Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Santana Savor - Mumm Napa - Wine Review

Toast the New Year with Santana!

Recently, my husband Lee and I were able to steal away for a day trip to Napa. As they like to say in Napa, “Cab is king”. Though I’m not all that crazy about Cabernet Sauvignon, I keep trying, thinking eventually I’ll find the one that will change my mind.  Though Cab is king, there is still plenty in Napa for me to enjoy. We visited several wineries and tasted at three of them. We always plan where we’ll visit before we leave and route our tour accordingly.  This time, Lee chose the wineries, but as we drove past Mumm Napa, I asked that we include it and make it one of our tastings as I was familiar with Mumm Champagne and sparkling wine and I thought just maybe we might find our bubbly for this NYE. As it turned out, we did.

Mumm Napa came about when Guy Devaux was sent by G.H. Mumm, of the renowned Champagne house in Rheims, France, to discover the ideal area in the U.S for growing Champagne grapes. The first vintage was produced in Napa in 1983.

We tasted several delicious sparkling wines (Sparkling wines can only be labeled as Champagne if they are from the Champagne region in France and if certain traditional wine producing methods of the region are used.)

As we tasted, we learned about Mumm’s Santana series.  This is a collaboration with rock guitarist Carlos Santana.  A portion of the proceeds benefit the Milagro Foundation established by Carlos Santana and his family.  The foundation provides grants to tax-exempt community organizations that work with children in the areas of education, health and the arts.

There are currently three wines in the series.  We chose Santana Savor, a blend of 47 % Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, 6% Pinot Meunier and 2% Pinot Gris. Oh, how I love blends! The wine presents notes of stone fruit; apricot and peach as well as apple and shortbread. It is very fruit forward and subtly sweet on the finish. Because it is slightly sweet, it will pair well with one of Lee’s favorite dishes, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas. If you’re having hors d’ oeuvres this NYE, it would also pair well with Cucumber Salmon Canapés . Click the links below to print or save the recipes.

I wish you all the best life has to offer in 2018!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Brancott Estate Flight Song (2016) Wine Review

How many calories are in a glass of wine? Well, that all depends.  It was when I came across this Wine Wednesday’s feature, the 2016 Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc, that I considered this question more closely.  I noticed the label said it is “crafted to be 20% lighter in calories”.  This sort of surprised me.  Of course, I’m familiar with the Skinny Girl wines, though I’ve never tried them.  To be honest, though I enjoy wine, I don’t feel I consume enough that the 20% savings in calories is worth the compromise of the wine experience.  However, it did cause me to pause because I don’t remember seeing a well-known label such as Brancott touting a low-calorie wine.  So, I shelled out the $15.99 and gave it a try.

Before I get into my review of the wine, I think it pertinent to point out where the calories in wine come from.  Generally, it’s either sugar or alcohol. Low calorie wines also tend to be lower in alcohol.  In the case of this week’s wine, it is 9% ABV. A popular equation I came across to determine the calories in a glass of wine is to multiply the serving size x % alcohol by volume x 1.6.  This equation works best for dry wines. A serving of wine is generally considered to be 5 oz. with about 5 glasses in an average bottle.  So, in the case of Flight Song, using this equation, multiply 5 oz. x 9 ABV x 1.6, and you get 72 calories. Their website indicates that there are 88 calories.  As you can see the equation isn’t exact, but it can get you in the ballpark. Keep in mind also, that some sweeter wines like Moscato are lower in alcohol, but the additional sugar could make it higher in calories than a dry white with a higher alcohol content.

So, after all that, how was the wine?  Was it the best Sauvignon Blanc I’ve ever had? No. But, it was far from the worst. I thought it might seem watery or lackluster, but I found it to have the qualities I’ve come to love in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  On the nose, tropical fruit, grapefruit and green vegetables. On the palate it exhibited nice body and was well balanced with the citrus notes stealing the show. I found it to have a short finish – not evolving the way other favorite Sauvignon Blancs do, but in the end, I wasn’t disappointed with the purchase. 

I noticed that the regular Brancott Sauvignon Blanc has about 119 calories per 5 oz. serving and 13.5% ABV. Over the course of the holiday party season, that 34 calories per glass could allow you a few extra hors d' oeuvres and the lower alcohol content isn't necessarily a bad thing either.  Speaking of hors d' oeuvres, Flight Song would pair well with Salmon Cucumber Canapés, Crab Rangoon and Boiled Shrimp Cocktail.  Click the links below to print or save the recipes.