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.


Speed Tasting #8

2008 Tabarrini Adarmando from Italy. Smells like pear and fresh peach. $17-$22 and available across the US. Smells like very fresh fruit. Totally done in stainless steel. This grape has a lot of heft to it. Nice acidity to counter the heft of the grape. Very peachy with some tropical notes. Very interesting grape and I think one to add to my Century Club list!

Wine with Dad

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

I got a pitch from a PR person a few months back for a wine for Father’s Day. Now personally, I think the person who you are celebrating should get to choose the wine, but since I happened to be going to visit my parents at the same time as the wine was arriving, I thought, why not? I’ll take it with me and see if my Dad would like to have this wine as his Father’s Day wine. Dad gave it a big thumbs up and wanted to know where he could buy some because he thought many of his friends would also really like the wine. The wine in question? The 2007 Lucente Toscana.  It retails for around $20 and had a real cork closure. I forgot to record the alcohol content in my sleep deprived state.

On the nose I found berries, black cherry, earth, leather, spice, and herbs. I thought this was a big, powerful red wine based on the nose, and it followed through on the palate. In the mouth I got tart cherry, blackberry, earth, leather, more black fruit, and some creamy vanilla. With air the wine smoothed out nicely and displayed some sweet tannins and good acidity.

So grab a bottle and enjoy with your dad! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, especially my own and to Mr. Wannabe Wino on his first Father’s Day!

Dad and me toasting!

Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Pasternak Imports.

When I think of sparkling wine from Italy, my mind goes immediately to Prosecco. I’m not actually sure that I’ve had sparkling wine from Italy made from other grapes before this bottle, so I was interested to give it a try.  The Valdo Nerello Mascalese Brut Rose is composed of Nerello Mascalese and Prosecco grapes, which makes for something different from the norm. It clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, had a typical Champagne closure, and retails for between $13-$15.

The nose showed strawberry, raspberry, yeast, dough, sourdough, and cherry. I thought the fruit seemed quite vibrant on the nose.  In the mouth I got strawberry, cherry, and some floral notes. The palate was less vibrant than the nose, but displayed crisp, clean red fruit flavors and nice acidity, with plenty of bubbles.




Seven Bucks and Change

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

Now, this is what I like to see. And Pinot Grigio is often not my thing. But I’ll give credit where credit is due, and I see this wine available on sale online for $7 and a little pocket change. If $7 is your price range and you enjoy Pinot Grigio, this is the wine for you. I have lots of family and friends who absolutely love Pinot Grigio. I would serve this to them in a heartbeat as a great, inexpensive example and hope to forever move them away from the 1.5L jugs they currently drink.  The 2008 Folonari Pinot Grigio is imported by F. Wildman, clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, and had a screw cap closure. Even better! I can really imagine this being the poolside Pinot Grigio of choice.

On the nose I found melon, citrus, lemon, white pepper, spice, and slight honey notes. The nose smelled clean and crisp to me. In the mouth, citrus dominated. I got lime, lemon, spice, lots o’ citrus, and slight melon notes. Overall, I found the wine to be very lemony. Refreshing, clean, crisp, and displaying typical Pinot Grigio characteristics all in a $7.19 bottle.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Pasternak Imports.

I couldn’t resist. Pinocchio wine, long nose label. Yep. Cheap jokes, I love them. Several months ago the folks from Pasternak Imports sent a 6 pack of value wines to me and a bunch of other bloggers. However, when I was sick it was weeks where I wasn’t drinking wine and I got a bit backed up on my wine tasting, so I’m just getting around to some wines that have been chilling in the basement for a while. I plucked the 2008 Dievole Pinocchio Nero D’Avola from the sample bin the other night to go with an eye of the round roast. It clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a plasticl cork closure, and retails for about $10.

On the nose I found sweet raspberries, plums, sweet cherry, rhubarb, some spice, and herbs. It smelled quite a bit like strawberry rhubarb pie without the strawberries. In the mouth I got black raspberry, cherry, black cherry, strawberry, and a little spice. I found it to be jammy and smooth, I wish it had just a bit more acidity and tannic structure to it.

Pinot Grigio

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Gallo Family Wines

I don’t drink much Pinot Grigio, if any. I bet I’ve reviewed less than 5 bottles of it since I started the wine blog 3 years ago. I tend to make the association between it and putting ice cubes in your wine to sip by the pool. That’s certainly not a fair assessment, but a lot of what I’ve had over the years is boring and flat.  Tonight we tried the 2007 Maso Canali Pinot Grigio from Italy. It clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume and retails for around $16. Matt opened the bottle and I forgot to ask him what kind of closure it had.

On the nose I found lemon, spice, and melon. It had a very faint nose. In the mouth I got lemon, tropical notes, melon, and citrus. Overall it was smooth and refreshing, very easy to drink.