Recently Gabriele and I returned to two favorite Alexandria places for dinner. I’ve written about both before — Overwood here and Cheestique here — and I’m happy to report they delivered again. Of course just because you return to an old favorite doesn’t mean you can’t try new wines.
That’s what we did, and came away with two new wine discoveries. In the case of Overwood, our hand was a bit forced. For some reason, the Kunin Pape Star was dropped from the wine list. I hope there was a good reason for this — maybe pricing, availability — our server didn’t know. It had been our favorite on the list.
Necessity being the mother of invention, we tried a new addition to the list, the Steltzner 2007 Claret. As a rule we like American Bordeaux blends and that was the case here.
The wine had a spicy bouquet, was well balanced with very nice fruit. The fruit wasn’t especially dark, say currant as opposed to blackberry notes. It had moderate tannins and a slight pucker on the finish. I tasted some cream, Gabriele did not.
Overall a nice wine, and a good food wine with flavorful fare. It was strong but not heavy, and won’t overwhelm most dishes. Looks to retail for just under $20.
Cheestique is always a lot of fun, offering the chance to try a wide array of wines by the glass. We didn’t enjoy the first flight of small tastes we tried, but we did enjoy the “Super Tuscan” on their menu, a Castello di Poppiano 2008.
(I could not find exact information online about the wine, so the link above takes you to a beautifully detailed post from Abigail Blake’s Sugar Apple blog about touring the vineyard in 2009.) The wine was very smooth with a hint of smokiness, not overly “Super,” just as the bartender advertised. It had a very nice texture, a silkiness on the palate that went very well with our cheese board and sandwiches.
The wine was both substantial tasting and easy to drink, which is an attractive combination. Since I didn’t find much online I don’t know retail, but based on the Cheestique bottle price it’s probably around $20-25.
Grab one of these to help get through this nasty weather we’ve been having lately. And if you’re driving on all season tires, be careful out there.
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