Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Freemark Abbey

Last Night we drank a bottle of FreeMark Abbey that we had tucked away in our wine fridge. Delicious. This Cabernet Franc we had was dark in color. You could taste vanilla and heavy fruit. We had it with BBQ and we hated to see the meal (wine) end. We bought this bottle in Napa but you can find it around town andI hope you do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Tax Man is Here. Have Good Wine

If you didn't know, today is the dreaded "Tax Day". Not sure why so many American's dread this day? It's not like we should be surprised, the tax service companies have been running TV ads for the last 90 days and based on my calendar, April 15th happens every year, so to hear of panic and "all-nighters" to finish before the deadline seems silly. Don't dread today (unless you don't have your taxes done, then by all means, dread) just try harder next year to get it done sooner ("easier said than done" is what a dear friend told me last night in tears because she and her husband were still working on their taxes).

I've decided to take a positive spin on this glorious day of celebration (also known as FREEDOM) and I'm going to enjoy a fabulous wine from another country (that seems backwards, don't you think?) but I'm opening up a bottle of Vietti Barbera D'Alba Tre Vigne (2006).

My husband introduced me to this wine about two years ago. It's wonderful. Of what I know of the Vetti winery they select grapes from top vineyards of Monforte, Barolo, and Castiglion Falletto and from somewhat established vines.

When you open this bottle of red wine (which retails around $25, a bit more than our $20 limit, but less than what I owe Uncle Sam) you will enjoy the scent of ripe red cherry and vanilla. The complexity of the wine is full (or round), great texture, richness, and it is a bottle that you completely enjoyable.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Each Bottle Tells a Special Story.

The other night we enjoyed a bottle of Monsanto Chianti Classico. This Riserva red wine consists of 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, and 3% Colorino grapes. It was a beautiful Chianti and went very well with the lamb my husband made (he’s the cook around our house).

The winery recommends that you decant the wine for hours to eliminate its sediment. So we did. If you walked by the table where it was "resting", you could smell that we were in for a delightful drink. It had a sweet scent of herb flavors, soft tannins, and somewhat passionate cherry.

We had not had a bottle from this winery (Castello di Monsanto). Being curious, I looked it up so I could know more about them and when I fulfill my bucket list of going to Tuscany....I will make certain we find this winery. Here is what I read on wine.com:
In 1961 Fabrizio Bianchi, a successful textile manufacturer from Milan, purchased Castello di Monsanto and, in so doing, realized a long-held dream. Captivated by the beauty of Tuscany and convinced of the property's winemaking potential, Bianchi undertook the complete restoration of the vineyards and winery, while his wife, Giuliana, oversaw the restoration of the villa. Bianchi has relentlessly pursued the highest standards of quality, with particular emphasis on grape selection, natural vinification and a judicious use of technology.

I love wine for many reasons, but in particular, I love the history, art, and storytelling that goes into each bottle. This was a very good bottle and can be purchased for under $25.

Worth it.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sangiovese, I love to say it, I love to drink it.

Last night we had Brent and Carol over for dinner. If I had to describe our dinner gathering in one word, fun. We started with Pietra Santa a 2004 Sangiovese from Cienega Valley (25 miles east of Monterey). Sangiovese is an Italian wine grape variety. It is from central Italy and it is the main component of the Chianti blend in Tuscany.

Although you don’t need to know all this information to enjoy the wine (just fun facts, people), what you do need to know is that this aromatic wine is beautiful! You can smell and taste the cranberry, cherry and the spiciness is perfect. The finish is amazing.

The moment we opened this bottle we knew we had something special. You’ll find this bottle under $15 and well worth every penny.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Hello Privada, It's Me Janet

I found a great new wine last night called Privada. It broke through my cold and made me feel "normal" again.(although we all know that I'm not normal). It's an Argentina wine that has berry notes and soft finish was a delicious winie.

It was under $15. A good deal.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

How to Read an Italian Wine Label.

This weekend we are drinking Italian wine. I found this bit of "education" on the website about.com (I love the Internet).
Finally, I'll understand what I'm drinking!

A Modern Twist to the Rioja!

My husband buys wine on the sly. Unfortunately with both of us working out of the home, it's become very difficult to sneak anything in without the other knowing.
But I'm glad he made his recent purchase.

Vina Zaco Tempranillo Rioja 2006 was the wine of drink last weekend (should have posted sooner, shoot me). It was delicious. It's getting great ratings and what I love about this drink, under $15 bucks. In fact, it's been on sale (under $12) at a few wine shops where I’m known to meander down their aisles.
The Tempranillo ’06 is a good glass. It’s loaded with black cherry and blackberry flavors, slightly smoky, you’ll smell chocolate (swear), and above all of this wine lingo, the red wine is a good drink. You can buy it now and enjoy through 2012 (or at least that is what they said in Wine Spectator magazine).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday…It’s an official Beer Day.

Although Wineyjanet writes about wines (99.9% of the time) there are a few times that writing about beer is appropriate. Today is one of them. Super Bowl Sunday and beer is a match made in heaven and a good time to try new beers while you watch the game.

Beer is not like the beer you use to steal out of your parent’s fridge back when you were a teenager. The new generation of beer (the microbrews) are like wines, they are an amazing art form. It is built with the same use of science and creativity to build phenomenal taste, structure, and flavoring.

We have the basics in the fridge to satisfy any guests who pop over (yes, we have Corona) but here are a few micro beers (my favorite) we will drink at today’s celebration.

Sessions: Made in Oregon (oh how I love that State) and it is one of my all time favorite beer. It's a lager. When poured, it has a good head (that is what you look at in beer learned that from my beer-drinking connoisseur husband). The color is a clear pale-yellow. It is a bit tart and grainy with a bit of a hoppy finish but I love it. It is clean with plenty of carbonation and a dry finish.

Stonewall Ale. A nice light tan head, it smells sweet and a bit darker in color than our Sessions beer. There is a citrus with a honey, caramel and a bit of a hop aroma. It’s a good beer.

Remember, in all the chaos that comes with Super Bowl Sunday, please be careful. Please do not drink and drive. If you’ve had too much to drink, stay put, call a cab, or call a sober friend.

Go Colts!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

One Winery, Two Wines, Two Different Prices - You Pick

Last night Darin made a wonderful Rib eye steak (he is the official cook of our family), steamed asparagus and we shared a twice baked potato. The wine selected for the meal was Tignanello 2005 from Antinori winery. Darin wanted something special. This was it. It’s way out of our normal price range (he purchased it in Italy for $70 US dollars, because he said "we had to have this"). The wine, from the Antinori estate, is a key winery in Italy. They have been around for centuries.

The Tignanello had an intense ruby red color. It was weighty (dense) each sip left a long and lingering taste on the plate. I tasted chocolate (but I always do) and Darin could taste coffee. It was a complex wine. It was a beautiful wine and added to an already spectacular dinner.
But it is expensive. Wineyjanet isn't about that (although no complaints here....it was amazing). So, how do I spin this blog to get it back to something we all can afford, well, this same winery makes other bottles that are just as wonderful, and for less (a lot less). The same winery produces one of our household standards that we love, the Santa Cristina. The wine is ruby red in color with purple hues (trust me on this – pour the wine into a glass and tilt it over something white, like a table cloth or plate, you’ll see). It has a great aroma of fresh fruits and a hint of floral. Like its expensive sibling the Tignanello, the Santa Cristina is well-structured, sweet tannin, and lingering finish. It is a good “family” wine and we have found it for as little as $4.99 (yes, you read that right).

The price of wine doesn’t always mean better. You can find a great bottle, like the Santa Cristina, and have a perfectly fabulous meal.

And, I hope you do. Enjoy

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bucket List: Go to Tuscany, Italy.

My dream is to go to Tuscany with Darin and drink the wine of the country (a lot of it). I love Italian wines (but not in a snobbish kind of way). I especially enjoy wines from the Tuscany region. The grapes grown in the beautiful Tuscan terroir (okay, that was totally snobbish…I could just say dirt…but why) are amazing. As I make my road map of places I’ll drink, one place I would visit would be the Tenuta di Arceno estate (and drink today’s wine pick) PrimaVoce (pronounced: prima-voy-chay). It is a great Italian wine for the money.

PrimaVoce, Arceno Toscana 2005.

After sharing this bottle with friends, I had to look it up and find out more about this fantastic bottle. The wine came as a recommendation so I had no clue what I was drinking (shame on me, I should have done my homework and savored the glass). PrimaVoce is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Fran, and Syrah. It was named for the leading voice in an opera. It is a smooth Merlot blended in a powerhouse Cabernet Sauvignon region. I taste plums and vanilla. The wine maker will tell you that you also should taste a hint of ginger, white chocolate, and cherries.

Whether you taste them or not, who cares. It’s a very good bottle for just over $20 (I bought it for $21 but then 2 weeks later I found it on sale for $18). Enjoy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Help, I've Fallen and It's Not Because of the Wine!

I stopped writing. Sorry about that. I guess I lost my way. I don’t blame it on the drink I blame it on me just being preoccupied with life. I had self doubt that my 10 followers would really care if I jotted down my latest notes on a bottle of wine I had or not (me being selfish).

But then a follower reached out and said “you haven’t written anything in a long time” (me feeling guilty). They are reading, following, and they do care. Even if I had only one follower waiting for my blog, I can’t let them down. I better get it together.

So, today I am and I will work on my consistency with my entries. I’ve stored over 50 bottles of consumed wine out in the garage with the notion “I’m going to write about this bottle”. Now, before you past judgment on the 50 plus bottles, I want to disclaim that I have been the host of numerous gatherings at my home over the last 6 months where wine was in mass consumption. So, it wasn’t just me and my husband. I have to blame a few dear friends and my neighbor if I’m going to call people out and make them share blame.

Let’s start with a new favorite that is a fabulous wine with a wonderful label. I found it by complete accident. I’m a fan of the color orange, so you can see why this bottle of wine spoke to me.

Bodegas Tomas Cusine El Vilosell, 2006 (the label only says Vilosell).
The winery is Tomas Cusine. It’s from Spain and the varietal is a Tempranillo (and it’s red). This bottle is a blend of Tempranillo (65%), Merlot (17%), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%), and Syrah (5%), and yes I looked that bit of information up. This wine is delicious. It was smooth and juicy. It is a medium-bodied wine and I could taste raspberry. Loved it and we are proud owners a few more bottles hiding in our basement. It’s definitely a bottle you can buy under $20; we got it on sale for under $15. My friend Jill said you can purchase Vilosell at Costco (now we are talkin').

If you can find it, get it and completely enjoy it.