Bubbly Bubbly Bubbly

As we know from some past WBWs, the world is full of Bubbly that is not Champagne. One of my favorites for value and quality is Prosseco from Italy. I also love it for its low alcohol content.

This bottle was a Mionetto Valdobbiadene Prosseco Brut. I picked it up at MV Wine and Spirits in Madison, CT for $10.95 (I see it online for between $13-$20), it clocked in at 11% alcohol by volume, and had a typical sparkling wine closure.

On the nose I found green apple, honey, and and overall “fruity” aroma. In the mouth the wine has apples, peaches, and lemons. The wine had nice bubbles, it was crisp, and tart. This was a fun and easy sparkler and an excellent value!

A Long Time Coming

I’ve been drinking this bottle of wine for quite a long time, and probably should have gotten around to reviewing it well over a year ago when I first had a glass. My favorite bar in DC, Hamiltons, has this on their wine menu, and the bartender always has a glass almost poured for me as I come up the stairs!

So when I saw the bottle of Veramonte Reserva Sauvignon Blanc at MV Wine and Spirits in Madison, CT, I had to pick it up, just so I could finally write about it! Dr. Debs over on Good Wine Under $20 wrote up the 2007 vintage recently, but I actually have the 2006 to tell you about. And it is the one I’ve been drinking for about a year. From Dr. Debs’ notes however, I gather the 2007 is just as worth it as the 2006.

The bottle cost $11.95 and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume. It hails from the Casablanca Valley of Chile.

On the nose, the wine smelled crisp, citrus, floral, and wine. In th mouth, the wine showed flavors of lime, and citrus. Overall the wine was crisp, tart, racy, and refreshing, with a good acidic backbone. I think this is a really great value for the bottle, and a nice alternative to a New Zealand or South African Sauvignon Blanc.

Getting French on You

I think this may have been my first Sancerre. At least, I can’t remember having one prior to this.

The wine was a 2006 Henri Bourgeois Les Bonnes Bouches Sancerre. My dad picked this up at MV Wine and Spirits in Madison, CT when he went to get his own champagne for New Year’s Eve. I asked him to grab me a Sauvignon Blanc and this is what he returned with. I gather from a quick search that you can find this bottle from between $19-$22. It had a real cork closure and clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

And there it was on the nose: cat pee! Now, although this might sound like a retched thing to find in a wine to those of you who have cats or have smelled actual cat pee, I promise, it is not a bad thing. Also on the nose, citrus, lemon, and flowers. The nose was crisp and smelled light. In the mouth, lemon, pineapple, and some tropical fruit on the back of the palate.

I jotted down that the wine was crisp, lively, light, with good acidity, a sprightly wine! (Yes, I have no idea why sprightly came to mind, but that is what my notes say!) Overall, I would say that this was a textbook example, and a very good value.

Some Montepulciano

The wine was a 2004 La Valentina Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (Sheesh, these Italian varietals are often a mouthful!). It clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost around $13 at MV Wine and Spirit in Madison, CT.

An unforgiving nose on this one. Some barnyard funk (not in a good way) when I opened the bottle that eventually blew off, but underneath that, there was not much there. Maybe some spice, oak, and currants. In the mouth, the wine was flat, I’m wondering if it was past its prime. I got some indistinguishable dark fruit, spice, but overall it seemed hollow. After a few hours, I found some dark cherry and raspberries, and the wine had finally started to open up. I found it to be terribly bitter and tannic at the beginning, but that gave way a bit as the hours passed (my mom and I drank this bottle and it literally took over 4 hours for us to get through it).

I’m not sure if the wine was too young or too old, but something wasn’t quite right here.

The Polls Have Closed

And the winner is that 37% of the readers who answered my poll spend between $0-$15 on a bottle of wine. Coming in a close second and third were $15-$20 (30%) and $20-$30 (28%). Overall 59 people responded.

I think this fairly represents the range of wines I tend to drink and review here. A few go over $30 a bottle, but those are just the occasional bottle and I rarely, without having previously tried it, would buy a bottle in the store that is over $30. The wines we drink that do go over that price range tend to be gifts or have come in club shipments directly from wineries. Though I do admit to the rare splurge on a bottle that a fellow blogger has raved about, or a fancy Champagne for a special occasion!

I’m going to stick up another poll, this time about how much wine you keep on hand.

Thanks for participating!

Contests Abound!

Farley (of Behind the Vines and Wine Outlook) is hosting a contest over on Behind the Vines. She is once again participating in Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) and is highly encouraging everyone else to participate as well.

The premise behind OTBN is to go ahead and pop the cork on one of those bottles you’ve been saving for a special occasion and just haven’t gotten around to opening yet for whatever reason. The evening to open? Saturday, February 23. All Farley wants you to do is head on over to her blog and leave a comment about what bottle you think you will open by February 20. And in return, you are entered into a contest to win two bottles of wine from Rosenblum Cellars! You can read all the details, and tell her about the wine you will drink here.

Next, over on El Bloggo Torcido, El Jefe has announced “Take your Rubber Chicken to Work Week.” He’s asking everyone to pick a day between Feb. 4-10, and take your rubber chicken to work with you and document it with pictures. Then submit the pictures to Twisted Oak and everyone will win something. He will be announcing further details and prizes over the coming week, so keep your eyes open. You can read his initial announcement here. And, if you don’t happen to have an actual Twisted Oak chicken, you now order one for only $6.95 or you can bring whatever rubber chicken you already own (?) or can get your hands on before the deadline.

Christmas-a Month Late

The wine for Christmas dinner was this bottle of 2004 Lake Sonoma Winery Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I picked this bottle up at The Winery in Old Town Alexandria for around $22, it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found currants, red berries, oak, leather, earth, and licorice. In the mouth the flavors were dark berries, cream, vanilla, black currants, and spices. Everyone loved this bottle of wine.

It was served with a surf and turf dinner of beef tenderloin and baked stuffed shrimp, prepared by my cousin and my Godmother. Just turf for me, shrimp and I are not friends! The wine was an excellent match with the beef tenderloin, a perfect match for the dinner!

WBW Logo Contest!

Back a few months ago, along with the announcement of the new Wine Blogging Wednesday website, Lenn of Lenndevours mentioned that in the near future, a contest to create a new logo for WBW would be occurring.

Well that time is now! All the details are available here, but suffice it to say, be creative, and submit your entry by March 31, 2008.

We will bid a found adieu to our old logo, which has served WBW well for 41 iterations.

Just think, your new logo could live on in hundreds of blogs, several times a month for many years! Get cracking!

Exploring New Kitchens

The wine photos coming up for the next month or so were mostly taken in kitchens other than my own. We consumed A LOT of wine over the Christmas holiday and I am just caught up enough to start writing about it.

One of the first was a 2005 De Martino Organic Sauvignon Blanc. It hails from the Maipo Valley of Chile, has a real cork closure, clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume and cost about $10 at MV Wine and Spirit in Madison, CT.

On the nose I found lemon, flowers, grass, and peach. In the mouth, the wine showed citrus, lemon, and tropical fruit. It was crisp, but not nearly as tart as New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. I think the Chile style is good one for wine drinkers who want a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc but who can’t stand the mouth-puckering acidity of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Definitely a good buy at this price point.

WBW #42 Just Seven Words

The newest edition of WBW has been announced, and this one will take some explaining! (Or perhaps not so much explaining.) Our host for the month is the Wine Scribbler from across the pond, at Spittoon.

Andrew has asked us to pick any Italian red wine. This is not the challenge. The challenge comes in the seven words. In that he wants us to describe the wine in just seven words for our WBW entry. The caveat is that the note has to make sense, be mostly grammatically correct, and preferably contain punctuation.

All the details (or lack thereof) can be found here on Spittoon. The deadline this month to get your note in is February 13. See you then!