Wine Sale Week: Surdyk's fall blowout includes free tastings

Surdyk's big fall sale: Here are in-store tastings and 10 recommendations on what to buy
Surdyk's big fall sale: Here are in-store tastings and 10 recommendations on what to buy

When you pull into the Surdyk's lot on a Saturday afternoon during it's big sale, you'd think you were trying to find a parking spot in downtown New York. There's a reason for that: Surdyk's offers not only great deals on wine but an array of free tastings, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

Here is a schedule of tastings you won't want to miss, plus recommendations on great bottles to buy.

And at Surdyk's, you can forget plastic cups: At these tastings you can sample your wine out of Riedel glasses.

BIG BURGUNDY THURSDAYS If you're not familiar with the grape varieties of Burgundy, it's easy to remember: chardonnay on the whites and pinot noir on the reds. And to the south is Beaujolais, which is the gamay grape. This is a great chance to try red Burgundies priced $40 and up and see if you enjoy one of the most famous wine regions in the world.

Thursday, October 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Georges Roumier and/or Pierre Matrot with Les Hill

Thursday, October 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Henri Gouges with Wil Bailey

CLINE CELLARS Cline is known for zinfandel but makes some really nice wines out of syrah, carignane, and mourvedre. Friday, October 15, and Saturday, October 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ROMBAUER VINEYARDS Clyd Gilbert will conduct an in-store tasting on his wines and a few friends were raving about these wines as they sampled them last weekend. Friday, October 15, and Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

LADERA Ladera has been making amazing wines out of Napa Valley for a decade, and this is a chance to try them before you buy them. Friday, October 15, and Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Many more samples will be available to try throughout the store. And remember: It's OK to spit, and you don't need to try them all!

My wine picks:

REDS 2007 Tiera Alta Reserva Colchagua Valley Carmenere $12.99 A brilliant effort from Chile, with minerals, spice, coffee, and cranberries. This wine gets better on days two and three. I keep recommending this wine, and everyone who has sampled it loves it. 91 points

2006 Guigal Cotes du Rhone $12.49 Cotes du Rhone wines are great value and usually a blend of grenache, syrah, and mourvedre. This wine features floral, tar, game, and raspberries. Good overall structure. Enjoy with wild game. 88 points

2006 Ladera Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $24.99 This is Ladera's value wine, blended with 92 percent cabernet sauvignon, 5 percent petite verdot, and 3 percent malbec. The fruit is sourced between Ladera's Howell Mountain and Lone Canyon vineyards. While this wine will benefit with cellaring, it is drinking really well right now with a two- hour decant. The wine is balanced with aromas and flavors of cherry, blackberries, oak, vanilla, and spice. It has a medium finish. Enjoy with a gourmet burger or steak. 91 points

2005 Columbia Crest Walter Clore Reserve $24.99 Not enough stores carry the Reserve line for Columbia Crest, and these wines drink like a $50 Napa blend. This wine features cherry, oak, vanilla, and spice. A little sweet on the palate and gobs of fruit. This should cellar for a decade. 92 points

2006 Simi Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $16.99 This wine in previous vintages was disappointing, but this effort is back on course with cherry, vanilla, oak, and spices. Medium finish. Enjoy with a steak. 90 points

2007 Las Rocas Vinas Viejas Garnacha $13.99 Big nose with floral, spices, and some fruit. On the palate this wine is a bit over the top with floral, spices, cinnamon, and raspberries. An extracted wine that needs some time to settle down. I recommended a four-hour decant. 89 points


2009 Ladera Estate-Grown Howell Mountain Sauvignon Blanc $19.99 A wonderful estate-grown sauvignon blanc featuring grapefruit, straw, sour apples, and honeydew melon. The wine is crisp and refreshing, with a medium finish. It will pair well with seafood. 91 points

2007 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett $17.49 This is a really good price and a great wine. Stones, apples, pear, and fresh-cut flowers on the nose. The wine has a great mineral quality and a perfect amount of acidity. Enjoy this on a hot summer day. 92 points

2007 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett $19.99 Beautiful wine with peach, pear, apple, slate, and floral notes. Great acidity that will match up with a variety of food. Impress your friends, but apply the tasting process. 94 points


Graham's Porto 20-Year Tawny$43.99 Sweet and rich with raspberry, maple syrup, and nuts. You can open this and it should drink well for a few weeks. 90 points

Surdyk's sale runs through October 16.


John Glas Wineglas

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