The following is a public service announcement about the wine selection at OKRA.
At The Original OKRA Charity Saloon, we have a red and a white. Not just a set of forgettable "house wines", our red and white will always be something really outrageously good. Something true wine geeks would be happy to drink in any context. Something so good and wholesome that it probably kills vampires on contact, and will make your crush finally notice you. The selection will rotate every few months or so based on availability.
As of March 2013, here is what we are pouring:
Dr. Loosen Sekt Riesling, Non-vintage
Dr. Loosen is a big name in Riesling from Germany’s Mosel wine region. You probably had a Riesling that was cloyingly sweet one time and you said good riddance. Consider this wine an affirmation that all Riesling is not freakishly sweet, and that it tastes like a riot of flavor when sparkling. Maybe you haven’t had a sparkling Riesling before? Time to fix that. Flavors of ripe pineapple, granny smith apples, slate, and petrol.
Val de Mer Borgogne Blanc Chardonnay 2011
Val de Mer is a project of Chablis rockstar Patrick Piuze, who’s premier wines are made under his own name. This Borgogne Blanc is made from the Chardonnay that they didn’t use for their Chablis, and it’s really good. This is a wine made from leftovers, and it’s better than a lot of vintner’s best foot forward in this price range. Val de Mer means “valley of the sea”, because that’s what the vineyards of Chablis were a very long time ago. The soil is limestone and clay, and you can taste it in the wine. Hard lemon and lime gives way to gunflint, steel, and rocks. It’s refreshing and shocking like a judgmental glower from Clint Eastwood.
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge Syrah 2011
It’s not exactly revolutionary to say we’re serving a Grenache / Syrah / Mouvedre blend from a hot place and California. It’s been done. However Tablas Creek is significant because this winery is the American outpost of Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The Perrin family brings their knack for sourcing exceptional fruit from multiple areas and making balanced reds with earthy intensity to Paso Robles, where they makes one of the greatest value-based reds in America, period. The wine is dominated by the Syrah grape, and displays ripe black and red fruits, cracked black pepper, smoke, and soil. It's dark and hedonistic, much like you’d imagine parties in the underworld.
OKRA sells these for 10 dollars a glass- not terribly expensive. The money you spend on these wines goes to charity. So there's that.