Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2 For Tuesday Adventure

Today I ventured out to some of the local wine stores to see if I could find any great values...

Aresti "A" Carmenere 2006, Chile - $10 (on sale for $5)
I had to pick this one up because it was on such a great sale and I wanted to try this varietal on its own.  It is a very unique grape and it is often used in blending, but this seems to be 100% carmenere.  From the first whif, it seems a bit funky, but once you get past that, you'll notice some dark ripe fruit and berry.  The wine is pretty well balanced, heavier on the fruit side, but enough acid to make it palatable.  This is definitely a food wine and it's not for everyone because of it's "unique" style.  So if you are up to try something out of the ordinary, give it a try.

La Tenuta Rosso di Montalcino 2006, Tuscany - $18 (on sale for $10)
This is very typical of this style of wine, a rustic nose followed by big fruit, this wine is very juicy, but I have had better.  In fact, I believe I have written about another Rosso recently, so look back a few posts to see something a little better.  I like my Rosso di Montalcino to be as close as possible to Brunello, so I suppose my standards are unreasonable... Overall, a good wine, worth at least the sale price... but not much more.

A fine adventure,  an excellent learning experience.  Cheers and Buon Bere!

Vacation Wines

So what do you drink when you take a cruise in the Caribbean?  Well, first order of business, a pina colada by the pool works really nice! :)  But since this is a wine blog, I should tell you about some of the wines I had on the cruise.  We ordered a 7 bottle package of their higher quality recommended wines, and found a few decent ones that we recognized that are worth mentioning... of course we paid higher than retail prices, but what can you do?

Silverado Sauvignon Blanc, Napa - $20 
This wine has great citrus and acid components, but I don't think it is the best wine for my bucks, especially at the on board price, however it was one of the better choices they had.  Your wine experience is all relative to your overall experience, and although this is not my favorite wine, it was great while we were drinking it!   It was a great aperitif and went well with a crab cake appetizer.

Spellbound Cabernet Sauvignon, CA - $17
You should be able to find this great cabernet for less than this price, and I think it's worth every cent.  It was a very elegant, lighter style cabernet sauvignon.  Very easy drinking over the 2 nights we had it, and went very well with filet mignon and NY Strip Steak.  Unfortunately they ran out of it the night we ordered it for the second time, so we had to settle for something else.  This was the best wine in our selection.

So now that I am back from vacation, I decided to take this wine thing a little more seriously.  I will be taking WSET classes and obtaining my Advanced Certificate over the next few months, so I will have many exciting wines to share with you, regardless of price... but don't worry, I am still in search of the Best Wines For My Bucks, and will continue to find them for you! Cheers and Buon Bere!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Italian Wines, Round 2

It is always a pleasant surprise when I take that ride up to Blairstown to visit my friend Tony!  I was only going for a short visit, to help him with some audio/visual equipment, but of course he felt the need to make my visit worthwhile by opening a few great Italian Reds!

The two we tried this week were the Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre - 2006, and Allegrini La Grola - 2006.

Both wines were excellent.  This vintage far surpasses the 2005 right out of the bottle, and I believe given a few years, these wines will truly blossom fabulously!  The La Grola was much more ready to drink, with no bite, very smooth, elegant and fruit forward style.  Both were excellent compliments to the lasagna we ate as a little snack... but even when the food was gone, I couldn't put my glass down!  The Palazzo seemed much better balanced than the previous vintage and the label even looked a bit more elegant... Keep up the good work Ms. Allegriini!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Italian Supervino, Introducing Mr. Brunello Di Montalcino!

How I love Brunello Di Montacino!  Is it because you can't find a good bottle of this excellent style for under $30?  No, but unfortunately true.  Is it because I come from Italian roots, and there are a few drops of Brunello in my blood? Possibly.  Or could it be that Brunello is to Italy what a fine Bordeaux is to France? Hmmm, I think so.  I couldn't believe how well they went with a steak dinner we usually pair with Brunello's French counterpart.

As we started the tasting we had the new crisp 2008 Ferrari Carrano Fume Blanc.  Always a crowd pleaser.  Very tasty with a nice balance of acidity and fruit, slightly more acidic though.

 Then we had the 2005 Allegrini, Palazzo Della Torre, as our opening red.  It was a very nice start, great to drink with any hearty italian meal.

Then we tried the 2003 Camigliano Brunello Di Montalcino.  Still so young, I felt wrong drinking it, but thank goodness the tasting lasted 4 hours, so we got to try it and really experience this excellent Brunello open up with outstanding characteristics.


I had a similar but much more enjoyable experience with our next, the 2003 Argiano Brunello Di Montalcino.  Right out of the bottle, I could tell this was a winner, and boy, a few hours in, this baby showed so much body and character, it was the reason the tasting lasted so long!  For the extra few bucks I personally would take this Brunello to dinner on any and all special occasions (if I was a one wine guy, which I'm not, so that statement was pretty bogus, huh?)... well then, if you like Brunello, you will love this one, that's all I can say.