Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Sparkling New Year

I thought with it being New Year's Eve it would be appropriate to discuss sparkling wines. I am sure we all know it can only be called champagne if it's from that region in France, blah, blah, blah. I think I've had actual champagne only a handful of times. My staples in the past were Korbel and Martini and Rossi. And I only bought it for New Year's or if we were celebrating something. But in the past few months, I have decided I like to drink it just because and I started to branch out.

The first new variety I tried was Prosecco which is an Italian Sparkling wine. Our liquor store (Total Wine & More which is a can go to their web site to see of they have stores near you) carries a TON of different kinds of Prosecco. The first one we tried was Il Cortigiano. It costs around $10 and is very good. It's not too sweet which my husband likes. It's crisp and fruity and I imagine it would make a good mimosa but ours is never around that long!

The second kind of Prosecco we tried was Botter which makes several different varieties. My favorite so far is the Prosecco Raboso which is a rosé. It's made up of 55% Prosecco and 45% Raboso which is a red wine commonly from northeastern Italy around Veneto. Again, this was very crisp and not too sweet. It also sells for around $10. I am bringing a bottle of it to the party we are going to tonight.

Botter also makes a Verduzzo Prosecco which is 49% Prosecco and 51% Verduzzo which is a white wine from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. Again this is a dry wine with a bit more sparkle than the other two. This also sells for around $10. Botter of course makes a plain Prosecco which is very good as well and sells for $10-$12 depending on if they have it on special.

The other variety we tried recently was Cava which is a Spanish sparking wine. So far the only producer we have tried is Rondel. We had had their Pura Raza Brut several times now and we have really enjoyed it. This wine definitely had hints of citrus and was crisp and dry. This was a very good deal at around $8 and made a great mimosa.

Lastly, I want to mention a California Sparkling wine which was recommended to me by my cousin who knows his wine. It is a Brut Cuvee by Barefoot Cellars. This is definitely a bargain wine at around $8 but my cousin was was very good. It was crisp and dry with the aroma of green apples and hints of kiwi.

We plan on continuing to expand our sparkling wine repertoire so I am sure I will be back with more bargain recommendations. Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Old Favorite

When hubby and I were at our favorite liquor store a couple weeks ago, I was browsing through the German wine section and a pretty bottle caught my eye. Yes, that is how I sometimes pick my wine. It had pretty pink flowers on it. It was Gewurztraminer called Petals and the vintage was 2008. I hadn't had Gewurztraminer in ages so I picked up a bottle since it was an economical $9. Unfortunately, that bottle lost a battle with a falling Christmas wreath and was smashed to pieces. So on our last trip, I picked up another bottle and this one did make it long enough to be enjoyed. The label claimed the wine would be a unique delight with aromas and flavors of pineapple, lychee and ripe pears which create a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. I did find the latter part to be true. Some Gewurztraminers can be very sweet but this one had a nice balance. I did detect the aroma and flavor of pears and lychee but not really pineapple. Maybe I'll need to concentrate more next time. I drank it alone, well chilled and it was very good. I would definitely buy it again.

I also want to suggest a web site for those who like to journal their wines. I use and I think it's a great site. I do have a small journal I keep in my purse for when I try a new wine while I am out but I transfer everything to the site eventually. You can also search other people's logs and see how they rated a particular wine. It's very user friendly and I think it's a great tool. So, that;s my plug for the day.

I am off now to enter my first post on my new blog Confessions of a Recipe Junkie. If I don't get a chance to post before the end of the week...Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time to Get Serious

OK, I first off, I apologize for posting my introductory post and then...nothing. We had something personal going on here that we had to deal with so that kept me from posting (to my huge following of around 2). But, I am hoping to have more time to dedicate to it now. So, here we go.

I am going to start with the wine that has become my favorite type...Sauvignon Blanc. Like many, I started out drinking white zin then moved on to sweet German wines before moving on to drier varietals that REAL wine drinkers drink (not that there is anything wrong with the wines I just mentioned...they too have their place!). I drank mostly Pinot Grigio for a while. But then I decided to make this
recipe for a birthday party. I had some Sauvignon Blanc leftover. I believe I used a Robert Mondavi Private Selection (good and very economical). And I decided I had a new favorite.

I've tried a few different kinds over the past couple of years but this past spring, my darling husband brought home a new one he just happened to pick up. It was around $10 at our local liquor store. It was called Nobilo and I believe the year was 2008. It's from Marlborough, New Zealand and it said it was light and crisp with a hint of citrus and passion fruit. The passion fruit was very distinct and I also detected hints of melon. I fell in love. I fell even more in love when I discovered out Costco carried it for just under $9 when all the other stores, besides our liquor store, carried it for around $13. The price eventually went up slightly at both out liquor store and Costco but it was still around $10 at Costco.

Fast forward to about a month or so ago. My hubby and I discovered a new liquor store chain that had a store in Orlando and it boasted a huge wine selection. So off we went to check it out. And a huge selection it did have. It also carried Nobilo for just under $10 BUT on a card next to the display it said if you like Nobilo, try Anakena which is from the Central Valley of Chile. And it was $8! So, what the heck, I thought. And let me tell you, it was a good decision. Anakena was also crisp and light with the same hints of citrus and passion fruit. I was even more excited when I discovered last week that they also sell it in a 1.5 liter bottle for just under $14! SCORE! I do have one caveat in case you do decide to try does have a screw off cap. That of course doesn't matter to me, but I know it can be a turnoff to others.

I still try new Sauvignon Blancs here and there but Anakena has become my staple. If I find any others worth passing on, I will definitely post about them too.

Now, I am off to think about starting a recipe blog. Like I don't have enough to do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Welcome to my blog. Now I will start off by saying that I am in no way a wine connoisseur (I think I spelled that right). But I do like wine and while I don't mind spending a few bucks for a special occasions, normally I don't spend more than $13 tops. My husband and I recently found a store in Orlando that has a HUGE wine selection and they have great recommendations. I have already found a couple favorites but I am making it my mission to try as many as I can and I will come here and let you know what and how they are. In addition I'll probably do a recipe day once a week because I LOVE to cook. I'm a Food Network JUNKIE. And I may post about anything else food or wine related that may pop up. I'll also say that my other love is microbrew beer so that may be a topic as well.

So for now, welcome and come back soon!