We sell a LOT of things that the average person may not “get” on the first exposure. Many of the most fulfilling and intense pleasures require a familiarization process (during which IT doesn’t change, YOU do): For starters, dry red wine, duh! Most people’s first reaction is NOT love at first sip. Serious Jazz / Modern Orchestral Music. Unsweetened Chocolate. Smokey Islay Scotch or Mezcal de Oaxaca. Modern Art and Literature. Foie Gras, Truffles, Uni and many other intense foods. Just because something does not give you a big fat kiss and a squeeze on the tush on the first exposure does not mean you will not grow to love it more than those that do…

 

Faraone Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Santa Maria dell’Arco 2001  

This is one of the gems of Italy: pure minerality underpins a rich frosting of apple and pear fruit plus wild flower, exotic spices and nutty nuances on the nose. The Selezione le Vigne sees no wood but considerable time on the lees (this is the CURRENT release!) and can mature for years in the manner of great Chablis but will be exciting right now with any seafood, veal, pork or lighter chicken dish you throw at it.

 

Jacùss Collio Orientali del Friuli Schioppettino Fuc & Flamis 2005   

100% Schioppettino, a local variety whose name translates as “gunshot” (as in buckshot, not the noise) which has been grown in the zona since the 13th century. The name of this bottling is dialect for “fire and flames” and was created during a brainstorming / drinking session on a cold winter night dedicated to finding a “new identity” for this unique wine. After several hours of discarded names someone said “met su un lèn tè’l fuc!” (dialect for “metti un legno nel fuoco!” meaning throw another log on the fire) and Sandro exclaimed “Fuc? Fuc, fuc …Fuc… Fuc e Flàmis! Eccolo il nome!” (“fire? fire, fire…fire…Fire and Flames! That’s the name!”). The wine is made from grapes that are air dried for 20 days before pressing to concentrate the perfumes and flavors of wild Maraschino Cherries (native to the zona, nearly black and spicy/bitter, the red sticky sweet ones you see here are industrial travesties), forest berries and exotic spices. Sandro recommends it with “first courses with a sauce of game meats followed by a main course of roast game”!!!

 

Jacùss Collio Orientali del Friuli Tazzelenghe 2005   

Tazzelenghe is another local grape with a very distinct personality: the name means “tongue cutter” (but, as comedian Dom Irrera would say, “And you know I mean that in a good way”) and derives from the intense acidity of the variety which is well suited to the local cuisine which combines Slavic and Italian influences. Briary, wild, spicy, yummy, exotic, more please….

 

Brauerei Heller Aecht Shlenkerla Maerzen Rauchbier, Bamberg Germany

Brauerei Heller Aecht Shlenkerla Ür-Bock Rauchbier, Bamberg Germany

Made from Beechwood smoked malt, these literally smell like a great smoked sausage (and we mean that in a VERY good way) and have been a tradition in Franconia for centuries where the locals recommend them for a fine morning pint, a delicious light lunch or a stimulant to good conversation and note that the 2nd and 3rd pints are not as shocking as the first.