Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Yalumba, The Strapper (2011) Wine Review

”The Strapper “ is a British English term mostly used in Australia for someone who looks after racehorses by doing everything from mucking the stalls to grooming and saddling (thus the term strapper). The Strapper is reliable, solid and trustworthy.  

It’s been my experience that all of the offerings I've tried from Yalumba possess these desirable qualities causing me to continue to reach for their brand while wine shopping.  This one is a GSM. GSM is an acronym for Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre, three varietals commonly blended in French, Southern Rhone wines including Chateauneauf-du-pape.

This GSM however is from the Barossa Valley of Australia. The blend is 48% Grenache, 47% Shiraz and 5% Mataro (Mourvèdre).

First off, I noticed its garnet, somewhat see-though, color.  On the nose - chokecherry or boysenberry syrup, cranberry and violet and a hint of cedar and baking spice. On the soft palate, I found it to be fruit forward, slightly jammy with a peppery yet lengthy finish possessing moderate tannins.

We enjoyed this with grilled pork chops slathered in Bone Suckin’ (Hot) Sauce and Savory Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pecans one night and BLT’s the next. If you are making crock-pot dinners this summer, try with my Braised Beef Tips and Mushrooms over Riced Potatoes. To print or save the recipe pairing suggestions, click the links below. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Secco Italian Bubbles (2013) Wine Review

Perlage – that’s the word of the day this Wine Wednesday. Perlage is French (pronounced pear LEE ziə). The word translates as beadwork but is also used to describe the beads that form in sparkling wine. Yes, you guessed it, this week’s feature the 2013 Secco Italian Bubbles is indeed a sparkling wine.

The name “Secco” seems to allude to “Prosecco” an Italian white wine which is usually sparkling. However, this is not Prosecco even though it’s produced by two Italian sisters, Ginevra and Olivia Casa, who happen to be quite passionate about Prosecco. Washington state rock star winemaker Charles Smith joins them in this effort and shakes things up a bit.

Instead of the Glera grape varietal used in Prosecco, here they are using 100% Moscato Blanco. Sparkling wines have varying degrees of perlage and I would describe this as “frizzante”, a semi-sparkling wine.

As the days get warmer and lazy summer afternoons grow nearer, you might want to stock up on a few bottles of this. The low alcohol content (5%) makes this the perfect summer sipper.

On the nose (and palate as well) floral and tropical fruit notes. On the tongue, the sweetness of the Moscato is offset by the effervescence making it enjoyably but not cloyingly sweet.

We savored this with Grilled Bruschetta and Salmon Cucumber Canapés for one of our Saturday night appetizer night dinners. Start planning your weekend, sit on the patio or under a giant shade tree, play a relaxing game of checkers or Scrabble and sip on some Secco this Saturday or Sunday afternoon! Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.

Salmon Cucumber Canapés

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Machi Torrontes (2012) Wine Review

Could you recommend a wine to serve with salmon?  I’ve been asked this question more than a few times and there are several great options, but upon tasting this week’s Wine Wednesday feature it was the first pairing that came to mind. 

The 2012 Machi Torrontes comes to us from the Salta wine region of Argentina. The name pays homage to Machi, traditional healers and tribal leaders of ancient Indian culture indigenous to the area in the far north of Argentina. Machi relied on medicinal herbs and other remedies for healing and thus inspired the name and winemaker to use natural viticultural techniques to craft the wine.  

Torrontes, pronounced Tor RON tez (roll those r’s) is the most widely cultivated white wine grape of Argentina.

In the glass, a rich golden color. On the nose, bold herbal notes, also floral, though more the leaves of flowering plants, lychee and spice. It has an incredibly silky mouthfeel – a wine with weight – and a beautifully balanced acidity delivering a crisp, clean, yet complex finish of citrus, spice and lastly honey on the roof of your mouth.

The mouthfeel and weight of the wine makes it an ideal pairing for salmon, arctic char or other more oily fish dishes. The complexity of the wine will hold up to the bolder flavors of salmon and other oily fish yet not overwhelm them. The herbal aspect will also nicely compliment my Salmon with Dill Sauce. Also try with spicy Indian food or Thai flavors like those in my Tempura Fish Tacos. Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.