I’ve tried a couple of new wines lately. Both white. Both very good. I thought I’d better try a couple more whites before Fall settles in.
Simply Naked Unoaked Chardonnay, California 2010. This Chardonnay is not oaked- aged, just how I like it. It is instead fermented in stainless steel, which allows the true fruit flavors to shine through.
Simply Naked is a very approachable medium-bodied white wine with a crisp fruit taste. I definitely tasted a strong green apple flavor. A good choice even if you’re not a Chardonnay lover. Without the oak, you don’t get that buttery flavor. Just under $10.
Root 1 Sauvignon Blanc 2012. This Chilean white wine has the typical acidity and citrus taste of a Sauvignon Blanc. Light-bodied, crisp and a little tart, with flavors of grapefruit and lemon. One of the better Sauv Blancs I’ve had for the price. About $10-$11.
If you are looking for a wine-related something to do this weekend, head to Ripley, Ohio for the Kinkead Ridge red wine release and annual vineyard tour. I am going to make a serious effort to get there, but you know how that goes sometimes.
On Saturday, August 31 and Monday, September 2, Kinkead will release its 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Cabernet Franc, 2011 Syrah, and 2011 Petit Verdot. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed on Sunday).
They also will have a very limited amount of 2012 Kinkead Ridge Viognier Roussanne, as well as 2012 River Village Cellars White Wine and Traminette.
In addition to the release, Kinkead will host its annual vineyard tour. Maps will be available at the winery. Please note that there are no restrooms at the vineyard. Children and pets are welcome, but dogs are required to be on a leash.
The winery is located at 904 Hamburg Street in Ripley. Overflow parking will be at the large white building across the street. The Vineyard address is 4288 Kinkead Road (Follow the yellow signs).
If you cannot get there this weekend, Kinkead also is open September 7 and September 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. However some of the red wine may be sold out at that time.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to this quaint little village in Brown County. Perhaps we also could visit the Rankin House, Ripley Flea Market, take the ferry to Augusta, KY, or grab a bite to eat at one of the cafés or diners.
Kinkead Ridge is a nationally known estate winery. Its primary grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Viognier, and Riesling, with smaller quantities of Petit Verdot, Roussanne and Sauvignon Blanc.
Visit http://www.kinkeadridge.com for more information.
Or, Don’t Hate on the “Cute, Cheap” Wine
I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today about the rise of Barefoot Cellars. Now, I’ve never discounted Barefoot. Primarily because I love a good mimosa and Barefoot, being not too expensive and in some iterations, not too sweet, is perfect for that. Mimosas every Sunday without breaking the bank!
But overall, I’m haven’t been a huge fan of Barefoot’s portfolio – until I read the article. Apparently, Barefoot is a rather common entry point into wine for millenial aged wine drinkers? Why? Because it’s approachable (a colorful bare foot on the label) and affordable ($6.99 – $14.99, roughly).
Take a moment, everyone who is not a millenial, and think back to when you were just starting in wine. I remember it vividly. I was away at college and for the first time, away from home. I spent way too much money on the Kentucky gem that is Purple Passion (some sort of grapey drink mixed with Everclear, handily packaged in a 2-liter) and beer. My New Year’s resolution that year was to drink only WINE. I figured I couldn’t really afford it, so I would drink less of it.
By the time I left college, I’d graduated (literally) to Beringer White Zinfandel and various iterations of Turning Leaf. Now those sound rather harsh to me now (and Beringer’s White Zin profits help them create some remarkable Reserve wines you rarely hear about), but it was definitely progress. My boyfriend at the time I graduated must have recognized something in me because he bought me a lovely, vine-detailed wine rack. In fact, I only recently parted from that wine rack, almost 20 years later.
My point is that, as educated wine folks, we tend to make fun or sneer at the lower end, animal/cute labeled wines. We shouldn’t. Those wines are the gateway drug, so to speak, for a younger generation. Just as I was hooked for a while on Beringer’s white zin, the millenials amongst us are drinking Barefoot.
I say, don’t judge. Because sooner than later, those millenials may be planning vacation trips to Sonoma and enjoying wine tastings every weekend at Party Town and Party Source.
Marie Antoinette supposedly said, “Let them eat cake.” Me? I say, “Let them drink anything.” Because the more folks who learn to appreciate wine, through any method, the better. And kudos to Barefoot, as they’re helping recruit a whole new generation of wine drinkers …
I probably shouldn’t write a about a wine that you may not be able to find in area stores, but Tucumen is a new line from Mendoza, Argentina recently shipped to the U.S. So it’s possible it will be more readily available in the near future. My bottle was from the wine club, and I have to say it was a great selection.
Tucumen Malbec 2012 is a delicious wine that combines the Argentinean regions of Tucumán (the sugar land in the North) and Mendoza (the land of vineyards).
The story behind the wine: Produced by the Budeguer family, a third generation farming family and the largest sugar cane producer in Argentina. After a century in Northern Argentina, the family moved south to start their own winery.
I am a fan of Malbec but I don’t usually buy it. Not sure why, but I seem to gravitate toward Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc or red blends. The Tucumen is not as robust as some Malbecs I have had, but it does have the typical bright blackberry and plum fruit flavors, along with a peppery spice. A tad dry but nicely balanced and easy to drink. And I really love the cool, colorful label.
Tucumen Malbec 2012 is in the $20 price range.
I finally got my Bordeaux photos (yes, from a year ago) uploaded to Flickr.
As you’ll see when you peruse the photos, I got a rather thorough introduction to Bordeaux. We stayed in ancient chateaus, had meals with chateau owners and winemakers, explored the town of Bordeaux, had some classroom instruction and got out in the dirt of the vineyards during harvest.
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