“Raise a glass to freedom, something they can never take away…no matter what they tell you.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
We are irrecoverably changed since the worldwide spread of COVID-19. While all of us at Circo Vino and our Winery Partners, both in the US and abroad remain physically safe, the specter of this virus has changed the landscape of the global hospitality industry, especially for those in food and beverage. Our hearts go out to the numerous dishwashers, servers, maître-d’s, sommeliers, and scores of owners of independent restaurants and retail shops whose livelihoods and businesses have been severely affected. As we adjust to life at a distance, it is worthwhile to take joy in small pleasures. The simple glass of a well-paired wine (or two) with your homemade dinner can go a long way in soothing the soul. This newsletter is dedicated to the fine, independently owned, establishments helping us to connect with our favorite wines during these times. While we are highlighting a few friends that have gone above and beyond, please see a list of restaurants and shops across the country that are keeping the wine flame alive.
In the Groove
The flagship grape of Austria, Grüner Veltliner, accounts for 30% of all grapes grown in the country. In the hands of 10thgeneration winemaker, Michael Malat, hailing from the Kremstal wine growing region, Gruner Veltliner can be a sublime experience. No less sublime have been the efforts of Little Death Wine Shop in San Antonio, TX. Offering free delivery in the area, get your hands on a bottle of Michael’s Grüner Veltliner Crazy Creatures.
Varieties: 100% Grüner Veltliner
Vineyard: Löss over primary rock
Analysis: Alcohol 12.5%, Acid 6.0 g/L, Sugar 1.0g/l
Grill and Chill
Summer social distanced bbqs would be remiss without that trendy lighter bodied, chillable red wine perfect for smoky grilled meats. Austria has entered the chat. The “Three Musketiers” in the Thermenregion, Hannes, Michael and Christian Reinisch of Johanneshof Reinisch have been firing their St. Laurent from all cylinders just a 30-minute drive from Vienna. But, if you’re in Scottsdale, AZ, Reinisch St. Laurent is a click or phone call away from the fine folks at AZ Wine Company. While you are there remember to pair your chill summer red with takeaway from Atlas Bistro, next door.
Varieties: 100% St. Laurent
Vineyard: Alluvial land over limestone
Analysis: Alcohol 12.5%, Acid 5.7 g/L, Sugar 2.1 g/l
Being at home does not mean you have to surrender to the flab. Flabby Sauvignon Blanc that is. Work it out at Division Wines in Portland, OR with Domaine Ciringa Fosilni Breg Sauvignon Blanc. Farmed organically with biodynamic principles, winemaker, Armin Tement, imbues his Slovenian wine with unmistakably crispness, sure to burn through a Styrian morning fog. The intrepid team at Division Wines will be happy to help you procure a bottle of this grapefruity, lip smacking libation.
Varieties: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard: Shell limestone cambisol
Analysis: Alcohol 12%, Acid 6.0 g/L, Sugar 1.1 g/l
In late February, after the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) deadline to announce whether or not an expansion of U.S. Wine Tariffs on imported wine would occur, a core group of industry wine professionals banded together to launch the United States Wine Trade Alliance. The USWTA is a non-profit trade association dedicated solely to wine trade issues and includes all three tiers of the wine industry. Wine Friends, Circo Vino will continue to fight against tariffs on imported wine and we need your help as the next “carousel” date for the current wine tariffs related to the Large Civil Aircraft Dispute reviewed by the World Trade Organization is August 12, 2020. The USTR will open a public comment portal on June 23, 2020. During the last carousel, you and about 20,000 other wine industry members and friends made your dissent known by using the Regulations.gov public comment portal. We have it on good authority that the USTR was taken by surprise that the wine industry had this much protest in it. Thank you to each one of you who used your pen, voice, time, and resources. We will need your fight again soon. Please take a moment to be informed about this issue and how tariffs could effect American jobs. Erik Segelbaum’s recent article in The Somm Journal is a great primer. Although the industry did not suffer additional tariffs from the USTR’s announcement this past February, the issue will remain in doubt until tariffs on imported wines are ceased.