Wrapping up my Labor Day Weekend Picks with Pianissimo 2010 Organic Malbec Rosé

The last wine in my series of end of summer wine picks is an organic Rosé of Malbec from Caligiore Organic Wines.  We enjoyed this bottle last weekend as an apéritif and it turned out to be a wonderful wine to sip as we relaxed on a warm summer afternoon.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Pianissimo is a Rosé made from organic Malbec from the Medoza region of Argentina.  It has 13% alcohol and retails for $9.99.  For more information see the winery at http://www.caligiore.com.ar/ or the importer at www.Marquee.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Pianissimo pours a captivating raspberry color in the glass.  The nose has fruity aromas of cherry and strawberry.  The palate is delicate with sweet tastes of strawberries, raspberries, and plum.  The sweetness is nicely balanced with the wine’s dry finish.  A really perfect way to start of your Labor Day weekend celebrations.  Cheers!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This Rosé is easy to sip on its own or could be paired with a seafood salad or hotdogs and sausages off the grill.

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Continue Reading

A Smooth, Fruity Blend from Caligiore Organic Wines

This past weekend I had a chance to try a couple of new wines that are perfect for your upcoming Labor Day weekend festivities (or for any time you just want a great, nicely priced bottle of wine).  On Saturday, we grilled up some burgers and opened a bottle of Staccato 2010 Organic Malbec/Cabernet Blend from Caligiore Organic Wines.  It is an eco-friendly wine made from organically grown grapes and was the perfect pairing with our burgers.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Staccato is a blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Cabernet from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  It has 13.9% alcohol and retails for $9.99.  For more information see the winery at http://www.caligiore.com.ar/ or the importer at www.Marquee.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Staccato pours a bright ruby in the glass.  The nose is simple with floral and cherry aromas.  This blend has big, sweet cherry flavors that are smooth and bright.  It shows nice balance with firm tannins and finishes with a bit of pepper.  Straightforward and easy to sip…a great find for $9.99!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This blend pairs nicely with burgers, grilled pork chops, or a cheese pizza

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Continue Reading

Don’t Underestimate “The Birdman”

The next wine I want to feature in my picks of affordable wine choices for your end of summer BBQ is “The Birdman”, a Pinot Grigio from Big House.  It’s not a fancy wine (you can even find it in a box (gasp!)) and I must admit I was a little prejudiced before I tried it…but, believe it or not, it’s actually pretty good!

About the Wine- From the Winery

Big House “The Birdman” 2010 Pinot Grigio is 100% Pinot Grigio from California.  It has 13.5% alcohol and retails for $9.99.  For more information see www.BigHouseWine.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Birdman pours a pale yellow in the glass.  The nose has aromas of ripe cantaloupe, grapefruit, and peach.  The palate is full of soft, sweet tastes of melon and citrus.  Flavors of grapefruit come alive in the finish and add a needed touch of bitterness to even out the fruity palate.  This approachable, refreshing wine is sure to cool you down on a warm, summer afternoon.  Grab a bottle (or box) and enjoy with friends and family!

My Wine Rating- B-

Food Pairing Suggestions- This Pinot Grigio pairs well with grilled chicken, a pizza with goat cheese and shrimp, or with smoked fish.

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Continue Reading

A Juicy Syrah from Big House

I want to feature a few posts that make some recommendations for end of summer BBQ’s and Labor Day weekend celebrations.  It’s a great time of year to spend some time outside with friends and family before the weather cools down and a nice, affordable bottle of wine will always assure a better time for everyone.  Big House kindly sent me a bottle of their 2009 “The Slammer” Syrah and I thought it would be a great wine to start with.  

About the Wine- From the Winery

Big House “The Slammer” 2009 Syrah is 100% Syrah from the Central Coast of California.  It has 13.5% alcohol and retails for $9.99.  For more information see www.BigHouseWine.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Slammer pours a deep plum color in the glass.  It has a powerful nose with notes of dark berries, vanilla, and nutmeg.  The palate is smooth and juicy with tastes of ripe blackberries, plum, and a hint of oak.  The finish is spicy and the berry flavors continue through.  This uncomplicated Syrah doesn’t offer a lot of dimensions but it doesn’t need to.  It’s readily available for around $8 and, in my opinion, it’s a perfect crowd pleaser for your Labor Day festivities.  Open a bottle and enjoy the rest of the summer.

My Wine Rating- B-

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs nicely with buffalo burgers, barbecued spare ribs, or a pizza off the grill. 

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

 

Continue Reading

A Unique and Savory Merlot From Twigs

The next bottle I uncorked from Twigs was their 2008 organic Merlot.  Merlot is one of the more recent wine varieties coming out of Argentina’s cooler climates.  This is one of the first Merlots from Argentina that I have had the opportunity to try and I was intrigued by what the region is producing.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Twigs 2008 Merlot Reserva is made from 100% organic Merlot grapes from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The wine has 13% alcohol and retails for $15.  For more information see www.Twigwines.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Twigs Merlot pours a dark garnet in the glass.  It has a nose of cherry, plum, vanilla and pepper.  The palate is full of juicy dark fruit and clove…an interesting mix of fruit and spice.  The finish is peppery and long with notes of the clove lingering on.  This isn’t your traditional Merlot, but that is true of many Merlots coming out of this region.  It’s uniqueness can be appreciated and the savoriness is enjoyable. 

My Wine Rating- B-

Wine Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs well with veal marsala, a pizza with grilled bell peppers and onions, or a burger with Monterey jack cheese. 

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Continue Reading

A Smooth and Spicy Cabernet- Twigs 2008 Cabernet Reserva

One of my favorite things I get to do as a wine blogger is taste brand new wine labels and vintages.  Twigs is a brand new organic wine from Argentina.  They offer three wines, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet, and all are made from 100% organic grapes from the Maipu region of Argentina.  The winery and it’s owner, Alberto Cecchin, believe wine should be made naturally and with little manipulation.  I uncorked the Cabernet first and it was a nice introduction to the label.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Twigs Cabernet is made from 100% organic Cabernet grapes.  It has 13.5% alcohol and retails for $15.  For more information see the website at www.TwigWines.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Twigs Cabernet pours a dark violet in the glass.  It has an alluring nose with sweet aromas of dark berries, caramel, vanilla, and spice.  The palate is smooth with flavors of plum and cherry.  Notes of pepper and clove linger in the spicy, dry finish.  This Cabernet is a great first effort from Twigs…it is pretty well-balanced and has a nice contrast of fruity and spicy flavors.  I am looking forward to the next two bottles!

My Wine Rating- B-

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs nicely with game meats, a grilled sirloin, or a cheeseburger

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Continue Reading

A Brand New Organic Label and Wine With Breakfast (?)

I am looking forward to the weekend wine tastings I have planned.  I am lucky enough to be one of the first to taste a new label from Argentina called Twigs.  All of the wines are organic and retail for around $15.  Be sure to be on the lookout for posts next week!

On another note, strange as it may sound to some, every once in a while I find myself taking a few sips of wine in the AM when I am wrapping up a blog post of a wine a had the night before.  Of course we have all enjoyed Champagne or a Mimosa with breakfast, but I’m not so sure about a glass of Oregon Pinot with my runny eggs and toast? 

It’s possible that in some countries this is pretty normal (I do recall an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations where he and several others were drinking wine and having Charcuterie for breakfast…but I don’t know if this is a “morning routine” anywhere) but in America it seems weird and even unappetizing.  I am not sure how I feel about wine with breakfast and I really don’t want to replace my morning espresso with a glass of Rosé…but it is an interesting thought. 

Have any of you guys ever sipped wine with breakfast?  If so, I would love to hear about your morning wine experiences!

Continue Reading

Wednesday Wine Pick- Santa Julia Organica Chardonnay 2010

I am wrapping up my journey through Santa Julia’s wines with their 2010 Organica Chardonnay.  I have eaten almost entirely organic for the last 8 years but I often have a hard time finding great organic wines…especially at reasonable prices.  Santa Julia’s wines have all really impressed me thus far so I was hoping that the Chardonnay would be the perfect finish to my tasting adventure. 

About the Wine- From the Winery

Santa Julia Organica Chardonnay- excuse the tear in the label 🙂

Santa Julia Organica Chardonnay 2010 is 100% Chardonnay from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The wine is made from organically grown grapes and is aged in stainless steel tanks.  It has 12.5% alcohol and retails for $11.  You can find more information at www.winesellersltd.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Organica Chardonnay pours a pale yellow in the glass.  The fragrant, fruity nose has notes of pineapple and pear with a hint of vanilla.  The wine is refreshing with tastes of tropical fruit, crisp green apples, and banana.  The mid-palate is smooth and the fruit flavors carry through to a dry, tangy finish.  I am pleased once again with Santa Julia’s wine.  This is a great organic Chardonnay and a perfect wine for your end of summer festivities.  Cheers!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs well with scallops, braised pork, or shrimp scampi

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Continue Reading

Another Great Wine From Santa Julia- Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet 2009

I was really impressed with Santa Julia’s new [+] line a couple of weeks ago so I was excited when I received a bottle from their Reserva line.  Santa Julia is a sustainable winery in Argentina with a wide variety of eco-friendly and organic wines at very reasonable prices.  I uncorked the bottle with a grilled, grass-fed sirloin, hoping it would be a perfect match.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet 2009 is 100% Cabernet from Maipu Vineyard in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  It has 14% alcohol and retails for $12.  For more information see www.winesellersltd.com

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet pours a dark plum color in the glass.  The nose has aromas of ripe plum, cherry, and sweet spices.  The rich and savory palate is filled with dark berries, tart cherries, and a hint of sweet tobacco followed by an incredibly smooth and lingering finish.  Quite the sophisticated Cabernet for $12!

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- Perfect with a grilled steak, venison, or a rack of lamb.

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review. 

 

Continue Reading

A Step Up From Ravenswood- 2008 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel

I have become very accustomed to seeing Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel in almost every grocery and wine store in California (and everywhere else I travel for that matter) but I have never really explored into the depths of their brand.  Ravenswood has several other series of wine and doesn’t just offer Zinfandel…they have Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Merlot just to name a few.  I wrapped up last weekend with their 2008 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel and it was a nice bottle to end the week with.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Ravenswood 2008 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel is a blend of 77% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 8% Syrah, and 5% Carignane.  It has 14.5% alcohol and retails for around $18.  For more information see www.RavenswoodWinery.com

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Ravenswood pours a beautiful, deep purple in the glass.  It definitely seems like a reflection of the Petite Sirah that is blended in.  The wine has a rich nose of ripe raspberries, blackberries, and oak.  Tastes of dark cherries and blackberries are surrounded by notes of vanilla.  This Zinfandel is super-smooth with mild tannins and it finishes with pepper and lingering vanilla.  It is not a complex wine but it is very easy to drink.  A fun way to deviate from the Vintners Blend!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs well with burgers, pot roast, or a pizza on the grill

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Continue Reading