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 – all from eastern United States (New York and North Carolina) accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. Generally speaking, Portuguese white wines are light and bright, low in alcohol, compatible with a wide variety of foods, and won’t break the bank. For those of you unfamiliar with the wines of Portugal; I encourage you to pick up a bottle the next time you visit your local wine shop. 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!
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2011 Grüner Veltliner
1) Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2011 Grüner Veltliner (SRP $19.95): This wine exhibits a pale straw color in the glass with light-to-medium weight and soft, somewhat non-descript aromas and flavors that lean towards citrus fruit with clean mineral-laced acidity that leads to a touch of orange zest on the short and refreshing finish. I enjoyed this wine as an aperitif and with light appetizers (garlic flat bread with smoked mozzarella) before dinner. I do not think there is a lot of Grüner Veltliner coming out of the Finger Lakes, New York, but the region is well-suited to cool climate varieties and is well known for their success with Riesling. Therefore, I’m not surprised to see Austria’s most important white wine grape variety show up in the Finger Lakes. I recommend this bottling to those particularly curious about in experiencing what the Finger Lakes can do with this variety. Click here to find this wine.
Forge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir
2) Forge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir (SRP $23.99): Admittedly, the Finger Lakes, New York is not a wine region I typically look to for Pinot Noir (and probably couldn’t find on the store shelves here in Virginia anyway). However, it’s always good to think outside the box and experience something new. After all, you just might find a new favorite from an unlikely wine producing region, right? In the glass, this wine displays a light ruby color with reserved red fruit aromas – namely raspberry and cranberry, and just a wisp of floral perfume. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with delicate red fruit flavors that’s balanced by fine acidity and a dash of spice in the short-to-medium length finish. I enjoyed this with herb roasted chicken and red potatoes. Overall, an approachable, light and bright cool-climate Pinot Noir from my friends up north. While the Finger Lake have the potential to produce great Riesling wines, I would recommend this selection to those interested in discovering what this region can do with Pinot Noir. Click here to find this wine.
Shelton Vineyards 2007 Yadkin Valley Cabernet Franc
3) Shelton Vineyards 2007 Estate-Bottled Yadkin Valley Cabernet Franc (SRP $12): At first sniff, it's unmistakably Cabernet Franc, exuding red berry fruit aromas with herbal/leafy nuances and faint dark fruit undertones with spicy accents. It's [fairly] light in body with soft tannins, good balancing acidity, and a medium-length finish. In my opinion, this wine offers good QPR (Quality-Price-Ratio) at the pocket-friendly price of $12. Shelton Vineyards was founded in 1999 and is the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina. While I didn’t have this with food, I can see it partnering nicely with a plate of North Carolina pulled-pork barbecue. Click here to find this wine. Note: This vintage may be sold out at the winery. I found this bottle at a wine shop.
"Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem." ~ Edward Lytton
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