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.

 

 

Turkey Wines in the Wino House

What to drink with the ubiquitous turkey?

Year in and year out people beseech me with requests for the perfect pairing for your Thanksgiving meal. Not to mention the thousands of pitches I receive from wineries and PR folks claiming to have the best, most excellent ever, wine for your holiday feast.  Let’s get this out of the way: No perfect wine for Thanksgiving exists. Thanksgiving offers sweet, savory, sticky, dry, creamy, and a dozen other food adjectives, dishes. You would be asking for a miracle for something that goes well with both sweet potato marshmallow casserole and cranberry sauce (nothing goes with cranberry sauce).  With that said, I’ll tell you what I purchased/am pulling from the cellar for the feast in the Wannabe Wino household. Take that for what you will.

4 bottles of assorted sparkling – Prosecco, Cremant de Alsace, Champagne, and Brut from CA.

2 bottles of Chablis. I went to lunch last week with the folks from Pure Chablis (more on that later) and fell in love.

2 bottles of Gruner Veltliner. A family tradition.

1 bottle of Napa Sauvignon Blanc.

1 bottle of Sancerre.

4 bottles of Pinot Noir. All from the US, various appellations.

2 bottles of Cabernet Franc. One from Maryland and one from VA. Gotta represent locally.

Various local hard dry apple ciders.

Who wants to come over? Gobble gobble.

7 Year Itch

Seven years ago today I hit “publish” on my first post on Wannabe Wino. I did not know at the time how much the wine blogging and wine community in general would come to be a part of my life. I’ve made life-long friends through this endeavor, found my community, and have tasted more wine than I ever thought possible.

When I hit publish on this post, it will be post number 1491. 1491. Not even a fraction of the wines I’ve tasted in that time given I long ago gave up trying to write about every single wine I tasted. I’ve been to Portugal, Canada, various US wine regions, and attended 5 out of 6 annual Wine Blogger Conferences.

Thanks for reading for all these years and here’s to 7 more! (Maybe?)

Cheers!

 

Try Rose With Your Turkey

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

Drink. Drank. Drunk. I’ve been kicking into high gear with a box of roses lately with my eye on the rapidly approaching Thanksgiving holiday. Wine is generally not the main star of my Thanksgiving meal, but I certainly don’t want a wine that’s going to totally clash or dominate the meal either. (Stuffing is the star of my Thanksgiving meal.) I often turn to rose as a refreshing choice with enough acidity to get past the sometimes heavy food. With that in mind, I pulled the 2012 Finca La Linda Malbec Rose from the basement. The wine sports a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $10.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) It must be the Malbec grapes, this was a substantial and bold rose.

2.) The key to Thanksgiving rose is making sure to pick on that isn’t sweet. The Finca is certainly a dry rose.

3.) The acid on the rose held this one together and would do well against stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (do people still make that?), rolls, sweet potato casserole, with marshmallows of course…the turkey doesn’t matter since it’s really just a vehicle for delivering stuffing and gravy into your mouth.

4.) Rose isn’t just for the summer!

On the nose of the wine I found meat, cherry, strawberry, and spice. The meat note stood out for me, I don’t usually find that in a rose. In the mouth I got more cherry, strawberry, and citrus notes.  Overall the wine was bold, a bit spicy, and had good acidity.

 

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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