Monday, December 17, 2012

Wine, from Uruguay?!

Even in a Wino's world, there are some things that are new, even to us. That's the great thing about wine, there is always a new vintage, vineyard, region, winemaker, and blend to try. Today I had my most recent "new" moment... Pisano's "Rio de los Pajaros" Reserve 2011 Torrontes, from of all places, Uruguay!

I used to live in Argentina, right across the river from Uruguay, and I can't say I would ever imagine them growing wine grapes there, but a lot of things surprise me. According to the label between the vineyard is between 30' and 35' parallel, it has a tempered by an Atlantic climate, which would be well suited to the Torrontes grape, which has found a home in the cool, yet arid harsh upper altitudes of the Andes Mountains near Salta, Argentina.

On first impression I thought they mislabeled the grape varietal. All the reasons I love Torrontes (and others hate it) is because of the over the top perfumed, herbaceous, floral in-your-face characteristics. This wine has NONE of that. It is more like a cool climate Albarino or California Pinot Grigio. Upon tasting it, I was confronted with all acid, green apple, and citrus... again an Albarino or Pinot Grigio in Torrontes' clothing.

Upon further research, I find out the Pisanos (like many families in the Southern Cone) are Italian and follow old school Italian wine making (a-ha! Pinot Grigio makes sense).

Still, this is a very drinkable wine, if you know what you're getting. I was expecting a Graffigna or Balboa Torrontes, and was thus very disappointed. But as I drink I am pleased with its clean finish (yes, I am drinking it as I type), this may be a good "starter" Torrontes for the less perfume-y lovers.

Just know what you're getting. So far, I'm not going to search out "wines from Uruguay" for my next dinner party.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I love Gruet!

I don't usually talk "wine clubs" on here, but I am a member of a few, and a big fan. Every time the UPS man comes to my house it is Wino Christmas morning. 

Imagine my glee this frosty December day when my Santa in brown brought me a giant box from the Gruet Winery... How much bubbles is inside?! 

Tearing into said giant box of wine, I was greeted by 2 smiling faces (it is my story and my wine smiles!)...

A Magnum, of Blanc de Noirs?! For me?!

Now, this delivery is especially notable because I was at Gruet a little over 2 weeks ago and the awesome tasting room ladies filled me in on how involved the Gruet's are in their wine club. For each of the 6 yearly shipments (not during the hot months) the Gruet's handpick 2-6 bottles to be shipped, staying right around $80. The November shipment (which I took home with me from the winery) was their newly disengorged Gilbert Gruet prestige cuvee and their Brut Rose (both were delicious, but that is for another post).

This brings me to my point about the greatness of this club, just before Christmas and the New Year I am thoughtfully shipped a Magnum and a vintage Blanc de Blanc, this screams holiday celebration: Magnums are SO fun and SO festive.

The Gruet's know what they're doing.

(I recommend stopping in to visit their urban winery in Albuquerque if you're ever in the area)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ft. Worth Wine Tasting Club, Tasting #2

This month we met up for our first annual "Hallowines" tasting (bring a clever Halloween themed bottle) and we had some fun! Clearly the PoiZin was the clear winner for style (yay, Wanda!) although Jen dressed her Ghost Pines in a full ghost get up, so maybe it was a draw in the style category!

For taste, Brandon's Cab-Merlot-Carmenere was my favorite, nice smoky, earthiness made it a rich departure from the fruitier wines the rest of us brought.

The most surprising bottle was the Frascati, a year ago it was no where, since July I've tried 4. Very appley and with a zippy acidity, it was perfect for BBQ on the porch.

Duck contributed a spicy and clever "House Wine" red, and Tink brought a Texas Merlot by CapRock that is actually good (surprising for a Texas red, the good ones are still in the minority enough to warrant surprise).

So for now, our social gatherings are a good way for everyone to get to know each other, but tasting boot camp is coming in January, so get the taste buds ready! Thanks to all who made it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Somebody's a Sommelier Now!

So, I know this happened a month ago, but I still have to pinch myself, that after talking about taking it for years (actually, whining about how I needed to do it to Boyfriend), I FINALLY passed my Level 1!

Yes, there are 3 more levels to go before total wine world domination, but like the great Neil Armstrong said "one small step for wino, one giant leap toward wine domination" (well, he meant to say it that way).

The best thing? Now when snotty people roll their eyes at me in my wine bar and condescend "what, are you a Sommelier or something?" I get to smile and say yes.

As someone who likes to use my powers for good, I also started a Ft. Worth wine tasting group for my fellow "smellies", other service types, and of course citizen winos, we have our first meeting Sunday and i am a little more than nervous about the prospect. But here's to growth and a continued drive toward winos the world over!

(In short, this just means I will be drinking my <$20 wine pinkie up!)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Adami Prosecco

Bosco di Gica Brut Prosecco (NV)
Valsobbiadene- DOCG, Italy

So in celebration of me being back to writing about wine (and having a forum for my snarky comments) I thought I'd write about bubbles.

I am a bubble-holic.

Chances are on any given day I'll pick a sparkling glass of yum over a still one.

This is a prosecco that we got by "accident" at work (by accident I mean Emily sweetly asked if she could ship us this a couple weeks ago in lieu of our other Adami Prosecco that they were out of) and I'm really glad we did! This was a real surprise.

This Bosco (as it shall heretofore be called since I can't say many of the other words) was a nutty, biscuity glass of delightful. It has a lot of the characteristics of some of my favorite Champagnes (Shout out Veuve!) and I don't normally find that in a prosecco. In fact I usually find proseccos to be more "pro-whatever the Italian word for sweet is", and flat.

Since I don't have a Champagne budget, this $11 bottle is a great everyday sparkling. Not sweet, but not bitter, the yeasty nutty notes give it real depth and richness. It finishes long so you can savor the flavors after each sip.

I'll toast to that!

Ohhh, and fun fact of the day: Prosecco not only means "dry sparkling", but is made from Glera grapes which are just called Prosecco grapes. Those Italians, making everything so simple.

Bad, BAd, BAD Wino!

I should know better, no, really, I should.

I drink wine everyday.

I always talk about the wines as I drink them, but then, well, enjoying the wine (or simply getting a buzz... I'm talking to you Thursdays) takes it away from me. It makes me feel like I shouldn't be one of those Wine Mag douches ignoring the pleasure of wine just to try to sound smarter than everyone else.

I have a confession...

I went to Napa, and I didn't spit.

In fact, I sometimes got bombed.

And it was amazing.

It also gave me a swift kick in the pants that I need to hop back on the education train and try to get back to breaking down everyday wines for my fellow winos.

Today was one of those work days where you almost jump up and down, grab a bottle of bubbles, and spray it everywhere. Not because I am a NASCAR driver with better hair, but because I got to TALK about wine. I love the nights people want to play, want to talk, and are hungry for more.

In other news, I bought $10 in Mega-Millions quick picks. Yes, I won't win. But if I did, I would spend my life teaching myself and others about wine. Some movie high school counselor said something like "what would you do if you won the lottery? Pick that and do that anyway."

Since my answer would be "grow, make, drink, teach... WINE" (and move back to Australia, and pay off Sallie Mae... but I digress) I guess I should get back to it.

So, here's to an Amador County Barbera and business cards that read something cool.... I'm back bitches, get your palate ready.

[Insert Le Duc reciting "in your face"]