A French Bargain- 2010 Georges Descombes Régnié

Beaujolais…often disregarded and overlooked.  I will admit there are French wines that may show a little more sophistication but to ignore Beaujolais as a category is a huge mistake.  Over the weekend I uncorked a bottle of 2010 Georges Descombes Régnié and was amazed at the complexity and depth I found in this medium-bodied wine.

About the Wine- From the Winery

2010 Georges Descombes Régnié is a Gamay from the Beaujolais region of France.  It has 13% alcohol and retails for $23.99.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

2010 Georges Descombes Régnié pours a bright ruby in the glass.  The nose is musty with aromas of strawberries, cherries, and spice.  The palate offers layers of dark cherries, raspberries, pepper, and vibrant acidity.  The finish is long and elegant and gives your palate time to ponder the flavors in the wine.  A wonderful wine at a very fair price.

My Wine Rating- A-

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this wine with a charcuterie plate, grilled chicken with roasted vegetables, or Camembert cheese

*Media Sample

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A Wine Worthy of a Special Occasion- Château La Nerth 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with Rhone wines so I am always excited to try a new bottle.  Château La Nerth 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a Rhone blend from a winery that got its start in the 12th century.  My husband and I decided to uncork it over the weekend and we were pretty impressed with this beautiful, Rhone red!

About the Wine- From the Winery

Château La Nerth 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 48% Grenache Noir, 29% Syrah, 22% Mouvedre, and 1% Cinsault and is certified AB organic.  It has 14.5% alcohol and retails for $59.  For more information visit www.pasternakwine.com.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

This wine pours an intense ruby in the glass.  Rich aromas of cassis, dark cherries, and spice immediately drew me into the wine.  The palate is smooth and sophisticated with tastes of dark fruits, spices, and balanced acidity.  The finish has a bit of spice and lingering earth.  Château La Nerth 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape has layers of flavors that kept my taste buds entertained sip after sip.  A wine worthy of helping celebrate a special occasion or just life in general!

My Wine Rating- A-

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this wine with filet mignon, rack of lamb, or smoked gouda.

*Media Sample

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Mini-Review- 2007 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône

I love that one of my favorite wine shops has a super helpful employee who just recently moved to the US from France.  I constantly pick his brain regarding what French wines I should cellar and what wines are great bargains ready to drink now.  Recently, he recommended 2007 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône as being a wine that really offered a lot of quality for the price.  The wine, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, retails for around $12 and drinks like it cost 2 to 3 times as much.

The nose has rich aromas of blackberries and tobacco.  The palate is impressive in its depth and sophistication.  Smooth and silky with notes of dark berries, plum, coccoa, and pepper.  A really nice wine for the price!  Pick up a few bottles and you won’t feel guilty drinking it midweek or serving it to friends on the weekend.  Pair with lamb or beef. (B+)

 

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Two Sparkling Wines To Help Ring in the New Year!

I really can’t think of a better time of year then New Year’s Eve to celebrate with a nice bottle of sparkling wine.  Here is one of my favorite bargain picks and a “splurge” pick that are sure to help usher in a wonderful 2012:

Bargain Pick- Cavit Prosecco Lunetta (NV)

This Prosecco is my pick for a great value sparkling wine.  I love Prosecco and appreciate when I can find a good bottle under $20.  This bottle can be picked up for around $12-14 and really gives you a wonderful bottle of wine for the price.  Refreshing flavors of green apple, peach, and pear are followed by a clean finish.  It’s easy to drink and sure to be a crowd pleaser. (B+)

Splurge Pick- Bollinger NV Brut Cuvee

I have shared this Champagne on my blog before but I wanted to mention it again because it is one of my favorites for the price.  The nose has smokey notes of apple and citrus. The palate has tastes of toasted nuts, ginger, and apple with hints of spice. A beautiful Champagne with fresh acidity and layers of intense flavor.  It’s one of the better Champagnes that I have found for around $50.  A great way to celebrate new beginnings! (A-/A)

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Toasting to Thanksgiving- Bollinger NV Brut Special Cuvee

I want to end my Thanksgiving wine recommendations with a Champagne that I recently tried.  I picked it up at the suggestion of a very helpful clerk at a local wine store was thoroughly impressed.  I think it’s a perfect bottle for a Thanksgiving splurge.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Bollinger NV Brut Special Cuvee is a non-vintage Champagne from Champagne, France.  It is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier and retails for $50.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee pours a sparkling golden-yellow in the glass.  The nose has smokey notes of apple and citrus.  This rich Champagne has tastes of toasted nuts, ginger, and apple with hints of spice.  A beautiful Champagne with fresh acidity and layers of intense flavor.  The perfect way to start a Thanksgiving Feast!

My Wine Rating- A-/A

Food Pairing Suggestions- This Champagne is the perfect aperitif for a Thanksgiving meal and is extremely food friendly so it could be sipped throughout the night.

 

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A Pinot Noir From Lulu B. That’s Smooth, Simple, and Fun to Drink

All of us women know the stress…girls’ night planned, friends coming over in a couple of hours, and still panicking to find a wine to serve that will impress your friends but won’t break the bank.  I opened a bottle of Lulu B. Pinot Noir hoping it would be an easy recommendation to ease your hospitality worries…

About the Wine- From the Winery

Lulu B. Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir from France.  It has 12.5% alcohol and retails for $10.  For more information see www.lulub.com

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Lulu B. Pinot Noir pours a bright ruby in the glass.  The nose is straight-forward with aromas of sweet dark berries, plum, and cherries.  The smooth palate is filled with tastes of juicy dark cherries.  The cherry flavors continue into the silky finish and are followed by a hint of spice.  Lulu B. Pinot Noir is casual, fun, and super-easy to drink.  A perfect fit for a girls’ night in!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- Easy to sip on its own, with grilled salmon, or a great cheese plate (pairs well with cheddar, feta, and smoked brie). 

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

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A Brouilly Perfect for a BBQ- Henri Plasse Brouilly 2009

Last week’s Beaujolais tasting was a fun experience and opened my taste buds up to wines that normally aren’t on my radar.  The final Beaujolais featured in the tasting was a Brouilly from Henri Plasse.  It was the heaviest wine of the night and a welcomed finale after three lighter wines.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Henri Plasse Brouilly 2009 is a Beaujolais made from 100% Gamay grapes.  It has 13% alcohol and retails for $16.99.

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Brouilly has a smokey nose with notes of blackberry and blueberry.  This medium-bodied wine tastes of juicy blackberries, blueberries, and smoke with an earthy finish.  Because of the smokiness of the wine, it is a great match for grilled meats.  An enjoyable wine that once again, as in the other three Beaujolais, makes a great companion for a grill and a warm summer night.  If it’s been a while since you sipped a Beaujolais (or maybe you have never had the chance to indulge in a glass), grab bottle this summer and enjoy!

My Wine Rating- B-

Food Pairing Suggestions- The wine would pair well with a burger topped with grilled mushrooms and onions, BBQ ribs, or steak fajitas

*This wine was provided to me as a media sample for the purpose of participating in a live tasting event

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A Great Summer Red- Domaines des Braves Régnié 2009

Red wine will probably never be jealous over my relationship with white wine.  I much prefer to drink it any time of day with almost any food (I definitely am guilty of drinking a heavier red from time to time when it’s sweltering outside even though a chilled bottle of white is sitting right beside it).  Because of this, I love finding a light red that is perfect for the hot summer months.  This Régnié definitely fits that mold and I was excited it was part of our Beaujolais tasting line-up.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Domaines des Braves Régnié 2009 is a Beaujolais made from 100% Gamay Grapes.  It has 13% alcohol and retails for $14.99.

Now The Fun Part- Tasting The Wine

The Régnié has a nose with notes of violet, plum, and oak.  This light-bodied red tastes of ripe raspberries and plum with a spicy finish of pepper and cumin.  It displays bright acidity that is perfectly balanced with its velvety, smooth texture and mild tannins.  This wine is easy like Sunday morning…I could sip on all day.  Go enjoy a glass or two and remember it is best served just slightly chilled!

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this Régnié with grilled chicken, lamb, or a charcuterie plate

*This wine was provided to me as a media sample for the purpose of participating in a live tasting event

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A Balanced Beaujolais Blanc- Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc 2010

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in a live tasting event hosted by Discover Beaujolais on Twitter.  Four very different bottles of Beaujolais arrived at my door last week and yesterday we had the chance to taste them and tweet about them.  Beaujolais has long been the underdog of French wines, looked down upon by many wine snobs, and viewed as a “less serious” wine.  After tasting all 4 wines, I can honestly say that while I love a great, expensive Burgundy, I really enjoyed the Beaujolais.  For under $20, each bottle delivered a wonderful wine that was easy to sip and perfect for summer BBQ’s.

The first wine we sipped was a Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun.  This Beaujolais Blanc is made from the Chardonnay grape and was a great way to start the tasting. (reviews of the other 3 bottles to follow next week)

About the Wine- From the Winery

Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc is 100% Chardonnay from France.  It has 12% alcohol and retails for $15.97.  For more information see www.LouisDressner.com

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Beaujolais Blanc has a crisp, fruity nose.  This light-bodied wine has tastes of pear, apple, and citrus that combine with nice mineral notes.  It’s not complex but it is so easy to sip and perfect for a warm summer afternoon.   Definitely give this wonderfully balanced Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun a try and let me know what you think!  Cheers and enjoy the weekend!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine would go perfectly with grilled seafood including tuna and sea bass.

*This wine was provided to me as a sample for the purpose of participating in a live tasting event

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