The ‘RED’ Monster

A 5 varietal wine during Christmas turned wine for this winter season and what has been making these chilly days and nights somewhat tolerable!90+

The Monster Red Blend from Ninety+ Cellars is the most heavenly Monster I have ever encountered. This impeccable red wine is made with 5 classic grapes; 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, and 10% Malbec.  Is that not the most incredible Monster you’ve ever seen (and tasted)!  The gorgeous dark ruby color of this wine sets the scene for a beautifully plated and very indulgent night.  Flavors of coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate with very nice tannins at the finish make this wine a very powerful monster yet ‘impressively well poised’ (could not have said it better)! I was introduced to this wine by Mr. 90+ himself and my first try was at the Christmas dinner table where we all were with ‘mouths dropped’ when pairing the wine with a juicy rib roast (and saved what was left for dessert ;)).

90+ Lot 100

90+ Rib Roast

Desserts

Since then I have been using this wine to get me through these snow storms and relive that incredible moment when this wine first hit my lips.  Pure genius!  Now, if only we knew what winery in Columbia Valley, WA this came from???

This is a must for the wine fridge and I have already stocked up. A staple for a spectacular dinner party and good to have on hand!

A few stores that carry Lot 100:

Boston 
Clarendon Wine and Spirits (Back Bay)
Jobi Liquors (Beacon Hill/West End)

New York City
Landmark Wine and Spirits (167 West 23rd Street)
Gramercy Wine Cellars (236 3rd Ave)
42nd Street Wine Loft
Mark’s Wine & Spirits (53 Mott Street)
Fulton Wine and Spirits (110 Fulton Street)

2012 Thanksgiving Day Wine Picks!

Here it is! Our Annual Thanksgiving/Shopping Spree wines {previous post} that are ‘musts’ this year (plus a few extras)!  As you will notice sparklings and reds fill the list but that won’t stop us from finding the perfect whites for your Thanksgiving Day table!

So take a peek while you wait for the outcome of the Presidential Election… It might make time go by faster!

Apéritif/Sparkling

  • J Vineyards ‘Cuvée 20’: Spotted, the last 25th Anniversary bottle of J Cuvée sold to and sipped by 4 wonderfully shopped out ladies at Glenmere Mansion. After our trip to Woodbury it was so refreshing to see J Vineyards on the menu in the tavern at Glenmere.  Anything J is truly a must serve as an aperitif while enjoying your homemade hors d’oeuvres before the turkey carving.  This Cuvée has a rustic mouth feel all around with its toasty almond like hints then ventures over to the honeysuckle and grapefruit flavors which give it life and zest!  Buy online now to enjoy in time for Thanksgiving! {here} 

 

  • Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava Sipped and tried a few months ago {here}.  Had to pick a full bottle up to taste while the ‘hostess with the mostest’ prepared!  Not to mention it was her birthday celebration and this of course did the trick for that as well! Surprise!

Red Wine

  • Bonterra 2010 Merlot, Mendocino County : This spectacular Merlot is crafted from certified organically grown grapes and it is one of the better Merlot’s I have tried.  I received this wine for a twitter tasting with Thirsty Girl and Bonterra Organic Vineyards and we were all blown away by the wine’s dark berry flavors of cherry and plum and it’s smoothness in it’s finish filled with lovely tannins.  We are calling it a “Merlot for non-merlot lovers” and we are sticking to it! I highly recommend this wine with your main dish this Thanksgiving as it’s pleasant balance will put a smile on everyone’s faces! {still interested}?
  • Swanson Vineyards, 101 Points Red Wine; Add a little fun to the Thanksgiving day table with this predominately Syrah with Cabernet Sauvignon blend.  A very rich and sweet wine with hints of exotic spice, raspberry and black cherry makes this a great match with your juicier dark meat of the turkey. Not to mention, this wine adds a delicate yet elegant red color to your Tgiving table; $25 per bottle online.
  • Mark West Pinot Noir: Makes the list again as it is a staple on the Thanksgiving day table! Everyone loves it! {more Mark West and last year’s wine picks}

I will be trying more holiday wines and reporting back from the Food Network Magazine’s Holiday Tasting in NYC next week so stay tuned on more fun holiday wines! Hopefully I’ll have luck finding some more white wines for all of you white lovers!

Stay tuned and happy prepping!

You Know Fall Has Officially Arrived When…

As we embrace the sudden fall ‘chills’ and plunge into October, I am happy to say that it is that time of year again. The time when my dearest friends and I travel upstate for a massive Thanksgiving, Woodbury Commons, and Red Wine fest to celebrate the official arrival of Fall and we ‘sip’ it in with great pleasure.  Last year it was Mark West and Bogle Pinot Noirs {here} that took hold of our taste buds and warmed us up inside.  What wine will we be obsessed with this weekend?  Well, all I can say is that we will do the tasting for you!  There are some surprises and I hope they will be extra intriguing, so much to inspire you to purchase a bottle for your Thanksgiving Day Table this year.  So now, grab a bottle of red, take in the Fall colors and stay tuned! :)

Happy weekend everyone!

Perfect Summer Wines for the Shorely Bon Vivant!

Finally, I have a free minute for WINEPUG!  Oh how I’ve missed you all!  With the day job, celebrating my favorite holiday (the 4th of July) and many engagements/wedding festivities of my dearest friends and family, I’ve yet to find time to blog about my wine adventures! Nonetheless, while I have been sipping and toasting to happiness and celebration, I subconsciously watched my PERFECT Summer Wine list transform before me! I’m calling it “Perfect Summer Wines for the Shorely Bon Vivant!”  I’ve tried these out in many situations (along the water) and all grab guest’s attention through their delicious taste and impeccable design.  Have a peek!

Andre Balazs ‘Sunset Beach’ Reserve
Exquisite pink rose that embodies New York City and Sunset Beach!  Found only at Andre Balazs’ properties {here} and one of my favorite wine stores in NYC, Sherry-Lehman {here}, Sunset Beach Reserve SCREAMS Summer and has turned non-rose lovers into fanatics (I’ve seen it happen).  Enjoy this on the beach with a Lobster dinner (we did in Martha’s Vineyard) or anywhere by the water.  A very light rose filled with light strawberry and a tiny bit of dryness, just superb!

Limited Edition Chandon
Imagine Fourth of July Party on the boat or engagement toasting with this bottle – All of this did actually happen over the past few weeks! – This is my champs of the summer!  A simple crisp champagne with hints of pear and full of great bubbles.  Who wouldn’t want to be seen with this bottle outside on the water!

2009 ‘Surf Zin’ from Armida Winery
I tried this wine at the tasting room in Capitola, a supple fruit bomb great for summer. It’s perfect for an outdoor BBQ in the Hamptons or anywhere by the water.  It even has a little surfer dude on it to keep reminding you that it’s summer and its surf time!

Pink Flamingo NV Gris de Gris “Pink Wine”, Vin de Pays des Sables 2011
I actually found this bottle at my local wine store right around the corner from my apartment!  It was one of the rose’s that was featured and its description was too good to pass up.  Plus the peach color from the onset reeled me in! Another extremely light rose with loads of minerality and cherry/raspberry flavors serves as a light treat with any summer fare.

Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs from Francis Ford Coppola Winery
I’ve ran around Manhattan with them before {here}, now try taking them to the beach with you or even on the train or bus ride if you are too eager to wait!  A blend of 82% Pinot Blanc, 10% Riesling, 8% Muscat makes this a very vibrant white wine with zest and honeycomb and pear flavors.  Delish for a BBQ or for your summer party!  PS – each can comes with a straw – even better!

Holy Pug!

Quite a fitting wine for winepug!  I was fortunate enough to receive a complimentary bottle of Pug Wine’s complex and balanced Pug Cab 2007 from Hoopes Vineyard in Oakville, Napa Valley to try and combine forces of wine and pug lovers!

A wine that is as exceptional as it’s Pug artwork, this Pug Cab is a perfect transitional from Winter to Spring as it is still heavy enough to keep the chill out of those windy nights but you will be begging to drink this outside in Central Park with a picnic full of goat cheese, grapes, and bitter dark chocolate.  Not only is the wine full of deep luscious fruit, ‘drinkable’ tannins and a sensational spicy finish, each bottle is artwork specific. The artwork done by Jim Dewitt reminds me of a Peter Max with the sketching and vibrant colors.  Interesting how the wine tastes just as vibrant as the artwork looks and as a personality of a pug!

Overall, a wonderful bottle of wine that is worth the $60 splurge! 

But wait, why Pug Wine you ask? 
”Because pugs, like wine, are one of life’s great pleasures. Because both the breed and the wines exhibit purebred character unmistakable for any other. Both flourish from hands on attention and can transform any event into a celebration.”

 Well-said Pug Wine!

 Salud!

For more on Pug Wine  {here}

Sunday Sips!

Sauvignon Blanc.  Crisp, citrus, and fruitful is what I’ve grown accustom to when tasting one of my favorite white varietals.  However, this Sunday I was presently surprised by a buttery, creamy Sauvignon Blanc that tasted almost similar to a Chardonnay, even the color was a bit more golden than the usual SB’s.   This elegant discovery was a Chalk Hill Estate Grown, Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from the Russian River Valley.  We picked this up during our Sonoma trip {here}

Since it’s one of the sweeter Sauvignon Blanc’s I’ve tasted, I decided to whip it out while decorating our lovely Christmas tree to put us in a sweet mood!  Nothing screams holiday spirit than a creamy, cozy, almost comforting wine whilst decorating the tree and listening to xmas music.  We also may or may not have nibbled on a few sweet pairing treats (dark chocolate and biscotti)!

Sip this wine to get comfortable or to go with a special dessert during a night of relaxation with close friends.

Salud!

Celebrate Winoween w/ Orange Wine!

I know red, I know white, I know rose.. I know ORANGE? Not really!

How about trying out some Orange wines this weekend at your fabulous Winoween party! Orange wines are made from white grapes and when made into juice are kept in contact with their skins for a longer period of time (key wine making term maceration) to form an ‘organey’ color.  Because of this practice, their resistance to oxygen is increased which makes them much more sustainable when opened and exposed – Eh hem, perfect to serve for your 10hr Winoween party! However, I would start looking now for these wines as they are rare and a bit pricey!

Here are some great orange wines that will be hit!

Damijan Kaplja Bianco 2004 - Lemony on the nose, a thick wine with ripe fruit and sweetness, honey tasting in the finish (~$67 retail)

Channing Daughters’ 2008 Ramato Pinot Grigio – Orange zest in aroma, a very crisp vibrant wine with a bit of nutty undertones in the finish (~$22 retail)

2007 Coenobium Rusticum – Honey bursting with a bit of saltiness at the nose,  a bit citrusy and bright in taste with a hint of orange (~$35 retail)

Some other  SPOOOKY accessories to consider are these wine labels however, if you purchase any of these wines above I recommend putting these scary numbers on the back of the bottle so people can still make out the label since you did invest and orange wine is a hidden gem, to some……  

HAPPY WINOWEEN! 

For more on Orange Wines:

Food Republic Blog: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/10/12/orange-you-glad-there%E2%80%99s-new-wine-color

Food and Wine Magazine: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/red-white-and-orange-wines

And if you want some other Halloween appropriate wines for this weekend?  Try out some of these that are on Snooth’s Halloween Wine List and you are sure to get spooked – You’ll see names from the likes of Slaughterhouse Cellars, Party With The Devil, Bull’s Blood and more!

Snooth.com: http://www.snooth.com/articles/five-wines-for-halloween/

Transitional Wines For Autumn

It’s that time of time of year!
To rejoin with friends from the summer and celebrate with cheer!

And what wine to drink?
Is the question to think!

The start of fall, although is confused with whites and reds
Finding that perfect transitional is where we are with our heads

So take a gander at the Autumn wines below
And enjoy these wines while embracing their halo

The Malbec is an excellent way of passage, as you will see
But there are many other varietals for the colder fall nights that are key!

Now try it and enjoy, please you tell me!

Harry Chamberlain Photography

The Malbec – Medium bodied reds that are for easy drinking and are filled with a bit of SPICE to perfectly match your Autumn fare!

  • 2010 Colores Del Sol Reserva Malbec, Mendoza,Argentina ($12): Alive with pepper and spice, finishes with full bodied fruits specifically dark cherry, well balanced
  • 2008 Urraca Mendoza Malbec ($19.99): A rich wine filled with ripe fruits with a very well balanced finish. A bit more sophisticated than the Colores Del Sol so perfect for your first fall feast with guests!
  • Bodegas Santa Ana Casa de Campo Reserva Malbec/Shiraz 2007 ($15.99): A fruitful burst w/ a bit of spice!  Perfect to pair with a brie with baked apples and cinnamon! What a lovely Fall treat!

**For more info and other great reco’s on Malbecs see: Malbec – The King of WINE (in Argentina) 

Pinot Noir – For the borderline fall/wintery nights when you just don’t want to leave and are tempted to start a fire.

  • 2009 DeLoach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($22): Ripe in cherry fruits, with a bunch of brown spices with very smooth tannins that are a bit romnatic

Shiraz – Spice overload with black pepper and fruit and anchoring tannins

  • R Wines Strong Arms Shiraz 2006, South Australia ($10):  Fruit bomb that is edged with spice and chocolate!  Cozy up with this spice box!

Ports – For those special post meal delights 

  • Duck Walk Blueberry Port ($13): A local fan favorite from the Hamptons and a great post meal conversation starter.  Try this bursting blueberry with a dark chocolate dessert!  Quack, quack!
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