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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

A “Spooky” Good Chardonnay

A “Spooky” Good Chardonnay

It’s Halloween and I’m drinking one heck of a great wine! I mean … it’s FABULOUS!

I’m a bit of a Chardonnay snob. I really like Chardonnay, but only when it’s done right!!! Burgundy is my favorite spot for this varietal. So when I find a Chard that I’m this nuts about, it’s definitely something special for me!

Tonight I found one!!!! I opened a bottle of 2013 Williams Selyem Chardonnay from the Drake Vineyard in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. I actually have quite a few bottles of Williams Selyem in my cellar. They’re all dang good, but this one is exceptional!

This wine is full of a gazillion different flavors. On the nose are white flowers and citrus. On the palate there is a little oak, but not too much. Let’s call it lightly buttered toast. There’s also everything from acidic citrus to ripe pear. That’s how complex this wine is. This is one special wine!

So if you see the ’13 Williams Selyem Drake Vineyard Chardonnay on a wine list, order it! If you find it in your favorite wine shop, grab a bottle or twelve! If you appreciate great Chardonnay the way I do, you definitely won’t be disappointed!

P.S. Happy Halloween!

P.S.S. If you find ANY wines from Williams Selyem … see above!

Check them out here: https://www.williamsselyem.com

 

Liquid Farm … It’s A SOLID Hit!

Liquid Farm … It’s a SOLID Hit!

My husband loves poker the way I love wine! So while he’s off playing in a tournament tonight, I decided to crack open a nice bottle!

I’ve been eyeing a bottle of Chardonnay that I bought a couple of years ago while visiting the Santa Ynez Valley. I remember falling madly in love with it during the tasting, but wanting it to have some more time in the bottle before I opened this gem. Hoping that it’s ready, I decided to go for it tonight.

Before my visit to Santa Ynez in early February of ’15, I had been hearing a lot of buzz about a winery called Liquid Farm. I’m a huge lover of White Burgundy and I’d been reading that Liquid Farm focuses on Chardonnay and that they’re true believers in the fact that what happens above and below the ground produces the liquid in the bottle. Hence … Liquid Farm!!! Great name or what??? I love New World wines that adopt some of the Old World wine making philosophy.

I remember the tasting at their facility well, not only because Anna and Assistant Winemaker Tanner (and their awesome wine dog named Button) took great care of, but because of the wonderful wines! We tasted through 5 different Chardonnays that day, and there wasn’t a dud in the group! My personal favorites were the 2013 Golden Slope, named for the famous Côte-d’Or of Burgundy France and the 2013 Bien Bien, which had a wonderful finish and reminded me of a Chassagne-Montrachet! I’m a sucker for Chassagne-Montrachet, so you can imagine how much I loved this wine!

Tonight I decided to open the Golden Slope! I want that ’13 Bien Bien to sit a bit longer!

Light golden in color, the nose has white flowers, lemon, melon and pear. The well-balanced palate has a medium body, great acidity, lemon curd, a touch of oak! I’m munching on some brie cheese while drinking this (which is a great pairing!), but keep wishing I had a big plate of pasta with an Alfredo sauce. Something creamy like that would be another fabulous match with this Chardonnay!

So while my husband was doing something that HE loves, I was too! I just found out that he WON … and so did I, with this 2013 Liquid Farm Golden Slope Chardonnay. And … I still have half a bottle left to share with him tomorrow night!

Are you interested in learning more about Liquid Farm and their wines? Click here: http://www.liquidfarm.com

 

A Not To Miss Tasting In Sonoma? Balletto!!!

They hadn’t been on my list. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of them before! A staff member at Gloria Ferrer (who’s become a friend because I visit so often!) told me about her favorite rosé in the world. She told me that she just couldn’t get enough of it! So … I had to check them out!

Balletto Vineyards is a family owned winery located in the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County. Started as a successful vegetable farming company, in 1999 they started the shift from vegetable farming to vineyards. Today they sell 90% of their grapes to other wineries, using the other 10% producing their lovely Balletto Vineyard wines!

So, the day after visiting Gloria Ferrer last month, my husband and I stopped by Balletto for a tasting. I couldn’t wait to try their rosé! This pretty pink wine (made of 100% Pinot Noir) has strawberry, a touch of rose and lively acidity to balance it perfectly. I can see why my friend finds it difficult to not finish the bottle in one sitting!

Rosé, however, is not all they do at Balletto! I also made sure to buy a couple bottles of their lovely (not too oaky) 2014 Sexton Hill Vineyard Chardonnay. They also make some rockin’ Pinot Noir (we bought some Burnside that tasted like Strawberry Twizzlers!), Syrah and Zin! A super nice bonus is that their prices are very fair!!!

Looking back I’m surprised and disappointed that I hadn’t heard of them before, but boy oh boy I’m thankful that I know them now! I also want to spread the word about their really nice wines and great tasting experience!

Don’t only PUT them on your list … bump them to the TOP of your list!

http://www.ballettovineyards.com

 

Who’s Looking for a GREAT Value Chardonnay???

Good wine isn’t always expensive. The chatter of fine wine needing to cost a lot of money often frustrates me. Do I love some pricey wines? Sure I do. But there is nothing better than finding a well-made wine for a great price!

My latest “find” is from Bouchaine Vineyards & Winery in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. The Carneros AVA is actually located in both Napa and Sonoma counties and has a nice cool climate that suits Burgundian varietals very well. I’ve visited their winery a few times and have tried a lot of their wines, so when I found their 2012 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay for under fifteen bucks, I thought that there must have been something wrong. Thankfully the wine wasn’t wrong … I was! 

This Chardonnay has bright acidity with lots of lime and green apple, a touch of oak and a finish that goes on and on. This is a great example of a Chardonnay that shows it’s true fruit and character at a very affordable price. I’m truly blown away with the value of this elegant wine.

Not only does Bouchaine produce great wines, they also have a very respectable history. Bouchaine Vineyards & Winery is the oldest continually operated winery in the Carneros wine region. The winery itself is lovely, with a big barn-like structure housing the tasting room (a warm, cozy area with a beautiful fireplace). French doors off of the tasting room lead to a beautiful deck and picnic area. Sitting on their deck and enjoying the stunning view of their Carneros vineyards is was the perfect way to end (or begin!) a day of tasting, so be sure to pay them a visit the next time you’re in the Napa area!

Find out more about Bouchaine here:  http://www.bouchaine.com

 

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