Pasqua Treviso Extra Dry Prosecco

Pasqua Treviso Extra Dry Prosecco

This is just one of those affordable sparkling wines that is great as an aperitif and also paired with food.

This Prosecco is golden in the glass with tons of tiny bubbles.  On the nose, it offers big fruity aromas and in the mouth it’s creamy, foamy with bubbles with a very dry, pleasant finish.

Pairings:  Bubbly pairs well with many things ranging from a cheese and cold cut platter to lobster to beef tenderloin to dessert.

Style: Sparkling

Grape Type(s): Prosecco

Region: Veneto, Italy

Around $10

 

2010 Villa Calcinaia Comitale Grechetto

2010 Villa Calcinaia Comitale Grechetto

Had this wine with both lobster pasta and grilled Branzino and it complimented the dishes perfectly.

In the glass, this Tuscan wine is pale yellow with a slight greenish tint.  On the nose, it’s very faint, almost non-existent.  In the mouth, it’s delicate with fruity aromas of green apple and pear with bright acidity for a crisp finish.   Really enjoyable.

Pairings:  Seafood, grilled fish or chicken.  Pasta with olive oil and garlic.

Style: White

Grape Type(s): 90% Grechetto and 10% Vernaccia

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Around $15

 

2005 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I enjoy Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon and when I was invited to go camping (yes, in a luxury RV, but camping nonetheless) I opted to bring the 2005 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to pair with the prime rib eye steaks I was contributing to the festivities.

In the glass, this Alexander Valley wine is deep crimson.  The nose is intensely of dark fruit, pumpkin pie spice, tobacco and black licorice.  In the mouth, it’s jammy, smooth and velvety with ripe berry, vanilla and toasted oak notes.  The finish is medium in length with some pleasing tannins.

A wine to treat yourself to when you buy the very best steaks for the grill.

Pairings:  Grilled prime beef.  Cheese course.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Alexander Valley, California, USA

Around $60

 

2009 Tamaya Reserva Carmenere

2009 Tamaya Reserva Carmenere

Had this Chilean wine at a wine dinner at Morris Tap & Grill and really enjoyed its boldness and food-friendliness.

On the nose, the 2009 Tamaya Reserva Carmenere offers potent aromas of ripe raspberries with spicy and coffee notes.  On the palate, it’s a huge mouthful of rich, concentrated dark berries with a long spicy/peppery finish.

Pairings:  Grilled beef or lamb.  Sharp cheese dishes.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Carmenere

Region: Limari Valley, Chile

Around $10

 

2002 Chateau Preuillac Cru Bourgeois Medoc

2002 Chateau Preuillac Cru Bourgeois Medoc

Paired this French Bordeaux with rare roasted duck and it was a nice pairing.  In the glass, it’s brick red in color.  The nose is an appealing blend of plum, coffee and leather.  In the mouth, the stone fruit comes through along with vanilla and mocha notes.  Medium finish with softened tannins.

Pairings:  Grilled or roasted beef or duck.  Cheesy dishes.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): 50% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc

Region: Bordeaux / Medoc, France

Around $25

 

2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Fattoria Del Cerro

2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Fattoria Del Cerro

Bright purplish ruby in the glass, this affordable Italian wine has a ripe dark fruit nose laced with spiced notes.  In the mouth, it’s round with a nice balance of rich dark fruit and chocolate with good acidity.

Had this 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Fattoria Del Cerro paired with rare duck and it was a nice pairing.

Pairings:  Grilled chicken or pork, cheese course, mushroom risotto.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Around $20

 

2009 Castello Di Camigliano Rosso di Montalcino

2009 Castello Di Camigliano Rosso di Montalcino

Paired this Tuscan wine with my cheese course at a recent dinner party and it matched up well.  Lighter and fruitier than its counterpart, Brunello di Montalcino, this wine didn’t overwhelm the mild soft cheeses and stood up to the stinkier, riper ones.

In the glass, the 2009 Castello Di Camigliano Rosso di Montalcino is vibrant red and it offers bright fruit on the nose.  In the mouth, it’s well-balanced with a dark berry mixed with mushroomy/earthy flavors.  Meant to be drunk young, this affordable wine can be served on a Tuesday night with pizza or at a party with more complex dishes.

Pairings:  Grilled chicken or pork, cheese course, pasta with red sauce.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Sangiovese

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Around $22

 

2009 Sigalas Winery Assyrtiko

2009 Sigalas Winery Assyrtiko

I enjoyed this delicious Greek wine at Kellari Taverna in Manhattan with perfectly grilled octopus.

In the glass, this wine is a lovely golden color.  On the nose, this Assyrtiko offer clean, citrusy aromas.  In the mouth, it’s crisp with tropical fruit and Meyer lemon flavors.  Well balanced wine that’s perfect for summer grilling but can hold up to heartier dishes.

Pairings:  Seafood, grilled fish.

Style: White

Grape Type(s): Assyrtiko

Region: Santorini, Greece

Around $20

 

2007 Vina Honda Monastrell Jumilla

2007 Vina Honda Monastrell Jumilla

I’d had this inexpensive Spanish wine in my cellar for a while and opted to uncork it to pair with grilled porterhouse steaks with peppercorn sauce.

In the glass, it shows a deep purple color not unlike the purple band on the bottle’s label.  On the nose, I smelled Herbes de Provence and hints of cracked peppercorn.  The palate of this Monastrell is a mouthful of dark berries with nice acidity and pine needle notes.  The finish is short, which is a bit of a disappointment.   Grilled pork chops would have been a better match than my steaks.  Nice wine for $10.

Pairings:  Grilled pork chops, goat cheese on toasted bread.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre)

Region: Murcia, Spain

Around $10

 

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV

I got this bottle to pop open at my mom’s 65th birthday celebration.  What could be more festive than Champagne on a milestone birthday?

On the nose, this French Champagne offers apple, vanilla, yeasty aromas.  In the mouth, this wine is creamy with a big mouthful of tiny bubbles.  The finish is buttery and a little smoky.  Just delicious and way better than other Champagnes at this price point.

Pairings:  Lobster, fish, foie gras.

Style: Champagne

Grape Type(s): 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 40% Chardonnay

Region: Reims / Champagne, France

Around $40