‘50 in 50′ Bumps Into Moronic Wine Laws, and X Marks the Spot

By Lenn Thompson

As you all know, a couple weeks ago I announced my 50 in 50 project, for which I’ll be tasting and writing about the wines of all 50 states over the course of 50 weeks.

I’m sure you can all imagine how challenging it is to gather/buy/recruit the wines for such an endeavor, but I thought it might be interesting to offer an update on this little jaunt across the United States via the vine.

First of all, the wine shipping laws in this country are moronic and a royal pain in the cork. I’ve been met with … …”We’d love to be included in your project, but we can’t send you wine at this point” on more than one occasion.

But, fear not…becuase of some research of my own and some great comments and suggestions from you, my readers, I’ve managed to procure bottlings from NM, MA and VT. And, I’ve got NY covered (obviously) and Wine Sediment’s own editor-in-chief, Mark, is going to get some OH wine ready for me one of these days.

I’m hoping that through more reader suggestions I can get at least a few more weeks planned…so keep them coming.

I also wanted to quickly tell you about a Greek wine I had at my favorite local Greek restaurant, Alexandros in Miller Place, NY. My wife and I frequent Alexandros at least once a week (even if it’s just for take out) because the food is all so fresh and flavorful. And when Sam’s dad (Sam is the owner/chef) is visiting from Greece, the food seems to be even better because he’s in the kitchen.

Anyway, a couple months ago, Sam stumbled upon my blog (LENNDEVOURS) and found a review I wrote about Alexandros. And he’d always said he wanted me to try some of the Greek wines he serves.

Now, I have a very good friend who is of Greek heritage, and he always tells me that even his father (the Greek side of his family) won’t drink Greek wine. But, as I enjoyed some delicious leg of lamb one night, Sam sent over a bottle of 2000 Amyntaion Xynomavro. I’ve had absolutely no luck finding any information on this wine, but I know that Xynomavro is the grape and Sam told me that it’s loosely translated as blackberry in English. Low in tannins, it was quite fruity with, expectedly, blackberry flavors and a slight earthiness.

By itself, the wine was merely okay, but with the leg of lamb…it was quite good.

If anyone knows anything about this wine or grape, please let me know.

Next week, we’ll enjoy some Gruner Veltliner together. It’s not the most obscure variety going anymore (thankfully) but it’s still one that deserves much more attention.

Until then, drink on friends.

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