An Argentinian Named Rosa…A New Twist on Blush Wine

Ok, so her name isn’t Rosa but she is from Argentina. If a wine could be “female,” I think this cute blush wine (complete with fun, girly label) would be all-woman. I’m not a fan of blush wines. I’m not looking to return to the 90s and White Zin. However, this yummy unoaked Malbec from Argentina has made me sing a different Argentinian tune. A Malbec that’s pink? Hmmmm. Cute rosy color but I wasn’t sure about tasting this fruity-looking summer wine.

Mmmmmmmm! I was pleasantly surprised. Belasco de Baquedano knows what they’re doing when it comes to its tasty rose of the Malbec kind.  It hints of cherries and berries but just a tad. I love the finish–crisp and oh so delish!



Spring Wine – What Should You Drink?

It finally feels like spring here in northern California. With the warmer temperatures, I’m starting to feel like breaking open the Viognier and Chardonnay these days. However, warmer temperatures don’t necessarily mean you have to grab that bottle of sweet Riesling.

Here are some of my Spring favorites:

D’Agostini, California Merlot (Sonoma)

2006 Razor’s Edge, Shiraz-Grenache (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

If warmer temps persuade you to break open the lighter fare (translation: white wine), opt for a yummy Torrontes (Argentina’s signature white grape – dry, crisp and full-bodied). Another top choice is Albarino (this is Spain’s signature white wine – light, fresh and high in acid and pairs well with seafood).

So either grab a bottle of red or white – there aren’t any spring time wine drinking rules (well, not in my drinking world).


That Noble Wine Called Montepulciano – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Hailing from Tuscany in Montepulciano, I had one of the most delicious Montepulciano reds at my favorite Sonoma restaurant, Della Santina’s, last weekend. For those who have never been to Della Santina’s, I highly recommend it and if you want to sample some fabulous wine check out Sonoma (as opposed to Napa). Sonoma produces some of my top favorite wines such as Ravenswood.  Montepulciano,a lovely Sangiovese-based wine, hails from…you guessed it, Montepulciano (an ancient hilltop town nestled in the Tuscan region.

With a Sicilian heritage, it makes sense that I would be drawn to these yummy Sangiovese-based wines (I’m a huge fan of Sangiovese). I’m not Miss Wine Tasting Expert, but I loved how the Montepulciano slid on my tongue – it was crisp and bold at the same time and without getting too fancy-shmancy, it was perfection coupled with my amazing lasagna (which was well worth the 20 minute wait) The homemade ricotta cheese and gooey cheese (along with the Montepulciano) left me feeling like I had just entered the Northern Italian’s version of heaven (not to mention, I was a very FULL foodie). Our server recommended their house Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (and he definitely knew his vino).

With all the wine floating around the Wine Country, I highly recommend Della Santina’s (Northern Italian cuisine) and their house Montepulciano. If you are going to spend a cloudy winter day in the Wine Country, I would check out Sonoma.


My wine recommendation: 200 House Red, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Citra


The Bush Fires in Australia – The Future of Australia’s Wineries

My wine sources have recently told me that due to the bush fires in Australia, the United States will see a shortage of Australian wine next year. Not only am I sad that millions of acres and lives have been lost as a result of these tragic fires, I fear for Australia’s wine industry.

Unfortunately, the United States will see higher Australian wine prices next year (due to decreased wine production in Australia). Not all wine regions in Australia will be affected (Western Australia has been saved) so it’s not entirely a hopeless cause.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Australian Shiraz and I have a feeling next year I will have to decrease my Australian wine intake (I’d better stock up now).  Also, I live in California and I may be facing a huge wine tax within the next year. I really think I need to start building my wine cellar and start filling it fast!  Drink that Australian wine while you can, fellow wine guzzlers!


Box-o-Wine…1987 Called and They Want Their Wine Back

Due to popular demand from fellow wine drinkers (Toby, this one is for you), I am dedicating this month’s post to boxed wine. However, the boxed Chablis of the 80s is a thing of the past. Boxed wine has made a come back during the past year and has become a hip, new fad amongst wine drinkers. Actually, boxed wine is a good choice if you want to help save the environment. The boxes used are usually recycled (if not,they should be!) and reduce gashouse emissions (and saves money).

Boxed wine will make a great addition to your Super Bowl parties this weekend, so there is no need to bring that jug of Gallo that your grandparents gave you last year for Christmas. The fancy term that the Australians use is “cask” of wine (I guess box sounds too cheap, perhaps?) Boxed wine is slowly losing its “hey, this would make great wine for cheap homemade wine coolers” reputation. I actually sampled some of this new hip boxed wine at a party and I was amazingly surprised.  You can find great deals at BevMo or discounted club stores. If you are feeling adventurous this weekend and want to impress your friends, bring  boxed wine (and leave the jugs at home).

Here are some top brands you might want to sample:

  • Henry’s Drive Pillar Box Red Padthaway 2006 (Australia) – Under $10
  • Peter Vella Cabernet Sauvignon – Under $12
  • Black Box Chardonnay – Under $25


The Ultimate Wine Experience -The Salt Tasting Room, Vancouver, BC

When I was on vacation last month, I experienced the ultimate vino experience at the Salt Tasting Room in Vancouver, BC (Canada). This chic, non-descript tasting room was nestled in a back alley of the Gastown District. Although, there wasn’t anything “back alley” about this amazing wine experience.

I realized I need to trust the wine experts when she threw out the word “rose” (yes, I cringed). However, I was very impressed by the flight of wine that our served perfectly paired with my gourmet cheeses, meats and condiments that I chose. I told my friends that I could die a happy woman after my Salt Tasting Room experience. I was surprised that my favorite wine was a local British Columbia rose called Vie. It tasted like a non-fizzy dry French champagne. It was incredible. My tastebuds were also tantalized with a delicious Australian Pinot Noir and Shiraz. My red wine palate was definitely in vino heaven.

If you ever get the chance to visit Vancouver, BC, add The Salt Tasting Room to your itinerary. It’s an amazing wine experience and for $15 the flights of wine are more than just “samples.” The wait staff definitely know their food and wine pairings

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Making Time For Summer Wine

It’s that time for summer wine. When I think of summer wine, I have fond memories of Michael David’s Viognier (one of my all-time favorite wines).

You have your Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Fume Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Riesling and all the other white wines that say: “Summer is here!” (so let’s start drinking).

Also, check out Lagaria’s Pinot Grigio or Bastianich Rosato (Italian) wines. The French make some excellent white wine such as Domaine de Saint Peyre Picpoul-de-Pinet.

Spain, Chile, Australia and South Africa produce some very excellent white wines so don’t overlook their bounty of white wines. Australia isn’t only famous for its Shiraz.

Happy Summer Wine Drinking and think of me as you sip your Viognier this season!

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