Thursday, November 17, 2011

Finca de Arantei Albariño 2007

Sometimes I believe Shirley just likes to purposely  prepare a dinner that will not pair with any of the wines in the rack on purpose.  But, I also believe she may just be testing me.  Tonight was one her signature dishes, Assyrian Chicken Stew.  This is a recipe she found many years ago and then tweaked somewhat by deleting some and adding other ingredients. Removing the garlic and red pepper and adding turnip and parsnip gives it a more earthy and less spicy flavor. Very much like a beef or hobo stew, filled with diced carrot, potato, yams and chicken thighs, I thought I'd bring out a nice light Albariño, one that I picked up locally a few weeks ago. A 2007 Finca de Arantei ($17), a single vinyard Estate bottled white wine from the Rias Baixas region in Northern Spain. Pairing was OK.  Could have been better, but the wine turned out to be very nice.
At first I thought the wine may be a bit passed it's prime. The color was a little darker golden yellow than what I have seen in other Albariño's I tasted and the aromas were heavy on mineral, but still had lots of honeysuckle and peach.  The wine was nice and smooth in the mouth with peach, floral and green apple.  The finish was long, dry, mineral laden with some citrus and peach and some almond.  More body than expected, but still nice.  If you are a white wine lover looking for something other than a light red Pinot Noir or Beaujolais to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey, this '07 Albariño may be your answer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Terrazas de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2009

Last week I came home from work at the usual time (10:15pm) just wanting a nice red wine to sip on, with maybe a few bites of cheese or chocolate.  When I got home I found that UPS had delivered just what I was looking for, a Terrazas de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2009.  Suggested retail of $14, but easily found on line for as low as $10.
A very dark purple color with aromas of dried cherries, blackberry, hints of chocolate and a little tobacco just looked great in the glass.  In the mouth were lots of ripe cherry, berries and dark plum and finished nice and smooth and long, leaving some tobacco, blackberry and a little nutmeg. Paired very nicely with several light cheese bits, especially a Havarti and the Yancey's Fancy Champagne Cheddar.
Terrazas de los Andes is a high elevation specialist producer of super premium wines, based in Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina.
Terrazas de los Andes has made its mark on the international luxury wine market in 45 countries with the “Top Ranked Malbec from Argentina” over the past 10 years (1994-2004, Wine Spectator Top 100), twenty-one 90+ point or 5 Star, rankings from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Decanter, selected as a Top 20 Global Value Vintner, Wine Spectator (2005), and awarded with a Bordeaux Varietal Trophy, Decanter (2006).
Terrazas de los Andes is part of the Moët Hennessy Wine Estates group, which includes Cloudy Bay, Green Point, Domaine Chandon, Bodegas Chandon, and Newton Vineyard.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Damiani Wine Cellars semi-dry Riesling 2010

It's Halloween night and I just want to relax, sip a nice wine, eat a little cheese and sample some of the sweet goodies in the Trick or Treat bowl.  Forget the relaxing, but three out of four is not bad.  Had plenty of goodies, three nice cheeses and a bottle of Damiani Wine Cellars semi-dry Riesling 2010. ($16)
Lots of honeysuckle, pineapple and apple blossom aromas with a sprinkling of peach and some lime. Nice and soft mouthfeel  with some Finger Lakes mineral, lime and green apple.  The finish was dry, long and citrusy.
I was a good boy and did not touch the candy, but did over indulge with the cheese and the wine.  Really don't know which was better, the very light Farmers Cheese, the little more intense Danish Fontina or the XXXX Sharp Cheddar.  This Riesling went well with all of them.  Very surprised with the cheddar, but I did enjoy.  This is an enjoyable white wine that will pair well with just about any thing you wish. A ham and swiss sandwich, a cheese or sausage pizza, a garden salad and maybe even a burger and fries, if you love white wines with your meal, the Damiani 2009 semi-dry Riesling is a can't go wrong choice.