A Bubbly Labor Day!

3 Sep

Happy Labor Day all! Salute! 🎉

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Happy Friday… From Portugal!

24 Aug

Well not really more like from NYC but it is a Portuguese kind of Friday for me and i’m loving it (and not just because I am 1/3rd)!  It’s a region that I do not drink often, yet when I do adventure into a bottle I just can’t get enough.  Lying between Lisbon and the small harbor of Porto Côvo, are beautiful vineyards that harvested the 2009 Portinho Do Côvo.  A bit of jammy-ness with ripened black fruits and hints of spice make for  a succulent wine with lovely tannins that are not too hard.  Time to take out the cheese and enjoy this perfect August night!  You should do the same .

Now Saude (to your health, in Portuguese)  and to the weekend! 

The 10 Commandments of Wine (From the Portuguese) 

1. Love wine above all things

2. Swear to drink it either in the summer or winter

3. Santificate bars and cellars

4. Honour either white and red

5. Start the day at least with one glass

6. Never mix water and wine

7. Never rob an empty bottle

8. Do not lie without being drunk

9. Just envy or desire a full bottle of good wine

10. Always drink it slowly but surely 

Thank you Lauren for this special gift from your journey to Portugal!

Calling All Bubble Lovers! (Quality and Won’t Break the Bank)!

21 Aug

Oh, the joy of bubbles brightens everyone’s day, especially a delicious Cava from Spain! 

I received samples of the Freixenet (“fresh-eh-net”) Cordon Negro Brut a.k.a. “the black bottle bubbly” from their PR agency a few weeks ago and my oh my, I was not surprised to taste the most elegant (inside and out) sparkling wine that I have tried thus far in my wine journey; it’s the world’s #1 imported sparkling wine, to say the least (screw top included!).

When I was getting ready to pour a glass, I had to find the chicest glass I had available to keep up with the quality of this Cava. This champagne coup did the trick!

Sipping this sparkling Cava could be considered an art in itself as the pungent bubbles, crisp style, and sleek black bottle are a masterpiece. Very much a show-stopper at any party.  Did I mention a great pairing and aperitif  with raw almonds?

A nice blend of Cavaare Macabeo (35%), Xarel-lo (25%) and Parellada (40%) was crisp with tastes of pear, apple, and citrus yet a tinge of smoky flavor came out of the bottle for me.  A dry sparkling (not too overbearing) and fluttery in the mouth could be considered a good middle-man between a prosecco and a champagne.

And of course, it’s all about the bubbles, you can actually feel the bubbles run down your esophagus and brighten up your whole body.  The best part is, the bubbles never die.  I was sipping on this and taking in all of its flavors for over 20 minutes and it still had just as many bubbles when poured (maybe a hint less, but still!).  One word – QUALITY. Case and point, it feels good all around drinking this Cava and I’m hoping it’s at your ‘End of Summer Soiree’ or at an event outside in your cocktail dress or suit (skinny tie included).

Can be found in the majority of wines stores and numerous restaurants around NYC!  Retails for around $10.95.

Also, want some fun cocktails using this delicious Cava?  {here}

Salud!

#WW– A Taste of Madrid with Malvar

8 Aug

I shared this interesting wine that I received from Olé Imports a few weeks ago with a dear friend of mine and we were automatically obsessed!  We sat down for a cheese and hummus plate and sipped the fabulous 2010 Zestos Vinos de Madrid Blanco, 100% Malvar and indigenous to the Madrid (so awesome!). My first try at Malvar, we found it to be such an easy drinking white wine and a cross between a grassy Sauvignon Blanc and an unoaked Chardonnay.  The graceful acidity paired well with the lighter cheese we had and even just drinking by itself was a treat and very easy to do! We were so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take a picture!

Like we were, were you perplexed by the design on the bottle also? Olé in their tasting notes explains that ‘Zestos’ means ‘basket’ in English.  ‘Not too many years ago, baskets like the one on the label were placed on donkeys to transport the just-picked grapes from the vineyard to the winery.”  This intricate design represents the heritage and process that was once used to harvest the grapes in the past.  A wonderful representation of tradition both inside and out!

Olé suggests: ‘If you like litchi fruit, Zestos Blanco!’

The best part, the price – $8

Have you tried any obscure grapes that you had never heard of before and LOVED?

**All photos are from Olé Imports

Perfect Summer Wines for the Shorely Bon Vivant!

23 Jul

Finally, I have a free minute for WINEPUG!  Oh how I’ve missed you all!  With the day job, celebrating my favorite holiday (the 4th of July) and many engagements/wedding festivities of my dearest friends and family, I’ve yet to find time to blog about my wine adventures! Nonetheless, while I have been sipping and toasting to happiness and celebration, I subconsciously watched my PERFECT Summer Wine list transform before me! I’m calling it “Perfect Summer Wines for the Shorely Bon Vivant!”  I’ve tried these out in many situations (along the water) and all grab guest’s attention through their delicious taste and impeccable design.  Have a peek!

Andre Balazs ‘Sunset Beach’ Reserve
Exquisite pink rose that embodies New York City and Sunset Beach!  Found only at Andre Balazs’ properties {here} and one of my favorite wine stores in NYC, Sherry-Lehman {here}, Sunset Beach Reserve SCREAMS Summer and has turned non-rose lovers into fanatics (I’ve seen it happen).  Enjoy this on the beach with a Lobster dinner (we did in Martha’s Vineyard) or anywhere by the water.  A very light rose filled with light strawberry and a tiny bit of dryness, just superb!

Limited Edition Chandon
Imagine Fourth of July Party on the boat or engagement toasting with this bottle – All of this did actually happen over the past few weeks! – This is my champs of the summer!  A simple crisp champagne with hints of pear and full of great bubbles.  Who wouldn’t want to be seen with this bottle outside on the water!

2009 ‘Surf Zin’ from Armida Winery
I tried this wine at the tasting room in Capitola, a supple fruit bomb great for summer. It’s perfect for an outdoor BBQ in the Hamptons or anywhere by the water.  It even has a little surfer dude on it to keep reminding you that it’s summer and its surf time!

Pink Flamingo NV Gris de Gris “Pink Wine”, Vin de Pays des Sables 2011
I actually found this bottle at my local wine store right around the corner from my apartment!  It was one of the rose’s that was featured and its description was too good to pass up.  Plus the peach color from the onset reeled me in! Another extremely light rose with loads of minerality and cherry/raspberry flavors serves as a light treat with any summer fare.

Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs from Francis Ford Coppola Winery
I’ve ran around Manhattan with them before {here}, now try taking them to the beach with you or even on the train or bus ride if you are too eager to wait!  A blend of 82% Pinot Blanc, 10% Riesling, 8% Muscat makes this a very vibrant white wine with zest and honeycomb and pear flavors.  Delish for a BBQ or for your summer party!  PS – each can comes with a straw – even better!

Go with Godello!

3 Jul

I was feeling inspired one night when I received two bottles of Godello from Ole Imports.  I have never tasted the Godello varietal before so I decided to open both bottles simultaneously to get the full effect of this grape type.  Godello is grown in northwestern Spain mostly in Valdeorras and northern Portugal.  It’s a fine white grape that at first, reminded me of a Chard then transformed into a burst of something more unique!  These wines really reflect its place of origin and the soils where the vines are grown. Both wines were farmed in slate and granite giving the wines earthy and ‘stony’ flavors showing how specific climate and immaculate precision is used in growing these remarkable grapes.  Now… onto the wines.

2010 Castelo do Papa Godello
100% Godello (of course) had such youthful minerality with hints of pear, green apple and a hint of grapefruit.  I tasted a bit of acidity as well which to me, made this wine extremely well balanced and smooth.  Definitely a wine that can be paired with a heavier meal, such as sausage, heavier cheeses, and really any seafood.

2010 Estate Bottle Rogo Godello
Another 100% Godello.  This wine had a floral and vibrant nose and loads of minerality and stone fruit in taste.  it had a bit of honey, a tiny bit of sweetness and is a little more ‘zest’ than the Papa.  A great refreshing wine with energy!  I would stay with lighter cheeses, fish dishes, oysters, and pasta as pairings.

All in all, my Godello experience was a very pleasant one and gives a true adventure into the world of the Valdeorras region through the taste of each wine – a mineral and fruitful experience!

I highly recommend you try to brighten your taste buds and grow out of your comfort zone with wine.  Try something new and grow your palate!  I can now say I am a huge fan of Godello and will seek them out when I’m at my wine store next!

For more on the wine region check out this great article from Good Food Revolution !  

#WW – A Bottle of Elegance Turned Vase with @seguraviudasusa

20 Jun

I feel like I keep repeating myself, but I will absolutely say it again, I always love a good story relating to a wine that we pull out of our wine fridge.  I not only consider our fridge a storage for wine, but also a true library of our life read through the bottles we have collected and/or have been gifted.  It’s such a beautiful thing going through our ‘library’ deciding which wine to drink and clinking glasses to it’s memory.  I find I am so attached to some of the bottles that even after we drink them, it’s hard for me to let them go (yes we have a small wall full of our favorite empty bottles).  So for this week’s Winepug Wednesday, I am proud to say that I have found a great use to this special bottle that we popped open two Sunday’s ago sipping to the sunset on the rooftop.

We received this exquisite bottle of Spanish Cava – Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad {here} for our engagement celebration from our dear dear friends.  Just like the outside, the inside is filled with an elegantly textured sparkling wine with smokey hints and ripe fruit.  A very dry yet full bodied and tough wine showing true quality. Definitely can make a statement when paired with a salmon, lobster dish or a seafood pasta.  

Now, this is a bottle I’m sure we would all agree would be extremely hard to throw away not only because of it’s crest and outer detail but because it was a thoughtful gift and represents such an important time in our lives!  All this bottle needed was a little hot water and soap and voilà! a beautiful ‘vintage’ looking spanish vase for the bedroom that can hold any sort of simple white flower signifying perfection! This bottle will follow me forever – Thank you JL&DM!

Do you have any special bottles that you love and will keep around for a while?  Do tell!

Chandon Stripes for Summer!

18 Jun

It excites and intrigues me whenever I see creative parallels of Fashion and the Wine World.  Thus, as you can imagine, I JUMPED off of my elliptical machine this past weekend when I was reading through this month’s INSTYLE {here} seeing the amazing vision of STRIPES looking perfectly ‘summer’ both in hand and on!  Alice + Olivia {here} and Chandon {here} have created the perfect outfit and accessory for the bon vivant for summer 2012!  These limited edition bottles are so ADORABLE, I may even pick up a case at Sherry-Lehmann {here} this week to kick summer entertaining off in style.   How great these would be accompanying your Fourth of July Fireworks! 

 Cheers to a great week!

Love Riesling? Here are the rules by @DhMeyer and @FandW

12 Jun

Stumbled upon this awesome wine pairing guide for the Riesling lovers in my copy of Food & Wine Magazine!

Here is another great article for interesting pairings with Danny’s infamous restaurants in NYC! {here}

Enjoy!

#WW – What’s Your PoiZin w/ @ArmidaWinery

6 Jun

We recently visited the West Coast over Memorial Day weekend where we went to explore the wine treasures of Santa Cruz – a true hidden gem for great wineries with amazing views.  A little more casual than your big boy Sonoma and Napa estates however, nonetheless still treasures on the vine.

We brought back this wonderful red drinking wine perfect for a Sunday BBQ in the city.  Poizin, made in Sonoma at Armida Winery, but has a tasting room in Capitola overlooks the beach and water and is this week’s wine of choice for Winepug Wednesday!  Such a true Zinfandel (don’t you love the play on words) driven by loads of fruit, spice, and a smooth yet soft finish makes this wine the “wine to die for”.  Not only can you sip on this for hours, it’s also a great conversation starter from the skull artwork on the bottle to the fun anecdotal tale on the back.  So, what’s your Poizin? 

“As she stands in the clearing the cold wind dances through the trees, swirling her golden mane over her diaphanous silken black gown.  The full moon melts into the paleness of her skin.  As she stirs the cauldron of Zinfandel she chants an other worldly incantation.  From vials as old as the echoes of time she adds minute pinches of her ancestry.  Her slender fingers rub together as the grains fall, releasing their magic as they touch the fermenting must.  On her face is the look of both good and evil, of love and hate, of life and sex and all that stirs you.  What is this unearthly potion?  It is Poizin, the wine to die for.”

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