Breeze W i n e W i t h i n R e a c h New Zealand cousin (Esk Valley); Pinot Noir: compare the restrained (more French) style of the A to Z Oregon with a more plush California Lyric by Etude; and please don’t forget the Domaine Ott’s Les Domaniers Rosé . Good rosé is rare to come by in Bluffton and this one is definitely worth trying. Made primarily from red Grenache, this is the quintessential French summer wine made by one of France’s most popular wineries. It is fresh, fruity ( maybe apricots) and has that unique hint of tannins which only red grape skins can impart, even if it’s only for a few days during vinification. The selections by the bottle also show her skill. What stood out for me were: Luigi Bosca Reserva Malbec; Hugel Les Amours Pinot Blanc; Domecq Ysios Reserva Tempranillo and the Rombauer Merlot. All these wines are excellent representations of their peers in their respective regions, and are reasonably priced. But here is the best news: if you buy a bottle to take home with you there is a 20% discount, and if you order a case, the discount increases to 30%. Finally, while you wait for your bottles to be packed, order one last glass of your favorite wine, order a panini, and soak in the bustling night life of Calhoun St.
try both the Diadema D’Amare Rosso (sangiovese, cab and merlot) and the Chateau Haut Bailly (predominantly cab. with merlot). For varietal purists, three reds really stood out to me: Alto Moncayo ( garnacha), Blue Eyed Boy (shiraz) and the perennial California Turnbull cab. And the whites were even more adventuresome, beginning with an Italian Roero Arneis (Taliano), a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and a South African Chenin Blanc (Protea). These are just a few of her 32 wines by the glass, but it is readily apparent that her selections reflect her tenacity to obtain wines which we Blufftonians rarely see, and this is music to any wine lover’s ear. As Dawn tip-toed into owning and running a wine bar, she noticed an increased demand for food. This has allowed her to now offer an extensive variety of paninis, flatbreads, tapas, cheeses and charcuterie. Then, to my amazement, I learned that
R&D Wine Boutique Dawn Amstrong, the owner of this wine bar located next to Best Buy, has taken a decidedly different approach to wine tasting. Using technology as her ally, she installed the Ferrari of wine preservation and dispensing systems, the Enomatic. These machines are marvels of Italian engineering because they allow the customer to chose and pour one of three doses (1oz., 2.5 oz. and 6 oz.) using a pre-paid card. The 1oz. pour is the teaser, and you can theoretically tease yourself to 32 different wines (not recommended!) until you find your favorite. It is, hands down, the best and most cost efficient way to discover wines, and so the next question is, how far can you travel with the wines Dawn has chosen for her two Enomatics? As it turns out, pretty far, and here are some examples. If you want to test Old World blending craftsmanship,
Selecting wines at R&D she also hosts a monthly five-course wine dinner featuring specific varietals or regions. All these food offerings can be paired by wines by the glass or by the bottle, and the bottle collection is impressive. Perusing the racks, a few unusual wines really caught my attention: whites: Cape Mentelle, Ponzi, Apremont; reds: Sass, Nipozzano, Champ de Reves and Los Vascos Grande Reserva. All these wines can be ordered by the case or mixed and matched and receive a 10% discount. The efforts by Jean Wilson and Dawn Armstrong are to be applauded because without their passion and drive, the Bluffton wine scene would be poorer. As I mentioned in the introduction, we consumers hold the key to improving the quality and variety of wines that can be available in Bluffton, and the more we frequent wine bars such as Latitude or R&D Boutique, the earlier that day will come. I cannot think of a better win-win proposition. The Bluffton Breeze