Sister Gertrude

piggie

I gotta admit, I purchased this bottle, only for the label itself.  And nothing more.   And I was pleasantly surprised.   This is a fun smelling and tasting wine.   But the most important question of all, how cool is that pig?

The 2012 La Maialina Gertrude from Tuscany is a steal at only $11.99.  This is a wonderful trio of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and the inspiring Sangiovese.

I must make mention that this was purchased at Lighthouse Liquors in the Canton part of Baltimore.   They have one heck of a selection, and I find myself going in there at least once a week.    In a subsequent post, I will get into the further details and expound about the fun things of this shoppe.

When I uncorked the bottle, I detected some cherry and mint flavors off the top.  I initially thought this would be an amateur move, buying this wine because of how pretty the design was.  But I was pleasantly surprised on the taste.   Just as good as it smells.

It’s not that I had low expectations.  I’m just not sure what my expectations were.  But that’s the fun of trying a new wine or trying a new anything.  Not knowing what you’re getting into an leaving your comfort zone is part of the fun

But this is a wine that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.  And it can be eaten with anything within reason.    Within reason is entirely up to us.

top

So what about the pig?  Very charming, I know.  What you see is the wrapping on top of the cork, and this looked too brilliant to pop open.

class

And see, that Gertrude cannot be stopped.   You know I’ll be saving that cork, and heck, the bottle too.

Not much is on the web about this wine, aside from several reviews.

The origins of the La Maialina are listed on the back of the label and can also be found here.   The description of the back says Gertrude is unique she does not have the cinta (belt) markings but rather is all.  I’m honored to be a part of something unique.  I love Gertrude.

Finally, the synopsis reads that this awesome Tuscan wine is ready to be enjoyed now or in the next few years.   I look forward to doing both.  This is definitely a purchase I am happy about.   With Italian wines, I usually enjoy them with pizza and this is no exception.

I am happy to have met Gertrude and sometimes is does help judging by wine by it’s cover.  But not too much.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen

Smokin’

cote

I got to try a new Cotes Du Rhone, per a recommendation from a friend.  And I am so happy I did.   It’s a full bodied red at it’s finest.  I thought it was a bottle that I had before.  But I doubt it.  This flavor would have resonated with me.  Is it the peppery taste that makes me love Cabernet Franc so much or are there some exciting things going on here?

Now I have always like a good Rhone, Grenache has always been a favorite for me.

The La Grande Ribe Cuvee Centenairee Cotes Du Rhone 2009 is one for the books.   As soon as I took a whiff upon opening, I knew I was in for something different and something special.   Boy was that an understatement.

There was a smokiness, along with something else very distinct about the aroma.  So I took a pour and this blew my taste buds away.  I thought I was tasting a piney, earthy, or maybe out of this world selection.   Well I looked up what I could and discovered that barbecue smoke and roasted herbs are added to make this a dynamite bottle.  Literally.

Mystery is abound, however, as I cannot find anything about the winery itself.  But to my pleasure and lack of surprise, you can look this wine up and get a dozen or so different synopsis and evaluation of what is included.   It’s all about interpretation and the power of persuasion.  But I definitely can taste the smoke and the herbs.   Or is it something else too good for words?

Now this recap tells me there’s the black pepper I alluded to, coffee, cinamon, figs, and licorice flavors.  Now which one is it?   There’s also red fruit and black fruit?   So much to keep up with.   This could take years or maybe sooner, but one day, I will figure this puzzle out.   Maybe they’re all right?  Or maybe it’s not meant to be solved?   Just maybe, the flavor can be whatever you interpret it as.    Ah this adds to the mystery…

Bottom line, this is an awesome get.  And this is how I enjoyed it.

amazing

Pretty inspiring I know.

All the best,

Ideen

The Universe Loves You

karma

Signs are everywhere and if you pay attention, it feels like the world is on your side and can be a powerful source of comfort.

I had a set of wines all set to talk about this week.  But that will have to wait.  As I walked into one of my favorite shoppes, Wine World, one of those aforementioned signs was shown to me.

Upon entry, the first thing I see, is this incredibly charming display for California Karma.  Of all the bottles in plain sight, this is what I see first. This is no accident.  Or it could be the strategically placed set-up near the front, but still.   And yes I realize it’s just the name of the wine.   But is there more to this quantum story?

So after this prolonged introduction, how is the wine itself?   I had their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s tremendous.    It’s lighter tasting than many Cab’s that I’ve had, but that doesn’t diminish how tasty it is.   I may have detected some plums or even a brown sugary finish.  But I can’t be certain.  Further research has yet to reveal what fruits and flavors may have been added to make this so wonderful.

After reading their story, I can appreciate the simplicity and no nonsense approach to their production.   Maybe I will try the Chardonnay in the future.  But maybe just one karmic experience at a time.

Less than 10 years old, the Paso Robles, based winery shows us a different take on Cabernet, that is friendly and approachable, just like their synopsis reads.

And ladies and gentleman, that is what wine is meant to be, friendly and approachable.  And I will add relatable and endearing.    And with a price tag of $12.99, it’s all those superlatives and more.

They suggest having it with meat or pasta, but I enjoyed my glass tonight with a nice homemade whole wheat chicken quesadilla.   And they complemented each other well.

And that’s the fun of wine pairing, you can create your own duos and your own destiny.   Just like karma. And karma can be a beautiful thing, if we create it as such.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen

Beaulieu – A Great Taste of Napa

BeauRouge

I’ve never been to Napa, but I have indulged in a few of their selections.   And it’s usually been a good experience.

I don’t believe in accidents or coincidence, so coming back from a recent ski trip a couple of Saturdays ago (1/24/15), I find myself at one of my favorite wine stores, College Square Liquors, in Westminster, MD.

I’ve been fortunate to attend a few of their Saturday tastings and the diversity of their choices is fantastic.    Napa Valley, and California in general, have usually been the most represented, among other wines from around the world.   But on this day, I discovered a beautiful bottle…

The 2010 BeauRouge from Beaulieu Vineyard is a delicious mix of eight grapes.  Cabernet Sauvignon is most prominent, maybe because it’s the fullest of the reds included.  The other seven are : Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Tempranillo, Petit Sirah, and two new ones for me – Touriga and Charbono.  The latter two I will need to do more research on.

This is a full bodied wine that hits you hard and pulls no punches.  The tannins are omnipresent and feel so good on my tongue, and on the inside of my mouth.   I know I’m drinking something special.  There is the peppery flavor that is so agreeable to my palate.  The description states there’s blackberry, chocolate, and cassis, which I could detect, if I try hard enough. Or maybe not at all

In the indoctrination process of Napa Wines, or more complicated blends, maybe this isn’t one of the early ones I should be drinking.  But as the old cliche goes, you gotta start somewhere.  So I welcome the simple ones and the even more intense blends to come.

When it comes to California wines, it’s a lifelong learning process that I look forward to.    I may never learn everything, but I am looking forward to gaining all the knowledge I can.  This is going to be a fun ride.

One of the most important things to note is, I got this bottle for only $16.99.  This is a good deal. The vineyard’s own website lists it at $32.00.   Most retailers, I have looked at online, have it around the $20.00 mark give or take.

I cannot tell you how many great wines I have bought at below cost, that are worth what they are regularly priced.  My preference is to buy all my bottles at under $20.00 if I can, with exceptions to the rule.   This would be one of those exceptions.  I look forward to trying more from Beaulieu.    And one day, it will hopefully be a memorable stop when I tour Napa.

Maybe someday…

Best,

Ideen