Wine of The Week

Beers for St. Patrick's Day

Posted on: Wednesday 3/16/2011 11:17am By jmeyer

Of course, the number one of choice beer on Saint Patrick's Day is the national beverage of Ireland, Guinness Stout. As legend has it, Arthur Price, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel, bequeathed his godson, Arthur Guinness, £100 and the secret family recipe for stout ale. Guinness Draft - many pubs will be pouring a plethora of pints. Make sure to let it set until all of the bubbles have risen to form a quarter inch creamy head. One of my favorite Irish beers is Harp Lager -- a smooth and lighter-styled beer than the darker stouts. It has a beautiful dark gold color and the super clean finish makes this beer easy to drink - which is fun to do on St. Patty's day.If you're in the mood for an Ale (as opposed to a lager or a stout) - try an Irish favorite, Smithwick's Irish Ale. If you want to celebrate the American side of Irish-American, then drink a domestic beer with an Irish lilt. The Samuel Adams Irish Red is remarkably balanced beer.

Is it getting warmer? Or colder?

Posted on: Friday 3/11/2011 11:30am By jmeyer

More importantly, what wine do you drink when the weather has more mood swings than a teenager? Enter Grenache - a lovely wine known more for its supporting role in French Chateauneuf du Pape wines than as the lovely little star of the show it is. Here are a few of my favorite Grenache wines to get us through these weird weather weeks. From the Languedoc region of France comes the delicious 2007 Domaine Cabirau Grenache Serge and Tony, made from a small vineyard owned by importer Dan Kravitz and named in honor of the two gentlemen who oversee the vines and winemaking. A touch of eucalyptus and black olive on the juicy finish is enough to keep you coming back for another sip ($16). Australian winemakers love playing around with Grenache and I think the 2008 Trevor Jones Boots Grenache, from the Barossa Valley, is a successful experiment. The fruit-driven finish is round and expansive ($15). One of my favorite Spanish wines in the under $20 category is the 2008 QUO Grenache Old Vines from the Aragon region. The seductive, intense fruit and fat, round flavors make this wine shine ($15).

Turley Zinfandels

Posted on: Friday 3/4/2011 10:16am By jmeyer

 If you're looking to stick your toe in the proverbial waters of Turley zinfandel, I suggest you start with the 2008 Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Old Vines, produced from a blend of Turley's vineyards located throughout California ($30). The 2008 Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Juvenile, which is produced from a collection of lots from Turley's youngest vines ($30). The 2008 Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Duarte Vineyard from the Contra Costa region of California is on my favorites ($45). From the limestone soils of Paso Robles comes the Turley-owned vineyard 2008 Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard ($50). If you're looking for a zinfandel to rock your world, the 2008 Turley Zinfandel from the Dusi Vineyard in Paso Robles, California is for you ($55).

First Date Wines

Posted on: Monday 2/28/2011 1:25pm By jmeyer

You want to get just the right bottle of wine to impress your date, but not break the bank in the process. What is a good 'first date' wine? Personally, I can't think of a better way to kick off any get together, be it a party with friends or an intimate night of potential romance, then with a sparkling wine. The Non-Vintage Pascal Toro Sparkling Brut from Argentina ($10) is both festive and inexpensive. French wines always make a great first impression The 2009 Chateau de Segries-Tavel Rosé from the Rhone Valley is a reliable wine for first dates ($15). When I first began dating, one of the few things I knew how to cook was pasta and tomato sauce. The 2007 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo Campo ai Sassi Rosso di Montalcino will definitely benefit a red-based pasta sauce ($15). If you want to step up the impress-o-meter, try pairing the 2008 Red Car Boxcar Syrah ($23).

Seductive Wines for V-Day

Posted on: Friday 2/11/2011 6:25pm By jmeyer

 Here are some recommendations for a special wine to share with the special person in your life this Valentine’s Day. If you plan on having chocolate covered strawberries, try serving it with the Non-vintage Santi Nello Prosecco di Valdobbiadene from Italy ($15). Sushi is a very sensual dish, so why not swing by a high-end market and pick up an assortment of Japanese tapas as well as a bottle of 2009 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Gris from Monterey County, California ($15). Roses may be red, but rosés are for lovers. One of my favorite examples of this versatile wine is the 2009 Etude Pinot Noir Rosé from Carneros, California ($20).

A Little of This, A Little of That

Posted on: Friday 2/4/2011 10:54am

At $10, the 2009 Alamos Malbec from the Catena Family of wines in Mendoza, Argentina offers a splendid value. It has scents of violets, dark plums and cocoa with flavors of dark cherry, blackberry and ripe plum, with a touch of pepper and notes of vanilla. If you want a crowd pleasing white wine that won't break the bank, try the 2009 Villa Antinori Toscana Bianco from the Tuscany region of Italy ($10). This white wine has an intense aroma of white rose petals and apple with flavors of peach, nectarine and apple. Other wines to try: The 2006 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California (around $20) and the 2007 Chateau Pipeau from the Saint-Emilion region of France ($25).

Portugal Is So Much More Than Port

Posted on: Tuesday 1/25/2011 10:56am

The $18 2009 Paulo Laureano Branco ($18) from the Vidigueira sub-region is made from the white grape varietal Antao Vaz and has a wonderful floral nose of tropical fruits, nectarine, minerals and a touch of vanilla. One of the best values in red wine from the region is the 2007 Marques De Borba Red Wine by Ramos Vinhos ($14). It has strawberry and cherry blossom aromas with warm flavors of red berry fruit. The 2007 Malhadinha Nova Monte Da Peceguina Red Wine ($35), is made from Aragones, Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Alfrocheiro and has aromas of black fruit, spices and minerals with flavors of strawberries and cherries with notes of tobacco. Made from a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Petite Verdot and Syrah, the 2005 Dona Maria Red Wine Reserva ($40) explodes with aromas of dark fruit, mint and spices and flavors of black plums, dark cherry, spices with hints of tobacco.

2010 Wine Books - A seasonal gift guide for your wine lover

Posted on: Tuesday 1/18/2011 12:47pm

To help with finding the right gift for the wine lover in your life, here are some great wine-related suggestions to get you started - although, a bottle of nice wine is always appreciated too!

Grands Crus Classes The Great Wines of Bordeaux by Sophie Brissaud (text) with photographs by Cyril Le Tourneur d'Ison and Iris L. Sullivan ($65) - This is a wine lover and foodie's dream book, offering a virtual trip through Bordeaux, France without the worries of going through security at the airport. Start on page one and work your way through 87 Chateaux of the Medoc and Sauternes regions. Each section has a brief one-page history of the chateau, along with three to four pictures of the property. Best of all, a recipe by 87-world renown chefs is paired with a vintage from each chateau. Sounds like an 87-week challenge to me. Anybody up for a Julie & Julia type project?

Hot Wines for Cold Nights

Posted on: Tuesday 1/18/2011 12:46pm

The 2007 Antis Malbec Reserva from the Mendoza appellation ($15) has rich scents of dark fruit aromas with attractive notes of mint-chocolate and flavors of black plum, dark cherry and cassis with hints of cocoa, tobacco and leather. The 2008 David Bruce Petite Sirah ($17) features a nose of ripe black plums, crème de cassis and dark chocolate with robust flavors of black cherry, jammy blueberry, mocha, and chocolate with a whisper of pepper that combines to give your tongue a warm treat.The 2007 D'Arenber Laughing Magpie from the McLaren Vale of South Australia ($25) has a lovely nose of blackberries and gardenias with flavors of blackberry and anise. Another wine to try: The 2007 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($44)

Bubbles for the Holidays

Posted on: Tuesday 1/18/2011 12:25pm

Only wines made in the tiny Champagne region in France can be called Champagne. The Prosecco region of Italy produces some wonderfully crisp, refreshing sparkling wines. At $18, the Non-Vintage NV La Tordera Prosecco di Valdobbiadene from Veneto, Italy is one of the best values in sparkling wine. Scents of lemon/lime fill the bouquet while flavors of apple and nectarine dominate the front of the palate. The 2006 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs from Napa Valley ($30) gained international recognition in 1972 when President Nixon served it at the historic "Toast to Peace" in Beijing, China. It has aromas of key lime, honeydew and a hint of pineapple upside-down cake with flavors of citrus, pear and baked apple. Another wine to try: If you're really looking to splurge, then the Non-Vintage Krug Grande Cuvée from Reims, France ($175) is your champagne.

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