Multiple Continents of Tastings

I figure since you can’t easily travel the world (time, money, etc), why not just grab a bottle of wine to check it out.  So, the past few weeks I’ve explored most of the world.  Between the Georgian wine I posted about recently (have some new bottles to be opened soon…) I have also checked out the following great vinos…

1) Chateau St. Jean, Pinot Noir, CA — (though this is Sonoma, think of Napa and support the locals by buying a bottle of Napa wine.  They’ve had aftershocks after the big quake on Sunday.) Amazing, amazing CA Pinot — cherry and some leather.  Was enjoyed with salmon.

IMG_0384

IMG_0385

2)  Phebus, Malbec (Reserve), Mendoza, Argentina.  Very nice.  Berries, some chocolate.  Can find it for about $10.

photo 5

photo 4

3) Klein Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa.  Light, pineapple, peach and grass notes.  Great for enjoying on a sunny afternoon or with fish or salad.  And, screwtop for easy access.  About $12.

IMG_0382

IMG_0383

4) Pfeffingen Weilberg Riesling, Germany. (Note: that site doesn’t stay in English the whole time)  Nice and dry!  Some stone fruit, various other amazing mineral flavors.  Paired it with a pea and garlic gazpacho with grilled chicken.  Perfect!  It’s been in my wine rack for awhile so not sure the cost, but online I’m finding about $30.

IMG_0455

IMG_0457

The Tasting Room

DC, March, temps in the 30s, rain and snow.  Ugh.  Call for wine.  I introduced a friend to a local wine shop — The Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shop, owned by Boxwood Estate Winery.

IMG_0369

It’s one of those great wine bars where you buy a card, put money on it and then you can sample 1, 3 or 5 oz. pours of wine.  So many ways to explore the vino!  Let the sipping begin.

I always try to go with something new so my first taste was the Monga Zin Old Vine Zinfandel by Carol Shelton from California  Very nice!  A bit fruity, very aromatic with spices and smooth.  Would recommend it.

 

IMG_0368

Next I opted for a taste of Vinaceous’ 2011 Snake Charmer Shiraz.  Nice.  Definitely a traditional Shiraz from Australia, can’t go wrong.

IMG_0370

Oddly, I wrapped up the day with a quick sip of white (vs. starting with that).  Went with 2011 Malma Sauvignon Blanc from Argentina.  Light body, not much taste/flavor to it.  Not worth writing home about it.  But, I’ll blog about it, right?

IMG_0371

So many wines to pick from there, will be interested to see what I opt for next sampling time around.

Wine Recap

Over the past month, I’ve had a nice spread of new wines that I’m finally getting around to posting about.  From red to white to bubbly, I love trying new happy grapes to add options to my wine rack.

#1 — Fire Road Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. Citrus, apple, crisp, light, but still a nice weight to it.  Price seems to range from $10-$16/bottle (when looking online).

IMG_2589

#2 — Oakley Eighty-Two, California Red Wine.  Who makes this one?  One of my favorite vintners — Cline.  Nice red blend that’s a bit heavier (jammy) and can pair with about anything.  Great to have on hand to open and serve (or drink) whenever needed.  Price is about $10-$12/bottle.

IMG_2377

#3  — Diseno Old Vine Malbec, Argentina.  Fruit and spice can make a wine so nice.  Price is $8-$10.

IMG_2539

 

IMG_2540

#4 — Bleasdale Vineyards Sparkling Shiraz, Australia.  I seek out sparkling reds.  This one is better than some but a bit sweet.  Was drinking it on New Year’s Day, though, so very fun for the occasion.  Definitely worth trying.  Price is $16-$20.  Note, the picture in the link is different than the one below, they might have changed the bottle/label.

IMG_2530

#5 — Alvarez de Toledo Roble, Spain.  Just a nice red wine.  I was at a friend’s place for dinner and it was out and it was so nice.  Doing some searching looks like it’s about $8-$10 bottle.

Wente Chardonnay, Livermore Valley, California.  Some apple, some tropical fruit.  Aged in both barrels and stainless steel tanks it’s a very unique wine.  Definitely a Chard I’ll add to my list.  About $12-$14.

IMG_2562

#6 — Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz, Australia.  Berries, a hint of chocolate and smoke and a bit of pepper.  Very nice.  About $20-$25.

IMG_2587

IMG_2588

Wine Class #3

And I go back a class.  In the third week we bounced around a little on what we learned about, but some of the main points I took home were:

-the ‘parents’ of Cabernet are Sauvignon Blanc and Cab Franc

-high tannins and acidity are the base for Bordeaux

-Cabernets and Chardonnays adapt to climate

-Syrah=crowd pleaser

We tasted quite the range of wines that night, darn!

2011 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, about $13

IMG_1661

2011 Willm Geurztraminer, Alsace, France, about $16

IMG_1662

2009 Chateau les Grands Marechaux (Merlot), Blaye Cote de Bordeaux, France, about $24

 

IMG_1663

2012 Milton Park Shiraz, South Australia, Australia, $9 — definitely lived up to the price

IMG_1664

2012 Punto Final Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, about $13 — almost ‘raisin-ed’

IMG_1666

2012 Clos Le Vouvray (Chenin Blanc), Loire Valley, France, about $20

IMG_1670

2011 Chateau de Chasseloir Muscadet, Loire Valley, France, about $12 — pair with salt

IMG_1669

2011 Tres Picos Garnacha (Grenache), Borsao, Spain, about $18 — love this one!

IMG_1665

2011 Karl Erbes Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany, about $18

IMG_1667

Bartender, a Malbec please

winewall

 

 

 

 

 

It’s April 17th.  Do you know what that means?  It’s Malbec World Day!  What a day to celebrate.  Open that bottle, pour, or grab that bartender’s attention (quickly!) and enjoy.

You might have that one varietal that you are stuck to, that you won’t steer clear of.  Unless you’re already a Malbec lover (which means you’re thrilled and had wine vs. coffee this morning), take today as your jumping off point to sample a new varietal.  You never know…you might have a new favorite.

And, have you ever wondered how many varietals there are for you to try?  Check out this list.

Happy Malbec Sipping.