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Showing posts from January, 2009

Organic wine & food matching: Gemtree Shiraz & Korean style barbecued shortribs

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left, Gemtree's Melissa Buttery and Mike Brown

While organic or biodynamic wines coming out of Australia have been far and between, the movement does exist Down Under; and certification agencies such as Australian Certified Organic (ACO), Demeter in Australia’s Bio-Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI), and National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) have recently stepped up activities, with a number of leading producers (such as Henschke, Burge Family, Elderton, Noon, Wirra Wirra and M. Chapoutier Australia) making the transition to chemical-free, sustainable grape growing as we speak.

In the meantime, a perfectly delicious, biodynamically grown Australian red – the 2007 Gemtree Tadpole Shiraz (about $16) – has been popping up in markets across the U.S., and it has all the deep, black, bouncy, lush fruitiness Shiraz lovers look for in their reds; including an intense nose, suggesting raspberry liqueur, boysenberry jam and a veneer of vanillin oak, plus a soft m…

Organic wine match of the day: Maysara Jamsheed Pinot Noir & Szechuan baby back ribs

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When Oregon’s “Papa Pinot,” the recently departed David Lett of Eyrie Vineyards, planted his first vineyard in 1965, he settled in the Dundee Hills just south, towards west, of Portland, where deep, red clay soils on bedrocks of basalt have yielded the type of gentle yet generous, red berryish, fruit driven red wines that have come epitomize Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

During the past twenty-five years, a number of other little pockets of Willamette Valley have been successfully planted by winemakers, five of which have been identified as sufficiently unique to merit their own official AVA (American Viticultural Region) designation. Among those “other” regions: the McMinnville AVA, located a good twenty miles southwest of the Dundee Hills AVA; closer to the Pacific’s maritime influence, and tucked into coastal mountain hillsides where slightly dryer weather and brighter days are offset by cooler nights and significantly shallower soils than that of Dundee.

From this emerging AVA, Mc…