*Disclaimer: I received these wines as sample to participate in a live Twitter tasting.

A few weeks ago, four rieslings from the Finger Lakes arrived so I could do a live tasting. Fun! I’m particularly excited to try more wines from this region since the 2015 Wine Blogger Conference will be held. I’ve signed up for my hotel room and need to get on booking my actual conference attendance! Back to the wines. We’ll start with one of my favorites of the bunch, though frankly, it was quite hard to choose. The 2013 Heron Hill Winery Dry Riesling sported a screw cap and 12% alcohol by volume. (Which is apparently really important to my blog according to a recently released study on wine blogs…)

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) One thing all four wines in this tasting had in common was great acidity.

2.) The wine stood up very well on its own, but would also work really well with food with a bit of spice and heft – I kept imagining chorizo with this.

3.) Our weather was still quite warm in DC in late September at this tasting and I found the wine quite refreshing for the heat.

4.) I’m hoping all the wines at the upcoming wine blogger conference will be as tasty as this one!

On the nose I found orange flowers, honey and green apple. In the mouth I got lime, stones, stone fruit, and peach. Overall the wine had acidity to carry it through and balance out some sweeter fruit flavors.

 

 

 

A Syrah A Day

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Keeps the doctor away. That’s how that expression goes, right? Well, that’s how it should read, particularly if the Syrah in question is the 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Syrah. The weather here in DC turned (for a moment anyway) to chilly and the reds in the cellar started to call my name.  The Cornerstone Syrah has a real cork closure and retails for $35.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The nose. Oh, my, the nose. This Syrah has that meaty note I love in Syrahs.

2.) We had this with beef stew. Perfect for a cold evening.

3.) I could also see this in the summer with my BBQ ribs.

4.) Cornerstone Cellars really delivers across their portfolio.

On the nose I got spice, cinnamon, baking spice, berries, black cherry, meat, and the scent of bbq. In the mouth I found black cherry, spice, black fruit, berries, and anise.  I loved the tart black fruit with the spice lurking around.

 

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR company for the brand.

Eenie meanie miny mo, which Pinot should go?  Tonight it was the 2011 Star Angel Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. The Star Angel has a real cork closure and retails for about $27. It hails from the Santa Rita Hills in California, though the Star Angel brand is the invention of the winemaker for the Montes brand from Chile.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Serve this at cellar temperature or slightly below.

2.) As it warmed I found the wine a bit soft.

3.) I served this with salmon, one of my go-tos for Pinot. I think I’d serve it with a vinegar based BBQ sauce given a 2nd chance.

4.) Overall, the wine is ripe and plush and would be a crowd pleaser for those “I don’t like red wine” folks.

On the nose I got spice, pepper, strawberry, and smoke. In the mouth I found strawberry jam, raspberry, and other plush red fruits. There was some acidity on the finish.

 

Dreaming of Seafood

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR firm for the brand.

I ate a lot of seafood this summer. Between Portugal and Maine my late July and early August were all about seafood. So I had seafood on the brain when I plucked the 2012 The Clambake Chardonnay from my sample roulette. Perhaps it was the lobster on the label that drew me to the bottle. I don’t know what it retails for, as I can’t find anywhere to buy it online…but I’m guessing maybe $14 or so?

Four takeaways from this wine:

 

1.) I often tend to reach for a slightly oaky Chardonnay to go with my shellfish and lobstah. This wine showed none of that, but was a great foil for the rich lobster meat and butter.

2.) Since I think it retails at a fairly reasonable price, this would actually be a great clambake wine for a crowd.

3.) Here in the DC area, we actually tend to do crabfests around this time of year and it would work really well for that as well.

4.) Fresh and fruity, this is a fun summer wine.

On the nose I got melon, lime, apple, and lemon. Overall it displayed a bright fruit nose. On the palate I found apple, yellow apple, lemon rind, and tropical notes. The wine had good acidity and bit into butter quite well.

 

 

Mangia! Mangia!

Lucky me. Rodney Strong Vineyards reached out to me several months ago to contemplate hosting a wine dinner at my house to celebrate the Silver Anniversary of the Klein family owning the brand. The proposal included wine, cookbooks, food, and creating a 5 course dinner to be served simultaneously with dinners happening across the country at famous restaurants and other blogger houses.

Heck yes, I’m in! And you should be too. The dinner will go live at 8 pm et this Saturday, September 20. We’ll be tweeting and all other things social-media-ing using the hashtag #RSV25. Personally, I will be hosting dinner for 10 (mind you, at the house we just moved into less than a month ago….) and have created my own menu to go along with the wines.

The wines to be served, in order, are:

2013 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc – 1st Course

2012 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Chalk Hill Chardonnay – 2nd Course

2012 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – 3rd Course

2011 Rodney Strong Symmetry (Red Meritage), Alexander Valley – Main Course

2010 Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley – Main Course

2008 Rodney Strong “A True Gentleman’s” Port – Dessert

My menu plans:

2013 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc – 1st Course

Goat cheese and watermelon spinach salad with citrus dressing

2012 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Chalk Hill Chardonnay – 2nd Course

Potato Soup with sour cream, bacon, and crusty bread

2012 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – 3rd Course

Asparagus and pancetta fettuccine

2011 Rodney Strong Symmetry (Red Meritage), Alexander Valley – Main Course

2010 Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley – Main Course

Roasted rack of lamb with fresh herb breading over kale gratin

2008 Rodney Strong “A True Gentleman’s” Port – Dessert

Chocolate mousse with fresh whip cream

I’m a little nervous for the soup and pasta courses as those are new recipes for me, but I’m a decently confident cook, so hopefully it will all work out! Make sure to tune in at 8 to see what everyone else came up with for their menus and to follow the live feed from across the country!

Knock knock. I’m home.

Hello Wannabe Wino Readers-

 

Radio silence has reigned here at Wannabe Wino for the last 2 months. If you like to have spare time in your life to do things like taste wine and write a blog, I don’t recommend, in the course of 2 months, selling a house, moving twice, traveling to CA, CT, Portugal, Spain, and ME, speaking at 2 conferences, buying and closing on a new house, and moving into it. Not to mention, all my wine had to be put into wine storage while we were between houses!

We are moved into our new place, I have the wine back, and I’m kicking September off with a bang by hosting a wine dinner in less than 2 weeks to celebrate Rodney Strong’s 25th Anniversary! Here’s hoping I can pull off a 5 course dinner for 10! Watch here for stories on that, some tales from my trip to Spain and Portugal, and perhaps a very late recap of the 2014 Wine Blogger Conference. And your regular dose of wine reviews.

Thanks for hanging in there and I’ll have the blog back up and running now.

Cheers!

Sonadora

Live Red Wine Blogging #10 2011 Rios de Chile Reserva Carmenere

Oh yay! We get the nice guy from Chile again for our last wine to wrap up my 6th red wine live blogging session. His white yesterday was so tasty. Carmenere is a signature grape from Chile.

Dark and spicy and smokey and chocolatey and earthy and wild on the nose. On the palate you get the pepper note that I love about Carmenere. It’s super spicy and you need some roasted over a spit meat to go with this. The wine screams traditional Carmenere. At $12.99 this is a hell of a bargain.

20140712-162629-59189069.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,611 other followers