Wednesday, April 18, 2018

H&M Hofer Bio Grüner Veltliner (2015) Wine Review



Is that a bottle opener on the end of your cork screw? Why would you need that? Some of your friends are beer drinkers – gasp! Perhaps that's why, or perhaps you need a bottle opener to open your wine. 

Seeing the closure on this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2015 H&M Hofer Bio Grüner Veltliner, caused me to add it to my cart.  It’s the first time I’ve seen a wine that you needed a bottle opener to open. I found this at Whole Foods (It’s made with organic grapes) and I couldn’t resist.

To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes. It’s like the first time I saw a bottle of wine with a screw cap, could it be any good?

Well, yes it can be.  I loved it. It’s one of the best Grüner Veltliners I have ever had.  Notes of pear, honey, and orange blossom on the nose presented slightly sweet with big fruit and white pepper on the palate.  It was lively on the tongue, evidence of stainless steel fermentation, and it delighted with a long finish.  It was a perfectly balanced wine, which makes it extremely versatile.

So, do you have to finish it all in one setting? No, not unless you want to. Though you can’t put the bottle cap back on, one of my wine stoppers seals it nicely.  I wrote this blog post last night while sipping on a glass, and have plans to enjoy it with Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia for dinner tonight.  Next time, I’ll plan ahead, and serve it with Wiener Schnitzel Hamburg Style, Lyonnaise Potatoes and Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Vinaigrette, and relive some fond food memories of days spent in Austria. Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.















Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ernie Els Big Easy Red (2014) Wine Review




On Saturday night, our neighborhood wine club held its monthly gathering where each couple brings a bottle of wine and an appetizer.  This month’s theme was South African wines. I went to AJ’s Fine Foods, the best hope for something other than the limited mass production options at the local big box stores. (This is where I’m tempted to go off on a rant about the lack of wine shops in areas, especially here in AZ, where wine can be purchased in grocery stores and then big box stores, eliminating boutique wine shops with interesting finds, but I digress.) 
I was fortunate to find a bottle of Protea Chenin Blanc which I’ve reviewed in the past, and also this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2014 Ernie Els Big Easy Red.  I chose to take the Chenin Blanc to the event because I was familiar with it, but also because it paired well with the Cucumber Salmon Canapés I brought as an appetizer. 
I decided to open the Big Easy Red on Sunday and as I suspected, it paired perfectly with the Grilled Lamb Chops I had planned for dinner.
Big Easy as the label states, is “big in stature, gentle in character”.  A blend of 61% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Mourvedre, 5% Grenache, 4% Viognier, and 4% Cinsaut. On the nose, notes of black raspberry, ripe cherry, and baking spice. On the palate, slightly herbal, with ample fruit and noteworthy pepper on the finish. This dry wine features moderate to slightly assertive tannins.
As I mentioned, we enjoyed this with Grilled Lamb Chops, try also with Braised Beef Tips and Mushrooms. Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.





















Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2016 Granbazán Albarino Etiqueta Verde Wine Review


It’s white wine season! Well it is in Phoenix anyway.  Though the temperatures this time of year are the very reason I moved to the Valley of the Sun, this year has been exceptional with highs hovering around 80° F every day for the last week, and forecast for the coming week as well.   So, you aren’t reading this to get a weather report? Sorry, I can’t help myself.
This week’s Wine Wednesday feature the 2016 Granbazán Albarino Etiqueta Verde is the perfect wine for warm sunny days.  From the Rias Baixas region of Spain, this Albarino (pronounced Al-boh- REEN- Yoh) is a great representation of the indigenous varietal. Etiqueta Verde translates as “green label”, denoting the entry-level offering from Granbazán.
On the nose, honeydew, kiwi, and grassy notes. It’s wonderfully zippy and refreshing on the tongue with herbal and citrus notes on the palate. The finish is crisp and citrusy, with a bit of salinity lingering.  The Rias Baixas is a coastal sub-region of the Galicia region in Northwestern Spain, and the cool, damp sea air contributes to this delicious wine. If you like Vermentino; try this Albarino. We enjoyed this with Lobster Risotto (used it in the recipe too). Try also with Steamed Mussels. Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.














Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Yalumba Old Bush Vine Grenache (2014) Wine Review


When you find a wine that you like, do you tend to try other offerings by the same brand?  Well, I do, and in the case of Yalumba, the winery behind this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2014 Old Bush Vine Grenache, I’m finding them to be a trusted name for quality wine at an affordable price. I’ve reviewed 3 other wines by Yalumba (reviews are archived under varietal categories on this blog) and each wine is distinctly different.

I’ll go one step further, when you find a brand that you like, do you ever plan to visit the winery?  Well, I do that too. Yalumba is a family-owned winery spanning 5 generations and over 167 years. They are one of four wineries around the world with their own cooperage -  making their own barrels. When I visit Australia, I want to make the Barossa region and a visit to Yalumba part of my trip.
The grapes for this wine are sourced from low-yielding vines planted between 1898 and 1973.This old bush vine Grenache is extremely versatile for food pairing, and in my opinion, a great choice if you’re having a party - a red wine that could please the masses. If you like Beaujolais, try this wine.

In the glass, it’s a lovely ruby color. The nose features raspberry, cassis and violet notes.  On the palate, raspberry and cherry with prominent spice and pepper on the finish. It’s a wonderful medium-bodied wine and the subtle use of French oak keeps this dry wine very food friendly. We enjoyed it with Bistro Burgers (put some in the burgers too).  Try also with Maple Chipotle Glazed Cedar Plank Salmon.  Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.