Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wines for the Lazy Summer Days

Got this elegant white from a tasting at the local wine store. I am loving the Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Gris wines that Oregon is producing. It's a terroir to rival big California without the inflated price!

Nose: refreshing notes of honey, lemons. Stemmy

Tongue: lemons, honeysuckle, muscat, and rich lychee jelly. Rich, off-sweet, succulent. Slightly creamy. Very layered and complex for a white

Price: $15

Rating: 4.25/5

Made from 100% Lugana (AKA Verdicchio) grapes in Sirmione, Italy. Never was a fan of the Italian Pinot Grigios so popularized in the States, but Italians really know how to make AMAZING wines with their indigenous grapes! This is a great example of them. Sip it on the porch or with some sharp cheeses, seafood, or Asian food. You won't regret it! Also love the label design on this one :)

Nose: fresh, lemony, tart. Notes of granny-smith apples, peaches, and pears

Tongue: Semi-dry, ripe on the tongue, with flavors of melons and honey. 

Price: $16

Rating: 4/5

A red wine for summer? Why not? Marquette is a relatively new grape grown in the Northeastern States designed to withstand the cold weather. Shelburne Vineyard of Vermont makes a light-bodied yet complex wine with this grape that makes for a wonderful sipper in the hot summer days by the pool. Drink it slightly chilled.

Nose: woody, notes of mulch, mud, desert, roasted marshmellows, asparagus, and artichokes

Tongue: light-bodied and velvety, floral and peppery. Flavors of dark berries, hickory, cherry, and violets

Price: $18

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Two amazing wines for your money: La Sabonite Rouge & 2011 Oltrepo Pavese Malvasia Piume

This is the only red wine produced by Sabonite, and this $15 red, though vintage-less and deemed a "table wine", it tastes like a gem. Very quaffable and refreshing on the tongue. Be careful about having too much!

Nose:  spicy, roasty, & nutty with mineral backnotes. Aromas of slate, cloves, caramel, marshmellow, vanilla, and cedar

Tongue: light bodied, with barely noticeable tannins. Smoky and complex in flavors - bell peppers, spice, smoke, tomato, chestnuts, vanilla, and butterscotch - balanced with refreshing minerality. 

Price: $15

Rating: 4.25/5


I've had very good experiences with all of the Martide red wines I've tried. Their beautiful watercolor labels of their vineyard farm animals are definitely a plus. The Piume (meaning 'plume' in Italian), made of Malvasia grapes, is special in every way. I was first struck by the deep honey orange color. The distinctively delicious aroma and mouth-feel makes this one of my favorite whites. To be drunk alone or with spicy food and sharp charcuterie. 

Nose: full of tropical fruits and sweet honey - flavors of pineapple, mango, juicy, very perfumed, citrus blossom, wildflower honey, biscuits 

Tongue: med-bodied with dry finish. Tart flavors are prominent, with upfront notes of lime, almonds, quince and lychee. Remniscent of the New England fall foliage.

Price: $18

Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sure cure for the winter blues: curl up and drink the 2010 Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico

2010 Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico

I thought I had been forever sick of Chianti after my Chianti binge some 1 year ago, but I guess I just never tasted the right one.The Verrazzano Chianti is a classic Chianti but without domination by the savory cured-meat taste that characterizes many Chiantis I've attempted recently. This Chianti is sophisticated, velvety on the palate, and harmonic. Perfect for those staying-in freezing winter nights :o)

Nose:  immediate notes of cedar, caramel, warm vanilla, lavender honey, and date. Fruit flavors of strawberry and black cherry comes through after the wine opens up with some aeration.

Tongue: spicy and mouth-filling. Medium bodied with a velvety texture. Flavors of warm ceder, hikory, coriander, cardamom and salted sticky toffee. Acidic finish.

Price: $18

Rating: 4.5/5

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's not always so red and white: a lean stripper and naughty honeybear for the wintry season (they are cocktails).

I've been venturing into the realm of mixology lately since my boyfriend's apartment became stocked with an abundance of variety of liquors. Better use em than let em go to waste ;) 
Here are two fruits of my experiments:

The Lean Stripper
 Gin, ginger, elderflower, and lime meld together beautifully to make a refreshing drink with a kick! Of note, I used Barr Hill Gin by Caledonia Spirits, which is distilled from honey and is super smooth and warm!
1+1/2 part Barr Hill Gin
1 part FruitLab ginger liquor
3/4 part St. Germain
1/4 part lime juice
Twist of lime for garnish

Mix the gin, ginger liquor, St. Germain, and lime juice over ice in a shaker and give it some shaking action. Rim a coupe glass with a piece of lime. Flame the lime twist, give it a squeeze, and drop it into the drink for garnish. Sip and daydream.

Naughty Honeybear

The cider, spices, and honey flavors of the drink makes this 'warm' cocktail perfect for those dreary wintry days. I finished the drink with a dash of Basement Bitters, which gives a complex edge to an overall saccharine drink. Also makes for a wonderful nightcap.

1 part Wemyss Malts 'The Hive' honey Whisky
1 part Drambuie
1 & 1/2 part spiced apple cider
1/2 fresh orange juice
dash of Basement Bitters 'Bitter Frost' bitters
orange twist
ground cinnamon

Mix the whiskey, Drambuie, cider, and orange juice, over ice in a shaker and shake to perfection. Strain into an old-fashioned glass. Flame the orange twist and drop into drink. Garnish with a dash of the Basement Bitters and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Feel the warmth in your tummy. Sweet dreams! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wines to splurge on for the holidays: GROTH 2010 CABERNET SAUVIGNON & Circle of Life White 2011

This wine is a huge splurge (by my standards) at $45, but your finessed palate will thank you for the sacrifice. I had my first sip of this wine completely ignorant of the fact that it was a $45 cab and it blew me away - the hallmark difference between a truly amazing wine and an expensive wine.

Nose:  spicy and warm, with full notes of hickory and wet earth. powerful.

Tongue: complex, deep, full-bodied and lush. Fills your mouth with flavors bursting of dark-chocolate, seaweed, and spiciness. Bold & lasting tannins. Yes it's very sexy

Price: $44.99 

Rating: 4.5/5

The Circle of Life white is a biodynamic wine produced by a stunning vineyard in South Africa. At $15, it is not really a splurge, and it is so delicious that you can stock up and have it with all your holiday festivities. Or year-round, for that matter. The next best thing would be to visit the breathtaking biodynamic farm in South Africa.

Nose: layered with notes of pear, white peppercorns, honey, apples, lemons, juxtaposed on a background of wet hay, corn, asparagus. Finished with flavors of vanilla cake..yum

Tongue: sweet & fruit-forward, notes of cantalope, honeydew, honey, pears, and tangerine

Price: $14.99

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beating the snowy weather with vino

Wine Label
Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre 2010 Veronese
This wine was supposedly made in the special "Repasso" method. Whatever that is, it's surely doing a great job. I haven't had a red this delicious in too too long 

NOSE: deliciously layered and aromatic; notes of roasted chestnuts, dried porcini mushrooms, and aged oak; briny, reminiscent of the ocean floor. 

TONGUE: flavors of sea salt, cured meats, & peppercorns. light and mellow on the palate; fine leathery tannins with an elegant dry finish; would pair perfectly with hard cheeses. LOVE LOVE LOVE"

Price: $12 (taste more like a $20 wine!)

Rating: 4.5/5 
Wine Label
Reinhard Schafer ZUM Mosel Riesling 2012
Riesling is very hit of miss for me, especially with the recent on-slew of commercial soda-like bottles made for suburban party girls. Fortunately, the ZUM Riesling is a hit. It even rhymes with 'yum'!

NOSE: pineapple,  honey, muscat gummies, apple. 

TONGUE: spritzy, bright, with lively acidity,  just the right amount of sweetness,  peachy. Lighthearted and fun to drink

Price: $10.99

Rating: 4/5 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Once again: the Good, the Okay, the Ugly

ZD Chadonnay 2012
Hallelujah! Finally a Cali chardonnay that I like :D

Nose: sweetness - pineapple, honeysuckle, daisies, mead
Tongue: sweet, notes of honey, papaya, pineapple (think tropical fruits!); toasted coconut and grapefruit rind lingers like bittersweet memories on the tongue

Price: ~$25

Rating: 4.25/5
Johansing Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Perhaps I should change the title to "the Best, the Great, and the Ugly", 'cause this bottle is a mighty fine thing too

Nose: spicy, heady, musky like dark, damp wood; feel yourself romping through muddy, wet rainforest; as you let the wine aerate, the aroma turns into smores and campfire

Tongue: smooth, velvety, with balanced acidity. Begins with warm flavors of hazelnut, caramel, burnt sugar, molasses, and cinnamon, giving into orange and citrus flavors

Price: ~$28

Rating: 4/5 
Frey Organic Red Wine
Granted, this wine was $9.99, but I've definitely had a lot better luck with this price range. I should probably stop buying random wines just because it's organic.

Nose: at first promising notes of smoke, embers, and tiramisu soon gives into lingering aromas of sawdust and musky alcohol

Tongue: first impression was "ugh did I just drink my cough medicine?" Then comes flavors of pickles, rotten tomatoes, licorice, and shoe varnish

Price: $9.99

Rating: 2/5