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Is there anything better than great food and wine pairing?

How about a crisp white with crab cakes and shrimp? Follow that up with Atlantic Salmon and a delightful Burgundy?

Cline 2012 Estate Viognier – Viognier is often too cloying for my palate. Often the wine seems like an FTD bouquet shoved up the nose. (There is a bad analogy!)

ClineBut the Cline – the venerable producer of consistently good California wines at a value price – surprised again. Two weeks ago it was the Cline Pinot Gris that really surprised with its refinement and similarities to Gris from the great Northwest.

The wine had a wonderful richness not always found with traditional French Viognier bottlings. There were hints of honeysuckle and orange. It was a delightful glass of wine.

I had Mexican shrimp and a crab cake prepared as an appetizer for dinner and the wine worked really well with the seafood.

Cline 2012 Estate Viognier, SRP $15, Trade Sample, Highly Recommended

Domaine Albert Morot Beaune Les Airgrots, Beaune, Premier Cru – Great Pinot Noir is about as good as it gets. Admittedly, I’m consumed very little Burgundy as I continue to learn about the region.

MorotThe Morot Premier Cru explains why wine folk go crazy for Burgundy. I actually bought this bottle at Wine Merchant in St. Louis last fall. The shop is known for its Burgundy selections. I’m not shy about admitting what I don’t know. I asked the knowledgable sales person for a good Burgundy, if there was such a thing, at no more than $50.

He gave me a couple of choices and I bought the Morot for about $40. It was marked down from $69.99. And, it was easily the best I’ve ever purchased.

I could only describe it as elegant wine. It has beautiful red raspberry and maybe a hint of strawberry. It was rich and smooth but still the light-mouth feel you’d expect with Pinot Noir. This wine had consistent 90-point ratings with Wine Spectator’s 90 solidifying it’s cred!

One great Burgundy makes me want to explore more – it’s an expensive habit though.

Domaine Albert Morot Beaune Les Airgrots, Beaune, Premier Cru, $40, Very Highly Recommended. Best wine I’ve drank this year!

Savino – Tuesday to Saturday

I followed founder Scott Tavenner’s suggestion of using the new Savino wine preservation system for a Tuesday-to-Saturday test. After the very nice Viognier and outstanding Burgundy, my one glass of Cabernet wasn’t the best nightcap but it was all for science!

savinoThe Cab was pretty close to what I drank on Tuesday night. It’s really just that simple. It was not identical but the wine was still quite drinkable four days after being opened.

This device has a chance to really be a big hit. Because I’m testing this as a trade sample I find my inner and old journalist sensibilities tested because I want to gush.

Savino works well. I’m going to write about it this week for the newspaper column. The Savino goes on sale nationwide this week. (No cut here, but the investors have to be feeling good about this start up project!)

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