Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wine Word Wednesday - Gros Verdot

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Romance Between Merlot and Malbec

There is a romance at Whitecliff Vineyards & Winery and it's between Merlot and Malbec. The two grapes they source from vineyards on Long Island. Last year their Merlot - Malbec won a gold medal at the Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition.  This year they released a 2015 Merlot - Malbec Rose.

Winemaker Brad Martz has done a great job on the Merlot-Malbec blend and this Rose is no exception.  This 2015 Rose blend is 58% Merlot and 42% Malbec and is a rich salmon in color.

Aromas of cherry, raspberry and some floral notes filled the glass.  On the palate the Rose was  quite a complex.  Cranraspberry and dark cherry flavors softly filled my mouth.  A nice acid to fruit balance made it very enjoyable.  Just as the wine finishes in your mouth there is a burst of red cherry on the finish.

A very versatile Rose.  I had it with some Manchego Cheese while waiting for company to arrive. The cheese held its own with the wine.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Pairing Pinot Grigio and Striper

Being that I am not a big Pinot Grigio fan, when I was asked to taste this Astoria "Alisia Pinot Grigio IGT wine I accepted the challenge and opened up my palate.

Astoria Wines was founded in 1987 by Paolo and Giorgio Polegato and they pride themselves on the quality of their wines. They have forty acres in Italy's northeast region of Veneto.  The Pinot Grigio is grown on vines between 8 and 14 years old and 400 - 600 feet above sea level.

Light straw in color I was looking forward to pairing this with the Striper I caught a few weeks back.  The wine had a soft aromas of hay and hints of minerality. The palate showed pineapple and peach with a soft mouth feel and hints of honeycomb.

It was the perfect pairing with the Striper. I prepared the Striper in a foil packet for the grill.  It had been frozen with a rub of olive oil and fresh tarragon from the garden. I chopped up some veggies and added that to the foil pack along with some salt, pepper, lemon and a little Pinot Grigio.  The Alisia really complimented the fish!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Seeker

The Seeker is a brand of wines that sources from all over the world. They choose a family winery in different regions that focus on the regional specialty.  Each of their wine labels have a character that is out there seeking and a story to follow.

Since it's Rose season, I chose  to try The Seeker Rose from Cotes de Provence. If you look closely at the label there is a character in middle. Each bottle in their portfolio has a different character. Each character has a story and all the characters play out in the brand.

The Rose's character is Antoine Favreau.   Antoine presents himself to the count.  Could there be a murder involved? There is a package  that Antoine tries to steel and Isadora (who is the character on the Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile) sweeps in and takes it from him. And the story begins.....

That is the brand and I'm sure right now you are more interested in the wine.  The 2015 The Seeker Rose is from Cotes de Provence region of France.  It is made with 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault.  The grapes spent a day on their skins to extract the color. The wine is vegan friendly

The Rose is dry and fresh.  Watermelon aromas fill the glass with a hint of spice. The wine had hints of red berry fruit and citrus with a little tartness. SRP $13.99

I paired it with salad from my garden and pasta with garlic scape pesto. The wine went great with the salad.  Just okay with the pasta.  I would stick with the salad pairing.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dancing with the Coyotes

I love this quote I found on their website - 
"The Coyote Legend"
"Legend has it, each year at the beginning of hte growing season, a band of coyotes from the nearby foothills, sneak into our vineyards, and for no apparent reason other than treachery, chew on our irrigation lines with the wild abandon.  Following these scandalous acts, they have been known on occasion to join paws and dance around, howling at the moon in celebration."

That is where the name "Dancing Coyote Wines" comes from.

Dancing Coyote Wines is a family owned vineyard located in the Clarksburgh appellation of California which is in the Sacramento Valley.  They grow over 600 acres of grapes. Growing conditions are warm summer days and cool nights which is great for a long growing season for many of the varietals they grow.

Their winery was built in 1868 as a granary.  In the early 1900's it was converted to a winery.  In 2001 they began producing Dancing Coyote Wines. Their facility is quite large with over 14,000 square feet of temperature controlled case storage that holds up to 85,000 cases of wine. (That's a lot of wine!)

What struck me about Dancing Coyote Wines is the different varietals they grow in California.  Grapes such as Albarino, Gruner Veltliner and Verdelho. Those are wines you usually see grown in Spain, Austria and Portugal respectively.  I was excited to try them.

The 2014 Albarino is estate grown. The minerality in the wine is front and center. Hints of citrus and peaches coming from the glass.  Nicely balanced with flavors of tangerine, peach and nice acidity.  There were 613 cases produced and the SRP is $11.99

The 2014 Gruner Veltliner is a medium bodied wine with notes of white pepper coming from the glass along with some hints of peaches and apricots.  A bit of acidity with flavors of apricot on your palate and white pepper on the finish.  there were 720 cases produced and the SRP is $11.99

The 2015 Verdelho had the most going on.  The wine had aromas of white flowers, lime and pomelo leading to a palate full of white peaches, hints of honeysuckle and citrus.  There were 220 cases of this wine made and the SRP is $11.99

These wine are very reasonably priced and will be great summer wines by the pool or at your BBQ paired with chicken or fish.