January is a strange time in the world of wine. On the one hand, the hustle and bustle of the holidays has died down. In terms of foot traffic and sales, things seem a little quiet. On the other hand, it’s incredibly busy! There’s much to plan, from events to new wines. My current daily planner only goes until June, so I’ll need to buy a new one soon enough.
Wine on Main has approximately 140 facings. It’s not the smallest wine set, but it’s far from the largest. As a result, every single wine that we sell has to be the best of the best. It has to represent its region and check every box. Additionally, the pressure’s on to keep things fun and fresh. I’ll hang onto the wines that you love- I don’t need a mutiny to kick off 2023. However, as much as I’m attached to a wine, it’s important that I rotate in new items that are equally as good to keep things new and interesting.
I also like to re-evaluate wines based on your feedback. If you mention a region or varietal that I don’t have in store, I do my best to find it. For example, someone mentioned South African Chenin Blanc recently, so I’ve made it a point to track down a great one for our World section.
To those ends, I’ve been busy tasting new wines to add to the selection… and I’ve found some real winners! Today, I tasted 20 (!!!) wines with 2 wine brokers. (This is why spitting is necessary, regardless of how unbecoming it may seem). Of those, I discovered 5 that I really enjoy. 3 will be arriving tomorrow, or first thing next week at the latest.
Here is a sneak peek:
Kumusha Chenin Blanc, South Africa– Remember the Chenin Blanc I was talking about? Well this is a fabulous one from South Africa. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, winemaker Tinashe Nyumudoka moved to South Africa for better economic prospects. Without any prior experience, his journey took him from waiter to head sommelier of Africa’s most lauded restaurant, The Test Kitchen, and also respected wine judge on international competitions. Kumusha translates to “your roots.” Clean, crisp, and dry, this wine has flavors of pear, citrus, and melon with hints of minerality.
Ravines Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes- As a Cornell grad, it’s no secret that I’m partial to the Finger Lakes. Those were some of my very first wine tastings and helped usher me into wine. I love Cabernet Franc in general, but especially from the Finger Lakes. Cool climate Cabernet Franc is a light ruby red in the glass and elegant and restrained on the palate.
Ruelas Vinho Tinto Reserve, Portugal- This is a bold blend of Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional- as well as a touch of Syrah for extra backbone! The wine has dark fruit flavors like blackberry, plum, and a touch of black pepper. It’s a great wine for winter when you want something powerful and flavorful. It’s incredibly affordable too.
I can’t wait for you to try these and more will be coming in soon!