Friday, November 30, 2012

Wine Review: Hahn Winery 2011 Pinot Noir

This wine is a deep garnet color. The nose is filled with dark fruit aromas, primarily dark cherries. There is also an herbal, earthy note in the nose. The wine has a nice mouth feel and the flavors are of that dark red fruit that is found in the nose, dark cherries, along with a hint of earth and a hint of tobacco, which provides some balance and structure. There is also a warm whisper of oak that rounds this wine out nicely on the finish. I could see this wine paired with poultry, even fried chicken (I'm from the South), pork, ham, grilled salmon, and even a dish that contains mushrooms, like the bacon wrapped mushroom filled chicken breast that I bought from my local Kroger's grocery store. It is okay to cheat in the food world when you find a great product! Note: This wine was a sample provided by Hahn Winery SRP $14.00

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Look Into The World Of Prosecco

For starters, I love bubbles. I don't have to have a reason to drink bubbly; I think being alive and healthy is a reason for anyone to celebrate. The great thing about Prosecco, is that there are some really good quality ones on the market at a reasonable price. Sometimes I think in another life I was Italian. I love Italian inspired decor, I call it" relaxed elegance." Okay, and I will admit to loving The Housewives of New Jersey. I just love the feel of their homes which are just designed to enjoy family, friends, and of course wine and food.

 Now Let us get back to Prosecco! I was so pleased to get samples of Valdo Prosecco from Pasternak Imports. The three prosecco's they sent me amazed me in the quality. I hope after you read my reviews that you will buy a bottle or more and sample them to experience what I experienced. I'd love to know what you think.

This wine has a beautiful light salmon color. The nose has notes of rose petals with berry notes, primarily raspberries. The palate has those same flavors noted in the nose, along with delightful tiny ongoing bubbles tickling your palate. This is a fine example of a Brut Rose` Prosecco. I would pair this wine with "Purple Haze" goat cheese, light appetizers with prosciutto as an ingredient, grilled salmon and ham. SRP $12.99
This wine has a straw color. The nose has notes of bread, apple and pear. The palate has those same fruit favors of apple and pear, along with tiny ongoing bubbles tickling the palate. This prosecco reminds me of a California sparkling wine. I was impressed! This wine would be great to sip alone or to pair with fresh goat cheese on a thin slice of french bread, light appetizers, and seafood. Would be great with oysters. SRP $10.00 Also at this price point, I call it a "bang for the buck" wine.
This wine is a deep straw color. The nose is filled with notes of citrus, pear and apple. The palate has those same flavors reflected in the nose, but I noted a hint of honey on the mid palate, along with the tickling of those tiny ongoing bubbles. This wine would be great to sip alone, but would also pair well with light appetizers and apricot glazed chicken. SRP $19.99
All three of these Italian sparklers would really be a great alternative to champagne or a more expensive California sparkling wine. Try them and tell me what you think. I also want to note that all of the wines had great balance, and are at a great price point for holiday gatherings and throughout the year when entertaining.  Note: These wines were samples provided by Pasternak Imports

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wine Review:Rodney Strong 2011 Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyards

First of all, I want to say, I am not one of those people who think that Sauvignon Blanc only needs to be consumed in the warmer months. I think Saugivon Blanc made in the style of this wine is a winner all year round. I am so lucky to be able to see the slight variations of this wine from vintage to vintage. I have to say that the fruit in this vintage is just "superb."  Another thing I like about this wine is that it has a screw cap. I know some people feel that the screw cap is not classy. I want you to close your eyes and imagine this; a classy, sexy dress, which has easy access ( ladies, and gentlemen, you know what I mean...), meets a wine bottle with a screw cap!
This wine is a light straw color. The nose is filled with ripe, and extremely aromatic notes of melon, pear, and citrus. The palate just exudes those juicy, ripe fruit flavors of pear, melon and citrus along with herbal and mineral notes. But the fruit is the star of this wine. I just adore this vintage. It is a wine that you just can't have one glass; the acidity is nice, as well as the finish in this Sauvignon Blanc. It has the qualities that I like in a wine; it is great to sip alone or to be paired with light appetizers, fresh goat cheese or with a meal. This wine would pair well with a crab cake or orange or apricot glazed shrimp on skewers. The indoor grill or grill pan can come out in the cooler months to make this wonderful pairing. You just make sure in either method of grilling that you soak wooden skewers the allotted time that is printed on the package. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Rodney Strong Vineyards SRP $15.00
Another pairing suggestion, with a recipe thanks to Chef Anne Burrell.
I love these bites on their own as an appetizer. This is a recipe by Chef Anne Burrell of the Food Network  This appetizer would pair well with this ripe and juicy Sauvignon Blanc, due to the goat cheese and figs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wine Review: Lions Drift 2009 Pinotage, South Africa

This was my first opportunity to sample a Pinotage.  This Pinotage is 100% pinotage. After sampling it, I realized that it is a great alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon. Not that it takes the place of Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is a great alternative red wine for any red wine lover to try. Sometimes we have to spread our wings and fly in the world of wine, there are so many wines to explore and add to our personal wine world. My definition of a " personal wine world" means that I know about it, I liked it and I will purchase it. That is how I grow ans a wine lover. I enjoy moving out of my comfort zone when it comes to wine; you never know what you may find inside the bottle. I was lucky this time!

This wine has a dark garnet color. The nose is unique because it has those dark fruit aromas like black currant and plum, but there were notes of spice and a hint of almond. The palate has those same dark fruit flavors, along with that vanilla and spice from the oak barrels. But here is a hint of coffee, slight herbal notes (which provides that "something interesting note" on the palate), and a bit of earth (terroir) in this interesting red wine. The mouth feel is round and has a nice weight on the palate, and a nice length in regards to its finish.

This wine begs to be paired with food, especially beef. I paired it with a burger, which I felt brought out the wonderful lush dark fruit flavors of this wine and some of its unique herbal notes. I would love to see this wine poured at a party, with beef burger sliders as the perfect pairing. I think this would be a fun way to introduce your friends to this wine. I love sharing new wines and great foods pairings with my readers. I would also pair this wine with a grilled steak topped with sage or rosemary compound butter. Cahill Porter cheese or a Sharp Cheddar would be great pairings as well. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Silkbush Mountain Vineyards Western Cape, South Africa  SRP $18.00 For further information, contact