National Wine Day: How To Get Your Vino Fix

National Wine Day

Every year, wine lovers far and wide come together to celebrate all things vino on National Wine Day. To commemorate the occasion, we asked our George's California Modern General Manager and Sommelier, Matt Strickler weigh in on his love of wine and two of his favorite varietals to sip. Here's what he had to say...

I have always been interested in offbeat red varietals from United States wine producers. Granted I am a lover of Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Syrah, but I love to seek out the lesser known varietals—grapes that have iconic status in their prospective regions in Europe. On this our National Wine Day, I want to celebrate two such varietally quirky offerings from two excellent producers. 

Enotria Nebbiolo from the Graziano Family is a little bolder than say a typical Barolo or Barbaresco (northern Italian nebbiolo wines) as it spends a good four years in oak barrels. But, the boldness is graciously welcomed. This wine from Mendocino County is undeniably nebbiolo and also undeniably Californian. It has great supple tannins, good fruit and beautifully integrated oak character. It pairs well with our red wine braised beef cheek entree, as well as our new vegetarian lasagna.

Division Gamay, a well crafted wine from an exciting Oregon producer is also pretty special. The Division ‘Cru’ Gamay is Division’s Oregonian approximation of a ‘Cru’ Beaujolais, one of my favorite styles of wine. The Division Gamay has great bright fruit character, wonderful minerality and good acidity. It's immensely food friendly and pairs well with our new wild mushroom campanelle pasta starter, a delicious dish rich with flavors of mushroom and soft poached egg.  

These two very American wines, harkening to their European roots, are great expressions of their varietal potential. Happy drinking everyone!

Matt Strickler