Had to read that last name a couple times right? Pronounce it with me … SAG – LIM – BENI.
Now put that name to memory. It is very, VERY important. Why?
Ummmm … only because this is now my #1 favorite wine shop in San Antonio :) The next time you need wine, I HIGHLY recommend you pay Mr. Joe Saglimbeni a visit. You will thank me.
One of the MANY highlights of this fabulous vinous boutique are their Tuesday (5:30p – 8:30p) and Saturday (11a – 5p) wine tastings. I hear the Tuesday wine tastings have a delicious perk to them … some grub!
And by grub I mean delicious meat trays, homemade pasta salad, and cheese & olive oil samples! This last week I went to both the Saturday and Tuesday tastings, but I only snapped photos from Tuesday. (I recently had to make a trip out to the camera store because this blogger wore out her camera’s memory cards, hee hee! But now I have new ones!)
Moving along … Let me introduce you to THE Joe of Joe Saglimbeni’s Fine Wine & Spirits.
Everyone, this is Joe.
And this is his wine shop! Careful not to get lost, this place is a wondrous vinous maze! First we start with the entrance,
then to your left you will find the the spirits/wine tasting room #1,
further in is the Italian wine room,
which is shared with various tasty treats, meats, oils and sauces.
Back out to the entrance room, you have the California wine collection,
continuing to the back of the store are the Spanish wines, rose’s and other domestics,
turning to the left is wine tasting room #2, bubbly and Champagnes, Port, Sherry, Sake, and the white wines collection.
Turning around you will see another set of wine rooms.
First is the Australian Wine room,
A room full of South American, Austrian, German, and Spanish? wines,
The ‘spensive wine room … which is under video surveillance, so don’t get crazy :P
The far back room is full of French wines,
and finally we turn around and head back towards the entrance room!
Whew! What an adventure right? I felt like a kid in a candy store … or a kid in a library in my case (I was one of those brainy kids who loved books 1 million times more than candy). Now if I got any of those room descriptions wrong, I apologize, I had already been through the full wine tasting … heh, heh, heh.
One aspect of the store that I fell in love with and think is just one of the most incredible features is the “Wine for Ryan” shelf.
You see Ryan was a devoted patron of the store. He would come in, buy wines of all price ranges (even the crazy ‘spensive ones) and then share that wine with whoever was in the store. He was a very down-to-earth guy and loved by many. He was unfortunately a victim to a senseless accident and to honor his memory, there is a shelf with a wine glass that is filled each week with a new wine for Ryan. What a great tribute to a wine lover and friend! Cheers to you Ryan!
Moving along with last Tuesday’s tasting …
Wine Tasting Station #1 (in the spirits room) was featuring wines from an Italian wine making & export company called Vigne & Vini and which was being represented by their export sales director, Fabio Cascione. There was also a tequila tasting being put on by Tim Jacobi, managing director for GIMA International Export Agency. Naturally I sandwiched myself between these strapping young lads for a photo.
The Vigne & Vini Italian Wine Tasting Line-Up was looking delicious …
The first wine was called Tatu – a combination of the Primitivo and Aglianico grapes from an area called Tarantino in the Puglia region (heel of the boot) of Italy. Now the only question is, should this wine be paired wine with that Russian girl duo ‘Tatu’ or with a Quentin Tarantino flick? (I know I just caught Frenchie le Boyfriend’s interest, well aside from the obvious reasons ;), and because QT is his #1 FAVORITE film maker. I digress. Tatu was a spicy red wine with aromas of delicious red fruits, spice notes, and hints of floral aromas.
The second wine was called Passione, made only from the Primitivo grape and from an appellation called Salento (still in the ‘heel of the boot’ region of Puglia, Italy).
FYI – In case you didn’t know, the Primitivo and Zinfandel varietals are clones of the Croatian varietal, Crljenak Kaštelanski (pronounced “sirl-yen-ack kastelanski” ). There are small differences between the three other than the region they are grown in, but word on the street is that the wine nerds are refering to all the grapes as “ZPC” – Zinfandel / Primitivo / Crljenak Kaštelanski. Can’t say you didn’t learn anything right?
So yes, Passione. 100% Primitivo and has aromas of dark fruits, spices, and is a beautiful full bodied wine with soft tannins. I enjoyed this wine a lot and my mom and I bought a bottle that evening for 25% off the $15.99 price.
The last wine in the line up was called Papale, also made only from Primitivo grapes, from the appellation Manduria, (still in the ‘heel of the boot’ region of Puglia, Italy). I was told the reason this wine was called Papale, was to honor the only Pope to come from this region in Italy. This wine has lots of dark berry aromas, medium tannins, a great acidity, and flavors of dark fruits, earth, wood, coffee and vanilla. My Mom and I also bought this bottle for 25% off of the $19.99 price. Many of the people at this tasting were taking this bottle as well as the Passione above.
At the same wine tasting station, was a duo of Caballos Tequilas – Blanco and Reposado (100% Agave Azul, Hand Picked, Estate Bottled). I didn’t do this tasting til after I tasted the other wines at the second wine tasting station, and contrary to the popular country song, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off“, I managed to complete this tequila tasting fully clothed ;) In any case, this was one of the smoothest tequilas I have tasted and it was about 1/2 the price of those other smooth tequilas = $24.99 for the liter! (My mom purchased the two bottles for my little sister’s college grad party we were having and she also received the Tuesday tasting deal of 25% of these bottles as well.) Tim also showed us a neat recipe for the Blanco tequila – mix a shot of tequila with a dash of squirt (or other citrus soda), a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of sea salt and voila … an easy drinking tequila drink. (It was a bit too easy to drink though … this is the kind of drink that sneaks up on you!)
The second tasting station had one wine from Portugal and the others from Spain. I love me some Iberian peninsula wines! And lately I have just been blown away with the vinous awesomeness that Portugal is churning out!
The first wine was called Alandra, a white table wine from the Alentejo region of Portugal made from three grapes – Antão Vaz, Perrum, Arinto. It had gorgeous aromas of lime and flowers and had a clean and fresh taste to it. My mom and I bought this bottle as well for 25% off of the $12.99 price.
The second wine at this station was a gem as well, a rosé wine made from the Monastrell grape (Spanish name for the Mourvedre grape of France) and it comes from the Jumilla region in southeastern Spain. This wine, Castillo de Jumilla was a drier rosé but had bursting aromas of strawberry, watermelon, cotton candy, and cherries! YUMM! Perfect for a BBQ and hot sunny days on the patio! Don’t forget, real men drink pink! My mom and I couldn’t say no, so we purchased this bottle for 25% off of the $12.99 price.
The last two wines were a bit hazy in my memory, not that they weren’t amazing, fantastic and delicious, but rather the kind of wines you would buy to age for a few years. And to be honest, I am not at a place in my life to buy wines to age. This Sipper needs wines for this week ;) Never the less, if you are working on building up your ‘wines to age’ collection, I recommend both of these two.
The night was about to end at the cash register when Joe Saglimbeni turned to me and asked, “So are you going to enjoy some wine in our tree-house?” … After much arm twisting he convinced me that tree-house time was not an option, I was going up there to drink wine whether I liked it or not!
Now how cool is that?!?!? A wine shop complete with a vinous tree-house for its customers! I just don’t know how this wine shop could get any better!