Sancerre Everywhere

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

A few weeks ago, the folks at Pasternak Imports sent me a box of Sancerre to try for the summer months. Since the summer keeps going and going and going in DC, we’ve been enjoying them and will continue to do so in the next month or two. (Any bets on when summer in DC is going to bow out? I’m ready for fall!) The other evening we pulled out the 2008 Domaine de la Perriere Sancerre.  It clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for around $23.

Both Matt and I were delighted with this wine. A beautiful nose and a lovely palate with great acidity made this wine the perfect accompaniment to the hot summer evening. On the nose I got lemon, pink grapefruit, a sweeter smelling citrus, pineapple, tropical notes, and melon. In the mouth I found some more of the sweet citrus that I couldn’t quite put a finger on, pink grapefruit, sweet lime, white peach, tropical notes, and a finish of grapefruit and saline notes. Excellent.


Man on the Moon

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

I seem to have misplaced my photos for this wine. I know I took them, I just can’t find them. If they reappear, I’ll put them up…I do have 3 cameras, so it’s possible they are on one I haven’t cleaned out in a while, but then you’d think I’d be missing others. However, that does not mean I didn’t like the wine. In fact, I rather enjoyed this bottle. We opened up the 2008 Luna Pinot Grigio on a very hot DC evening. (Though lets be honest…every evening has been hot this summer…) It had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol, and I see it available online for as little as $14. One person has it for about $9, but I can’t tell what vintage that store is selling. If it’s the 2008, go, scoop it up, now!

On the nose I got pineapple, apple, pear, peach, white flowers, and slight honey and melon notes. The mouth followed through from the nose (I’m pretty excited when there’s good follow through as there have been many times I’ve had a wine where I can’t believe what I’m tasting is the same thing I’ve been smelling) and had great acidity. I found peach, pear, melon, and honey. Light, crisp, and refreshing, all in a $14 (or under) package from Napa. Sold.

Every Good Steak

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Jordan Winery.

Deserves a lovely bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to complement it. And as we happened to have some perfectly delightful cuts of meat to grill up the other night, I decided to dig into a box sent to me from Jordan Winery, knowing I’d find a Cabernet Sauvignon inside. The 2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for between $41-$52 depending on the internet source.  My parents also happened to be in town visiting, always an opportunity to open something fun to try out on my dad who very much enjoys dark red wines.

On the nose I found spice, pepper, blackberry, black cherry, earth, and chocolate. My notes say “loads of fruit and good aroma.” In the mouth I got black pepper, blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, spice, and earth. Overall the wine had well integrated tannins and the flavors melded nicely. The red notes on the edges of the palate added some tartness to the wine and altogether it worked wonderfully with our grilled steak. Mmm. Steak and Cabernet.

Last Nautilus

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample in order to participate in a Taste Live event.

In the summer, if I’m going to drink a red wine, it’s either going to be a red on the lighter end of the spectrum or a giant Zin to go with my BBQ. We haven’t been doing as much BBQing this summer for whatever reason, so the Zins have been staying safely tucked in my basement. I’m always in the mood to try out a new Pinot though, which I got to do through the Nautilus Taste Live Event. The 2008 Nautlius Pinot Noir clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and retails for around $22.

On the nose I found slightly burnt toffee notes, vanilla toast, cherry, strawberry, spice, and campfire smoke.  In the mouth I got black cherries, strawberries, slight earth, and other red fruits. I found the fruit to be tart overall. The nose seemed to have a bit more going on than the palate, I wish some of the spice and toffee/vanilla notes had followed through into the mouth.

Happy Anniversary Matt!

Four years ago today! I can’t believe how fast four years has gone by…or really the fact that we’re approaching 10 years of knowing each other. Thankfully our wedding day was a lot nicer than today’s rain and icky weather, but I’m sure we’ll still enjoy a lovely dinner out tonight!

Here’s to many more adventures ahead!

She sells sea shells by the seashore

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample in order to participate in a Taste Live event.

A few weeks (maybe more, I’m a little behind on my posts with all the travel I’ve been doing) ago I participated in a Taste Live event with Nautilus wines. I love Taste Live events, it’s tons of fun to get together virtually with all my wino friends and geek out of wines for an hour. Don’t judge. Our second wine for the evening was the 2008 Nautilus Pinot Gris. It had a screw cap closure closure, retails for around $18.99, and Matt tossed the bottle before I could record the alcohol content.

On the nose I found spiced pear, spice, ginger, and nutmeg. While I visited Portugal early this year with Enoforum Wines I had a dish of baked quince. I thought this wine smelled remarkably like that dish. In the mouth I got lots of pear. Almost all pear with some nutty undertones, melon notes, and baking spices. The wine had some weight on the palate, feeling a little heavy to me. Overall I thought this was a very well done white and would put a bottle on the Thanksgiving table!

Bargain Summer White

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample in order to participate in a Wines of Chile online tasting.

In what might have been my favorite wines of Chile tasting yet, a box of Sauvignon Blanc arrived at my doors. What a way to my heart, I love Sauvignon Blanc all the time, but especially in the dregs of the DC spummall. I believe we had 8 bottles that night. A perennial favorite of mine came in the box-o-fun, the 2009 Reserva Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve written about this great value wine before, and continue to purchase it year after year. In fact, I had plenty of it on hand for my birthday party just a couple weeks ago that I picked up over at the Total Wine and More! The Veramonte had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $10.

On the nose I found citrus, lemon, lime, green apple, and tropical notes. I wrote in my notes that I thought the nose seemed “spritzy.” By that I generally mean fresh and lively. In the mouth I got more citrus, lime and lemon mostly, and more green apple. As always, the wine had racy acidity, but not the mouth-puckering acidity that I hear some folks complain about in certain Sauvignon Blancs. I love this wine year in and year out.

Swimming in White Wine

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Terlato Wine Group.

Sorry for the radio silence for the last week or so. I was traveling to Philly and San Francisco for work and thought I’d have some internet access other than through my phone, but technological difficulties got in my way. Back on the horse now that I’m back home again. I’m done with business travel for the next year or so as well!

Anyway, swimming in a tub of crisp, cool, white wine actually sounds a little bit like heaven on earth right now given the heat, humidity, and heat index here in the old D of C. Such a transition from high 50s-low 60s in San Francisco to step off the plane into 103 degrees with something like 70% humidity! For a day like that, this 2008 Terlato Pinot Grigio made a perfect summer sipper. I see that 2007 retails for about $18-$25, so I gather this one was about the same, it had a real cork closure, and the bottle got pitched before I could record the alcohol content.

On the nose I found the wine to be tropical, with lemon, pear, pineapple, melon, and florals. Overall, it’s a very aromatic wine, I could smell it across the room as Matt poured the glasses. In the mouth I found lemon, pineapple, tropical fruit, melon, orange zest, and orange. It was crisp and tingly on the tongue and made a great accompaniment to the DC weather. I’d like to see it priced closer to $14, though, inching up toward and over $20 is a little rich for me.

Older Wines

Perhaps 18 months or so ago I had a thought: For my 30th birthday, I wanted to serve wines from my birth year. But where to get 30 year old wine? Certainly not something I could easily procure from a local wine shop. Good thing the internet answers all questions and brought me to Wine Bid. Now, I must admit to being skeptical. Buying wines, at auction from random people’s cellars didn’t exactly seem like the best way to purchase to me, but I gave it a shot and now that we’ve tasted those wines, I must say I’m thrilled.

Wine Bid described the condition of each bottle you could bid on, fill level, seepage, condition of the label, cellar conditions it was removed from, etc. Over the course of a year I won auctions for 6 bottles of wine from various CA wineries. We opened them all this past Saturday to share with friends and family at my birthday party and I am happy to report that there wasn’t a single corked bottle in the lot! And in fact, some of them were downright good, 30 years having treated them well.

If you are looking for something fun and a little different for your next big birthday, anniversary, or whatever celebration, I highly recommend trying to hunt down wines from the important year. Everyone had a lot of fun with it and not many people have the opportunity to taste multiple 30-year old wines side-by-side, so it was a different experience for them.

This one with the retro orange label was the best in the bunch. Seemed like it still had years ahead of it to me. Great color, nose, and palate. Some of the others had aged a bit past their potential, but this one shone.

Happy 30th Birthday to Me!

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