Monday, March 26, 2012

Boedecker Reflection Pinot Noir Rose

I discovered Boedecker Cellars via twitter. Yup, I follow them. I decided that I wanted to utilize the services of one the wineries I follow. I could not have picked a better place to begin. First off, their website was very easy to use. Not every winery will ship to every state and sometimes I find myself searching trying to find a winery's shipping policy. Once I was on the site their sale item, Pinot Noir Rose 2010 was easily found. I should say, I don't mind buying a wine that's not on sale, but since I'm purchasing wines weekly, it can get costly. So, yes, I do look for discounts and sale items. :-)
I placed the order late in the day on a Thursday and UPS was knocking on my door the following Thursday. It really was easy and seamless. Now to the good part, drinking! From their site:

Saignee Pinot Noir Rose. This elegant wine is 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from all our vineyards including Carlton Hill, Cherry Grove and Shea Vineyards. The color is lighter than a typical red wine as we separate the juice from the grape skins after just a few days.

A delicious crisp, delicate yet round and layered, a perfect wine to pair with a medium weight meal such as pork tenderloin or roast turkey!

I am not sure what I was expecting. I think because of my lack of wine knowledge, I was thinking this would be a sweet wine. I, for the life of me, cannot tell you why. Maybe because of the color (much lighter than regular Pinot Noir) or maybe it was because the bottle said Rose and my immature drinking mind equated that to sweet. This is not a sweet wine. It's not a dry wine either. It is a light, crisp and easy to drink. It's not a wine you can guzzle, I like that. It's perfect for sitting back with friends, eating a great meal and having a fantastic conversation.

Btw, the next day it was even better!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir 2010

Since beginning this search each week for a new wine I have found myself going back to Pinot Noirs. I just love them! I have also noticed they are not created equally. Some are light and smooth and others full and spicy. I'm not sure if it's the acidity or what (my immature palate and wine experience is showing), but some pinots have that umph...that little bite on your tongue that sends a jolt of electricity through your mouth and down your throat. While I do like that type of pinot, some nights I really want an easy, soft, smooth, no jolt glass of wine. If you are looking for an easy going wine with lots of flavor that is smooth and fun to drink, Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir is the one for you. I picked it up for $11.99, you can't beat that. Have a glass or 3 and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Barbera B. Lovely

How did you spend your St. Patty's day? I actually had a pretty quiet one. In years past I would spend my day drinking with friends.

A good friend after too many Irish Car Bombs-St. Patty's Day Past

But this year I decided to spend the day in with my drinking buddy. ;-) We put the top down (it was a gorgeous day) and headed off to a local wine shop. I wanted to purchase some wine off my list and look into Barbera. As you may or may not know I have a twitter account and recently I noticed a conversation or tweets about Barbera. Are you asking the same thing I was? What is a Barbera?
A Barbera is a versatile Italian red grape. It generally produces lighter style wines with cherry and raspberry fruit flavors and aromas, mixed with rustic spice. This wine has a fantastic crispness and is ideal with food. Barbera is capable of producing medium to full bodied wines.

While at the store I found myself having a fantastic conversation with an employee. He reiterated that Barbera is very fruity, yet dry and while it can go with just about any food it would pair best with a bold, spicy red sauce. The prices ranged from $9.99 up to $30+. The salesman suggested I try an inexpensive one first ($9.99) just to see if I liked it. We decided upon Cren della Lepre Barbera Piemonte 2010.

Green label for St. Patty's Day

I have to admit, I was slightly concerned. The salesman stressed this was a fruity, yet dry wine. With my first sip I knew I had nothing to fear. I found this wine to be light, fruity and dry. Not too dry or too fruity, it reminded me a grape jelly, just not as sweet.

While I was learning about this wine, my drinking buddy discovered a tasting going on a few aisles over. In the spirit of the holiday he tried Irish whiskey (a few times) and a few wines. He found two that he liked. Now keep in mind he is super new to wine and so far only has enjoyed the sweeter ones. The first wine he liked and actually purchased was B. Lovely 2010 Late Harvest Riesling and the other, which we plan to go back and purchase Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz. Since we had the B. Lovely in the house, I might as well give you my thoughts on it.

I thought this Riesling was very sweet, crisp and tart. Probably a perfect wine for someone who favors sweet wines. For me, it was a little too sweet. I'm sure I'll purchase this again, not for me, but for him and his non-wine drinking friends. ;-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2010 St. Innocent Pinot Gris

I have a confession, this was my first taste of Pinot Gris. Doesn't sound too odd to you? Maybe it's not that big of a deal, but anyone that watches Housewives of New York and considers herself a Ramona Singer fan, I feel should have taken at least a sip or 3 of a Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris before this night. But alas, my Pinot Gris v-card has been stamped or taken or whatever happens to it.

Before I go to far into this, let's first talk answer a very important question: What is Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris? Pinot Grigio is currently the most popular white wine produced in Italy. Most is dry with fruit flavors. They range from light to medium body. Pinot Grigio is the same grape as Pinot Gris, yet they are capable of producing a variety of white wines in a number of different winegrowing areas. The best Pinot Grigio is produced in the northern area of Italy, benefiting from the cooler climate. The Pinot Gris of Alsace and Oregon are wonderfully crisp as well, but are fuller bodied and more aromatic.

For this week I decided to try the Pinot Gris that was recently received from my wine club, 2010 St. Innocent Vitae Springs Vineyard Pinot Gris. I found this to be very soft, smooth, slightly dry. My drinking buddy wasn't a fan, but again he only goes for the super sweet ones. If you are not into sweet, but enjoy a white, light, easy drinking wine, I would definitely recommend this.
Pinot Gris done, now I need to try a Pinot Grigio!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cava #Winechat

Wine Wednesdays, those two words get me excited. A chance to try a new wine, tweet about it and learn a little something. Last week's wine selection was Cava and just my luck I had one sitting on my trusty wine shelf. Jaume Serra Cristalino was shipped to me by way of my Vineese Wine Club. This club also sends some info and tasting notes with each shipment. This is what is says about Cristalino:

For what you'd pay for a single bottle of fine French Champagne, you could buy a case of Cristalino Cava, which is made by Spain's Jaume Serra winery. Founded in 1943 by Jaume Serra Guell, the estate is situated in the Garraf area of Spain's Penedes growing region. It was purchased in 1997 by the J. Garcia Carrion family, which invested heavily in renovation and modernization.
Spanish law requires that sparkling wine be made in the Methode Champenois--the way it's crafted in the Champagne growing region of France. However, the grape varieties used, other than Chardonnay, are different. For the Cristalino Brut Cava, the varietal makeup is Parellada, Chardonnay and Xarel-lo.
And what a sparkling beauty it is, made in a crisp and clean style with plenty of fruit and a long, lingering finish. Here's to a great wine, and a great value!

My thoughts on this cava. I enjoyed drinking it. I thought it was fresh, light and very dry. I mean so much so it seemed as if it evaporated on my tongue. Because of that, I wouldn't call this a refreshing wine. Yet I couldn't keep myself from drinking another, and yet another glass. I just about finished the entire bottle all by myself!! Here is the big test, would I buy this again? I'd have to say not for something to keep around and open for friends. Most of my drinking friends prefer something a bit sweeter. But if I had to go to a party and was asked to bring a sparkling wine or champagne, I would definitely pick up a few bottles of this.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two Vines Riesling 2010

This week I went to the wine store not sure what I wanted. I had quite a few wines at home already and wasn't sure if I needed wanted to purchase something new. But then my eyes fell on Columbia Crest's Two Vines Riesling. I quickly recalled how much I loved their Cabernet Sauvignon and the Riesling was selling for $5.99, who could say no to that??

First, what is Riesling?
Riesling is most known for the sweeter-style German wine it produces. These wines typically taste of peach, honey and apricot fruit flavors. While Alsace Riesling are very well known and come highly recommended, Washington State also produces high quality Riesling.
Don't be mistaken, many assume (and you know what happens when you do that) that Riesling produces only sweet wine. Although sweet does dominate, there are some amazing dry and complex Riesling produced in Alsace, Germany and in the United States.

For this night I picked a Washington State Riesling, Columbia Crest, Two Vines.

I was excited to try this. As soon as I was able I opened it up and took a sip. It reminded me of biting into a Granny Smith Apple. It was sweet, crisp, juicy and a bit tart. Even with the tartness, I eagerly gulped down a second glass. I shared a bit with my drinking buddy and he actually liked it (so far he tends to only enjoy sweet wines. I'm working on it, give me time). I decided to leave enough left for another night, just to see if the taste changed. The next night it drastically improved. The tartness was all gone. It was semisweet, smooth, crisp and slightly dry. I really enjoyed it and for under $10.00, you can bet I'll be buying this again.