Alex Elman proves that one doesn't need all five senses to make great organic wines

"I wanted people to really taste the grapes," Alex says at a recent visit to a Whole Foods store in Tampa. Here, accompanied by Handley, her friendly, barrel-chested golden lab, I’m tasting her wines, which are just being introduced to Florida and New Jersey; they'll be available nationally in June.

The 2010 Chardonnay (all her wines are $14.99 a bottle) is bursting with fruit, especially peach and pineapple. Her 2010 Torrontes, a white made with Argentina's indigenous grapes of the same name, is more austere, with zingy acidity. Her 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is a juicy wine that would be ideal at a summer cookout. I especially liked her 2010 Malbec, tasting of fresh cherries. I could easily see serving this with barbeque.


Photos courtesy of Alex Elman Wines.

These days it seems wines with critters on the labels are proliferating like, well, critters. It's too bad the wine in most of these bottles tastes like it was made in the bladder of the animal on the label.

This is definitely not the case with the wines of Alex Elman, whose seeing-eye dog (she's blind) Handley joins her on labels of her wines.

Made from organic grapes in Argentina, Alex's wines are refreshingly unfussy representations of the grapes they're made from. And they're inexpensive.

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