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Jan 24

Aldi Does Sell Wines and they’re a Great Purchase

by Angela

A couple of weeks ago Cresta shared with us that Aldi Grocery stores sell wines. I thought I would check it out, and what I found was a pretty great deal. I purchased 4 different bottles of wines from Aldi all priced under $7; none of the other wines were over $9. Here’s my reviews of the 4 wines I purchased.

  • Landshut Riesling $5.99 – Had a wonderful floral bouquet with tastes of honey and sweet melon. I would have to agree with Cresta that this is a very sweet Riesling but this would be perfect if your having asian spicy foods. This wine would pair with spicy Thai foods, hearty seafood stew, or served as a great desert wine.
  • Villa Malizia Pinot Grigio $5.99 – A very light and crisp Pinot Grigio that had tastes of citrus and pear. It actually tasted better after it warmed up a little. (I decided stop chilling and drink it at room temperature.) This is a great summer wine that you can pair with salads, fish dishes, and light pasta dishes. I really enjoyed this Pinot Grigio.
  • Gonfalone Chianti $6.79 – This is not your typical Chianti, it was very light but with some tannins and had tastes of smoke and leather. It was light like a Pinot Noir but had some characteristics of a Syrah. I personally didn’t enjoy it BUT if you are into a light Pinot Noir then this is your bottle to buy.
  • Toca Diamonte Malbec $5.99 – This by far was my favorite one. The bouquet was black cherry and a hint of floral and tastes of clove, oak, berry, and black cherry. I really enjoyed this wine, I wanted to grill a steak after having a few sips of the wine. This would definitely compliment a great steak, hearty pasta dishes, or just drank alone with friends. If you’re into big hearty wines this is a great one for the price.

I can’t wait to go back and try other wines that Aldi has to offer. If you have an Aldi Grocery store in your neighborhood just remember you can pick up some wine for dinner while you’re grocery shopping.

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Jan 06

Wine gadgets that work

By Angela

Of course for Christmas I got some wine and wine gadgets. One of my new favorite toys is the wine pump sealer from Brookstone. This is the greatest wine vacuum pumps of all. There’s no air pumps or no extra gadgets. All you do is attach the wine sealer on top of the bottle and you pump the top a few times and your done. It lasts at least 5 to 6 days it’s awesome and the wine tastes better after you reopen the bottle. Click here for the link to the wine pump page.

Another Christmas gift I received (well I got it last year for Christmas) was the Vinturi deluxe red wine aerator. The deluxe set came with a stand, the aerator, and a filter. This is the answer to everyone’s prayers who doesn’t have time to aerate wine for and hour or 2. You put the filter inside the aerator part and then you put it on the stand and have your glass underneath it. (look at the picture below) It aerates wine one glass at a time and its taste like the wine has been breathing for an hour. I would suggest purchasing the filter and aerator (they come together) and not the stand. When it was on the stand it leaked some of the wine. If you hold it over your glass and pour the wine through it then there is no spilling or splattering. This is the greatest invention for wine lovers. Click here to view the aerator web page.

Last but never least is the Ravi instant wine refresher. This gadget chills your wine to the perfect drinking temperature (reds and whites). It chills the wine not the bottle and you don’t have to worry about pre-chilling your whites before you serve them it does it for you. You put the pourer on top of your bottle and you have the perfect temperature to drink your wine. Click here for the Ravi web page.

I hope these gadgets work for you as they have worked for me.

Cheers,

Angela

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Posted by Angela at 2:28 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (2)
Dec 29

Champagne 101

by Angela

There are a lot of different sparkling wines out there in the wine world and which one is the right one for your celebratory New Years drink?

First off not all sparkling wines are champagne. The only sparkling wines that are actually champagnes are the ones that come from the region of Champagne in France. (unless you’re one of the few California wineries that have been around for over 50+ years that got grandfathered in…whatever) Everything else is sparkling wine.

Different countries have different names for their sparkling. Spain calls their wine Cava, Italy calls theirs Prosecco, and you might also see Spumante.

What is the difference between all of the different types? Let’s break it down:

Champagne is a dry sparkling wine usually made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Pinot Meunier grapes.   The different types are Cuvee, Extra Dry, Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, Rose, and Brut.

  • Cuvee means means blend usually the perfect blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes or another grape has been added
  • Extra Dry isn’t the driest. It means semi-dry sparkling
  • Blanc de Blanc means white of white which is 100% Chardonnay grapes
  • Blanc de Noir means white from dark. Champagne is pressed from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a mix of the two.
  • Rose is using the dark grapes and the skins get left on for a small part of the fermentation period which makes it a rose color
  • Brut is the driest Champagne you can get

With all that said, most sparkling wines are going to be a little on the dry side. Most Prosecco, Cava, Rose, and extra dry  Champagnes will have the same dry consistency like a Chardonnay but will have a hint of sweet at the end. California sparkling wines and Brut tend to me more drier like a red wine.

  • If you’re a Riesling/Moscato/Sweet Red drinker you’re most likely going to like an Asti Spumante, a Sparkling Moscato, Pink Moscato, or Moscato de Spumante.
  • If you’re a Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio/Sauvignon Blanc/Pinot Noir (or a light red) drinker you’re most likely going to like a Prosecco, Cava, Cuvee, Rose, Extra Dry
  • If you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon/Zinfandel/Syrah/Dry White Wine you’re most likely a Blanc de Blanc, Brut, Brut Rose, Blanc de Noir

I will be hosting a free wine tasting at Liquor City Bakewell today and tomorrow from 4 – 8 and we will be tasting Champagnes, Sparkling wines, and Moscato. Stop on by during those hours anytime and I’ll help you choose the right sparkling for you.

Cheers,
Angela

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Angela at 1:58 pm in Wine Glossary, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)
Dec 19

The Perfect Holiday Wine

by Angela

I recently have discovered a sweet red wine that is great for all wine drinkers. The wine is Chocolatier Red Decadence and its red wine blended with natural dark chocolate flavor.

When you open the bottle for the first time let it breathe and take in the wonderful smell of dark chocolate and a hint of black cherry. Just smelling it is a joy! I was worried it was going to be too sweet but after I tried it I was wrong. The red wine is a perfect blend with medium tannins and is slightly sweet but not syrupy. The taste of of cocoa and black cherries are a perfect blend and the finish is a smooth blended red that has no bitterness to it.  Perfect with chocolate, alone, or with some spicy foods.

Pick up a few bottles for your holiday party. Happy Holiday everyone!

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Posted by Angela at 11:18 am in Tastings | Permalink | Comments ()
Nov 29

Buy Local…Three Great Wineries in your backyard

By AngelaL

This Saturday I decided to go the Ohio River Valley 6th Annual Barrel Tasting. First off it was a beautiful day and what a lovely drive. Since I live in Northern Kentucky, I decided to go to Harmony Hill Vineyards  in Bethel, then to the Ripley to Miranda-Nixon Winery and then end at Kinkead Ridge Winery.

Disclaimer: When sampling wines that are still aging in the barrel are not complete or finished products. So when tasting them you can taste the potential of what they will be. All of the wines I will will be talking about came straight from the aging barrels.

My first stop was Harmony Hill Vineyards. As we drove back to the tasting room and the barrel tasting all we could think of was how beautiful and quaint it was. Harmony Hill is a Certified Wildlife Habitat and everywhere you look there are donkeys, fawns, birds, and many other wildlife. The Barrel tasting was held in the underground wine cave. We tried 2 wines a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chambourcin. The Sauvignon Blanc was good you could tell when it’s done aging it would be a crisp medium bodied wine. The Chambourcin was decent, but when you tried the finished product in their tasting room it was yummy. A great bold red wine with tastes of oak, currant, and pepper. My suggestion if you go to Harmony Hills go during their summer months, pack a picnic basket and buy a bottle of wine and listen to the live music. Its a whole entertainment experience.

Second was Miranda-Nixon Winery, this place was beautiful too! Not only can you see the acres of vineyards its next door to a horse farm. We sampled 3 wines from the barrel a Chardonnay, a Sangiovese, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay was amazing and it will be even more amazing once its finished aging. The Sangiovese was young of course but you could tell it had great potential when finished aging. I liked the Cabernet but I really thought the other 2 had more potential. There tasting room overlooks the hills of the vineyards and the horses on the farm. We tasted some of the wines in the tasting room and I fell in love with 3 of their wines. The 2010 Traminette (a crisp white wine that has a hint of sweetness), 2010 Catawba (a blush wine with hints of citrus and sweet), and the American Cabernet Sauvignon (a balanced cab with hints of berry flavors with a semi-dry finish). My suggestion go to their Saturday night tasting dinners $55 per couple accompanied with a bottle of wine with your choice of Salmon or Steak.

Now I have saved the best for last! My favorite Winery was the Kinkead Ridge Winery, they have their wines mastered. These wines will stand the challenge against of any wines anywhere. We first tasted wines as the finished product and then we tasted them out of the barrel. The first wine we tried was their Cabernet Franc and I all ready knew I wanted to buy a bottle. We tried 4 wines from the barrel and all of them were showing strong characteristics of big red wines. We started off with the Cabernet Franc which all ready had some tanins, a hint of cherry, and a little spice aftertaste. This was by far my favorite out of the barrels. I then tried the Cabernet Sauvignon which was on its way to be a full-bodied tanic cab. It was of course still in its young stage but it sure showed potential. Next we moved onto the Syrah which was a little more fruitier tasting or lighter tasting than I would expect from a Syrah. I’m sure after it’s fully aged and bottled the wine will be great after a few years of aging in the bottle. The last barrel tasting was a Petit Verdot this was also showing strong tannins and a spicy aftertaste. This will be the wine to buy when it gets released next year. Trust me when all of the wines get released next year, I’m going to be the first in line to purchase them.

] Pictured: I’m with the winemaker of Kinkead Ridge Winery, Ron Barrett, I bought the last bottle of Viognier/Roussanne which he autographed for my collection.  Here it is on their website.

Cheers and remember support all your local vineyards/wineries. You’d be surprised what’s in your own backyard.

Angela

 

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