5/31/2011

Quick Sip: Catoctin Creek Winery 2009 Syrah


Hello Friends,

Today’s ‘Quick Sip’ is the Catoctin Creek Winery 2009 Syrah. Catoctin Creek Winery is located in Purcellville, Virginia, and is owned and operated by local photographer, Jim Hanna. Jim’s operation, which he calls a micro-winery, may be the smallest in Virginia in terms of production and the actual size of the production facility (aka winery). In 2009, Jim produced a little over 100 cases of wine and similar numbers are expected for the current vintage. From a small home-based space in his basement, Jim works with Loudoun County grape-growers to bring in the best fruit possible for the production of his wines. For the 2009 Syrah, the fruit was sourced from Breaux Vineyards, which is one of the state’s largest grape growers and producers of award-winning estate-grown wines.

Catoctin Creek Winery 2009 Syrah


The Catoctin Creek Winery 2009 Syrah displays a medium-deep, ruby color with cherry, blackberry and white pepper aromas with sweet oak, cedar and spice overtones. The palate is supple and smooth with moderate acidity, balanced fruit, spice and peppery nuances, and a medium-length slightly drying finish. The wine clocks in at a very moderate 12.1% ABV, retails for $20, and would pair nicely with a wide variety of foods, ranging from light cheeses and pizza, to pork and red sauce dishes. Only 31 cases of the 2009 Syrah was produced. The winery and tasting area is open by appointment, so e-mail Jim at info@catoctincreekwinery.com to schedule a tasting and learn more about Catoctin Creek Winery.

NOTE: The artist series wine label is a picture from Jim's collection that depicts the natural beauty of Loudoun County. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to make friends with Catoctin Creek Winery on Facebook.

CLICK HERE to follow Catoctin Creek Winery on Twitter.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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5/23/2011

When did under $10 become a sin?


Hello Friends,

When I’m not spending the weekend visiting Wine Country, I usually check out some of the area’s local wine shops. Most wine shops offer complimentary themed tastings on the weekend as part of a try before you buy incentive. For the consumer, this is a pretty good deal. If you like what you taste and feel it’s priced fairly, take it home. Conversely, if a wine is not to your liking, either swallow it or spit it out and move on to the next splash – you are not obligated to purchase anything. During these tastings, I’ve seen people approach the bar and request only reds, only whites, or just sweet wines. Nothing is wrong with having a personal preference, even though it is rather limiting if your preference is all you reach for. I’ve found, from brief discussions during these tastings, that most limitations people set for themselves are due to misconceptions they have about a certain type of wine or wine region. A recent example would be a lady who assumed all Chardonnay wines were oaky, so she asked to skip the Chardonnay. After being told that the one being poured was a naked Chardonnay, she opened up to tasting it, and from what I recall, approved of it. If you don’t like Chardonnay, you don’t like Chardonnay, but don’t give up on a variety just because you encounter a few examples that don’t fit your fancy. Chardonnay comes in many styles and can be quite enjoyable.

Sometimes you can WIN with Under $10


Just recently during a tasting, I witnessed something for the first time. A lady walked up to the tasting bar and instead of requesting a red or a white, she requested green! She wanted to know the price points of the wines being poured. Then she went on to say that she was not going to taste anything under $10, because, as she put it, “It must be bad.” I found this a bit odd, but at the same time suggested to the lady that if she didn’t approve of the two wines under $10 she could spit them out. The lady looked me right in the eyes and said, “What I look like spitting wine out?” Thank goodness she couldn’t hear my thoughts following that comment. Needless to say, she never tried the wines and didn’t quite grasp that this was merely a wine tasting – you don’t have to drink a glass, just taste the wine and judge the wine for the wine, not the price tag. My friends and I, often times, intentionally throw less expensive wines into tastings with more expensive wines just to see how they stack up. The moral of this short story is to keep an open mind, an open palate, and keep trying new things. It’s nearly impossible to judge a wine, be it an under $10 wine, a $30 wine, or even a $100 wine, without first trying it. Lastly, if under $10 is a sin for you, then start putting together some blind tastings and put a few inexpensive wines in the mix with some pricier selections. This way, nothing is influencing what you like and what you don’t like. Click here to see what happened when I hosted a blind tasting with a $5.99 wine from Trader Joe's. Cheers!  
NOTE: The picture I used for this post was taken at UnWined Gourmet Wine and Cigars in Alexandria, VA. Both of their locations (King Street and Belle View) have a good under $10 wine selection. Get out and go gem hunting, friends! Have a question about this post? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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5/16/2011

Pink Out 2011 with Taste-Live


Hello Friends,

I recently had the pleasure of joining a panel of wine bloggers for an online tasting event that placed the spotlight on one of spring and summer’s most popular and refreshing wines – Rosé. The event, called “Pink Out,” is put on annually by RAP (Rosé Avengers and Producers) to promote and celebrate quality Rosé wines. Sadly, and I’ve seen this first-hand, when some people think pink they think of a cheap, sweet, and lackluster wine. This bad rap sometimes prevents people from buying pink colored wines altogether. While “sweet, cheap, and lackluster” may hold true for some pink juice, there are a large number of refreshing and attractive drier examples that not only taste good but are very food-friendly, with light summer fare (hint-hint). If you’ve written off Rosé and have yet to try a bright, crisp, and fairly dry example, visit your local wine shop and give one a swirl, sniff, and sip. I bet you'll enjoy what's inside!

Pink Out 2011 !!!


For Pink Out 2011, the good folks at RAP teamed up with Taste-Live, the world’s premier online wine tasting community, for a virtual tasting event. The online tasting was hosted by Courtney Cochran, sommelier and author of “Hip Tastes”, from the Butterfly restaurant in San Francisco, where Pink Out 2011 festivities were taking place. We had the opportunity to sample three Rosé wines, which were very diverse, well-made, and pleasing. Below are some of the twitter comments from a few wine bloggers and myself as we tasted through the wines.
Gloria Ferrer 2007 Brut Rosé



@Cellarmistress ~ The 2007 Gloria Ferrer Brut Rose is exquisite!!

@Cellarmistress ~ Brut Rose is the single most reason why I prefer pink when I drink sparkling wines!

@TraveleatloveMM ~ Pink plus bubbly equals happy :)

@myvinespot 07 ~ Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé Starts out w/pleasing yeasty accents followed by vibrant red fruit, refined texture.

@myvinespot 07 ~ Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé Dancing bubbles, Vibrant red fruit, moderate complexity -- a glass full of yummy :-)

Chateau d'Esclans 2007 "Garrus"



@TraveleatloveMM ~ We are in love with #chateaudesclans

@cellarmistress ~ Popping open the motherlode of all Rosé-'07 Chateau D'Esclans Garrus. OMIGOD!!!

@cellarmistress ~ Oh Oh Oh my God! I think I seriously just died and went to Rose' heaven!! #chateaudesclans

@myvinespot ~ '07 Chateau D'Esclans Garrus pale orange, good body for a Rosé, nice acidity, soft red fruit impressions and COMPLEX

@myvinespot ~ '07 Chateau D'Esclans Garrus This is that I would call a cerebral wine -- I'm still thinking.

@cellarmistress ~ This is by far one of the BEST wines I've had lately--2007 Chateau D'Esclans Garrus!

@myvinespot ~ Chateau D'Esclans Garrus 07 Lovely mouth-feel and a viscous mid-palate. Nice job!

@TraveleatloveMM ~ Feeling very lucky to have the opportunity to taste Chateau D'Esclans Garrus 07, thank you!

@myvinespot ~ Chateau D'Esclans Garrus Should also point out this is a "07" - not too many Rosé wines get better w/time.

Robert Oatley 2010 Sangiovese Rosé



@TraveleatloveMM ~ I am so loving the color of the #robertoatleyusa Rose of Sangiovese. What can I say, I love #pinkout!

@cellarmistress ~ Now '10 Robert Oatley Rose' of Sangiovese Mudgee from Australia...Great color, some nice sturdiness to it.

@myvinespot ~ 2010 Robert Oatley Rosé ~ beautiful vibrant color, refreshing acidity, clean, fruit fwd, and satisfying.

@TraveleatloveMM ~ The '10 Robert Oatley Rose' of Sangiovese just says summer to me. Even if it is gray and chilly here!

@myvinespot ~ 2010 Robert Oatley Rosé Well made and good QPR spring / summer Rosé. This is definitely a crowd-pleaser :-)

@BondGyrl ~ At $17 the 10 Robert Oatley Rose' of Sangiovese Mudgee is a must buy for your Summer Brunch gift wines!

** Closing Tweets **

@TraveleatloveMM ~ As always, thanks so much @creativefurnace and @tastelive! Great wines and great people!

@Cellarmistress ~ I think all three wines tonite were a big hit!!!

@myvinespot ~ This was a great selection of Rosé wines tonight ~ very diverse and also very good :-) 2 Pink thumbs up!


Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit Gloria Ferrer's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Chateau d'Esclan's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Robert Oatley's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Rosé Avengers and Producer's website.

CLICK HERE to visit the Taste-Live website.

CLICK HERE to visit Courtney Cochran's website.

CLICK HERE to visit CellarMistress wine blog.

CLICK HERE to visit Travel, Eat, Love website.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!


My Vine Spot

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Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

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5/09/2011

Stay & Play: 200 South Street Inn


Hello Friends,

Having a wine blog that over the years has highlighted the local juice and landscape, I often receive e-mail from budding wine enthusiast planning to spend a day or weekend winery hopping. Usually these Virginia wine lovers are looking for winery recommendations, dining suggestions, and for overnighters -- sleep accommodations. When I visit wine country, I often times find it easier to stay and play and enjoy all that wine country has to offer. Visiting tasting rooms are just a slice of the pie. There are also small charming towns that offer historic sites, recreational activities, antique, specialty, and novelty shops, mom-and-pop businesses, entertainment, home-style restaurants – the list goes on and on.

200 South Street Inn


Not too long ago, when I visited the Monticello wine trail in Charlottesville, Virginia, I stayed overnight at 200 South Street Inn. The Inn combines historic lodging with old-warm charm and modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi. The Inn consists of two homes that were restored in the mid 1980’s. The larger of the two homes was built in 1856 for the son of a friend of Thomas Jefferson. This building has a slightly checkered past, adding to its intrigue, being everything from a family home and boarding house, to a brothel-house. If only the walls could talk, right?

Only 2 short blocks from the historic downtown mall !!!


Between the two homes, the Inn boasts over twenty rooms that each feature private baths, a telephone, cable television, and antique décor. The room I stayed in, room #6, was comfortable and even featured a fireplace – not that it was needed with the warm weather, but it was there and added charm to the room. A stay at 200 South Street Inn also includes a continental breakfast and evening wine, cheese, and fruit. The Inn is located near some of the Monticello wineries, four miles from Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, and only two short blocks from Charlottesville’s exciting downtown pedestrian mall, which offers casual to fine dining, specialty shops, a movie and entertainment theatre, street musicians, an indoor ice-skating rink, and three wine bars. I recommend this cozy spot for anyone looking to stay and play in Charlottesville; especially if you plan on taking advantage of what the downtown mall has to offer. Visit 200 South Street Inn’s website for further information, rates, and availability. Have a favorite place to stay when visiting Virginia wine country? Shoot me an e-mail so I can check it out too.

My Fave Spot: The front porch!


Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit 200 South Street Inn's website.

CLICK HERE to fan-up 200 South Street Inn on Facebook.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

My Vine Spot

  • Please Click Here to vote Dezel's My Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day!
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Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2011. All rights reserved.

5/03/2011

Springtime Sipping with Planet Bordeaux


Hello Friends,

The warmth of spring and the seasonal light fare that accompanies it, calls out for a chilled Rosé wine or a refreshing white. Beautiful and warm days have been few and far between this spring in Virginia, so when the forecast called for a picture perfect day, I took the opportunity to make a summer berry salad, sit outdoors, and try out two wines from Planet Bordeaux. After a successful Twitter Taste-Live Planet Bordeaux event in March, which showcased several nice QPR (Quality-to-price ratio) red wines, I was eager to try the Château Lamothe-Vincent 2009 Bordeaux Rosé 2009 and Château Marac 2009 Bordeaux Blanc. For those not in the know about Planet Bordeaux, it’s a marketing campaign organized by Balzac Communications to get the word out about good affordable Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC wines. Bordeaux is putting out some nice wines that hit the under $20 sweet spot, but many fall under the radar of the average consumer because your average Joe and Jane often times have trouble understanding the wine label. If you fall within this category, I recommend visiting the Planet Bordeaux website and spending a few minutes reading “Bordeaux 101.” Once you learn a few basic things and get the intimidation factor out of the way, you’ll be surprised at how easy it will be to stroll into your local wine shop and find a Bordeaux wine that you will enjoy that won’t break the bank. Enough of my rambling, lets jump into these two wines.

Springtime Sipping with Planet Bordeaux


White Bordeaux, in my humble opinion, is severely overlooked and can be found at very good price points. These wines are typically made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. The Château Marac 2009 Bordeaux Blanc, a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, offers bright lemon-lime citrus aromas with melon hints that extends to the palate ending in a clean and lively medium-length finish. The Château Lamothe-Vincent 2009 Bordeaux Rosé 2009 is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and is a bright salmon-color with fresh strawberry and raspberry aromas with vibrant and enticing fruit on the palate and a pleasing and fruity medium-length finish. Both of these wines clock in at 13.5% ABV, are very food-friendly, and for $10 per bottle, are no-brainer spring and summertime sippers. Click here to visit the Planet Bordeaux website and see if these wines are available in your corner of the world. If not, check out the Bordeaux wine selection that's available at your local shop and let me know what you found and what you thought about it. Disclosure: A sample was provided to www.myvinespot.com for review. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit Planet Bordeaux's website.

CLICK HERE to follow Planet Bordeaux on Twitter.

CLICK HERE to add Planet Bordeaux as a friend on Facebook.

CLICK HERE to go to Balzac Communications and Marketing website.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!


My Vine Spot

  • Please Click Here to vote Dezel's My Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day!
  • Friend me up on Face-Book here.

Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2011. All rights reserved.

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