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I cant lie, I’ve never felt compelled to buy a wine fridge. I just didn’t think I needed one in my life. Turns-out I was wrong, and now I have a new best friend. So, when the nice folks at New Air decided to send me an 18 bottle wine fridge for review purposes…well…I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a look! At the very worst, if I wasn’t a big fan of the product, I’d sell the fridge in a yard sale, keep the cash, not do a review and send all their follow-up emails to spam…
The reason I say “if I wasn’t a big fan of the product” is because one of the one of the “perks” of writing about wine online is that I do receive quite a fair amount of promotional products. However; I will say that about 80% of what I receive never makes it onto this site…mainly because a decent amount of it tends to be garbage and I wouldn’t dare put my name on it.
Now don’t get me wrong, if there were a $1,000 check in every package I received, I’d sell-out my name faster than you could say “Châteauneuf-du-Pape” and you’d hear me singing the praises of EVERY promo-piece I received in the mail! Reviews such as: “Seriously guys! These wine glasses are AMAZING! They have an indentation in the side to ‘help aerate the wine,’ and essentially make a $10 bottle taste like a $1,000 bottle! You need these things in your life!” would be waaaay more common-place! [On a side-note, if the PR company is reading this who sent me those “aerating wine glasses”…they were junk….I can’t believe you’re trying to deceive the general public into buying them; and for what it’s worth, the Mrs. already broke them.]
As it turns out, PR agencies are cheap, the $1,000 checks never show-up, and I begrudgingly have to maintain my integrity. So here are some key highlights of my new best friend:
So anyway, yeah, I’m converted. Buy a wine fridge.Posted in News | Tagged how to store wine, storing wine, wine fridge | Leave a comment //
Apart from garnishing the plate with dried leaves and a squirrel, I can’t imagine how this recipe could be anymore Autumnal. [There’s a word I don’t use very often: Autumnal.] Any-who, this pairing combines two things I just don’t consume enough of; namely, ribs and bubbly…and even more-so on the same dinner table!
I’ve never been a fan of sticking to “food and wine pairing rules,” but I’d never go so far as to say that you should COMPLETELY disregard “the rules.” To me, a little-bit of knowledge and a lot of experimentation is key! When you look-up recipes for ribs, 9 times out of 10 the pairing suggestion will usually be Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz or some other high-octane red. I personally think that’s more than most palates can handle. All that flavor, all that spice, and then you throw 15+% percent alcohol and an arse-ton (that’s metric) of oak into the mix, and I wonder if the authors of these “pairings” have ever actually tasted the sum of these two parts!
Brut Rose has always been my favorite sparkling wine, so any excuse to pop open a bottle is a good day. The excuse this time? It was a Thursday.
I’ve seen California make huge strides in the quality of their bubbles over the last 5 years…but the overall quality still doesn’t impress me too much, especially on the under $15 bottles. No, in my ever-so-humble-opinion, if I’m going to pick-up a few bottles of El Cheapo bubbles, I’ll usually reach for Spanish Cava, French Fizz or Italian Prosecco.
For that reason, I think we’ve got a long way to go before we start hearing French Champagne producers cry: “Sacre bleu!! Zees Andre Spumante est tres bon!!” throw down their pruning shears and go home in a sulk. With that said, Mumm Napa and maybe 4 other California producers are a few wineries who’re coming close to producing real-quality bubbles, on a budget.
The Mumm Napa Brut Rose will pull the usual trick of deceiving you into thinking it’s a lot sweeter than it actually is, based solely on the electric-pink color. There is a little sweetness in there, but it only serves to off-set the spiciness of the ribs and compliment the cornucopia of ingredients in the sweet potato casserole. The expected strawberry, red cherry and blood orange. Medium on the finish, thirst-quenching and elegant. Give it a try.Pairings | Tagged Chardonnay, Mumm Napa Brut Rose, Napa, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine | Leave a comment //
Ok, first-things-first, I didn’t write the title for this article. “Grape Expectations” is way beyond my reaches of my creativity. Secondly; I wrote this article a couple of months ago for the Jacksonville Magazine “Taste” Edition…and I know we’re out of Summer now….but I think it still has relevance…since the weather here is Florida is so bloody-warm well into November!
Taltarni “Tache,” Brut Sparkling, Australia
The term Tache (meaning “stained” in French) refers to the lightly salmon color of this alluring sparkling wine. Made from a traditional “Champagne blend” of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, a dash of red Pinot Noir juice is added just after fermentation to give the wine its color. Taltarni “Tache,” is the number 1 selling sparkling rosé in Australia within its price range; and let’s face it, the Aussies know a thing-or-two about drinking in the summer sun!
Batasiolo, Gavi, Piedmont, Italy
For the Pinot Grigio drinker who’s looking to “drink outside the box.” A well-made Gavi serves as a perfect summer alternative to the plethora of generic, non-descript and flavorless Pinot Grigio on the market. Like most other Gavi’s, the Batasiolo is meant to be consumed in its youth. Pear, tangerine, lemon sorbet and sherbet all serve as the perfect way to cool-off during the summer months.
Tess, “Red & White Blend” Napa, California
Don’t be put off by this unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Peju Winery wouldn’t put their name on anything less than exceptional! Tess is intended to be chilled and served as a summer sipper, without too much deep contemplation.
Altes, Garnatxa (Grenache), Terra Alta, Spain
Although captured in a number of Pablo Picasso paintings, the region of Terra Alta remains one of the best kept secrets of Spanish wine. Contrary to the Spanish tradition of barrel aging their reds, there’s no oak in sight on the Altes, making it a perfect compromise for drinking a red whilst sat in the sun. In-fact, don’t be afraid to chill the wine for 10 minutes before serving, if you’re really looking to soften-up the rich dark raspberry and juicy red fruit flavors.
Amity Vineyards, Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Evolved from Pinot Noir vines, Pinot Blanc presents itself as a way to slowly ease you out of the fruit-forward citrusy summer whites and into something a little more “robust.” Whilst not quite as full-bodied as a Chardonnay, the Amity Pinot Blanc shows pear, peach, a hint of tropical fruit and subtle minerality throughout.
Yangarra, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia
Following the concept of “seasonal drinking,” the Yangarra Shiraz offers the weight and texture needed to weather the cooler months. The Yangarra Shiraz more than over-delivers for the price. Rich and juicy blackberry and solid streak of spice and dark chocolate are all within easy reach, via the convenient screw-cap closure.
Bouchaine, Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Carneros, California
Made from some of their original estate vineyard plantings (dating back to 1981), Bochaine prove that Chardonnay can hail from Napa and remain restrained at the same time. The oak in the wine is available, but none-too aggressive; instead leaving room for crisp green apple, lemon and a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and green herbs.
Ferrari Carano “Reserve” Cabernet, Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California
Whilst there’s no legal definition on the term “Reserve” on a bottle of Californian wine, Ferrari Carano use the term to define wine made from their prestige mountain estate vineyards. This Reserve packs full-frontal fruit that would give most Napa Cabs a run for their money. Ripe blackberry, plum, black tea, tobacco, vanilla and anise are guaranteed to warm you up on those chilly autumn nights!
News, Reviews | Tagged Australia, Cabernet, California, Carneros, Chardonnay, Gavi, Italy, McLaren Vale, Napa, Oregon, Piedmont, reserve, Shiraz, Spain, Sparkling Wine, Terra Alta, Willamette Valley | 2 Comments //
I’m not going to turn this into a “where I’ve been and what I’ve been up-to for the last couple of months” post; mainly because, to get into detail would take too long and wouldn’t provide much of a riveting read. So I’m not going-to. Anyways, I’m back.
In a nutshell, I’ve had a busy couple of months. Super busy. Like working 6-7 days a week busy. Mainly online, building websites, helping a few businesses with their “online visibility,” and also building a small business venture of my own, which took off more than I ever could have imagined. For more info, you can always go to krischislett.com, should you feel so inclined.
My inbox is jammed with wine-related emails, some of which are over 2 months old, but I’m slowly making headway getting things back on track. So, if you’re one of the people who is still waiting to hear back from me, I apologize. I’m slowly getting caught-up.
Last couple of things:
- The problem with working on other clients’ websites is that you tend to neglect your own.
This website needs a redesign, so I’m going to get that going…sooner rather than later…hopefully.
- I can’t promise how frequent my posts will be, since I’m still up-to my neck in work for my clients, but my goal is to focus on quality, not-quantity.Posted in News | Leave a comment //
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