16 January, 2013

Out of this World Value from Planet Bordeaux - review of Bordeaux Superieur Wines

 One of the most wonderful aspects of the world of wine is surprise.  Bordeaux is one of the most famous and respected appellations in the world.  Heck.  People who never drink wine but shop for Coach handbags know "Bordeaux" as a mesmerizing shade of red suede - carnal and tactile.  And like Coach handbags, "Bordeaux" has a connotation of super spendy.
I recently received samples from the wonderful  Planet Bordeaux that forced me to rethink my opinions of Bordeaux as either north of $90 or not tasty.  Ha!  The folks at Planet Bordeaux sent me many choices under $20 that are delicious and still expressive of the classic Bordeaux character.

Here are three of my favorites.  If you find them, buy them:

Chateau Lamothe de Haux 2011:  Wonderful white wine made from 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillion and 20% Muscadelle.  Lovely refreshing white with a lot of citrus in the nose and flavors.  It drank like a Sauvvy B.  Three generations of women know what girls like---girls like wine. It sounds like a great place to visit.  At $13, a great value

Chateau Suau 2011 Bordeaux Rose:   Monique Bonnet, who bought the the Chateau in 1986 produces a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon rose.  A beautiful 80's fashion hot pink, it had great flavors and aromas and made a cold winter Sunday with friends seem sunnier. $10.  We paired it with Arizmendi pizza and were thrilled with the combination

Chateau Plaisance 2009 Bordeaux Superieur Rouge:  The vineyard overlooks the Gironde river and sits at the border of the famous Margaux appellation.  This wine is a delicious blend of 70% Merlot 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot.  The result is dark and luscious with a continental flair.  We liked it very much.  And for $11, what a deal!

Bottom line, these wines are drinking well right now.  Consider Bordeaux Superieur for your Wine Armchair adventures.  It's not just for guys named Claude and their smoking jackets, but rather can brighten your winter with tasty food friendly libations that are as easy on your pocketbook as they are to drink.

I received these wines as samples

15 January, 2013

Passagio Wines at GirlsGoneWine

 This Sunday marked the first Girls Gone Wine that I got to attend.  Fun wine writers, fun connections and good wine.  In speaking to Cynthia Cosco who runs Passaggio Wines I also got a wonderful story of a person living her dreams.  Made even better because her dreams involve delicious wine.  Her motto is "follow your passion", which led her to California after retiring from a career in law enforcement  in Virginia.  Brave enough to come to California to figure it out, she started in retail and made connections that grew and expanded until today when she is at the helm of her own wine making process at Wineworks in Dogpatch.  Located at 2455 Third Street in San Francisco it's a cool space (the light fixture pictured above was mesmerizing) and the wine is delicious! We got to taste through the Pinot Grigio: my personal favorite for its crisp, food friendly flavors of white peach and lemon lime and nice acidity.  As well as an unoaked chardonnay, which has a lovely crisp character meant to draw out the features of chardonnay in a clear unoaked style, which works.  Crafting a saignee rose from Dry Creek Zin and Napa Cab sauv, the rose is complex and layered and a delightful  watermelon color.   Last was another thing I ended up buying: The Unmarked Pinot Noir.  Code Seven, which is code for "officer out to lunch", which I thought perfect for a balanced food friendly pinot noir.  In addition, 5% of the proceeds are donated to the 100 club  of Contra Costa County, which supports families of fallen officers.  Cynthia also has plans for an Unmarked Sauvignon Blanc, and I, for one, cannot wait to do good by drinking well!

You can buy all the wines here  If you are looking for something fun to do in the Dogpatch area, try Wineworks Where walk-ins welcome, reservations required for groups of six or more for flight tastings. 

Thursday: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed on major holidays. 

WineWorks offers guided tastings and wine experiences (advance reservations required).
Prices and availability subject to change.

13 January, 2013

Monday Drinking Game: Sangria #thebitchelor

Not sure if I can call it a secret addiction., since we play it on Twitter, but @ebethO and @lusciouslushes and I spend Monday nights dishing on the improbable hilarity of ABC's the Bachelor (we are equal opportunity and enjoy the same japing during seasons that are the Bachelorette) via a drinking game we call #thebitchelor.  We each pick a word and grab a beverage.  When any of the words come up, we drink.  Strategy is key to hangover avoidance on a school night.  It's a lot of drinking if we pick blockbuster words that are repeated  and repeated.  Last week, "love", "connection" and "chemistry" were super popular and I was glad of my 10% alc Moscato.  So this week, I am braving the cold with winter white sangria.  Recipe from Bon Appetit

Cara Cara oranges , one sliced and the other juiced
tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 teaspoon rose water
1 750-ml bottle chilled brut cava 

Ingredient Info:
Rose water is available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Middle Eastern markets.  Cara Cara oranges are a believed to have mutated in Venezuela of regular navel  and red fleshed oranges resulting in a citrus with a lovely  almost floral taste and pretty color than can range from dark pink to red. Compared to regular oranges, they have lower acid and a sweeter taste. The cava I selected is one I received as a sample, Freiexnet Cordon Negro.  With all the hands that have been through my sparkling wine cache, the often underated "black bubbly" ended up not getting drunk up in the NYE sparkler extravaganza. More for me I say.   Made from a base wine that blends 35% Cavaare Macabeo, 25% Xarel-ho and 40% Parellada, it is  sprightly wine with good acid and hints of tropical fruit in its flavors.  Freixenet (pronounced fresh-eh-net) is the world's largest producer of methode champenoise .  Started in 1861 in Catalunya, these Spanish winemaking families, the Ferrers and the Salas have worked hard for a long time to achieve quality on a global scale.  Affordable and tasty, it gives us all a great option with which to celebrate every day.  

Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher. Add cava; stir gently to combine.  Pour over ice and wait for the drinking game to get good.  See you on Twitter!  for #thebitchelor

12 January, 2013

Jack Daniels now with honey!

Jack Daniels was the first hard liquor I remember really enjoying. For its delicious warm burn as well as the grown up cachet of ordering brown liquor. Yum!
Now I just discovered something new: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey. A lovely amalgamation of Jack Daniels Whiskey and honey liqueur. The result is tasty ---at first sweetly honeyed and then followed by that warming glow. They recommend to serve it chilled. But I am dying to stir it into warmed apple cider with a cinnamon stick and a float of hand whipped cream $20.99 at BevMo you can't  go wrong for a cold snap companion.

06 January, 2013

Las Lilas Rose of Vinho Verde

While we were discussing if Vinho verde was white or green, I remembered this sample in my fridge. It opened up our minds about Vinho verde with its dark watermelon color. So festive on a chilly Sunday.  Its yeasty almost beery aromas and fresh spritzy red fruit flavors make  it a super fun option.

Made using traditional methods and by blending  60% Vinhão, 30% Borraçal and 10% Espadeiro. by the folks at Las Lilas by Jose Oliveira, the winemaker.  The winery sits on the banks of the Duoro river in Portugal at an elevation of about 1000 feet. 

Meant to be consumed while young, this might be hard to find, but at a <$12 price point, with its pretty bottle and easy drinking nature, it's worth looking for.  I had tried the white version and didn't like it as well as this rose, which is fresh, with a nice juicy finish.  Just what you need to remind you that summer is coming...eventually.
I received this wine as a sample