Karen MacNeil, WineSpeed

Veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil shares insights with subscribers in her weekly newsletter, WineSpeed. Read excerpts from this week’s edition below.

Wines to Know

Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils | Beaujolais 2015
(Beaujolais, France) $15 (750ml)

The words “fresh” and “red wine” don’t often appear in the same sentence—except in the case of a great Beaujolais, the perfect (fresh red) wine for spring. This steal from the Dupeuble family is a true Beaujolais (no nouveau voodoo). The gamay vines are 50-100 years old; wine has been made on the estate since 1512. And talk about delicious: It tastes like you just fell into a swimming pool of ripe berries and is spicy, peppery and floral all at the same time. It also has that crushed granite character—the “secret sauce” behind every top Beaujolais. (13.5% abv)  

90 points KM

Available at Kermit Lynch

Wine Question

Washington State’s first AVA was created in the same year that Gandhi won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Meryl Streep won the Best Actress Award for Sophie’s Choice. What was that AVA?

A. Yakima Valley
B. Columbia Valley
C. Snake River Valley
D. Walla Walla Valley

Scroll down for the answer!

Verbatim

“Great wine is born not in the vineyard, but in the brain.”

—Brian Walsh, former director of winemaking, Yalumba, Australia

Fascinating Facts

Garlic Shield

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Provence in matching wine and food, it’s the amazing ability of snappy rosés to make just about any Mediterranean dish taste even better. In particular, Provençal rosés are delicious with the region’s seafood dishes, which are usually generously spiked with garlic. The supreme example is bouillabaisse, the garlic-laced Provençal fish stew. Alas, garlic can distort the flavor of many wines. Not so with rosés. Boldly fruity and substantial in body, they are tailor-made for anything garlicky. Rosés are just starting to flood onto the market right now…why not buy a case of assorted ones?

We recently discovered Ciao Bella “Blackberry Cabernet” Sorbetto ($6.99 for the pint) and were knocked out by its fantastic wine-y cassis flavor. It’s made with a reduction of cabernet sauvignon and is drop-dead delicious. You must try it if you haven’t already. Warm evenings are on the way.

Wine Question Answered

A.The Yakima Valley, an American Viticultural Area established in 1983, was the first AVA in Washington State. It’s more than 600,000 acres in size and is located about 155 miles southeast of Seattle on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain range. The AVA is best known for merlot, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, and several prominent Washington vineyards are located here including Boushey, Ciel du Cheval and Olsen. The Columbia Valley AVA and the Walla Walla AVA were both created in 1984, a year after the Yakima AVA. And the Snake River AVA, created in 2007, is not in Washington. It straddles Oregon and Idaho.

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