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Sake, beer, sparkling rosé and the unlikely pairing of red Bordeaux and tuna tartare: F&W's wine team explored them all this month.
Picks from Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor
Green Spot Irish Whiskey ($50)
As a whiskey fan, I'm thrilled that Ireland's honey-scented Green Spot is coming to the U.S.
2010 Domaine Auguste Clape St-Péray ($36)
Last August, I bought this bottle from my favorite Maine wine shop, Sawyer's Specialties in Southwest Harbor. I opened it recently at a dinner in Brooklyn, and it could easily have passed for a top Hermitage blanc costing three times as much. I inner-high-fived myself.
2010 Château Lilian Ladouys ($22)
Red Bordeaux isn't everyone's go-to wine for fish (or anyone's, really). But at Nougatine in NYC, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's tuna tartare, with its creamy layer of avocado puree, went remarkably well with a glass of this cedary, cru Bourgeois bottling.
Tokubetsu Junmai Taiheikai Sake ($29)
En route to the San Francisco airport, I detoured for dinner at blogger Pim Techamuanvivit's new Thai restaurant, Kin Khao. The Yum Yai Salad, a blend of raw, cooked and tempura-fried vegetables, was terrific with this cool, fragrant sake, just as Pim said it would be.
Picks from Megan Krigbaum, Senior Wine Editor
2011 Weninger HochäckerBlaufränkisch ($30)
At a recent tasting, I was impressed by how versatile—and ageworthy—Austrian reds can be.
NV Julien Fouet Crémant de Loire Rosé ($23)
Nearly every region in France makes its own version of food-friendly sparkling crémant. We celebrated my sister's birthday at Gjelina in Venice, California, with this Cabernet Franc-based bottling and a smoked mozzarella, arugula and bottarga pizza.
Bell's Brewery Two Hearted Ale
At long last! Here in NYC I can finally get beer from my favorite brewery in my home state of Michigan. Even better, I was seated next to brewery vice president Laura Bell at a fancy craft-beer dinner at Eleven Madison Park and had a lovely chat with her over a glass of Bell's Hopslam.
2012 Arnot-Roberts Trousseau ($30)
Trousseau, a grape originally from France's Jura, is now the darling of many cool-kid winemakers in California. There's not much of it made just yet, but this lively and floral one from Lake County reminded me that it is well worth finding.