Although not quite as finicky as Pinot Noir, Malbec grapes thrive in very particular growing conditions. Fortunately for Reininger Winery (and for all of our customers), Walla Walla AVA is perfectly suited to growing Malbec.
Ideal Malbec Growing Conditions
Because of the thick skin of Malbec grapes, the varietal needs a relatively high amount of sun and heat to mature, especially compared to Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, the best Malbecs are grown in areas with dramtically different day and night temperatures, which creates ultra-ripe juice with crucial acidity. Growers need to be Continue reading “Growing Pains and 2007 Reininger Malbec” »
The Art of Wine Labels
Have you ever picked out a wine based on the label design? We would like to pretend we’re way too refined and discerning to have ever done that, but at least one of us at Reininger has (fine, it was me). As we’ve acknowledged before, a well stocked wine wall, or even a decent wine list, can be fairly intimidating. Somewhere along the line, clever wine marketers realized that detailed specs, especially written in a foreign language, just Continue reading “2007 Helix Syrah Battles Critter Wines” »
A few weeks ago, we gave you a quick overview of the history of Malbec in Argentina. We couldn’t do justice to the tumultuous roller coaster ride that is the relationship of Malbec and Agentina in one short blog post. Luckily for you, many gifted wine writers, such as Mike Veseth on his blog The Wine Economist, have put lots of words and passion toward examining the history. The film Boom Varietal: The Rise of Argentine Malbec by Sky Pinnick takes the theme a step further and provides stunning imagery and fresh perspective to this fascinating theme.
Mike Veseth, a passionate wine scholar and enthusiastic professor at the Continue reading “2007 Reininger Malbec and The Boom Varietal” »
Analogy for Syrah
There can be so much to keep track of when learning about wine and we’ve found that sometimes it’s helpful to have a good analogy to keep everything straight. We love Leslie Sbrocco’s analogies that pair different varietals with various types of clothing- they seem to stick with people. For example, Sbrocco describes Syrah as being the must-have red accessory, the “red-hot” red that adds sex appeal to any meal. She describes Syrah as being exotic yet approachable and widely fun. We couldn’t agree more! By now you might be wondering what delicious meal you should be spicing up with a sassy glass of Syrah. Don’t worry, we’ll share our favorite Syrah pairing with you. Just be sure to order up some 2007 Helix Syrah and save us a spot at the table!
Syrah Food Pairings
Syrah pairs extremely well with tender, slow cooked meats such as pot roast or ossu buco. For a less meat-centric meal, Syrah is also amazing with earth, spicy, hearty flavors such as ratatouille, or mushroom risotto, or mole dishes. But before we get to the main dish, we have to share our top-secret guaranteed crowd pleasing appetizer with you. Seriously, if you have a crowd you want to impress, whip this recipe up, pop open a bottle of 2007 Helix Syrah and you will have your guest begging for your secret.
Bacon-Wrapped Dates and 2007 Helix Syrah
This is possibly the easiest appetizer- our favorite because the less time you spend preparing in the kitchen, the more time you have to enjoy your guests!
-Bacon, cut into small pieces (enough to wrap around a date)
-Dried, pitted datesPreparation
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
-Wrap a date in a small piece of bacon. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the bacon is crispy. Tip: if you are having trouble keeping the bacon wrapped, stick a toothpick through to hold it together.
Buy 2007 Helix Syrah
If you haven’t been to the Reininger tasting room, we highly suggest you stop by. Our tasting rooms staff is always thrilled to share our wines with guests. If you can’t swing by the winery, order a bottle of 2007 Helix Syrah online.
After reading our 2007 Reininger Malbec tasting note and our general Malbec flavor profile, you know that this varietal is deep and dark in all the right ways. Malbec is often referred to as inky, purple and brooding- but have you ever heard of it described as “black wine?” If you haven’t heard of black wine, that’s probably because “Côt Noir” is hardly ever found here in the United States. Feel free to pause, pour yourself a glass of Malbec (in the name of research, of course) and enjoy this mini wine history lesson.
The Origins of Black Wine
Wine has been produced in the Cahors region since the Ancient Roman times, at least as far back as 50 bc, and has gone down in the history books as the wine of choice for many of greatest rulers. Côt Noir, or “the black wine of Lot” (Lot is the Continue reading “Cahors Broodingly Black Wine and the 2007 Reininger Malbec” »
One of the reasons some people steer clear of Syrah is that they’re not clear how to pronounce it. As trivial as pronunciation might seem, it can be intimidating to order or talk about wine when you know just enough to know you might be wrong. For some of us, the potential embarrassment is enough to make us pass over a potentially wonderful wine and stick to the Merlot or Chardonnay. So, what has caused all this confusion around Syrah? Is it Shiraz, or Syrah, or both?
Shiraz v. Syrah
Actually, Shiraz and Syrah are correct pronunciations, but refer to two distinctly different styles of the same varietal. The quick and easy answer is that Shiraz refers to Australian style wines, while Syrah indicates old world French wines. But don’t rush to label “Shiraz” as New World wine, it has been grown in Australia since 1830’s. The confusing part of this name game is when countries other than France/Europe or Australia/South Africa start claiming whatever label they want, usually loosely based on the style and resulting flavors.
Flavor Profiles of Shiraz vs. Syrah
Generally wines made Syrah/Shiraz wines are full bodied and powerful and need time to age in the bottle, or in other words, definitely not subtle, soft wines. There are typically dark berry flavors, chocolate, espresso, black pepper or violet notes. As Syrah’s age, the primary notes mellow and secondary earthy notes (think leather, or truffle) emerge. “Syrah” wines tend to be more typical of Northern Rhône reds, eliciting descriptors such as elegant, tannic, restrained fruits, wisps of smoke. On the other hand, “Shiraz” wines tend to be more New World and display more overy fruits, riper berries, higher alcohol and subtler tannins. Shiraz wines are typically more drinkable when young than Syrah and seem sweeter in comparison. Unfortunately though, these rules of thumb are very often broken, so do your research if you’re looking for a certain style.
When we talked about the flavor profile of Malbecs, we gave you some easy and loose guidelines for Malbec food pairings. If you recall, Malbec thrives in Argentina. As always, a good rule of thumb is to pair wine with food typical to the region the wine is from. So to put it all together, Malbec truly shines when paired with typical Argentinian cuisine such as grilled meats. This South American inspired grilled beef will shine when paired with the 2007 Reininger Malbec. Bon Appetite!
Grilled Beef Brochettes (Anticuchos de Lomo)- adapted from Gourmet, 2009
As you know from our blog post last week, Syrah was traditionally grown in southern France. We promised to tell you how it made its way to the new world and became such a well known and loved varietal.
Introduction of Syrah to America
American winemakers like Robert Mondavi had been seriously stepping up their game and working on producing good quality New World wines since the 1970′s. In the 1980′s, some of these wine growing pioneers realized the terrain of Napa Valley was similar to wines grown in the Rhône Valley. These insightful vintners banded together and decided to strive to grow the best Rhône style wines they could. And what could make innovative wine makers taking a brilliant step forward for New World wine even more fun? A sassy name such as the Rhône Rangers.
The Rhône Rangers started making wines out of the traditional varietals of Southern Continue reading “2007 Reininger Syrah and the Rhône Rangers” »
We love Malbec here at Reininger, and we often hear the sentiment echoed from visitors at our tasting room. Despite Malbec’s ability to charm wine drinkers, many people still haven’t tried it yet. Many people are not quite sure what to expect of a Malbec. The sheer number of wines on a simple restaurant menu or the wine wall of a grocery store can be intimidating or overwhelming and many people stick with what is tried and true. Don’t get us wrong, we clearly love a good Chardonnay, and don’t get us started about Reininger Merlots, but part of the magic of wine is exploring new varietals. Whether you’ve already fallen in love with Malbec, or you have yet to discover it, here’s a quick description of what you can expect when popping the cork on a bottle of Malbec.
Malbec Flavor Profile
Malbec is characterized by its deeply hued purple color, often described as inky red. The flavors of Malbecs tend to be very lush and full of ripe, juicy berries and purple Continue reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Malbec” »
Although Malbec was traditionally grown in France (more on that later, don’t worry), today most people associate the varietal with Argentina. Conversely, Malbec has become Argentina’s wine identity. When you are thinking of what to eat with the 2007 Reininger Malbec, use the Argentinian association as a reminder of what pairs well. As a quick rule of thumb, pair the 2007 Reininger Malbec with traditional Argentinian foods, like a hearty steak. We’ll give you more pairing details and recipes later, for now, let’s return to Argentina.
History of Malbec in Argentina
In the mid 19th century, Domingo Faustino Sarmieto, the Argentinian provincial governor, decreed some French Malbec cuttings should be brought to Argentina. Maybe Sarmieto’s was yearning for his favorite flavors of his former life, maybe he thought the vines would be well suited to the unique terroir. Either way, it was a match made in heaven. Malbec thrived until the 20th century when Argentina’s Continue reading “Argintinian Flair and the 2007 Reininger Malbec” »