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Today’s Wine Review

Finally I’m in Wine Country living the dream. I’m home! The move to Seattle is almost complete. I’m here with Mitch and the dogs, we just don’t have any furniture yet. I brought the wine with me because I wanted to make sure all of my meager wine collection made the trek halfway across the country safely. So even though we have no furniture or belongings such as wine glasses, we have wine. We’re drinking it out of Solo cups, but we’re drinking it.

Last night our friends that live here had us over to dinner. Imagine getting to sit at a table with real plates and wine glasses and eating delicious food and wine, I’d almost forgotten how to use proper table manners. We started off with a bottle of the bubbly, Chandon, very nice and chilled, great with different cheeses and crackers.

Dinner was sliced marinated steak, very tender and tasty, twice baked potatoes and a salad. You have no idea how long it’s been since we have sat down to a real dinner. The first wine was a Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, called Wilridge, vintage 2013. You can find it online at http://www.wilridgewinery.com. It very smooth and soft with a nice bite. There was berry and cherry notes with a medium finish. The wine was very drinkable and one I will certainly look for. Since it is a Washington wine and I now live in Washington I can go visit the winery and taste many different bottles of wine.

After that bottle was gone we had a bottle of Norton, a Malbec, 2011, from Argentina. It was soft and smooth with a berry taste. It was a very nice Malbec, one I would drink again. It went very well with dessert, ice cream with fresh peaches on top.

All in all a perfect evening, great friends, great food and wine. What more could you ask for?

Today’s Wine Review

It has been such a crazy and hectic month. From the moment we found out that Mitch was going to have to relocate to Seattle for his job to now, I have been working nonstop to get the house on the market and sold so I can load up the dogs and my wine and head west. The roughest part of the whole ordeal is that I haven’t had the time to drink much wine. I know, how crazy is that? Well, Saturday the house went live on the market and after multiple showings it sold on Monday, what a whirlwind. So what better way to celebrate than open a bottle of wine?

I had to wait until Tuesday, but I made time and opened a bottle of sparkling Moscato and enjoyed a glass. Okay I had three, and that’s all I’m admitting to. It was a California wine, Sequin Delicately Bubbled 2013 Moscato. The bottle was fun and playful with blue polka dots dotted randomly on the bottle. The wine was a very pale yellow in the glass almost clear and I could smell honeysuckle and peaches. The taste was light with a hint of peaches and honey and soft bubbles. Not a sweet wine, but not dry either, a soft fruit taste giving the wine a light clean taste. The cost was perfect too under $10 a bottle. You can find the web site at http://www.sequinwines.com.

The first glass of wine was gone too fast so of course I had to have a second one just to make sure the wine tasted as good as the first one and not just a fluke. A perfect wine after so many stressful and hectic days. It felt so good to just sit and enjoy a glass of wine and not have to worry about what I have to do next, even if only for a few minutes.

Today’s Wine Review

I like a wide variety of wines, red, white, rosé, still or sparkling, I’m always up to try new wines. As much as I like a good cabernet or zinfandel, I also like a light sparkling moscato. I especially like the bubbly light fruity taste when I pair it with a spicy hot dish. The light fruity slightly sweet wine goes down so well and fast when I eat a spicy dish like chicken fajitas.

For dinner I had fixed chicken fajitas and opened a bottle of Ecco Domani Sparkling Moscato. It is an Italian wine, 2011 vintage and only 8.5% alcohol, which makes it so easy to drink a lot more than I usually drink. I paid under $15 a bottle so quite reasonable. This is a wine I love to keep on hand.

The wine is almost clear in the glass and has a fresh fruit aroma. I could taste orange blossoms and tropical fruit. The sweetness helped soften the heat of the jalapenos and red chiles in the fajitas. The heat of the fajitas made it necessary to drink more wine. A win – win situation, wouldn’t you say?

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

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

Today is Labor Day, a day honoring the American Labor Movement, and most Monday through Friday workers get it off. Mitch doesn’t and I do so we’re a split household. This usually means that while I don’t have to go to my real job that pays the rent, I get the dubious pleasure of doing manual labor, either yard work or a DIY project that is always ongoing around here. The current project is replacing one of the existing retaining walls with huge boulders and ornamental grasses. Hard labor intensive work using a crowbar and mason’s hammer to knock out the top rows of the existing retaining wall so that the boulders can camouflage the failing wall behind them. Believe me I sweated out about ten pounds of sweat and have the tight shoulders and lower back to prove it.

This morning started off with thunder storms and day stayed overcast and cloudy, so for dinner I decided to make Chicken Fajitas, complete with guacamole and sour cream. Yes I know that Margaritas and/or beer would be a better pairing, but I didn’t have any tequila on hand and I don’t drink beer. So I opted for an Italian Moscato instead and I might add that it very well with the hot spicy chicken and pepper mix. It was a nice light sweet wine that when paired with the chicken fajitas softened the heat of the jalapenos and the hot spicy mixture reduced the sweet nectar of the wine to a soft smooth liquid that slid down the throat leaving a soft taste of orange blossoms.

The Moscato was Italian from Ecco Domani 2011, with 8.5% alcohol and cost less than $15. All by itself, it tastes like tropical fruit and orange blossoms and is very drinkable, especially on a hot humid day. Normally a bottle of wine usually makes it to two days here, but not today, the whole bottle was gone in one sitting. My only regret was that I only had the one bottle on hand. An oversight I plan on correcting on my next wine run.

Today’s Wine Review

I seriously overate last night. I’m still recovering today and see about an hour on the elliptical. We have a tradition that for your birthday, you pick your menu and I will fix it for you. From the salad to the dessert whatever you want, I will fix it from scratch. Last night it was Mitch’s turn to pick the menu. His menu choice is always the same.

Chicken Fried Steak
Mashed Potatoes/Gravy
Corn on the Cob
Hot Rolls/Butter
Cherry Pie ala Mode

I throw in a tossed salad so that at least one thing will be healthy, because the rest consists of about a million calories and a thousand grams of fat. And because I don’t want to be the only one indulging in this gastric nightmare besides Mitch, I invited our friends and family over to suffer through with me. They brought along a bottle of Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and a bottle of Cavicchioli Spumante.

We started off with the Cabernet and it was delicious. The wine was a dark red ruby color in the glass. It had a lush smooth taste with a hint of berry. It had a full body and a wonderful finish. It tasted so good that I almost forgot that I was not helping my heart and waistline chowing down on all that comfort food.

For dessert we opened the bottle of Cavicchioli an Italian Spumante to accompany the cherry pie. It was very tasty too. The alcohol content was 8% making it easy to drink and drink and drink. The sparkling wine was a great pairing with the pie, not too dry and not super sweet. It was a light bubbly wine that went down so very easy. It reminded me that I need to drink sparkling wine more often.

Thank goodness Mitch’s birthday happens only once a year.

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