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Greetings from the Wine Cellar:

Wine news alert: Today, May 9th, is National Moscato Day. To be honest, Moscato doesn’t get a whole lot of respect, especially among the great majority of Wine Cellar regulars, but it’s pretty darn popular nonetheless. And today’s the day for this sweet, fizzy libation to have its moment in the sun. Over the years, the Cellar has sold a whole lot of Moscato in all its various forms. Buyers are typically folks who have just never developed a taste for dry-style “table wines” like Cabernet, Chardonnay and the like, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

Moscato is simply the Italian word for the grape we call Muscat. The Muscat varietal is thousands of years old; wine historians mostly agree it was the first grape to be made into wine by our ancestors. There’s a good reason why: it’s a really tasty grape. The flavor profile is a juicy mix of tropical and citrus fruit with a strong floral character – honeysuckle in particular. And it’s naturally quite sweet, so it stands to reason it’s going to produce sweet, flavorful wines.

The classic white Moscato d’Asti is undoubtedly the most popular version, but you can also find pink (rosé) moscato, red moscato and sparkling moscato, all available at the Wine Cellar. The common denominator: they’re all nicely sweet and quite economical as well, generally in the $12 to $15 range. I have to be honest – I rarely drink any Moscato, but once in a while, especially lounging in the backyard or floating in the pool on a hot Yuma summer afternoon, they taste pretty darn good (served WELL chilled of course). So even if you normally never think about buying a bottle of Moscato, maybe you should snag one or two the next time you’re in the Cellar – summer is on its way!


Arizona Stronghold 2019 Tazi (Cochise County) $16.99

Tazi is mostly Malvasia, a white grape grown primarily in Italy, with small adds of Muscat, Viognier and Riesling. It starts off with notes of Asian pear, key lime and passion fruit, and finishes with a medley of lychee, lemon zest and pink grapefruit notes.

Daou Vineyards 2020 Rosé (Paso Robles) $19.99

This is an elegant and fragrant dry rosé, offering bright aromas of sliced peaches, pears and nectarines on the nose, plus subtle hints of apricot and crushed rose petals. The palate gives enticing flavors of mango, Crenshaw melon and cherry.

Chateau Saint-Sulpice 2018 Entre-Deux-Mers (Bordeaux, France) $16.99

The Saint-Sulpice Entre-Deux-Mers is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Malbec. The nose has aromas of black currants along with floral tones. The wine is full-bodied, with juicy black cherry and plum fruit, firm tannins and a pleasant earthiness.

Dave Phinney Locations E (Spain) $19.99

Locations E is a blend of Garnacha from the Priorat, Tempranillo from Rioja and Carignan from Ribera del Duero. Aromas of dark cherry and exotic spices mingle on the nose. The entry is rich, with a berry compote, floral and plum character supported by bright acidity. The finish is long and pleasing, with a persistent mocha tinge and silky tannins.

Booker Vineyard 2019 Harvey & Harriet Red (Paso Robles) $34.99

Harvey & Harriet is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot, aged in 75% new French oak. A layered nose offers aromas of crème de cassis, violets and baking spices. The palate is silky and rich, with a fine interplay of dark fruit and spices on a firm tannic frame.


Arrowood 2018 Sonoma Estates Cabernet Sauvignon $24.99

Arrowood’s Sonoma Estates Cabernet combines fruit from vineyards in Sonoma Valley, Knights Valley and Alexander Valley. Knights Valley grapes provide structure and power. Sonoma Valley fruit contributes ripe dark fruit flavors and rich texture, while Alexander Valley lends a fine complexity.

Matua 2021 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) $12.99

Classic Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc – juicy and mouthwatering; vibrant with citrus, guava and passionfruit flavors, laced with a fine mineral edge. The ripe, vivid fruit flavors persist all through a lingering, expressive finish. A great hot-weather quaffing wine.

Sandeman Royal Ambrosante Old Solera Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Jerez, Spain) $29.99

The Royal Ambrosante is sourced from a solera that was begun back in 1894, and no wine in the blend is less than 20 years old. It opens with fragrant aromas of dried golden raisins. A lusciously rich, sweet palate offers flavors of figs, dates and raisins, along with intriguing notes of clove, cinnamon and allspice that swirl and linger beautifully on an impossibly lengthy finish.


Mike Shelhamer
Old Town Wine Cellar
265 S. Main Street, Suite E
Yuma, Arizona 85364

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