Cold Winter’s Night

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Rodney Strong.

Cold has settled into the DC area. Most days it’s been 13 degrees or under when I leave for work and the same when I return. Standing on an outside platform to catch the Metro is extremely unpleasant, and I come home chilled to the bone. On one of those nights, I bundled up for a trip to the basement and returned with the 2010 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It seemed like an excellent choice to counteract the weather. The wine has a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $28.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) On the cold cold night, this wine warmed my soul.

2.) Rodney Strong is an incredibly consistent producer.

3.) This Cab offered lip-smacking black and blue fruit.

4.) I will get to Rodney Strong on my next Northern CA trip. Now to work on having that trip!

On the nose, I found the Alexander Cab to be quite spicy, with pepper, herbs, a slight green note, black berries, and other blue fruit.  In the mouth I got blueberry, brambly fruit, black fruit, spice, and pepper. The wine had nice tannins and mouth-filling fruit.


Two Bubbles

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR firm for the brand.

My goal for the posts about bubbles was to have them up before New Year’s Eve. However, I got taken down by a bronchial infection that I’m really just starting to kick now. Pardon my unexcused absence around here! I think many people drink Champagne for Valentine’s Day, so consider me early with a recommendation for that “holiday.” I received several bottles of bubbles from a PR firm, and this was above and away my favorite.  The Perrier Jouet Grand Brut has a Champagne closure, clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, and looks to retail for around $40 from various online retailers.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) We tried four sparkling wines over the course of a few days, and this one got top marks from the whole family.

2.) The wine had an intriguing ginger candy note.

3.) I used my new air popcorn popper and popped up some fresh popcorn to go with this wine. Slightly cliched as a pairing, but really a nice salty match.

4.) $40 for a tasty well-done Champagne seems like a pretty good deal to me for a special event wine.

On the nose I got lemon, grapefruit, toast, and apple. I could almost smell the acidity that I could tell was coming on the palate. In the mouth I got spice, lemon, grapefruit, a honey note, and ginger candy. The palate had a lot going on and kept me coming back for more as I mulled over what I was tasting.