Wednesday, March 25, 2009
In mid 2007, six Rieslings from the Finger Lakes were tasted blind against six of some the world's best Rieslings at a trade and media event in New York City. Joshua Greene, the editor and publisher of Wine and Spirits magazine, said, "Dry Riesling wine from New York's Finger Lakes clearly belongs in the constellation of world-class Rieslings. Slate and well-drained glaciated vineyard sites show terroir and descriptive characters with exceptional value."
In 2008, I also gave in to my reds only attitude and took the wife on a Cayuga Wine Trail outing.
To my surprise I really enjoyed many of the dry Rieslings we tried that day, and since, they have become my wine of choice during the summer months.
Although they were all enjoyable, my favorite came from the Buttonwood Grove Winery.
Aromas of pear, citrus and a bit of damp soil made for a unique nose, probably more so because I was a red wine only drinker. That citrus and fruit aroma stayed nicely on the tongue and the wine had a refreshing citrus like finish.
I now drink many whites, especially in the summer and the Buttonwood Grove Winery dry Riesling is always in my rack and opened for almost any occasion or food. The wine pairs well with summer salads and I enjoy it with BBQ Chicken.
Locally in Central New York it is found at about $15.
Joeshico rating: 85/86.
Take it from a novice: "Great Buy"
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tempranillo is the most well known and widely used grape to make red wine (tinto). It is a black grape often referred to as Spain's noble grape which ripens several weeks prior to the other varieties and provides the full bodiedness of red wines. A blend will usually consist of sixty percent Tempranillo and up to twenty percent of Garnacha, with much smaller proportions of Mazuelo and Graciano. Each and every grape makes the wine unique. The main flavour and aging potential of the wine comes from the Tempranillo grape, with the Garnacha adding body and alcohol, the Mazuelo seasoning flavours and the Graciano providing the aroma.
Rioja is just one of many Spanish wines and it is named after the river, Rio Oja which runs through the Oja Valley in the province of La Rioja in northern Spain. The wine producing region runs for 120 kilometers down either side of the river which supplies the large quantity of water needed for all fourteen thousand vineyards to reap their harvest.
One of my favorites is Bodegas Muga Rioja reserve. Tonight I opened a 2003, one of two left in my rack. As I always do with this wine, I open about a hour before pouring.
The aroma seems to peek after a little breathing.
The wine is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Granach and 10% Mazuelo and Graciano. The color is dark cherry and the aromas are berry like, a little currant or raspberry and of course I get plum.
Sometimes I think my nose is sort of stuck in plum mode. I also get a bit (maybe more than a bit, whatever a bit is) of wet soil, sort of like a damp forest. Oh yeah, remember what your little pencil case smelled like in grade school, that too.
Tannins are soft and it has a nice long finish. Smooth and dry! The Muga Rioja will pair well with just about any food. I may even try this with my crab/artichoke dip this week.
My local price is $20 before my discount of 20%. Found online for $19.99 USD
Well worth it! My joeshico rating: 88/89
Take it from a novice "Great Buy"
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A few years ago, I tried a few Australian wines and was not impressed at all. So, I stayed away until just recently. A few friends were telling me about Greg Norman, Lindemann and Penfolds wines and how great they are. So, tonight I opened a bottle of Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre 2006.
Now I am totally impressed.
I think I have a nose that picks up cherry and plum easily. First sniff I knew this is going to be an enjoyable wine and first sip confirmed that.
Bin 2 is a multi-regional blend drawing fruit from warmer vineyard sites including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek.
The 2006 is a blend of 75% Shiraz to 25% Mourvedre. The Mourvedre, a native grape of Spain, gives this wine a dark crimson to purplish color. There are hints of licorice and the book says some spice. I never, or hardly ever pick up spice. I am no threat to Gary Vaynerchuk or Robert Parker with my limited sense of smell. But, then again, who cares what it smells like if it taste good. The wine finishes good, not great, but good.
Although I very seldom stray away from Italian wines with my veal, I think, next time, I will try this. This wine also stands on it's own. I am really enjoying this as I write this post. Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre, you have changed my opinion of Australian Wines.
My local price is $16, before my discount.
At least an 87/88 joeshico rating.
Take it from a novice: "Great Buy"
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Here's another edition of wine facts, as promised in previous wine facts posts. This time my wife,who does much of the writing on this blog and most of the research, used her Italian cooking expertise and wrote the entire article. I'll let her do that from now on. It will probably cost me more than hiring an expert writer, but maybe she'll take me along. Just maybe get her to go to the Wine Country Inn in Colorado or something like that. For first time readers of my blog, welcome to WHY WINE. I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy posting.
Wine Facts: Did you know? part 3
1. As a general rule of thumb, when cooking or serving wine with food you pair like with like. If you have a light meal (salad) pair with a light wine (i.e. Beaujolais or chardonnay). If you have a hearty meal (beef stew) pair with a robust wine (i.e. Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon). (But note: using the opposite type wine makes for some interesting tastes.)
2. A perfect pairing leaves you wanting a sip and a bite and a sip and a bite etc.
3. If you won’t drink the wine, DON’T cook with it. The so called “cooking wine” tastes awful. “Cooking wines” and “cooking sherries” are cheap wines to which salt and food coloring have been added. So why would you want to ruin your nicely cooked dinner with an off tasting wine? Use the wine from the bottle you’re going to serve with the meal. It will give you a common taste between the meal and the wine and enhance the pleasure of the meal.
4. The old wives’ tale that alcohol evaporates when wine is cooked in a meal is true – sort of. A wine with an alcohol content of 12% to 14% will cook down to 5% alcohol content in about 2 ½ hours. While not completely gone, the alcohol amount is so small that it really should not bother anyone when eating a 3 course meal.
5. A quick way to chill wine: fill a container that you can submerge the wine bottle up to its neck in with ½ ice cubes and ½ water. It takes half the time to cool the wine than when using ice alone. Reds at room temperature take about 5 minutes to cool. Super fruity wines (Beaujolais) take about 15 minutes. Whites take about 15 to 25 minutes. Champagnes take 30 minutes. (Note: use room temperature wine to cook with).
WHY WINE: Wine Facts; Did you know?
WHY WINE: Wine Facts; Did you know? part 2