Best of Both…

penyaviognier

Happy New Year everyone.  There’s so many posts that I let linger too long that they no longer become relevant. It could be because seasons have changed, too much time has passed, or the time of year would become compromised.

If I let the wines I tried from Red Red Wine Bar of Annapolis, MD remain uncorked and without the proper review, then I would ruin Christmas and the holidays forever.  That was a joke by the way.

I was of course going to write about my experience a few weeks back, in conjunction with the fabulous pizzas we had, but all of the holiday everything took over.  That might be me making excuses but it also gave me time to reflect a little more on this experience, and see if these wines I tasted resonated with me into the new year.  And has it aged well with me.

A great wine ages well but so does an organically awesome experience.

And I always attempt to write about wine in a way that is approachable, relatable, and accessible to everyone.

Little did I know that I would get such a valuable lesson in New World Vs. Old World.

It’s one of those things we often taken for granted.  When we sip wine we usually just want it to taste a certain way, and for us to feel good about what we’re drinking.  How often do we think about where the wine is coming from?

For me I’d like to know the source.  Knowledge is power.  But knowledge when it comes to wine is even more invaluable.  It opens so many doors and steers conversations in regards to food and beverage into magical places.  I’ve found myself in riveting discussions because of what I’ve learned about wine and even more what my peers have taught me, whether directly or by happenstance.

So without getting any more long-winded I’m happy to write about a new world and an old world varietal.

The 2015 Penya Viognier is a treasure.  And as much as it paired great with the pizza we had, I can only imagine how great this would be in the summer.   With its inclusion of summer fruits like mango, pineapple, and peach this is perfect all year round.  But when it’s warmer in climate I can only imagine how joyous this is with a less hearty meal.

And the novice in me also thinks of New World (which is what this wine is) is the addition of fruits, more oak, and more creativity than it’s Old World counterparts.  I also think many New World wines want to please many people at once.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Wine is intended to make as many people happy as possible.

For more on this wine, which is distributed by Regal Wine, click here.

Now for the Old World.

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The 2012 Villa Puccini Toscana is what old world is all about.   It’s a medium bodied wine that is easy to drink and easy to drink now.  I found it just as light if not lighter than the Viognier.  But that could be because of the heavy holiday eating going on at the time.  And what else screams Old World more than Italy.

90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot seems simple enough.

However, I’ve had the Villa Puccini countless times in the past.  It’s just one of those wines that I tend to see everywhere. I’ve had it at restaurants, seen it at parties, and swear I’ve seen it sold in many a wine shoppe.  And it has always been reasonably priced and easy to drink, and to pair with everything.   If that isn’t old world then I don’t know what is.

But what’s old world and new world to me may be different for you, and different or everyone else.  And that’s the joy in wine drinking.

And more for on this wine which is distributed by HeyDay Corporation, click here.

I want to once again thank Bethany at Red Red Wine Bar for a world class experience that will forever stick with me as a great memory for this past holiday season.

I’ve seen both wines priced in stores anywhere from $9-$12.  Both are bargains for what you’re getting.

This is only the beginning. Their wine list is loaded with goodness and an inspired collection of wines that I won’t be able to ever do in its entirety.  But I can try a few.  And I hope to revisit this within the next month or so.

One wine I forgot to mention was their Chardonnay on tap.  I may have actually enjoyed it more than the others.  Not for the fact that it was on tap (well maybe).  But for the simple flavor.  It’s my fault I didn’t investigate further.  But it was wonderful.  Just another in the many reasons I will be back.

To be continued.  And this is likely the last holiday post for a while.

But for old times sake, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

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Ideen

 

 

 

 

Remember The Alamos

AlamosMeal2Man I’ve been waiting a long time to write that title.  And I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to write about Alamos.  This post also coincides with the upcoming Malbec World Day which takes place this Sunday, April 17th.

AlamosMalbec

There’s plenty of Malbec’s I’ve written about, but this is the originator.  This is the one I’m most sentimental too.  If it wasn’t more some dear friends introducing me to Malbec and this bottle in particular, my passion for wine and everything that goes with it, may be null and void.  Yes, for as long as I can recall, this is the very first Malbec I ever had.

It’s been the most approachable and accommodating of bottles.  And I may be understating that just a bit.  I’ve seen this wine at nearly every wine retailer I’ve ever walked into.  The same can be said for restaurants.

More than any other wine the Alamos Malbec is a fixture at fine dining establishments, sports bars, dive bars, and everything in between.  This speaks to how accessible this wine is along with the aforementioned a’s earlier in this paragraph.  I do this alliteration bit a lot. See?

Through the years it’s also been consistent.  The flavors of blackberry and dark cherry permeate through every bottle and every glass I’ve enjoyed either alone, with family, or with friends.  My palates  have changed but this wine keeps tasting better to me.

I mention the various places Alamos Malbec can be found.  And I’ve enjoyed them in many of those situations and more.    I’m sipping on the 2014 as I write this and it’s brilliant.

It’s a wine worthy of having over a conversation but equally this wine is worth having a conversation about.

AlamosMeal

I’m having a dialogue with you while I also finish my meal I paired it with.  I wish I could say it was my creation but I wouldn’t be true to myself or the audience.  It’s a homemade meal but from someone else’s home.  The chicken marsala with green beans and mixed vegetable was decent yet it paired ideally with my wine.   Can you see the animal friend in the background?

AlamosMeal3

This is a wine you can have with anything.  This is what makes wine fun.  It doesn’t have to be overpriced or pretentious.  I’ve seen this bottle listed anywhere from $7-$10 and it drinks at about that price.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  As a matter of fact it’s everything that’s right about wine.

AlamosMalbecClose

Red Blend And Cabernet Sauvignon are good ones too but the Malbec is like that great friend that will always be their for you.  Alamos has been loyal to me over the years and I will not take that for granted.  I will not take or granted that some wonderful friends introduced me to this wine.

I am forever grateful.

Have a Happy Malbec World Day.

Best,

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.

WineIceCream

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