I recently tried McWilliams Hanwood Estate Pinot Noir 2008. It was a gift to my husband, and he graciously passed it on to me. I did share, though.
Nice ruby color with a cherry aroma. The fresh fruit flavor was accompanied by a little bit of oak and some spice. This light-bodied wine is nicely structured with balanced tannins, but I thought it was a little dry for a pinot noir. I am starting to prefer more full-bodied, flavorsome reds.
Hanwood Estates boasts six generations of wine making – since 1877. Their wines are sourced from select vineyards in some of the best wine growing regions of Southeastern Australia. Other Hanwood varieties include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Jack’s Blend.
I believe the average price is less than $10 a bottle.
Celebrate the wines of Kentucky this Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival. With 19 participating wineries, you’re sure to fall in love with a wine or two. They will have two city blocks filled with food and craft vendors, music and lots of wine.
Participating wineries include:
Old 502 Winery
Rose Hill Farm
The Northern Kentucky Wine Festival takes place from 3 until 10 p.m. this Saturday in Covington’s Mainstrasse Village. Tickets are $10 and include a souvenir wine glass and four sample tickets. Additional sample tickets may be purchased on-site.
If you go, please share which wines you enjoyed the most by commenting on this post. Cheers!
I recently had the chance to eat at Crave Cincinnati at The Banks downtown . While this post is not a restaurant review, I have to say we had a fantastic experience – exceptional service, delicious food and the chance to choose from a very extensive wine list (my favorite part).
While we waited for our table, I had a glass of wine at the bar – Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. This is a crisp, vibrant wine full of tropical fruit flavor and a little bit of grapefruit. It is very smooth from start to finish and rather acidic. Delicious. I will be searching for this one at my local store.
With dinner, I had a red - what Crave classifies as a Unique Red – Gascon Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. Big and bold, this wine is a good blend of fruit and spice. It has nice round tannins and a long smooth finish. I don’t drink Malbec on a regular basis but this wine is above-average.
Crave’s wine list boasts nearly 90 wines by the glass and bottle. They also have a selection of Martinis, Crafted Cocktails like Blueberry Lemonade and Crave Creations like their Summer Shandy.
I would definitely like to visit Crave again for the wine… and for the sushi.
Both of these California Merlots were chosen by my brother-in-law according to what he thought I would like. I always thought I was not a Merlot admirer, but perhaps I’ve just not had very good ones in the past. Both of these wines were very tasty and quite drinkable.
2010 Bogle Merlot – Full-bodied and smooth. A well-balanced wine with cherries on the nose, lots of bright fruit flavors and a hint of spicy black pepper. It has just the right acidity and long finish. The Bogle Merlot is aged 12 months in American oak barrels, which give it a complex taste. Even better that it’s under $12.
3 Blind Moose Merlot 2007 – Medium-bodied and bold, but very smooth and easy to drink. I tasted black cherry and plum with a touch of a chocolate-coffee flavor and a subtle oak. The 3 Blind Moose is fairly dry and not as fruity as the Bogle.
I love the fun bottle – three moose donning shades and chilling around an oak barrel. Find this one for under $10.
My other brother-in-law has sent me suggestions for several wines he’s tried over the last month or so. He’s had wine in Italy and China, so he knows what he’s talking about. I haven’t had a chance to taste them so he thinks I’m blowing him off. I promise to get to them and report back.
This is the first post in a series on grapes that are either a type that has been tried in a blended wine, but are difficult to obtain as a standalone example or lesser known varietals in general. Since most people have an idea of Chardonnay, Cab Sauv, Pinot Noir (thanks Sideways), and Riesling, I thought it might be interesting to profile a few of the other wines you might be able to find as an opportunity to expand your palate if you get a chance.
Pinot Meunier is the other red grape used in the production of Champagne. In fact, it accounts for roughly 40% of the total plantings of vines in that region. The two “noble” grapes of Chardonnay (found alone in Blanc de Blanc) and Pinot Noir (found alone in Blanc de Noir – usually. This can also have Meunier as Cresta has explained) have long overshadowed the humble Meunier. If you have tried all three type of Champagne and not found the same sharpness or acidity in either of the sole varietal versions, what you are noticing is the Meunier. American and Australian bubbly producers also grow Meunier to help produce an offering closer to the traditional Champagne.
The flavor when produced alone produces a jammy wines with moderate acidity and low tannin. It makes a very nice drink now wine that usually doesn’t need a large amount of time to open up. There are very few producers who make a still version of Meunier and even fewer who make a sparkling version. Chandon, Eyrie, Wilakenzi, and Bouchaine are a few of the wineries who produce a still version. Chandon is usually available in Kentucky and Ohio. The rest might need to be a special order from you local wine store or a direct order from the winery. The only sparkling version of Meunier I have had was at the 2012 Cincinnati Wine Festival. It was imported by Terry Theise can called Aubry Brut, sadly that is the extent of my notes on that selection.
Personally, I enjoy the sharpness of the Meunier on its own. It provides a balance lending towards acidity with enough tannic structure to make a nice wine that is easily paired with lighter foods. If you get the chance to try one of these, take it. Especially if you like Champagne or want to taste one part alone from the others to try and see if you can tell the make up the next time you try some bubbly.
Thanks to Alphonse at DEPS Fine Winne, Kevin at Party Source, David at Water Tower Fine Wines, and JP at Party Town for their help with this article. Please support your local wine shops and any of these four folks will be more than happy to help you find some unusal wines if you stop in and see them.
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