By yesterday afternoon the humidity had crept back in and the temperature was on the rise. So when my friend came over in the early evening to catch up on life, I went straight to the refrigerator for a perfectly chilled bottle of wine.
We opened a 2013 Nicky Hahn Chardonnay from Hahn Winery, Monterey. While he regaled me with stories, I contentedly listened while sipping this delicious wine. The color was soft lemon with aromas of citrus, pineapple, pear and grass. The palate offered a mosaic of tropical fruits, herbs, caramel, a floral essence and a hint of oak that carried into a long finish. It was crisp and quite refreshing. I’m thinking of buying a few more bottles. http://www.hahnwines.com/
An interesting note about the label…Nicky Hahn’s native language is German. “Hahn” translated means rooster, which is why an illustration of the bird is seen on every bottle produced by the winery.
Have a great Tuesday!
I need to catch up with my wining and dining this past weekend. However, I have to address the festivities of last night. It was the Supermoon lunar eclipse with an incredible “blood moon”. Clear skies afforded a magical view of this amazing event.
In honor of the eclipse we opened a bottle of 1998 Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs, Brut, Champagne. It was an enthusiastic introduction for me! Champagne Henriot is one of the oldest family-owned houses in the region, dating back to the 1700s and seven generations. Joseph Henriot is currently presiding over the house.
This 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was like drinking a rich dessert. It had a shimmering gold color with intricate layers of pear, honey, apple, peaches and flowers. It was a buttery smooth finish with a wonderful mouth feel and depth. Simply lovely! Move over Louis Roederer, you have competition.
It’s a brisk Sunday morning and I have much to do. I’m hoping to squeeze in a walk before the afternoon craziness begins. So, I’ll make this post short and sweet!
My “artwear” is finally ready for the show next weekend. I have posted a few photos (done in haste…sorry). You can click on the photos for a more detailed look.
This delicate evening wrap is made with kid mohair, metallic thread and Swarovski crystals. Each crystal was painstakingly sewn on! I love how elegant it is, but so simple and understated at the same time.
This piece is what I call a “Mansara”. It should be worn draped over the shoulders as an accessory, like a piece of jewelry. I used several materials to create it, including silk, satin, sequins and black Czech crystals. It’s quite whimsical!
I’ll discuss the delicious dinner and wine I had last night in my next post.
Don’t forget to watch the Super Blood Moon lunar eclipse!
Have a great Sunday!
I was in a store the other day and not only were there displays for Halloween and Thanksgiving, but they had twinkling Xmas trees as well! Retailers need to take it down a notch and chill. Let’s enjoy the day and not get too ahead of ourselves! Life goes by fast enough without having to plan so many months in advance for the holidays.
Speaking of “chilling”, I had a lovely and relaxing dinner the other evening with a few friends. As we sat outside in the crisp autumn air with the fire pit keeping us warm, we sipped on 2011 Shafer Merlot from Napa. It is 76% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. It was full-bodied and the color was what I like to call “passionate purple”. It had inviting aromas of black cherries, dark fruit, spices and a touch of musk. The wine was dense and heady with licorice, dark cherries, spice and herbs on the palate. There was a hint of pepper as well. The finish was long and well balanced. It paired well with the grilled root vegetables and swordfish.
Here is a little trivia: Merlot is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux region. The name is derived from the French word “merle”, which means “young blackbird” and refers to the dark blue color of the grape.
I need to put some finishing touches on two knit pieces that are being displayed in an upcoming art show. I hope to have photos tomorrow to show you.
It’s official. Happy Autumn! It’s time to start dusting off hearty bottles of wine to go with cozy and comforting meals served in the upcoming crisp autumn days and evenings.
In addition to making soups, my menus will include roasted vegetable casseroles, potpies, quiches and apple crisp to name just a few! And I plan on using my natural gas grill right through winter.
To celebrate the beginning of another season, I had lunch with a friend. As much as we wanted to be festive and order a bottle of Veuve, we weren’t ready to drink quite that much at lunch. So we had individual bottles of Candoni Prosecco D.O.C Brut. This sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Italy came in cute 6 oz. bottles. It was fruity with a crisp snap to it. The finish was pleasant with a hint of clover. It was the perfect serving to toast the September Equinox.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” Albert Camus
It’s a lovely day…and technically, the last day of summer! I’m not ready to put away the sundresses and sandals quite yet. However, the leaves on the trees are starting their transformation and my hummingbirds are getting ready for their journey south.
Yesterday, a friend came over for a quick “autumn” lunch of homemade soup and bread. We opened a bottle of 2008 D'Isanto & D'Isanto I Balzini White Label Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT. We each had a glass to toast our friendship. I never tire of this wine and have reviewed and discussed it a few times over the course of a year.
Antonella and her husband Vincenzo D’Isanto founded the estate that is located just outside the boundary of Chianti Classico. All their wines are named after a color and labeled red, white, black, green and pink. I have not tried nor do I have the Green or Pink Label yet. But I did review the Red Label about a year ago and I have a few bottles of the Black label waiting to be opened.
I look forward to sharing the rest of the I Balzini White Label tonight!
Since I was stuck at home nursing a “boo boo” on my leg these past few days, friends stopped by with food and good cheer. In the movie “A Streetcar Named Desire”, Blanche DuBois said, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” I, on the other hand, have always depended on the kindness of my friends”.
The other evening, one of those kind friends brought over a very nice bottle of Spanish wine in addition to a killer meal that he prepared for me. We opened a 2010 El Escocés Volante '3000 Anos' from Bullas, Spain located in the southeast Mediterranean area. El Escocés Volante means “The Flying Scot”. Norrel Robertson came to Spain in 2003 with his family and released his first wine in 2004. The 3000 Anos is a blend of 50% Monastrell and 50% Syrah. The color was dark purple with aromas of dark berries, cranberries and leather. This full-bodied wine was filled with flavors of dark fruit, smoky oak, spices and herbs. The finish was long and velvety. http://www.escocesvolante.es
The temperature is slowing dropping and autumn is upon us. It’s time to dust off the knitting needles that I have neglected for far too long and begin a project.
Yesterday I began my review of the Kobrand Tour d’Italia 2015 eight-city tour of Italy. We explored some wonderful vineyards and tasted interesting wines. I now have three more stops to make.
I made my way to Veneto, where Tony Apostolakos, the U.S. Director of Masi Agricola was waiting to guide me through a tasting of Amarone. It is interesting to note that Sandro Boscaini, the owner of Masi, is referred to as “ Mr. Amarone” due to the unique crafting of his wines. He uses the appassimento method to concentrate aromas and flavors in wine. The Appaxximento symbol can be found on his labels guaranteeing the authenticity and quality of Masi Wine. I’ll highlight a few of the wines I tasted. The 2011 Costasera Amarone was full-bodied with cherry, plum and spices. The 2008 Vaio Armaron Amarone, aged in cherry wood casks for four months, was amazing. The aroma and flavor of cherries, spices and fruit lingered on the palate. Before I departed I was treated to a taste of 1999 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. It had a beautiful bouquet of fruit and earth, with dark fruit and spice on the palate. http://www.masi.it
The next stop was Piedmont to visit Michele Chiarlo, a family owned and run winery. Their grape varieties are Moscato, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Cortese. It is interesting to note that the wines are never blended. I tried a 2011 Reyna, Barbaresco, 100% Nebbiolo. It was flowing with dark fruit, spice and licorice. The 2007 Cannubi Barolo, also 100% Nebbiolo was full-bodied with notes of licorice, spice and firm tannins. Although I didn’t have a chance to taste the light sparkling wine Nivole, Moscato d’Asti, 100% Moscato, I was told the wine is so delicate that, Michele Chiarlo named it Nivole after the Piedmontese word for clouds.
My final destination was back in Tuscany with Ambrogio E Giovanni Folonari. The Folonari family began their wine making in the 1700’s and are considered among Tuscany’s top winemakers. Their portfolio is vast and with the array of bottles set before me, I knew that I didn’t have time to sample them all. So I asked Claudio Andreani to guide me through a few of the wines. We started with the 2010 Tenuta La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino. It was full-bodied and robust with dark berry and tobacco. The 2012 Tenute del Cabreo Il Borgo was smooth and earthy. Tannins were a bit chewy. Next was Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva, 100% Sangiovese. Aged for 16 months in Slavonian oak vats, the wine was earthy with firm tannins. My last taste was a 1997 Tenuta Campo al Mare, Rosso, Bolgheri. This wonderful Bordeaux-style blend was rich in flavor. Dark fruit, licorice and a long smooth finish completed my day of tasting. http://tenutefolonari.com
Have a great Friday!
Tuesday was a beautiful day and what better way to spend it than touring Italy. Our kick off point was the trendy Bowery Hotel in NYC. This small boutique hotel located in the East Village was the perfect setting for the Kobrand Tour d’ Italia 2015 wine event.
The first stop on this eight-city tour was Risano and Spessa di Capriva in the Friuli Grave and Collio Goriziano D.O.C. zones. I met with Roberto Pighin, the owner of Fernando Pighin & Figli. He has been part of the family winery since he was a child. He is passionate about his wine and took great pride in discussing the production of the Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. The Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave was sweet with fruit and quite lively, as compared to the Pinot Grigio Collio that was more intense with citrus and less fruit. The Sauvignon Blanc Friuli Grave was grassy, mild and very pleasant. http://www.pighin.com
My next stop was the estate of Tenuta San Guido located in the D.O.C. Bolgheri in Tuscany. Colleen McKettrick, the Brand Ambassador, greeted me. It is no secret that Sassicaia is a favorite of mine. And, it is also the first Super Tuscan to be released in 1968. So it was with great pleasure that I tasted some excellent wines. The 2012 Sassicaia was rich with dark fruit, spices and was quite robust. Colleen poured me a special taste of the 2004 Guidalberto and 2006 Sassicaia that were pure velvet! The 2013 Guidalberto Toscana IGT is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was well-balanced with dark fruit and a velvet texture. The 2013 Le Difese Toscana IGT is a mini Super Tuscan made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, sharing a pedigree with Sassicaia. The fruit is picked from younger vines and is easy to drink. http://www.tenutasanguido.com
Agricola Punica, founded in 2002, is located in Sardinia, a large island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sebastiano Rosa (Principle) and his son led me on a guided tour of their wines. We started with the Samas, made with Vermentino and Chardonnay grapes. It was quite refreshing and light with lots of citrus. I also tried Montessu, 2013 and Barrua, 2012, both made with the Carignano grape which is one of three main grapes planted in Sardinia. The Montessu was layered with fruit & spices and called “Super Sardinian” The Barrua was more robust and full-bodied. I’ll have to come back to this island! http://www.agripunica.it/
I found myself back in Tuscany again tasting wines from Tenuta Sette Ponti owned by Giovanna Moretti and her brother Antonio Moretti who also own Feudo Maccari in Sicily. Their Tuscan wines are eclectic and there were many to sample. The newest wine is Vigna del Impero made with 100% Sangiovese. Planted in 1935, Imperno is one of Tuscany’s oldest vineyards. The wine was rich with fruit, spice and medium tannins. I made a quick stop in Sicily to taste Grillo, Sicilia IGP 2014. Aged in steel tanks, this full-bodied wine was floral scented, with citrus and stone fruit on the palate. Did you know that the Grillo grape is most famous for its role in making Marsala wines? http://www.tenutasetteponti.it
Tenute Silvio Nardi, located in Tuscany is owned and operated by Emilia Nardi. They are one of the founding families of the Brunello Consortium. The wines are made with 100% Sangiovese. I tasted the 2005 and 2010 Brunello. The 2005 Brunello was high in tannins and more “chewy”. I preferred the 2010 Brunello having softer tannins that allowed the fruit, licorice and spices to dominate. I then tried the 2006 and 2010 Manachiara Brunello. Although the 2006 was bright and robust, the 2010 was smoother and more complex. http://www.tenutenardi.com
So, this is where the first leg of my trip ends. Tomorrow I will continue on to Veneto, Piedmont and then back to Tuscany.
The days are flying by and I can’t believe that we are already approaching mid September. I am not ready to give up summer!
I must admit though that I am looking forward to making soups and breads to enjoy on those crisp autumn nights. In fact, I’m planning on making a large vat of soup this week to store in the freezer. I’ve saved up small freezer friendly containers so that I can heat up a few servings at a time.
Over this past weekend, I attended a small dinner party with a “fall” menu, including a very good 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mercer Estates, Columbia Valley, WA. The blend was 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Syrah. It was aged in French and American oak barrels for 28 months. The wine was full bodied with aromas of blackberry, cherry, pepper and clove. The palate was layered with dark fruit, blueberry, cherry, pepper, anise and spices that led to a long velvety finish. http://mercerwine.com. I may not be ready to give up summer yet, but I am ready to embrace some hearty red wines!
Have a peaceful Sunday. And, if you’re celebrating the Jewish New Year, then “L ‘Shana Tova”.