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Canada Meets Thailand = YUMMY!

Riesling is the perfect grape. Well, that’s what a lot of wine pros think anyway. It pairs with a vast array of dishes. And when it has a touch of residual sugar, balanced by the high acidity, it is the perfect match for a spicy dish.

That’s why when I made a Vegetable Thai Green Curry for dinner last night, I cracked open a bottle of 2013 Fielding Estate Riesling to serve alongside. The pairing was perfect!

Fielding Estate Winery is nestled on Niagara’s Beamsville Bench, a sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) located in … yes … Ontario, Canada! Many people are shocked to learn that this area grows great wine grapes!!!! Yes, Vitis vinifera!!!! The region is at about the same latitude as Northern Italy, and think of the great wines THEY produce. Plus, Lake Ontario, along its northern edge, moderates the climate making it very similar to the climate of Burgundy! Their terroir and microclimate suit Riesling, Chardonnay, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and more!

The 2013 Fielding Estate Riesling is pale straw in color. On the nose are peaches, citrus and a nice minerality. Peaches, lemon drop and lime are on the palate. This is an off-dry wine with a lively acidity that balances the wine beautifully.

The sweetness of the wine’s residual sugar offers a refreshing contrast and moderates the heat and spice of the dish. A high alcohol and tannic wine will clash with the Thai Green Curry’s spiciness, making it feel even hotter.

Even if you’re not normally a fan of off-dry Riesling, you’ll be amazed at this pairing. You’ll end up loving the wine! And at only 10.5% alcohol, you can enjoy an extra glass!!!!

So, the next time you’re enjoying a spicy dish, grab a glass of Riesling to help wash it down. In fact, try a Fielding Estate wine! You can check them out here:  http://www.fieldingwines.com

 

MVP Wine from Charles Woodson!

I make no secret of my love of wine AND football! My friends, family and colleagues know that I’m pretty much obsessed with both! So when I discovered that one of my favorite players of all time, who also happens to have a wine, was going to be in Orlando ON MY BIRTHDAY … well guess what happened! I went!

Charles Woodson is a defensive back that played for Michigan, the Oakland Raiders and my beloved Green Bay Packers. His football stats are amazing. He won a National Championship with the Michigan Wolverines as well as the 1997 Heisman. He was the 4th overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, where he won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He won the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the year and Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers. These are just a few of this Hall of Fame lock’s gazillion awards and accomplishments during his football-playing career.

He now uses his knowledge, good looks and eloquence on ESPN’s NFL Countdown show!

But where am I really going with this???? HIS WINE!!!!!!! And boy oh boy has Woodson scored again! Charles has had a lot of picks in his career, but this may be his best pick yet!

The 2012 TwentyFour by Charles Woodson has bright cherry and vanilla on the nose. The palate has chocolate covered cherry, ripe dark fruit, tomato, some nice earthiness and a touch of oak! This well-balanced wine has velvety tannins and ends with chocolate on the long finish.

I was truly impressed with this lovely wine. It’s not overdone like some Napa Cabs. It is approachable now, but can lie down for another ten plus years.

Charles’ wines should definitely be included on your wine “fantasy team”!!!  The wine is fabulous, and the NFL great behind it is a really nice guy. What a nice bonus!

 

Check out Charles Woodson Wines here: http://www.charleswoodsonwines.com

Here’s the “Tell” on Patel!

I’m a Right Bank kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong. I love the power and elegance of a great Cabernet Sauvignon and the wines of the Left Bank. There’s some reason, however, that I’ve always had a soft spot for the Right Bank. Is it because I can enjoy them earlier? Perhaps! I love the soft tannins and big fruit of Merlot. Plus, I seem to love to root for the underdog! And the Right Bank and their New World versions do indeed seem to be, for the most part, the underdog!

This Right Bank Bordeaux blend from Patel Winery in Napa Valley is right up my alley.  The blend is 80% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.  The nose screams cherry, cherry cherry! Okay, it’s not just cherry! There’s some subtle oak, a touch of leather and some big time floral aromas as well. The velvety palate has black cherry and some other dark fruit, along with some spice and good acidity. This is a great food wine (I want to try this with some Swiss fondue!), but I also enjoyed a glass (or three!) sitting on my deck with a nice breeze, some great tunes, and my hubby and dogs!

Check out Patel Winery here:  http://www.patelwinery.com

 

 

With What Wine do YOU Decorate?

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 a gem of a wine to enjoy while beginning the long (but fun!) process of turning our Florida home into a winter wonderland.

This year we chose a bottle of 2007 L’Ecole No. 41 Perigee, which we bought at the winery almost six years ago.

Just outside of Walla Walla, Washington is a small town called Lowden, and this is where L’Ecole No. 41 is located. The winery is housed in an adorable French schoolhouse, with the tasting room in a former classroom. The wines being offered for tasting each day are cleverly displayed on an old-fashioned chalkboard.

The ’07 Perigee consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc … and it’s drinking beautifully right now. The nose has raspberry, mocha and violets. The palate is very complex and well balanced, with both red and black fruit, a touch of vanilla and clove, some baking spices and lush, soft tannins. The finish goes on and on and on. I’m in love with this wine!!!

The 2007 L’Ecole No. 41 Perigee was a great way to START our holidays! I’m looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store for us!

 http://www.lecole.com

Gramercy Cellars’ “The Third Man” Is a Winner

I love the state of Washington, and I also love their wines.

A few years back my husband and I made a 10-day journey throughout the state’s wine regions.  We started in Woodinville at the many tasting rooms scattered around the cute suburb of Seattle. Next we headed to Leavenworth, a wonderful little Bavarian town set in the Cascade Mountains, also full of tasting rooms. From there we ventured to Yakima and then finally on to Walla Walla. We obviously tasted a lot of wines along the way and I fell in love with many of them.

I’ve been back to the land of Washington wines quite a few times since that visit and have discovered some new gems, one of them being Gramercy Cellars.

Founded in 2005 by Master Sommelier Greg Harrington and his wife Pam, Gramercy Cellars focuses on wines made in the Rhone and Bordeaux styles. France’s Rhone Valley is perhaps my favorite wine region of all, and who doesn’t love Bordeaux? Washington is great for both, and I’ve never had a Gramercy Cellar wine that I didn’t like!

The other night my husband and I opened a 2009 “The Third Man” from Gramercy. A blend of 50% Grenache, 28% Syrah and 22% Mourvedre, (all varietals that perform very well in Washington) this is a fabulous wine! On the nose are lavender, tobacco, garrigue, mocha and dark fruit. The palate has loads of lush fruit, and yet is oh so complex. There’s also tomato, spice, soft tannins and the finish goes on and on and on. I sure do wish we had some more of the ’09 in our cellar.

I’ve tasted with Greg a few times now. He’s full of lots of knowledge, yet humble as can be! So … with wine this great and a nice guy to boot, I can’t recommend these wines enough.

Check out Gramercy Cellars here: http://gramercycellars.com

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