Easter Party – The Blanca


I’m following up on last weeks post, where I paired the Easter gathering appetizers with a splendid red.

This week it’s the conclusion of the party with the main course, and of course a white wine (or in this case a blanca) that would hopefully go over well.


If you guessed I brought a Spanish white, then you would win the door prize, if I only  had a prize to give.  However, per a few of the guests in attendance the Palma Real Rueda from my pals at Total Wine, was a hit and a de facto winner.  I only say that because the party included lots of beer, liquors, and other various adult beverages.   My bottles seemed to be a sentimental hit with a select few.  That just means more for us.


With such a substantial and abundant meal pictured above, the vino has got to be light. You don’t need to be a sommelier to know that.  It’s simple common sense and respect for pairing a wonderful meal with a glass to balance it all out. If not, everything could be diluted.


At this point so much food and alcohol has been consumed by everyone, that talk of wine may not mean much.  But it still does to me.  I’m always learning.  The synopsis is so simple.  It’s crisp and refreshing.   If I hadn’t read that before, I would still believe that. It’s exactly as such.   For me it’s refreshing on a few other levels.

I’ve noted in the past that I’ve preferred reds over whites..  I like my dry, full-bodied reds more than anything else that it doesn’t lend itself to sweeter white wine.  That’s a bias of mine that’s changing over time , with this blog and with my experiences. And those experiences with family and friends are just as important, if not more, than the wine itself.


This party was about a family I’m proud to be a part of.  And a couple of our Baltimore family complimented on how refreshing and pleasantly surprising this wine was.  That’s all the analysis you need.  It reads that it’s a medium-bodied wine and it tasted perfectly, maybe even lighter than that.  And look at that price.  $9.99 is a bargain.

But in a sense that’s all micro.   The macro is the joy we felt sipping our wine, noshing on some great eats, and most importantly spending quality time with great people.

Moments like this are to be cherished.   Thankfully, this Easter party is not a one-off.  I’m grateful to spend time with these folks over many holidays or, even better, for no specific occasion at all. That’s a good life.

It’s the little things that are the big things.

Take good care,



Easter Party – The Red


Ordinarily I would do a post that would preview a good wine or two to enjoy for a holiday or event.   It didn’t quite work out that way, or maybe this is always how it was meant to be.

Instead I will be working backwards.  I will recap two wines I had at the most extraordinary Easter party I’ve ever attended.  I sincerely mean that.

I didn’t know what I was going to bring or where I was going to to find them. However, my intent was to pair and complement one red and one white with the respective foods that were going to be served.

The main course consisted of, well I’ll get to that next week.

The appetizers and desserts is what we were responsible for.  This is an eclectic group and the food is going to be from all over the map.  And I literally mean all over.  It’s diverse and so well-rounded. It’s what makes us all unique.  It’s what makes us all blessed.  We all have value and bring something different to the table.

On that note, we’re also all the same. We want good company, good food, and most of all feel good about ourselves. The simple pleasures is what keeps us going.

With that somewhat melodramatic diatribe out of the way, I basically wanted to say I needed to find a good red that pairs with a few appetizers.  One of them was Persian Mortadella with Barbari bread and feta cheese, which I brought.


My adventures led me back to Total Wine in Towson, MD.

After sampling a few Easter recommendations I got assistance from Mark G. who swiftly pointed me in the right direction of some low-cost bottles for the holiday.

He echoed many of my sentiments that I write about week-to-week.   Great wine doesn’t have to be expensive.  And when you’re at a decent to large-sized gathering, food is being served, and the conversations are getting going, the last thing anyone is worried about is the intricacies of the wine they’re drinking.

As long as it tastes remotely decent, most people won’t care.  Even the most discriminating of tastes may give a second thought.  And if they do, it’s folks you may not to be friends with anyways. Ha.

For the red, I went with the superb QV Tinto from Carvalhas Winery of Portugal.  I don’t pretend to be knowledgeable of Portguese wines or the grapes that hail from there.  What I do now is this wine was fair for the price and pleasing to the palate.


The tasting notes are listed in the photo. But for this party it didn’t matter. However, it did taste a bit more medium-to-full then what the synopsis reads. That’s just my opinion. I also detected some pepper and spices that are not mentioned.   That’s where the fun begins and continues.

It’s fruit forward as it says but more importantly, it tasted great and the bottle never stood a chance.  I had the equivalent of one glass.   I would pronounce that a victory.


I consider part 1 of my one choices a victory as well.   I’m glad other folks enjoyed it as well.  And that’s what any holiday, party, or gathering is all about.   I was so grateful to be a part of it.  It was genuine gathering of friends, or moreso my Baltimore family, that all care for each other and want the best for everyone.    It’s a blessing to be a part of it.

I’ll leave with you my plate of yummy appetizers which consisted of the aforementioned mortadella, deviled eggs, ceviche, and other deliciousness too numerous to mention.


For a Total Wine near you, click here.

More deliciousness in part 2 next week.

All The Best and I hope you had a Happy Easter!




Keep It Simple


Diseño has been a staple in my collection for several years now.  There’s nothing overtly sexy or grandiose about it. That’s exactly how I want it sometimes and that’s what I was in the mood for recently.

I’ve seen this bottle listed anywhere from as low as as $7.  So in all likelihood around $10 is going to be commonplace. In my humble opinion, it drinks for at least double that.

You may hear this term fruit-forward thrown around and it applies here.  Got a berry in mind?  It might be in here. Raspberry, cherry, and black cherry aromas, as well as on the palate, is what you may discover.

Most Malbec’s tend to lean towards the medium-to-full bodied side but this is an aberration, and that’s part of why I like it.


This is an easy sipping wine that can paired with nothing or just about anything.   On this particular day, it was enjoyed by itself and it was fantastic.

For folks who are just getting into wine and are looking for something simple, this bottle fits that mold.     Malbec has skyrocketed in popularity during the last 5-10 years, largely in part to how easy and accessible it is to drink and discuss.

It’s quite possible that maybe its already reached its zenith, depending on where you look and who you ask.  But most importantly it’s on you to decide if Malbec (or any wine for that matter) is for you.

In the United States, I’ve seen Diseño at a plethora of retailers and beverage stores.  I wish they had a website of their own but maybe this link will help.  For my pals in the Baltimore area, Total Wine is one of many places you can go. For everyone else,  here is a link to order online.

These photos were taken from Plug Ugly’s in Baltimore. And I’ve seen this bottle served at many other restaurants. So you may find it at your favorite dining establishment as well.

I love it.  I may talk about a few more as the weather slowly shows signs of hope and of change.  Yes that means Spring is creeping upon us and that means more approachable and endearing wine talk to come.

And A Happy Early National Drink Wine Day.  Enjoy it simple, complex, or however you want.  I’m going with the former and the latter.



The Bulgarian Beaut


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!


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.


Enjoy the spring.