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Showing posts from 2012
Cheers, Chin-Chin, Salute! The sound made by the twisting of a cork, followed by a loud pop and the crackling of effervesce means there is a celebration to come, christening an important moment and memory’s to be made.   Significant occasions warrant a significant bubbly selection, here are a few notes to help you make your selection: Spumante is Italian sparkling wine, means “foamy” which can refer to all sparkling Italian wines, tends to be sweet. Presseco is an Italian sparkling dry white wine made from Grera grape primary grown in the Presseco region of Italy. Brut is a term used sometimes for the driest sparkling wines which means it has less sugar than those labeled extra dry. Champagne is a wine producing region in the far north of France near Paris.   Though used as a term to describe sparkling wine, true Champagne is aged longer than sparkling wine so can be dryer in taste. The most prestigist brand of Champagne Don Perignon is produced by Moet & Cha
Sangiovese Sangiovese is my first love, it happened in Napa Valley; I was at the Culinary Institute at Greystone for lunch.   They paired one of the courses with a Sangiovese from Charles Krug, and I have been in love with Sangiovese ever since.   Charles Krug does not make a Sangiovese anymore so I have been on a mission to find that special one again. Sangiovese is one of the most planted red variety grapes in Italy. The Sangiovese grape changes in response to its environment, which is why it so diverse, elegant and complex when well-made. The flavor profile of Sangiovese is generally not assertive it can show a strawberry, blueberry, faintly floral, violet or plumy character. Some of my new discoveries are: Walla Walla river winery by cougar crest Sangiovese has a soft nose and silky feel on the palate, with expressive fruit….a dream in a glass. Elegance Winery Sangiovese is gorgeous and rich with body, persistence that is loaded with plush personality.   Showing la
Happy Thanksgiving!  We suggest to pair with your holiday dinner would be a Pinot Grigio, Rose or Pinot Noir.  My favorite pinot's come from Oregon.  We are thankful for all our blog views...Cheers!
Sinister Hand A gruesome tale for you in time for Halloween, sit back pour a glass and I will share the story of the Sinister Hand . Two rival families had a rowing competition for rights to some highly regarded land, the first to touch the land, after rowing across the lake, would become ruler of the land. One boat was falling behind so a member of the crew grabbed his own sword, cut off his hand and threw it ashore, winning the title to rule the land. Own Roe Winery in Saint Paul Oregon produced Sinister Hand with a beautiful full red color and generous fruit is expressed from the onset with a harmonious blend of   63% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 16% Mouvèdre and 2% Cinsault.   Fruity notes of raspberry and blackberry warms the palette with silky light tannins that persists thru the long smooth finish. Sinister Hand is amazing wine with an unforgettable tale…..Happy Halloween Denise Read the entire tale and more on Owen Roe website
A sommelier friend once said, “Drinking wine should be about the emotions you experience as the wine crosses your lips; glides over the palate; slips down the throat and says farewell.”   I have always enjoyed tasting wine and the emotional experience that comes from each sip and appreciate the nurturing care and emotional structure the Vintner crafts into each bottle. In the Walla Walla Valley, a couple of Vintners allowed me to tag a long one fall evening as they tended   their vats of fermenting grapes.   Harvest had just begun and I was giddy with the excitement of what I would see and experience by this unexpected adventure……… As the winemakers performed their punch downs of the grape vats, the CO gases were released and replaced by heady aromas of grapes and yeast working together. Slipping my arm into a warm vat of fermenting grapes, I could feel the yeast and grapes working together to create the foundation of the perfect nectar.   A small cup in hand allowed me to s
Wine Lovin Women set out for Walla Walla, WA again for another adventure.   This time was for Fall Crush , where we visited some of our old favorite wineries, Tero Estates and Dumas Station.   Both wineries had amazing releases to sample, if you haven’t been there yet or tried their wines you are missing out….so get started on making some plans to check them out.   During our visit, we discovered a new favorite, El Corazone, which has a tasting room in downtown Walla Walla.   We walked into an eclectic, packed out showroom which made you realize great things were about to happen…no wine snobs here. El Corazone has been producing since 2007 and during our visit we tasted: ♦      First Crush , Malbec (Walla Walla Valley) - Stronger tannins and bolder fruit flavor   ♦      Supernova , Malbec, (Columbia Valley) - Beautiful color, smooth tannins, full fruit and a slight spice on the pallet ♦      Pistalero , Bordeaux style blend - Marriage of bold fruit, which intoxicat
Malbec If I were to choose a wine for its color, I would pick a Malbec. It has such a succulent deep rich color, with dark fruit and spice to complete the dance on your tantalizes my taste buds. It's not the most popular; however there are more great Malbecs becoming available. The Malbec grape truly comes into its own in Argentina, where Malbec is the major red variety planted and is most often bottled as a singe varietal.  Argentina might have claimed this grape but it originated in the Southwest of France, however Eastern Washington is producing beautiful Malbecs with intense fruit and subtle spice. Malbec is a spicy wine reminiscent of blackberries and chocolate, with an enticing aroma and velvety texture.  Malbecs are also used in small amounts as a blending grape, such as in Bordeaux blends to add color and to smooth the tannins of the other wines in the blend. One winery you have to be sure to put on your agenda when visiting Walla Walla is Flying Trout
We found a great Rose' to take on a picnic or camping trip, Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir Rose 2011.   This Willamette Valley Rose has a fresh fruit aroma with a crisp, light and refreshing taste; even better yet it has a twist top so you have one less thing to pack.   Cheers….Denise
4th Annual Kitsap Wine Festival Last weekend I had the pleasure to enjoy the 4 th Annual Kitsap Wine Festival at the Harborside Fountain Park in Bremerton, Washington.   This event brought together some of the best wineries within Washington and Oregon in order to raise money to benefit the Harrison Medical Center Foundation. Besides enjoying amazing wines there was also delicious food and brews to enjoy.   It was well worth the entrance fee and I was especially impressed with the overall organization. I would like to share some of my favorites from the day.   I recently listed in a former blog other wineries that also were present at this event but since I did a recent review of their wines I felt it was important to bring you some new wineries to explore.   Hightower Cellars – Red Mountain, Washington Out of Line 2009 – a Blend – Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot – rich, structured and a little complex.   It has a gentle nose with a mild finish. Pepper Bridge
Simple White Wine Sangria My Sangria recipe re-posting for you to cool off from the summer heat.  Many recipes out there have a lot of ingredients, I made this one simple and refreshing, enjoy…Denise 1 bottle dry white wine ( Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio) 2 shots of brandy 1 orange sliced 1 lime sliced 1 peach sliced 1 lemon sliced 2 shots of triple sec 1 shot of simple syrup (optional) Club soda Pour the wine in a pitcher add sliced fruits (be sure to wash your fruit before slicing) brandy, triple sec, stir and chill 2 -4 hours.  Before serving, add 1 liter of club soda, taste test to see if you need the simple syrup (you might need if your fruit isn’t that sweet).   That’s it, you are ready to chill!
Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival 2012 An event that I can highly recommend is the Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival.   This event was well coordinated and worth the entrance fee.   There were 30 wineries, 5 breweries and food tasting tables that complimented the wine/beer perfectly.   Tasting classes were also offered along with cooking demonstrations and a cook off competition. There were so many things to drink and eat that I was unfortunately only able to get around to a small fraction of what was being offered.   Obelisco Red Mountain Estate Wines – Woodinville, Washington Dry Riesling – VERY dry.   I would pair this with rich seafood and sweet deserts. Mosquito Fleet Winery – Belfair, Washington Meritage Blend 2009 – I love when you smell a wine and it tingles all your senses clear to the back of your throat and then leaves you with goose bumps.   That’s how I felt about this wine.   Paired with a meat slide
  The Gig Harbor Food and Wine Festival which is held in July had plenty of wineries, food, seminars and demonstrations; the sun was heating up the day so they were pouring primarily Rosé and white wines. The Rosé gets a bad rap from its past, comparing it to the sickening sweet “Blush” wines of long ago.   The Rose’ coming out now, you don’t need to be ashamed to admit you like.  The Rosé wine producers continue to improve the quality and array of flavors and outstanding versions are coming out now; some of the best are dry, crisp and refreshing.   The Rosé color comes from the short amount of time that the skins of the grape stay in contact with the juices…only a few hours.   Since they are fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the freshness, you will find the Rosé has little tannins. While the sun is shining, Rosé has proved to be a refreshing option to pour.   Such as the Rosé of Cabernet Franc from Columbia Valley by Masquerade Wine Company in Bellingham;
My husband and I took part in the Bainbridge Uncorked Weekend in June….who knew there were these great wineries on Bainbridge island.   Wow, what a surprise in our own backyard! Our first stop was at Eleven winery; nestled in the trees was their tasting room and winery.   Eleven is named for the smallest cog in the rear cluster on a racing bike.   The founder and wine maker was a bicycle racer, which you will notice when you walk into the tasting room and see that bicycles are decorating the walls.   This was my first time to try a Roussanne, which is commonly grown in the south of France.   What a treat, I was so happy with our first stop on the wine tour with just my first sip.   Another one on their list I sampled was the 2009 La Ronde, a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot and Malbec, a winner of a Double Gold medal at the Seattle Wine Awards .   This is a very bold, yet smooth wine with a complex ripple across your tongue to wake up your taste buds. Anot
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Wine Tasting - The Columbia Gorge Recently I had the opportunity to explore another wine region nestled between Washington and Oregon, the Columbia Gorge.   My adventure began driving along I-84 west (Oregon side) of the Cascades.   As I headed east, the lush green hills of the gorge sprang up before me and soon I was engulfed in vast greens and blues of the dense douglas-fir forest.   This part of the gorge has always reminded me of the lochs and fiords of Scotland.   Hood River, Oregon has many wineries and tasting rooms that I’ve yet to sample but there are plenty of signs that will entice you to stop and explore.   But my journey continued on and as I sped east, the scenery changed from lush greens to browns and golds of the high desert prairie.   The hills of the gorge changed to giant grassy pillows on the Washington side and sharp rocky cliffs on the Oregon side; all the while the mighty Columbia River was my constant companion. At last I reached Biggs Junction,
Pairing Food & Wine I love to entertain, it gives me the opportunity to experiment with new wines and recipes to pair with them.   I started out reading about wine and food pairings and thought of making a complete and clear chart   with some of the suggested pairings we all hear about; “white wine with fish, red wine with meat”…etc. My personal motto has always been “eat and drink what you like together.” However, as I dug more into researching this, HOLY COW there is a lot of science involved!   So I have laid out what I found, while trying to keep it simple. Food and wine pairing comes down to three components; flavor, taste and texture. Taste is one of the more important components in any food pairing, which breaks down to; acid, sweet, salt, bitter, oily and tannins. Also, you don’t pair wine to a protein, you pair to preparation. You need to really think of all the ingredients and the cooking method for your recipe.  Confused yet…here is a little more help. Creamy