Winner Winner

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It’s already February.  How did this happen?   The holiday season is way in the rear view mirror.  And what we have now is the transitional period of waiting for winter to slowly end before the festivities of Spring begin.

Now that sounds negative.  A transition period seems to have a negative connotation if interpreted that way.  But thankfully for those of us in Maryland it’s been a bit milder than usual.   What this means is instead of hibernating and disappearing which tends to happen around this time, we now have more people wanting to hang out and host beautiful dinner parties with beautiful friends, who have even more beautiful souls.

I’ve been honored to attend these several of these convocations throughout my time on this earth, and lately the amount if escalating.  Maybe it’s destiny, as it gives me more ideas and inspiration to share.

This dinner was more of the low-key variety.  To be more specific, it was a quiet one for two.  I have the honor of knowing lots of great people in Baltimore, and to be invited into someone’s house is a treat I never take for granted and fully appreciate.

As always, with dinner, I never come empty handed.  And I don’t remember the last time I didn’t bring wine.

I was told ahead of time by my friend that a chicken stir fry type of dish would be on the menu.  And when it comes to that kind of specificity, I want to bring something to complement the dinner and the theme.

Leave it to one of my new go-to’s at Canton Crossing Wine & Spirits to come through once again.

I had done my research.  A lighter wine made sense with a likely spicy stir fry dish.  Pinot Noir and Beaujolais seemed like the obvious.  But it’s not always about the obvious.  We can’t always follow the suggested, how accurate they may be.   It’s good to go with an instinct or in this instance, a little help from beyond.  Let me not so be dramatic.  There’s a great staff at this shoppe.  And one in particular steered me to try the 2014 Mas Carlot Tradition Rouge.   At only $12, I felt like I had nothing to lose and everything to win, and learn from regardless.

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This wine was a grower.  I’ll explain shortly.

I got to my friends place and literally got to experience the entire crafting of the dinner until the end.  There was a slow build in the conversation which tends to be a lot of my doing, or maybe for other people too.  But I like it that way.  It’s a nourishing kind of discussion.  I may start off a bit awkward, but after a little wine and a few appetizers, and maybe just a little more libations, my senses are calmed and heightened.

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The conversation grows organically as it was always destined to be.  And just like our discussion is breathing and evolving, so was the wine.  This whole process took on a life of its own  I’m not sure how much time went by, from when this bottle was opened until completion.

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This medium bodied wine got better after a few sips and enough time to breathe.   Some folks or experts would say it had opened up nicely.  That’s exactly what happened whatever semantics you want to use.

Grenache and Syrah carry most of the weight.  And carries it well.  And a little Mourvedre goes a long way.

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There were definitely some kind of spices along with those darker fruits that tend to embody wines from the Rhone Valley.   I see there were notes of strawberries.  How perfect that strawberries were the dessert.  I know I’m skipping around the order but it needed to be mentioned.  And I’m not always about proper order.

shrimp

It worked so well with the shrimp we had beforehand.  It was going to work with everything.  Enjoying yourself, the company we keep, and everything that goes with it makes just about any wine that much better.

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The dinner was marvelous.  The simple time are always the best.  I feel like this was the best wine under this circumstance.  We were meant to have this in that moment. I don’t know if this a wine I will ever have again.  And if that’s the case I’m fine with that.

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I only say that because it’s a label I’ve never seen before and wouldn’t stick out right away in most instances. For more on this wine, here is the official site which you can translate.   A little for more can be found here.

Once again, if it’s the only time I ever have this wine, it will be fitting.  It will remind me of this enjoyable evening I had and nothing else.

And nothing else needs to be said.

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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Strawberry

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.

Peach

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.

Cherry

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