Locals, visitors, and celebrities alike are all praising Nashville's Salt & Vine, a new hot spot dedicated to bringing incredible, affordable wine to the community (alongside some killer menu options, like beef sliders with gruyere, caramelized shallots, and thyme aioli). Owner and certified sommelier Mattie Jackson has studied wine in Tuscany, Italy; Austin, Texas; and Napa, California – so she's got some great recommendations for both weekend winos and seasoned taste-testers.
Check out Mattie's suggestions for seven wines that every wine lover needs to try this year.
"Perhaps the most forgotten and limited style of sparkling wine in the market, finding an exquisite Franciacorta is to strike bubbly gold. Made in the same fashion, often with the same grapes, as true Champagne, this luxurious Italian sparkler boasts 2/3 the price with just as much splendor."
Recommendations: Ferrari & Berlucchi Brut
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"As delicate pink, dry rosés continue to surge from their momentum in 2016, this year we’ll be pouring a Southern French classic, Tavel. The only region in the world to produce exclusively rosé, these guys own one of the densest, driest, most masculine styles of rosé worldwide. Rosé with short rib? Yes please."
Recommendations: Chateau Trinquevedel
"Made from an obscure grape called Melon de Bourgogne in a tiny town on France’s western seaboard, Muscadet (or Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, as the best styles will read), is nothing less than the Corona and lime of wines. My glass filled all throughout summer."
Recommendations: Michel Brégeon Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine
"Never heard of it? It’s not Pinot Grigio, nor Pinot Noir, but the redheaded stepchild to both. This grape has tremendous potential for juicy, succulent yet mineral laced white wines when given the TLC it requires. Look to Oregon and Alsace, France for the most premium styles, most of which still ring in under $20!"
Recommendations: Albert Seltz (Alsace) & Grochau Cellars (Oregon)
"Grown almost exclusively in NW Italy, Nebbiolo is the heart of Barolo, dubbed “the king of wines and wine of kings” throughout Italy’s illustrious red winemaking history. Valtellina, a neighboring region, is a brilliant and affordable introduction to the grape. Feminine and floral yet punctuated with a crescendo of grippy tannin."
Recommendations: Sandrofay Valtellina Rosso & Nino Negri Valtellina Superiore
Elqui Valley Syrah
"Far from Australia’s blackberry cobbler style Shiraz, Syrah from cooler climates yields intriguingly dense, savory reds. Perched a top some of Chile’s highest elevation coastal vineyards, Elqui Valley has surfaced as one of our favorite spots for Syrah worldwide. Easily drunk on its own, but made for anything off the BBQ."
Recommendations: Elqui Wines Syrah & Lagar de Bezana
"I am fighting to bring dessert wine back into fashion. My first battle, Madeira. Though you can find this indisputably historical wine in an array of styles from sweet and caramelized to salty and dry, slightly off-dry styles called ‘Rainwater’ tend to best showcase Madeira’s versatility. Enjoy with pecan pie, seafood dishes dusted with curry, or breakfast for dinner."
Recommendations: Rare Wine Co. ‘Baltimore’ Rainwater Madeira