8/18/2023 — Late Summer Grilling Wines Four Pack

Offer available through Monday, 8/21/2023, or as inventory lasts.

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Hi everyone –

We’re now in the second half of August. The weather reports are starting to show low temps at night in the 50s, and before you know it, we’ll see some 40s. (Fans of the cooler weather, like me, can’t wait for the chilly nights.)

Grilling is a year-round activity for us at the Kallsen household, never taking a break even in the deepest of winter. I’m also a charcoal or hardwood-only guy. I don’t own a gas grill.

As a result, my late summer wine collection is full of bottles meant to enjoy with everything from the Weber: grilled veggies, chicken thighs, hamburgers, Impossible burgers, rib-eye steaks, and more.


This is a terrific little collection of wines. All wines are available ala carte (singles) or a discounted four-pack (one of each), or buy a twelve-pack (three bottles of each) for maximum savings.

The collection includes one white and three reds. The white is textural and mouth-filling without being too heavy or too high in citric acid. The reds are all medium-bodied, serve well with a touch of a chill and are all gulpable and great with grilled foods of all types.

It’s a perfect little collection for any evening of “let’s just grill something and pop a random bottle,” which is quite often in our household.

Let’s get to it!

Emilio Moro “Polvorete” Godello 2022

Godello is one of our current favorite grapes, stylistically falling very much between an outstanding Chardonnay and a great Sauvignon Blanc. This one is from Bierzo, in far northwestern Spain.

Here are a few cool things about Godello:

  1. Even though its been around since Roman times, it almost went extinct in the mid-20th century during the Spanish dictatorship. During those decades, the primary customer for grapes was the government, and payment was by the ton without regard to quality. Godello is a shy producer, and it was far more profitable for farmers to rip out Godello and plant other varieties during that time. Some estimates are that under 20 acres existed in 1970.
  2. Godello is also grown across the border in Portugal, where it is known as Gouveio.
  3. There are roughly 2000 acres of it now planted in Spain and about 1500 acres planted in Portugal.

The general taste profile of Godello includes orchard fruits, a touch of citrus, often loads of minerals, and complexities in the form of herbs and things you might not expect, like fennel. If this sounds like I’m describing great White Burgundy, you’re right … there are many similarities between a great Godello and a great Burgundy (think Puligny-Montrachet).

Emilio Moro is a superstar producer, best known for their top-notch reds from Ribera del Duero. As they enter the third and fourth generation of winemaking, they have expanded with their “El Bierzo” project to round out the portfolio.

Tasting note: Orchard meets citrus. In the nose, it’s all about some seriously beautiful orchard fruits with a touch of floral and citrus. At-peak apple, lime zest, and lilac, all dancing around each-other. The taste is medium-bodied with good acidity but without a slap-you-in-the-face attitude. A persistent finish showcases the balance. Is there a better wine for grilled white fish?

Leco Punk Organic Rioja 2020

A beautiful organic low-intervention wine!

Rioja is an area of extreme tradition, which we should hold in reverence, of course. But that tradition can become tiresome, and the younger generation coming up in Rioja is starting to shake things up in a big way.

Have no fear; the gems of La Rioja Alta, Lopez de Heredia, Muga, etc., aren’t going anywhere. But this fresh energy coming from young winemakers is breathing some much-needed energy into this old area.

This is 100% Tempranillo from high-elevation vineyards and only from organically certified plots.

Plus … what a great label. Thank you for making something fun to look at!

Tasting note: Medium-bodied red with a youthful purple hue. The nose is beautifully intense, with sassy blue and red fruits dominating and a touch of what the French would call “garrigue”- the magical combination of herbs such as rosemary and thyme. There’s also a strong anise streak that plays beautifully with anything off the grill. This seriously fun wine goes down easy but loves to dance with fat and protein. A new favorite around our house.

Mary Taylor Imports, Sophie Siadou Valençay 2021

35% Gamay, 35% Côt (the local name for Malbec), and 30% Pinot Noir from the Loire Valley.

This is another grab-often wine for us lately. Mary Taylor is one of our favorite importers, supporting the work of small farms and especially women-owned wineries. The lightness and brightness of this wine are off the charts, but having the touch of Malbec in there is what makes it so perfect for grilled food.

From the back label:

The flinty soils of the Loire Valley appellation of Valençay are known for giving their wines a finesse, perhaps even a chalkiness. This cuveé is known as “Les Griotes” or “the cherries” as its gentle flavor and character has notes of red fruits (cherry and blackcurrant), with a hint of spices in the finish. Farmed sustainably and fermented with indigenous yeasts. You might try one of the area’s famed goat cheeses to pair with this classically elegant wine.

There are a couple of great videos out there on this wine, including these two: importer Mary Taylor, and our beloved Shar Peterson from when she worked at the Vine Room in Hopkins before moving out to Oregon last year.

Tasting note: This wine is so awesome. Sophie Siadou has nailed it in terms of the blend, and with every sip you seem to lean into one of the three grapes. The Pinot Noir gives it beauty. The Gamay gives it sassiness. And the Malbec is keeping the beat and adding some backbone. This is a perfect wine for a “cheeseboard for dinner” night with high-quality charcuterie and delicious cheeses and olives, especially if you can find some from the Loire Valley. What grows together goes together. Learn more about the cheese of Valençay.

The Whole Shebang Cuvee #15 Red Wine, California

Bedrock Wine Company is a brand to seek out on the regular and get to know better. Morgan Twain-Peterson is the son of Joel Peterson, the original founder of Ravenswood. The stories of Morgan are the stuff of wine legend, having made his first wine around the age of ten or so, and growing up around the world of wine as it exploded in the 1980s. Oh, and he’s one of the few Masters of Wine in the world. His business partner is Chris Cottrell, joined Morgan to build the brand in 2011. Read their full stories here.

Bedrock’s specialty is making elegant, complex, and impossibly beautiful wines from some of the oldest vineyards in the state of California (often focusing on Zinfandel and showcasing the balance a good winemaker and vineyard can achieve). We’ll do a whole Bedrock feature in the future, but for this offer we’re going for their pop-on-a-whim wine, The Whole Shebang.

This is the wine that helps to pays their bills and opens the door for by-the-glass pours at restaurants.

And I think it may be the BEST blended red at this price made in California today.

It’s composed of Zinfandel, Carignan, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and more. And much like the consistently excellent Marietta Old Vine Red, it is numbered based on lot number rather than vintage, giving them the ability to blend multiple vintages to achieve the desired wine. This is a ‘secret sauce’ that more and more wineries are playing with in order to smooth out the variations of climate change and wildfires.

The big-time wine press, and the writers that I trust, have loved this wine for years.

The most important thing to understand about this wine is that it’s made EXACTLY like the higher-end wines of Bedrock. In other words, it starts with the vineyards and the fruit’s quality, followed by careful and non-interventionist winemaking. It just so happens that the fruit for this wine comes from multiple sources, multiple vintages, and overall lower-cost regions, making for a bargain for the consumer.

This is a really exceptional wine because, in the “Blended Reds” category, it’s fighting with some big names and gigantic brands. And if you line up the big brands along with this wine for a blind tasting, I think 95% of consumers would probably choose one of the big brand wines. Why? Because those are simply bigger … higher alcohols, more glycerin, and definite residual sugar. In that first sip, for the average consumer, often bigger = better. But you know better, and you’re not the average consumer. This wine has power and muscle but is more of a soccer player than a linebacker. It’s not based on weight but rather elegance and speed combined with power. Dare I say it … it’s the Lionel Messi of wine?

Me and the “Bedrock Boys,” Morgan and Chris, in 2016.

Tasting note: Pure peak-season red raspberry meets clove spice and mellow white pepper. Medium bodied. There is power in the glass, but not attacking power … it’s instead elegant. This damn wine shape shifts with every sip, a characteristic that I usually find at $40+. What I love the best is the finish. It’s persistent, grabby, and powerful without being weighty. I don’t know how they do it at this price. Kudos to the Bedrock boys.

Buying advice

Shoulder season wine is a category more retailers should pay attention to. It’s such a beautiful time of year to fill a glass, especially when you’re holding a grilling spatula in the other.

I’d buy at least a four pack, for this is a fun variety of wines at a great price that have application for many dishes. If you’re really into outdoor living and grilling, like I am, take advantage of the big 12 pack discount.

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

Offer and special pricing are available through Monday, or as inventory lasts

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