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Charles Smith Wines
The new rock star in the wine world these days is Charles Smith.  And we do mean “rock star”!  This guy is a California native who spent eleven years in Scandinavia managing rock bands, then landed in Walla Walla, Washington where he embarked on a career in wine, which has always been a great love of his.  I’ve met a lot of winemakers in my years in the business, most of them quite conservative looking, some with long-ish hair and more relaxed in their dress, but when I first saw a photo of Charles Smith I really couldn’t believe his look.  For those of you who followed the rock scene in the 80’s, I’m sure you remember Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister…well that’s pretty much what Charles Smith looks like, except without the make-up or shoulder pads.  Awesome!!  Oh, and by the way, Food & Wine magazine just named him the 2009 Winemaker of the Year. 

The wines that we carry here in Mississippi are part of what he is calling his Modernist Project.  He is recognizing that these days most of the wine purchased is drunk within 24 hours, and rarely cellared.  These wines are crafted to be drunk now and have really eye-catching black & white labels, with cartoon-style images.  The wines in the “project” are:


“Eve” Chardonnay – this wine is everything I love about Washington State chardonnay:  crisp, lean and a true representation of the grape without the overpowering presence of oak.  Smith refers to it as a Chablis-style wine. ($13.99)

Kung Fu Girl Riesling  - I’m not much of a sweet wine fan, but this off-dry Riesling is amazing, and can be enjoyed with a wide variety of foods, especially spicy Asian or Cajun cuisine.  ($13.99)

Boom Boom Syrah – Just like it sounds, this wine goes “boom” on the palate, displaying ooey-gooey ripe black fruit, spice and classic smoky and gamey notes.  Rack of Lamb, unfortunately, not included…  ($18.99)

The Velvet Devil Merlot – Again, how does this sound?  Silky and smooth with velvety tannins; super-ripe, but with plenty of backbone.  This is no wimpy wine. ($13.99)

Chateau Smith Cabernet – If my last name were Smith, this would surely become my house wine.  Easy and approachable, yet with firm tannins and classic Cab characteristics, this wine will wow any big red fan.  ($21.99)

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