Too Much Wine…

As an avid collector and consumer of wines, I can definitely understand the concept of wine hording. I have a collection of “will some day drink” wines, and keep a regular stash of daily drinkers along side them in the cellar. Whenever I’m out buying a few cases for my daily consumption stash, I try to pick up at least one or two good bottles of wine to add to my collection. While this may seem a bit on the side of borderline alcoholism, one Japanese diplomat makes my vino addiction look like tea-toddling.

According to a recent article on Japan Today, an audit into properties owned by the Foreign Ministry found that an official residence of an ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in a Parisian suburb contained a collection of nearly 8,000 bottles of wine. [Read more...]

2007 Las Rocas Garnacha

2007 Las Rocas Garnacha

2007 Las Rocas Garnacha

Grenache wines are ripe and rich, with a great balance between fruity and acidic. While most people have enjoyed it in blends with Tempranillo, fewer layman spend significant face time with the grape in its stand-alone version.

When a grape makes as great of a wine as the Grenache, it’s almost always a win-win situation when picking up a bottle. But when you can bag a $10 version rated at 90 points by Wine Advocate, it’s hard to imagine passing up on a case full.

Las Rocas’ Garnacha (what they cal Grenache in Spain) is sourced from old Calatayud vineyards ranging in age from 70 to 100 years. It is a dark ruby wine with a scent of spices, cherries and black raspberries.

Even though the wine is rather young, it’s still one I would recommend decanting for at least a half hour before pouring. A fresh glass will taste okay, but after having some room to breath it really opens up with a deep, complex flavor combination with a surprisingly clean and long finish.

Overall, it’s a fun wine, it has just the right alcohol percentage (14.5%) and goes great with a number of dishes. Recommended pairings include Petit Provincal, Sweet Constantine, Banon and of course Sheperd’s Pie. If you want to give it a go, you can purchase it here.
- The Wine Fugitiveicon

2007 Martín Códax Albariño

I enjoy Spanish wines, especially with some of the types of food we cook around here. Oddly enough, I don’t spend as much time hunting down Spanish wines when I’m restocking the cellar. It’s usually an impulse purchase when I do pick them up, and this occasion was no different.

Martín Códax is a co-operative established in 1968. Now boasting over 550 members, the collective has over a thousand acres of vineyards, mostly located in the Salnés Valley in Rias Baixas.

The wine immediately stood out in color from the other wines at the local cellar because of it’s bright, straw-yellow color. After cooling it down to the right temperature, I was pretty impressed with the intense green apple, aromas. It’s not a dull smelling wine, nor is it overwhelming.

It was more smooth than crisp, which was perfect for pairing it with the asparagus and prosciutto risotto we had as an appetizer. Overall, it was a medium bodied wine that we carried through dinner and into the gathering room for conversation.

I could easily see myself keeping it around in the summer time for a lot of the light foods we eat when it’s hot outside. I don’t think we could pair it with many of the heavier winter time dishes we eat, and it really didn’t strike me as a seafood wine even though the winemaker suggests it on the label.

Oh, and did I mention it sell for under $15 a bottle? I couldn’t find a rating for the 2007 vintage, but I would easily give it an 89 points (if I were an important someone whose opinion was valued by magazines and Master Sommeliers the world over).

- The Wine Fugitive

2009 Finca La Linda Chardonnay

Chardonnay "Unoaked"

I’m not really a Chardonnay fan, and for a good reason… It upsets my stomach.

It is the oaky taste that makes consuming more than a glass or two disagree with my senses. Overall, Chardonnays are a beautiful, delicate wine, but aging them in oak just doesn’t sit well with me.

While I don’t recall the specific wine, my first “unoaked” Chardonnay wine was in the British Virgin Islands after my wedding. I loved the wine for all the reasons people love Chards, and I didn’t feel like I was going to get sick after my 3rd glass.

I have looked around for a few others since then with varying degrees of success. Tonight, while looking for a pairing for my risotto, I stumbled across this in the Argentina section.

Bottled by Luigi Bosaca, the Finca La Linda is smooth, but still has a nice bite if served at the right temperature. My first glass was a little to cold, and the wine was a bit understated. After letting the bottle warm up, I was really impressed.

It was fruity and crisp, with scents of pear, white peach and green apple. It was a great wine to pair with the tangy risotto, but just as good as a stand alone wine on the final two glasses. I would recommend it for any vegetable appetizer, but I really want to try it again with an asparagus and prosciutto risotto or maybe some grilled fish.

Overall, for under ten bucks, I would keep a case around for casual drinking. Which is pretty much all I do anyways….

Decanting Tips And Tricks

Decanting a bottle of wine insures that the sediment that builds up inside a wine bottle is not served in a glass. Decanting is a process that transports clean wine into a separate container while containing the sediment buildup inside the original bottle.

Many red wines, and some white wines, will begin to buildup a sediment after 10 years of aging. This visually displeasing material also produces a bad taste. While older wines typically require decanting there are younger bottles that can benefit from the process because it aerates the wine, softening the first notes and stirring up the complex aromas. [Read more...]

Corkage Do’s And Don’ts

Bringing your own food or drink to a restaurant sounds like a bad idea, and often is, but many restaurants do allow patrons to bring their own bottle of wine.

Some dinner parties desire to bring their own bottle of wine because of its meaning or because its not offered at their favorite restaurant. When its allowed, many restaurants will charge a fee that accounts for the use of glassware and the work of the server. This practice is called corkage. [Read more...]

New To Wine? Start With Dessert

Are you new to wine and not sure where to start? Well, the first question you need to ask yourself is what do you like when it comes to taste. Still unsure? Then in that case going with a traditional dessert wine may be the best place to start.

Moscato wine is one of the most popular dessert wines available and can serve as a great starting ground for wine newbies that aren’t sure what tastes they will like. Besides, who doesn’t like dessert? Here are some great valued Moscato wines. [Read more...]

Give Your Wine Life a Kick

Are you a wine lover stuck in a rut? Maybe your favorite wines have become old hat and you are looking for a little spice in your love-wine life. If that’s the predicament you face then Spain’s Albarino might be the perfect fix.

Albarino wines are fresh and lively. Crisp flavors will populate your mouth and notes of citrus fruits and a tangy aftertaste makes this a wine that will put a kick to your pallet. Grown in the border region of Spain and Portugal, Albarino is often rich with peach and citrus fruits with a floral aroma. Despite its high acidity and complexity this wine still has an easy-to-drink quality. [Read more...]

A Wine Tour Trip That Stays In Your Living Room

Itching to go on a wine tasting tour but low on the funds or time to make it to any of the country’s premier wine growing regions? That’s where TastingRoom.com comes into play.

“We think we’re onto something pretty exciting,” is the first sentence on the About page of this Web site and its hard to disagree with this service that brings the fun of a wine tasting tour to your home. [Read more...]

Treat Your Wine Glasses As You Would Want To Be Treated

There has been a lot of study on the proper way to treat wine glasses but the best advice is to use care and courtesy for the fragile glasses that hold that precious drink.

Some believe that only a certain type of detergent should be used on wine glasses but the best advice is to hand wash each glass with soap in-between each use. Avoid chemical-based soap and the dishwasher as this can cause a build up on the glass that will affect the taste. Even the simplest of residue left from a dishwasher detergent can alter the notes of the wine. [Read more...]