7/28/2011

The Wine Connection: Burgers and Beaujolais


Hello Friends,

Depending on how old you are, you may remember classic television game shows like The Dating Game and The Love Connection. These shows sought to connect compatible people and entertain those of us who watched. Here at My Vine Spot, your host Dezel seeks to marry food and wine on the blog show -- The Wine Connection. Generally speaking, food and wine pairing can be a match made in heaven, bringing out the best in both food and wine. It can also be a not-so-pleasant experience, producing off flavors and bringing out the worst in both food and wine. For this Wine Connection, my friends over at http://www.winetwits.com/ (great people BTW) put on the event and ordered up the contestants: Three burger creations with three sides of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais wines. Tweeps (Twitter users) from all over the wine map jumped online to tweet, share thoughts, and join Georges Duboeuf’s export director Yann Bourigault and Chef Bob Waggoner, host of PBS’s Ucook with Chef Bob, for an online Beaujolais and Burger Tasting.

3 Burgers, 3 Ways, 3 Wines, 1 Perfect Summer Night !!!


Aptly titled, Heat Up the Grill and Chill Down the Wine, we watched via streaming video as chef Bob prepared three mouthwatering burgers. His grilled portabella burger looked delicious and is one I’m trying next week! About an hour before the tasting started, the online participants (aka tweeps) fired up the grills and started flooding Twitter (using #GDandBurgers hash-tag) with a steady stream of burger recipes, pictures, and pairing/tasting notes. I decided to do a dish that I call breakfast burgers. This creation consisted of seasoned grass-fed ground beef, a mild, yet subtly sweet Swiss cheese, maple glazed bacon, topped with a fried egg, and finished with a thin layer of habanero pepper jelly on a toasted bun. There were really good flavors coming out of this burger and the sweetness balanced the spiciness of the pepper jelly and the egg added some texture and additional flavor.

My Breakfast Burger Creation


The three Georges Duboeuf wines we tasted, all from the 2009 vintage, were the Beaujolais-Villages (SRP $9.99), Brouilly (SRP $13.99), and Juliénas des Capitans (SRP $17.99). In Beaujolais, 2009 is said to be the vintage of a lifetime, so I was eager to try these out. Beaujolais is an excellent starter wine; it's not intimidating and its low tannins and higher acidity levels make it a pleasant food wine – especially for summer grilled fare (hint-hint). As a matter of fact, my aunt, who only drinks white wine, said the Beaujolais-Villages was the first red wine that she has ever liked. All three wines, in my humble opinion, are very good QPR (quality-to-price-ratio) wines. The Beaujolais-Villages was bright and smooth with a dark cherry fruit profile and good food-friendly acidity. This wine seemed to pair best with the burger I made and the food-friendly acidity left your palate fresh and ready for another bite. Both the Brouilly and Juliénas offered more complexity and depth of flavor, with the latter showing a medium structure and integrated tannins. Georges Duboeuf, a long-time wine merchant in France, is known for popularizing the wines of Beaujolais. As you can see with the three wines we tasted, these wines are affordable, great starting points for white wine drinkers, and highly food-friendly (burgers, pizza, red sauce dishes, etc.). Additionally,Georges Duboeuf wines are available nationally, so you should have no trouble finding them. I extend a grateful tip of the hat to the good folks over at Wine Twits for another great wine event. To quote the Wine Twits Team mantra, “Eat, Drink, Love” – and I’ll add, Tweet. Cheers!

Eat, Drink, Love, and Tweet. Cheers!!!


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 Wine Twit's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Georges Duboeuf's website.

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

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7/25/2011

California Chardonnay & The Summer Grill


Hello Friends,

If you're a regular reader or follow me on Twitter, then you know that I've been drinking a lot of Chardonnay lately. Chardonnay is America's most popular wine and is the world’s most widely planted white wine grape. Chardonnay is extremely versatile and crafted in a broad range of styles from crisp and clean to round and lush with a buttery richness that’s heightened by extended oak aging. Chardonnay’s diversity makes it a perfect match for a wide range of foods and appealing to many a palate.

California Chardonnay and The Summer Grill


I recently had the pleasure of tasting even more Chardonnay as part of a “California Chardonnay and The Summer GrillTasteLive event. The event featured Chardonnay wines from three North Coast producers that could marry well with summertime grilling fare. Red wines are typically a popular choice for backyard BBQs, but make no mistake, Chardonnay wines can come out and play at the party too. Below are the wines, my tasting notes, and suggested pairings. All three wines offered something different and pleasing and if you spot any of them at your local wine shop, buy with confidence.

1) Gloria Ferrer Winery '08 Carneros Chardonnay – Asian pear, green apple, and streaks of citrus peel comingle with soft toasted hazelnut aromas. The palate boasts crisp flavors and pleasant, food-friendly acidity that’s heightened by a bright caramelized finish. I would look to light meats, for this wine, like grilled chicken, fish or pork as well as grilled veggies. You could even get the evening started with this light and refreshing selection and pair it with appetizers or serve as an aperitif. (ABV 12.5%, SRP $18)

2) Krutz Family Cellars '08 Sleepy Hollow Vineyards – Inviting tropical fruit aromas with a touch of coconut, sweet spice, and toasty oak tones. On the palate this wine is full and round, yet refreshing, with a dash of barrel spice on the lingering finish. Overall, this wine offered good flavor, is nicely balanced, and has good fruit and oak integration. For this wine, I would go with grilled pork chops, pork tenderloin, or veal chops – and if you have to add a sauce, make sure it compliments and doesn’t overwhelm the wine. Grilled fish with a touch of smoke would also work well. (ABV 14.4%, SRP $38)

3) Rodney Strong Vineyards '09 Estate Vineyards, Chalk Hill – Green apple, lemon curd, sweet oak, subtle smoke, and graham cracker fill the nose with a solid toasty oak framing. On the palate, this wine has a nice texture, a rounded middle, and moderate acidity, with barrel spice and baked apple pie on the medium length finish. This wine has more perceived oak influence than the others. Oak and smoke marries, so I would get some smoke chips going on the grill or use wood and look to smoked white meats and even think about a rich and creamy sauce to top it – especially if you’re doing fish. (ABV 14.4%, $20)

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 Winery website.

CLICK HERE to visit Krutz Family Cellar's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Rodney Strong Vineyard's website.

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


My Vine Spot

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7/18/2011

Quick Sip: Linden Vineyard’s 2007 Avenius Chardonnay

Hello Friends,

Today’s ‘Quick Sip’ is the Linden Vineyard’s 2007 Avenius Chardonnay. Linden Vineyards is located in Linden, Virginia, and specializes in single-vineyard Bordeaux-style blends and expressive Chardonnay wines. Avenius vineyard, owned and operated by Shari Avenius, is one of two partnering vineyards used in crafting Linden’s single-vineyard wines. Chardonnay, Virginia’s most widely planted grape variety, can be found in most tasting rooms and range from crisp and clean, to toasty and lush in style. Quality varies from producer to producer, but at Linden, I’ve found the single-vineyard Chardonnay wines to be of good quality, capable of benefiting from bottle maturation, and made in a style with Burgundian flair and finesse.

Linden Vineyard’s 2007 Avenius Chardonnay


The Linden Vineyard’s 2007 Avenius Chardonnay, pale yellow in color, exhibits citrus – predominately lime, delicate tree fruit, and toasted almond aromas with hints of flint and subtle smoke. The aromas extend to the palate with bright underlying streaks of minerality, refreshing acidity, ending with a lively and lingering finish. This wine is sleek, racy, well-balanced, and is sipping nicely right now. The Linden Vineyard’s 2007 Avenius Chardonnay sips good on its own and would pair well with seafood or chicken dishes. The wine clocks in at a moderate 12.6% ABV and retails for $24. There are many good grape-growing sites throughout Virginia and this wine refelects the style and quality of Chardonay that Avenius vineyard is capable of growing. With the seasonal warmth of summer upon us, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Linden Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc – Shari’s [Avenius] vineyard produces a bright example that’s ripe for summertime sipping. Cheers!

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 Linden Vineyard's website.

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

My Vine Spot

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

7/11/2011

Rabbit Aerating Pourer

Hello Friends,

I must admit, I was a bit skeptical about all of the stylish wine aerating pourers when they first made a splash in the wine gadget market. I had become accustomed to letting wines [that benefited from breathing] rest in a decanter for a period of time. Decanting is not only beneficial for some wines, but a decanter also makes a beautiful serving vessel and table center piece that lets the wine show off its gorgeous color. In my personal experiences, particularly with young (tannic) Bordeaux and Rhone reds, I’ve seen a wine transform from tight and uninteresting, to surprisingly charming and pleasing with anywhere from one to three hours of breathing. That said, many inexpensive, everyday drinking wines do not need to breath or be decanted and can lose their charm with too much exposure to air. For wines that do benefit from breathing, the exposure to air can improve the wine's taste, aroma, and soften otherwise hard tannins.

Rabbit Aerating Pourer


I recently received a Rabbit Aerating Pourer as a sample and conducted a side-by-side experiment to see if the aerator would actually make a difference. I chose a 2006 Vina Alicia Paso De Piedra Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. I knew from past experience, that this wine benefits from breathing in a decanter. When first uncorked, the wine seems a bit tight, but with a little exposure to air (aka aeration) it starts to reveal its expressive personality and appealing bouquet. As the instructions indicated, I used a freshly opened bottle and poured four ounces into one glass directly from the bottle and another four ounces using the Rabbit Aerating Pourer. After comparing the two, the wine poured through the aerator displayed more intense, inviting aromas than what was poured directly from the bottle. There was also a slight difference on the palate, but very…very subtle, with the wine poured through the aerator showing a little more personality in flavor. Since the first experiment, I’ve used the Rabbit Aerating Pourer on several other red wines that I would have decanted, and in my humble opinion, it seems to perform better on wines that benefit from an hour of breathing versus those that can take upwards of two, three or four hours. When there is little time to decant or if you only want a glass of wine, as opposed to decanting a bottle of wine, this wine gadget can prove to be very useful. In closing, The Rabbit Aerating Pourer is convenient, very easy to apply, very easy to remove, easy to clean, attractive, and it meets its claims: 1) Aerates red wine as you pour 2) Improves flavor and bouquet 3) No decanter needed. The Rabbit Aerating Pourer is a pretty handy gadget to have for the casual wine drinker or serious enthusiast. CLICK HERE to pick one up for yourself and conduct your own side-by-side experiment at home.

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 International Wine Accessorie's website.

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

My Vine Spot

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7/04/2011

Summer Chardonnay with Wente Vineyards


Hello Friends,

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of participating in Wente Vineyard’s ‘Summer Chardonnay’ TasteLive event with fifth-generation winemaker Karl Wente and special guest Kimberly Charles. This virtual tasting utilized Ustream streaming video, which when combined with the TasteLive platform, heightens the tasting experience. Wente Vineyards, founded in 1883, is located in California’s Livermore Valley and farms nearly 3,000 acres of estate vine plantings between the Livermore Valley and Monterey. In 1936, Wente produced the first California wine to be labeled Chardonnay. There is also a popular and historic Chardonnay clone named after Wente that’s used by a number of California’s top Chardonnay producers. I’ve enjoyed wines from Wente Vineyards in the past and they consistently manage to offer good quality wines at affordable prices. For this tasting, we had the opportunity to sample four Chardonnay wines from Wente Vineyard’s portfolio. See the wines and my impressions below.

Summer Chardonnay with Wente Vineyards


1)  2010 Eric’s Small Lot Chardonnay - Low production [100 cases], hence the name, this 100% stainless example offers vibrant tree fruit and Asian pear aromas with a touch of fresh-squeezed lime. On the palate the wine is balanced, bright, and refreshing -- perfect for summer sipping and capable of being paired with a wide variety of foods. (13.5% ABV, SRP $21.99)

2)  2009 Morning Fog Chardonnay - This is a very popular style of Chardonnay -- 50% of the wine was aged in neutral oak (1yr to 4yr) and the remainder in stainless. When done right, you get the richness of the fruit, sweet barrel and baking spice, yet good crisp and balancing acidity. It’s the best of both “Chardonnay” worlds. Inviting aromas of green apple, nutmeg, melon/guava, and baking spice fill the nose. The palate offers tree and tropical fruit flavors with notes of honey and spice with faint butterscotch notes in the bright (acid) finish. Very good QPR wine. (13.5% ABV, SRP $12.99)

3)  2009 Riva Ranch Chardonnay - This wine offers inviting aromas of baked apples, spiced pear, melon, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla with buttered toast overtones. Moderately complex, this wine offers layered flavors, a luscious mouth-feel, and a lasting spice-driven finish. Big production at 70K cases, but solid quality at an affordable price for this style of Chardonnay. (13.5% ABV, SRP $19.99)

4)  2009 Nth Degree Chardonnay - Elegantly layered with notes of rich fruit, baking spice, butter and toasted oak. On the palate, the wine delivers a full, round texture, yet good acidity, and a rich mouth-feel, with a smooth lingering finish. Wonderful nose and mouth feel to this wine. (14.2% ABV, SRP: Club member only selection)

In closing, if you’re a member of the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) Club, give Wente a try. I find most people don’t agree with a certain “style” of Chardonnay and end up writing the grape variety off altogether. Wente makes at least four different Chardonnay wines that are fairly diverse and I’m sure one, if not all, will fit your fancy. Cheers!

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 Wente Vineyard's 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!
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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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