Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wine on ice? So nice!

If you're like me, you're getting ready for a day of fun in the sun on the Fourth of July - planning the activities, and working on the food and drink menu. But it's so hot you wouldn't even think of a having a glass of Cabernet or Malbec out by the pool... So, what's a wine-lover to do on a hot, hot day?

Follow my lead and make up a pitcher of Sangria that's certain to please all your guests and beat the heat at the same time! Until I moved "South" I never really cared for Sangria, but in the heat of a Texas summer it can really hit the spot.

There are probably as many recipes for Sangria, as there are people in Spain ~ and everyone a special ingredient to make the recipe their own. One of the places that I frequent has Sangria as their Happy Hour offering - theirs is made with brandy, red wine and vodka, along with the appropriate fruits and juices.


I do something a bit more simple... I grab a box of World Market's Wine4 Sangria Red and Wine4 Sangria White ~ it's "ready-to-serve" meaning it's pre-mixed with the fruit juices and other ingredients, and YES, there IS such a thing as white sangria!  So easy to prepare, just grab two pitchers, one for the white, one for the red, and then start cutting and slicing up some fruit. I generally slice up lemons, limes, and oranges and then I dice up pineapple and some sort of sweet apples, like Gala.  For the white Sangria, you can add frozen grapes, or raspberries, too... I usually freeze the fruit after preparing because I use it as my "ice" in the pitcer to keep the Sangria chilled, but not diluted. 

When I'm ready to serve it, I just grab my boxes of chilled Wine4 Sangria and pour that into the pitcher, add the frozen fruit and "muddle" it a bit to mix up the flavors. If I'm going to be outdoors, I set the pitchers of Sangria down in a tub of ice to keep it nice and cool. When guests are ready to be served, I just scoop some fresh ice into a glass, pour in the Sangria, and garnish the glass w/ a slice of orange or lime...

Voila!
 Cool, cool wine
on a hot, hot day!  

A bit of info about the Wine4 Sangrias...

  • They are made by Trinchero Family Estates in Napa ~ Trinchero is well-known for their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons (Cloud's Nest, Haystack, Chicken Ranch, etc.) and is also the producer of Napa Cellars wines, as well as Folie a Deux and Menage` a Trois wines. 

  • Each box of Wine4 Sangria holds the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine and will last 4 weeks in your fridge once opened and the cost breaks down to 4 dollars per bottle, or $15.99 a box.

  • Wine4 Sangria is available ONLY at World Market  AND...

  • It's on SALE right now for $12.99!! (only until 7/6/2010)
Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud` KathyD

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I love a Blanc de Noir!

In honor of Bubble Sunday I will share some info about a favorite of mine ~ and actually it's more of a style, than a particular wine... Blanc de Noir.

Blanc de Noir (blahnk deh no-wahr) is French for "white from black" meaning a white wine made from black (red) grapes. Classic Champagne or Sparkling wines are a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay ~ so, when you see Blanc de Noir you know that the grapes are (or should be) Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier, or a blend of the two.

The flavor profile of a BDN is much different than that of classic bubbly in that you will get more "berry" in the nose and mouth, usually leaning towards strawberries (real, fresh strawberry, not strawberry flavoring, which is heavier and more candy-like), and raspberries or cherries. This style of wine is not "sweet," but will definitely be more fruit-forward and highly aromatic. In some instances, you might be able to pick up a hint of smoke from the Pinot Noir, adding a bit of complexity to the wine.

The Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noir pictured is one of my favorites and has the honor of being the Sparkling wine served at all White House receptions, but there are many other brands that are (IMHO) just as yummy! Try the Gruet BDN from New Mexico, it's about $15, instead of the usual $20 for the Chandon...

Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud` KathyD

MORE INFO & REVIEWS:
88 pts Wine Enthusiast:  http://wineshop.chandon.com/chandon-blanc-de-noirs-p2.aspx
90 pts Wine News http://www.wine.com/V6/Domaine-Chandon-Blanc-de-Noirs/wine/511/detail.aspx

RECIPE FOR A SPARKLING MARGARITA!
http://www.chandon.com/entertaining/cocktails/chandon-sparkling-margarita.html?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rockin' on Riesling!

Went to a wine bar last night for a Riesling tasting.

Hey, I heard that - yes, YOU... You distinctly said, "Ewwwww!"

After this post you're gonna take that back, and you'll be RUNNING to the store to find this wine and I'm dead serious about that! And NO, I'm not a "wimpy white (wine) girl" - I can handle the big, fat, hairy red wines any day of the week and beg for more. BUT, at this time of the year, and with certain types of foods, Riesling is an excellent choice. Stick with me and you'll find out why...

We tasted our way through 6 wines last night, but I'll just tell you about my favorite!

The 2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry (yes, DRY) Riesling was rated at the top of the dryness scale, scoring a 1 out of 10 (10 being sweetest). We got our two ounce pour in our B.A.G. (for those of you that don't follow Gary Vee on Wine Library TV, that's the Big Ass Glass!)  So, we have a little bit of wine in the bottom of our B.A.G and we're doing the three S's ~ See   Sniff   Sip. Looks normal, not cloudy, very clear, pretty, pale yellow.  Then I move on to the Sniffy-sniff, and was rocked back in my chair - the wine was so rich in aromatics it was bellowing out of the glass, great Riesling nose with a hint of floral and white peaches, and a whisper of lime (!) and orange blossom with a touch of chalky minerality (minus the  classic Riesling petrol notes) VERY pretty nose!  I could swirl and smell this wine for eons, such a beautiful bouquet!

I moved on to the Sip stage where all of the aromatics quickly became flavors, stone-fruits prominent, with peaches and a bit of apricot, still that lime with a searing, blazing acidity to offset the full-on fruit... That was my first thought, and comment to the group - Perfectly balanced wine. I took another sip and thought it couldn't get any better than that, until I squeezed a lime slice over the crabcake on my tasting plate, speared the cake with my fork and dragged it through the horseradish honey mustard sauce and popped it into my mouth and took a sip of the CSM Dry Riesling.... OMGOSH ~ WoW! Fantastic flavor combination!  The creamy sauce over the rich crab, with the acidity of the wine, the bit of lime juice and the notes of lime in the Riesling... WoW again!   It was a perfect marriage of plate and glass.

See what you're missing by dissing the Riesling? It's the Rodney Dangerfield of the wine world - it gets no respect!  Over the last three or four years Riesling sales have been rising. And it's not just a bunch of wimpy white lovers who are getting behind this wonderful varietal either... Serious red wine drinkers who have serious palates often prefer a dry, balanced Riesling that offers them the complexities that many high-end Cabernet Sauvignons bring to the table - good fruit, high acidity, structure and firmness.

Riesling is also the wine of choice for foodies - you know, those people who love to cook and eat, and I do mean EAT - again terrific food wine, all that acidity is the perfect foil for creamy foods, spicy foods, and yes, even desserts (think cheese cake and creme` brulee).

So - give this varietal the respect it deserves...

Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud` KathyD

Here are some other reviews:
FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE - Best American Wines $15 & Under: Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling ($12)  "This is definitely one of the great wine bargains in the world. Lime-zest aromas, lively acidity, intense fruit—if you want to know why Riesling inspires such devotion, this is a great introduction to the grape. And starting last year Chateau Ste. Michelle sells this wine nationwide, instead of just in the northwest."

Fifth Annual Best Washington Wines - Best Riesling under $15 Seattle Magazine - 4/2010

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2007 Dry Riesling Columbia Valley "A consistent winner in Seattle Magazine's Washington Wine Awards, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s dry Riesling sets the standard for Washington’s inexpensive, dry style of this wine. In a field of five stellar Rieslings, this one rose to the top, with judges noting its ‘racy, mineral, elegant’ style, ‘alpine floral aromas’ and linalool aromas (spicy, sweet fruit)."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

TAPAS Wine Tasting!

WoW ~ This looks absolutely fantastic!!
For more information on the TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos) organization go to: http://www.tapasociety.org/tapas_grape_exchange/

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can you say "Half Price Bubbles??"

Over the last year I have developed a (HUGE) love of bubbly. (My husband hates it when I call it that!) And, actually, it confuses a lot of people when I ask for a glass of "bubbly" - sometimes I'm met with a blank stare and then am asked, "Sparkling water??" Noooooo ~ I mean BUBBLY - sparkling WINE. Invariably the next thing out of their mouth will be, "Ohhhh - Champagne!"  Again - Nooooo ~ Champagne is from France, I want a sparkling wine.  Again - confusion. I love the wine, but hate the hassle of ordering it at a restaurant that is not familiar with the difference between the two.

Ah, but I digress!  I want to tell you about my love for the bubbles and about one of my favorites right now. There's something so fun, fresh, and CLEAN about bubbly. The carbonation acts as a palate cleanser and freshens your mouth with each sip, the little bubbles race with great acidity across your tongue and zip around your mouth, doing a little dance all the way down - How exciting is that?!

Bubbly is a great food wine; a traditional Champagne (sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France) and most new world/California sparkling wine, is made with a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. Because of the blend of red and white grapes and that high level of acidity, you have the perfect wine for almost any type of food!

A sparkling wine from California, a decent one made in the methode` champenoise (traditional Champagne method) like Domaine Chandon, will set you back at least $18. You can find a good one from New Mexico (Gruet) for about $15, but that's still a bit pricey for my "everyday" dinner wine.  So, what's a budget concious bubble-head to do?

I head straight to the Spanish aisle of my wine store (World Market, of course!) and grab a bottle of Cava. What's Cava, you ask? Cava is the sparkling wine of Spain, made from native Spanish varietals (Macabeo, Parallada, and Xarello) in Penedes in the south of Catalonia, on the coast of the Mediterreanean Sea.  Some Cava is made traditionally (second fermentation taking place in the bottle, not a tank), and some is made Metodo Italiano or Charmat, with second fermentation taking place in a large tank or vat.

So, what difference does that make to you and why should you care? Well, it all depends on what price you're looking to pay for your bottle of bubbles, and how you want to feel the next morning! In many instances, when sparkling wine is made using the Charmat method, extra sugar is added to the cuvee` in the tank and many people feel that the dreaded "Champagne hang-over/headache" experienced the morning after is directly attributed to both the less expensive Charmat method and the additional sugar in the bottle...

Now, (FINALLY!) to the reason for this blog! My favorite bottle of inexpensive bubbly right now is a Brut Cava made by Rene Barbier in the Penedes. Rene Barbier has a great reputation for quality AND value in their still and sparkling wines; they are owned by the company that owns Gloria Ferrer in California and they certainly know their bubbles!

What I like about the Rene Barbier Brut Cava (found only at World Market) is that it is so clean, and fresh - not earthy like the Cristalino Cava can be, or too fruity like the Segura Viudas Brut can be. Rene Barbier makes a Brut Reserva Cava that sells for $15+, but their non-reserve bottle of bubbly goes for the low, low price of $8 at World Market - now that's an everyday price that I can handle!

Love Mimosas? You can use the Rene B. for that, too ~ but you don't need to add anything to mask the flavor, it is perfect by itself in a Champagne flute.

Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it~ Love it!!
Salud`  KathyD


PS - The label looks like the one in the photo above... BUT - it's a sparkling wine bottle, not a Bordeaux style bottle like the one shown here (Couldn't find the correct photo since it's made just for World Market.) Here are some tasting notes, reviews and links to the Rene Barbier - Cava Brut Reserva, I don't think you'll find reviews for the non-reserve, b/c it's private labled for us.

WINE NOTES: http://www.berkmann.co.uk/PDF/products/d3850ae9-460_Brut%20Reserva.pdf

http://www.premium-wines.co.uk/WineTypes/Sparkling/tabid/63/CategoryID/4/List/1/catpageindex/4/Level/a/ProductID/3576/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName%2CProductName

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ewww, what's up with the purple rock-salt on the bottom of my cork??

Welcome to the world of unfiltered, natural wine! Most wine consumed in the United States today is filtered and goes through different processes to remove sediments and particles that occur during winemaking, producing what Americans have come to accept as normal for our wines, a CRYSTAL CLEAR APPEARANCE.

Have you ever had a wine that contained sediment, or salt-like crystals?

A few months ago I opened a bottle of Cabernet and noticed that the bottom of the cork that contacted the wine had tartaric crystals - known in the industry as ‘wine diamonds.’

Friday, June 11, 2010

I drink on the job...

Yes, I DO drink on the job, and let me tell you that it's a hard job, but someone has to do it!

Seriously, yesterday was our monthly "Beverage Training", (we used to call it a Beverage Meeting, and before that a "wine-tasting" - but people thought we were having too much fun, so we gradually changed the name to protect the innocent!). We tried seven of the new wines that were brought into the store for our June sales period, they were all red - which was a shocker, and a welcome surprise to most of us. Another surprise? They were all very nice and some terrific bargains in there, too! 
I can't tell you about them right now because I am off to work to prepare for our Grand Tasting tomorrow - with food and wine sample stations all around the store. Stop in at your local World Market from 1-4pm  and try something new  - you might just find a new favorite. I know that I always do!


Next week I'll share the reviews of the wines from yesterday's tasting, ugh - meeting, I mean, umm - our Beverage Training! 

Stay tuned ~   Salud` KathyD.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lost and Found!

I was organizing stock and preparing for inventory at the store when I found a case of Silver Oak 2004 Alexander Valley hidden away - Whoa, what a discovery!  As I put it into the lock-box with our other "special day" wines I started thinking about the last time I had a glass of Silver Oak...

It was last summer and I had been invited to a "release" party to celebrate the 2005 Silver Oak Alexander Valley hitting the marketplace. We did a vertical tasting (that's where you taste previous vintages of the same wine - so,  2001, 2002, 2003 and so on, up to the current release) of both the Napa, and the Alexander Valley.

The '05 AV was a terrific wine, with complex, dark fruit and great aromatics, but (IMHO) – the ‘04 beat it out hands down due to that extra year of bottle age... There's something to be said for a wine that's been resting, aging, and developing some bottle character.  The 2004 was a show-stopper - very smooth, rich and accessible. I'm thinking that with another full year under it's belt the '04 is drinking really well right now!  I've seen it on the internet for $70+  but World Market has it for $59.99!

Father's Day is right around the corner, what a fabulous gift for Dad or that special someone who loves wine, or just to treat yourself - go on, you're worth it!
Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud`  KathyD

Here are some reviews and notes on the 2004 Silver Oak Alexander Valley




Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My wine is tired... HAH ~ I thought it was only me!

What does it mean when someone says a wine is "tired"?

Tired is a descriptor for a wine that has seen better days; perhaps it's "old" or over the hill, its flavors are dull and not exciting or interesting any longer; perhaps it's flat and lifeless - like a bubbly with very few bubbles and very low acidity. I've opened a few Chardonnays that were so lifeless they needed "RIP" on the label!

So, how can you tell if the wine is tired?  Smell it - if it's past it's prime it will have little or no aromatics left. Taste it - it will taste "empty" with no real fruit evident in the wine...  What then??

DUMP IT! Life's too short to drink tired wine!
             Salud` ~ KathyD

Monday, June 7, 2010

How'd that dill pickle get in my wine?

Just a quick post - last night was at a restaurant with friends and one of them had the Ravenswood Zinfandel - Vintner's Blend. I was offered a sip (never turn down free wine!) and the wine was delicious, so I ordered a glass, and so did another couple at our table. When we were ready for a refill the server told us they were out of the Ravenswood, but brought us a Rosenblum Vintner's Cuvee Zinfandel to taste and see if we wanted glasses of that. (AGAIN - never turn down free wine!) The first thing I tasted was dill, took another sip, yep - the dill outweighed any fruit in the wine. I offered my dining companion a sip - she looked at me and said, "When you mention an aroma in a wine, I don't always get it, but WOW - this is definitely dill!" 

I have experienced the dill pickle notes in wines only once before - and that was at last year's Dallas ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) event. A whole lot of dill in that room that day! I emailed ZAP a couple of days later and they emailed back a list of flavor descriptors for Zinfandel... Nope, dill was NOT on the list. But, last night's wine experience confirms for me that dill is definitely flavor/aromatic note in some Zinfandels. I'm not certain whether it's the wine, the oak, the toast on the oak, or what -  but somehow it's the perfect storm that culminates in the feeling that you have a dill pickle in your glass!  After looking at the Wine Library TV post (  http://forums.winelibrary.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=2947&p=47762&sid=467c5673ae47c99492f093d3961e0460 )  - they experienced the dill phenomenon in Silver Oak Cabernet... So, it must be the oak..

Another reference to dill in wine was from WineSchool.com: Many wines will display distinct or nebulous ("what is that flavor?") spicy flavors such as dill, basil, or the like.

I would disagree with that... to me dill is more "herbal" than spicy. When I think of spicy in wine, my mind goes to black pepper, white pepper, or to the realm of baking spices, like cinnamon, clove, allspice, mace, nutmeg, etc.

Whatever ~ Let me know if you have ever had a "pickle in a glass" experience!
Oh, the Ravenswood Vintner's Blend Zinfandel - YUMMY, rich, dark, smooth and mouthfilling, with a touch of oak. $11 @ World Market!

Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud` KathyD

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Remember the Beach Boys?? Baa - Baa - Baa ... Baa - Baa - bra -ann ~

Every time I think of Barbera (the grape) I think of the Beach Boys and the song, "Barbara Ann."  Sorry, it's just the way my brain is wired!

Have you ever had a Barbara wine?  I mean, BARBERA... The grape is the third most planted varietal in Italy (behind Sangiovese and Montepulciano). It's a vigorous grower and has rich, deep color, soft tannins and has lively acidity (making it a great food wine.)  There are many local Italian vineyards with vines that are older than one hundred years and produce wine with rich, concentrated fruit and dense, chewy tannins -  capable of long-term aging. The best known appellation for this grape is Barbera d'Asti, a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita - Italy's highest quality category) in the Piedmont region.

Most of the Barbera that you find in the United States will be young, produced from younger, more vigorous vines, offering intense aromatics with red fruit, cherries and raspberries. These wines are not really made for aging and are best when they are young. BUT - somewhere in the middle are wines you can enjoy now, AND cellar down for future pleasure as well.

Which  brings us to one of my favorite wines! Fontanafredda Barbera Piemonte "Briccotondo."


Each year I purchase a case of the Briccotondo when it is released - I haven't been disappointed yet! This is a Legacy wine and consistently garners rave reviews and 90 points... I still have some 2006 that is drinking beautifully right now.


REVIEWS: The ’06 and ’07 received 90 points with a "Best Buy" from Wine Spectator, was listed on the Top 100 Wines of the Year and out-sold every other Italian red we carried last year:                 "Displays lovely plummy, chocolaty character. Full and silky smooth, this is packed with flavor. So delicious. Drink now through 2011."

 (12/08) 90 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine: "A vibrant and youthful barbera with fresh plum and cherry flavors, this feels balanced and cool. An everyday red to enjoy with grilled sausage." (12/08)

My personal review: The '08 Briccotondo is a beautiful ruby-red wine with purple highlights. The nose is packed with black fruit, especially blackberries and plums, with spicy hints of black pepper and cinnamon. Soft tannins meld with the fruit and provide a long, tasty finish. I enjoyed this with a vegetarian Bolognese, but it’s great with any Italian dish – even pizza!  Available at World Market $14
It's almost time for the release of the 2009!!!

Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud` KathyD

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shhhh… It’s a secret!


Are you into "Legacy" wines, you know - wines with a great pedigree?

If you answered yes, then you need to get your hands on some Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles... This wine's family tree stands tall and proud in forest of California Cabs.

WineCountry.com says: Industry insiders knew that “Napa's cult-popular Caymus Vineyards had long produced a second Cabernet Sauvignon called Liberty School from Paso Robles fruit that sells for a steal compared with its first label. Quality remains high - and bottles can be snapped up for an astounding $10 apiece.”

WineInsider.com says: “Talk about great genes! The Liberty School line of wines was started by Chuck Wagner of Caymus Vineyards. Chuck bought grapes for his 2nd label, Liberty School, from the Hope Family. Caymus wines sell for mega bucks and are highly collectable. I haven’t really figured it all out but, it seems the Caymus Family and Hope Family had a very close relationship. The Caymus, Treana and Liberty line of wines all seem to be sharing the same bed.”

Wine Enthusiast has awarded Liberty School a “Best Buy” designation saying, “A lot to like in this Cab!”

Well, even if you’re not a ‘second label’ chaser you’ll love this wine with its great up front aromas of raspberry, chocolate, cherry and black currant and smooth, full body with ripe berry fruit flavors. With terrific structure, firm tannins, plenty of fruit – and a legacy like Caymus, what else do you need? 
Widely available - World Market $13

Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud` KathyD


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Looking for a buttery Chardonnay?


Join the crowd!

I wish that I had a quarter for every time a customer asked me for a ‘buttery Chardonnay under $10.' It’s almost an hourly occurrence to be approached by a someone who tells us they love La Crema, but don’t want to spend $18 for their everyday wine. So began the QUEST for a wine that delivers that creamy, buttery taste at a bargain price-point…

It was an arduous process tasting all those wines (!) but I found one that delivers the butter that you adore at a price that you can afford. The Monterey Vineyard Arroyo Seco Chardonnay is soft and smooth, with tropical fruit aromas and flavors of fresh white peaches and loads of creamy butter with a hint of vanilla. Almost like a buttery peach cobbler! I love it and think you will, too – at $9.97 a bottle, what’s not to love?

**This review was written last November... Sad to say, but TMV (The Monterey Vineyard) Chardonnay now sells for $20 a bottle! Crazy, huh? Well, you snooze, you lose! If we get it in again at World Market, I'll zip you out an email, in the meantime ~ the quest for the buttery Chardonnay at an everyday price continues!


Here's a link to some industry information about TMV:  http://intoxicologist.wordpress.com/press-release-pages/monterey-vineyard-wines/


WINEMAKER NOTES: The Chardonnay is hand-harvested from three mature, low-yielding Arroyo Seco vineyards -- famous for white wines full of tropical fruit and refreshing natural acidity -- within one mile of each other, yet with very different character. The wine was barrel-fermented and barrel-aged with 70 percent of the juice in 100 percent French oak for complexity, with the balance fermented in stainless steel to retain fruitiness. Rich tropical fruit, full aroma and expansive flavors of our Arroyo Seco Chardonnay. Subtle notes of toasty vanilla spice from the French oak barrels linger on the palate.

Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud! Kathy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Heidsieck Monopole Champagne ~ "Blue Top"

Last fall I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying a visit from Frederic Goossens, Director of Sales for Heidsieck in the United States.
November is Bubble Blow-Out month at World Market and we had brought in lots of new bubblies for our customers, many of which I haven’t had the opportunity to try. So imagine my delight when Frederic showed up brandishing a bottle of the Monopole. World Market had just started carrying the Heidsieck Monopole “Blue Top” Champagne and it was one of my as yet un-tasted sparkling wines for November.

Done for the day - we sat down, chatted for a few minutes, and then Frederic popped that cork and we tasted. I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by those tiny little bubbles in my glass – I watched them rising in little jet-streams from the bottom of the flute, becoming mousse on the top of the Champagne. Absolutely beautiful bubbles!

At first sip, I simply murmured, ‘YUMMMM’ – The Blue Top was so very butter-creamy and toasty. All I could think of was, “Brioche!” Such a lingering finish, rich and velvety.

I had just discovered a new favorite bubbly!

Frederic shared some information about the Heidseick and Monopole: Founded more than two centuries ago (1785), Heidsieck Monopole in Reims is one of the oldest and most prestigious houses in Chanpagne history and is a "growers Champagne", this family-run winery is involved in every step of production from pruning the vines, to harvesting, fermenting, racking, disgorging, bottling and marketing; those in the industry know that grower Champagnes are of better quality and each release is consistent with the previous year. The Blue Top is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir for structure, 20% Chardonnay for acidity and fruit, and 10% Pinot Meunier for aromatics.

I’m not the ONLY one that loves this Champagne, check out these reviews:

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points   "Impressively fine bubbles cascade up from the bottom of the glass, suggesting richness and elegance. There's a lush creaminess in the mouth, packed with flavors of candied orange, apricot and pineapple. The wine scores a flavor bulls eye in every possible way, from the textured, enticing bouquet to the rich, mouth-filling fruit and on through the lingering, precise and powerful finish."

Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2007!

Wine Spectator 91 Points   "Elegant and expressive, this delivers floral, pear and toffee flavors matched to a creamy texture. Beautifully integrated, this lingers nicely on the mineral finish."

$40 @ World Market

Fun Fact about Blue Top Monopole Champagne:

It was the Champagne served in First Class on the Titanic…

Now that’s trivia!

(Just don't drink it on a boat!)

Salud` Kathy

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