Category Archives: Blended Wines

Let’s Talk Turkey (and Wine Pairings)

Thanksgiving Image

Its almost here! Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate family, friends, and food. Of course wine is always something I’m thankful for, in fact I usually thank the wine gods at almost every meal. However, the Thanksgiving meal is different. Hard work has been put in by moms, dads (maybe), or your local caterer. What wines should you pair with turkey and all the trimmings?

Well don’t assume a dry white wine will bring an extra something to the holiday table. If you like red wines you should bring that along. Here are some wines that will go beautifully with your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Iron Horse 2007 Classic Vintage Brut
This will be a crowd pleaser because its a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its a beautiful taste of apple and pear with just a hint yeast. Amazing with a turkey dinner

North Valley 2009 Pinot Noir
Pinot Noirs are my favorite but this particular bottle has a beautiful flavor of cherry and raspberry and ends with some amazing spice.

Navarro Vineyards 2011 Dry Gewürztraminer
Normally a Riesling is the wine people confuse with Gewürztraminer. But Gewürztraminer actually has more floral aromas and citrus. When you have a cranberry and turkey combination this wine will make everyone at the table smile.

Northstar 2008 Columbia Valley Merlot
The movie Sideway gave Merlot a bad name. Who would have known one line could give such a bad connotation to Merlot. But no worries this Merlot has a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot which gives a great fruit forward taste and ends soft tannins.

Mostly importantly remember to enjoy time with your family and friends this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Advertisements

Harvest Fest at Bin36- Blend Your Own Wine

Harvest Fest

It’s fall and that means it’s harvest season. Here in Chicago there isn’t exactly a lot of winemaking going on, but Bin36 doesn’t let its patrons miss out on harvest activities. Every fall they host a Harvest Festival. This year was the 2nd time I have gone. It’s a chance to blend your own wine. You heard me blend your own wine. It’s a fun experience and your newly blended wine is a cool gift idea and arrives in time for the holidays.

Here’s how it works. There are 3 stations a smelling station, a blending station and a buying station. Read the rest of this entry

Keeping it Healthy: Organic Wines

 

Organic seems to be the trend these days. We want to consume foods that are pesticide free and all natural. This is the case with wine as well. But what are the benefits of drinking Organic wines?

sulfites-If you’re a newbie to wine I’m sure you’re asking what are sulfites? Well sulfites are a salt or an acid that happens to wine naturally. However added sulfites are used for the preservation of wines. The less sulfites a wine contains, the healthier it will be for your body.

No Chemicals and Pesticides-Organic wines are not sprayed with chemicals and pesticides which means its better for you. The USDA says,”Organic wine is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations”

Organic Grapes-All organic foods are grown with very strict regulations. Wineries that create organic wines do not add flavors such as oak chips to their wine. Addtionally these wineries use very basic wine making techniques. Keep it all natural.

If you’re going the Organic Wine way remember to read the label. Some wines may be labeled “made with organic grapes”, this means that 70% of their grapes come from organic sources.

If you are looking for some great organic wine you should look at Frog Leap. And of course Whole Foods always has a great selection of Organic Wines.

Cheers!
Lissette

Holiday Wine Gift Ideas 2011

Its that time of the year when we start to shop for our loved ones. But with all of this shopping we forget about other people we have to get gifts for…like your doorman or a co-worker who went above and beyond to help you out this year. What can you get them that won’t break the bank and still make you look like you appreciate what they do?

Well wine is a great gift, its easy and you stick a bow on it and you have an instant gift! The only issue is you don’t want to look cheap and giving someone the 3 Buck Chuck is out of the question. You still want to look like you care and that you’re not a cheapskate.

Here are some suggestions that may work for you. We are giving you choices with different prices points. The best part is you can pick some of this up while you’re out shopping for your family gifts or maybe grocery shopping.

$50 and under

Champagne: Veuve Clicquot
There is a reason this tasty champagne is worth the $40-50 dollars. Its amazingly tasting, smooth, and just a hint of sweetness. Even people who don’t like sweet will love this. Best of all its a classic and sold everywhere!

$40 and under
2005 – Allegrini Amarone
Dana had a great post about Amarone. This particular is a medium-bodied Amarone but full of dark fruits and spices. Any wine lover or wine novice will enjoy this present.

2008 – Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce
This white wine will be a hit. Its a full bodied white with hints of lychee nuts and honeysuckle. Tasty with any holiday turkey.

$30 and under
2008 – Anne Amie Pinot Noir
Its not secret I love Pinot Noir BIG FAN! What I love about this wine is that it taste good with Steak or a nice shrimp dish. This wine has a good berry, fruit flavor with a hit of smokiness.

2010 – Mas de la Rouviere Bandol Rose
Rose is a beautiful color but if you get a good one like this you’ll love the taste. Dried Fruit with a hint of citrus you’ll enjoy an amazing seafood meal.

$20 and under
2008 – Airfield Cabernet Sauvignon
Spices with blackberries make this medium bodied wine heaven. The balance of fruit helps make this a very special gift.

2008 – Becker Riesling Laisser Faire
Say hello to peach and grapefruit flavors. This wine will open your palette and help you enjoy the beauty of the holidays

$10 and under
2010 – A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris
This is a sweeter wine…perhaps a gift for someone who enjoys spicy foods. This will help balance the pear, peach and tobacco flavors with the heat of the food. It maybe $10 dollars but it’ll taste like a million bucks!

2010 – Beso de Vino Garnacha
Black cherries and violets bring in a warm taste to the holiday. And this bottle while not pricey at all can be aged for a year or two.

Try not to give someone Barefoot Wine or anything out of a box. Make the effort to at least try and get something that someone will enjoy. The taste of the wine can speak volumes. Just like you put thought and care into gift wrapping a present do the same when it comes to wine. These are just a few suggestions. Buying wine shouldn’t take you longer then finding a gift at the mall but certainly ask a few questions and remember always give your price point. If you like a certain bottle buy a few of them and give them to everyone who you feels deserve the gift of wine.

Happy Holidays from your favorite wine girls!
Lissette, Dana, and Rio

Halloween Wine Suggestions-Don’t Be Scared!

Halloween Wine Suggestions-Don’t Be Scared!

Nothing can be scarier then paying over a $100 for a bottle of wine. No worries you won’t have to buy wine that expense during this Halloween season at least we won’t be suggesting any wine that expensive. Wine With Me wanted to give you just a couple of wine suggestions for you party planners and party goers. Wines that aren’t always in season but you can certainly go to your local Sam’s Wine and Spirits, Binny’s, or neighborhood wine shop. Ask questions like “do you have any seasonal wine?” If you need more specifics here are some suggestions.

Pumpkin Wine: I can hear you asking “WHAT! THEY MAKE THAT!” Yes they do actually. Prairie State Winery makes a Pumpkin Wine that may surprise you but remember this is a sweeter wine so if you aren’t into sweet you may want to stay away from this one.  If you’re having a party  and you really want this wine you can order online from any number of wineries. Just Google it!

Apple Wine: This wine can usually be found year round but nothing says Fall like Apples. Of course I don’t have to tell you this is a sweet wine. But would taste great with Brie Cheese and Crackers. It’ll be smooth and sweet certainly a great addition to any Halloween party.

TIP: IF YOU HAVE AN OVERLY SWEET WINE MIX WITH A DRY CHAMPAGNE TO CUT THE SWEETNESS

Both wines are not expensive and are pretty tasty. I wouldn’t just have one kind of wine at your party. Your guests need variety but if you’re looking to add a good wine with a scary label look no further then 2009 Poizin.  This gem comes from Armida Winery. Now don’t let the fact that this bottle has a skull scary you its actually good. It has notes of plum, blackberries, vanilla make it a really nice compliment to the filet mignon. Add a little red to your night by serving this to your guests.

If you don’t feel like trying to find bottles with skulls or even pumpkin wine you can just DIY it. Purchase your favorite bottles and slap on a fun scary label that you can make on your own or buy at these Esty stores: Halloween Wine Labels, The Printing Shop and Pbleu. I personally bought the Pbleu label for this year’s Halloween party and they look amazing.

Happy Haunting! Cheers!

Michigan’s Best Kept Secret

I’m a city girl through and through but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy getting out into the relaxing atmosphere. On our trip to Michigan I learned some pretty essential things..1.) Road Kill in Michigan is a way of Life 2.) Never go feet first into a Jacuzzi if your intention was only to put your feet in, you might find yourself 3 feet underwater 3.) And the most important lesson…Michigan Wines are impressive and the state’s best kept secret.

The Michigan Tourism Board should really add in some marketing copy for Tim Allen to talk about the wines that are created in Michigan. I bet they’ll see a pickup in tourism.

Before I begin telling you about the wines I loved and bought I’d like to give a shout out to Mr and Mrs Clark. Thanks for letting us staying at your place while we ventured out into the Michigan Wineries. And thanks Dana for driving and Rio thanks for just being adorable.

Let’s get this party started shall we? Read the rest of this entry

North by Northwest

On Saturday Dana and I attended a Pacific Northwest Wine tasting at Bodega Ramos. While I have tasted wines from Columbia Valley this particular wine tasting included Oregon. I must give some Kudos to Bodega Ramos for setting up this wonderful tasting. It was informative and was small enough that tasters could ask questions and really understand how the wine has been made. If you get a chance I suggest you go and visit Bodega Ramos and ask questions they’ll be happy to help.

Claar Cellars Sauvignon Blanc-$15.99
This white wine was crisp and had some wonderful acidity. Hint of sweet fruit it almost had a honeydew taste with some kiwi.

McKinley Springs Viognier-$19.99
I normally like Viognier but remember that while the grapes maybe the same the enviorment can determine the taste along with how the wine making process was done. This wasn’t my favorite it had a nutty flavor that I didn’t appreciate but Dana enjoyed it. If you’re a full bodied red wine drinker this maybe a white wine you enjoy.

Two Mountain Hidden Horse Red-$17.99
This is a great light red wine. If you don’t like tannins this maybe the wine for you. I personally love a light bodied red wine which maybe why Pinot Noir is my favorite. I bought this wine and I must say that this wine is a blended wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Lemberger and Malbec. This had dark fruits and some vanilla. Sound good right?

Gilbert Cellars Left Bank-$26.99
This is a blended wine Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec. The majority of this wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon. I personally found this to be a little too rich and robust for me and the pepper wasn’t something I personally enjoyed but Dana loved this wine. This is a full bodied wine so if you love a tannins this maybe the wine for you.

Maysara Pinot Noir Roseena Rose-$19.99
As Dana pointed out in the pervious blog post Rose’s a great summer wine for there light flavors. This wine was soft and fresh. This wine is perfect for shellfish or a nice talipia.

Andrew Rich Tabula Rasa-$19.99
I was a big fan of this red wine. I kept thinking it was like a Broadway Show. Soft to start and then had a nice big finish. It starts off fruity and ends in what I kept thinking tasted like chocolate, there wasn’t any in it but that’s the taste I was left with and I loved it. I enjoyed a few more tastings of this that night. Dana loved the finish because of the bold taste.

Owen Roe Ex-Humbris Syrah-$31.99
Full and Rich is the best way to describe this wine. Dana loved it and I of course wasn’t a big fan. The tannins were too much and the tast was too strong for me. The spices were too much but this is all a matter of taste and opinion. I can’t say it enough. If you love bolder wine this is good for you.

Corvidae The Keeper Cab Franc-$20.99
This red wine was also a full bodied wine but I have to admit I actually liked this wine. It had a creamy velvety taste. The spices had a good balance and I kept thinking a nice grilled strip steak would taste amazing with this wine. This wine was earthy which I normally enjoy.

Lemelson Vineyards Dry Riesling-$25.99
I love Riesling and so I knew I would like it. This didn’t have a very sweet taste but you could really smell the peachy fruit. The taste was slightly sweet but not overwhelming.

Lemelson Vineyards Tikka’s Run Pinot Gris-$24.99
I didn’t know if I’d like this wine and it turns out. I loved it. This is why you go to wine tastings to find out what you like and discover a new favorite. What I loved about this wine is that over ripe fruit. When I had this wine I wanted cheese.

Brick House Gamay-$28.99
This wine was made in limited quanties. I enjoyed this wine because it was bright and had a rich flavor. It was a intense without leaving an overwhelming taste. It had an earthy taste I enjoyed. Very old world wine.

Hamacher Cellars Pinot Noir-$27.99
This wine put a smile on my face. It was light with hints sweet berries, vanilla, and the finish was smooth. This is a wine that I think anyone would love and enjoy both in the winter and summer (and anywhere in between).

Cheers!

%d bloggers like this: