Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.
Robert Mondavi

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Date Night: Unums

As published in the 10/7 edition of the Nashua Telegraph (click link to view Telegraph version).

Like most married couples with children, my wife and I have date nights that allow us to have time for each other without the rigors of bringing along the family. This past week, we decided to take our date night to Unums.

We selected Unums because of their Wine Down Wednesday program. On Wednesdays, they open five different bottles of wine, which are normally only available by the bottle, and offer them by the glass. It is a nice way to try normally more expensive bottles without paying top dollar. They also offer a flight of these wines. Wine flights are becoming a more common, and welcomed, addition to restaurant wine experiences. A flight involves a few different wines that are served as a group in tasting portions (usually 2-3 ounce pours), to allow you to try a number of different types of wines without paying full glass prices.

We decided on a wine flight to accompany our array of appetizers. Unums has a continuously rotating menu, which allows co-owner and chef Constantine Brianas to show off his culinary repertoire. The dishes selected were the Unums Tart, Pork Medallions, and the Wild Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi. Chef Brianas’ creations were a delicious accompaniment to our wines and his well-developed dishes, especially the Unums Tart, energized our taste buds.

The wines that were selected for the flight by co-owner and passionate wine lover, Stephen Williams, offered a delightful assortment of diverse varietals:

The Bodegas Agnusdei (Albariño), from the Rias Baixes region in northwest Spain, was a very light, crisp and smooth way to start off the tasting. For those not familiar with Albariño, it is somewhat similar to Pinot Grigio in taste. This wine had a very nice amount of pear and pineapple in the aroma and also on the palate. I give this refreshing wine an 88 point rating.

To continue our progress from light to heavy, we had the Villa Di Corlo Giaco (Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot) from Italy, which offered a nice transition into the reds. The aroma of smoked cherry was mirrored on the palate, along with the typical dark berries imparted by the Cabernet/Merlot blending. The unique element in this wine was the subtle hint of eucalyptus (yes, the same leafy greens that koalas enjoy). Although the finish was somewhat short, this was a lovely wine. I rate this at 88 points as well, as it was a very good wine.

Staying in Italy, we partook in a Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva (Sangiovese) as the third tasting. It was a dry wine with blackberry on the palate and nose. Its tannins offered a little spike, which allowed it to stand up to the food we were eating. The Felsina was a very agreeable wine. I give this an 89 point rating.

The next wine was my favorite of the flight, a Michael & David Phillips Petite (Petite Sirah). Personally, I like my wines bold with a nice level of complexity. This Petite Sirah offered both characteristics. The aroma and taste shared notes of blackberry and currants. However, it was the familiar taste of cigar that made this wine memorable. Some slight peppery notes, which my wife accurately pointed out, rounded out this very good wine. It is deserving of a 90 point rating.

The final tasting in the flight was the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis (Cabernet Sauvignon). This was a pleasant wine to drink and it offered a very good amount of well developed blackberry and currant. It had a nice medium to medium-heavy body. I would give this wine 87 points because it was one dimensional, yet essentially pleasant. I am a huge fan of Stag’s Leap’s slightly older vintages (2000 and earlier), but recently I feel they have fallen from great to good. Again, this is all personal preference and my wife certainly enjoyed this wine.

Overall, Unums provided a wonderful escape from reality for a few hours. Stephen and Walter, our waiter, were very gracious with their knowledge and caring conversation. I would highly recommend Unums for your date night and hope you share a similar experience.

Information about Unums
Location: 47 E. Pearl St, Nashua
Phone: 603.621.6500
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5:00-Close

About Wine Ratings
95-100 Classic: A Phenomenal Wine!
90-94 Outstanding: A wine of excellent character and style
85-89 Very Good: A wine with some special qualities
83-84 Good: A solid well-made wine
< 83 Why bother?

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