A Very Special Label

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I’m calling another audible.  I had something in mine for this week, but I will be able to get back to that at a reasonable time.

This is an addendum to another post I made about this decorating party, which can be found right here.  And even with all the sentiment and heartwarming situations, there is room for laughs.  We all need some comedy and laughter in our life.  If not, then what’s this all for.  And is there a more necessary time than during the holidays?   This post might end up being funny, or just a bit dopey depending on where this goes.

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The title of this post might be misleading, but the label for the Happy Holidays Sparkling Wine is art.  What else needs to be said.  There is such care and precision put into this design, how can you not be drawn to it?

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For folks who love the entire wine experience, presentation is almost as important as the wine itself.  First impressions don’t necessarily tell you the whole story, or even offer up some semblance of what’s really going on.  We’re only scratching the surface.

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When you see a label like this, and at only around $11, it’s not worthy of a buy, it’s a must buy.  That’s what happened to me.   I got a little too excited that I made an impulse buy without stopping to check of the details of the wine itself.  And that’s where disappointment is likely to set in.  But we can also find the positives in any situation.  I’m saying all this before I’ve even opened the bottle.  But wait…

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After the euphoria wore off, I read that this was an Italian Sparkling Wine, which would go perfect for the brunch or light appetizer part of the party I was headed to.

This looked too good to open and too good to be true.  I wanted this to remain a mystery.  I wanted to romanticize all the beauty inside without ever uncorking.

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But that wasn’t going to happen.  The mimosas and various champagne drinks were being guzzled at rapid-fire rates that it was only a matter of time before my bottle would be unveiled to the world, or an audience of 10.  Either way this wasn’t good.  After the dramatic build-up I really wanted to like it.  But not even close.  And the host of the decorating party was the first to lash out.   My feeling weren’t hurt.  They all can’t be winners.  It tasted nothing like champagne, sparkling wine, or some other facsimile.

It was too thick and too heavy to be considered champagne or anything remotely close. Like I said, I wanted this to be one of those bottles that you’ll be talking about for years to come.  That’s not even close.  But the fact that it was hard to drink is what made this so funny.  We had a bunch of cheap and standard-label champagne to start off, that served its purpose and went down smooth.  That’s all we want in a champagne brunch.  Maybe the sparkling wine would have been better served in another capacity, but I don’t see it.

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The hostess was great to find the positives in this.  The bottle had already been open, and we waited until all the other champagne tapped out to finish this one.  It just sat there looking lonely.  No one wanted any.  But that label can’t be disputed.  I could stare at that for a while, or until I got restless and wanted a good wine or champagne.  It was funny trying to avoid drinking this until absolutely necessary.  It was tolerable enough to finish but a struggle at the same time.  That’s not an endorsement.

If I were to talk badly about a wine, I wouldn’t want it to be during the holidays, but I gave myself much higher expectations.  And because of the imagery, I doomed myself with such lofty expectations.  I would say I’ve learned my lesson, but I wouldn’t want to.  It may be a novice thing to buy a wine based on a label but the heck with it.  Buy what you want, drink what you like, and take some chances.  I did and I’ll do so again.

I can’t find much about this bottle online, except for this link.  Not sure this can help.

More on the winery itself, Villa Jolanda, can be found here.

For my friends in Maryland, I found this at Wine World in Abingdon, MD.

If you would like to see my friends’ party recap from last year, this is the link for YOU!

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I will bid farewell with a few more pictures from the decorating party.  Regardless of how the wine was, everything about the event was perfection.  I can only hope the next wine I bring to one of these affairs will be the same.

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As always, happiest of holidays to you.

Ideen

 

 

Wine Ice Cream Social

It’s time to switch it up and pay another homage to this beautiful season we call Summer!

I’ve come across various wine ice creams, slushies, and other frozen concoctions in the past couple of years and never thought to try them, let alone write about them. There’s no time like the present.

In serendipitous fashion, I discovered Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream at one of my favorite local wine shops near me!

With the assistance of the friendly team members at Wine World of Abingdon, MD, I got 3 pints for me and my pals.

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You can’t judge a book by its cover, but how beautiful do these look?

Now if you were just getting regular, old-fashioned, and delicious ice cream, $6.99 a pint might seem a bit steep.  But we’re talking vino, we’re talking emotion, and we’re talking new experiences.

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Most importantly though, how did they turn out?

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Exhibit #1 : The Strawberry Sparkling. This was my favorite.  You could really taste the alcohol content right away.   And mixed in with the ice cream this was a match made to perfection.  The strawberry pieces really added a lot to this.  This is one of my favorite fruits in frozen form or to be cherished alone.  This was fantastic.

Strawberries and champagne will usually always be a winning combination.  And they nailed this one.  If I wasn’t careful I would’ve eaten the whole thing and been unable to write this post.

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Exhibit #2 : Peach White Zinfandel.  I liked this one too, but I didn’t taste much in the way of alcohol.  I love peach and the fruit pieces were also delectable and very much appreciated.   I haven’t had much experience with Blush Wines like this one, so I didn’t have the highest of expectations.

Don’t get me wrong, peach is a wonderful fruit and is one of the joys to be had during these beautiful months, but I just felt like I was tasting peach ice cream.  On its own that would be great, but my taste buds didn’t get much of the wine.

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And finally, exhibit #3 : Cherry Merlot.   This one hit a little more.  I love cherry and the cherry pieces looked magnificent. Merlot is a grape that I’ve gradually enjoyed a little more each time I have it.

Of the three helpings, this is the least summery but the one that seemed the most powerful.  The color also stands out.   This is one I’d think I’d have to be careful with or I may be taking an extended nap or two.

There was an abundance of flavors, so if time allows, I will be reviewing some more!

If you’re interested in purchasing some, the only location in the Baltimore area that carries them is Wine World.  And here’s a location guide for anyone else interested!

I would definitely recommend these creams for any outdoor events and parties. We have a lot of Summer left!

Enjoy!

Best,

Ideen

It’s A Celebration

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Today’s post is a special one.   A good friend of mine just recently found out he is now cancer free.  Congratulations and it’s now time to celebrate healing and feeling good!  So what better way than to start with some sparkling wine!

During a spur of the moment trip to Virginia over the holidays, I purchased the Bon Vivant Brut.   Now, why did I go all the way over here?  Because, aside from a few exceptions, you can purchase wine in any grocery store in the state for lovers.

I’ve always liked taking random trips to VA to buy wine on the cheap.  A drive to Dulles back in December of last year led me to the Wegmans, which always has a great selection at very affordable prices.

So based on recommendations for ways to celebrate the holidays, I grabbed a bottle here.   The price tag was a bit steep at $19.99.  But, hey it’s the holidays and we like to spend big and over indulge.  So why not?

However, with circumstances being what they were, maybe champagne wasn’t appropriate at the time.  And with all of us going out to holiday parties, throughout the month of December, a lot of us were indulging in egg nog, cocktails, and fuller bodied red wines.

But that’s the good thing about sparkling wine and champagne.  It can be saved for any time of celebration and to show love.  Well today was that day.

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So how does it taste?  It was easy to drink and  enjoy.   I detected some pear and apple flavors but, nowhere on the back label gives any kind of synopsis of the wine itself.   The added fun is that you can use your detective skills and intuition as to what you think might be contained inside.   Not much is listed in various searches, aside from the company site which says the California wine is made in a French Style with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.  Sound easy or complicated enough for you?   Ha.

Nevertheless, this is a drink to be savored and to symbolize what makes you happy and makes you feel great.  That is what life is all about.

Even though the price is a bit high, for a grocery store deal, at $20,  I would buy this again and recommend this to anyone for any special occasion. It’s all about celebrating joys and accomplishments in your life.  And the wines we drink can be a small part of that.  We’re approaching the warm weather months and that’s cause for celebration itself!

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Stay healthy.

Best,

Ideen