I recently hosted a wine tasting for a liquor store and I noticed a champagne bottle in the beer section. I asked about it and the beer distributor told me that it was the Sam Adams Infinium Ale. It’s a premium beer that was collaborated between Sam Adams Boston Beer Company and the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan (world’s oldest Brewery).
When you peel back the wrapper you’ll notice that it has a champagne cork that you open very carefully like a champagne cork. A crisp champagne-like beer with tiny bubbles and a fruity aroma tastes more like a champagne or wine. It has a hint of citrus, pear, and apple taste with a subtle dry taste of hops. The golden amber color has tiny bubbles that makes you want to stare at it for hours. Malt, hops, alcohol, and acidity are a perfect balance, there’s nothing that I would change about this perfect champagne beer.
Infinium is a drink that beer drinkers and wine drinkers can enjoy together. But there’s only one catch, drink it while it’s still on the shelves and it’s only drinkable till July of this year.
I’ve found my new favorite summer wine, it’s Somerston’s Highflyer Grenache Blanc. Somerston only produced 28 barrels; 90% was aged in stainless steel tanks and 10% used in French oak barrels for 6 months.
The buttery colored wine is 100% Grenache Blanc that has hints of citrus and floral smells. Tastes of grapefruit, orange, and melon burst in your mouth while there is a hint of spice and vanilla that finishes the taste. It’s a crisp clean mild palate wine that would go great with a night of friends or light fish dish. And for about $19.99 a bottle it doesn’t hurt to pick up a few bottles for the summer.
Last week I had the privilege meeting Craig Becker the General Manager/Director of Winemaking and Viticulture for Somerston Wines. Craig is one of the founding members of Somerston and his education is in plant physiology, hydrologic science, enology, and viticulture. He oversees all aspects of the business from viticulture, winemaking, sales and marketing, and finance and business development (basically a very busy man and I feel privileged that he took time to meet with me). After speaking with him I could only imagine a beautiful winery with lush vineyards and exquisite lands that I wanted to visit.
To start off with, Somerston has over 1600+ acres of land and over 200 acres in vineyards. The fruit from Somerston has been purchased by some of Napa Valleys most renowned winemakers including David Ramey, Heidi Barrett, David Phinny, and etc.
Their winemaking facility has many high-tech attributes including new proven technologies like CO2 heat pumps, non-glycol based refrigerants, the first process waste anaerobic bio-filter in Napa County, that delivers clean, pH adjusted processed waster with over 90% BOD (biological oxygen demand) removed, and solar power. The carbon neutral cooling/ heating and hot water system is one of the first of its kind in use at a winery in the United States.
One thing that you can experience is the off-road vineyard experience. Your tour begins with a wine specialists that guides you through the vineyard property visiting the vineyard blocks where the estate wines are grown. After the tour, you will enjoy a tasting of limited production estate wines paired with artisan cheeses from the patio that overlooks the vineyards. (This is on my list of things to do this summer.)
STAY TUNED FOR MY NEXT BLOG WHEN I TALK ABOUT THEIR WINES…
Last April Tony and I went to a Cabernet Sauvignon wine tasting and we decided to purchase one of the high end cabs after tasting them. The 2007 Oakville East Exposure Cabernet Sauvignon was our big purchase. It was cost about $65 a bottle and we decided to open it sometime in 2012 and for an occasion. Last night we opened it on Valentines day to celebrate my new job (a great way to celebrate).
Oakville East Exposure Winery sits on the land slide from the Vaca mountain range and it borders the eastern side of Napa Valley. It receives the perfect amount of morning sun that continues through out the day that gives the perfect ripening and maturing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the blend of grapes comes from 6 different micro vineyards that are planted on the side of the mountain. The rich iron soils, the organic green farming methods, and the sun exposure are the perfect base for this Cabernet Sauvignon. Of course the Cab is filled into 80% new French Oak Barrels and aged in natural cool caves formed in the mountain. Seriously you couldn’t ask for better conditions for a wine.
The 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petite Verdot give the perfect blended wine. This wine you want to decant for at least an hour or two before drinking. The smell of cedar and oak fills the glass as you pour. Then after swirling to release the alcohol vapors you can smell the rich fruit of plums, strawberries, blueberries. I could taste a hint of coffee and cream. It was the perfect blend of fruit, oak, cream, and smoke. For the price I believe that I will splurge and pick up a couple more bottles and save them. Oakville East Exposure 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best wines I have ever tasted.
Growing up under a successful watercolor artist (my mom) I was constantly surrounded by all types of artist and art. I love the fact that when wine comes together with art it makes me all giddy inside. That’s what I thought about when I tried Ed Hardy wines for the first time…now I know a lot of you out there are saying oh yeah the guy that makes the loud t-shirts.
I must admit I’ve always loved his color choices and his tattoo art. When I heard about his wines I didn’t want to try them, I thought they were probably over done and they’re just out there for the name. But recently I hosted a wine tasting and one of the wines was the Ed Hardy Moscato. I really enjoyed it, it was a drier moscato not a typical sugary sweet Californian Moscato. It had tastes of peach and melon and it was refreshing. I looked at the label and saw that the grapes were grown and bottled in France. The price was right too: $7.99 a bottle.
After trying that I bought a different wine, the demi-sec Diamond Sparkling Rose`. Great wine it wasn’t bitter and it wasn’t sweet it was a blend of dry with a hint of sweet. The blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Noir tasted perfect, this was light with a hint of cream, berries, and a little yeast after taste.
Now with this being said, I haven’t tried any of the other wines. I believe I like these 2 wines because they are inexpensive, light, and you do not have to over think them. Plus they are pretty bottles to look at after you’re finished with them. Great wines for a night with friends. What’s your thoughts on Ed Hardy Wine please give me some feed back on the other wines.
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