Sparkling Gruner Veltliner

As I march along in my goal of drinking more bubbly in 2010 (I’m kicking ass at this goal by the way!) I thought I’d bring you something totally different. Matt and I wandered over to the Curious Grape in Shirlington a few weeks ago for a tasting (sadly, we had trouble finding parking due to the snow and arrived a few minutes late and they had already started and wouldn’t let us join in) so we just grabbed a couple bottles of wine and ran. Like I’ve said before, I have trouble going into a wine shop and not buying something. It’s a good thing wine is consumable, otherwise I’d probably be on my way to being on that “Hoarders” tv show. What caught my eye this time was a sparkling Gruner Veltliner. I had to pick up this oddball and give it a shot! The NV Steininger Sparkling Gruner Veltliner clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a typical Champagne closure, and cost me $25.

On the nose I found lemon, stone, honey, cream, pineapple, wax, lychee, and white pepper. In the mouth, this wine struck me as very tropical. I got notes of lychee, white pepper (tons of white pepper), exotic spices, and a slight citrusy feel. I kept thinking I had a mouthful of Pop Rocks as I could hear the wine fizzing in my mouth as I drank it. I really enjoyed this sparkler, I would definitely get it again, especially to toss in at a sparkling tasting for something completely different.

Exploring New Grapes

I’m making slow but steady strides toward our new goal of tasting 200 different grapes. I think this makes grape 103.  It took quite some time to reach 100 grapes, so I imagine it will be at least another 2 full years to make 200, but it should be a fun journey given the relative obscurity of the grapes left. I picked up this bottle of 2008 Cousino Macul Sauvignon Gris at the Curious Grape. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, and I thought I paid around $11, but I see it online for about $9.

On first whiff the wine smelled of alcohol. Yes, I realize wine is alcohol, but I don’t like when my wine smells like alcohol. Otherwise I found pineapple, citrus, white flowers, lime, lemon, and spice. After the alcohol smell blew off, this was a very aromatic wine. In the mouth I got citrus, lemon, pineapple, lime, and flowers. I found it to be lighter than a Sauvignon Blanc and crisp, but it was a touch on the alcoholic side.

Weekend Round-Up

Lots going on in the Northern Virginia area this weekend! You’ll probably find us out apple picking as it’s that time of year, but be sure to check out some of these great tastings too!

At Out of Site Wines in Vienna, tonight, from 5-8pm you will be able to sample 2 Australian wines, a Chardonnay and Shiraz/Grenache Mourvedre blend that sounds very interesting.

On Saturday from 1-4pm at Out of Site you will find “Autumn Weight Wines” poured by the County Vintner, including a Shiraz-Viognier, something I’ve been dying to try!

Head on over to Arrowine in Arlington tonight from 5:30-7:30 to find a tasting that is great for WBW! Value wines of Portugal poured by Dionysos Imports.

Find yourself at Arrowine tomorrow from 1-4 and Michael Downey selections will be pouring Italian wines.

At the Curious Grape in Shirlington tonight from 6-8pm you will be tasting “Earth and Vine American Wines” including a CA Sauvignon Blanc and a WA Cabernet Sauvignon.

You can stop by on Saturday for a tasting of fine chocolates as well!

Enjoy!

Weekend Wine Events (and more!)

First of note, is a wine dinner coming up on June 4th being hosted by Church Street Cellars in Vienna. The dinner will take place at Bazin’s on Church and feature a Robert Mondavi Reserve Wine Dinner. The festivities begin at 6:30 with appetizers and the cost is $100 per person. Entrees include Pekin Duck, Double Thick Lamb-Chops…..reservations will be taken by the restaurant at 703-255-7212.

Church Street will be tasting on Saturday from 12-3 with Grappoli Imports. Wines include: Barbi Orvietto, Graofoli Sparkling, James Judd Cabernet Sauvingon and James Judd Petite Verdot.

On Sunday from 12-5 and Monday from 12-3 Church Street will feature 16 wines from an Enomatic Wine Dispenser! It looks like they may be getting ready to introduce this feature in shop in the future!

Today from 6-8 at the Curious Grape in Shirlington you will find Artisanal American Wines and Chocolates on the tasting bars. Wines will be featured from California, Oregon and Washington.

On Saturday the Curious Grape has All New-Zealand Favorites looks like a great line-up, including one of my favorite summer styles, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

If you are in town on Monday, head to the Curious Grape from 10-2 and receive a 20% case discount mix or match. Nothing is excluded, so take this opportunity to pick up some of those wine’s you’ve been eyeing or perhaps to do your own at home mixed case learning as Eric Asimov of The Pour has been encouraging us to do!

Arrowine in Arlington offers wines from Dionysos on the tasting bar tonight from 5:30-7:30, indcluding a French Rose and a red Portugese wien they claim is perfect for grilling.

On Saturday from 1-4 Arrowine will be featuring a dozen wines in a SuperTasting of Tuscan Burgundy and Other Wines of Terrior from Rosenthal Wine Merchant.

Out of Site Wines in Vienna is also featuring a Memorial Day Weekend special, though be careful as you will have to carry your wines due to the street being closed for the ViVa Vienna Festival. On Saturday and Sunday they are offering $20 off any purchase of $250 or more if you mention the ViVa Vino Vienna Email Special. Try saying that 5 times fast.

Tonight Out of Site Wines will be tasting the 2005 Obvio Torrentes (a wine I have previously reviewed) and a 2001 Bodegas Valsacro “Valsacro Red.”

Saturday from 12-2:30 Out of Site will feature Portugal, France and Spain with a Verdelho, a Sancerre and a Grenache/Tempranillo blend. From 2:30-5 they will feature a selection from Grappoli Imports including a Prosecco, a Verdicchio and a Sangiovese.

On Sunday at Out of Site you will find, from 12-2:30 Sauvignon Blacn from Chile, Chardonnay from France, and Malbec from Argentina. From 2:30-5 look from a Veltliner, a Garnacha and aPaso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon.

Not to mention, if you are feeling adventureous and want to leave the hectic tourism of DC behind you, the West Virginia Wine and Arts Festival is going on from Saturday-Sunday. It’s located at 601 South Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV. The cost is $15 per person and looks like a great way to spend a Memorial Day weekend.

Be safe this weekend and I hope that everyone has a festive and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend!

Weekend Round-Up 4/6/2007

The Curious Grape in Shirlington will be hosting an Easter Wine Pairing on Saturday from 1-4. At least 4 wines will be poured.

On Monday at the Curious Grape the winemaker from Langmeil in Australia will be pouring 3 of his Shiraz offerings and the Curious Grape will also have 2 Australian whites available from 6-8pm.

At Out of Site Wines in Vienna tonight you will find Springtime selections on the tasting bar from 5-8pm.

On Saturday from 1-4pm Out of Site Wines will be having a double sized tasting bar with one featuring appetizer and ham wines for Easter and the second table featuring lamb and dessert wines.

Tonight at Arrowine in Arlington you will find wines from around the world being poured from the Country Vintner from 5:30-7:30pm.

On Saturday from 1-4pm at Arrowine you will find a Taste of Oregon on the tasting bar.

Weekend Round-Up 3/30/07

Lots of great tastings in the area for you to check out this weekend!

On Saturday Out of Site Wines in Vienna, VA will have “Superstars from France and Spain” on the tasting bar from 1-4pm.

Unwined in Alexandria is having a great event on Sunday at 5pm, West Coast Wine Tasting. You need to RSVP though as space is limited: Please RSVP to 703.820.8600 or vanessa@unwinedva.com

Tonight at Arrowine in Arlington you will find a tasting off Italian wines from 5:30-7:30pm.

Saturday at Arrowine there will be more than 10 wines being poured at the Super Tasting of values.

At the Curious Grape in Shirlington from 6-8pm tonight is a tasting of Springtime in Italy.

Tomorrow at the Curious Grape from 12-4pm is the Art of the Blend featuring “interesting” blends.

On Wednesday, April 4, at the Curious Grape (I know, not the weekend, but you’ll deal) are New Arrivals from Austria from 6-8pm.

Spring Selections from France and California will grace the tasting bar at the Curious Grape on Thursday April 5 from 6-8pm.

Tonight at Church Street Cellars in Vienna, VA wines from Australia will be poured.

Weekend Round-Up

So, being the wino I am, I am signed up for a ton of local wine shoppes’ email lists and I get updates (really, a ton of them) about local tastings and what’s happening on the weekends. I thought I’d try doing a quick summary of the events you can attend in the DC Metro Area.

At Arrowine in Arlington tonight there is a free tasting of Spanish wines being poured by a rep from Elite Wines. It runs from 5:30 to 7:30 and you get a discount (typically 10-20% on any wines purchased that were tasted).

Tomorrow at Arrowine from 1-4 there’s another tasting of wines from Michael Downey Selections.

At Out of Site Wines in Vienna tonight from 5-8 there is a pouring of wines from Schild Estate wines from Australia.

Tomorrow at Out of Site you will find 5 wines from JAO Imports being poured, including a 2005 Fontaine-Gagnard Bourgogne blanc and a 2001 Christia Beaumes de Venise.

At the Curious Grape in Shirlington tonight you will find Not to be Missed French Values and Irish Cheeses from 6-8.

Tomorrow at the Curious Grape there is an Italian Winemaker tasting from 1-3. As always, you’ll get a tasting bar discount and more if you buy a case, even a mixed one.

That’s it for now, thought I’m still missing a few emails.

2005 Milton Park Chardonnay

Sunday night we drank this bottle of 2005 Milton Park Chardonnay from South Australia. We actually went to a Superbowl party but peaced out at half-time mainly cause I was having an allergic reaction to the place we were. By the time we got home I was all better and we decided to watch the rest of the game and drink a bottle of wine. I picked this bottle up for $8.99 at the Curious Grape. It had a screw cap and is 13.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose of this botttle I found an herbal scent with wafts of vanilla coming out of the glass plus oak and just teensy bit of butter.

In the mouth, there were spices, a little lemon and a bit of peach. It had a fairly long finish. Overall, a very drinkable everyday wine, especially for the price!

Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville

Well, no not really. Jose and I are not friends, so I don’t actually drink margaritas. However, the flavors and aromas I got from this bottle of wine inspired me to start singing (which trust me, no one actually wants to hear, it’s bad enough my poor husband has to put up with it!).

The bottle was a 2005 Chateau de Chasseloir Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie. I picked this on up at the Curious Grape yesterday while browsing the shelves. The wine cost $10.99, had a cork closure and was 12% alcohol by volume. I didn’t pair it with anything, just used it as a sipping wine.

The juice in my glass was really aromatic. I also picked up some grapefruit on the nose. In the mouth, this wine displayed layers of minerals, then limes. And finally, oddly enough, and the key to my singing was that it was salty in the finish. I can honestly say I’ve never tasted salt in a glass of wine before.

So margaritas in a wine glass, it worked for me! I’d get the bottle again, good price and really an interesting wine.

Alois Lageder 2005 Pinot Bianco

After falling off my quest for everyday wine, yesterday found me back at the Curious Grape, mainly to get a present for a friend, but also to pick up a few bottles for us (really, can any of you walk in the wine store to get one thing for a friend and not get at least a bottle for yourself??).

Last night we had this bottle of 2005 Pinot Bianco from Alois Lageder. It hails from the Alto Adige area of Italy, is 12.5% alcohol by volume, cost $10.99 and had a real cork closure. I paired it with the last of the Zuppa Toscana, not the best pair, but eh, I really wanted a white one last night.

On the nose I found minerals and just a hint of apple, with prehaps the tiniest bit of grass showing through. In the mouth there were sweet apples and white grapes. The finish just keeps going, easily for a minute or more, the taste just lasts and lasts. The wine was smooth and full in the mouth and very easy to drink. I think this one was an excellent value for money.

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