Look at the bright side: now that we’re through with all that highly emotional basketball, we can all get out of the house and hit a few tastings. This is not to be construed as drowning our sorrows; the Louisville men’s team had a terrific year and the women’s team is still in it. But face it: for most of us, there’s a hole crying out to be filled, and we might as well fill it with wine.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of wine out there to fill it with, including Wednesday and Thursday local appearances by two of American wine’s rock star winemakers.
Del Frisco’s is wining and dining with Francis Coppola — not the guy, just the wines. David Razzano will be standing-in for the director/writer/winemaker. The wines featured come from the Sonoma side of the Mayacaymus Mountains, so expect racy acidity rather than Napa velvet. The wines-to-be-paired include Diamond Pinot Grigio and Director’s Cut Cabernet. Reservations are recommended and seating is at 7 p.m.
Westport Whiskey & Wine hosts Merritt Olson of K Vintners and Charles Smith wines. Mr. Olson will be in town to conduct a tasting of wines from Washington State, including the new vintage releases of Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Eve Chardonnay, The Velvet Devil Merlot, K Vintners Viognier, and K Vintners “Milbrandt” Syrah. There may be more, depending on what Mr. Olson feels like pulling out of his travel bag. Running from 7-8 pm, this tasting has limited seating, so you might want to make a reservation. Cost is $15.
Arbor Ridge Vine & Grill in exotic Crestwood has its own approach to wine dinners: a little lighter, a little less of a commitment, every couple of weeks. This week it’s Jim Downey of Southern Wine and Spirits leading a tasting of three Rieslings and three Pinot Noirs, matched with various noshes instead of a formal dinner. It’s an interesting and reportedly succesful approach. Reservations are required. The cost is $20 and the tasting starts at 8 p.m.
Limestone Restaurant will be visited by winemakers Brian Loring and Peter Cargasacchi, two of the standout Pinot Noir makers of the central California coast. The wines tasted include obligatory appearances by Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, but the stars of the show will be the Pinots: Loring’s Clos Pepe (Santa Rita Hills) and Keefer Vineyards (Russian River Valley), and Cargasacchi’s Jalama Vineyard from the spooky, late-night-and-early-morning-fog-bound hills near Point Concepción. These are makers of serious, world-class, very-limited-release Pinot Noirs the likes of which we don’t often see around here. The dinner is $75 and the reception begins at 6:30.
Loring and Cargasacchi move to the Holly Hill Inn in Midway. It’s the same line-up of wines as Wednesday at Limestone, plus a Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir. This is every bit worth the drive, a chance to taste the kind of mailing list Pinots we don’t see around here very often. $85.
Whole Foods on Shelbyville Road will hold a South American dinner, with three South American wines. 6:30 – 8:30, $20.