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Great Pairing With A Sunset? Ramey Chardonnay!

Great Pairing with a Sunset? Ramey Chardonnay!

Well, it’s that time of the year. The Florida weather is turning warmer and warmer … and my wine selection is growing lighter and lighter. Especially when we’re hanging out on the deck.

For dinner I made a Sweet Corn and Potato Chowder. What wine should I choose as it’s pairing? I had a Vouvray that I was really eying, but it’s a 1996 and I wanted to save that for another night. So, I went for Chardonnay. A 2014 Ramey Ritchie Vineyard to be exact.

This wine is fabulous! On the nose are Meyer lemon and white flowers. The palate is gloriously complex with pear, peach, honeydew melon and a touch of oak. There is definitely a richness, but the great acidity balances the wine beautifully.

The pairing??? Well not great, but that’s my fault. The corn was even sweeter than I’d expected and clashed with the acidity of the wine. Note to self: Taste the dang food before I chose the wine! What was I thinking? Apparently, I wasn’t.

The wine DID pair beautifully with the buttery, garlicy brioche croutons that I served on top of the chowder, so that was a plus.  And it will pair beautifully with a lot of other things, including just sitting on the deck and enjoying the sunset!

All in all, the evening was a success. The wine was fabulous and we finished the bottle while sitting on the deck after a long day’s work!

To learn more about this wine, David Ramey and Ramey Wine Cellars, check out their site here: https://www.rameywine.com

Special Celebration????? Why Champagne, Of Course!

Special Celebration????? Why Champagne, Of Course!

Yesterday was a very special day! My husband and I became grandparents for the first time. So what did we open to celebrate? Why, Champagne of course!!!

I’m a lover of all wines sparkling, and it flows almost every day in our household.  In honor of our adorable little girl (as well as our son and daughter-in-law!), we decided to toast with REAL Champagne!

What is it about Champagne? The effervescence of the mesmerizing bubbles? The ceremony of the popping of the cork? The fabulous yeastiness from the years on its lees? Perhaps all of those things and more make Champagne the beverage associated with luxury and the parties of the royal courts and aristocracy of Europe yesterday and today.

We visited the Champagne region a little over a year ago and loved visiting the famous Champagne houses. An added bonus was bellying up to some of the Champagne bars serving “farmer fizz”. Officially known as Grower Champagne, these are sparkling wines in the Champagne region that are produced by the same estate that owns and tends the vineyards. These wines reflect their own style and their specific vineyards. Interestingly, only 5% of the Champagne imported into the United States is Grower Champagne.

We cracked open a Grower Champagne last night to celebrate our little Claire Marie. We chose the Varnier Fannière NV Grand Cru Brut, which is lovely. Made with grapes from their Côte des Blancs vineyards, this Champagne has apple, plum, zesty orange  and spices on the palate. What’s my favorite part of this wine? There is a fabulous brioche yeastiness coming through with the fruit. Ohhhh … heaven! I’ve had this bottle in my cellar for over a year, and in my opinion that bit of age on a non-vintage Champagne adds lovely complexity and enjoyment!

Sipping on this Varnier Fannière while excitedly chatting about the new joy in our lives was the perfect way to end a fabulous day, and to commence an exciting phase of our lives.

And what’s my next mission? I’ll be stocking up on nice bottles of the ’19 vintage to open with her to celebrate her 21stbirthday!

Check out more about Varnier Fannière here: http://www.varnierfanniere.com/Champagne%20Varnier%20Fanniere.htm

What’s The Tastiest Hangover Remedy???

What’s the Tastiest Hangover Remedy???

Did you know that French Onion Soup is a hangover cure? What??? That’s what a lot of people believe. In fact, this heavenly caramelized onion concoction is often served at weddings in France long AFTER the cake … to ward off the dreaded headache and nausea that is bound to plague you the next day!

I made a batch last night. Not because I was hung-over, but because it’s my hubby’s favorite!

Now I know that there are a lot of wine pairing options for this tasty soup, but which bottle should I crack open? Should I go with a Pinot Gris from Alsace, whose Meyer lemon and waxy texture would compliment the soup nicely? A Gewürztraminer crossed my mind, for the touch of residual sugar that would bring out the sweetness of the onions. A Northern Rhone or Beaujolais were also tempting, but I ended up going with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy!

I chose the 2012 Régis Bouvier Gevrey-Chambertin, which I think was a great fit! The bright raspberry, cranberry and cherry fruit in the wine pick up the onion’s sweetness. The herbaceous thyme I used to in the soup brought out the earthiness of the wine. Perhaps most importantly, the great acidity of the wine cuts the richness of the Gruyere cheese (my favorite part!) blanketing the soup!

The wine itself is lovely! Perfectly balanced with fruit and earthiness, this 2012 Régis Bouvier Gevrey-Chambertin is a great value and once again a fine example of why I trust a bottle with the Kermit Lynch logo on the back label!

So go for it!!! Whether you’ve had too much fun the night before (i.e. hangover!) or you’re just in the mood for some warming soup with a kick-ass wine, cook up some French Onion Soup and grab a bottle of Régis Bouvier! Cheers!

https://www.kermitlynch.com/our-wines/regis-bouvier/

 

The 12 Wines Of Christmas … Solomon Hills Pinot Noir

The 12 Wines of Christmas … Solomon Hills Pinot Noir

I know my neighbors probably judge me a bit, but I’m still celebrating the holidays. The front porch still shines with green and red, my trees are sparkling their lights through the windows and the wine is still flowing.

Here’s the deal. It’s still the 12 days of Christmas. What happened to that tradition? Why do so many people strike the fun from their lives on January 2nd? Heck, some on December 26th???

In my world there are 12 days of Christmas, and by god I’m going to enjoy every single one of them. Sure, my family doesn’t exchange gifts every night as some people do, but we do consider these days and nights as special and we’re sure to celebrate them in one way or another.

So last night (the 10thday of Christmas) I made some pasta and decided to pair it with a new world Pinot Noir.

I really dig this varietal from the Central Coast of California, because although there’s a lot of fruit on these wines, there’s also some nice minerality and earthiness.

I selected a 2014 Solomon Hills from Santa Maria Valley. The Miller family (who planted the infamous Bien Nacido vineyard in the 1970s) has owned the Solomon Hills vineyard for years, selling their fruit to wineries producing some fabulous wines. It was a natural progression for them to begin making wine with their own fruit, starting Solomon Hills Vineyards in 2008.

This lovely Pinot Noir is very well balanced with fruity cherry and cranberry, a touch of cola, some sage and thyme and great acidity. I actually wish I’d opened a bottle of this for Thanksgiving, because it would have been a perfect match for those holiday flavors.

It did, however, work well with the pasta I made last night as well. It definitely complimented the roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato pesto that I used as a sauce! I’m going to be seeking out more of the Solomon Hills Vineyards’ Pinot Noir.

Sadly, it’s only a couple of days before Christmas is truly over for this season. Tomorrow we have friends coming over for the 12thday and one final feast. On Monday I’ll sadly begin taking all of the decorations down and packing them safely away until next time. And I undoubtedly with do that with another nice bottle of something to keep my spirits up!

Ribbons & Bows And Plum On The Nose!

Ribbons & Bows and Plum on the Nose!

I’m a little crazy about Christmas. My husband and I absolutely love the holidays and we decorate our house from top to bottom. We love to relish in the festivities of December and the holiday season.

After bringing up all of the boxes of decorations, we pick out some fun bottles of wine to enjoy while beginning the long (but fun!) process of turning our Florida home into a winter wonderland.

This year we started with a bottle of bubbly from one of my favorite wineries in Sonoma, Iron Horse Vineyards! I personally think that EVERY day is a great day for bubbles, so how could I possibly begin decorating without a great glass of bubbles?

We chose a bottle of 2014 Iron Horse Harvest Moon from the Green Valley of Russian River Valley appellation. 72% Pinot Noir and 28% Chardonnay, this wine has very fine bubbles with toasty brioche on the nose and apple and pear on the palate. This beautifully balanced sparkling wine was a great way to start the evening!

Not only does Iron Horse make some wonderful wines, they are located in an absolutely gorgeous spot!  Their rustic outdoor tasting room has a magnificent view and is a must visit spot if you’re in Northern California Wine Country!

After our bubbles we poured ourselves some 2013 Sixteen Appellations. Now a part of the Italics portfolio, Sixteen Appellations began in 2002 when several Napa vintners got together with the idea of using grapes from all of the Napa appellations (then 13) and blending the grapes into a single wine. They wanted a wine to represent the entire Napa Valley. Cool, right??? As appellations were added, the name changed. In 2012 the 16thAVA (Coombsville) was added, thus the 2013 name of Sixteen Appellations!

This Bordeaux blend consists of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.  The color is deep ruby. After an hour or so decant, on the nose are red cherry, currant and some coffee. On the palate the fruits are riper, with plum and cherry leading the way, complimented by baking spices and good acidity. This is a really fun wine and I’ll be buying more!

I absolutely love the month of December. The holiday season truly is my favorite time of the year and I love to drink some of my favorite wines and discover some new favorites along the way!

So cheers to you all! I wish you happy decorating and happy drinking!

 

 

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