#WW– A Taste of Madrid with Malvar

I shared this interesting wine that I received from Olé Imports a few weeks ago with a dear friend of mine and we were automatically obsessed!  We sat down for a cheese and hummus plate and sipped the fabulous 2010 Zestos Vinos de Madrid Blanco, 100% Malvar and indigenous to the Madrid (so awesome!). My first try at Malvar, we found it to be such an easy drinking white wine and a cross between a grassy Sauvignon Blanc and an unoaked Chardonnay.  The graceful acidity paired well with the lighter cheese we had and even just drinking by itself was a treat and very easy to do! We were so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take a picture!

Like we were, were you perplexed by the design on the bottle also? Olé in their tasting notes explains that ‘Zestos’ means ‘basket’ in English.  ‘Not too many years ago, baskets like the one on the label were placed on donkeys to transport the just-picked grapes from the vineyard to the winery.”  This intricate design represents the heritage and process that was once used to harvest the grapes in the past.  A wonderful representation of tradition both inside and out!

Olé suggests: ‘If you like litchi fruit, Zestos Blanco!’

The best part, the price – $8

Have you tried any obscure grapes that you had never heard of before and LOVED?

**All photos are from Olé Imports

Go with Godello!

I was feeling inspired one night when I received two bottles of Godello from Ole Imports.  I have never tasted the Godello varietal before so I decided to open both bottles simultaneously to get the full effect of this grape type.  Godello is grown in northwestern Spain mostly in Valdeorras and northern Portugal.  It’s a fine white grape that at first, reminded me of a Chard then transformed into a burst of something more unique!  These wines really reflect its place of origin and the soils where the vines are grown. Both wines were farmed in slate and granite giving the wines earthy and ‘stony’ flavors showing how specific climate and immaculate precision is used in growing these remarkable grapes.  Now… onto the wines.

2010 Castelo do Papa Godello
100% Godello (of course) had such youthful minerality with hints of pear, green apple and a hint of grapefruit.  I tasted a bit of acidity as well which to me, made this wine extremely well balanced and smooth.  Definitely a wine that can be paired with a heavier meal, such as sausage, heavier cheeses, and really any seafood.

2010 Estate Bottle Rogo Godello
Another 100% Godello.  This wine had a floral and vibrant nose and loads of minerality and stone fruit in taste.  it had a bit of honey, a tiny bit of sweetness and is a little more ‘zest’ than the Papa.  A great refreshing wine with energy!  I would stay with lighter cheeses, fish dishes, oysters, and pasta as pairings.

All in all, my Godello experience was a very pleasant one and gives a true adventure into the world of the Valdeorras region through the taste of each wine – a mineral and fruitful experience!

I highly recommend you try to brighten your taste buds and grow out of your comfort zone with wine.  Try something new and grow your palate!  I can now say I am a huge fan of Godello and will seek them out when I’m at my wine store next!

For more on the wine region check out this great article from Good Food Revolution !  

#WW – A Refreshing Ipsum Rueda 2010

Jump into Winepug Wednesday with Ipsum Rueda 2010 for a fresh, crisp apple, and authentic taste that ‘speaks for itself’, literally (Ipsum means ‘itself’ in Latin)! Ole Imports {here} sent me this bottle to try and I just had to share it with great friends and pair this light and refreshing wine with a Spring dish, Arugula with Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Asiago Salad, which we got from The Kitchen Poet {here}.

Now, onto the wine…Because this wine was created ‘un-oaked’ you really taste the authentic flavor of the grapes (85% Verdejo, 15% Viura) and the bright citrus flavors that burst in your mouth. I’m sure you can imagine how this tasted with the Asiago cheese from the salad – delish! Not only does it have all the great bright and flowery flavors we all love, it also has a lot of minerality which gives a balanced mixture with its vibrant flavors and yes, has a very smooth finish. Another great deal at $10 per bottle (can’t beat it). I wasn’t able to find it in NYC but I hope you do elsewhere and enjoy as much as we did!

For more info on the wine {here}

A Tempranillo Good Time!

Ole Imports impresses me again!

It’s a dreary night in NYC tonight and I’m craving something with SPICE to get me out of this mood I am in caused by the weather.  Well, I just opened up a bottle of Barco de Piedra from the region Ribera del Duero, kindly sent to my by Ole Imports and BOOM – My spirits are lifted!  This light fruit bomb of red berries filled with delicious spices (I taste cinnamon!) with cedar lingerings and a delicate finish is taking me away from this rainy Wednesday and floating me to the  SUN of Spain!  What a wonderful red drinking wine at an amazing value.  $15 – $17 in price point… Really?  By the sophisticated bottle and elegantly light taste, I would think this wine was MUCH more costly.  Have fun fooling your friends and CHEERS to Barco de Piedra.  Thank you again to Ole Imports for letting me try this remarkable bottle!

Where to find in NYC: Astor Wines & Spirits – 399 Lafayette St. (at East 4th St.) {here}

**More info on the wine {here}

Rioja – Pepper, Spice and All Things Nice!

With a unique portfolio of over 100 Spanish wines, Ole Imports has taken pride in their journey to find and represent fine wines through key fundamental elements of: terroir, quality fruit, exceptional wine making and priceless value.  I was lucky enough to try some of their finest sought after wines from the Rioja region and hosted a Rioja Wine Tasting Event on my dear friend’s wonderful terrace under a remarkable sunset looking over the city that never sleeps, New York City.  By the end of the night lips were purple, all were dancing, and everyone was completely happy! My, what an effect an exploration into the Rioja world has!

I set up the tasting with a variety of cheeses to pair, wine crackers to cleanse the palate, and some carrots and hummus to munch on.   The tasting went from light to dark and I started off with a bubbly to get everyone in the mood! Since many of us had not experienced wines from this region, I decided not to do a blind tasting but walk everyone through the tasting process and education of each wine.

So please, step inside this magnificent region of spice and submerge yourself into what you are about to read.  I advise you to grab a glass of Rioja yourself and enjoy!

RIOJA WINE TASTING EVENT

Wine #1 Casteller Cava Brut N/V
Grape: Parellada, Macabeo, Xarello
Tasting Notes: Dry, clean and crisp, citrus, hints of green apple
Quotes: “Smoother than other sparkling wines, not too sweet or too bubbly, very drinkable and delicious!”, “Smells like a fun CELEBRATION”, “REFRESHING”, “Great drinking sparkling wine!”

Wine # 2 Bodegas El Indiano El Brozal Blanco 2009 (Single Vineyard)
Grape: Tempranillo, Granacha
Tasting Notes: Biodynamic wine with great tannic structure, dry, and filled w/ spice.
Quotes: “Acidic/Bitter”, “Unexpectedly tart” “Could be good wine for Sangria”, “Buttered Popcorn taste?”

Wine #3 Cortijo Rioja Blanco 2010
Grape: Viura
Tasting Notes: Sweet on the palate, nectar flavors
Quotes: “Delicious, fruity yet light” “Great Value”, “Appley”, “Color is similar to a sugar cookie” “Fruity with a twist, LOVE”, “Great with cheddar cheese”

Wine #4 Cortijo Rioja Rosado 2010
Grape: Tempranillo, Granacha
Tasting Notes: Citrus, full of fruits, a bit tannic, very delicious and refreshing
Quotes: “Bold berries”, “Amazing taste”, “Might be great for Sangria”, “Very refreshing for summer or spring!”

Wine #5 Don Sancho Londono 2008 ‘Calma’
Grape: Tempranillo, Graciano
Tasting Notes: peppery, dark cherry, mocha, tannins for a strong finish
Quotes: “Best wine of the tasting”, “Tastes a bit licoricey”, “Amazing with goat cheese”, “A classic Spanish wine”, “Relaxing and great to sip on”, “Peppery and spicy”

Wine #6 Bodegas El Indiano El Brozal 2009 (Single Vineyard)
Grape: Tempranillo, Syrah
Tasting Notes: Spice, peppery, tannin that grips the finish
Quotes: “Very rich”, “My favorite”, “Big and bold, “Love this one, this is what I think of when I think of Rioja”, “Deep Finish”, “This was amazing with the dark chocolate”

            

Wow, that was intense! As you can see lots of spice, pepper, citrus, and drinking wines capture some of the Rioja region.  A very lovely night of tasting fine wines from Ole Imports turned all of these wonderful ladies in to regulars.  I am already getting questions about the wines we tasted and where to find them to buy for house warming gifts! 

Thank you Ole Imports and thank you to my wine lovers for participating in this fabulous tasting!

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