Instead of the usual format tasting, the notes below are from a recent visit to Ali & Andy's, where the cheeses are always outstanding, and the company superlative.

Wines were from our cellars, poured non-blind, and without scoring.

Feudo della Regina Asolo Prosecco Superiore  Extra Dry Non-Vintage.  Just a subtle touch of sweetness here, with a soft, fine bead.  Tastes of honey and cloves, plus lemon and dough.  Ali found a granite note.  About $20.

Joseph Drouhin Chabis Vaudon 2010.  Hint of green in color.  Kristin felt that "it smells old world", while Andy detected "dry hay".   Green apples and orange rind flavors, with a hint of butterscotch on the finish.  Zippy acidity. David appreciates its elegance and ability to pair with lots of foods.  About $20.

Joseph Drouhin Beaune 2010. Cinnamon, dust, freshly brewed coffee, prune, cherry, and roses on the nose.  More spiciness in the mouth, with density of flavor and an earthiness that evokes crushed rocks.  Well-made.  Black pepper on the finish, with excellent structure.  Give this some air.  About $25.

Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape 2010.  Delicious, and loaded with fruit.  David loves the pure cherry flavor on the finish.  Focused and balanced.  Ali noted that "if purple water could be see-through, it would be this".  About $45.

Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon Colosal Red Blend 2012 (Mendoza).  Made from Malbec, Bonarda, and Cabernet Sauvignon, this shows density in flavor, and good uplifting acidity.  Some funky wet animal and forest floor notes, but has lots of wild dark berry flavors as it moves along.  About $13.

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