Chandon Brut Classic Sparkling Wine

Chandon

Brut Classic Sparkling Wine

(California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Made using méthode traditionnelle, this wine goes through second fermentation in the bottle

* Made from the traditional Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier

* Displays apple and pear flavors and aromas with a hint of spice that leads to a soft, dry finish

* Recommended to refresh the palate when eating salty, creamy, or nutty foods such as Caesar salad, fried calamari, oysters, or fresh sashimi and sushi

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, day bright, clear/light straw, low concentration

Nose: clean, medium intensity, pear, apple

Palate: Off dry, medium bodied, fruit confirms the nose, medium alcohol, medium minus acidity, medium plus finish, medium complexity

This sparkling wine tasted divine with the creamy, decadent crème brulee and strawberries that I paired it with for dessert.

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Toasted Head Chardonnay

Toasted Head

Chardonnay

2011

(Dunnighan Hills, California)

On Bottle/Website:

*Brilliant, gold straw color

* Pears, citrus, apple blossoms, lemon, toasty coconut, peach, pineapple and cinnamon

* Barrel fermentation and aging on the lees contribute a creamy mouth feel and toasty finish

* Tastes great with poultry, seafood in a lemon-butter sauce and creamy pasta

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, gold, low concentration, no rim variation, low viscosity

Nose: clean, medium intensity, youthful, oak, white flowers, peach, nuts, honey, spices, mushroom

Palate: dry, medium bodied, peach, red apple, banana, honey, spices, mushroom, medium alcohol, medium acidity, medium plus finish, medium plus complexity

This is a solid wine that was smooth, mild and enjoyable.  It did not pair well with seared rare ahi tuna (which I assumed would be the case!), but I perceived a hint of honey and sweetness in the wine after eating.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Kim Crawford

Sauvignon Blanc

2012

(Marlborough, New Zealand)

On Bottle/Website:

*  A combination of dry and moderate climates gives near perfect cool climate growing conditions and assists with the intense varietal characters unique to Marlborough

* Crisp and powerful, well balanced wine with intense aromas of gooseberry, passion fruit and citrus flavors
* Light to medium bodied aromatic wine is a great match with salads, seafood and vegetarian dishes
* Upfront herbaceous aromas, backed by ripe fruit flavors of melon, passion fruit and crisp acidity
My Notes:
Appearance: clear, day bright, straw, light concentration, green rim variation, low viscosity
Nose: clean, medium intensity, green grass, asparagus, grapefruit, slate, honey, lemongrass
Palate: Off-dry, medium bodied, fruit confirms nose, prevalent green apple, medium minus alcohol, medium plus acidity, medium plus finish, medium complexity.
This wine was light, crisp and refreshing with a lovely nose.  This would pair well with a summer salad.  It paired spectacularly with seared rare ahi tuna with soy glaze, wasabi mayo and napa slaw.  The tuna brought out the asparagus flavors and the slaw brought out the grapefruit elements.  I believe the hype of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc!

Martin Codax Albarino

Martin Codax

Albarino

2009

(Rias Baixas, Spain)

On Bottle/Website:

* Ripe lemon nuances

* Bright and slightly sparkling

* Intense & elegant

* Damp, dewy fresh herbs with green apple

* 12.5% alcohol

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, straw color, medium concentration, little rim variation, medium viscosity

Nose: clean, medium minus intensity, young, straw, light citrus (lemon, grapefruit), white flowers, crisp leaves, mushrooms

Palate: Off-dry, prevalent flower flavors, lemon, grapefruit, straw, medium alcohol, high acidity, medium plus finish, medium complexity

I enjoyed this Albarino wine.  It was light and refreshing.  This wine paired well with seared rare ahi tuna with a soy glaze, wasabi mayo and napa slaw.

Summer Whites Under $25

If you are looking for wine that is value priced to drink in the last days of summer, look no further!  The following wines have been added to my next liquor shopping list and I hope to report back on any I can find soon.

2012 Sineann Wy’East Vineyard Pinot Gris, Columbia Gorge ($20)

Aromatically distinctive, peanut shells, dried apricot, off dry, broad, textured, vibrant acidity

2012 Aveleda Quinta Da Aveleda, Vinho Verde ($9)

Dry and delicious, food friendly, lemon, grapefruit

2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County ($23)

Taste of crème brulee, twist of lime, heft on finish, solid with food

2012 Ross Andrew Meadow White Wine, Washington-Oregon ($18)

Apple, spice, flowers

2012 Andis Herzog Vineyard Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg ($19)

Off dry with vanilla bean, pear and rose, along with layers of orange and lemon zest

Pineapple, Lime & Coconut Spritzer

This wine spritzer is a refreshingly cool thirst quencher to enjoy with friends and family on a sunny weekend gathering.

Pineapple, Lime & Coconut Spritzer

3 cups pineapple juice

2 cups coconut water

1/2 cup fresh lie juice

2 cups of sparkling white wine

* Combine pineapple juice, coconut water and fresh lime juice in a large pitcher.  Chill for 30 minutes (or up to 12 hours).

* Just before serving, add sparkling wine.

* Serve over ice, garnished with 1/2 pineapple slice.

Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Cube (Target Brand)

Sauvignon Blanc

2011

(St. Helena, Napa County, California)

On Box/Website:

* dazzlingly sophisticated, but completely down to earth

* tropical aromas, bright citrus and melon flavors

* crisp, refreshing finish

* vented and bottled by Trinchero Family Estates

* offers delicious, high quality wine with color, aromas and flavors providing fresh, full-bodied tastes

* guarantee the last glass will be as fresh as the first

* one cube equals two bottles

* fresh for up to four weeks

*13% alcohol

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, low concentration, no rim variation, low viscosity

Nose: clean, low intensity, youthful, lemon, citrus, asparagus, grass

Palate: light, medium bodied, confirms nose, mild flavor, medium alcohol, medium minus acidity, short finish, low complexity

For a boxed wine, this Sauvignon Blanc delivered to my decidedly low expectations.  The wine established a very light, mellow flavor.  Non-aggressive and simple on the palate, this would be a decent wine to pack for a picnic or day on the beach.  Ease of transport and no glass are the selling features for this wine.  Although, in all honesty, this wine was more pleasing than many bottled wines I have tasted.

Layer Cake Chardonnay

Layer Cake

Chardonnay

2011

(Central Coast, California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Described wine as a layer cake, if properly made with fruit, mocha and chocolate, hits of spice and rich

* 14.1% alcohol

* http://www.layercakewines.com

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, straw, bright, low concentration, no rim variation, medium plus viscosity

Nose: clean, lemon, grapefruit, grass, cinnamon, autumn spices, almonds

Palate: dry, medium bodied, fruit confirms nose, medium plus alcohol, medium plus acidity, medium plus finish, medium plus complexity

This wine was an exceptional value, ringing in under $20.  It was soft and pleasing on the palate with complex flavors and a nice finish.  I would definitely purchase this wine again for a nice chicken dinner.

Pomegranate & Lime White Wine Spritzer

This spritzer has a nice amount of tartness because of the pomegranate and lime added.  And you can not discount the fact that this drink is full of antioxidants thanks to the pomegranate!  Nutmeg Nanny included this cocktail in her 12 days of boozy Christmas, and that series alone makes me love this nanny and website.

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Pomegranate & Lime White Wine Spritzer

1/2 cup seltzer water

1 cup white wine

1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

1 lime wedge

* Put ice in a glass.

* Add white wine and a splash of seltzer water.

* Add pomegranate seeds and lime wedge.

Pinot Evil Pinot Grigio

Pinot Evil

Pinot Grigio

No Year Given on Label

(Livermore & Ripon, California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Fresh with crisp acidity

* Soft, friendly palate

* Perfect on hot afternoon

* Pairs with salads, chicken and grilled fish

* 12.5% alcohol

My Notes:

* Appearance: clear, bright, straw, low concentration, no rim variation, medium viscosity

* Nose:  clean, medium minus intensity, green apple, white flowers, sawdust

* Palate: dry, light bodied, confirms nose with tart citrus, lemon, grapefruit, medium alcohol, high acidity, medium minus finish, low complexity

My friend purchased this wine in part because of the playful monkeys depicted on the bottle.  The cutesy play on “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” fails miserably.  There is no possibly way to speak no evil of this wine.  I suppose the fact that no year was indicated on the bottle should have been an immediate sign that the quality level was minuscule.  The assertive acidity in this wine was more aggressive than my palate could handle.  My friend tasted the wine before me and the pucker on her face as she took the first sip was an immediate indication that this was going to be a challenging wine to enjoy.  We both whole-heartedly agreed to pour the wine down the drain, which could be seen as alcohol abuse if there were any redeeming qualities in the glass. I can say with certainty that I will never purchase this wine.