Weekly Wine Wednesdays (10/11/17)
Time for another round of wine reviews!
OK, so now that we are doing this on a biweekly basis, I’ve thought of changing the title for this. But Weekly Wine Wednesdays just has a ring to it, don’t you think? By also doing this every two weeks, I can give my readers more wine reviews at once while also delivering more content to you on the alternating weeks. It’s a win-win all around!
This week, I have a great assortment of wines up for review. Reds, whites, pinks, sparklings, stills and even desserts! We may be into the second week of October, but many of us are still experiencing weather reminiscent of a hot and humid July. This give us the perfect excuse to sip on rosé and crisp, fruity whites like its still summer. When we are lucky enough to experience a cool fall day, or even just an evening, its time to break out a bold, spicy red.
I had a couple parties to attend over the past two weeks. The end of September was an annual Oktoberfest party my boyfriend and I always attend with his work associates – complete with tons of food, beer and of course plenty of wine! We ate so much. The hosts cook everything from scratch and its all authentic German cooking. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my Stories, because I couldn’t stop taking videos and pictures of all the food and wine! The cheese spaetzle and pork schnitzel was to die for. I made sure to bring a German Gewurtz that would be perfect for the festivities, too!
At a birthday celebration this past weekend, it was time to break out the Champagne bubbles and celebrate properly – we even added some cigars into the mix, because why not? The party took place at an awesome tapas restaurant that serves an all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch every weekend. It is probably the best $40 you could ever spend.
So now that we have all that out of the way…onto the wine reviews!
San Sebastian Ruby Port NV
St. Augustine, Florida $16.99
For a Florida wine, this had me smitten! I used to hate Port but this turned me into a believer. I found my Port tooth with this. This Ruby is made with signature Forida Muscadines, and they impart a really fresh, bright quality to this wine that many Port foes may find approachable and even exciting. Nutty cherry that isn’t too overpowering, along with toffee, sea salted carmel and a mouthfeel and finish that tends toward the lighter side. You won’t find grandma’s wrinkly fruit and prune juice in here that’s for sure! An impressive show of what Florida has to offer if you give it a chance.
In case you missed it, this was the Port I slipped into my recipe for Boozy Brownies – you need to try them, they are so rich and so sinful!
Cannery Row Chapter One Chardonnay 2015
This butter yellow Chardonnay is crisp and bright with aromas and flavors of melon, pear, apple and pineapple. The label states this has seen some oak and should possess some vanilla notes, but either my palate isn’t discerning enough to make out the subtleties, or the acidity is just too high to notice. This was better paired with food – I had this with roasted garlic and chicken ravioli in a butter white wine sauce (made with this wine, of course!)
Considering I found this on sale for $9.99 at my local grocer, it was quite an impressive wine in that regard. The nose initially had notes of horse stable which dissipated into yummy raspberry brownies with plenty of air time. Cinnamon, cloves, cherry, earth and bark flavors with some pine on the finish. Smooth and easy drinking, with medium-plus body and soft, pleasant tannins on the medium finish. This also happened to have the tiniest, thinnest legs I have seen in quite a while! Another nice effort from Columbia Crest. You can grab the 2015 on Amazon for $15.
Piper Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Brut NV
Champagne, France $41.99
Pleasant dry crispness with medium bubble size, but this was lacking the depth and creaminess I would like to see in my Champagne. Granny Smith apple, hay, yeast, unbuttered bread. Nice and clean, but also simple and left me wanting/expecting more. I much prefer Champagne to cigars, but in this instance, my 460 Connecticut Nub cigar was the winner.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling 2015
Columbia Valley, Washington $7.99
I enjoy this slightly more than the 2014, as this has a bit more balance to temper the sweetness. Aromas of ripe honeydew and sweet melons. Apricot on the attack, followed by candied lemon peel and dried pineapple. Bright citrus acidity at the end to really balance out all the ripeness going on here. CSM produces really great value wines for everyday drinking – I am almost always able to find their whites on sale under $8 at my local grocer. If you’d like to try some of their higher end offerings, Amazon has a great selection here.
P. J. Valckenberg Gewürztraminer 2015
Pfalz, Germany $11.99
This is a wonderful German Gewürzt from Pfalz that I brought to an annual Oktoberfest party for the wine drinkers. A beautiful aromatic bouquet of roses and nectarines makes for a good first impression. On the palate, a light effervescence of lemon-lime soda with flavors of honey, pineapple and a bite of white pepper on the finish. Off dry with a pleasant acidity, and at $12 great QPR! I would definitely buy this again.
This is my second crack at 19 Crimes and I have to admit, I’m just not a fan. Don’t get me wrong – many people love this brand and I have seen lots of positive reviews. But sometimes we just have other preferences, and this seems to be the case here for me. Nice aromas of forest berries favoring wild blackberries. Flavors of blackberry, blueberry, oak and black tea were finished off by cranberry and pomegranate. I found this unbalanced and disjointed in its flavors, with very high acidity. If you’d still like to give it a shot based on other reviews you may have read, Amazon has the 2016 available here.
Juvé & Camps Cava Pinot Noir Rosé Brut
Cava, Spain $15.99
With the temps still creeping into the 90s here in Florida, I had to sneak some rosé in at brunch this past weekend. Very mineral and metallic driven with minimal red fruits. Copper in color and taste, along with hints of raspberry and underripe strawberry. I only had a glass of this, and maybe the bottle was open for too long because it definitely missing the fizz factor for a sparkling wine. [Image: Oak & Barrel]
Have a wine you love, and want to see a review on? Leave a comment below!