Rosés I’m Drinking this 4th of July

Despite us being in the heart of rose season, I have yet to recommend any, so here we go! …a quick post on a few of my favorite roses that are worth splurging on this holiday weekend. The Classic: Chateaux Pradeaux … Continue reading

The Changing Face of California

In light of an article that came out in the New York Times Sunday Magazine several weeks ago, I think it’s worth mentioning what is going on in California right now. If you have a few minutes, and want to … Continue reading

Drinking Local Part 1 – Long Island Wines

Is eating & drinking local trendy? Well, yes, but about as trendy as it has been in every other country outside of the U.S. since forever. There’s something bizarre in the fact that we don’t drink local products, but I’m … Continue reading

Good Things Come in Small Bottles

German wine can be intimidating to anyone. Even if you speak fluent German, the label tells you almost nothing about what is inside the bottle, the names are near impossible to us non-speakers to pronounce, and they even use different … Continue reading

A Pinot for Him & Her

Wanted to share a find that I encountered this week which is such a versatile & delicious wine – MacPhail Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2012. Even being the Pinot-crazy girl that I am, the breadth of ways this grape changes from region to region is still so mind boggling!

DSC00187While this wine comes in a little more expensive that I typically post, at $40, if you’re planning to splurge for Valentine’s Day, this will not disappoint. It’s a BIG expression of Pinot – fruit forward with lots of cherry & raspberry, with a big juicy mouthfeel. The finish is just right on the palate, with some clear tannin, but an even acid balance to keep you going back for more.

On trend with many new-world producers, there’s full disclosure on tCA Wine Maphe back label, and on the website even more – including everything down to the clones of Pinot Noir used in production. A clone is essentially a cut from a vine with specific qualities, that is re-propogated – i.e. good tolerance to cold, or ability to thrive in specific soil types. The specific sites of the vineyards are also given (it’s a blend of 8 different sites). Here’s a basic map of the CA wine regions ->

By way of CA production, James MacPhail is working on a small scale, producing only 5,000 cases annually, as that’s all his permit allows – but he seems very content with that, and if the wines keep turning out like this, I am too.

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This is a crowd pleasing wine, and while it’s totally drinkable alone, it will hold up again some hearty meals as well, and I’d even go so far as to say a tender cut of steak would be on point. But, whatever your Valentine’s Day has in store – wine is always welcome!

Cheers,

A

‘Juno’ it’s wine time!

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This was the week of snowstorm ‘Juno’ here in NYC, which essentially meant impeding doom: digging boots out of the closet, facing armageddon-esque supermarket lines, and working from home. It also gave us a perfect reason to drink some wine (…not that I need an excuse).

Spanish wines are one of the best values on the market. I’ve never totally understood this, as the wines are beautiful, but I’m not complaining! Perhaps it’s the mystery of the region to us here state-side. There are lots of varietals that aren’t grown outside of Spain, and lots of different labeling terminology to any other country. DSC00141

Petalos del Bierzo, Crianza, 2012 – $20. This wine has been recommended to me twice by different retailers, and it was about time to give it a try.

Bierzo is a designated region in the north-western region of Spain. This wine is made entirely of the varietal ‘Mencia’, the dominant type of grape in the Bierzo region, and once thought to be a clone of Cabernet Franc due to its peppery and vegetal aromas, and lighter-style of red wine. This wine was a perfect translucent ruby color, and has a strong mid-palate combined with complex fruit & floral flavors. If you care to look at wine ratings, this one took a 90/100 at Wine Spectator.

Unsure what to buy for that dinner party? A gift for a friend? Just something to have a nice meal with at home? I say go Spanish!

Ideal NYC snow situation:

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Real NYC snow situation:

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Cheers,

A

Winter Warmer

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January can be a bummer, which makes it a great time to try something new. Since most of us choose to drink our share of big red wines in these colder months, now is a prime time to explore the Rhone Valley. On a cold walk home the other night, I stopped in to pick up a bottle, and found this: Domaine de Bonserine, Cote Rotie, La Sarrasine, Rhone, FR 2004. Wait, Cote Rotie for $19.99?! …let’s discuss… Rhone Map

Cote Rotie is found in the Northern Rhone Valley, where the steep slopes demand high labor costs (i.e. high prices), but create some great wines! The soils are granite-based, and erode quickly – in some cases, the producers must take the eroded soil and put it back onto the hillsides. In case this wasn’t enough to deter winemakers, the wind (the ‘Mistral’), is so strong, that the vines are planted with a teepee-esque support system around them, just so they are able to stay standing. Oh yes, and there’s the hail. Given the challenges here, the Northern wines make up only about 5% of the total production in the Rhone.

The Cote Rotie is the northern-most area, and translates directly as ‘Roasted Slope’. The grape of importance here is Syrah, which produces deep colored reds with full body, spicy notes (black pepper!), and with age show gamey aromas. This wine showed all of these characteristics, and with over 10 years on it, it was even showing chocolate and coffee aromas. The average online price for this wine was $54, so for $19.99, this was quite a deal!

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Sidenote: Stumbled into the new Toby’s Estate in the West Village – such a welcoming place. How perfect was this? 

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Cheers,

A