Malbec World Day? World Malbec Day? Reviews of Wines from No + So America

Cairdean Malbec

Amy and I both felt enlightened by the Cairdean Malbec.

April 17 is World Malbec Day! Or is it Malbec World Day? Or just Malbec Day? Regardless, what are some good Malbecs to try? 110ec71a-505b-484e-b1d4-92e6a453e5de I was reminded of this event by Jon Staenberg of Hand of God Wine who urges us to celebrate Malbec World Day by saying the good people of Argentina have proclaimed April 17th as World Malbec Day. Over 100 years ago, Malbec was brought from France to the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina where the constant sun and heat helps the grape to ripeness; Malbec thrives in the hot, dry weather and high elevations of Mendoza creating a typically ripe and lush wine with smooth tannins. Continue reading

Montes Alpha: Sustainably Dry Farmed Wine for Earth Month (every month!)

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Looking for an Earth friendly and budget friendly red wine? Recently Que Syrah Sue and I tasted the 2012 Syrah, Carmenere, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Montes Winery which dry farmed (note the cobwebs on the water spigots?) and is certified under the Wines of Chile Sustainable Code. These wines retail for under $20 making them perfect candidates for Earth Month festivities. Look for the distinctive angel iconography on the Montes Winery label which began when owner Douglas Murray survived two near-fatal automobile accidents;
the angel symbolizes the winery’s philosophy to be a positive force and influence.

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Chianti Classico Adds “Gran Selezione”– Reviews of 4 levels of Ruffino Wine

“Wine and life…They are as inseparable as the sun
and the warmth it brings.”
—Gabriele Tacconi, Ruffino Winemaker

Recently Que Syrah Sue and I participated in a Ruffino Chianti tasting of four wines hosted by Snooth and with a video chat. The occasion for the tasting was their release of their new top of the line “Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010.”

There were four wines in the line-up, and we tasted them in this order. Reviews of each follow.

Ruffino Chianti DOCG 2013
Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico 2012
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva 2011
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 

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PS I Love You: Time for Dark and Delicious and a Glass of Rock Wall Petite Sirah!

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One of the best ways to get to know a type of wine is to taste a whole lot of them at the same time.
And the best way to discover which wines pair with which foods is, again, to taste a lot of foods with that wine!
Coming to your rescue on Friday,  February 20, 2015 from 6-9pm at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda CA is DARK & DELICIOUS, the preeminent, Petite Sirah event organized by PS I Love You, Inc, a Petite Sirah advocacy group.

Mezzacorona Wine Takes You to the Alps!

Today January 31, 2015 is the final day to enter Mezzacorona Wine’s trip to the Dolomites so it seemed the perfect day to write about their wines and to encourage you to enter via this link. http://woobox.com/8ognsr/dgfbi0

Plus, after Tuesday’s Slow Wine Continue reading

Try These $15 Sauvignon Blancs from Touraine, France

Vineyard_in_the_Loire_Valley Getting ready for tomorrow’s Vouvray twitter tasting with Snooth.com (Weds Aug 6 2014 (5:30pm PST; we’ll be trying two dry wines and two sparkling wines  and learning how Chenin Blanc thrives in the region, and the effects of that terroir) made me recall how many great wines from the Loire Valley in France I’ve had the pleasure to meet in the past year or two.

When it comes to white wines of the Loire Valley, people may think of Muscadet which grows along the river closer to the coast or Vouvray’s Chenin Blanc which is further up river.

The Loire River demarcates France’s weather between the northern climate and the south, adding a few degrees of temperature.  Spring is cool with frost while during grape harvest months it may have rain. Hot summers are moderated by the Atlantic breezes.

The Loire’s Sauvignon Blanc grows in the Touraine region even further up the Loire Valley.  There, under conditions too harsh for other white grapes with high winds and freezing temperatures,  its late bud break and early ripening allows it to flourish in the region’s limestone soils.

Last fall, we gathered at Que Syrah Sue’s and tasted five Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine region of the Loire Valley in France with the TasteLive crew at a twitter event, and what impressed us most about the group was the range of expression in the wines and the great value , with most of them $15 or less.

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#ArrogantFrog New Releases: Plenty on the Lily Pad for $10

Arrogant Frog $10 French Wine

Arrogant Frog $10 French Wine

I admit that I always have the best of intentions to do a blog post (or two or three) following each twitter tasting I do (and I do 1-4 a month or thirty or more a year), but more often than not, even though I usually have one person dedicated to taking notes, and we usually have some great images of the wines and the food we paired them with from posting them on twitter, too often that’s all it is–best intentions for a dedicated post although I often sneak in a reference or a review into another blog post. I figure I did my “job” of tweeting and I better move on to other writing projects (on this or another of my blogs or poetry or essays or?)

I know of at least one blogger and prolific tweeter, Marcy Gordon, who is cutting back to only six twitter tastings a year so she can focus more on other activities. I know for me sometimes I wonder if my time that I spend on a twitter tasting would be better spent on writing.

However, at this point, I will continue to say yes when I am invited to participate because I always learn something–maybe something new about the region or wine making, or, in the case of the #Arrogantfrog twitter tasting, about the farming and the sustainable practices of the Paul Mas brand which you can watch here on this ustream link: .

We tasted these four wines which all retail for a remarkable $10 a bottle:

  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Chardonnay
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot

Notes and other details follow. Continue reading