July 30, 2010

2007 Angeline Pinot Noir

The name boasts premier, elegance, class... and what's inside the bottle follows suit quite parallel.

Angeline. Now, doesn't that sound nice? And not only does it sounds nice, look nice, and taste nice, its perhaps one of the nicest value wines I've ever encountered.

I first uncovered this wine during a "wine fridge field trip" at Fine Wines in Laurel, MD, when my mother sent me on a treasure hunt for a tasty, inexpensive Pinot Noir. To my luck, the store was sampling various wines from the Russian River Valley and pointed me in the direction of this beauty. It quickly became a family favorite, and to my surprise, a few months later during a #winedown party I hosted, a friend (@beege) brought this same bottle to share. I knew at that point this wine was a keeper and one to share!

A product of the Martin Way Winery, Angeline Pinot Noir, produced from a 100% pinot noir grapes from the Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Barbara counties in California, is bright, yet delicate with intense dark fruit flavor and rich aroma and a smooth finish. To the eye, its deep ruby color captures. To the nose, its intense plum, blackberry and black cherry scents blend nicely with a hint of spice and oak. To the palette, just the same with soft tannins that lightly tickle the tongue.

Cost: $15/b0ttle
Where to Buy: Martin Way Winery
Pairing: This is actually such a soft red that I can easily drink by itself, but if you're looking for a more robust experience, pair it up with some portobello mushrooms

July 29, 2010

Banfi Rosa Regale Acqui

When I can't have Muscato di' Asti, there is one other dolce I turn to... Brachetto Di'Acqui!

Brachetto is a red Italian grape grown predominately in the Piedmont region and it offers a very fragrant aroma and light body which also comes aside hints of strawberry which can immediately be found on the nose and palette.

Brachetto Di'Acqui is made in both still and sparkling versions (I go for the spumante!) and is pretty much a light red version of Muscato di'Asti. And at a wine event I helped serve at a few weeks ago, @TishWine introduced me to Rosa Regale from Castello Banfi in Italy. And for me... I've never met a Banfi I didn't enjoy (hello, Brunello di Montalcino!) so I immediately went in for the kill and gave it a taste.

To my delight, this particular Brachetto Di'Acqui was lightly effervescent (softer than champagne) with a blend of rose and raspberry on the nose, and a sweet, yet appealing touch of berry to follow on the tongue. It quickly became the most popular wine selection by event attendees over the course of the evening and we all heightened our already-pleasant-experience by pairing a glass with a bit of dark chocolate.

Cost: $25/bottle
Where To Buy: Wine.com
Pairing: This is a perfect selection to serve as a dessert wine, or even to pair on a summer afternoon with a salad or bowl of fruit... or dark chocolate as mentioned above!

July 28, 2010

I pray to St. Germain!

One of the primary reasons I throw #WineDown parties is to help people uncover things about their palette that they never knew - whether its discovering a new grape or a new vineyard, there is always so much to learn. And the best times are the ones where I actually discover something new myself. Cue St. Germain.
I attribute this new obsession to my colleague and her boyfriend who served as my personal mixologist during our last party when we went "rooftop style." The special concoction blends prosecco with this delicious liqueur, which uses fresh, elderberry blossoms handpicked from the Alps. The delicate flavor and fragrance pair perfectly with any bottle of prosecco (or champagne) to create a perfect, refreshing summer beverage. The end taste actually reminded me a bit of Muscato di Asti (which we all know quickly earns a way into my heart every time I drink it!)

Here's what to do:
  • Mix 1/2 part St. Germain into flute glass and top with Prosecco, Brut Champagne, Brut Rose or other dry sparkling wine
  • Stir lightly and garnish with a piece of fruit to add some flare
Doesn't that make you thirsty? Go on. Run to the liquor store (or even your local wine store cuz' they carry it) and pick up a bottle for $30. It'll last you through the end of the hot days of summer.

July 27, 2010

Did you miss me? I missed me.

Some call it slacking. Others call it a need for revival. I call it a minor hiatus.

Sometimes life trumps you. Whether its at work, at school, at home, or in my case while drinking. No, I haven't been slumped over my bed, passed out with a bottle of Dom in hand, nor have I been frolicking the city's most luscious wine bars in an inebriated stooper - I could only be that lucky. But like any great wine, you look to find a nice balance, which is what I've been working on in me. Some of the things I was able to accomplish, or at least try to accomplish (applause welcome):
  • Working on my tan -- I took a few vacations to try and get a little R&R and a little sunkiss. It worked but only short-term. Bring on the Loreal Sublime bronzer and a mojito please.
  • Working on love -- and clearly still working on it. Although in my journeys I did discover a passion for anything I can add black truffle oil to(just ask my roommate). My newfound motto: When life leaves a void, fill it with truffle oil. I'll have to post a few recipes I've created! Yum!
  • Working out - blame my decision to run a half marathon (when I actually hate running) on this whole break because thats when the downfall began. I suppose you can't run while dehydrated, so I opted to burn off some of the calories I had consumed earlier in the year during this phase. I've since followed the race with a complete tour of duty in bootcamp (don't ask). I figured if I ever got back to blogging, what better way to do so than by detoxing to retox!
  • Just plain working - I've been cohorting with the likes of delicious men vs. delicious vintages including Drew Brees, Gilles Marini, Joel Madden and a few other choice hotties. It is my "day job" to booze and shmooze, I suppose I just slowed down on the boozing part.
So as not to say I've eliminated all beverage consumption during this downtime. In fact, I've worked wine events, hosted wine events, and just freely drank in good company. I've actually partaken in a few delicious libations, which I intend to share with you moving forward (the proof is in the pudding, see above). I suppose more than anything, I've been a bit more of a social media recluse. Now I feel like I have a new wind and I'm ready to take to tweeting, pinging and blogging again. But the question is... will you still join me?

Adventures continue soon... stay tuned! CHEERS!