 point rating from Robert Parker.

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  4. Wahaka Mezcal (Part 1): How it is Crafted

    Fine, handcrafted Mezcal is a growing category in the Spirits industry. One of the finest Premier carries is the Wahaka Brand from San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.

    Francisco Garcia

    On a recent trip to Oaxaca, I was given the opportunity to visit, taste and meet with Wahaka's Mezcal Aficionado, Francisco Garcia. Among other things, Francisco shared the methods for making fine Mezcal with me.

    Francisco explained that Mezcal is made from Maguey (from the Agave Family) slowly roasted in an open, earthen pit, filled with heated (until it is molten hot!) river rock, covered with a protective layer of crushed Maguey "must" from a previous batch. The Maguey is slow roasted for a period

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