I can’t think of a better place to kick off Rosé Month on “Wines of the Week” than Provence which is considered the birthplace of rosé! With its balmy Mediterranean breezes, sun-drenched fields of lavender and snow-capped mountain ranges, there are few more gorgeous wine regions on Earth.
However, despite its natural beauty, the region’s wine has never been considered especially noteworthy. In fact, quite the contrary. Rosé was considered an everyday, “cheap and cheerful” style of wine…until a few years ago.
And today, with the popularity of this style of wine hitting the stratosphere, any wine lover seeking to “empower their palate” needs a guide to these pink wines which can vary widely in terms of style and quality. This is why I hope you’re here and why you’ll join me on this month-long, rosé-soaked journey which we’ll begin with four of my favorites from Provence.
TODAY’S FEATURED WINES:
1.) Château Sainte Marguerite “Love Provence” Rosé Côtes de Provence Cru Classé, 2017 ($24)
2.) Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé, Provence, France, 2017 ($25)
3.) Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Côtes de Provence Cru Classé, Provence, France, 2016 ($50)
4.) Château D’Esclans “Les Clans” Côtes de Provence Rosé, Provence, France, 2012 ($75)
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
– My Fox News article: “The Truth About Rosé Wine”
– Our amazing Visit to Chateau D’Esclans
– Wine Word of the Week: Saignée
I hope you enjoyed this episode of “Wines of the Week” featuring the first in our month-long series on Rosé Wine! If you’re a fan of rosé please feel free to share your favorites in the Comments section below. To view previous episodes of “Wines of the Week,” please click here ~ Enjoy!
Hello, Wine Lovers! My Facebook LIVE “Wines of the Week” series continues with today’s show on Debunking Wine Myths. But these aren’t just any wine myths. These are especially persistent ones that, despite the plethora of wine information out there, continue to circulate. In fact, I’ve heard ALL of today’s featured myths in just the past few months. So I’m very happy to put them to bed once and for all BUT I really need YOUR help to do this.
One of my goals with this show as well as my blog, wine tasting events, podcast and upcoming wine course (more on that later) is to help you empower your palate and become a more confident wine lover. This includes helping to debunk vinous falsehoods by simply sharing what you know in a non-wine snobbish way. So for that reason, I hope you enjoy today’s show and feel empowered to help defeat these myths once and for all next time you hear them.
TODAY’S FEATURED WINES:
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE:
– Recommended Glassware (1) Riedel Wine Glasses, (2) The One Wine Glasses by Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson, & (3) Zalto Denk’Art Wine Glasses
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Wines of the Week featuring the systematic debunking of some Common Wine Myths! If there’s any wine myths YOU would like to see debunked please feel free to share them in the comments section below and to view previous episodes of Wines of the Week, please click here.
This week’s installment of “Wines of the Week” on Facebook LIVE, entitled an “Homage to Fromage,” features four essential wine and cheese pairings guaranteed to delight your palate and inspire you to explore new ways of combining these two imminently enjoyable elements. I thought this was also the perfect topic to feature as we’re officially kicking off “Entertaining Season,” since pairing wine and cheese is definitely one of my favorite, no-stress means of entertaining.
I mean, who wants to be slaving over a hot stove while hosting an elaborate dinner party? Why not simply set out some thoughtfully paired wines and cheeses and enjoy a delightful evening with your friends and family? You actually get to mix and mingle with your guests while watching them happily explore some truly delightful pairings.
In addition to the wine and cheese, round out your offerings with some fun accoutrements such as grapes, marcona almonds, figs, honey and even red pepper jelly (it pairs especially well with Brie!) and you’re sure to look like the Host or Hostess with the Mostess! I’ve even included some key Pairing Principles to help you create some of your own delicious personalized pairings.
PAIRING PRINCIPLE #1: PAIR WINE & CHEESE WITH SIMILAR FLAVORS
Wine #1 – Michel Redde Pouilly-Fumé La Moynerie, Loire Valley, France, 2011 ($30): Crisp, tangy and refreshing, this single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley demonstrates this wine’s beautiful hallmark acidity and minerality.
Cheese #1 – Chèvre: the tangy acidity of this fresh goat’s milk cheese creates a delightful synergy as it mirrors the identical flavors found in the Pouilly-Fumé.
PAIRING PRINCIPLE #2: PAIR WINE & CHEESE WITH SIMILAR WEIGHT
Wine #2 – Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, Sonoma, California, 2013 ($70): Winemaker Jeff Stewart has transformed beautiful, exceptional fruit which hails from one of the coldest vineyards in all of Northern California into a wine of amazing complexity and elegance. On the palate, the fuller-bodied white wine coats the palate with its viscosity and exhibits layer upon layer of delicious flavor including spiced pear, apple, citrus and orange blossom with a kiss of toasty oak.
Cheese Pairing #2 – Brie: This soft-ripened, bloomy rind, cow’s milk cheese was dubbed the “Queen of Cheeses” at the 1815 Congress of Vienna for reason! Immensely popular even to this day, it’s luxurious decadent mouthfeel makes it the perfect pairing for this opulent Chardonnay, creating a 1 + 1 = 3 experience.
PAIRING PRINCIPLES #3: IF IT GROWS TOGETHER IT GOES TOGETHER
Wine #3 – Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy, 2013 ($18): This tasty red, a blend of Sangiovese with a dollop of Canaiolo, is characteristic Chianti with notes of sour cherry, pomegranate, earth and spice accompanied by the hallmark acidity that makes these wines so immensely food-friendly.
Cheese #3 – Parmigiano-Reggiano: This hard, cow’s milk cheese is aged for 24 months, until the moisture evaporates. This process leaves the cheese delightfully toothsome with its hallmark granular texture which perfectly complements the acid and tannin in the red wine. Food and wine which hail from the same country or region often complement each other remarkably well, making it one of my favorite pairing tenets!
PAIRING PRINCIPLES #4: PAIR HARD CHEESES WITH RED WINE
Wine #4 – Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Unfiltered, Rioja, Spain, 2012 ($15): This blend of classic Spanish grapes including Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano exhibits delightful, savory notes of cherry, plum, leather, earth and minerals.
Cheese #4 – Manchego: There’s something magical about the way the concentrated flavors and textures of hard cheese in which the moisture has been evaporated through extended aging, which complement similar components in red wine. And because this pairing also hails from similar geography, the grows together, goes together tenet also holds true.
For ALL the details on our “Homage to Fromage,” please watch the Facebook LIVE video above and to view past episodes of “Wines of the Week” on Facebook LIVE, please click here. And if YOU have any favorite wine and cheese pairings I’d LOVE to hear about the in the Comments section below!
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The weather’s getting chilly, the holidays are coming and who doesn’t want someone special to snuggle up with when the weather man issues the first “Snuggle Alert” of the season?
I’m here to help set the mood for l’amour with my latest installment of Wines of the Week featuring four fabulous “Date Night Wines.” So whether you’ve got a (1) Casual First Date, (2) Hot Date with your new Match.com crush, (3) Special Occasion Date or (4) ‘Date Night’ with your husband or wife of many years on the calendar, I’ve got something for everyone!
1.) Galerie Naissance Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, California, 2015 ($30): This elegant white wine from winemaker Laura Díaz Muñoz is a STEAL and is so incredibly versatile it can pair with pretty much any date OR situation. So whether you’ve got a picnic at the beach or movie night at home planned you’re GOOD to GO! And this isn’t your everyday Sauvignon Blanc either, Muñoz ferments one third of the grapes in stainless steel for crispness, another third in French oak for aromatics and the remaining third in concrete egg for minerality resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable, complex wine. The name “Naissance” also means “New Beginning” in French and who knows…this first date could be the beginning of something special!
2.) Cuvaison Spire Pinot Noir, Carneros, California, 2013 ($50): There is no grape sexier than Pinot Noir. It’s temperamental, expensive, high maintenance and often called “the heartbreak grape” by the winemakers themselves but you know what? It’s TOTALLY worth it! Pinot Noir is highly aromatic with seductive aromas & flavors of black cherries, chocolate, earth and spice with an undeniably supple, sexy and sensuous mouthfeel…think liquid velvet. There’s simply NO better wine for a Hot Date and I love this special splurge from Cuvaison’s sustainably farmed Estate Vineyard!
3.) Taittinger Prestige Brut Rosé Champagne, Reims, France, NV ($70): Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or even an engagement, Champagne is the perfect choice for the Special Occasion Date. I adore this delightful rosé from Taittinger which gets its gorgeous pink hue from the addition of still Pinot Noir wine which imparts delicious notes of strawberry and raspberry to the finished wine. It’s fuller body also makes it perfect for Fall. And since true Champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France (for Champagne 101, click here), don’t show up with a bottle of a bargain bubbly – an inexpensive bottle like Prosecco might just to get you ghosted!
4.) Chateau Le Trois Croix, Fronsac, Bordeaux, 2011 ($35): ‘Date Night’ or simply taking a night to focus on each other without the intrusion of kids, work, pets or phones is very necessary in this day and age. But rather than blowing a lot of money on an expensive bottle of wine, why not just enjoy something with some special significance to both of you? Picking a wine you enjoyed on your first date or discovered during a trip or special meal can be a way of upping the intimacy without breaking the bank. This bottle has special significance to my hubby and me (please watch video below for ALL the deets!) and is a total STEAL at $35 a bottle.
For ALL the details on these special “Date Night Wines,” please watch the Facebook LIVE video above and to view past episodes of “Wines of the Week” on Facebook LIVE, please click here. And if YOU have any favorite “Date Night Wines” I’d LOVE to hear about the in the Comments section below!
The post Wines of the Week: “Date Night Wines” on Facebook LIVE appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.
The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and sunny days are steadily replacing the gloom of winter. Spring is upon us and one of my favorite wines to enjoy this time of year is Chablis. These wines should not be confused with the low quality, jug wine made infamous in the 1970’s. In fact, quite the contrary, authentic Chablis... Read More
The post Wines of the Week: Spring is the Perfect Time for Chablis! appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.
The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and sunny days are steadily replacing the gloom of winter. Spring is upon us and one of my favorite wines to enjoy this time of year is Chablis. These wines should not be confused with the low quality, jug wine made infamous in the 1970’s. In fact, quite the contrary, authentic Chablis is all about freshness, elegance and purity.
Chablis is the northernmost wine district of Burgundy, one of France’s most acclaimed wine regions. This is undeniably white wine country and Chablis’ signature grape is Chardonnay. Unlike Chardonnay produced in warmer climates such as California, Burgundy’s cool climate produces wines which are light and lemony, and known more for their lively acidity and minerality than opulent fruit and spice. These wines are perfect for sipping on a bright, sunny Spring day or paired with a wide variety of cuisines.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a Chablis tasting in Miami at La Mar by Gastón Acurio located in the tony Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This chic Peruvian eatery strategically overlooks both the beautiful Biscayne Bay and dramatic Miami skyline. Since it was a beautiful sunny South Florida day, we enjoyed our tasting al fresco, guided by our charming host, Jean François Bordet, President of the Chablis Wine Board and proprietor of Domaine Séguinot-Bordet, his family’s winery founded in 1590.
Our tasting involved a selection of wines from three of Chablis’ four appellations which are: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. When sampling Burgundian wine, the concept of terroir is always at the forefront (for more information on “terroir” please click here). Terroir essentially refers to the intersection of soil, grape variety, climate and winemaker influence and how these factors come together to create wine that is unique to a specific place which cannot be produced anywhere else in the world. Key to this theory are Climats, or designated plots of land with specific geological and climatic conditions, which impart their own unique impression on wine.
The soils of Chablis are legendary for their limestone content and were formed long ago in the Kimmeridgian period (Upper Jurassic era). This unique soil contains millions of fossils of oysters and other marine creatures and is primarily found in the Chablis and Chablis Premier Cru appellations. Petit Chablis is situated on soils formed more recently, which contain limestone from the Portlandian period. The Chablis Grand Cru vines grow on steep slopes rife with Kimmeridgian limestone as well as an extremely rich subsoil.
Our tasting featured a selection of wines which beautifully represented their respective appellations. Chef Acurio prepared an assortment of delicious dishes to pair with each group of wines which were served in three consecutive flights.
Our first flight featured one wine, the 2013 Domaine Séguinot-Bordet Chablis Vieilles Vignes. Vieilles Vignes means “old vines” which, in this case, are 78 years old and located on the family’s 40 acre estate in Maligny. The wine was fermented in oak barrels (15% new) and stainless steel (85%) resulting in a fresh, lively wine that was classic Chablis! It paired beautifully with Chef’s dishes which included Cebiche Nikei with tuna, red onion, nori, avocado, daikon cucumber, and tamarind leche de tigre; Causa Congrejo featuring beet causa, crab, avocado, huancaina sauce, fried kale, cherry tomatoes and quail egg; and a perennial favorite, Empanadas with pork adobo and pepian de choclo, chalaca, and huacatay sauce. Chef Acurio’s dishes were as much a feast for the eyes as the palate and the wine definitely held it’s own amidst the onslaught of deliciousness. It’s hallmark acidity tempered the richness and variety of textures while also allowing the flavors of the food to shine through.
The second course featured three Chablis offerings from the Premier Cru appellation which is comprised of 40 individual Climats, 17 of which are most prominent. These wines generally exhibit more complexity and structure than basic Chablis and have good aging potential as well, approximately 5 to 10 years. The words “Premier Cru” and the name of the Climat of origin may be added to the name Chablis on the wine’s label.
The three wines in our second flight included the 2011 Maison Simonnet Febvre Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons; 2011 Domaine Billaud-Simon Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre; and the 2009 Domaine Oudin Chablis 1er Cru Vaugiraut. This collection of wines provided an insightful snapshot of the Premier Cru appellation. The Simmonet Febvre Vaillons had notes of white peach and citrus with a clean, racy acidity and lengthy finish; the Billaud-Simon Montée de Tonnerre was a study in elegance with floral and mineral aromas accompanied by vibrant citrus, limestone and gunflint; the Domaine Oudin Vaugiraut was slightly older than the two other wines and had a slight oxidative quality in addition to notes of gunflint, minerality and citrus. Chef Acurio’s Quinoa Caprese was beautifully colorful with heirloom tomatoes, basil, red quinoa, burrata cheese with an aji amarillo vinaigrette which paired best with the Domain Oudin Vaugiraut. The Seared Scallop Conchitas with lomo saltado sauce, garlic chips and crispy sweet potato strings paired brilliantly with the other two wines.
The third course featured two wines from Chablis’ Grand Cru appellation which consists of seven Climats: Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur and Vaudésir. These wines represent the jewel in the crown of the Chablis region. They also have the most aging potential (usually around 7-10 years), a more generous mouthfeel, lengthier finish and more complexity which is usually manifested in notes of spice, honey, almond and dried fruit.
Our third flight consisted of two Grand Cru wines, the 2010 Maison Drouhin Vaudon Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir and the 2009 Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot. The Drouhin Vaudon Vaudésir, served en magnum, is a product of thirty year old vines whose grapes were manually harvested and gently pressed to preserve the quality of the fruit. The wine was fermented entirely in oak (0% new) for 12 months and the resulting wine offered a complex array peach, honey, spice and almond with a lengthy, mineral-tinged finish. This nuanced wine had a rich texture yet was also was bright and lively with plenty of finesse – a beautiful effort! The Domaine Laroche Blanchot, a product of 45 year old vines, was also manually harvested and fermented partially in stainless steel (60%) while the remainder went into French oak barrels (15% new) for 14 months. The resulting wine was also lovely and layered with notes of peach, apple, limestone and honey which continued to evolve in the glass over our third course. To enjoy with our Grand Cru Chablis, Chef Acurio prepared a mouth watering Amazon fish with tamarind chorillana sauce, yucca and smoked bacon – a truly divine pairing!
I hope you feel inspired to explore the wines of this very special region this Spring! For more information on the Chablis region, please click here. For pricing information or to purchase any of the wines mentioned in this post, please click here to go to the Wine Atelier.
April’s installment of “The Art of Wine & Food” at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale featured a very special guest who joined us for “An Evening of Breaking All the Rules!” The fabulous Kat McDonald is the Owner and Winemaker of Napa’s Art + Farm Winery whose goal is to exalt the art of farming through their wines. The result of Kat and her husband Rob’s efforts is a selection of wines which highlight a unique approach to winemaking and the special land they come from.
We were also fortunate to have Chef Remy Gautier of Argentelle Catering with us for the evening who created dishes specifically to pair with each of our wines. Chef Remy is a master at adapting his delightful French-inspired cuisine to accommodate wines from all over the world!
The first wine of the evening was the girls in the vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 2011. Kat explained that “the girls” is her term of endearment for the vines and “the girls in the vineyard” are all single vineyard wines meant to be enjoyed with food and preferably in the company of friends and family. The vines for this particular wine hail from Lake county, located an hour north of Napa proper. The soil here is comprised of the remains of an ancient riverbed with gravelly soils which is perfect for growing Sauvignon Blanc. This wine was crisp, fresh and lovely with delightful notes of citrus, white peach and guava that elicited “oohs” and “aahs” from the group. Fermenting it entirely in stainless steel preserved its lovely minerality and juicy acidity that cut through the richness of Chef Remy’s Tulipe de Smoked Salmon Fume with Light Cream Cheese. This wine is also perfect for sipping by the pool, enjoying at sunset or on any given Tuesday night and is a natural match for anything you would squeeze a lemon on! Price: $15
Our second wine was the Circadia California Chardonnay, 2010 which is part of a family of wines crafted to celebrate the journey of life. Kat explained that the term “Circadia” refers to the circadian rhythms of daily life. The label also has special significance in that each golden dot featured on it represents a special geographic point on a map significant to the making of this wine. Kat also revealed something quite shocking to the group: she is not a fan of Chardonnay! However, upon experimenting with the fruit and combining Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel with Chardonnay that has spent time in French oak the result something quite special and our group definitely agreed! This wine had crisp, fresh notes of citrus and apple along with richer tropical fruit flavors and a delightful flourish of vanilla and toast from the oak influence. The creamy texture of the wine echoed the creaminess of Chef Remy’s Chicken Veronique, which featured a delicious tarragon cream sauce and sliced green grapes, beautifully! Price: $20
As we moved into red wine territory, we started with The Messenger Red Wine Number One, a non-vintage offering that nicely represented the credo of the Art + Farm “Messenger” series which, unlike the single vineyard focused the girls in the vineyard wines, aims to layer vintages, vineyards and varietals in order to obtain luscious flavor. The Messenger wines serve as an expression of the land that grew them and the hands they encountered along the way. This particular wine (lot #612) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (58%), Merlot (19%), Montepulciano (12%), Malbec (8%) and Cabernet Franc (3%) hailing from a variety of regions and counties including Lake County, Napa, Sonoma, Dry Creek and Amador’s Shenandoah Valley. The result is a luscious, juicy red that is imminently enjoyable with notes of ripe raspberry, blackberry and plum accompanied by supple tannins and a lengthy finish. While this wine paired deliciously well with Chef Remy’s Puff Pastry with Strawberry Compote and Magret of Duck it is also a great pairing for casual fare such as pizza, burgers and BBQ. It’s lively flavors just keep you coming back for more! Price: $16
Our fourth and final wine of the evening was the girls in the vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011. The sustainably farmed Beckstoffer Family Amber Knolls Vineyard is where these girls call home. They enjoy bright intense sunlight moderated by cooling sea breezes and as they look up from their 2,000-2,400 ft. elevation, they enjoy a stunning panorama of Clear Lake and Mt. Konocti, gazing on the morning fog below. Looking down, they can usually see themselves reflected in the obsidian rocks mixed throughout the bright red, volcanic soil. On the nose, this Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits notes of blackberry, plum and red currant accompanied by flavors of cassis and bramble fruit with a hint of earth and cocoa. The mouthfeel is silky and rich with a lingering finish. This wine’s appreciable tannins and acidity indicate it will also improve with additional bottle age. This wine is a natural match for flavorful cuisine such as burgers or steak and paired deliciously well with Filet of Beef on Garlic Roasted Potato! Price: $18
The Art + Farm wines represent a unique approach to crafting wine and I applaud Kat and Rob McDonald’s commitment to diversity, producing wines with both a single vineyard focus as well as multi vintage offerings all in the name of producing great wines that celebrate the art of farming. Their collection of wines represents a tremendous value for the quality and make them a wonderful choice for your “house wine” to sip and savor with friends and family – they will thank you for it! In addition to discussing her wines, Kat also regaled us with stories about life on the farm and the antics of the chickens and bees and extolled the benefits of having fresh eggs and honey on hand – who can argue with that?!
Big thanks to Howard Freedland of Bulletproof Wine & Spirits and Kat McDonald of Art + Farm Winery for sponsoring our event! Guests thoroughly enjoyed an evening of breaking all the rules and learning about these very special wines. To purchase these wines from The Wine Atelier, please click here. Please join us on Thursday, May 23rd for an “Homage to Fromage” where we will explore winning wine and cheese pairings perfect for entertaining! For more details or to purchase tickets, please click here.