Pretty Flamingo

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Wine can be sipped in any form that suits us.  The traditional wine glass has always been my favorite.  But sometimes the universe (and dear friends) present you a pretty pink flamingo.  And the wine is a stellar Sauvignon Blanc from Pomelo, distributed by Mason Cellars.

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By the looks of things it would seem that something fun and outdoorsy was going on.  You would be correct.  It was just a bunch of good pals enjoying a monthly free concert series, and more importantly, the comradery of the people you love  But on top of that is being at peace with ones self.  At least that’s how I felt about it.

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I brought the wine, a few snacks, and everyone else brought something to the party as well.  The weather could not have been more delightful.

So what about the wine?  Everyone that had a taste seemed to like it.  I was in a great mood so the wine is going to flow much better than usual. But the lemon and lime zest with a hint of grapefruit enhanced the quality of this vintage.  That glass didn’t hurt either.  Only the crappiest of wines was going to diminish the experience of this day.

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The tasting notes list aromas of orange blossoms and white peach.  I don’t recall any of this  I just had a wine that made me happy. But now that I know I will look for it the next time I get this bottle.  And flavors of passion fruit?  Oh this is going to bug me.  So many amazing fruits of Summer jam packed into this bottle?  I’m enamored.

This bottle can be found at many retailers for under $10.  I’ve spotted it in many stores in the Baltimore area.    You can purchase off their website for $12.00 here.

I think the price range of $8-12 is more than justified. It’s a simple drinking wine that works during the warm weather months, but I think it work at any time.  If it works for you than it works for you.

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The lemons on the label are quite charming.  It’s a welcoming image that feels like home. Maybe it’s the reminder of a glass of lemonade, or cutting up lemons to add to some iced tea, or thinner slices of lemon used to add flavor to my favorite dish.  And maybe it hits a nerve in my subconscious that I’m not fully aware of on the surface.

I understand I’m writing this post Labor Day.  So the feeling of a new season is upon us and that leads to a lot more introspection and over sentimentality than maybe their needs to be.  For many people it’s just a nice glass of wine to share with the people you care about.  That’s a big point for me too but I look for signs bigger than that.  And I could be wrong on all levels but that’s the fun of this.

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Fortunately, more festivals will be taking place in the coming months, which means even more opportunity for wine drinking, good food, and being outside with close friends and in this case, people I’m grateful to call my Baltimore family.   This is what I also mean when saying only the worst of wines was going to undermine this day.

This was a good day.

 

Salud,

Ideen

Shining Star

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After last weeks stirring post on Sauvignon Blanc, I figure I’ll get as much mileage as I can, and while the weather cooperates.  No I’m not hitting the panic button yet.  We’ve got plenty of Summer to go.   And I’m going to enjoy squeeze every drop out of it I can.   Well, at least I’l enjoy some great vino in the process.

I’m working in reverse order here.  The meal and wine for this week actually took place before the 4th of July Holiday, which was written about a week ago to rave reviews.  Or maybe that’s all in my head, oops.  Well anyhoo, here we go!

A dear friend of mine, who has hosted dinner parties in the past, was preparing a decadent meal of chicken stir fry.   This always leads to great adventures in wine pairing.  After a brief discussion we both instinctively and in unison Sauvignon Blanc would complement this dish to its fullest.

Because a lot of green and vegetables were going to be used, the Blanc was the correct choice.   I did a bit of research as to why, which confirmed what we were thinking.  You want the wine to contain at least some of the herbs, greens, and potentially even some fruits that were being used in the dish.  This is simple enough and a user-friendy aspect of wine and food pairing.

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And to keep the simple theme going, the first bottle I spotted was an old reliable, the Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  Try saying that a few times without getting tongue tied.  Admittedly, that label drew me in the first time I grabbed this bottle, going on 5+ years ago.

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The 2015 version tasted the same as I remember.  It’s smooth, easy to drink, and I tend to forget or not care about what might be in it.   But as my knowledge and curiosity gradually expands, I want to learn more.  At the time of our meal I didn’t care.   However, I did sense some grapefruit and to my pleasant surprise, I was right.   Summer fruits such as kiwi, guava, and passion fruit are mentioned but, I was hard pressed to detect those as I was sipping.  Maybe next time or maybe in the next life.  But fresh cut grass?  I got to sip on this again.

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As we had our dinner, I wasn’t doing any research.  That would be poor form and lacking in manners.  I did snag a few pictures before I ate just to get that out of that way.

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The meal was stellar as usual.

The wine pairing was spot on but it was almost too easy to drink.  It’s a discrepancy I’ll get into briefly.   I paid $13.99 for this bottle at a local wine shoppe.   I think it drinks for no more than a $10.00.  Why do I say that?  Because I’m so used to standard labels that you find in many stores, that cost $9.99 or less.  It’s just an observation and a few dollars in the grand scheme things is not the end of the world.  But it’s the principle.  I think that makes sense.

What makes absolute sense was the great company and great food prepared by my pal.   It’s the simple times with good people and good conversation that make this life worthwhile.  And it makes this one of the easier posts to do.

If you’re interesting in purchasing this wine, this link will be your friend.  The lower the price, the better.

More to come.

Best,

Ideen

 

Simply Delish

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I love bringing a bottle to any occasion, whether it be a party, smaller gathering, or no particular at all.   It always linger in the back of my mind whether it’s a wine I’ll end up writing about.  Sometimes they’re meant to be part of that memory, that event, and nothing else.  Sometimes I don’t think about it.  And then sometimes…

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The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Delish Wines is as simplistic and approachable as life should be. I won’t kid myself. That label drew me in above all else.  Does anything else seem more apropos for the Summer then perfectly scooped ice cream cones?

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This was reasonably priced at around $12.00.  I wouldn’t go much more than that.  Sites have it between that and $15.00.  This is just a personal opinion but I’ve never loved Sauv Blanc.  When I drink it I keep questioning why I don’t care for it or if my palate doesn’t coincide with what’s being presented to me.  No need to sweat the small stuff but it’s not my favorite grape.  That could re-evolve with time.

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With that negativity out of the way, I did find the good in the wine.  For me, the tart balanced with the sweet worked for me.  I’m always looking for a little bitterness balanced with berries, tropical, and citrus fruits whenever I can.   This only applies to whites.    The sour end comes from herbs and grapefruit.  I can never have enough of the latter.

When I’m at a laid back or even more frenzied party, I don’t tend to analyze the nose or notes as much.  I’m in the moment.  And obviously for this one I wasn’t, or I wouldn’t be taking all of these pictures and texting notes to myself about what I tasted.  I promise I’m not crazy. Well…

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I would recommend this bottle to anyone who likes fun.  If you want visual joy while sipping, this bottle is going to accomplish that.   The tint of the wine itself is a winner too. It may not look like ice cream but that would be gullible to the infinite power to think otherwise.

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This goes with anything and nothing.  I treated myself to a plate of meats and cheeses, and it was decimated in minutes.

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Either I’m reading way too much into this, or I love that this is the only wine they carry.  It gives them time give more and dedication to their harvesting and cultivating.  That sounds wonderful. Their website is easy to navigate.   This is only going to draw me back to their wine.  Yes, they did their job and perfectly.  I love Summer.

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Here is their contact info if you want to, well, get in contact.

This past weekend was the first time I’ve seen this bottle and I hope it’s not the last.  I suspect you can obtain this at multiple retailers. Myself, I found mine at Harbour Spirits of Severna Park, MD.

For more on this party I’ve referenced, click here.

As we roll on with the Summer (and we got a lot to go), I will hopefully find some great whites and other season fare to rave out.  I’m confident in that.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen

Bordeleau’s Brightest

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Nearly one year to the day when I first wrote about Bordelau Winery, it’s with great honor that I get to write about them again.  And as an added bonus I helped volunteer to pour wine at their booth at the most recent Great Grapes Festival.   This was a joy.

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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Tom at various festivals, including this very one, a year ago. He’s always been so laid back and easy to dialogue with on all matters vino.   Through mutual people and a little assertiveness, I got in touch with his wife Lisa, and after a few light-hearted  e-mail (and other electronic means) exchanges I find myself on the other side of the tables on that Sunday.

It’s a different animal but one I’ve fully embraced.  On many occasions I’ve been a patron and taken advantage of all the tastings and samples I could get my hands on.  It’s a slippery slope. And after a while the appreciation of what I’m drinking goes out the window.  All the crackers and water to cleanse your palate either fall by the wayside, or we forget to even partake in that necessary ritual.  Both of these scenarios are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

What I failed to see is the supposedly not so glamorous side of these festivals.   Nothing could be further from the truth.

This felt genuine, sincere, and I could be more myself.   I like to talk to folks and see what makes them feel good.  The wine is the catalyst but it also become the backdrop.  While I got the occasional pretentious question, most folks just  want to sample and have a pleasant conversation.  Nearly 100% was the latter.  That’s a good number.

Another full circle and serendipitous moment came to light.  I wrote about their reds last year, and even made mentioned of how I never got around to the whites.  So what table did I end up stationed at?  Well I’ll be…

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I’ll get the ones I didn’t love out of the way.   The Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Pinot Grigio, and the Wicomico Blush are still not my speed.  They’re not as dry as I’d like.  The latter is nowhere  near on my radar of wines I’d prefer.   I’ve included links to all three for your edification. Many of the attendees loves these three and that’s what makes these events great.  If we liked all the same wines that would significantly take the fun out of this event.

The journey is about seeing what we like and appreciating how our palates evolve over time.  I can see it first hand with me.   And speaking of which…

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I never loved Chardonnay but that’s the progression.  The 4 Chardonnay Barrel Fermented was the winner for me.  I may have shown just a little more enthusiasm while pouring this one versus the others.  Yes the vanilla and apple on the back end is a bonus but that oak.  Oh my goodness I could drink bottles of this.  Well not while volunteering and obviously not too much or the savoring goes out the window.  But I think you get the gist.  At $15.00 this is a steal.

One thing I learned is that this Chardonnay is not meant to be too cold or it will lose the flavors and the nose that we deserve to observer.   That’s an art I would like to perfect with time.  So there were times I took this bottle off of the ice.  Temperature is everything.

The rain came down and and we had to move things around rather swiftly, to protect everything from the storm.  I noticed as we were packing this bottle was placed on ice for a while.  And I just had to try it again.  Something was lost.  Maybe it was the elements of the outside world, maybe it was the colder than appropriate temperature, or maybe the universe threw everything off kilter.  It could be everything or nothing.   But yes, temperature is so key when it comes to wine.

Man this was fun.  I will be doing this again.

For more on Bordelau, here is some info on their winery, where you can find their wines in Maryland, contact, and online shopping info.   I think I’ve dissected their website enough.

The next time I talk up this fantastic winery will hopefully be on location.  I referenced this a year ago and I have to own this one.   I can’t plan this too much.  I just have to get there.

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More from Great Grapes very soon.

Best,

Ideen

 

 

Happy Hummus Day!

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Today we’re celebrating International Hummus Day!   It seems that only recently hummus has blown up in popularity all around the world.  It used to be we found it only in restaurants as an appetizer, in International markets, and maybe a few flavors here and there at select grocery stores.

Now it’s everywhere.  There are flavors that were once only imagined, and have now come to fruition.

Finding a wine to pair with our meal was a bit daunting.  But once again, thanks to the awesome staff at Wine World of Abingdon, MD for their assistance.

The flavors chosen for this review were a Roasted Garlic and an Edamame.  The latter I’ve only discovered recently.  And it’s so yummy.

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So with the spicier offerings in mind and without further adieu, the wine selected was the Retsina from Greece.

It’s not a wine I’ve sipped too often.  I recall trying these at Greek Festivals in the Maryland and Washington, DC area.

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This is an acquired taste.  Honestly, I couldn’t finish my glass.  It’s not something I’m used to.  Maybe in time, it will be a glass I will learn to appreciate with Greek appetizers and the right vibe or environment. But, in this case, it wasn’t for me.

When I uncorked the bottle, the nose was really strange.  I’m not sure what I was smelling.  It wasn’t the most pleasing.

However, the golden color does have a charm to it.

In many instances, I like to try wines, without knowing ahead of time what fruits, flavors, or spices are included.  This was no exception.  What I tasted was very earth like.  But not in that earthy tones term that people like to throw out there  It tasted like nature.  It had a familiar taste of Spring.  It was like something I recall in my backyard when I was a kid.   Then I did my research and saw that taste was the pine-tree resin.

This was the wine of the gods.  And I think that’s awesome.  But it’s not awesome for me.  Not yet at least.  That doesn’t mean you or yours wouldn’t like it.   We all have different tastes and that’s what makes us all unique and all the same.  In doing some research, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Noir have been common suggestions. Hopefully you’ll be able to find a wine that goes well with this special day

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In the meanwhile, I celebrated hummus yesterday and will continue today.    Here we have some whole wheat pita triangles and pita chips thrown in, to dip and delight.

Enjoy today.

Best,

Ideen

The Bulgarian Beaut

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It was suggested to me that I start talking about the whites.  With a few exceptions, my posts have revolved around the reds, and many of them of the full-bodied variety.

As the temperatures increase, you better believe more of these are going to be discussed.  I’ve stated before that I love lots of oak in reds.   The opposite could not be more true with whites. It’s an important detail going forward.

So it brings me great pleasure to be talking about the Sauvignon Blanc From Bulgariana Wines.  And it’s a pleasure.

I stopped into my local Total Wine in Towson, MD, knowing they had a massive selection of every grape imaginable, and was immediately helped by a very friendly staff member.  I wish I had gotten her name.   I mentioned I was looking for a white, specifically a Sauv Blanc, for a blog I was doing, and she gave me a few wonderful suggestions.

I settled on the Bulgariana as it had the most appealing label, and even more exciting, in the synopsis there was a mention of pineapple!  How awesome is that?  I’ve never knowingly had the pleasure of sampling a wine that had pineapple or a similar exotic fruit in it.  So I had to try.  This is part of the fun.   There will be so many unknowns in wine tasting, and that’s one of the best part of a wine tasters journey.

I couldn’t wait to take this home and chill it in the fridge for a few hours.  When I finally opened it, the exciting aromas just hit my heart.  It’s just one of those indescribable feelings.  It might be too good for words.   But I’m going to try.  It’s that moment right when the bottle is about to be uncorked, and you just know something amazing is about to happen.  That’s a wonderful high.  And this is one of those beautiful moments.  I can’t tell you what every scent or flavor it, but it was heavenly.  Oh my goodness.  And even the back of the label mentions exotic fruits, but doesn’t say exactly which ones. Maybe I’m not meant to know. Or maybe I will know in time!

The suggestions are to enjoy this with a salad, fish dishes, pizza, and pasta.  Now the Sauvignon Blanc’s are always a welcome pairing with lighter fish entrees since most of the Blanc’s are light to medium themselves.  Pretty simple!

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As you can see, I chose to savor this alone.  But this is a wine that deserves a wonderful food pairing.   It’s light enough to be drank with friends, but it’s worthy of a delicious meal to go with it.

I have never seeked out whites and they’ve never been my first choice.  But this bottle was something else.   It’s a great way bottle to enjoy during the warm weather months.     I also look forward to trying more of Bulgariana’s wines in the near future.  In the meantime, this one will be celebrated in all her glory.   And at only $10.99, I got more than my money’s worth.

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Enjoy the spring.

Kindest,

Ideen