Time to Sparkle!

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

Sorry for the radio silence! Christmas and my daughter’s first birthday being within 3 days of each other left me with little time to write.  Though plenty of occasions to raise a glass of bubbly and toast, which is what we did with the JJ Vincent Cremant de Bourgogne.   The JJ Vincent has a traditional Champagne closure, clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $20.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) We drank it on a Saturday afternoon, which just set the tone for a good day.

2.) It’s a great budget friendly option for bubbles.

3.) You can get a lot of bang for you buck looking outside of Champagne to some of France’s other sparkling wine regions.  In general, Cremant d’Alsace is a favorite of mine.

4.) In the coming year I hope to drink even more bubbly, as it always makes me happy.

On the nose I got lemon, yellow apple, pear, teething biscuit (am I showing my mom colors now?), and pineapple.  In the mouth I found very prominent apple, pineapple, and a melon finish.  Overall, the wine had nice acidity with a touch of sweetness on the finish.  With the low(er) alcohol content, this sparkler made a great start to a Saturday afternoon.



A Carneros Delight

A few weeks ago I took part in many Taste Live events surrounding the Napa Valley Film Fest.  Over the course of 4 days I tasted a ton of great wines from Napa helping to celebrate the Film Fest from afar.  I’ll always take a good excuse to drink in the middle of the day! One of my favorite wines from the event was the 2009 Saintsbury Carneros Lee Vineyard Pinot Noir.  The 2009 is not yet released, but will retail for $45, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and has a real cork closure. I took this with me to our weekly neighborhood BBQ and it was a huge hit there as well.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I couldn’t ask for a better wine to drink mid-day on a Saturday. Or with my neighbor’s delicious seasoned pork on the bbq.

2.) Also consider this for your Christmas dinner celebration. Especially if you are serving a pork loin.

3.) The Pinot had all the herby, mushroom-y, and earthiness with bright red fruits that I love about Pinot.

4.) My neighbors adore when I have live tasting events, they totally benefit!

On the nose I found dried cherries, raspberries, herbs, spice, mushroom, and earth. This was a wine I definitely went back to after the tasting concluded because I really wanted to savor the aroma. The format of a TasteLive event doesn’t leave a lot of time for savoring, so a mid-day event is actually perfect for me, since it doesn’t leave me ending the event at 10 and looking desperately toward bed. In the mouth I got dried cherry, raspberry, herbs, earth, and pepper. The wine had great acidity and drank beautifully on its own and with food.

Sparkle Some More

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Natural Wine Merchants.

I have been all about the bubbles in the last couple of weeks. It must be the holidays. Picture me singing, totally off-key because I’m pretty tone deaf: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…. .” Yes indeed, I have the holidays and sparklers on my mind. Tonight we tried the Pizzolata Fields Prosecco, which has a kind of cork that was part way in the neck of the bottle and part out…in any case, it took me forever and a day to open the bottle, it clocked in at 11% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $11.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Damn that cork was IMPOSSIBLE to get out. Removing it involved me whining and almost ready to slam the top of the bottle against some bricks.

2.) Other than the cork, this was an excellent Prosecco.

3.) $11. Need I say more?

4.) Bready with notes of candle wax and green apples, combined with fine bubbles, which rocks my world.

On the nose of the wine I got lemon, green apple, candle wax, and bread.  In the mouth I found notes of honey, lemon, and pear.  Overall I found the wine to be quite dry with tiny bubbles, though I would honestly describe it as more prickly than bubbly. At the price point, serve it at your next party or with dinner on Tuesday.