Wednesday, December 26, 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 & Chandon.  The story behind Dom Perignon is that around 1670, a Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon made some significant developments as cellar master at the abbey of Hautviller in Epernay.   He made a celebrated remark “I am drinking stars” however Dom Perignon did not invent Champagne.  He did have some ideas regarding harvest over a period of days rather than all at once to get the ripest of fruit.  He is also credited for the idea of using string to secure the stoppers in the bottles to retain the sparkle for longer period of time.
For a Celebratory toast or to enjoy with your New Year lobster dinner, here are some Sparkling wines we have tried and recommend:
Perrier-Jouet Grand, Champagne  Grand Brut, elegant gold color with enticing bouquet which is followed by soft apple notes, this Champagne is meant for a celebration.
Argyle, Brut Sparkling wine, 63% chardonnay and 37% pinot noir. Perfect fruit balance with a pleasant finish, absolutely wonderful.
Mumm Napa, Brut Prestige, toasty aroma with subtle Vanilla, rich peach color...... fabulous.
Botter Spago Prosecco, a nod to tradition the bottle is covered with a black string to hold the cork in place.  Once the bottle is opened the bright perfume of peach blossoms fills your nose, when tasting the mouth gets hit with a refined peach fruit flavor and a crisp close.
Tasting sparkling wine  by pouring about inch into a flute glass and wait for a moment to settle, and then pour the rest of the glass. Check out the bubble, sparkling wine bubbles vary, some have large bubbles that rise to the surface then fizz and explode and others have tiny sparkling bubbles.   The smaller the bubbles means there will be more of them, they release the flavor into your mouth, the more bubbles there are, the more flavor packed your sparkling wine will be when it hits your mouth Once the effervescence has subsided smell the sparkling wine.  Take a sip but before swallowing swirl it in your mouth sensing the taste, texture and weight.  After swallowing notice the aftertaste, the finish is a good indication of quality.  A better quality sparkling wine will have a bigger and longer the finish.
Celebrate the New Year with a glass of bubbly; Wine Lovin Women raises a glass to all of you for a wonderful New Year!  Denise

Friday, December 7, 2012


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 layers of dark cherry and savory notes…compelling and lovely.

Tura Rita, Perlato Del Bosco from Tuscany. Deep purple in color, rich dark fruit on the palate with a lingering finish…..drop dead gorgeous.
For the Holidays try pairing it with an herb Pork tenderloin recipe (see my recipe under the "recipe" tab).  Season’s Greetings…Cheers!
Denise