Tag Archives: wine

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! 

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

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?

Color and clay

15 Apr


I’ve gotten several ahem tasted a few ahem sampled ahhhh okay. I’ve.  Tried. A bunch.

And every bottle is different. If you want to order wine and each bottle is the same you are out of luck. But all of these are at the very least fantastic and all have a different type of funk to them.

And it is called rosé but…is it really?

How’s about a wine labeled as rosé but it almost looks red and is aged in clay qvevri? As they say in Georgia.

Wild yeast. Unfiltered. Clay. INsAnE (enough to merit varying capitalization) process you can read about here.

But here’s just a tidbit: “Before burying all Qvevri were wrapped with silicon tubing attached to a cool water spring. Each can be adjusted to cool the Qvevri during fermentation. Warm water is then pumped to an indoor swimming pool. In the late winter the flow is reversed, the water warms the Qvevri, and malolactic fermentation is encouraged.”

What?! Warm pools weirdness n stuff n this wine is wild at heart so I forgive the varying bottles for being wild in taste. And being called “rosé”. I need to order a red because if this is rosé…how dang deep is red?!!

It tastes like a hint of oils. And roses that have dried in grape and pomegranate juice. With orange peel and maybe some allspice. 

2015 Gotsa Family Wines Saperavi Dry Unfiltered Rosé Asureti Valley, Kartli

Color: clear, almost cloudy very light red to me it is red

Nose: clean, kerosene, funky raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, youthful

Tongue: dry, high acid, med minus tannins, medium alcohol (13% abv), medium minus body, medium plus intensity, allspice, pears, pomegranates, raspberries and blackberries, lanolin and more wool. Even maybe apple? It’s crazy. Finish: medium plus

Argh try it. Tell me about your bottle. I bet it is different.

Pink Pussy ordered the next year but it is still tar and roses 

10 Apr


Oh hey I reviewed 2011 here on the eve of the epic women’s march. I was fighting and ready to grab back proving that all us delicate lil’ pussies, could take a stand. And STILL we HAVE PERSISTED! And will keep doing so.

Unlike this bottle I bought and should have hung onto longer. I should have gotten one to try now and one for later. Even though it was still too soon, I cracked the:

2012 Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolo

This is…in all honesty I feel it needs less aging than 2011? Like I detect less of the “good bones” (high acid tannins and alcohol plus secondary flavors like anything funky pretty much) than 2011.

The roses are potent. But I dunno this is less potent and possibly maybe less complicated than 2011 which is sad. If only every year could be CRAAAZY.

But this is still pretty crazy. Interesting but not demented. Its complexity evolves as it sits in the glass.

Although the acid and tannins are standing the fuck up so maybe re-testing in a few years would be good. But kitty is impatient.

Pussy (me. meow!) still loves the tar and roses which are rampant in this bottle. I am not a plant person so the fact that the first thing I detect on this wine makes me think “holy roses and violets” says something. I do like tar. In wine. Although I used to smoke so maybe that is why it is easy for me to detect tar notes. And/or it is LA and the tar pits here are fun.

Tar and roses. Quintessential stereotypical Barolo for a reason yet this is a modern Barolo and much more immediately elegant and silky than a kickass old-school one.

But stellar. Sometimes it is okay to be new.

Okay let us go metaphors. So it is the girl/guy you meet and think “they smell enticing”. But at first blush the personality is not there. But then you keep talking (wait for your glass to get some air) and you find they are fascinating. Which is to say once you pour this vino it will evolve with oxygen contact.

For you who are like “gimme the flavors breakdown woman!” A. don’t call me “woman” (I prefer Ellen) unless I give permission meow and

B. Ignoring that you called me “woman” I’ll tell you this is rife with violets, roses, potting soil, caramelized blueberries and blackberries.

BUT the tannins may distract you. Not the alcohol level. At 14 percent it is high but not burning.

The finish goes the hell on. For some time. Oh hey it’s still going as I type. IT PERSISTS! STILL! LIKE US!

Actually the finish is what makes me want to try this in a couple of years. I dare say I will. If I can secure a bottle. Although this is thoroughly drinkable right now.

This wine seems basic right off but then it evolves and you think “oh heck I am…Very Interested in learning more.

I’m gonna tell this wine my secrets. If I can GRAB another bottle. Back.

 

 

One for you, one because yum, sip, gulp

4 Apr


Okay this one is simple. 

Maybe I am over-simplifying because this wine is more complex than some of the other pinkies that arrived at my step this season. 

Yet the simplicity is quite elegant for a wine you can grab from the grocery store. 

2016 Dark Horse Rosé

This is simpler than some of the even cheaper rosés I’ve sampled this  season but better too. It is simple but pretty and balanced and I appreciate the name and label. 

So if you only ever buy grocery stores for wine do me a favor and grab this.

It is a good pink delight. Grab it. Drink it. Wooooohoo! 

That’s all for tonight, lovers.