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Today’s Wine Review

I love wine. I love exploring the wine store for new wines and I love tasting new wines. A lot are not ones I would buy again but there are a lot more that I like. I’m an equal opportunity wine drinker, red, white, rosé, I love trying them all. When I go wine shopping I always try to get a few new bottles in addition to my mainstays.

One of the latest wines I bought was a rosé from France. Dune Sable De Camargue Gris De Gris, vintage 2015 with an alcohol content of 13%. The wine was a pale peachy orange color in the color. The smell of honeysuckle on the nose when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine was semi dry and had a soft peach taste with a dry mineral finish. Overall the wine didn’t have much flavor and didn’t wow me.

It wasn’t a bad wine, just not one I will buy again. One down and a million more to go.

Today’s Wine Review

Thursday I went to a wine tasting that featured wines from Burgundy and for a special treat; the last glass was a 20 year old tawny Port. I’ve never tasted wines from Burgundy so that was pretty enticing but the real reason I wanted to go was for the 20 year old tawny Port. I’ve had 10 year old tawny Port and that was pretty special so I could only imagine what a glass of 20 year old tawny Port would taste like.

The wine tasting was a small private affair at a local liquor store that holds wine tastings about every month or so. These tastings are usually themed based, such as Bordeaux, Italian, Cabernet Sauvignon or a certain winery being featured. Thursday night it was wines from Burgundy. I learned that there are only three grapes grown in Burgundy one white and two red, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Gamay Beaujolais.

We started off with a dry sparkling wine called Simonnet-Febre Cremant made from the Chardonnay grape. It was dry but not as dry some of the extra bruts I’ve tasted. It was also reasonably priced at $22.49 a bottle.

Then the tasting began with three whites and three reds. The first white wine was a 2012 Simonnet-Febre Chablis. The cost was $27.49 a bottle. It was dry and very clean tasting, not at all like the flat beer taste I usually get from a Chardonnay. That’s because the French don’t age their white wines in the big oak barrels like the California Chardonnays. It had a mineral taste and a bit salty but still a light wine similar to a Sauvignon Blanc.

The second white was a 2011 Latour Macon Lugny Les Genievres. It was a little less than the first one at $22.49 a bottle. It was also dry and had a mineral taste but it was a lot fuller more like a Chardonnay I’ve tasted before. The third white was a 2010 Latour Puligny-Montrachet AC. It was dry but also light and very smooth, my favorite of the white wines. Of course it was the priciest of the white wines too at $69.99 a bottle.

The next three were the red wines of the region. Two Pinot Noirs and one Beaujolias. The first red was a bottle of Fessy Regnie Reyessier, a Beaujolais. It was semi-dry a pinkish red wine very light and soft and very much a bargain at $20.49. The second red was a Latour Marsannay Rouge, a Pinot Noir. It was a darker red but still a fairly light wine, soft and dry. The cost a bit higher at $28.99.

The last red was a bottle of Latour Nuits St. George, a Pinot Noir. It was much fuller and a more golden red color. There was a dark fruit taste and much more expensive than the other two at $67.49 a bottle.

But they saved the best for last; a Grahams Tawny Port aged 20 years. It was a golden color in the glass with no hint of red. It smelled warm and inviting like warm honey. I almost held my breath as I picked up the glass and raised it to my lips. I took a sip and it was everything I had imagined it would taste like, warm maple syrup, honey and nectar all in one small taste. I didn’t care what the bottle cost, I knew I was going to buy a bottle. Actually it wasn’t that bad, it had a list price of $67.49 but the liquor store was offering a special that night for $49.98 a bottle, so I didn’t completely blow my budget. I think I would have bought it at full price anyway. It was that good. I am looking forward to opening the bottle and having a glass to savor all to myself without twenty other people in the same room.

Today’s Wine Review

It’s Christmas Eve, the holiday rush and panic is upon us. For those who are done shopping and relaxing with a glass of wine in your hand, I applaud you, I’m jealous but I applaud you. Maybe one day I will be just like you, sitting back savoring that wonderful glass and appreciating it for the work of art that it is, not swilling it down to numb the abject terror that I’ve forgotten someone.

For our Christmas dinner with our friends, I had planned on making veal parmesan, but I ended up with an abundance of avocados from work and changed the menu to steak and chicken fajitas with guacamole. For the wine G and S brought us a couple of bottles of wine that we’ve never had before. Since we are always up to try just about anything the wines they bring can be very interesting. This time was no different.

The first bottle we opened and drank was called. Cheeseburger Red, a California red wine from Santa Barbara County. It is cellared and bottled by Rootstock Cellars in Orcutt, California. We had a really good laugh about the label, mainly because a couple of years ago I bought a bottle of wine called Pizza Red that was absolutely horrible, only mixing it with fruit juice made it palatable. Needless to say, we were not holding out much hope for the Cheeseburger Red. Surprisingly it wasn’t that bad. It was drinkable, with 13.2% alcohol, only a bit harsh and it was fairly smooth with a medium finish. Overall it was very tasty compared to my marketing ploy purchase.

In keeping with the quirky wine theme, the second bottle was called, Chateau Mylord Cuvee Milady, a French Bordeaux. It had 14% alcohol and had a smoky shiraz earthy taste. It was drinkable also, dry with a full finish.

Overall both wines were really fun to drink and we had a good laugh over the fact that we all fall for the marketing side of wine. Sometimes we find a few treasures among the masses.

Today’s Wine Review

As promised this is a sampling of some of my dessert and sparkling wine suggestions for the coming celebrations and festivities. Some of these are a bit pricey and there are certainly a wide range of Champagnes and Sparkling wines out there that will fit into all budgets. As for the dessert wines and Ports some of them can be very expensive especially the aged Ports but I’ve also found a few less expensive bottles of Port that taste very good. The most expensive Champagne below is the Tattinger “La Francaise” Brut that sells for $65 a bottle, but it is a very good bottle, something to save for a special celebration.

Dessert Wines

Le Tertre Du Lys Sauterne – A French dessert wine that is a bit sweet but definitely not too sweet. This a wonderful after dinner wine. One that I think I could drink the whole bottle all by myself.

Sandeman 10 year old Tawny Port – A wonderful port with warm caramel and honey flavors and smooth and very drinkable.

Provincia di Pavia – Roscato – This is a red sweet wine, that goes very well with desserts, it’s soft and smooth a bit sweet but not overly sweet.

Sandeman Tawny Port – This is a more affordable port than the 10 year old aged port but it is still a very nice tawny port with the warm honey and caramel flavors.

Sparkling Wines

Tattinger “La Francaise” Brut – This was very nice, dry with a bite.

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs – This is one of my favorites, not too dry with a slight bit of sweetness that tasted like strawberries.

Renardat Fache Cerdon du Bugey – This one is a bit sweeter than the other Champagnes, but very drinkable.

Domaine Carneros by Tattinger Brut – This one is dry with a mineral taste and very clean tasting.

Cavicchioli – Spumante – This is light and bubbly a touch sweet perfect with cherry pie.

Today’s Wine Review

Summer is in full swing and here in the Midwest, Summer means heat and humidity. And what makes heat and humidity more palatable? Something cold to drink. It’s a perfect time to drink the lighter wines out there. On my last wine stock up run, I bought eight bottles of white wine, three red and one rosé. I wanted more rosé but I had a difficult time finding any that sounded appealing.

I have to admit that the one I did buy, I bought because of the label. Once again I got sucked in by those marketing wizards. It was a French rosé called AIX Vin De Provence vintage 2013 and was a very pale blush color, not as pink as some I’ve tasted. It was reasonably priced at <$15 so I thought I would give it a try.

It didn’t taste at all as it was described on the label. The label described “bright fruit flavors” and “delicate floral notes”. Well to my uneducated nose, the first thing I smelled was alcohol and at 13% there was plenty to go around. I was expecting pears or strawberries, but what I tasted was more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc with a drop of red food coloring. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the wine, but it was as though someone had switched labels on the bottles. This wine had all the mineral notes of a Sauvignon Blanc and was almost paper dry.

Another rosé I tasted was from our trip to Texas in May I bought a very nice rosé from Pedernales Cellars, from the Texas Hill Country. It was a dry rosé vintage 2013 and was a bright pink color. The first thing I smelled was strawberries and the alcohol second. It is a very refreshing wine that is so drinkable. I found myself refilling my glass more than normal.

I’m on the hunt for more rosé wines. I’ve had a few that are very tasty and some that I wish I’d never opened the bottle. I know it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it and it might as well be me.

Today’s Wine Review

Even though there are technically twenty-one days until the first day of summer, it feels like spring has abandoned us for the muggy days of summer. I just got back from walking the dogs and am soaked through. So I thought today would be a perfect day to drink some chilled soft white wine and chill out.

We had a very nice French White Bordeaux 2012 from Chateau La Castillonne. It was a Sauvignon Blanc, very light and dry but soft and tasted like pears. It was a wine that we had tasted at a French wine tasting a couple of months ago and bought a few bottles. It was very affordable at <$13 a bottle. It went very well with the grilled pork chops and salad.

Another nice white wine that we like to keep on hand is a California wine from Joel Gott. We have tasted quite a few different Joel Gott wines, red and white and so far we have not been disappointed in any of the bottles we’ve had. Their Sauvignon Blanc is almost clear in the glass. The wine is everything a Sauvignon Blanc is supposed to be; dry with a mineral taste, clean and crisp with a tart finish. I usually don’t pay more than $13 a bottle for it and sometimes catch it on sale for $11. It goes very well with grilled chicken or grilled pork.

So if you’re looking for something light and clean you can’t go wrong with either one of these wines.

Today’s Wine Review

When is it ever going to stop snowing? Here it is March and we’re getting 3 inches plus more snow. Yesterday we had a play date with our friend’s dogs and our dogs, for a game of tag team wrestling all in an effort to exhaust their sixteen month old Belgian Malinois. We did all this in seventeen degree weather with a stiff wind out of the north. We aren’t the brightest sometimes. Anyway at least I had a pot roast waiting for us when we got back. I made a loaf of Italian beer bread and for dessert apple pie tortillas. Something of a diverse menu, wouldn’t you say?

Our friends brought the wine, two bottles, both French and both very different in taste. The first was Chateau Grand Bert, a 2006 Saint Emilion Grand Cru, a Bordeaux, 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. It was dry, a bit harsh and had a minerally taste. It had cherry notes with a medium to full finish. Not bad, a wine I would drink again, but probably not buy myself.

The second bottle was also French, Reserve de la Saurine, a red blend from 2011. It was fruitier in aroma and taste, definite cherry flavor somewhat tart but not as dry as the first bottle. I liked it better than the first bottle, but would definitely drink either one again.

To go along with the apple pie tortillas and because we are always up for a bit of adventure, we tasted a bottle of Sake that a friend had given me on a trip to Japan. I bet you thought I was going say we had a rum chata, or Kahlua, but no we had American fare for dinner, Italian bread, French wine and Mexican-American dessert so what could possibly be more adventuresome than Japanese Sake? I had never tasted Sake so I had no idea what to expect. It smelled like straight out of the bottle, grain alcohol, and was clear as water, but what really surprised us was that it had a very light taste. There was no burn at all, very smooth. I tried to look it up on the internet but it blew up my computer and kept opening a gazillion pages that took forever for me to get all of them closed out, so I have no better information for you, except that it was a pleasant surprise.

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