11/30/2011

Biltmore 2006 Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs

Hello Friends,

Why reserve your bubbly just for special occasions? The special occasion is when you remove the cork, hear that wonderful popping sound, watch the tiny bubbles dance, and enjoy the wine. Sparkling wines don’t have to be overly expensive and are versatile and very food-friendly. For example, I even pair sparkling wine with breakfast – especially crab cake eggs Benedict. Today’s ‘Quick Sip’ is from the Biltmore Estate Winery located in Asheville, North Carolina. This may be hard to believe, but Biltmore is the most visited winery in the United States. The estate, which is a national historic landmark, attracts scores (AKA a very large number) of visitors each year. I am planning on visiting the estate and attractions sometime next year.

Biltmore Estate 2006 Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs


Review: Biltmore Estate Winery’s 2006 Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs is 100% North Carolina grown and offers scents of baked apple, citrus rind, pie crust, and slight yeasty notes with roasted almond hints. On the palate, this sparkler is crisp and dry with a steady stream of consistent bubbles that sweep across the palate and burst into a clean and refreshing medium length, delicate finish. Overall, this is a nice sparkling wine from North Carolina that provides moderate complexity and a good spectrum of flavors. Some of Biltmore’s wines are widely available, but I have not seen their home-grown reserve wines on wine shop shelves. This wine retails for $35 ($29.99 online) and the best way to find it is via their website (see below). In closing, sparkling wines are some of the most food-friendly wines available, so grab a bottle and make any occasion special and sparkling. 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 the Biltmore Estate Winery website.

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

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11/28/2011

TasteLive: Tedeschi Family 05 Cabernet Sauvignon

Hello Friends,

During a recent and very enjoyable virtual wine blogger tasting for the three-day Napa Valley Film Festival, I had an opportunity to uncork the Tedeschi Family Winery 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine received good reviews from my fellow wine bloggers, with many referring to it as “Old-school” and “Bordeaux-like.” The tasting featured a winemaker interview with owner Emil Tedeschi via [Ustream] live streaming video. The Tedeschi family has been in Calistoga, located in the northern part of Napa Valley, for several generations. Emil’s father, Eugene, first planted wine grapes on the family’s Calistoga property in the 1960’s. These grapes were used to produce small batches of wine for family and friends. Today, Emil and his two sons concentrate their efforts on crafting small-lot, single-vineyard wines from estate plantings. Their diminutive production, approximately 300 cases, allows them to be very hands-on in the winemaking process from ground to glass.

Tedeschi Family Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon


Stylistically, Emil prefers and crafts the type of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that aspired to emulate the great Cabernet-dominated red wines of Bordeaux. These were the Napa Cabs of the 1970’s and 80’s that had relatively low alcohol, more restrained flavors, and good food-friendly acidity with minimal barrel influence. By the 1990’s, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon had come into its own and developed its own unique style, which ironically, others try to emulate today. Emil holds his wines back until he feels they are ready to drink. The 2005, released January 2011, is the current Cabernet Sauvignon release. (Click here if the page has difficulties loading the video clip below).

Napa Fest Winemaker Interview: Emil Tedeschi


Let’s uncork this Cabernet, pour a glass, and give it a swirl, sniff, and sip. In the glass the wine displays a vibrant ruby color. It’s approachable and savory with dark cherry and black berry aromas that comingle with earth tones, dried herbs, and subtle leather-based scents. On the sip, the wine delivers balance and finesse with an Old World accent in the structure and good food-friendly acidity and a medium-length pleasing finish. This wine clocks in at a very moderate 13.5% ABV and retails for $58. Due to Tedeschi's limited production levels, the best way to purchase their wine and check on availability is via their website (see link below). Cheers!

Click Here to visit the Tedeschi Family Winery website.

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.

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

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11/18/2011

Quick Sip: Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port


Hello Friends,

The 2011 holiday season is upon us – a festive time of year to gather with family and friends and enjoy delicious foods, decadent desserts, fireside chats, and of course, wine. Wines synonymous with the holidays are port and fortified wines in the style of port. During the cooler fall and winter months, a deliciously good, lip-smacking port or port-style wine will warm your soul and satisfy your taste buds. These wines are best enjoyed as after-dinner sippers in place of dessert. They also pair well with chocolate-based desserts. And as a reminder, holiday calories don’t count, so indulge! Today’s “Quick Sip,” the Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port, is a fortified port-style [dessert] wine from Amador County, California. We call this a Port-style wine because true Port wine comes only from the Douro Valley in Portugal. Additionally, true port wine can only be made from certain grapes varieties (e.g. Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz aka Tempranillo, etc.) – Zinfandel is not one of them. That being said, fortified wines in the style of port produced outside of Portugal can be equally as enjoyable and delicious. Let’s uncork this wine, pour a glass, and give her a swirl, sniff, and sip.

NV Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port


The Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port [non-vintage], ruby-garnet in color, offers warm and inviting dark berry fruit and currant scents with soft hints of raisin, butterscotch, and shy cocoa notes. The palate is smooth and semi-rich with a luscious viscosity and a nice medium length finish. This wine is semi-sweet, not cloyingly sweet, and supports the 19% ABV well. A half bottle (375ml) of the Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port sells for the pocket-pleasing price of $12 and a standard bottle cost $24.
Yummy!


Besides being a good option for your Thanksgiving Day table, the half-bottle in particular, makes for a nice stocking stuffer (hint-hint). Pairing suggestions for this sweet liquid treat includes chocolate covered figs, pecan pie (yummy), chocolate walnut fudge, sticky toffee pudding, and Bûche de Noël (Yule log). Another good pairing option for this dessert wine is a toasty fireplace, a comfortable chair, and your favorite book. If you can’t find this palate-pleasing and wallet-friendly wine at your local wine shop, visit the Terra d’Oro website below. Cheers!

Click here to visit the Terra d’Oro website.

The wine featured was a media sample for tasting purposes from [PR agency] Balzac Communications. 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.

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

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11/16/2011

Maison Champy 06 1er Cru Hospices de Beaune


Hello Friends,

Today’s ‘Quick Sip’ is the Maison Champy 2006 Premier Cru Hospices de Beaune. I had an opportunity to taste this wine during a recent “Stock Your Cellar” TasteLive event with Bacchus Selections. Bacchus Selections is a members-only source for exquisite and sometimes hard-to-find wines. Membership is currently free and shipping is also with a minimum purchase. The Côte de Beaune, where today’s selection hails from, makes up the southern half of the Côte d'Or. The Côte d'Or, also known as the "Slope of Gold," is a renowned wine-growing area and one of the five major wine producing regions of Burgundy. To the north is the Côte de Nuits, an area famous for its red wines made from the Pinot Noir grape variety. The Côte de Beaune is actually better known for its wonderful white wines made from the Chardonnay grape variety. As a matter of fact, Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States and one of America's first wine connoisseurs, fancied the wines of Burgundy, especially Meursault (Chardonnay), an appellation in the Côte de Beaune.

Maison Champy 06 1er Cru Hospices de Beaune


Let’s uncork this Pinot Noir …err, I mean, red Burgundy. The Maison Champy 2006 Premier Cru Hospices de Beaune, medium ruby in color, offers inviting black cherry, cranberry, pencil lead, and cedar scents with a faint touch of sweet anise seed. The wine is more restrained on the palate with supple, yet firm tannins, nice balance throughout, and a solid medium-length finish.  I found that this wine improved with approximately 1-2 hours of breathing, so show it off in your decanter. Less than 50 cases of the Maison Champy 2006 Premier Cru Hospices de Beaune were made – not left, so it’s truly a limited-production wine. Bacchus Selections currently sells this wine for $39.99 per bottle with free shipping on a three bottle purchase or more. In closing, if you enjoy Pinot Noir and have never tried (red) Burgundy (you know who you are), give Burgundy a try – it’s only the world’s oldest and most famous wine producing region for the grape variety (Pinot Noir) you so enjoy. Cheers!

Membership is currently free, so click here to register with Bacchus Selections.

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.

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


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11/11/2011

TasteLive: Calistoga Dreaming


Hello Friends,

Besides being Friday, I am pretty psyched about participating [virtually] in the first annual Napa Valley Film Festival. The event started yesterday and runs through Saturday, November 12th. The three day event celebrates cinema with special screenings of films at numerous venues. Cellar Pass and TasteLive, along with host Alan Kropf, editor-in-chief of Mutinner magazine, have put together five one hour shows with live streaming broadcast. Each show will include regional winemakers, culinary arts, foodies, special guests, and of course -- a passionate panel of wine bloggers from around the US to taste, tweet, share thoughts, and interact with the winegrowers and the winemakers behind the wines being poured.

Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé NV


Yesterday kicked off with a wonderful tasting that included the Robert Mondavi Winery’s 2009 Fume Blanc Reserve and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Today’s wine tasting, happening in Virginia for me – and in Calistoga, CA for my wine friends out west, features wines from Merryvale Vineyards, Tedeschi Family Winery, and Mumm Napa. Let's uncork these bottles and pour some wine.

Merryvale Winery 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


First up is the Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé NV ($36), a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many of you may are probably familiar with Mumm Napa. They specialize in sparkling wines – a style of wine that should be invited to each and every Thanksgiving Day table in my humble opinion. Mumm Napa sparkling wines are widely available and easy to find, so remember the catchy name while you’re out wine shopping this holiday season. The Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé NV is salmon in color with tiny, consistent bubbles dancing about the glass. Made in the traditional method, the wine offers tangy and bright raspberry flavors with rose petals notes, dried cherries, and delightful, yet gentle dough nuances in the finish. Remember: Don’t save the bubby just for special occasions – the special occasion begins when you remove the cork from the bottle!

Napa Fest Winemaker Interview: Ludovic Dervic of Mumm Napa


Second up is the Merryvale Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc). You already know – my first question this afternoon will be what does the 1% Cabernet Franc impart into the finished wine. Merryvale is located in St. Helena and was the first winery built in Napa Valley following the repeal of prohibition (very cool #factoid). This summer I enjoyed Merryvale’s Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc so was eager to uncork the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Like most growers, east and west coast, 2007 was a good to great growing season that offered producers the opportunity to craft high-quality, exceptional wines. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines are regularly in my weekly sipping rotation. And while often times big, many examples I have had here recently have not been overdone and to their credit, well-balanced – even graceful at times. The 2007 Merryvale Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($65), dark red-brick colored, offers a complex nose of blackberry, dark cherry, herb, and currant laced with pretty violet scents and sweet tobacco. The palate is round and full with youthful, mouth-coating fine-grained tannins that beg for grilled red meat. This wine is getting better and better as it breathes. This is a wine you want to uncork and properly decant/breathe to allow it to reach its peak. She is also a very good candidate for aging in my humble opinion.

Napa Fest Winemaker Interview: Merryvale Director of Marketing


Less than two hours to the Calistoga tasting event – follow hash-tag #napafilmfest on Twitter to follow the fun! 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.

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

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11/08/2011

#DriscollsMoments Cooking Event


Hello Friends,

This past Friday I was pleased to participate in Driscoll’s “Sweeter Moments” cooking event and tasting party. The holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of year. It’s a festive time to indulge in delicious desserts without feeling guilty. And I admit, I do over indulge just a little during the holidays, but that's what New Year’s resolutions are for, right?

Holiday Berry Bellini


Driscoll’s is a leader in fresh and delicious berries, so for the “Sweeter Moments” cooking event all five sweet creations included raspberries. I typically don’t fix too many sweet treats with berries, so I used this as an opportunity to meet and tweet with fellow participants and try some new holiday recipes.

Homemade Raspberry Jam


Driscoll’s provided the recipes, which were fairly simple and straight forward. How easy? So easy, a caveman, or for that matter, Dezel could do it. And I did! I created three of the five recipes provided and another I thought of a day before the event. My own recipe, while odd sounding (a homemade raspberry jam, peanut butter, and bacon sandwich), worked out nicely. I know you've all heard the saying that bacon makes everything taste better!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Raspberry Sauce


The event also featured a live online cooking demonstration of the five holiday creations from renowned Chef Rick Rodgers. Chef Rodgers is known as America’s Thanksgiving Day expert and is author of Thanksgiving 101. Click here to watch the video. Chef Rodgers offers some very good turkey tips in this broadcast.

Holiday Warm Brie w/ Honeyed Raspberries and Pistachios


In closing, I would like to thank Driscoll’s and extend a special thanks to my friends over at Wine Twits (@WineTwits) for the invite. It was a *berry* good time and opened my eyes to simple holiday recipes that were both delicious and aesthetically pleasing.

Cheers!


Try these sweet treats out for yourself! Click here to check out the five #DriscollsMoments recipes.

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.

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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11/07/2011

#WineChat: Seasonal Sipping w/ Hawk and Horse


Hello Friends,

My buddy Matthew Liberty, co-writer and cameraman for "Hoot N’Annie" wine blog, recently hosted a Twitter #winechat discussion about seasonal sipping. As summer fades into fall, some wine drinkers retire rosé and crisp white wines and transition to bolder reds to match heartier dishes often associated with autumn. I'm personally not a seasonal sipper. For example, I sip Rosé in the fall, Riesling in the winter, and Cabernet Sauvignon in the summer. For the most part, my wine selection largely depends on the mood and/or food. I think “seasonal sipping” is likened to the old rule of cuisine that says, “Red wine with red meat and white wine with fish.” Nowadays, a global selection of food and wine makes both seasonal sipping and the old rule of cuisine less important. I do know a handful of people who eat as locally as possible year-round, and while not intentionally, they tend to sip with the season because their locally sourced foods drive their wine selection. At the end of the #winechat discussion it was evident, the greater percentage of participants sip what they like, when they like -- the season doesn’t matter. Would you call yourself a seasonal sipper, a seasoned sipper, or a seasoned seasonal sipper?

Hawk and Horse Vineyards Latigo


One style of wine that I drink year-round but do find myself drinking more of during fall and winter months, are fortified wines – namely, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Port-style wines. For the #winechat discussion, I opened up a bottle of Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2006 Latigo (an equestrian term) – an estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon fortified port-style [dessert] wine. Hawk and Horse Vineyards is a small family-owned-and-operated boutique winery in California’s Lake County Red Hills AVA. The winery was founded in 1999 and the attractive packaging/label design reflects the owners' [Mitch Hawkins, Tracey Hawkins, and David Boies] love of horses and the red tail hawks that soar over their property. Only grapes from their vineyard, which are certified organic and biodynamic, are used in making the wines. The Latigo, ruby/amber in color, offers notes of black cherry, molasses, caramelized fig, and lingering spice aromas. The palate is smooth, rounded, and slightly sweet with a wonderful balance and rich texture that carries through to the medium-length pleasing finish. The Latigo clocks in at 16.5% ABV and retails for $45 (375ml half-bottle). Enjoy this wine in small amounts, served slightly cooler than room temperature, as an after dinner sipper or paired with chocolate desserts. Another good pairing option is a warming fireplace and a good book. Only 200 cases of the Latigo were produced, so if you are interested in having a splash in your glass or adding a few bottles to your collection, click here to visit the Hawk and Horse Vineyard’s website. For more on #winechat and upcoming discussion topics check out Marie Payton’s informative “The Life of Vines” wine blog. Cheers!

CLICK HERE to visit Hawk and Horse Vineyard's website.

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. The wine featured was a media sample for tasting purposes.

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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