New feature alert! Wine Wednesdays is a new bi-weekly column where we’ll discuss wines we’ve recently enjoyed, or not enjoyed, as the case may be. Because we are not wine experts, these “reviews” will be written in the typical B.S. style. We don’t take ourselves, or our wine, too seriously but hope you’ll enjoy our perspectives and maybe find a new bottle of wine to enjoy. We‘ll probably play with the format a bit as time goes on, so feel free to make suggestions if you have them.
Dio Fili Xinomavro Rosé 2015
This wine was recommended to us by Tony the Wine Guy at Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits. We wanted an affordable bottle of rosé, and instead of suggesting something on the higher end of our price point, he offered up this bottle which was on sale for $7.99. We ended up grabbing two, because who can pass up such a bargain? A 2015 vintage is getting a bit old for rosé (hence the sale), but this wine was still very palatable, especially for the price. It was very herbaceous and tasted better with food than on its own. I do believe this was my first time trying a Greek rosé, and now I’m itching to try more – preferably of a newer vintage.
No B.S. Bottom Line: We enjoyed this a lot for the price, and would happily pick up another bottle if it’s still available next time we’re at the Cleveland Park wine shop.
Sparkling Wine Flight at The Tasting Room in Frederick, MD
Wine flights are a beautiful thing. I love getting to taste a curated line-up of wines and find new favorites, which is exactly what happened when we visited The Tasting Room in Frederick this past weekend. It is often difficult for me to note any differences from one sparkling wine to the next, other than maybe whether it is dry or off dry. So it was very interesting to taste these three sparklers ranging from light-bodied to full-bodied.
This trio included, from left to right:
– Marsuret Prosecco di Valdobbiadene from Italy NV (retails for around $16.99/bottle)
– Jean-Charles Boisset Rosé of Pinot Noir NV (retails for around $18.99/bottle)
– Baron-Fuenté Meunier-Chardonnay-Pinot Noir Champagne (retails for around $34.99/bottle)
Before tasting, I assumed I would enjoy the lighter-bodied wine the best. Not so much! Although the Prosecco was certainly lovely, it was quickly eclipsed by the sparkling rosé and even more so by the champagne. While the light and floral Prosecco would be fabulous on its own or in a cocktail, I’d reach for the fruit-forward rosé as a versatile pairing with almost any food. And while I’ve always claimed not to taste a difference in champagne and other sparkling wines, I have to admit I’ve been proven wrong. The depth of flavors and almost bready characteristics were lovely, and if money was no object I’d be hunting down a case of this beauty for all future special occasion toasts.
No B.S. Bottom Line: You can’t go wrong with sparkling wine. It’s fun and fizzy and goes with everything. Taste as many of them as you can, and if you’re ever in Frederick be sure to head to the Tasting Room for a flight.
Virgen del Aguila Artigazo 2007
We scored four bottles of this beauty from Wines ‘Til Sold Out. It’s always a bit of a gamble to order wine before tasting it, but I was intrigued by the older vintage and I usually love Spanish wines so I took the risk. It paid off! This blend of Garnacha, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon is truly lovely, with oak, spice and smoke up front and nice, juicy fruit notes on the finish (about as technical as my wine speak gets here). We’ve already crushed two of the bottles with rich, meaty dinners. We gave one away as a gift and are saving the last one for a special occasion. It probably has another two or three years of drinkability, but I doubt it will last that long.
No B.S. Bottom Line: I would happily buy this again if I see it, and you should too! The price was right on WTSO, for less than $12 a bottle, but it retails for between $16 – $20 elsewhere which is still a good value.
Vinkara Kalecik Karasi 2013
I’ve already written about this wine and the wonderful Vinkara wine dinner at which I first tasted it, but it’s worth another mention. Sometimes at wine dinners and tasting rooms, the atmosphere in which you’re drinking a wine can impact your opinion of it. If you’re having a great time, and the wine is flowing, you’re much more likely to have a favorable opinion about what you’re drinking. That said, I couldn’t stop thinking about this Kalecik Karasi for days after drinking it and really wanted to share it with Tom, so we picked up a bottle at our Cleveland Park shop (around $17 retail) and made a special dinner of slow-cooked Mediterranean pork with couscous to accompany it.
No B.S. Bottom Line: Just as good as I remembered and oh so versatile with food. For around $16 a bottle, this is a perfect wine for Pinot Noir lovers looking for something a little different.
That’s all for the inaugural edition of Wine Wednesdays – let me know what you think! And if you want more wine reviews from a real expert, check out my friend Diane’s blog and her 50 Days of Rosé series. She’s always got something good to recommend, and usually a few laughs as well.