Category Archives: Reviews

Iron Horse: Part Two of My California Wine Adventure

While on my trip to the bay area my family and I spent a day wine tasting in Sonoma. We went to 4 wineries and tasted a lot of wine! The first winery we went to was Iron Horse. Iron Horse does manly sparkling wines and has a gorgeous outdoor tasting room that overlooks the vineyards. We were actually doing a tour here so we got to hear about how they grow their grapes and actually got to see part of the sparkling wine making process.

On the tour they took us down into the production area and we actually got see how the sparkling process works. There are several different ways to get the fizz into sparkling wine. One way is simply injecting CO2 like they do in soda, this produces larger bubbles that fizz out pretty quickly. Iron Horse uses the traditional method in which the wine goes through a second fermentation process. Read the rest of this entry

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Napa Valley: Part One of My California Wine Adventure

Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena

I finally made it out to the Bay Area to visit my sister. Now obviously the most important part of the trip was spending time with my sister but wine tasting was definitely an added bonus! It was a pretty great trip not only did I get to see my sister but my parents came out at the same time. We went to a couple wineries in Napa and a few more in Sonoma. We also spent a day at Alcatraz and a day drinking wine and eating fresh oysters on the beach. All and all a pretty fabulous trip!

So let get down to the important stuff, wine! I’m going to split this into multiple post since there is some much to cover. Let’s start with Napa. Read the rest of this entry

Bobal Varietal #28

Pasion De Bobal

I can mark Bobal off my Wine Century list. I picked up the 2009 Pasion de Bobal at Binny’s and drank it on a recent trip to a BYOB restaurant.

This Spanish wine is 100% Bobal. It has lots of ripe fruit along with notes of spice and a hint of smoke. The Tannins make it slightly rough around the edges. It’s not a very complex wine but it is a nice, inexpensive meal wine ($14.99 at Binny’s). It went better with the food then on its own and it had a nice balance. It’s ready to drink now, but might be even better with a few more years of aging.

Liatiko: Varietal #27

On a recent trip to Bin 36 I had the Domaine Douloufakis, 2010 Liatiko from Crete. It was quite the start to my wine century challenge, a varietal that was not marked on my initial list and one that my dad has yet to try (a feat with the 147 varietals currently on his list).

I have to admit that I choose the Liatiko because it was a grape that I was sure I had not had. I wasn’t too worried that I would like the wine because the description said that it had similarities to a Pinot Noir and I usually like Pinots, even if I sometimes find them to be a little thin. The notes on the wine said it exhibits qualities of black tea, subtle spice a red fruit. A quick Google search indicates that this seems to be a pretty standard description of what you can expect from the Liatiko varietal. Read the rest of this entry

Wine Century Club

I’m starting a new wine endeavor. My parents recently told me about the Wine Century Club, it’s a challenge to try 100 different varietals of wine. My dad and some of his wine friends are doing it and I figured why not. With my initial look at the list I was able to check 26 wine varietals off the list immediately. I know i’ve had more varietals on the list but I’m not counting it if i can’t name a specific wine I’ve had the varietal in. The application asks you to check off the varietal and then right down the name and vintage of the wine. Read the rest of this entry

Enamore: Argentina’s Answer to Amarone

Last time I went home to see my parents my dad gave me a bottle of Allegrini & Renacer Enamore to take back to Chicago with me. He gave me this particular bottle because it’s made in the same style as an Amarone and he knows I absolutely love Amarone.  If you hadn’t already figured it out, it’s probably my favorite type of wine.

Read the rest of this entry

Wine and Cupcakes… a Match Made in Heaven?

Cupcakes & Wine

I don’t know about you but when I think of pairing wine pretty much the last thing in the world I think about pairing it with is cupcakes. It just doesn’t seem to be a match to me. That being said, I was intrigued when I saw a sign for a wine and cupcake pairing at D.O.C Wine Bar. It was not anything I ever would have thought of but hey, I like wine, I like cupcakes, why not?

On a Thursday evening my friend Allison and I stepped into a very crowded D.O.C for our foray into the world of wine and cupcakes. The cupcakes were being provided by Molly’s a Cupcake Shop, just down the street from D.O.C. and though I’d only had cupcakes from there a few times I’d never been disappointed. Read the rest of this entry

Your Wine, Your Personality

 

Everything we do can say a lot about our personalities and what you choose to drink is really no different right? Well I normally find these generalizations rather boring but sometimes they’re kinda true. So what does your wine perference say about you?

Cabernet Sauvignon:
Conseravtive, Powerful, Bussiness Executive

Why? Cabs are usually full bodied wines with dark fruits

Chardonnay:
In Control, Leader, and Dominate

Why? Chardonnays usually are high in alchohol and aged in barrels that give the wine a fulled bodied oaky flavor that stands out

Pinot Grigio:
Cautious, you are fully aware of work works for you

Why? Pinot Grigios are light and have both fruity,mineral notes.

Pinot Noir:
high standards, quality is exteremly important, willing to pay for well made wines

Why? Pinot Noir may be the toughest grape to grow, but the effort is often well worth the constant care and investment.

Sauvignon Blanc:
Outgoing, stands out in every room they walk into, life of the party

Why? Sauvignon Blanc offers a fairly wide range of flavors. From herbal taste sensations to veggie, and from flavors of grass, hay and mineral tones to a citrus and tropical flavor mix

Riesling:
Breath of fresh air, kind personality, never boring

Why? Riesling is one of the wine world’s “new” sweethearts. Its food pairing versatility and refreshing palate appeal

Gewürztraminer:
Creative, Risk Taker, thinking outside the square

Why? Gewürztraminer is not your normal everyday wine. Hints of Lychee, spicy, and exotic

Whatever your choice of wine just remember to enjoy! Never stop trying different and new wines you may end up finding your new favorite.

Cheers!

Lissette

 

My Apologies & a Dynamite Review

I feel I need to apologize. I have been completely slacking when it comes to this blog. I’m going to go with I went into winter hibernation and now I’m awake and ready to start wineing again. Yeah… winter hibernation, totally not my fault!  It’s finally spring and I have all sorts of wine events coming up and I have finally got my inspiration back! Again I’m sorry I’ve been MIA.  I’ve already written my next post so that should be up shortly and Lissette and I and ofcourse Rio, are going on our Second Annual Memorial Day Wine Weekend in Michigan, so more to come soon!  Just to kick of my renewed dedication to the blog here’s a quick wine review.  Enjoy!

Dynamite Merlot:

The Dynamite Merlot is a decent bottle for $10 – $12. While not the most refined wine out there it has a nice nose and good flavor. This wine does better once it’s opened up a little bit.  It starts off subtle and builds to rich dark fruit flavors in the finish.  It’s not a punch you in the mouth kid of wine but it still has some rough edges. What do i mean by rough edges? The tannins are not completely mellowed but  the long fruity finish keeps it balanced. Overall it a good everyday bottle of wine. It pairs well with food but is also tasty all on it’s own.

Sutter Home: A Surprise in Napa

Sutter Home…well when you think about Sutter Home you think $7.99 bottle at the local supermarket. And to be honest with you I’m right there with you. During a recent trip to Napa I stopped by Sutter Home. Now let me clarify this stop was not one that I had planned on and took some time to talk me into but I went to really please the person I was with on the trip. I was unsure of what I would find. But I thought…Korbel is known for lower end sparkling wines perhaps so the same will happen with Sutter.

Well…I wasn’t as please with Sutter Home as I was with Korbel but I wasn’t disappointed. In fact they did have a few items that I purchased. Let me start off by saying that these items are NOT at your local supermarket. In fact these wines are exclusive to Sutter Home’s tasting room in Napa. And the price while still not expensive wasn’t as cheap as you’d think but $20 for a ___ wasn’t bad and the taste was delightful. This is the kind of wine you’d drink with friends who know a lot about wine or very little about wine. Both novice and experts alike will enjoy this bottle.

I will admit that I was unsure of the tasting room and its certainly not fancy but I gave it a shot. Glad I did however, I still won’t buy the wine you find at the local supermarket. In fact the only wine I’ll have is the one I found in Napa. Try not to judge a book by its cover…at least when it comes to actually going to Sutter Home’s Tasting Room

Cheers!

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