Justin's Birthday Tasting 2.0

For those of you in attendance at Justin's birthday celebration tasting last year know that it was nothing short of EPIC! It was a special night for all and that a weekly Wednesday Tasting landed on his birthday proper made us pull out all the stops and truly celebrate. Justin's birthday falls on a Thursday this year, but we're still going to celebrate. Wednesday the 30th is his birthday-eve and he'll be pouring some of his Shop favorites.

In true Justin fashion, he'll have open the Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir from Oregon that he always enjoys on his birthday. Hailing from atop Dundee Hills and overlooking Oregon's exquisite Willamette Valley, Domaine Drouhin has been a staple and tradition for Justin on his birthday for nearly two decades.

Sticking with the Willamette Valley motif, he'll be pouring Chardonnay by the great David Paige. Paige runs his own show now, but he cut his teeth at Adelsheim (another of our faves) where he not only made their wine but also mentored the talented Gina Hennen, who has since taken over from David at Adelsheim as winemaker.

Years ago when Justin sat down at his first ever blind tasting group, one of the somms had brought a wine that had completely mystified him. It was white... and that was about all he could deduce about it. When the deductive exercise concluded and the wine was revealed... he was still no less mystified. The wine was the primary varietal from Greece and is called Assyrtiko. Since then he's consumed quite a bit of it and absolutely adores it! Indigenous to the volcanic island of Santorini, Assyrtiko is everything he loves about white wine: light and mineral driven. But as his way, we're going a touch left of center and will be enjoying an Assyrtiko produced on the mainland of Greece rather than Santorini (still light and mineralistic though) called Monograph by Gaia Wines, the Greek Goddess of the Earth.

A self-professed sucker for labels, he'll be pouring a dark rosé/chillable red with a personified athletic wine bottle (not a ketchup bottle) for label art. It's a red blend consisting of Carignan and Grenache. He's also a self-professed suck for dark rosé/chillable red/Carignan & Grenach blends/female winemakers. So all around this wine is quite fantastic, called Premier jus (also a sucker for a play on words), and comes from Corbières in southeast France and made by Laetitia Ourliac of Fond Cyprés.

Continuing with female-led wines, we'll be enjoying 'Unlitro' Costa Toscana Rosso from Ampeleia and made by wine legend and the “Queen of Teroldego” Elisabetta Foradori. This bang-for-you-buck Tuscan wine is also a Carignan blend but instead of Grenache like the Premier jus, this one is married to Alicante Bouchet. Called 'Unlitro' because rather than a regular 750 milliliter bottle, this is a carefree and joyful age-old tradition of filling the wine into a one liter flask.

Back on the shelf after a devastatingly long hiatus is the Cru Beaujolais Chiroubles from Domaine de la Chapelle Bizot. This is that really pretty one with the fairy on the label. If we had to guess, at some point Justin is going to start feeling good and he's going to open some of that too. (Read: we know he's going to!)

And of course no birthday party would be complete without a cake. And we've got a custom one coming from lb. Sweeets & Treats on James Island baked by our friend Chef Jillian. So stop by and have some wine and cake and wish your friendly neighborhood wine man a happy birthday!

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