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Chénas? CheNOT. Harharhar

22 May


Oh hey this is the wine that held me up from being ready to write my whole Beaujolais series. I could not friggin’ find a Chénas. Until finally Garagiste came through. With:

2015 Pascal Aufranc “En Remont Vignes de 1939”


Please excuse the hasty nature of that pic. Been busy making this podcast n such.

Honestly maybe there is a reason this cru is not around much, because this is possibly my least favorite Beaujolais cru thus far–I’ve  tasted St-Amour, Julienas, Moulin-vent, Fleurie, Morgon, Regnié and Brouilly so far, so I have a tad bit of experience.

Okay. So this Chènas is good but a bit green for me. Okay? So Garagiste says to drink 2018-2024. Okay okay! So maybe I drank it 6 months early and if I’d waited the green would have…evolved…so okay…just okay. 

On the good side! This wine is:

A delicious smell that you can’t quite place. Maybe it smells like blueberry pie. But not in a way that makes you hungry. It smells like lavender and pine trees too but jussssst enough to relax you. And then that is not actually quite the wine’s smell just the essence. 

It is a wine you suck down to chill out on a night in. A quiet time before the next day when you fly off the next job, wine, book, audition, destination whichever…

Or so I surmise. Until I can fly to 2018 and beyond and sip this wine I cannot say where it will go.

I love Gamay enough I’ll give Chénas more tries. Until the I am going to be continuing my trek (virtually) through the crus. Onward!

Et tu, Beaujolais? Yup this Juliénas will kill

21 May


Firstly pretty please check out The Whine Situation, my new comedy n wine podcast on iTunes and  we just got added to Stitcher too yeaaaaaaaa. If you like it n wanna give us an iTunes subscribe or rating all the better. 

One more distraction before the next cru! I was a guest on The Delightful Table, a fantastic blog by my friend Scheherezade features sustainable cooking and seasonal veggies. We experimented pairing “difficult to pair” veggies with wines. Check out the artichoke madness here


And now. We are moving on down through the Beaujolais crus! From flippant Saint-Amour to rather stern Juliénas! A jerk face who is sinister and will beat your mouth up. In a good way, of course!

Named for Caesar. Shall we salad with this wine? Would a Caesar salad pair well? Huh, I feel like maybe not but it’s worth investigating. The wine in question:

2015 David-Beaupere Juliénas “Vayolette”

I got it for about 20 bucks from Garagiste, my favorite source for interesting wines at jolly prices.
Juliénas has a variety of terroirs but the unifying factor tends to be that they are bigger and rougher wines.

This wicked wine was grown in yards of volcanic blue stone, and was made organically. It is a unique devil.

Holy moly it’s high alcohol! 15 % abv. Holy heck it bashes your tongue with little blue pebbles and bramble cranberries! I don’t care if bramble cranberries are not a thing in case you were concerned. I taste violets are blooming in the pebbles to boot. What is this specimen? How is it conquering me with so many different sensations that don’t match yet go together?

And holy holy hell is this wine dark.

Purple as sin. Presuming sin’s true color when showing true colors is purple. The darkness is in flavor too: black pepper, a bit of…I dunno. This is a total snobby “I imagine” tasting note but I bet if those dark purple irises–ya know the flower I’m speaking of?–had a flavor it would be in this wine.

The biggest difference between this and our friend St. Love is the power and the depth. The similarity? The lack of tannins! Many times I taste a tannic wine and describe it as beating my mouth up but this tongue-beater does so without tannins.

Tricky tricky sly sly Caesar.

Now to make that salad (but sans anchovies in the dressing seeing as I’m a vegetarian).

Cheers and tongue-lashings! 

I Feel Amour. The Cycle begins!

15 May


I’ve been saying it for some time. That I was going to do a cycle going through all the lovely Beaujolais crus. Those are: Saint-Amour, Julienas, Chenas, Moulin-à-Vènt, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié,  Côte de Brouilly, and Brouilly. I came up with a device to remember this: Saint Julian Called Many French Cheapo Madams Really Comely Broads.

And I’ve been feeling the…oh…feeling of spring so what better time to jump into Saint-Amour? The most northerly. We begin at zee beginning.

2015 Pascal Berthier “Esprit de Séduction” Saint-Amour

Beyond waiting for spring fever it took me fucking forever to find a Chenas and I wanted to have located all the crus before starting the dang cycle. But we are here now.

I am feeling love for this Saint-Amour, the most northern of the Beaujolais crus. Ah yes, the granite/clay/schist/limestone soils are on hillier regions than much of the Beaujolais area. Hills can be lovely for wine that wants warmth and sun. And Gamay, the Beaujolais grape, needs a whiff of both.

So far I love this wine and it is loving me back.

Blueberries, y’all. And more blueberries plus blackberries and friggin’ slate blackboard. Picture your childhood art teacher grabbing blue chalk and drawing blueberries and you lick the board and it actually tastes both like the board, the chalk, and the berries. Therrrrre you go. This is a classic gamay in its freshness, berry-ness, a hint of some sort of fortified wine so whaaaa—chamomile/herbs/quinine?—and just more love.

Love y’all back. Next week———–Julienas!

We are cycling together my people. Love you too. 

 

SPRING (no less dramatic than winter) comes rosé!

5 May


Before I go on, let me give my recommendation. If you see 2015, nab it. Drink it. Love the hell out of it. That being said that advice expires in maybe a year and the following is also so truly worthy:

2016 Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel

Fucking ephemeral beverages. You can LOVE one vintage and then the next vintage you adore ever so slightly less. But then you can’t source old bottles because wine is a living being. Those old bottles might not continue to stand up.

But if you trust the winemaker you can trust that the future vintages will be delights in their own right.

Fucking youth focused culture. For wine. For anyone.

Actually that’s inaccurate, as wine’s rep amongst the misguided masses is that older is better. But that is not so for rosé, generally.

Still, at this Chateau even if the older ones…expire…you’ve faith they will continue the good work.


The 2015 vintage had me like “FUCK that is still one of the BEST rosés”

The 2016 I liked a tad less. It smelled like more, but lacked the linen complexity of of 2015. Yet I still thought of it this: 

“It has all the elements in a perfect balance, all I miss is starched napkins!”

Then I thought “good golly I’m an idiotic snob.”

But I can’t FUCKING wait to continue to taste the Trinquevedel as the years go by. It is a special wine methinks–and affordable too!

 I have had one bottle of 2015 and a couple of 2016 left and I need the discipline to save one of each to compare when 2017 surfaces. 

So! The side by side of what I have. Well duh yah because I think 2015 may be a smidgen better that inhibits me from judging 2016 accurately.

Oh. Well.

But okay. I will stop waxing poetic on the other years so we can FRIGGIN’ REVEL in the 2016.

Lemme give the 2016 stats:

To the eye: clear, medium plus salmon (nearly peach perfect) and medium tears.

To my nose: clean, medium, strawberries, white cherries, strawberries. And stone. White stone. Youthful.

The most of all important tongue!!!!:

Dry, medium acid, medium minus minus tannin (Iget a hint), Medium alcohol, (13.5%abv which technically is barely medium plus but to me it is medium feeling), body  is medium plus for a rosé!!! Flavor intensity medium plus with flavor of     white and yellow peaches, oak bough, raspberries, stewed strawberries and  rhubarb pie. 

Finish: medium plus medium play take that to mean what you will

This wine goes on!

Join me and we will revel. And since I’m a woman wine professional I call reveling work. Work for the Friggin’ Win.

Lurve y’all! I promise to go back to love but right now I’m in a lurve phase.

Cheers dahhhhlings.

Free lurve

29 Apr

I don’t love this don’t worry. I got it for free but was, based on chums, compelled to tell you of it.

But! It mixes and YOU might be into it.

Barefoot Wine California Rosé

I’m willing to bet some of my non-wine-peeps would be into it. They might prefer it over, say, a Barolo that cost 10 times this. This retails around 8-11 bucks.

And honestly? If you told your bartender “I want something a pink, a tad sweet and generally non-offensive and have I mentioned I like Pinot Grigio and moscato because I do,” then this would be the thing.

It’s too sweet for me. I sip and at first sip think of candied strawberries. That is good. Then I think oh heck that, that’s a LOT of overly sweet strawberry stuff and it is…for a friend of mine that loves this stuff.

So the take home message is this may be your jam and if you have a friend who resents a hint of savory in wine, this may be it. For them.

Oof it also may be for you if you plug it into drinks. I plugged it into this lovely recipe instead of muscat…and it was the stuff for that. Yeaaaa!

Let me be clear: FUCK NO this is not MY wine for sipping. But as required for a cocktail or a friend who (fuck I’m a snob) doesn’t actually love wine, this is your top affordable juice. Also for your drink that wants a splash of semi-sweet wine. 

I think my mom (no offense mom it is good for sweet-ish wine lovers)  would enjoy this as would several chums of mine. In the meantime in the cocktail I linked to I enjoy it. And…okay I do not NOT enjoy it in a glass.

OMG

It is pink! It is dry! It is PINK and BOOZY!!!! IT’s real tasty Bardolino yo

24 Apr

Okay so let us OVERCOME our SKEPTISCISM!! The famed wine from ye olde Veneto is Valpolicella. Which is Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and possibly other -a– grapes. And then within the region…nearby! Is Bardolino. With its Bardolino Chiaretto rosé and fuck if I do not love an underdog rosé. Let us get the fuck into Chiaretto.

LET US ALL GIVE AT LEAST AN AIR KISS TO BARDOLINO CHIARETTO!!

Muah, muah dahlingzzz.

2015 Corte Gardoni  Chiaretto

It was real good shit.

That is so articulate.

Okay so it is not groundbreaking nor will it make you..I dunno. Swing from the chandelier?! The only thing to ever make me swing like that is Sia’s Chandelier and tharrrr is dancing in that link, so that is where I am but this wine was in the omg come on pink wine skeptics let us have a lark. If not a swing…

Okay let us just say inspiration! This wine you taste and wanna dance!!! You wanna move. Waggle your hips and bob your head and maybe some wine ARSEhole will say what Bardolino?! Chiaretto?!  Are you kidding?

And. 

I. 

Say: I say I have been pursuing Corvina-grape nirvana some time so let us all dance like we were in a Sia vid together. That would be magic.

Sans magic I will give you fucking boring shit—Wait…just get in!

If you want my credential analysis-stuffs to make you feel qualified in finding this and serving this loveliness–I’m recommending it with my WSET (Wine and Spirit Educational Trust level 3 credentials:

Eye: clear. medium peach. medium tears whatever the fuck most of us do not know about tears.

Nose: clean, medium plus peaches, raspberries and pomegranate. youthful cause duh it is only a couple years.

On zee tongue!!More of the nose. The acid is medium plus and the alcohol is also so (checking–it is 12% so yah more than medium SCORE!) and no tannins obvi. Other than all this this is a generic but I’d drink the hell out of it stuff…Because there is a hint of fucking strawberries in sorbet or even perhaps sherbet?! So all is to say this rosé is worth your time in the night. The finish goes on and on, so you say of it, it is all the bullshit plus some textured vanilla and thyme like maybe there was an herb in there some…time. But generally…

Let us get into this PINK! PINK IS THE STUFF!!!

Into the night! With pink.

Let us dooooo it.

Pink. Love. Hearts n stuff. 💕💕💕💕💕❤️❤️🍷🍷🍷

 

Wine-timidation

18 Apr

Oh no so there is that friend. She has her shit together. She is smarter, cooler, more–I dunno everything-er–than you, and you love her but worry about saying the wrong thing around her until the night gets going and you realize really her presence is actually calming.

She looks super deep, and also somehow pulls off the paisley/plaid/denim look like a boss. Like this wine pulls off combining varietals from Spain (the Tempranillo), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Northern Rhone (Syrah). And then this wine sports the one wacky grape like she rocks the random nonsensical jacket patches and it works! The grape in this oh-so-super metaphor is the Petit Verdot. Who the F grows that? It is a finicky and needs extra-special heat and is hardcore and normally used in tiny amounts except here where it is a full 25% of the beverage but hey! This wine has it! And makes it wicked awesome! Why does she have a wombat patch? That’s so odd! And cool now you wanna get to know some wombats even though she probably forgot she ever got that patch.

Oh right and before I forget there is hip minimalist intervention in the making of this vineyard to boot. So cool.

Also a friend of mine in the wine community sent this to me because he rocks and I do my best to give him educated wine feedback…

Here is the thing. This girl (wine) is good. And quality. And worth keeping in your wheelhouse. I might eat it with migas but don’t tell.

So this intimidating friend/wine…although at first glance too hip n cool for school, once you get to chatting (sipping) she is relatable. Do-able. Maybe even basic. Simpler than you surmised but still…upscale shall we say. Delectable.

And now I shall like a WSET advanced certified person I’ll judge for you this wine:

2012 Booker Vineyard “Remnant” 

35% Tempranillo, 25 % Petite Verdot, 23 % Syrah, 17 % Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged 24 months in French oak barrels. From Paso Robles (so near yet so far!).

Lemme give those of you who want a soundbite tasting note my thoughts: This is plush but has a bite. Fruity in a way some peeps will call sweet but really just fruity. With some spice. Balanced perfectly. If you want to know what to pair it with I would say walnuts. That’s my gut feeling. But you are not ordering that for dinner so I’d say anything with nuts. Oooooh a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich would be flippin’ wicked with this. Now I need a sandwich. Oh my.

All of which to say this is an approachable wine with an attitude. Like that girl who is so cool you hope she likes you too. She probably will.

Details, WSET-style:

To the eye: DARK!!! Which I love. Dark ruby/purple. Opaque even poured in small amounts. Medium thick slow tears gliding down the wineglass sides.

Nose: All sorts of blackberries, plums, allspice, red pears,and ginger.

Tongue: Dry but so fruit-forward you almost wanna call it sweet. Acid is medium. Tannins medium and may be from the petit verdot but clearly there is some influence from the oak. Sorta plush yet textured like that. Alcohol is medium (13.8% abv which technically is .3 over medium but what the heck evs). Body is for a red medium…almost plus> Strawberries blackberries cherries all the -ies, allspice as heck, a hint of that sorta sweet baby spinach…rightttt? Right. Flavor intensity is medium, Finish is medium plus. There is a moment you think “this is short-ish or maybe medium” then something spicy kicks you. In a Pleasant Kicking Way. Someone is into that right??

Okay. Thank you Paul for sending this my way. It is truly a delight.

Oh heck realized I have some peanut butter cup ice cream and a cherry ice cream and that may be the ideal pairing for this wine. Test it and tell me?