Mornings With Gina Birch

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Today we’re taking a trip to Argentina for Wine Wednesday. Virtually. It’s a long flight. During COVID and the pandemic shutdown, virtual events, including wine tastings, became the order of the day. While they aren’t as prolific, they still happen quite regularly. Fortunately, I’m invited to join lots of  virtual WINE seminars and tastings.

This week I also got to satisfy some wanderlust through a beautiful presentation by Domaine Bousquet. Just look at some of these gorgeous photos. Last week for Earth Day, I actually previewed  this winery  and promised more info. So here we go. The tasting was presented by winemaker Rodrigo Serrano and owner Anne Bousquet. Fun fact, Anne actually lives fulltime in Miami and travels back and forth to the family winery in South America every month.

The wines from Argentina

When Anne’s family bought the future vineyard land in 90’s, they intentionally set out to be organic and sustainable. Over the years they’ve managed to rack up every major certification to prove their commitment. Today, Bosquet is the country’s largest exporter of organic fruit and pioneers in many areas. They make natural and kosher wines too. The best part is that they are widely distributed and also affordable.

The tasting began with a sparkling rose as well as a new low calorie chardonnay. More on those in a future story. Today it’s all about the red wines. Domaine Bousquet. One of the labels under the winery’s umbrella is Virgen. The wines are vegan and have zero sulfites for preservation. No additives make the wine more fragile. The cases are actually swaddled n thermal blankets to keep the temperature cool while shipping to the United States. The 2021 red blend contains a third each of malbec, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc ($13.) It’s super fresh with flavors of cherry and cranberry. Because it’s a more pure wine, it seems like you can have a little extra and not feel bad later.

More wine

Gaia is the Greek goddess of the earth and an inspiration for the winery.  It’s also the name of another Bosquet line. Gaia Malbec 2022 ($20) is medium bodied and juicy, just as one might expect from the Argentina’s signature red grape. This wine is produced through a process known as carbonic maceration. The grapes are not removed from the stems for fermentation.

Finally, the “Gran” line. While Argentina is most known for malbec, there are some great cabernet sauvignons being produced here. Domain Bousquet Gran Cabernet 2021 ($20) also has about 15% malbec to temper the tannins. The result is a wine that is full with dark berries and black pepper. 92 pts.

Enjoy this trip to Argentina for Wine Wednesday and try these wines if you are grilling this weekend. They cover all the bases.

Fill Your Glass With These Wines For Earth Day

Fill your glass with these wines for Earth Day. They are brands that care just as much about what is in the bottle as they do about taking care of the environment. That includes the planet along with the people they employ. Earth Day is Saturday, April 22nd. All week, and really all month, more attention is being placed on the planet. Including the people, organizations and companies doing their part in protecting the environment.

Winemakers and farmers are some of them. They are at the mercy of Mother Nature every day. If the soil, air and water are not in good condition, neither is their product. While most care, there are some that go above and beyond to be good stewards of the land. I’d like to think their efforts come through in the quality of what they produce. I think in most cases, it does.

One of the biggest things vineyard managers around the world deal with is pest control. How do you keep devastating bugs from destroying the crop without some kind of intervention? Then there are things like fungus. Many mass production wineries spray the heck out their vineyards to save time and money. Those chemicals seep into the soil and the roots of the plants. They can wash into the streams and potentially harm wildlife.

Then there are vineyards that take great care to search for more natural solutions. More and more are jumping on the sustainable bandwagon. While it is impossible to highlight all of them, I’ve got a few to share with you for Wine Wednesday. Fill your glass with these wines for Earth Day. They taste good and they might make you feel good too, knowing the care that goes into producing them while respecting the environment they come from.

  • Hahn Family Wines

    Hahn is doing some great things in the Santa Lucia Highlands of California. The are 100% solar powered, they compost, have a water conservation system and use falcons to keep other birds from damaging the vines, among other things.  The folks at Hahn just sent me the 2021 Vintage of Hahn Appellation Series:Chardonnay ($20), Pinot Noir ($25), and GSM Blend ($25). While they are quite well know for quality pinots and chards, it was the GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) that caught my attention. It’s one of my favorite kind of blends and it did not disappoint. It has a freshness while at the same time deep dark fruit characteristics along with spice and even a bit of leather. It’s super versatile and works with a variety of foods.
    Hahn Earth Day

  • Domaine Bousquet

    These wines come from Argentina. Domaine Bousquet is certified organic, vegan, gluten-free and sustainable. Many of the wines are easy to find and affordable as well ($13-$29). The winery has several lines under their umbrella. I  just received a selection for an upcoming virtual  tasting with the winemaker. While I have not tried these vintages, I have had others and would indeed recoommend for everyday consumption. Check back for updates. 
    Domain Bousquet Earth Day

  • Tenuta Santii Giacomo e Filippo

    These Italian wines are brand new to the U.S. and the Florida Market. They make a red and white that are young and fresh and from an area many Italian wine lovers aren’t as familiar with, Marche. Made with minimal intervention they are organic and low in sulfites. I love these now that we are going into the hotter summer months. The white is an interesting blend of biancame and trebbiano that is very floral.

    earth day wines

  • Cakebread

    Earth Day RoseThis Napa winery is celebrating 50 years and each one of them, strides are made to become more sustainable in every area. Some of the certifications they’ve been awarded include the Bee Friendly Certification, and Suscol Mountain Vineyard certified fish friendly

    Besides the old faithful wines, Cakebread has a new Bezel Collection said to be for elevating the every day wine experience. I’ll be featuring the winery in an upcoming Wine Wednesday piece. In the meantime, this rose is perfect for spring and Mother’s Day too. It has lots of juicy red berry flavors and it’s a beautiful color. Get some before it sells out. $30

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