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 accompanied by my 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!
Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut
1) Elyssia NV Pinot Noir Brut (SRP $18): This Cava comes from Freixenet -- Spain's premier sparkling wine house. I enjoyed a glass to kick-off the recent Baltimore Ravens versus San Francisco 49’ers Super Bowl. A blend of Pinot Noir and a touch of Trepat (Spanish grape), this salmon colored wine exhibits fresh red berry aromas complemented by honeyed brioche notes. She’s medium-bodied, lively, and fairly frothy on the entry with balanced acidity and [appealing] light citrus overtones in the lingering finish. This wine paired nicely with our Cajun game-day hot-wings and was also enjoyable on its own. Overall, this is a respectable Cava to enjoy any day of the wine week at a price point that won’t break the bank. Click here to find this wine.
Gatinois NV Brut Grand Cru
2) Gatinois NV Brut Grand Cru (SRP $25 / 375ml): This is a pleasant entry-level’ish Champagne showing spicy yeast, baked apple and lemon zest alongside biscuit like accents with a pleasant nutty quality and a firm backbone of acidity. Half-bottles are great for mid-week sipping (I mean, who can drink a whole bottle of Champagne by themselves) and you cannot go wrong with [a well-made] Champagne. Recommended snack pairing: Popcorn drizzled with truffle oil and tossed with freshly ground black pepper and shaved parmesan. Click here to find this wine.
Blandy's 10 Year Old Malmsey Madeira
3) Blandy's 10 Year Old Malmsey Madeira (SRP $44): Breakfast of champions and wise men, Malmsey is the sweetest and richest of the four varieties. It’s also the wine that was used by the Founding Fathers to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The remaining [main] three grapes listed from dry to sweet are: Sercial, Verdelho, Bual. This particular example offers fig, caramel, a pleasing nutty component, brown sugar, and honeyed flavors with a mouth-coating richness. Since Madeira is fortified and exposed to air and heat, it will keep for a very long time after you open it. It’s far from fragile, so buy a good bottle and enjoy a splash after dinner or as a night-cap. This bottle should last me a good 2-3 months – remember -- all you need is a splash (preferably served in a small cordial glass). Sip, savor and enjoy at a slow pace – this selection is 19% ABV. Click here to find this wine.
My backyard feathered friend: The Northern Cardinal
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