Archive | April, 2014

Your First Rioja!

29 Apr

Too many of my friends admit they haven’t tried rioja. I have found an ideal “first time” rioja for you!

Terra Milenaria, 2012,  Rioja, Spain. Purchased from Astor Wine and Spirits, $8/bottle. 14% ABV.

Light purple color, nose of boysenberry, wild blueberry, saddle leather and tar. In the mouth, a blend of black cassis, blackberry, and black plum dominate with secondary notes of saddle leather, limestone and shale. I enjoyed this on my first tasting, then refrigerated it for later and enjoyed it over several days, enjoying how the fruit slowly paled over a series of days  but remained tasty and enjoyable a week after opening. This dry Spanish red is the perfect entry- level bottle that costs less than a glass does in most establishments. A great value both in tempranillo and in red wine.

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à votre santé!

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Prosecco for Anytime? Prosecco for Everytime!

13 Apr

Montelvini Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Veneto, Italy. 12%ABV.

Sample provided by Studio Cru, International Wine PR, Vicenza, Italy.

There are people who think about drinking sparkling wine for special occasions, and there are people who want to drink sparkling wine all the time. GET READY to want to drink it all the time, because with this one, you can.

On a short, slightly squat bottle design is a beautiful gold and black label that says “Venegazzù Montelvini Asolo Prosecco Superiore Millesimato DOCG”. That’s all lovely. And then you put a glass of this elixir to your lips and have a sip, and then you say “Oh… that’s GOOD!” And you offer a glass to everyone near you, who taste it. Surprised, they too, exclaim, “Oh! That’s GOOD!” And ask you what it is. And you can only reply in your best James Bond voice, “It’s Montelvini Asolo Prosecco. Would you care for some more?”

Asolo

This is my exact experience. After my own taste, everyone I shared this with was impressed, and why not?  A bubbly the color of morning straw, the dry nose gives away little. In the mouth, there is a linear minerality, a delicate layer of white fruit, creaminess, and a distant hint of ripe peach sweetness that makes this an incredibly satisfying sparkling wine that is a mega crowd-pleaser. This blend of qualities also allows this sparkling wine to pair with just about anything, from appetizers to entrees, from afternoon sunshine to midnight moonlight- without breaking the bank. When I googled the Asolo Prosecco, I found a supplier that would ship to my state at a price so low (about $15/bottle) that I was honestly shocked. At this price, I could buy by the case and just keep two bottle cold all the time, to drink whenever- the way good bubbly should be enjoyed!

When I used to think about drinking sparkling wine, James Bond would pop up: the suave-as-hell guy who orders beluga and champagne. He has two bites of caviar, grabs the bottle, two glasses and a super-hot girl and he’s off to the bedroom. But now I can think of not only the white dinner-jacket clad Bond, but also the birthday party, the office celebration, the “because it’s Tuesday” or “just because I love you” with great value, without breaking the bank- because of  Venegazzu Montelvini Asolo Prosecco. And you can, too! Because once you taste it, you’ll also be impressed enough to say, “Oh… thats GOOD!”

This is a prosecco for any time, that will be a hit every time.

Montelvini

 

Imported to the USA by Wine In-Motion LLC, Union NJ.

 

à votre santé!

 

Hahn Chardonnay 2012

7 Apr

HAH_chard_12_bottleHahn Winery 2012 Chardonnay– Monterey, California. MSRP $14/bottle;  14.5% ABV.

While in Los Angeles on business, I met friends in Pasadena for dinner and found the Hahn Chardonnay on the wine list. I brought it up when discussing wine options to find it was highly recommended by the server as a great choice for our food selections so no further discussion was required!

Color in a dimly lit room was light straw, with an aromatic, citrusy nose. In the mouth, the flavors of green apple, lemon zest, and crisp bosc pear are complemented by a nice tight acidity. This combination was able to stand up beautifully to mexican spices, and paired beautifully with fresh guacamole, grilled vegetables, and fish entrees we enjoyed for dinner, leaving the mouth fresh and ready for the next bite.I was very pleasantly surprised by this wine with the focused fruit flavor, direct delivery to the front palate, expansion on the secondary palate, and vanilla spice finish with a hint of minerality. While it is not for those who want an old-school-California buttery chardonnay, instead this wine shows lots of European chablis and sauvignon blanc attitude without the characteristic aromas. Kudos to the winemaker! A fun white at a very reasonable price, this is an easy add to your repertoire and a crowd pleaser and makes me want to taste more of the Hahn Winery offerings.

à votre santé!

Hahn

 

Taste the Mediterranean- On a Budget!

3 Apr

“Tala” Monastrell 2012, Alicante, Spain. 14.5% ABV. Bottled exclusively for Astor Wines & Spirits. $5.96/bottle.

Showing a violet color with ruby edging, the nose is ripe red fruit, menthol and slate. Tart raspberry and  cherry meet green stalkiness on the front palate,secondary notes of pepper,  spice and stone are followed with a dry, tight finish.

Better than a basic vin du table, this wine shone when paired with food. On its own, the acidity may be overpowering, but with a basic pasta & meat sauce, Tala cuts through and leaves a fresh, clean palate. It reminded me of dining outdoors in southern Spain, looking out from the restaurant to view the Mediterranean sea. I enjoyed the fruit, strong tannins and acidity on my initial tasting of the wine by itself, but preferred Tala on the second day when I  took time to enjoy it, and pair it with an appropriate dish to match the spanish grape. A good party wine at a superbly low price, I’d suggest opening to air for 30 minutes prior to service or decanting for best enjoyment.

I’m not used to liking much I’ve found under $10 but Tala and the Horgelus have enough to make anyone pay attention for good value.

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à votre santé!

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