For the Cellar: Cantina del Pino 2016

We always look forward to new vintages from Cantina del Pino. They release Barbaresco a year later than most, so there's always a bit of anticipation, and when it comes to the 2016s, the wait has felt longer than usual. There have been so many great Nebbiolo vintages in Piemonte over the past 20 years (2002 and 2003 are the only really iffy years) but few will rival 2016. At Craft and Cru, we try not to hype any vintage too much, as we are quite convinced that terroir and its

Rosso @ Craft and Cru

Today we want to talk about rossi from Italy (spumante and fermo) and some American reds made from grapes you would otherwise almost always find coming from Italy's Piedmont region. A little random, as has been our wont of late, but the thread is in there somewhere. Saluti! We're big fans of sparkling red wine, thus Lambrusco is a fave. When it comes to Lambrusco, Cantina della Volta has stolen our hearts. It is not a relationship without its quirks: their chosen bottle shape

Vino/Vin Bianco/Blanc

White wine is often not taken as seriously as red wine. This is a mistake. Way under the radar, the Bianchello del Metauro DOC of Italy's Marche region is nonetheless worth your attention, especially when it comes to the organic wine of Crespaia. Established in 2011, Crespaia has grown to 10 contiguous hectares of certified organic vines around an old villa and church close to the Adriatic Sea. They grow some Sangiovese, but Crespaia is focused on the Bianchello cultivar, a g

Exceptional California

We have some of the best people visiting us at Craft and Cru. Seriously. I won't go into too much detail here, but long story short, I had my eye on A Natural History of Wine since I'd first read of its publication a few years ago, and under the most heartwarming of circumstances it was gifted to me earlier this year by one of our favorite patrons. I just finished the chapter on phylloxera and the last paragraph deserves reprinting: In his excellent Dying on the Vine, George

Summer Vino

A few delicious randos to consider for the summer: Move over Prosecco, Otrugo dei Colli Piacentini Frizzante is going to be the next big thing... well, probably not, but if you drop into Craft and Cru and ask for Prosecco, we might just get you to try a sparkling Ortrugo from La Tosa, a small organic estate in the hills south of Piacenza, in the Emilia region of Italy. Totally obscure to most American wine drinkers, you can find some amazing deals from Emilia. Case in point,

Reversing Roles

When we think of California wine, our minds might first go to full-bodied reds. With Provence wine, we probably think of pale rosé. Today we'll reverse those roles with a pair that may bend some preconceived notions. Angela Osbourne is a California winemaker on a mission. She makes wine from many different grapes under her Land of Saints label, but Grenache is her singular focus when it comes to her most important project, A Tribute to Grace. A grape that should probably be m

Prager Steal, Super South Styrian Sauvignon, White Rioja Magnificence

A bit of a random collection, but all so worthwhile, and especially notable for being really good deals. Many of the world's most delicious and distinctive wines are very expensive, but there are also many around $20, they're just a little harder to find. You've got three right in front of you right now. Front and center, because this one shouldn't be in a mix of $20-something wines. We love Prager, but all of their wines are pretty pricey. This wine was slated to be $45, but

2019 Hofgut Falkenstein: true delight

It might look a bit decrepit and moldy, it may be small and dimly lit, but knowing what pristine treasures lie within those barrels, we'll contend that the image above depicts one of the world's greatest cellars; it is where the Weber family, of Hofgut Falkenstein, ferments and ages all of their delicious wine. While a busy world pre-pays (read: overpays) for a lake of 2019 Bordeaux, wines that will not be delivered for years, you can enjoy the Webers' incredible 2019 vintage

Languedoc & Roussillon: The World's Most Prolific Wine Region

Known for everything from crisp cheap whites to rare ancient fortified wines, the Languedoc and Roussillon represent a huge diversity of wine terroirs, grapes and styles. We are just scratching the surface with these featured wines, but we think there's something for everyone here. Jean Marc Lafage Cotes Catalanes Blanc 'Cote Est' 2018 A lively blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Rolle (aka Vermentino, Pigato, Favorita...), this wine will be our one entry from Rouss

Diving into Liqueurs; Rando Wines

Toss out those cheaply flavored and artificially colored cordials. You know, the ones that are used so infrequently that the cap has crusted over with sugar, and now requires industrial tools to open. Replace them with some sweet and sassy liqueurs; great for sipping solo, spicing up your favorite cocktails, or even adding depth to pastries and desserts. Here are a few recommendations so tasty, the bottle will be gone before you know it. Bertina Elderflower, Finland Neithe

Geek on Greek Wines

We've been meaning to feature the wines of Greece for awhile, and we could not be more pleased with this six-wine lineup; a selection that just scratches the surface, but still presents a colorful and complex picture of this amazing wine culture. Argyros Santorini 2016 It would be hard to find a wine that could better represent Greece. The Santorini of Argyros is classic. From the hot, windy, and dry island of Santorini, a destination far better known for its scenery than its

Orange for the Win

A great friend of Craft and Cru is getting some well-deserved recognition of late: Haley Fortier, the talented sommelier and owner behind a couple of Boston's best wine destinations, wine bars Haley.Henry and Nathálie, has received two prestigious nominations in 2019. The James Beard Foundation has nominated Haley.Henry as a semifinalist for their Outstanding Wine Program award, and Haley herself is on a short list for Food & Wine's 2019 Sommelier of the Year. Fingers crossed

Good Cheap Wine

Terroir and talent might be on display, but one of the things we want to highlight this week is how good inexpensive wine can be. Di Lenardo 'Sauvignon Monovitigno' Venezia Giulia IGT 2017 It would be hard to ask for more from an everyday Sauvignon Blanc; Di Lenardo gets it just right. From Friuli, in the northeast of Italy, this fresh little number approaches the style of Marlborough in its exuberant tropical fruitiness, but manages to avoid pungent vegetal notes and aggress

Vini Alpini

The alpine wines of Italy have something for every wine lover. Truly. From crisp delicate whites to dark full-bodied reds, you can find it all, and often at very reasonable prices. This week's focus is on four different and diverse wine styles from Italy's most celebrated apline wine regions: Val d'Aosta (or Vallee d'Aoste) and Alto Adige. We didn't plan it this way, it just happened, but all four wines are made by cooperatives. In general, wine cooperatives have a spotty rep

Portugal and Pato

The Pato family (daughter Filipa and father Luis, each owning their own vineyards) is gonna blow your mind with a couple weird and wonderful bottles, while a couple other Portugese wines provide a more familiar yet equally delicious contrast. Don't let your tastebuds miss out! Vadio Bairrada Branco 2017 A blend of 50% Cercial and 50% Bical, aged for eight months in old French oak, one might say this is made in "the international style", as it is super clean and fruity. We lik

California Wine

Some might think we're only really into French and Italian wine, but we love wine from anywhere, it just has to be good and worth the asking. Check out these four beauties from The Golden State; let's set aside Cabs and oaky Chards for a moment, and give our attention to some fresh Semillon, Viognier, Grenache and Charbono (aka Bonarda). Kings Carey Semillon 'Vogelzang Vineyard' 2017 You may remember us touting a certain delectable bone-dry low-alcohol Semillon from Australia

Languedoc-Roussillon

From ubiquitous swill to glorious monuments of the grape, the Languedoc-Roussillon region is the birthplace of more wine than anywhere else in the world. Chateau Rives-Blanques 'Occitania' 2016 The whole stable at Rives-Blanques is worth checking out. Their sparkling wines are outstanding in a region well known for its bubbles, Limoux, while their still wines make a mockery of more expensive bottles from further north... you gotta get to know these guys, your wallet will than

Down by the Sea: Mediterranean

How does the Mediterranean sea influence its wines? Will we taste salt? The aromatic scrub-land of the landscape? The ripe fruit of the region's sun-bathed vineyards? Hopefully all those things and more! Triennes Viognier 'Sainte Fleur' 2016 Triennes has always been an interesting property. In 1989 it was co-founded by two of Burgundy's biggest names: Aubert de Villaine (runs a little place called Domaine de la Romanee Conti) and Jacques Seysses (of the eponymous Domaine Duja

Cali Wine Double Feature

This week we want to talk about two American wine styles: California Chard and Cab (aka Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon). Bacchus California Chardonnay 2017 David Gordon has been the wine director for New York City's famed Tribeca Grill since 1990. Frustrated with the lack of value to be found in simply made California wine, he has been utilizing his extensive contacts in California to source excellent fruit for his Bacchus label. The wineries that provide fruit for Bacchus

It's Willamette, Dammit!

This week, Oregon's Willamette Valley is the star, and we have chosen four wines that we think will shine with the imminent Thanksgiving feast. Day Wines 'Vin de Days' 2017 From organic and biodynamic vineyards, a blend of 38% Pinot Blanc, 20% Muller Thurgau, 19% Riesling, 18% Pinot Gris and 5% Muscat, one might compare this wine to the Edelzwicker style of Alsace but you wouldn't find Muller Thurgau in Alsace and this fresh darling really speaks of its own origins, the Willa