WBW #80 – Dry Rosé

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

As I mentioned last week, Wine Blogging Wednesday is back! Founded by Lenn almost a decade ago (ha! does that make some of the old-time wine bloggers feel even older?), WBW is a monthly wine event hosted by a different wine blogger every month. I’ve hosted a couple times in the past with great success, and we welcome WBW back after a nearly 2 year hiatus thanks to Tim of WineCast. For WBW #80, which I also think is technically the 9th anniversary of WBW, Tim chose Dry Rosé as the theme and simply asked us to review a dry rosé to review.

Easy peasy as far as I am concerned. Who doesn’t like rosé in the summer?  Here in DC, while we’ve been having an unexpectedly mild August (what’s up with that??), it’s still been plenty warm enough to bust out some rosé to beat the humidity, which is generally killer when you live in a swamp. In the summer.

For this milestone WBW, I chose the 2011 Michel Torino Malbec Rose.  It’s a wine from Wildman Selections, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, has a Nomacorc closure (which I just learned about when I attended Drink Local Wine this spring), and retails for about $15.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) While it has some tannins on the finish, the acidity is there and it is well-balanced.

2.) I enjoyed the dried cherries and herbal notes on this wine.

3.) While we enjoyed this rocking in our Adirondack chairs on the front porch (did I not mention that I turned 70 lately?? ;) ) I thought it would be great with my signature BBQ ribs.

4.) I’m not sure I’ve ever had a Malbec Rosé before, but I’m intrigued and would definitely try another.

On the nose I got juicy raspberries, dried cherries, and herbal notes. In the mouth I found cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and herbs. Overall, the wine struck me as light, bright, dry, and refreshing with good acidity that made it perfect for a hot day.

Many thanks to Tim for hosting, and, as always, a tip of the hat to our founder Lenn!

 

 

WBW #45-Old World Riesling

It’s that time of month again, WBW! The event really crept up on me this month, I was down to the wire, just heading out to pick up my bottle yesterday afternoon. Our host for this month is Tim of WineCast, who is pulling double duty this go around as he was also the host for the 2nd WBC, which also crept up on me and I didn’t get around to finishing the book for this time. As always, the host is responsible for picking the theme for WBW, the brainchild of Lenn of Lenndevours, and posting the round-up after the event. Tim has chosen Old World Riesling for this month, asking us to pick up any bottle of Riesling from Germany, Austria, Alsace….and a couple of other places.

With that in mind, I set out to find my Riesling. If I were writing this post for just a regular post, I’d have titled it “Old World Riesling with a New World Label.” I don’t normally go in for the eye-catching wine names/labels, and it actually wasn’t the reason I purchased this bottle. The owner of my favorite wine shop recommended two bottles to me and said this one was a bit fruitier than the other one, so I went with it because Matt prefers whites that show a lot of fruit.

The wine is a 2007 “Diva” Riesling from Germany. The producer is Gunderloch and it’s a Rheinhessen Riesling Spatlese, which means the grapes are “late harvested” by allowing them to ripen for an extra week or more. It’s the second level of quality on the scale of Rieslings produced in Germany. The bottle cost me $24.99 at the Winery in Old Town Alexandria, had a screw-cap closure, and clocked in at 9.5% alcohol by volume.

The nose was reserved, but gave up some lemon, peach, tropical fruit, and minerals. In the mouth this wine was fantastic. I can only describe it as delicate fruit flavors that dance over your tongue with an almost prickly feeling for your taste buds. Particularly I found peach, lots of peach, some tropical fruit, and honey all over the palate.

The wine was smooth, and glass by glass just disappeared in our house without a thought. It was drinking so well, and had wonderful acidity and backbone holding it together. It tasted like really delicious candy and would serve very well as a dessert in and of itself. I served it with baked chicken, broccoli, and homemade applesauce, and the food just overpowered the delicate flavors of the wine. I would say serve this as an apertif or a dessert, or perhaps with a very a cheese tray that wouldn’t dominate the wine. I highly recommend this bottle, it’s one of the best whites we’ve had recently.

Thanks to Tim for hosting, and I will be sure to alert you to the round-up when it’s posted!

WBW #45-Old World Riesling


Our host for this month’s edition of the virtual tasting known as Wine Blogging Wednesday is Tim of Winecast. Tim has chosen a fabulous theme, one of my absolute favorite white wines, Riesling. However, his stipulation is that the wine must come from the “Old World.” So choose a Riesling from Germany, Austria, or the Alsace region of France. He’ll give you a little leniency if you want to go with Northern Italy, the Czech Republic, or Slovenia too. You can read all the details here.

This month’s WBW deadline is May 7. Get shopping and tasting and post your review on May 7 or if you don’t have a blog and want to participate send your notes to Tim at “winecast at gmail dot com” with WBW 45 in the subject line.

WBC #1 Round up posted and WBC #2 Announced!

Our host for the first edition of the WBC was David of McDuff’s Food and Wine Trail. He chose the book Vino Italiano as a massive tome for our first rendition of the book club, and the turn out was fantastic! 25 people participated and wrote reviews of the book. You can head on over to his blog to read the round up from all of the participants.

Next, the announcement for WBC #2 is up! Our host for the second WBC is Tim of Winecast. Time has chosen a much less daunting task in the form of the book Noble Rot: A Bordeaux Wine Revolution by William Echikson. You can read all the details over here on Winecast, but the long and short of it is: read the book, write a review, and post it on your blog or send it to Tim at winecast@gmail.com by April 29 in time for our next book club meeting.

Now, Noble Rot is less than a third of the size of Vino Italiano, so no excuses about the length this time! Let’s keep the momentum from the first WBC going and get an even bigger turnout next month. Looking forward to reading everyone’s reviews in April! I’ve got a ton of work travel coming up, so this time I shouldn’t be struggling to finish. Many thanks to Dr. Debs for the great idea of a wine book club.

Tag! I’m It!

I was tagged by Farley of Wine Outlook the other day to participate in my first meme. Farley in turn was tagged by Winehiker, which leads back to this tree showing who tagged whom and where the meme has been. The question at hand is: Why do I blog? From checking around, it appears the popular format is to answer in a list of 5 reasons. Why 5? Color me clueless, but I’ll play along!

Why do I blog?

1.) A long time wino: I spent the first part of my 21st birthday celebration(or maybe the second, give me a break, it was my 21st birthday and the night is a bit foggy) with my best college girlfriends, Lindsay, Mer, Sarah(who shares my exact birthday and thus was my only 21-year-old buddy at the time as we were quite a bit older than our classmates) and Sonja, drinking flights of wine at Zins, a wine bar in our sleeply little college town. It was more an indication of our habits at the time than a harbringer of things to come, but it became the official place for our little group to begin our 21st birthday celebrations and served at the time as a great place to try lots of different wines and my first experiences in an “official” tasting setting. From my college beginnings I’ve only grown to love wine more and the blog is an extension of that love.

2.) A trip to Sonoma: By a set of circumstances mostly beyond my control, Matt and I had to rearrange honeymoon plans that were initially set to take us to Ireland and Scotland. For practical travel reasons we ended up looking to North America for our honeymoon and set our sites on the Northern West Coast: Vancouver, Seattle and Sonoma. I had always wanted to visit wine country and our honeymoon suddenly presented the perfect opportunity. I already loved wine and had by that time instilled a taste for wine in Matt, so off we went. We visited 26 wineries. We talked to many winemakers. We toured barrel rooms and vineyard facilities. I was more and more intrigued by wine, the process of making it and the people behind it. I use the blog to learn more about all those aspects of wine and others.

3.) Abject boredom (we’re being honest here, right?): During long periods of crushing boredom at my new job when they first hired me and then cut my entire department within days of me arriving, yet kept me on and simply shuffled me into a corner for a few months, I had very little (read:absolutely nothing) to do. And I discovered wine blogs, Wine Blog Watch and a wealth of wine information on the internet. As I explored these blogs, I realized that I drank just as much, if not more, wine than some of the authors, and I was drinking a lot of wines that I didn’t see reviewed anywhere. I may not be terribly computer savvy, but I figured I had something to add to the wine conversation, and thus Wannabe Wino was born.

4.) Continuing education: I keep blogging for several reasons, one of which is that I truly believe wine to be a subject I will never stop learning about. The next new wine region is always popping up, there are new values to be found and varietals to explore. The blog helps me keep track of where I’ve been with wine and where I’m going. Even in the short 6ish months that I’ve been keeping Wannabe Wino as a record, I can already see how far I’ve come in developing a palate and in my general knowledge about wine.

5.) Wine bloggers and wine blog readers rock: I still marvel at the fact that anyone reads what I write. Really, I do. And that so many people leave comments on things and indulge my seemingly never-ending stream of questions about how you drink wine, what I should drink with a certain dinner, where I should go in Sonoma, etc. Plus, everyone I’ve interacted with is so willing to share their knowledge or their time (we so wished we could have connected with Russ for a hike!) or even their wine. Just on this recent Sonoma trip, I had dinner with Farley who was so friendly and even brought us wine and Ken and his wife opened their home to Matt and I and had us over for a delightful evening of wine tasting. Not to mention the many recommendations I’ve gotten for wines that turn out to be great, recipes that are fabulous (have you checked David or Leah’s blogs for recipes lately??) fun contests to enter, such as El Jefe’s, vineyards to visit (thanks Tim, John and others!) or even wine shops to visit when I leave my own area (thanks Dr.Debs!). So I keep writing because people read, I’ve met some great folks, hope to meet many more in the future and I simply enjoy the culture that exists among this population.

Okay, that turned out longer than I anticipated. But now I get to tag people to tell us why they blog.

David of Cooking Chat
Sarah of August and Everything After (Best wishes to her too, as my newest engaged friend!)
Rob of 365 Corks
Huevos Con Vino
Joe of Joe’s Wine

Tag! You’re it!

WBW #30 New World Syrah

For this WBW, Tim of Winecast is our host and he requested that we choose a New World Syrah (or Shiraz, same thing!) to review this week. So that leaves a lot of the world to choose from…Australia, North American, South America, etc. My choice was made easy by two factors. One, I have a ton of California Syrahs hanging around and two, I’m trying to limit my purchases of wine. Thus, a California Syrah for me!

The wine I chose was a 2004 Fritz Alexander Valley Syrah. This came in our last shipment from Fritz and cost us around $21. It is 14.2% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I got roasted meat and tons of dark fruit, plus an earthy quality and a hint of violets. In the mouth it transformed to pepper and spice with cherries and a leather taste.

I believe that there is at least one other bottle of this Syrah in our collection. I will leave it on the shelf as I think this has great potential to age for several years. There were enough dry tannins in the mouth to hold this one together and I really believe the dark blackberries will come out more, along with the violet which appeared after several hours in my glass (I usually end up drinking about a glass and a half out of a bottle since I like to watch it develop and by the time I get ready for my second glass there isn’t much left in the bottle!). The berries really made their appearance as my glass sat out. If you are going to drink it now, I would suggest decanting or at least letting your glass sit out for an hour or so.

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