I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter. Below are a few of my recent sips, brief tasting notes, and a picture I snapped of each bottle. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!
Domaine Carneros Winery Brut Rosé NV
1) Domaine Carneros Winery Brut Rosé NV Cuvée de la Pompadour (SRP $30 something): This was one of several sparklers I rang in the New Year with. It’s a blend of 58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay and sports a nice pale salmon-pink color in the glass. A vibrant red fruit core – namely strawberry, fills the nose with citrus, slight almond, and brioche notes. The aromas extend to the palate with bracing acidity and a richer mouth-feel than you would expect with very fine, yet persistent beads. I enjoyed this wine both on its own and with a small plate of bacon-wrapped scallops. Domaine Carneros is located in Carneros (where else, right) on the Napa Valley side of the appellation and specializes in sparkling wine and Pinot Noir. Check them out; their juice is probably at a wine shop near you. Click here to find this wine.
Sheldon Wines 2011 Vinolocity Blanc
2) Sheldon Wines 2011 Vinolocity Blanc (SRP $30): I was introduced to Sheldon Wines last year during a late fall TasteLive virtual Café-140 tasting that celebrated the end of harvest and new wine releases. The 2011 Vinolocity Blanc is a tasty blend composed of 50% Grenache Blanc, 25% Rousanne, and 25% Viognier. At first sniff, the wine displays a tree fruit core (apple and pear) with spicy cider accents and subtle ginger-like and floral undertones. On the palate, the wine is fresh, supple, and slightly round with good balance and acidity. For me, the wine starts to express even more of its charm around cellar temperature (approximately 55F) – which accentuates its texture and brings out some [very] soft mineral components. I enjoyed this wine on its own and with a roasted garlic sauce pizza topped with shiitake and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, feta, truffle oil, and other tasty things. Sheldon Wines is a micro-winery in Sonoma’s Russian River that specializes in small lot, hand-crafted California wines. Only 100 cases of this wine were made and there is still a little available on their site [as of this post]. Check out the Sheldon Wine website here and be sure to read the wonderful story behind the husband-and-wife team who are living their dream and making good wine in Sonoma County, California. Click here to find this wine.
Krutz Family Cellars 2010 Martinelli Rd Chardonnay
3) Krutz Family Cellars 2010 Martinelli Road Chardonnay (SRP $45): This was a selection I had an opportunity to taste last year during a late fall TasteLive virtual Café-140 tasting. I’ve enjoyed previous vintages of Patrick Krutz’s [well-done] single-vineyard Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the past. This Russian River Valley Chardonnay offers inviting scents of baked apple, pear, a nice (subtle) sweet spiciness, and toasted nuts that follow through to the medium-bodied palate with a lightly toasted finish of sweet butter-cream and lemon zest. The wine has a nice layered texture about it, good depth of flavor, and a lasting finish. Several of my guests who tasted it appreciated and noted the delicate balancing act between the wine’s richness and brightness. I enjoyed this Chardonnay on its own and had a glass (what was left) the following day with smoked salmon pinwheels. Krutz Family Cellars is a small family-run winery in Sonoma County that specializes in limited production, vineyard-designated California wines. Click here to find this wine.
My backyard feathered friend: The Northern Cardinal
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