RSS Feed

Category Archives: tasting notes

WOTW – Pennywise, but not pound foolish

Posted on

I’ve been a fan of The Other Guys for a while now. I first had their wines back in 2006 when I was just exploring all that my local wine shops had to offer. There are 5 wines made under the Pennywise label – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah. I’ve had the Petite Syrah and the Pinot Noir.

2009 Pennywise Pinot Noir

The Pinot is what we opened as a pre-dinner sipper. You must understand that we are pinot lovers, and we typically don’t spend our mortgage money on cult pinot,s much to the chagrin of Rex Pickett’s character in Sideways. We are looking for “affordable and delicious”. That is what you will find in the 2009 Pennywise Pinot Noir.

The Other Guys is a wine producer run by one of California’s oldest winemaking families. August Sebastiani is a 4th generation wine maker, and president of TOG. They’ve been doing this for a while, and I haven’t had a wine from TOG that I didn’t like.

The Pinot Noir is blended from the grapes of several vineyards and that blending provides a flavor profile that is pleasing to the nose and to palate. Cherries and a the slightest smell of cotton candy greet your olfactory sense, while strawberry and a hint of vanilla add to those aromas on your palate. Its smooth, with mild tannins and a lingering finish.

This is an easy drinker, but will pair well with burgers or chicken for your mid-week dinner. I could easily pair this with a chicken pot pie, or a homemade meatloaf – as well as a more upscale meal. Even a little acidity wouldn’t bother this wine.

It is (usually) widely available in Cleveland wine shops and comes in at a pleasant $10.99 in our area.

On another note, since I mentioned Rex Pickett – if you enjoy a good novel about wine, pick up Sideways, or the new sequel Vertical.

Excellent reads. You can click on the images below for more information about the books.

Pairing Adventure – Butternut and Bordeaux

Posted on

We picked up a new bordeaux the other night. The 2008 Chartron La Fleur Bordeaux – 70%/30%, Merlot and Cabernet from Maison Schroeder and Schyler. The man wanted french wine for dinner, so I went hunting for a new appropriate recipe – it had to include butternut squash, since there was one glaring at me to be cooked from the corner of the produce pile. Velvety and berry on the palate, this wine has balanced tannins and acidity. Its not a cru – but it is a great blend and budget friendly sipping. High QPR wine at $11.99.

I modified this dish from one found on allrecipes.com

Chicken Pasta with Sage Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 3-5 chicken tenderloins
  • italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a roasting pan with the olive oil. Place the squash and onion in the pan, and season with salt, pepper and sage. Roast 30 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the tenderloins, covered in italian seasoning, until done. Remove chicken and cut into bite size pieces, then transfer back to your skillet. Transfer the cooked squash and onion and the cooked pasta to the skillet. Gradually pour in the cream. Season mixture with sage. Continue cooking until heated through. Mix in garlic. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with balsamic vinegar to serve.

I realize you may look at this and say OMG, that’s a LOT of balsamic. You might even think that again as you are portioning it out into the bowl. I know I did, and it scared me just a bit. Trust me when I say that it does not taste like its overly vinegary. The balsamic brightens the recipe substantially. Also, you only want to turn the squash once when its baking, and get it out of the oven when its just done, otherwise you get a squash that looks less appetizing than it tastes.

This wine was pleasing, balanced this dish well, and I recommend them together, separately, or paired with others.

We loved this adventure – and they are definitely a wine and a dish we will go back to. (as evidenced by multiple bottle purchasing on this one)

Enjoy!

Pairing Adventure – The Olde Wine Cellar – Tasting Notes

Posted on

On a beautifully warm and sunny day in January MissWineOH heads to The Olde Wine Cellar in Olmsted Falls, OH for the first Wine and Cupcakes event for 2012. By the time we arrived to prep and set up, it had turned into a day out of the Wizard of Oz  (think “Auntie Em… Auntie Em” – the wind and rains were so strong…) Fortunately this did not deter our guests and we all gathered at 6pm for the first taste.

Olde Wine Cellar Tasting

Love those big wine glasses!

Chateau Belair Moustet White Bordeaux2010 Chateau Belair Moustet White Bordeaux (FR) paired with an Olive oil and Peach Cake with Herbed Marscapone icing from Indulgence.

They call this a Bordeaux Sauvignon

Simple and fresh, cleansing citric flavors make it a decent food wine at 12% alcohol.

Budget friendly white wine at 9.99 retail.

If you are making a dish with clean, but complex flavors (like a chicken with a sauce, salsa or herb crust) this wine will not compete with your food, but provide a pleasant citrus compliment.

2009 Bonny Doon Albariño Ca’ del Solo Estate (CA) paired with White Chocolate Wasabi and a plum sake cake base from Indulgence.

This Spanish grape has become popular in vineyards throughout the US. California, North Carolina, New York and Virginia are growing it increasing numbers. You will see a difference in the grape depending on its origins (or terroir).

Ca’ del Solo is  one of Bonny Doon’s estate vineyards. They farm using Biodynamic® practice, exceptionally light-handed, with with minimal intervention and manipulation. This winery is known for putting EVERY ingredient on their labels – not something you see on many wine labels.

label ingredients

The 2009 Varietal Blend is  91.8% albariño, 8.2% loureiro [loh-RAY-roo](Portuguese grape usually found in Vinho Verde wines)

Alcohol by Volume: 12.8%    Production: 3,350 cases   $15.99 retail

Root 1 pinot noir2009 Root 1: Pinot Noir (Chile) paired with a dark chocolate cake with buttercream bacon frosting from A Cookie and a Cupcake.

We always pair our Pinot Noirs with bacon, because EVERYTHING is better with bacon… and this lively budget friendly wine is no exception.

APPELLATION: Casablanca Valley, Chile   WINERY: Viña Ventisquero  VARIETAL(S): 100% Pinot Noir  ALCOHOL: 13.5%

Fermentation in barrels and stainless steel tanks, and malolactic fermentation with native yeasts. Aged for 10 months: 70% in French oak barrels, 30% in tank.

TASTING NOTES: Deep ruby in color with bright, intense aromas of cherry and raspberry, with hints of vanilla. Soft and mouthwatering on the palate with medium body, and ripe red berry flavors. Lively acidity coupled with elegant, soft tannins and a long and clean finish.

This is known as a pre-phylloxera wine. Phylloxera vastatrix (its Latin name) is thought to be indigenous to the eastern United States, and the thick, strong, native American rootstocks are reasonably resistant to this parasite. Much more vulnerable to phylloxera is the vitis vinifera rootstock – a species native to Europe and Central Asia and responsible for a majority of the world’s wine production. In the 1860s, vine cuttings from the eastern United States transmitted phylloxera to Europe, and eventually most of the vineyards in France and many in other parts of Europe were totally devastated. The parasite eventually spread, causing grave problems in California and other parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The solution was to graft Vitis vinifera vines to native American rootstocks, a remedy that worked for the better part of a century. There are a few places around the world that phylloxera has never invaded either because of the remote location of the vineyards or the inhospitable soil makeup. Many of these vineyards are planted on Vitis vinifera rootstock. Some parts of Australia, Argentina, Chile are phylloxera free as are island vineyards on Crete, Cyprus – Root 1 Wines are one of those original, ungrafted rootstock vineyards.

$12.99 retail

Hey Mambo and a cupcake2008 Hey Mambo Sultry Red (CA) paired with Five Flavor Pound Cake with Lemon icing and crystalized blueberry from A Cookie and a Cupcake.   (Vanilla, Lemon, Butter, Rum, & Coconut)

VARIETAL 41% Syrah, 33% Zinfandel, 10% Barbera, 9% Petite Sirah, 7% Alicante Bouchet    ALCOHOL 14.0%

Deep purple in color, the 2008 blend shows aromas of berry spiked with cinnamon and nutmeg. Raspberry/strawberry flavors present in the mouth, which slowly meld into cedar, dark plums, and molassas. bright acidity.

This wine pairs well with italian, sausage or red sauce dishes. We’ve paired it with a cake of many flavors to show you the versatility of the wine. I can also see pumpkin easily with this easy drinking blend.

Currently (1/17/12) not available in the store due to overwhelming popularity. But it can be found for about $11.99 retail and will be available at The Olde Wine Cellar in mid-February.



Amberhill Secret Red2010 Amberhill Secret Blend (CA) paired with Roasted Garlic with Smoked Gouda cheese icing.

This cupcake combination always strikes folks as strange, until they taste it and put it together with a great wine. A Cookie and a Cupcake filled this one with a bit of roasted garlic buttercream. A lovely little surprise on the inside of your bite.

The 2010 California Secret Blend Red Wine is a mix of varietals that delivers a fruit-forward style. Expressive aromatics of  cherry and strawberry blend with subtle notes of cedar, pepper and espresso bean.

A versatile blend like the Amberhill can pair with most savory meals. I pull a lot of the Zinfandel and Syrah notes out of this one, so garlic and smokey gouda would be up there in the flavor profiles.

The blend consists of Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Malbec

ALCOHOL: 13.5% by vol     Budget friendly at $9.99 retail

2007 InZINerator (CA) paired with Cherry Chocolate cake and Salted Caramel icing

InZinerator is blended with Zinfandel, Syrah and port varieties. New world extraction methods and richness with old world acidity and structure.

Scott Harvey has been the winemaker at Santino Winery, and then partner, winemaker and president of Folie a Deux Winery. He opened Scott Harvey wines in 2004. Scott Harvey wines gained some notoriety when the InZINerator was banned in the state of North Carolina and at ComicCON because some thought the Superhero label would encourage minors to drink it. Read more about that here.

Tasting Notes: Full of big, bold black cherry flavors, Oak aging contributes to the rounded complexity, with just a hint of sweetness. Try this wine with any grilled meat or chicken, or pair with pizza, pasta and burgers

The 2008 is a blend of – 78% Zinfandel 16% Syrah 5% Mixed Port 1% Barbera – the 2007 notes are not available, but the blend is similar.

Alcohol: 15.5% RS: .8%

A great Zin for $14.99 retail.

This blend was crowd sourced. Scott, an active member of the Woot community, asked the InZINerator fans for input on this wine.

See the video here:

We all had a great time at #WineandCupcakes. We’ll be back at The Olde Wine Cellar on March 22. And on the east side in February. Many thanks to @indulgenceCLE and A Cookie and a Cupcake for providing amazing cupcakes, and @theotherguys for getting me out of a wine jam. Incredible customer service from these three companies, and I can’t thank them enough. The Olde Wine Cellar is THE place to get small volume wines and they do great casual wine tastings on Friday and Saturday nights.

If you attended this event, please leave any comments or feedback. We’d all love to hear what you thought!

Pairing Adventure – Holiday Meal – Part 2

Posted on

As a continuation from my earlier holiday post, our Christmas morning always begins with Breakfast Casserole, coffee, and poinsettias’ for those in the mood. Then we sit down later in the afternoon for a Roast Beast dinner. While the recipes here are great for a Christmas feast, I have been known to pull them out for many different family gatherings, as they are simple, and will easily feed a crowd.

Breakfast Casserole is an easy “Make the Night Before” creation. The first time I ever had this dish was at a CYO gathering of teenagers, so you know it will appeal to the masses!

MonmousseauIn 2011 we became rather fond of Monmousseau sparkling for our celebrations. Monmousseau Brut Etoile. This sparking is done in the “methode traditionnelle” and is made of Chenin Blancfrom the Loire Valley (if google translated the french correctly) As is traditional, the secondary fermentation is in the bottle. Its crisp, fruity – aromas of stone fruit, and well balanced. It is a dry sparkling, but an easy sipper. For those of us that enjoy French champagne on a California sparkling budget, this beauty rings in at $14 a bottle. Its available in wine shops in Cleveland, and we get ours from Wine and Design in Tremont.

For Poinsettias you combine your sparkling with a cranberry juice. It’s a holiday festive twist on the Mimosa, and I love to use a Cran-Raspberry, which blends well with the drier bubbles. Straight cranberry can be palate drying at times.

Our main meal consisted of Waldorf Salad, Standing Rib Roast (aka Roast Beast), the Chef’s Mashed Potatoes, my green beans, and the Chef’s amazing pound cake with lemon blueberry topping. Since she won’t even share the recipes with me, (aka Mom) – I know she won’t let me publish them. But I will give you the Waldorf Salad and Green Beans recipes on the recipes page.

There’s more than a few palates in the house when the family gathers, so there were obviously more than a few wines. We opened a wine from Vinoklet Winery in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the Ohio River Valley for Mamma WineOH. She’s always been my inspiration for my palate and over the years she’s increasingly fond of the sweeter wines… and Mamma gets what Mamma wants. So we poured the La Dolce Vita, a concord wine. Its a slightly sweet version of the concord, and frankly, a drier one than many I’ve tried. Retail – $11.99

Vinoklet’s story begins with Krešo Mikulić immigrating to the United States from his homeland in Croatia, near the Adriatic Coast in the Mediterranean Region. He grew up in the winemaking tradition and  Krešo returned to it in 1984. He purchased a dairy ranch in Colerain Township, Ohio and because of its excellent soil conditions and micro-climate, the vineyard produced first samples of wine with great success. They are producing Chambourcin, Concord, Catawba, Traminette and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The rest of us shared a bottle of one of my favorite Zinfandels – The Other Guys Plungerhead. This wine is one I’ve been drinking for years, and I love the 2009. (Though the 2006, 2007 and 2008 were just as lovely) I discovered this one in Virginia, and was totally taken by the wines of The Other Guys. Its jammy, fruity, and spicy on the finish with a bit of clove – a hint of the oak is also present. There’s about 98% Zinfandel with a splash of Syrah blended in for character. Retail – $11.99

Two things I enjoy about this wine… one – there’s a guy with a plunger on his head on the label. Seriously…. it makes me giggle. Second – the closure on this wine is a Zork. This particular closure is helpful if you open a bottle and will need to close it up for the next day, or place it in the refrigerator. The plastic unwraps and you have your own private “saver closure” on the bottle. When you see these don’t think “cheap wine” – they are a lifesaver when you don’t want to finish your wine.

We enjoyed a Waldorf Salad, a cheese and meat platter, and the company while we prepared the balance of the meal. I usually recommend a crisp white with this salad – but in combination with the meats and cheeses – the Zinfandel worked surprisingly well.

Then it was time for the Roast Beast. Sides of course were Chef’s Garlic Mash and my green beans. We opened the Thief, a Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley (that’s “Willamette, Dammit”) in Oregon. Thief, according to the bottle, is a wine “of distinction absconded from the best vineyard sites in the Pacific North West.” A cute riff on the name, but a lovely medium bodied Pinot Noir – black cherry and just a bit of cinnamon – this Pinot is heavy enough to carry the roast beast easily. At $19.99, I rate the QPR value medium – but one of the better wines I’ve seen in this from this region and in this price range.

This was our Holiday meal in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed the wine and food around your table as much as we did!

Happy Sipping!

Wine of the Week: Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc

Posted on

This is my new weekly feature called Wine of the Week – its a short review and recommendation of wine I loved in the past week (gee, I had to stretch for the title, huh?) You’ll see it hereafter referred to as WOTW for brevity. Or laziness, or both.

I’m not usually one to haphazardly buy wines over $20 per as I wander through a wine store, at least not when I’m restocking for the week. But I was in Rozi’s Wine House on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland just before New Years and found a wine I had to have. I’d been hankerin’ (that’s a technical term) for a good Cabernet Franc and had been remiss in not ordering anything from my beloved Virginia Cab Franc gods. When I found the 2008 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc, I clutched it to my chest like a long lost brother from the Corps.

Alexander Valley Vineyard - Cabernet FrancThis wine runs $24.99 at Rozi’s, so its not horribly expensive by any stretch – and I will tell you, its worth every       nickel and dime if you enjoy Cab Franc.  The 2009 is available on their website, I can’t speak directly to that one, and I might suggest buying it and putting it away for a bit, but the 2008 is VERY drinkable now, and also could sit in the cellar, but not for too long – its just that good right now.

Alexander Valley Vineyards has been making wine since 1975 in Sonoma County. Maggie and Harry Wetzel purchased the property in 1962 and were one of the first in the area to plant grapes. They produce about 100,000 cases annually, including 17 varietal wines and proprietary blends. Seventy-five percent of AVV’s production is red wine. Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute half of total production. They also produce Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, and this incredible Cabernet Franc.

The 2008 Cab Franc is an estate wine, but not single vineyard, having been sourced from several of the family’s properties. They made 1400 cases, and aged it for 14 months on 100% french oak, 50% of which was new. I’m not one for an over-oaked Cab Franc – as I love the flavor of the grape and don’t want it hidden in the oak, and this wine is a great balance of oak for aging and the beautiful cab franc flavor. It comes in at 14%, but a few years in the bottle shows beautiful smooth tannins and not a hint of heat (higher alcohol) that I usually taste at 14%.

Berries and spice come out of this wine on my palate, and it smells, well… yummy. As I said on twitter when I poured it, there was a winegasm in my kitchen. Gorgeous wine.

As if you couldn’t tell, I highly recommend this one. The price is out of my daily drinking range, but I’ll definitely be going back to it; and trying the 2009 as well. I’d pair it with a lighter meat dish – herbed pork loin perhaps, not too heavy on the pepper. This is a wine you want to show through, not be eclipsed by your meal. I almost want to put a salted caramel dessert with it… just to see how it shines. If you are on “the tweeter” – follow them at @avvwinery.

Happy Sipping!

Light by Beaujolais – A Pairing Adventure

I had the privilege of inviting a few people over to MissWineOH headquarters for a Beaujolais tasting on December 7. It was a collision of two worlds – a few people from #MrWineOH’s office, and a few great people I’d met through my tastings.

SEDavenport and her husband, WhyCLE and her beau, and EatDrinkClev joined us to delve into the beaujolais world and nosh on some appetizers. The entire event was a twitter tasting and broadcast under the #beaujolais hashtag. All of the Beaujolais wines were served chilled to 60°F.

We started the evening with a little palate cleansing French sparkling. Yes, there are reasonable French sparklings – we picked up ours from Wine and Design in Tremont for less than $15.  The first Beaujolais poured was a 2010 Christophe Pacalet, Chiroubles. Most of our guests thought it to be a light, fruity wine. Others tasted a perfume base, followed by the fruit. This was not high on the list of favorites for the evening at $16.99. It was paired with a Pastry Wrapped Baked Brie.

Baked Brie Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough or 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 round or wedge of Brie cheese (do not remove rind)
  • Raspberry Jam, or other sweet jam
  • Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 On a non-stick cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry or the crescent rolls flat; put brie round or wedge on top.

2 Spread jam on brie, fold dough over top, cutting off excess dough. Drizzle maple syrup and place a handful of brown sugar on top.

3 Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers and apple slices.

The 2009 Domaine de Colette, Regnie was the second wine poured. All cherry and berry on the palate, this wine opened up nicely and was enjoyed for the duration. We paired it with a soppressata, beef sausage, and smoked gouda platter – the olives were a hit or miss. Some thought they paired well, others thought the quality price ratio was not up to par. This wine retails for $18.99.

The third wine we poured was the 2009 Chateau de la Chaize, Brouilly. This Brouilly is from the among the oldest and most historic estates in the region of Beaujolais. Medium bodied, fruity, with a long finish, most of our guests picked this as the QPR winner of the evening at $13.95. It was paired with a Proscuitto wrapped camembert.

Proscuitto Wrapped Camembert

Ingredients

  • 6 large fresh sage leaves
  • 8 oz. whole round camembert
  • 6 large slices prosciutto
  • 12 slices French bread stick (baguette), toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange 3 sage leaves on top of the camembert. Place 3 slices of prosciutto over the sage. Carefully turn the camembert over and fold in the ends of the prosciutto slices to enclose. Repeat with the remaining sage and prosciutto to completely enclose the camembert.
  2. Place the camembert on the lined tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp and the camembert is soft. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the bread.

Our last Beaujolais of the evening was the 2010 Pavillion de Chavennes, Cote de Brouilly – the most complex wine of the night, there was a floral aroma on the nose and spice on the finish. Even at the $21.99 price point, this became the crowd favorite and quickly disappeared. We paired this wine with Crunchy Apple Salsa over Chicken.

Crunchy Apple Salsa over Chicken

Salsa

2 cups York or Fuji apples, halved, cored and chopped

3/4 cup (1 large) Anaheim chile pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Marinade

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup apple juice

1/2 tsp. grated lime peel

1/2 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine salsa ingredients and mix well; allow flavors to blend about 1/2 hour. Serve over or alongside grilled chicken. Makes 3 cups salsa. For grilled chicken combine marinade ingredients, pour over chicken breasts. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and cook in an oiled skillet, turning once, until done.

WhyCLE takes pictures, I pour wine. (Thanks, Jen!)

It wouldn’t be #MissWineOH without a cupcake pairing. I chilled and poured the 2007 Markko Select Reserve Johannesburg Riesling. If you have never experienced Ohio wines, Markko makes some of the finest in the state. This is a slightly sweet riesling with floral aromas. I’d pair this with a seafood dinner or a savory chicken dish.

The cupcake I chose for this event and pairing was the pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing from A Cookie and A Cupcake, on of my favorite Cleveland bakers. The savory pumpkin paired beautifully with the riesling. It balanced the sweetness of the residual sugar in the wine, while allowing the minerality to show through.

So, what was the conclusion? A rousing success of course! The wines of Beaujolais are always lovely, and you should seek them out when you find them. I’d recommend pairing a Beaujolais with food – try some of the recipes I’ve included. Many thanks to @sedavenport, @whycle and @eatdrinkclev for joining us. Follow them on twitter because they are interesting and cool ladies in Cleveland.

If you’d like to join us for a future event, stay tuned to the calendar. We’ve got #wineandcupcakes and #beerandcupcakes coming up in January. Or like MissWineOH on Facebook for wine related articles and information from around the world.

The Beaujolais wines were provided by Discover Beaujolais.

Wine and Cupcakes – City Beverage tasting notes

Posted on

We had a great evening in the tasting room at City Beverage in Winston-Salem. Spencer from CityBev was pouring, and I was passing cupcakes – the lively crowd had plenty of opinions on what the best wine and cupcake pairings were. This is what we served:

2010 Bourgeois Cuvee Stephi Chardonnay  paired with blueberry cake and cream cheese icing

A custom project made in partnership with Thierry Rodriguez in Veyran, Languedoc. The domaine is comprised exclusively of older Chardonnay vines (20+ yrs old). Cuvee Stephi practices sustainable farming.

A: Green and citrus aromas, including lemon on the nose, with a hint of spice.

P: Medium-bodied, tropical and citrus flavors, and a clean, refreshing finish.

Unoaked – Aged for 8 months in stainless steel tanks with 3 months on its lees.

retail price $13.99

This pairing juxtaposes the citrus flavors in the wine with blueberry and balances the acidity with cream cheese.

Picture compliments of Meg Cline

2010 Valdesil Montenovo Godello paired with vanilla bean cake & strawberry balsamic icing

100% Godello – one of the oldest grapes on the Iberian Peninsula

Valedorros, Spain

C: Extremely pale like ginger ale.

A: apple, pear, honey, citrus,

P: green apple, grape juice, and a tart finish that lingers with caramel-honey notes.

Some heat early on and lots of acidity.

13% abv

Stainless steel fermented – this wine should be consumed within 18mos of bottling.

Retail Price $9.99

The chilled Godello reminds me of one of the crisper viogniers – so we paired the   vanilla bean to mimic oak while complimenting the acidity with the strawberry balsamic icing.

2010 Big Fire Rose paired with a saffron cake with cardamom icing

R. Stuart & Co – Oregon

Umpqua appellation

blend of 80% syrah and 20% pinot gris

Sustainable farming

Harvested exactly a year ago,

Aged for 1 month in 7yo french oak barrels so you get very little of the oak in the wine

11.5% abv

559 cases produced

.5% RS

Pescatarian friendly due to filtering techniques.

Retail Price: $15.99

The winemaker calls this his “big fruit bowl” – but I get a wine that just blends seamlessly with some spice, thus the saffron and cardamom, a typical indian spice pairing. I’d love to put this wine with Thai food as well.

2009 Dante Pinot Noir paired with roasted garlic cake with smoked gouda icing

From Michael Pozzan Winery

90% California, 10% Carneros

100% Pinot Noir

Aged 6 months

C: brilliant garnet

A: romas of sour cherry, dried orange peel, a hint of clove over a back drop of earthy leather.

P: rich and supple, spice and finishes with a balanced touch of cocoa and coffee.

Cases Produced:5000

Enjoy until 2012 – I recommend this wine as a drink now. Particularly at the price of $13.99

I usually pair a bacon cupcake with pinot – I highly recommend it. After all, everything is better with bacon. However, Camino is a vegetarian bakery… so, we got creative with some of the spices and flavors you find in bacon appetizers. Roasted garlic and smoked gouda are perfect compliments to the smokiness you find in a pinot noir.

2009 Periano Estate Merlot paired with a dark chocolate cake with currant icing

Lodi, CA

Peirano Estate Vineyards’ Merlot is produced from 6 different clones, or sub-varieties, of Merlot grown on the estate, including two rare French clones (#181 and #314), as well as the very rare Italian clone #9. Peirano Estate was the first commercial winery to grow and produce wine from these rare Merlot clones.

Aged for 12 months in all French oak barrels, of which less than 20% was new oak.

A: rich ripe cherries, blackberries with vanilla

P: cherry, plum, cocoa and cinnamon

I’m also fond of “The Others”, Immortal Zin and “The Unknown” – these wines are great every day drinkers.

Retail: $11.99

The chocolate and berry hints in the wine are enhanced by chocolate base, while the tannin and cinnamon are complimented by the currant.

2008 Domaine Janasse Cotes du Rhone  paired with chocolate spice cake with cinnamon icing (vegan)

This winery and vineyard covers 122 acres of vineyards distributed among different appellations : Châteauneuf du Pâpe, Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Village, Vin de Pays de la Principauté d’Orange and Vin de table.

Grape variety : 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 15% Carignan, 5% Cinsault – stem removal : 80% – maceration : 12 to 15 days – elevage : 6 to 9 months in vat

Tasting :

P: strawberry, black cherry , a tinge of minerality and spices

60 000 to 80 000 bottles per year.

GSM, or Cotes du Rhone blends love spice. So we put a chocolate spice with some cinnamon for this wine. GSM also does well with harvest fruit dishes, and is a great thanksgiving complement.

As every year, the 3rd Thursday of November is the release date for the 2010 vintage of Primeur Côtes du Rhône. You may be familiiar with Beaujolais Nouveaux releases, this is similar – and the wines of this region are great for holiday meals.

I hope you enjoy the tasting notes, and if you are in Winston-Salem, head to City Beverage to get some of these wines. This event could not have been successful without the help of Paul Jones, location scout and operations guy extraordinaire. You should follow him on twitter. and the folks at Camino Bakery were extremely friendly – and they do vegetarian in a creative way. Thank you for everything!

Attendees, what were your favorites? If you like what you saw here, join us for the next #WineandCupcakes tasting! And we’ll be heading back to City Beverage for an all new event in February. Hope to see you there!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,274 other followers

%d bloggers like this: