2010 Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Noir Rosé Sonoma Coast

2010 Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Noir Rosé Sonoma CoastI don’t really drink a lot of rosé. It’s only in contact with the skins for a few days so it has virtually no tannin to strengthen it’s flavor. Still, it lacks the crisp bite of a chardonnay or the sweetness of a chenin blanc. In general, this makes most rosé wines bland, with very light and sometimes indistinguishable scents and flavors.

The Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Noir Rosé was a different story.

The scent was light, but only because the predominant fruit I picked up on was the watermelon. Take a sip and another strong whiff and you’ll catch a light trace of strawberry and peach, not far off from the winemaker’s notes.

About mid-palate you can pick up on the grapefruit, and it finished off short and dry, like a lot of Rosé do. It would make a fantastic warm-weather wine and would go great with an antipasto platter, cold cuts or a salad (recommended recipe below). I’d score it at 89 points easily. [Read more...]

Deep Purple Zinfandel 2009

2009 Deep Purple ZinfandelDeep Purple Wines as a company does a very nice job at promoting the pop culture of wine. They’re fun, unique and definitely passionate about what they do. The label is very cool, and their website has some cool features such as their Deep Purple Brownie recipe.

As for the wine itself, it’s okay. It’s not nearly as complex as I expected, but has a strong fruity scent and taste, all the way to the mid-palate. It had a long finish, but was more dusty road than the “dusting of cocoa” from the winemaker’s notes. I haven’t seen any official scores on this vintage, but if I were important enough to score wines and be taken seriously, I’d give it 86 points.

I wouldn’t abandon the wine at the score, though. I find that a lot of under 90 point wines are not stand-alone drinkers, but still pair well enough with certain foods that they taste a heck of a lot better.

Pair it with a meat lovers pizza or spaghetti and meatballs, and you’ve gotten your $10 worth of wine and then some.

Winemaker’s notes:

“Scents of blackberry, black cherry, and plum with a touch of black pepper and clove. Jammy fruit from entry through mid-palate, finishing with wild berries and a dusting of cocoa.”

$10-12, available at Target and Wine.com.

Pairing Different Wines For Different Cheeses

Cheese and wine have always been classic pairings but there is of course more to pairing the two than simply grabbing a few singles of American cheese and just any bottle of wine. The following is a more detailed guide to pairing wine with different cheeses and which wines pair best with specific types of cheese.

Snacks and dishes made with blue cheese often pair well with more desert-like wines such as those offering sweet and fruity notes. Sauternes wines tend to pair the best with blue cheese dishes, especially the 2003 Chateau Lamourette. This white wine pairs well because of its melon notes and caramel body.

When picking a wine to pair with blue cheese you should look for description words such as fruit (apple, melon, peach, etc…), honey and/or caramel. For stronger tasting blue cheese such as Stilton cheese, a Port is often recommended. [Read more...]

Your Favorite Burger With The Perfect Wine

The hamburger is an American favorite and often an easy option for dinner, but with the right wine pairing you can bring a bit of sophistication and great taste to this traditional meal.

Because most burgers are made with beef it is the toppings that may have the biggest impact on which wine pairs the best.  However, whether you go with the classic cheddar cheese or a more creative topping, how the bigger is cooked is vitally important.  An overdone burger can dilute your pallet with a burnt taste while an undercooked burger can become overridden with the complexity of wine. [Read more...]

Summertime: Wine Pairing for Grilled Vegetarian Dishes

It’s summertime, baby, and grilling season is upon us. But while this can be a great time to pair wines with grilled meats what about those vegetarian wine lovers?  The art of grilling has advanced to include many vegetarian dishes and there are some great wines that pair well for those who have a diet that is based on veggies and fruits. [Read more...]

Nutella & Cream Cheese Bagels and Harvey’s Orange Sherry Wine Pairing

harveys_orange_sherrySo I was logged into Facebook last night and one of my friends chats me and asks me for a quick pairing. Having been in the mood for sweets, I cycled quickly through mental images of the fridge and pantry and thought… whole wheat bagels, whipped cream cheese and a nice, liberal spoonful of Nutella. [Read more...]

Cream Cheese Chicken Panini and Some $12 White Wines

Next to the BBQ grill, my electric countertop panini grill is king.

I’m not a big appliance guy. I don’t really use the microwave, prefer a J.A. Henckels to a food processor, and don’t even know how to turn on that 40 lb mixing bowl on the bottom shelf.

But my $25 panini grill, that’s gourmet. I can make some of the most fabulous carb-wrapped meals this side of the Mississippi with a square foot of counter space and an electrical outlet. [Read more...]

Pairing Wine with Thanksgiving Dinner

how-to-pair-wine-with-thanksgiving-dinnerThere’s no better time to put the knowledge you have acquired (or are trying to acquire) about pairing wines to good use than during Thanksgiving dinner. No other meal, all year long, brings such a wide variety of dishes to the table than the smorgasbord that is Turkey Day. This year, show your in-laws up with a finely-tuned wine list to pair with the massive feast that will feed you for weeks to come. [Read more...]

How To Pair Wine for Vegetarians

How to pair wine for vegetarians

How to pair wine for vegetarians

Most of the common wine-pairing knowledge available online and through word-of-mouth is typically centered around meat as the primary ingredient of the meal. With Vegetarianism on the rise, learning to pair wine with vegan meals can be more than challenging. [Read more...]

Wine and Pizza

wine pizzaYou don’t need a fancy, home cooked meal to enjoy a nice bottle of wine. While I don’t recommend drinking a 1961 Cheval Blanc with a burger and onion rings, there is no reason why you can’t pair an everyday wine with an everyday food… like pizza. [Read more...]