2010 Lucien Albrecht Riesling Réserve

2010 Lucien Albrecht Riesling Réserve

2010 Lucien Albrecht Riesling RéserveI love Riesling. Sweet, semi-dry, dry – it doesn’t matter, I enjoy it all. While I’m partial to German and Finger Lakes Riesling, there’s no denying that the Alsatians do it very well also.

Pale yellow in the glass, this Alsatian Riesling offers aromas of apple and pear. In the mouth, it’s not sweet at all and has Asian pear and floral flavors. Enjoyable dry finish.

Pairings: Shellfish, especially lobster

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Alsace, France

Price: $20

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

2011 Heritance Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

2011 Heritance Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

2011 Heritance Sauvignon Blanc Napa ValleyThis Sauvignon Blanc and Roussanne blend offers bright citrus aromas typical of Sauvignon Blanc. The Roussanne rounds out the peach and tropical fruit flavors and softens the acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc. The finish is long and thoroughly enjoyable.

Paired this with Kurobuta pork chops and it was delicious.

Pairings: Chicken, pork, grilled fish

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): 88% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Roussanne

Region: Napa Valley, CA, USA

Price: $24

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

Getting to Know Smith Madrone Winery

Getting to Know Smith Madrone Winery

Smith Madrone ChardonnaySmith-Madrone Winery is located in Napa Valley in the Spring Mountain District. The 200-acre estate has vineyards that sit at elevations up to 2,000 feet. Some of the vines are planted on slopes as steep as over 30 degrees.

Two of the Smith-Madrone wines I recently had the opportunity to sample are the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2009 Chardonnay.

  • 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($45) – nearly black and opaque in the glass, this California Cabernet Sauvignon features incredible aromas of ripe cherries with chocolaty, earthy and oaky undertones. In the mouth, it’s a big and bold wine with dark berry and licorice flavors balanced by just the right level of tannins.
  • 2009 Chardonnay ($35) – medium straw color in the glass, the California Chardonnay offers bright aromas of Asian pear with oaky notes. On the palate, cantaloupe and ripe apple flavors dominate. Toasted bread finish.

As far as idyllic California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon go, these are super examples.

These wines were provided to me for sampling and I am adding to my repertoire as they are truly enjoyable.

2009 Trimbach Pinot Blanc

2009 Trimbach Pinot Blanc

2009 Trimbach Pinot BlancLove the slightly greenish color of this Alsatian wine. Also love the very floral aromas if offers. The 2009 Trimbach Pinot Blanc is rich with flavors of peach and ripe lemons. This French Pinot Blanc makes me crave seafood.

Pairings: Fish, seafood, especially seared scallops

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Blanc

Region: Alsace, France

Price: $16

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

Portuguese White Wines by Herdade do Esporão

Portuguese White Wines by Herdade do Esporão

2012 Herdade do Esporao Verdelho WhiteI uncorked these two wines at a recent dinner party where I served a seafood paella. The guests at the dinner were evenly split when it came to favoring one wine over the other. Both had enough body to stand up to the flavorful dish.

  • 2011 Herdade do Esporão Monte Velho White ($9.99) – medium straw color in the glass, this Portuguese wine offers fruity, juicy citrus aromas and ripe apricot and Meyer lemon flavors. Antao Vaz, Roupeiro, Perrum grapes.
  • 2012 Herdade do Esporão Verdelho White ($12.99) – light, slightly green in the glass, this wine exuded aromas of juicy lime. On the palate, it offered honeydew, apple and bright citrus flavors. Great level of acidity and a pleasant medium finish. 100% Verdelho grape.

2011 Herdade do Esporao Monte Velho WhiteHerdade do Esporão is perhaps the best-known winery in the Alentejo wine region of Portugal and its white wines and red wines are affordable, available and delicious.

These wines were provided to me for sampling and I am adding to my repertoire as they are truly enjoyable.

2011 Steelhead Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Steelhead Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Steelhead Vineyards Sauvignon BlancNice example of California Sauvignon Blanc. Pale yellow in the glass with tropical fruit aromas and lemony-fresh, slightly honeyed flavors. Great acidity and citrus finish.

Pairings: Fish, seafood, especially seared scallops

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Sauvignon Blanc

Region: North Coast, CA, USA

Price: $12

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

2009 James Oatley Tic Tok Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

2009 James Oatley Tic Tok Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Tic TokI served this to guests as an aperitif last week and it was a nice rendition of Australian Sauvignon Blanc of this price range.

Pale yellow in the glass with nice citrus and freshly cut grass aromas, the 2009 James Oatley Tic Tok Sauvignon Blanc Semillon has Meyer lemon and light honey flavors. Enjoyable crisp finish.

Pairings: Fish, seafood or served as an aperitif

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): 60% Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon 40%

Region: Western Australia

Price: $10

5 Affordable Easter Wines

5 Affordable Easter Wines

EasterEaster’s less than a week away and for those who need to bring wine to a party or are hosting and still need to make a wine store run, here are five affordable wines that pair well with Easter dishes.

  • 2010 Predator Old Vine Zinfandel ($12 – California) – Smoky, big and jammy deliciousness. Perfect pairing – lamb.
  • 2011 Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling ($12 – New York) – Pear and pineapple flavors with a trace of sweetness and a nice level of acidity. Perfect pairing – poultry or ham.
  • 2010 DEADBOLT Winemakers Blend ($16 – California) – big, beefy wine while showing finesse and elegance. Perfect pairing – grilled meat, especially lamb.
  • 2010 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Barossa Dry Riesling ($17 – Australia) – Lime aromas and Meyer lemon flavors with great acidity. Perfect pairing – fish or seafood.
  • 2010 Heart and Hands Pinot Noir ($21 – New York) – Aromas of red berries, flavors of ripe cherries on a beautifully-balanced wine. Perfect pairing – just about anything, very versatile wine.

Happy Easter!

2008 Franciscan Estate Magnificat Meritage

2008 Franciscan Estate Magnificat Meritage

2008 Franciscan Estate Magnificat MeritageI uncorked this Napa Valley Cabernet blend to pair with grilled steaks, garlic and Vermont cheddar mashed potatoes and peppercorn sauce and it was simply delicious.

I decanted half of the wine and actually enjoyed it both ways, although, predictably, it softened a bit after 30 minutes in the decanter.

In the glass, it’s inky red. I just knew I’d enjoy it by just looking at it in the glass and getting a sniff of the chocolaty, oaky, dark berry aromas. A good swirl showed legs wrapped around my glass. As far as taste goes, this California wine has delectable blackberry, stone fruit and mocha flavors. The finish is long and dry and I just loved it.

Aged in French oak barrel for over 20 months, this is a big, bold, almost jammy boy that’s right up my alley.

Pairings: Grilled beef, mac and cheese

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec

Region: Napa Valley, California, USA

Price: $50

How Many Wine Glasses is Too Many?

How Many Wine Glasses is Too Many?

I must admit that I have a healthy collection of wine glasses. I have ‘good’ casual party wine glasses and ‘great’ dinner party wine glasses. My collection features glasses for: Cabernet Sauvignon, Rielsing, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Champagne and dessert wines.

Here’s a poster with tons of various wine glasses especially designed for specific grapes.

Wine Glass Poster

 

Too much? How many kinds of wine glasses do you have at home?