Just a little after 5 pm on Saturday, me, Tara and Chris strolled into Sam's Wines in Chicago. Darn it, we were just a few minutes too late because they were shutting down the tasting table for the afternoon. Oh well, actually I was there to purchase not taste, although I would never decline a sip of wine! As we were checking out the French white wines, a store clerk happen to be putting a couple of bottles back on the shelf and we started up a conversation about Rhone whites. The wine she was returning to the shelf was the spotlight tasting wine of the day. At a price of $9.99, it seemed like a bargain. She said that the wine was so good that they sold all except the few she was returning to the shelf. Miss clerk assured me it was a good buy. Twist my arm, I took 2 bottles.
The 2005 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes-Du-Rhone was well worth the price. I have not been drinking much French wine lately as the prices seem to have went crazy. I wish I would have picked up a few more of this one. White Grenache, Clairette and Bourboulenc are the grapes used in the making of Belleruche. A nice summer wine with the aromas of green apple greeting your nose as you pop the cork. A refreshing sour green apple taste follows through on the palate with a bit of dryness that makes you "click your tongue". The 13.5% alcohol volume was not very present, which is fine with me. A nice summer wine from a producer who has been in the Rhone Valley since 1808. Now, let me tell you the interesting part. The label! As you may know, I am a label fanatic. Yes, yes, I know, just because the wine has a pretty label does not mean the wine behind it is pretty. But this one is a bit different. Braille has been present on all M. Chapoutier labels since 1996, reaching out to and including all people with sight impairments who are lovers of good wines. That is marvelous!
Check out the shape of this pasta! Another one of my favorite things to do while in a different city is to check out the gourmet stores. After the olive oil and vinegar aisles, I head to the pasta aisle. I really get into pasta shapes and I found one this time at Fox & Obel in Chicago that I have not seen before. "Maccheroni al torchio" is produced by Rustichella D' Abruzzo SPA and imported by Manicaretti in California. So all of you west coast folks probably can find this one fairly easy. I had such fun photographing them and I will let you know soon how fun it was eating them!
Almost forgot! I have a post on Wine Sediments today. If you have time, stop by!