We held our monthly Women’s Wine Club the other night and I wanted to share the wine list with you. You’ll recognise the first wine. It’s the Gruner I mentioned in my last post. I loved it so much I had to share it with the group! I particularly enjoyed the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. It’s the fourth wine on the list. What a nice fruity wine, and great value. A good one to bring to a summer dinner party. Il Divo and I enjoyed a bottle of it last night with simple ravioli and sauce. And make sure you give it a nice chill before serving.
Here is the Wine list. Hope you try a few on here.:
Fred Lois Gruner Vetliner: You’ll notice how this wine dances on your tongue! The name of the grape is Gruner Vetliner and is from from Austria. It has a vibrant acidity with hues of yellow and light green. A terrific wine to pair with Sushi and salads. I enjoyed this wine last night in my backyard while my boys ran through the sprinkler. price 13.49
La Cana Alberino: There is a fair amount of acidity to this white wine from Spain as well. But taste the pineapple and touch of almond that makes gives this a it more body than the Gruner. A wonderful summer dinner wine to enjoy grilled shrimp and veggies.price 16.99
Louis Max Pouilly Fuisse: For you Chardonnay lovers, this 100% Chardonnay from Burgandy France is soft and floral. Full bodied with out being over oaked. You can taste the fruit and warm hazelnut. A perfect wine for salmon and chicken. Price 16.99
Monticello Guidi del Carmine: Sounds like it belongs with the Jersey Shore gang! But it is far more elegant and earthy. Made from the Montepulciano grape, it is a dependable wine that is food friendly. Tastes of cherry and a touch or earthy spice. Price 14.99
Alta Vista Atemporal: Dark Purple and full of plum and cocoa flavors. Enjoy this big red blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petite Verdot. A gorgeous blend that lingers in your mouth. Remember this wine to have with some great steaks. Price 18.99
Spring is here! Cheers!
A miracle happened. Not only were we all left here upon this earth after judgement day. But yesterday, after 3 weeks of gloom, the sun came out! I picked my boys up from school and they started running with the other children like a pack of wild horses! To see the sun, feel it’s warmth and hear the birds with their happiness is a gift. When Mother Nature finally decides to give us a break and feed us some nice weather, everything changes. Your clothes, your food cravings and even your toe nail polish! My mother was visiting so we decided that of course we had to grill our dinner. As we started assembling our chicken Shish Kabobs, the kids dragged the sprinkler out in the yard. Once Kabobs were assembled, it was time to pick a fresh happy wine to toast the sun with. I had the perfect one that I wanted to share with my Chardonnay loving Mother. As anyone who comes to my house, I like introducing people to something out of their ordinary wine routine. And my Mom has been my guniea pig for many years! I opened a white wine called a Gruner Vetliner. That is the name of the grape and it is from Austria. I chose the Fred Loimer Lois Gruner Vetliner, price 13.49. It has refreshing acidity that dances on your tongue! A light yellow and greenish color with a wisp of citrus flavor. A great wine to enjoy with Sushi and salads too. Delightful, and a perfect wine to watch the kids joyously jump and laugh getting soaked in the sprinkler. My Chardonnay loving Mother enjoyed how different and bright and fresh this wine is compared to the big full oaky Chardonnay. What a way to finally welcome the sun.
Friday morning at breakfast I became one of the coolest Mom’s in history. I announced to my kids that they were skipping school and we were heading to Vermont to enjoy some spring skiing. So there were kisses and screams of happiness! Then the rush to pack and escape southern Connecticut before Friday traffic, and get on the mountain by lunch time. It was a great day for me and my boys. I did smash a finger on a tree trying to keep up with them in the woods. But just another injury to add to my ski season list. We were the last ones off the mountain that day. The spring snow was like cream cheese and the sky was cobalt blue. A day I hope they remember.
But in my rush to pack I forgot a very important item. Wine! Shame on me. It’s usually the first thing I pack! So off to the local Killington Market for all our important things like Hershey Kisses, US Weekly, and vino. It’s always interesting to shop for wine in another state. You’ll notice bottles that you never see at home. Or old favorites that have seemed to disappear from your local shelves. As I was browsing I realized that I needed to make sure I bought a few bottles because back in CT we cannot buy wine on Sunday. And what a tragedy to not have wine with Sunday dinner. I know your thinking why don’t I have a full wine cellar at home. I mean I’m in the wine business, it only makes sense that I have cases and cases laying around. But it never seems to last at my house! I’m always bringing wine to other people’s homes, having drop in guests, and it vanishes. And if I have any nice bottles that I try to save, not matter where I hide them, Il Divo will sniff them out and crack them open on a Wednesday night with our spaghetti. Then of course play dumb that he didn’t know what it was he was opening. Infuriating!
As I browsed the market, it seemed heavily supplied with California Cabernets. Which of course is all Il Divo ever wants to drink. So I decided to indulge him and get a few. The one bottle that I saw that I had not seen in a long time was the Haymen Hill Cabernet 2007. Priced about 18.00. Full and lots of cherry and blackberry. But I also noticed a smokiness that was enjoyable. Il Divo arrived later that night and was happy to enjoy his Cabernet.
After the wonderful weekend of spring skiing and the drive home, then unpacking. It was time for dinner with the other bottle I bought. It was one that I had not had in a long time, Paso Creek Cabernet. Priced at about 19.00 I have wonderful memories of visiting the beautiful and rustic Paso Robles region. And I quickly remembered how smooth and nicely fruity this Cabernet is. It went really well with my bolognese sauce I whipped up. After the bedtime routine of bath, books, bed, for the boys. I poured the rest of the Paso Creek Cab in a glass, grabbed a handfull of Hershy Kisses and sank into a hot bath. I can tell you I learned two things this weekend. Il Divo’s obsession with California Cabs is not so bad. And that red wine, cheap sugary chocolate and a hot bath, makes me a pretty simple girl to please. Or a very cheap date.
We were up in Killington Vermont for spring skiing this weekend. Surprisingly the conditions were fantastic! My crazy boys enjoyed the fresh powder for tree skiing. And I of course had an enormous wipeout. I seriously think I have whiplash from the force of the fall! So at the end of the day, when we dragged ourselves into the house. After a long hot soak, I opened a bottle of fresh, cool, mineral crisp Gavi. What a reward! Green grapes, and Gouda cheese by the fire. Heaven. I drank enough of it that my neck hurt a lot less. Ahhh, wine and it’s amazing healing properties. And I’m sure Il Divo was happy to not have me complain about it. And yes, he drank his usual California Cabernet. I wonder if I’ll ever bring him over to the otherside of the winedrinking world. The world outside California Cabs…
I have become enchanted with the Italian Gavi wines. They are from the Piedmont region of Italy from the town of Gavi. Made with the Cortese grape. But enough of the geographical details! The real deal is that it is a wine with a nice bright acidity that goes well with a ton of food pairings. Great with fish, cheese, salads, chicken and light pasta dishes. Not an oaky wine at all. You’ll taste the fresh, dry mineral flavor with a hint of honeydew melon. Sounds yummy right? The bottle I opened this weekend is one I often purchase. It is the La Luciana Gavi. And you know I love bang for the buck in a bottle of wine. It’s 14.99. And I would suggest that you consider this a nice wine to bring to a dinner party or to serve as well. It will be a crowd pleaser, and make sure its nice and cold.
Every month I have the pleasure of hosting a wine club for women. It is something I started 4 years ago and I have made some great friends and we always have a terrific time together. We meet once a month and every month I introduce a different theme for the wine. The themes are inspired by the season or holiday. So Last night our theme was spring. Well, we poor New Englanders are hoping spring shows up soon! I left the gym this morning to a mix of rain, snow and sleet. But in the good faith that warmer days are coming, we drank some spring wines that I want to share with you.
Here is the list and descriptions from last night. The white wines were all really a big hit with everyone. Even got a die hard California Chardonnay fan to surprise herself with enjoying them. The Pinot Noir was also enjoyed, it was served nicely chilled.
MARCH WINE CLUB LIST
Hang in there girls! The warmer days of “Spring” are on their way. And think of those wonderful spring vegetables, peas, carrots, beans and lettuce. Gardens waking up, birds singing in the morning and festivals for the kids. Tonight’s wines are inspired by Spring.
Sauvignon Blanc Comparison: This varietal is perfect to go with all the spring vegetables and salads. And it is always interesting to see the same grape, grown in different parts of the world and how unique they become.
THE GIRLS IN THE VINEYARD: Besides the great name, this vineyard has great purpose. Sustainability. They believe in the golden rule: Do unto future generations as you would have them do unto you. Eco friendly farming.
Sauvignon Blanc price 15.99
VEGAS DEL PAS: From Rueda Spain, this wine will reflect the crispness of aromatics of asparagus and herbs. A terrific spring wine to enjoy.
Sauvignon Blanc price 13.99
FONTANABIANCA ARNEIS: A new varietal for us to explore! This is from the Piedmont region of Italy and has the flavors of apricot and peach and the right amount of acidity. A wonderful wine to accompany your Easter Ham dinner.
Arneis price 14.99
BYRON PINOT NOIR: I’ve been to this winery and it is such a beautiful region of California. North of Santa Barbara in Santa Maria, the cool nights are perfect for Pinot Noir. A suitable red wine for your Easter Dinner of Ham and scalloped potatoes as well.
Pinot Noir price 17.99
THE GIRLS IN THE VINEYARD: Said perfectly from their own website ”Like a classic cashmere sweater, our girls go with everything. In your dining room, poolside, or perched on a cafe table downtown, the girls in the vineyard, animate any occasion. Pairing them with food? They go uptown, downtown and even barbecue town with ease. Some successful matches include the classics like steak, or less conventional red wine fare like spicy Thai prawns and grilled Italian sausage.”
Cabernet Sauvignon price18.99
I saw an interview with Mathew McConaughey the other day. And he was asked how he keeps himself in such great shape. And his answer thrilled me! Not a word about a vegan diet, 3 day or 3 week liquid cleanse, colonics, raw food, injections of vitamins, green tea or Hollywood diet. He said,”Break a sweat everyday, and drink red wine.” Now that sounds far more appealing than living on veggie tablets, and gallons of water! And of course we have all read about the antioxidant rich qualities of red wine. And I must say I do believe he is on to something. I am married to a man of similar attitude. For a guy of 50, Il Divo rocks a six pack and swears to breaking a sweat in the gym almost everyday, and he drinks red wine every night with dinner. Of course we do stuff ourselves with tons of salad, fish and veggies. And like anyone, Il Divo gets stuck in his California Cabernet rut. We have been drinking some great ones, the 2007 year is fantastic all around. But it’s always nice to reach out from the Cab rut and try some interesting different varietals and blends. So in honor of Mathew and Il Divo and their six packs, I have some “Wine Chick Picks” for red wine to enjoy and know that you are sipping yourself into a healthier life. But get out there and break a sweat! (Trust me, I’ll be grudgingly forcing my own advice at myself at the gym tomorrow morning.)
Wine Chick Picks:
LIBERTY SCHOOL CUVEE: A blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Granache, Mourvedre, and Viongier. I love this wine for its smooth and fruity quality. It has nice tannins and at 13.99 a bottle is a great value from a region of California that does not get it’s due. Paso Robles, a place so beautiful and great wine. This bottle may surprise you! Serve with grilled veggies, pasta.
WILLAMETTTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR: I particularly enjoy pairing Pinot Noir with Salmon. But I want you to remember to make sure you chill your Pinot before you open it. Think of drinking your Pinot Noir the same temperature that you would a Chardonnay. You’ll notice the bright cherry and spice flavors in this wine. You’ll find this one priced around 23.00
TERRABIANCA CAMPACCIO: The Chef at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Paci in Southport, turned us on to this wine a few years ago.It is still one of my favorites. Medium bodied and elegant. Made from 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet. This Italian wine is a gorgeous dinner wine for a special night. A bit pricey than what you’d normally open on a Wednesday spaghetti night. But a romantic bottle for Saturday night and really worth it. Price about 32.00