Category Archives: Riesling

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

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

 

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

Trader Joe’s: Wine Picks

Trader Joe’s is a place that many of us go grocery shopping. We find that they have a great selection of almost everything. You like fruit they have it and usually for a good price. You like cheese, they have that too, and its pretty good cheese. What about crackers you like those? Yep they have a wide assortment. These are items you may snack on while drinking wine. BUT does Trader Joe’s have a good selection of wine???

Well like any store that sells wine you’ll find that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. However Dana and I have made our picks on wines that you should look into and buy on your next trip to Trader Joe’s

 

Lissette’s Picks:

Purple Moon Shiraz

Now let me just start off by saying this little gem is $5.99. And if you’re on a budget this is the wine you want to take to your friend’s house. Its fruity but not sweet and like many Shiraz it has a nice peppery finish but it certainly doesn’t overtake the fruit you taste at the beginning. Its smooth. This wine maybe something you may have with Pizza or a nice pasta with meat sauce. Or you can be just like me and drink it while watching a good TV show. Either way you can’t go wrong for the price. Read the rest of this entry

Wine Tasting Michigan Style

The Girls at a Winery in Northern Michigan

Born and raised in Michigan, I have spent many a time “Up North”. My parents have owned a condo in the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan since I was little and, as an adult, I’ve visited a lot of the wineries up there.  Some of you may be surprised to know Michigan actually has a lot of wineries, and the Leelanau Peninsula has almost two dozen of them. Over Memorial Day weekend, I was very excited to introduce Lissette to some Michigan wines and catch up with some of my friends from home while we spent some time at my parent’s condo in beautiful Glen Arbor.

Unless you buy a lot of wine, wine tasting can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend a weekend, and Michigan, just like any wine region, has some really good wines and some not so good wines to try. I think the first time people go wine tasting in Michigan there is a little skepticism. A lot of people assume all the wines will be sweet or that Michigan knows nothing about how to make a nice wine, but these are false assumptions.

Here’s what you can expect when you are tasting in the Leelanau Peninsula. At almost any vineyard you visit you are going to find Rieslings and Pinot Noirs. It’s also common to find a cherry wine or two and some Cab Francs. There tends to be a lot more white wines made up this way than red, but almost every winery will have a least some red to try. There is usually a good mix of dry wines and slightly sweeter wines. A lot of the wineries list their wines in order of sweetness and even provide the percentage of residual sugar to help patrons choose the right wines to try. You will also find that a lot of the wines are made in small quantities and may be hard to find outside the area (especially outside  Michigan) and some may not be sold anywhere but at the winery. Read the rest of this entry

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!

10 Under $20

Let’s be honest most of us can’t afford to spend a lot of money on wine. Here are 10 wines Lissette and I like that won’t break the bank. We’ve got a good variety here so there should be something for everyone

Dana’s picks

Santa Barbra Crossing  Chardonnay $9.99

This crisp white wine with hints of citrus and green apple is one of my favorite whites. Believe it or not it pairs well with sushi.

Villa Des Anges Old Vine Rose $9.99-

I’m a huge fan of rose is the spring this one has a light, crisp flavor. It is a dry rose and great on its own, but would pair well with salads, seafood and other light dishes. Read the rest of this entry

On a Budget: Wine with Your Dinner Party?

Well its safe to say that few of us are made out of money. Does that mean that we should cut ourselves off from having dinner parties? Of course not! This past Sunday I had a dinner party to celebrate my nephew’s christening. This was NOT a kids party. We had three kids and sixteen adults. Its traditional to have a dinner or some sort of party after a child is baptized but its never a party were there are clowns or balloons. I co-hosted the dinner party at a local Cuban restaurant. The price per person was great. This restaurant is a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer). Which doesn’t have to be beer but its sounds nicer then saying Bring Your Own Booze! Anyway…we had  great pre-ordered selection. It was fun when it came down to picking good wines to pair with the food. However I don’t have Donald Trump’s bank account so I had to do this on a budget.

I picked one of my favorite white wines to start off the dinner. As you may know I do love Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Riesling. I was lucky to find it on sale at Target for $5.99. I,of course bought several bottles. At those prices who wouldn’t! This fruity wine went with the salty fried plantains and the Cuban dumplings filled with tender chicken and guava fruit, and ground beef. The fruit/tart intensity of the wine with the dumpling dipping sauce brought the appetizer portion together .  I wanted to avoid a fulled bodied wine that would take away from the light starters. And the Riesling went well with the salad for any guest who wanted to stick to non fried food or their diet.

No worries I did not forget my red wine drinkers in all of this Cuban food madness. I saved the red wine for our main course. As Dana has explained in her Go to Wine  post she loves Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel. I needed a good red, it was 9.99, to bring the taste and feel of the meal. The food I pre-ordered for the dinner party were traditional Cuban dishes. One is called Ropa Vieja (literal meaning is Old Clothes), but its really a tender shredded beef stew dish with potatoes and its tomato based. With a hint of salt and just a slight heat. With the light fruity and long finish of the Gnarly Head its was a great combination and the flavors complimented each other. The other dish we had was a chicken dish. The cut  up chicken is cooked in a tomato chicken stock broth with potatoes. Again the flavors of the light chicken dish played off to the French and American Oak with the hint of spice. Depending on what dish you consumed it changed the flavor of the wine to compliment your meal.

My entire wine purchase was $65.00 and I have to admit I did have one bottle of each wine left over. (4 bottles each). You don’t have to go to a restaurant with BYOB of course but you can make a great meal at home and invite your friends.

If you don’t like a Riesling and its too sweet for your taste try a Viognier and if you aren’t big on Zinfandel and like something a little lighter for a red try a nice Pinot Noir.

At the end of the day its really about you enjoying a great meal with friends and family but it doesn’t mean you have to spend your life savings to create an amazing atmosphere.

Drink up!

%d bloggers like this: