Mumm Napa Brut Reserve NV

Mumm Napa Brut Reserve NV

Mumm Napa Brut ReserveMumm Napa Brut Reserve NV.

The holidays are right around the corner and that means popping corks on bottles of bubbly. With so many options on the market, it’s difficult to decide on what bottles to stock up on.

Mumm Napa Brut Reserve NV is a great option in terms of price point and taste. Established in the late 70s, Mumm Napa follows the winemaking techniques of its French heritage to create its Napa sparkling wines.

I paired this bubbly with coquilles St Jacques and it was a great pairing. The rich sauce and the dry slightly yeasty bubbly worked so well, but this food-friendly wine would be great with a variety of dishes.

Looks: Medium yellow in the glass with tiny, moussy bubbles.

Smell: Toasted bread and nutty aromas with apple notes.

Taste: Ripe apple/pear flavors with some vanilla notes.

Finish: Medium-long complex finish.

Pairings: Fried chicken, grilled fish, seafood.

Style: Sparkling Wine

Grape Type(s): 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay

Region: Napa Valley, California, USA

Price: $20

 

This wine was provided to me for sampling and I am adding it to my repertoire as it’s truly enjoyable.

8 Days of Hanukkah Wines

8 Days of Hanukkah Wines

Hanukkah WinesThe Jewish Festival of Lights calls for Kosher wine for many families. There are numerous Kosher wines available in the U.S. market but many are simply not great. This makes selecting the ‘right’ bottle intimidating because who wants to celebrate over bad wine?

Here are eight Kosher wines to uncork on the eight days of Hanukkah.

2016 Segal’s Fusion Dry Red Wine ($13 –Israel) – Very round wine from 60% Merlot with good fruitiness and a bit of spiciness.

2013 Galil Mountain Pinot Noir ($17 – Israel) – Smooth, velvety mouthfeel on this Pinot Noir with flavors of ripe berries/cherries and mocha notes.

Gilgal Brut ($18 –Israel) – A medium-bodied dry sparkling wine with lemon and green apple flavors that’s ideal to kick start any special get-together.

2013 Tabor Adama Cabernet Sauvignon ($18 – Israel) – Blackberry and ripe raspberry flavors on this medium to full-bodied wine. Great pairing for roasted duck or lamb.

2014 Yarden Odem Chardonnay ($19 – Israel) – Complex, well-balanced wine with floral, fruity flavors with just a hint of buttery oak.

2015 Herzog Late Harvest Riesling ($20 – California) – Golden orangey colored in the glass, this wine has butterscotch and honey flavors.

2016 Yatir Rose ($22 – Israel) – Perfect light wine to sip as an aperitif and with light hors d’oeuvres.

2014 Flam Reserve Syrah ($41 –Israel) – Full-bodied wine with fresh fruity flavors perfect paired with grilled meats.

Happy holidays,

Veronique

November Wine Highlights

November Wine Highlights

At the end of every month, I select 3-5 wines that were standouts throughout the month and share tasting notes with you. Here are some of the November wines I enjoyed.

2015 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage

Crozes HermitageThis young wine was inky purple/red in the glass with dark berry aromas and hints of pepper and wet soil. It was medium to full-bodied with more dark fruit on the palate along with great acidity and firm tannins that will soften with some age in the bottle. We had this with a variety of grilled meats and it was a solid pairing.

It’s young but full of promise!

$31

100% Syrah

Rhone Valley, France

2014 Jonata Todos Red Blend

JonataAnother beauty from the team at Jonata proving once again that Matt Dees is one of the most talented winemakers in the central coast. This is a blend of the 11 varieties grown at the property. Mental note to add to my limited allocation next year.

Lovely aromas of cherry and raspberry with tobacco, leather and spiced notes. Ripe red fruit on the palate with cherry, raspberry, vanilla and chocolate notes. Great structure, velvety mouth-feel, smooth tannins. Medium finish with great minerality.

$50

Red Bordeaux Blend (Syrah/Shiraz, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Cabernet Franc).

Santa Ynez Valley, California

2016 Ravines Ayre White Wine

Ravines AyreSeems Ravines can do no wrong and Ayre is no exception. It’s an enjoyable semi-dry wine made from Valvin Muscat. This varietal is a French-American hybrid grape developed by Cornell University.

In the glass, the color is very pale yellow. On the nose, it’s very floral with a bit of sweetness. In the mouth, it’s sweet but with great acidy that help balance the wine. Nice peach, pear and sweet citrus flavors. There’s a good amount of carbonation in the half bottle format Ayre.

$10

Valvin Muscat

Finger Lakes, New York

2015 Norman Hardie Unfiltered Pinot Noir, Niagara Peninsula

Norman Hardie Pinot NoirI hosted a dinner party where I needed to pour some top Canadian wines and since the Norman Hardie Pinots come so highly-rated, I decided to order a few bottles of the 2015, a great year in the Niagara Peninsula.

In the glass, the wine is medium purple/red and just slightly opaque. There are big red fruit aromas and flavors with earthy notes that were right up my alley. The wine has nice acidity, round tanning and a medium, velvety finish. Very Burgundian in style.

This is a well-made, refined Pinot that’s easy drinking now but would be at another level with some age.

$35

Pinot Noir

Niagara Peninsula, Canada

 

Happy tasting,

Veronique

Thanksgiving Wine Strategies

Happy Wine Wednesday!

Jersey Bites just published my article on Thanksgiving wine strategies. I thought I’d post it here for those of you (like most of us) who struggle with which wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner.

The Struggle is Real

With so many foods being served on turkey day, it’s never easy to find THE pairing. I’m very traditional with my wine choices typically for Thanksgiving. I pop bubbly as guests arrive (okay, maybe before guests arrive too) then move on to American Pinto Noir. I just find that pouring a light Pinot Noir and a heavier Pinot Noir does the trick with this type of food.

READ THE POST HERE.

Finally, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and wine buying experience,

Veronique

Paco & Lola Wine Tasting

Paco & Lola Wine Tasting

David Geary

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a wine pairing dinner featuring the wines of Paco & Lola from Galicia Spain. The dinner took place at a local restaurant and wine bar, Tree Tavern, and a representative from the winery, David Geary, was on-hand to offer interesting information about the wines, the winery and Galicia Spain, where the winery is located.

About Paco & Lola

Paco & Lola is a relatively young winery founded in 2005 that’s committed to making wine in a modern, fresh way and for exuding a sophisticated-yet-fun image for wine drinkers with its polka dot branding.

Paco & Lola was born from a business initiative of a group of independent winegrowers from O Salnés who wanted to take their production to a professional level. These winegrowers formed “Sociedad Cooperativa Vitivinícola Arousana” which is now the largest cooperative in the DO Rías Baixas with over 400 members.

Paco & Lola is a producer of Albariño, considered THE white grape variety grown in Galicia. It’s an early ripening grape variety with small, tightly-packed clusters of sweet, deep golden berries that are renowned for their outstanding sugar-producing ability and remarkable high acidity.

Some tasting notes from the wines we tasted at the dinner:

Paco & Lola 2016 Albariño – 100% Albariño ($29.99)

In the Glass

Light straw yellow with a touch of green.

Nose

Lovely fragrant aromas of juicy pear, green apple with a bit of tropical fruit and some floral notes.

Palate

Tropical fruit continues on the palate with some Meyer lemon notes. Medium-full bodied wine with nice amount of acidity on the long-ish finish.

Food Pairings

Fish, seafood, white meats

Nº12 by Paco & Lola – 100% Albariño ($19.99)

12 were the days that the must fermented in the tank number 12.

In the Glass

Light straw yellow with a touch of green.

Nose

Meyer lemon and floral aromas with a hint of tropical fruit.

Palate

Big mango/lychee fruit flavors with good acidity.

Paco Red 2014 – 50% Tempranillo, 50% Garnacha ($18.99)

While Paco & Lola focuses on Albariño, it produces this red out of the DO Navarra, where Tempranillo- Garnacha grapes from old vines are harvested in vineyards of the Valdizarbe subzone. It was recommended this wine be served a bit on the cooler side, at around 56 degrees and I completely agree.

In the Glass

Dark cherry red with some purple hints.

Nose

Big red berry aromas with some floral notes.

Palate

Juicy dark berries and cherry flavors.

Food Pairings

Solid Tuesday night wine ideal for pizza, red sauced pasta, grilled burgers.

 

Paco & Lola 2010 Vintage – 100 % Albariño ($54.00)

Special high-end wine made in a limited edition of the best harvest of 2010. There were 400 bottles produced, I wouldn’t expect to find this in stores.

In the Glass

Intense straw yellow.

Nose

Candied tropical fruit with notes of nutmeg/cumin spices.

Palate

In love with this wine from the first sip – mouth-coating texture with big ripe fruit flavors and yeasty/toasted bread notes. Great acidity on a long finish.

Food Pairings

Lightly spicy foods (Thai, Indian), seafood, fish, roasted chicken or grilled pork.

Paco & Lola is expanding its reach in the USA and I highly recommend you check its wines out.

Cheers,

Veronique

2015 Heart & Hands Sparkling Riesling

2015 Heart & Hands Sparkling Riesling

I’ve been a member of Heart & Hands’ Claddagh Club, its wine club, for several years and enjoy that, once in a while, I’m contacted about something totally unexpected by this stellar Finger Lakes winery. This time, it was about its sparkling Riesling with bottle cap enclosure – how could I pass that up? The one thing I regret is only buying a half case.

Looks: Palest of yellow in the glass with tiny bubbles.

Smell: Apple and pear aromas with hints of citrus.

Taste: Green apple and tropical fruit flavors with a dry, bright, crisp finish.

Texture and Finish: Nice minerality and acidity with a medium finish.

This bubbly is great as an aperitif but it’s also very food friendly.

Winemaker’s note(s): Crafted in the traditional method: primary fermentation in stainless steel, then bottle fermented and aged en tirage on the lees.

Pairings: Fried chicken, grilled fish, seafood.

Style: Sparkling Wine

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Finger Lakes, NY, USA

Price: $26.99

Tasting Notes – Scarpetta Frico Frizzante

Tasting Notes – Scarpetta Frico Frizzante

I was in Providence, RI for the holiday weekend and was served this fun bubbly at Slow Rhode. I admit I’m always a bit suspicious of wine served in vessels other than bottles, but this was nice. No metallic after taste, good bubbles, light, and refreshing. Think Prosecco but a little lighter on the amount of bubbles.

Looks: Palest of yellow in the glass with tiny bubbles.

Smell: Apple aromas with faint floral notes.

Taste: Apple flavors with a dry, crisp finish.

Texture and Finish: Crazy nice minerality and acidity with a medium finish.

I had this bubbly from Italy as an aperitif but enjoyed it so much that I paired a second can with roasted sunchokes and pan seared squid. I just ordered four, six-packs to take to the beach with us!

Pairings: Fried chicken, grilled fish, seafood.

Style: Sparkling Wine

Grape Type(s): Trebbiano, Glera, Chardonnay

Region: Mendocino, Monterrey, and El Dorado Counties, California, USA

Price: $3.99 for a 187 ml (6-ounce) can

2012 Weingut Stadt Krems Riesling Reserve Grillenparz Kremstal

2012 Weingut Stadt Krems Riesling Reserve Grillenparz Kremstal

Friend shared this bottle with me over oysters and fish. Love this style wine and never a bad bottle by this producer.

Looks: Greenish yellow in the glass.

Smell: Citrus/Meyer lemon and juicy peach on the nose.

Taste: Delicious lemon/lime flavors with some wet stones notes.

Texture and Finish: Rich yet light. Crazy nice minerality and acidity with a long finish.

Pairings: Oysters/shellfish, grilled fish, seafood risotto.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Kremstal, Austria

Price: $30

2015 Dirty & Rowdy Familiar Blanc

2015 Dirty & Rowdy Familiar Blanc

Check out the cloudiness of this baby in my photo – crazy stuff! Kitchen sink blend of aromas and flavors.  

Looks: Deep ruby in the glass.

Smell: Citrus, floral and dried apricot on the nose. What isn’t on the nose would be a better question!

Taste: Lemon lime flavors with hints of under-ride pear.

Texture and Finish: Crazy nice minerality and acidity with a medium finish.

I love these wines. This is the third vintage I buy and I continue to get sucked into the hype. Drink cool, not cold or you’ll lose all the crazy flavors.

Pairings: Fried chicken, grilled fish, seafood risotto.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): 28% Chenin Blanc, 22% Pinot Blanc, 18% Chardonnay, 12% Melon, 10% Roussanne, 10% Viognier.

Region: Mendocino, Monterrey, and El Dorado Counties, California, USA

Price: $30

Fun Fact: Bottle is sealed with a NomaCorc Select Bio closure. It is a plant based, carbon neutral, breathable, recyclable, cork alternative.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Santenay

2012 Joseph Drouhin Santenay

Brought this lovely Pinot Noir to my favorite gourmet pizzeria in anticipation of having forest mushroom pizza and it was a stellar pairing.

Looks: Deep ruby in the glass.

Smell: Wild strawberries with some earthy notes on the nose.

Taste: Raspberry and cherry flavors with woodsy notes.

Texture and Finish: Round, nicely-balanced with medium tannins and medium finish.

Young wine but very drinkable and enjoyable Burgundy. Good price point.

Pairings: Mushroom-based dishes, roasted/grilled salmon, pork, turkey.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Cote de Beaune, Burgundy, France

Price: $29