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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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Wednesday
Dec012010

Wine Wednesday: Sesta di Sopra Extra Vergine Olive Oil

With all the hullabaloo about gift-giving, it's easy to forget that Hanukkah is really about something much simpler: olive oil. No, the Maccabees weren't fighting the Syrian Greeks over extra virgin, they were battling religious oppression and persecution. But when the Maccabees triumphed in their three-year campaign against the Syrian Greeks and returned to the rededicate their desecrated Temple in Jerusalem they found little oil left--just enough to last one day. But as the story goes, the oil burned brightly for eight days, and today Jews celebrate Hanukkah to commemorate that "miracle of light" and their triumph over tyrrany. 

So to properly commemorate the first night of Hanukkah, our Wine Wednesday wine isn't wine at all, but instead the super high-quality, small production, vintage-dated extra virgin olive oil from our friends at Sesta di Sopra ($21.99). Ettore and Enrica, the same fabulous couple behind some of our favorite Brunelli makes this oil from an old grove of olive trees on their property. This bottle is from the 2009 harvest and classic Tuscan olive oil--bright green and wonderfully spicy. For unbelievably delicious (and decadent) latkes, try frying them in a little of this. It's also perfect for drizzling over pasta, pizza, salads, bruschetta or for just dipping your bread in!

Leah Greenstein

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