Sparkle This Way….

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

Sleigh bells ring, snow is glistening and all I can dream about is sparkling wine in my glass. Much to my wondrous eyes did appear a box full of J Vineyards holiday cheer. Enough with my mixing of Christmas songs and tales and onto the wine. I couldn’t help but bust open the J Brut Rose almost as soon as it arrived.  The J clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, has a traditional Champagne closure, and retails from the winery for $38, though I see it around the internet for less.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I could drink it by the case and never tire of the J Brut Rose.

2.) I’m bringing some to my Christmas feast this year, I suggest you do the same.

3.) The color on the rose is gorgeous. I had to tear myself away so Mr. Wannabe Wino didn’t steal all the bubbles.

4.) If the color doesn’t win you over, the racy citrus backbone and perfumey nose will seal the deal.

On the nose I found orange zest, raspberry, strawberry, an an almost apricot note. In the mouth I got tart berries, raspberry, and a racy citrus backbone.  The nose of the wine was fantastically full of citrus and berry perfume and the mouth had lovely little bubbles and excellent acidity. Cheers!

 

 

 

New Grape New Grape New Grape

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as  a sample for a live tasting.

I’m working on my 2nd set of 100 grapes, still. The second 100 is taking much longer than the first 100. After 4 years I think I’m approximately 40 grapes into the second hundred. To be honest, I haven’t made a huge push to find new grapes during that time. This bottle came to me, so that always makes things easier. The wine is the Côté Mas St. Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Méthode Ancestrale NV, which retails for around $14, has a traditional closure, clocks in at 7.5% alcohol by volume, and is made of 100% Mauzac grapes.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The nose on this wine did not match up with what I tasted on the palate. Sort of like when you pick a chocolate out of the box thinking it’s caramel and it turns out to be marzipan.

2.) I think maybe the wine needed some food. Particularly something spicy.

3.) My thought on Mauzac is that it is a very unique grape and the resultant wine is quite surprisingly sweet.

4.) While it’s not something I’d like to drink on the regular, I’m glad I got to try the Mauzac grape.

 

The wine had very persistent bubbles in the glass and seemed to foam more than other sparkling wines. On the nose I found waxy bitters, candied lemon, and bread. In the mouth I got overripe apple, spice, and spiced pear. My other note says “holy sweet.”

 

 

Getting My Bubbly On

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample.

I decided a few weeks ago that it is spring. Regardless of the fact that it snowed in DC in April. It’s spring. I have switched to flip flops and I am stubbornly wearing dresses and short sleeves even though the high was 55 earlier this week. With spring, my mind turns toward bubbles on an mostly daily basis. Sparkling wine and spring make me happy. Tonight we tried the Asolo Prosecco Superiore Millesimato Venegazzù Montelvini.  The wine has a traditional closure, clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $15.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) This is an extra dry Prosecco, which means it does have some residual sugar. I’m not usually the biggest fan of extra dry sparkling, but it almost didn’t register to me that this wasn’t a brut sparkling until I read the tech sheet.

2.) I chilled this down and drank it as an apertif on the porch. Because I’m classy that way.

3.) Prosecco is one of my favorite non-budget busting sparklers.

4.) I’ve never seen wine in this bottle shape before. I asked the PR guy for the brand and he said it’s called an “Astro” and is designed to fit better in an ice bucket with its squatter shape and short neck.

On the nose I got lemon, orange citrus, wax, spice, and apple. In the mouth I found green apple, citrus, melon, and spice. Overall I thought the wine was well done and I was surprised by the acidity given that it is described as extra dry.

 

 

One Bubble

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

The day before New Year’s Eve. You haven’t bought the bubbly for midnight yet. What shall you get? Thankfully, I’ve got several to recommend in just a few short hours here at different price points. For a budget friendly, domestic sparkler, we tried the Mumm Napa Prestige Brut. From as low as $15, this bubbly will not bust the bank and is sure to please on New Year’s Eve (or whenever toasting with some sparkling catches your fancy.)

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) It’s not the most complex bubbly, but delivers well for the price point, and offers nice, small bubbles to tickle your tongue.

2.) I enjoyed the tropical notes that reined in the lemon the dominated both the nose and the palate.

3.) Especially good for the price point if you are having a crowd and don’t want to break the bank on multiple bottles.

4.) The leftovers made excellent mimosas.

On the nose I got lemon, lots of lemon, apple, tropical notes, and slight toast. Did I mention the lemon? In the mouth I found pineapple, other tropical fruits, lemon, apple, and just the slightest hint of sweet pear.

My Glass Doth Overflow

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample for a live Twitter tasting.

With bubbles of course! Bubbles make for one happy wino and I love this time of year as my local wine shops expand their selections and bubble samples arrive on my doorstep. I always like to grab a glass and toast friends and family and usually welcome guests to our house by popping open a bottle of bubbly. Tonight we chose the Contadi Castaldi Brut Rose. It has a traditional Champagne closure, retails for about $23 and come from my new favorite area for sparkling wine, Franciacorta.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Franciacorta. If you aren’t drinking it, you are missing out. Really. Why are you still sitting there? Go buy some.

2.) The Contadi has a beautiful nose with just a hint of almonds that I found very intriguing.

3.) If you are seeking a dry brut rose with nice acidity and a lovely toasty note, this is it.

4.) Did I mention how you should get yourself a bottle of Franciacorta?

On the nose I found flowers, cherries, almonds, and toast. In the mouth I got cherries, strawberries, and toast.  Overall I found the wine to be dry, with good toast, excellent acidity, and a nice finish. My notes say “I’m loving it.”

 

 

Cool Bottle

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

While I tend to drink bubbles all year, many folks seem to associate sparkling wines with the holiday season. Around this time I go hunting for new sparklers to entice and delight. Tonight I went fishing (mixing my outdoorsy metaphors here) in the basement and came back out with the Segura Viudas Cava Brut Reserva Heredad. The wine has a traditional Champagne closure, clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $26. I’m saving the bottle to do something yet to be determined with because it’s a really cool bottle.

1.) The wine had a really refined and small bubbles, something I don’t normally associate with a Cava.

2.) If you are looking to make a splash with a really different looking bottle, this one is sure to impress.

3.) I thought the Heredad was really well done, but the price is a little steep.

4.) I was really taken with the long finish and toast on the wine.

On the nose I got toast, apple, and lemon rind. In the mouth I found lemon, bitters, toast, apple, and pear. The finish on the wine lingered and the fine bubbles and acidity kept the wine refreshing and light.

 

 

A Halloween Treat

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Fredrick Wildman.

Boo! Long time no see. Life, at times, gets in the way of things we want to do. As you know, I spent several weeks furloughed, which zapped my energy as I am not used to spending all day every day chasing after an almost 3 year old, then I had to travel to a funeral, and then off for a fun visit to family. Thus, my absence. But I’m back with a what I consider just a lovely wine that pairs well with jumping up to answer your door all evening. Tonight we chose the Lamberti Sparkling Rose to grace our Champagne flutes.  The Lamberti retails for about $14 and has a traditional Champagne closure.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Honestly, I had to keep checking to make sure this was really a $14 wine.

2.) The color on this wine is quite pretty.

3.) Not only for Halloween, this wine would be excellent with a large upcoming meal involving turkey.

4.) Seriously? $14? You are seriously winning something with this wine at that price.

On the nose I got raspberry, jello, yeast, and flowers. The nose is light and delicate and the color is so pale and pretty. My pictures do not do it justice, at all. I’m a pretty terrible photographer.  In the mouth I got raspberry jello, cherry, and raspberry. I found the wine to be bright with good acidity and a nice mousse. I love it.

 

 

 

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