Announcing our August wine box collaborator, Thomas Price, Master Sommelier of 1856 opening this fall in the new Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Center at Auburn University. The new restaurant will serve around 48 guests and will also have a private dining room. 1856 will be a “teaching restaurant” that will allow students of Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Hospitality Management Program to gain first-hand experience while working and serving the guests of 1856. Thomas has recently worked with our Wino in Charge, John Mark Davis, to put together what will be the most comprehensive wine list in the state.
Thomas, an Alaska native, has worked as a wine professional for 40 years. He has worked in some of Seattle’s top restaurants, like the Dahlia Lounge, El Camino, Etta’s Seafood, and The Santa Fe Café. He opened his own restaurant, Luau Polynesian Lounge, in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood in 1997. In 2012, Thomas became the first African American to obtain the Master Sommelier wine certification. (There are only 257 Master Sommelier’s in the world.) Thomas has worked with Auburn’s hospitality program for several years, teaching the Introductory Sommelier classes to its students. Our Just the Wino, Merideth Davis, obtained her intro-certification under Thomas’ teaching.
We are EXTREMELY honored for Thomas to be our wine box collaborator this month. How many times do you have the chance to purchase a custom-mixed case of wine picked out by a Master Sommelier?
More detailed tasting notes, tips from Thomas, and a link to reserve your case today are below!
Each case (12 bottles; 3 of each selection) is $285 + tax.
OR a 4- pack (1 bottle of each) $125+ tax. **Please indicate in your request if want to go with this option.**
2020 Sao Jao Brut Rosé – Albano, José, and Manuel Costa founded their winery in 1920, naming it after São João, the patron saint of the region of Bairrada. This Carmelite monk was responsible for initiating the construction of the Bussaco Monastery in 1628. Initially, they set out to make Port wines, wanting to cash in on the boom in demand for Port. A 1930 ruling prohibited the bottling of Port wines outside of the Vila Nova de Gaia area, where the port shippers still conduct business today, and Caves São João turned to the production of still wines from the Bairrada and Dão regions. Later, realizing Bairrada’s potential for producing world-class white and sparkling wines, they hired the French winemaker Gaston Mainousson to spearhead Bairrada’s establishment as the preeminent region for sparkling wines in Portugal. With help from Mainousson, the brothers launched there brands: Caves São João (which made wines from Bairrada and Dão), Frei João from Bairrada and Porta dos Cavaleiros from the Dão. Ultimately, these brands became ubiquitous in the Portuguese wine scene of the 20th century. The singular terroir of Bairrada makes for world-class sparkling wine. The vineyards are planted 20km from the ocean, battered by the northern Atlantic winds for which the area is well known. Méthode traditionnelle gives this wine a soft, silky texture, combined with the floral tones and bright fruit of its indigenous varietals, 60% Baga, 40% Touriga Naçional. Touriga Naçional gives intense rose petal aromas and Baga a bright red fruit character. On the palate, delicate and persistent bead makes for a silky, rich texture. Bright strawberry and red raspberry on the mid palate, complemented by mineral, white pepper and more floral tones. Racy acidity cuts a beam through the middle, making for a food-friendly sparkler.
2021 Champalou Vouvray Sec– The Champalous are masters of Loire Chenin Blanc, producing Vouvray in all styles; this still, dry rendition, aged in stainless steel, represents their flagship cuvée. Gentle and refreshing on the palate, it boasts a delightful balance of stony minerality with luscious, almost honeyed fruit and flowery notes, making for a great apéritif or easy pairing with all sorts of dishes.
2019 Ridge Three Valleys Red– In 1962, Ridge made its first Monte Bello, and two years later its first zinfandel. Since that time, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare and exceptional vineyards where climate, soil, and variety are ideally matched. This wine is comprised of 73% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 3% Mataro, 1% Alicante Bouschet. It is deep garnet in color with aromas of ripe raspberr, cherry, mint and spice. It shows raspberry, blackberry, and cherry on the palate, has a medium to full body, well integrated tannins, and a long finish.
2019 Breca Old Vine Garnacha– Located in the sleepy town of Munébrega, Bodegas Breca was founded by Jorge Ordóñez in 2010 with the mission of producing the finest Garnacha in Aragón. Garnacha de Aragón, the clone used to produce the wines of Bodegas Breca, is the most ancient and genetically untouched clone of of Garnacha (Grenache) in the world. Garnacha was first cultivated in this northeastern corner of Spain, and transplanted across the Mediterranean by the medieval Kingdom of Aragón, which had territories across the Mediterranean. These grapes are hand harvested and the clusters are destemmed. They are then fermented in stainless steel vats before aging for 18 months in French Oak. The wine has a deep color, as well as lively acidity. It shows aromas of ripe black fruit, and spices such as black pepper. There is an obvious minerality to the wine as it finishes bold on the palate.