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Event Details

March 25 2020 / 7:30 PM EDT

Virtual Tasting – Sand, Granite & Schist

Sand, Granite & Schist – A Tasting Through Grenache

Zoom link above – requires registration and use the password 570553 to join

Hosted by Tim Willard of Eric Solomon Selections

Special Guest – Jon-David Headrick a.k.a. Duc d’Anjou and his minions who will perform a live Blind Smelling & Tasting

Musical GuestRhiannon Giddens Radio – this is the Spotify edition but you can find her on all streaming services.  Other artists include Valerie June, Gillian Welch, Doc Watson and more.

Top 10 – Isolation Memes of the Week and Champagne Disasters

Wines of the NightEspelt Garnaxta Negra, Comando G La Bruja de Rozas, Lafage Cuvee Nicolas


Retail Partners

To join in the tasting we will be establishing retail partners in several markets. If you are interested in becoming a retail partner, or you are a consumer who would like to participate please contact us and we will try to assist you in locating the wines. 


To prepare ahead:

  • Please make sure to login in ahead of time to register (if not already on zoom) and to make sure your audio and video is working properly
  • Go ahead and open your bottles 20-30 minutes before the tasting starts – make sure each bottle is cool to the touch and if they feel warm, pop them into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so
  • We will do a quick introduction and then it will best if everyone mutes their microphone until you have a question at a good stopping point
  • There is also a chat function we will utilize to take questions in real-time without interruption – you can check this out ahead of time too
  • Finally – Music pairs with wine perfectly – choose whatever you want but I’ll be tuning in to Rhiannon Giddens Radio on Spotify, link above.


Featured recipe for the evening

Tuna & White Bean Salad
6 servings / 30-minutes preparation

In choosing a recipe we wanted to find something that is easy to prepare with some basic ingredients and something that is a surprisingly good accompaniment with Grenache. Many of our growers refer to Grenache as the Pinot of the Meditteranean so we are turning to the cuisine and bounty of this region for this recipe. I have left garlic out of this recipe because I forgot to get some at the store, so you can easily grate a clove or two and add it, just make sure it marinates for an hour or so to tame the fierceness of the raw garlic. To lightly blanch the chopped onions, place them in a colander and pour a couple of cups of hot water over them. 

  • 5oz oil-packed albacore tuna
  • 1 can cannellini or navy beans
  • 5 oz chopped fresh tomato, go crazy if you have more
  • 1 medium cucumber seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced and lightly blanched
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, use the fancy full-flavored stuff if you have it on hand
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Espelette, Aleppo pepper, or any medium-spice dried red pepper (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Mix all together, pretty easy right?

If you’re vegan you can omit the tuna and add some oil-cured black olives. This can also be pulled in many different directions, to make it more Greek, add oregano and toss in some feta. Want it more Southern Italian? Add some rosemary, capers, black olives and lots of garlic. This salad lasts for 5 days in the refrigerator but taste and adjust the seasoning each time you serve it, also make sure it warms to room temperature before serving. 


Some additional information about the wines:

Old vines in the Rabos Vineyard

Espelt Garnaxta–  The Garnatxa Negra from Espelt comes from their highest elevation vineyard, Rabós, tucked in the Alberes Nature Reserve Area. These are the oldest vines on the property with centenary (100+ years!)  Garnatxa Negra and Carinyena grown on sandy slate soils. While there are plenty of inexpensive, fruit-forward Garnachas coming from Spain, few have the depth of minerality and complexity found in this old-vine cuvée.

Additional Pairings – Aged/Firm Goat or Sheep’s milk cheese – Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme or for the real deal Formatge Madurat d’Ovella from Emporda!

Vegan Pairing – Pan con Tomate or as the Catalans say ‘pa amb tomàquet’

Tim’s NotesThis will be the first wine of the flight and in my opinion, this Garnaxta is the epitome of top-notch house wine.  Unfussy yet refined – gulp-able but worthy of discussion.  The pairing should be the same – let’s go with firm aged goat or sheep’s milk cheese.  Sharp rustic flavors with grassy undertones will be the perfect foil for black cherry and bramble fruit. Pan con Tomate is the definition of simply good eating and Espelt is the definition of simply good drinking – match made!

Garnacha in sand

Comando G La Bruja de Rozas – Comando G’s “village” wine, La Bruja de Rozas is sourced from several vineyards in the vicinity of Las Rozas de Puerto Real. Pure Garnacha from granitic sand, La Bruja is perfumed and lively with plenty of fruit with a backbone of acidity and fine tannin. Hand-harvested, natural yeast fermentation and a long maceration followed by nine months in oak vats.

Pairing – Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic, Rosemary and Thyme – chop some thick garlic and pull some rosemary and thyme and put it in a bowl with really good extra virgin olive oil – mix in some salt and black pepper and touch of vinegar and let the chops marinate for a while before throwing them on the grill.  Medium rare is the way to go here!

Vegan Pairing – Mushroom and Lentil Stew – Start with lots of chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic, and really good mushroom or veggie stock.  I like to add cabbage, white beans, potatoes, and mushrooms and get the crockpot going on high overnight (add your blend of salt, pepper, chili flake, fresh herbs, and bay leaf as you like).  Cook the lentils when you wake up to get the perfect texture and then turn the crockpot to low and add them in with the white beans for an hour or so.  Letting this chill for a day in the fridge and heating up for Wednesday night will be the pro move!

Tim’s NotesThis wine shows off the racy and structured side of Garnacha grown at high elevation.  Piercing acidity, bright red cherry fruit, and supple tannin make this a roller coaster from the tip of your tongue to the long dry finish.  Wild Game and Barbeque, as well as earthy veggie stews, work well here.

Vineyards in Aspres – terraces in the foothills of Mont Canigou. Yep, that’s snow in summer!

Lafage Cuvee Nicolas – Cuvée Nicolas is named after Jean-Marc and Eliane’s son and comes from Grenache grown in the schist soils of the foothills of the Pyrenees in Aspres. These low yielding vines (19hl/ha) are around 65 years old and are planted on terraces with southern and southeastern exposure.

Pairing – This is the land of Cassoulet and if you want to give it go just click the link.  For those looking to hit the easy button pick up some fresh Toulouse or Lamb sausages (fresh herbs and spices) and roast them in a pan or on the grill.  To support local check out Spotted Trotter or pick up some Patak’s sausages at Dekalb Farmers Market.  Either way cut them in large slices for serving so the fat and the spice really hit your palate before you wash it down with some wine.

Vegan/Pescatarian Pairing – Olive Tapenade with Anchovies.  Get your favorite recipes and don’t be afraid to add some capers, fresh herbs and the finest olive oil you can find.  Serve on a cracker or toast of choice and top with fresh or cured anchovies to really hit a home run.  The intensity of flavors is a tough match for any wine but Cuvee Nicolas has a depth of richness that will balance the flavors before giving way to dark red and black fruits and rocky mineral.

Tim’s Notes – This wine is a great way to finish and shows off the more decadent dark fruit style of Grenache.  There are layers of flavors but all in harmony, fruit, earth, acid and garrigue aromatics know mostly from the Rhone Valley.  I’ve paired the richest foods for this wine and hopefully, it will all make sense when you taste!