Category Archives: Featured Wines

St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Recipe

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!  We’re hoping you’re enjoying your day o’ green.  While we understand that green beer is the tradition of day, we prefer something a little more grape based here at the Winey Bitches.  So, we went on a quest to find a cocktail that was festive enough (and green enough) to not get you kicked off the parade route.  What we found is a super yummy sparkling St Paddy’s Day drink that could become a new tradition.  Give it a try.  We think you’ll agree…

Behold The Sparkling Shamrock Champagne Cocktail

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A simple, fun and delicious combination of champagne, Midori & a sugar rim.

We found the recipe at Formal Fringe website.  Click here to link to the recipe:  Sparkling Shamrock Champagne Cocktail.

Have a great day!  Wishing you the luck of the Irish & a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.  Please celebrate responsibly.

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March’s Featured Wine

Rachel:  March, the month that comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb.  It’s a lot like me before and after a few glasses of wine.  Just a helpful hint for those considering inviting me to a dinner party.  But I’m excited about this great wine I’m going to share with you this month.  If wine can be a rock star, this is one whose star is on the rise.

Cult – Cabernet Sauvignon, Nonvintage 

Cult

Cult

What They Say:  Forward. Outgoing. Classic. Ripe. Bowl of cherries. Full bodied. Loooong finish. Dark. Playful. Full of character. Black currants. Raspberry. Structured. Red fruits. Balanced. Multilayered. Spice. Berries. Sleek. Life of the party. Relaxed. Decadent. Chewy. Sophisticated. Box of chocolates. Firm. Happy. Confident. Loved. Handcrafted. Ready to drink.

What We Say:  Can I say it any better than they do?  Probably not.  This is a wine I bought for a friend.  Honestly, I had never had it myself, but loved the bottle (Yes, it’s a factor when giving a gift) and it was rated 90 points by Wine Spectator.  Seemed a worthy gamble.  It was.  This past week I was invited to their home for dinner and they had liked the wine so much that they purchased another bottle, which we drank with dinner.  We decanted half the bottle and let it breathe while attacking the rest of the bottle immediately.  I think this wine definitely benefits from some time in the air.  The notes of spice and red fruits went well with the peppery arugula salad.  I’m a fan.  It will take another bottle to decide if it’s really going to acquire “cult” status in my world, but I look forward to drinking it again.

Blend Information:  80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Petit Sirah

Region:  Napa Valley

Price Point: $25.00 at winery website, $26.99 at Total Wine

Website:   www.thecultwine.com

 

December’s Featured Wines – Sparkling Spectacular For The Holidays

Rachel:  This month’s Featured Wine section brings you a special selection of sparkling wines to share with friends and family over the holidays… or on your own while you’re avoiding friends and family over the holidays.  My Florida partner in wine crime & I were lucky enough to attend a sparkling wine & champagne tasting last night at the fabulous Wine By The Bay in Miami.  It’s a great little place to find an eclectic array of wines and worth popping in if you find yourself in the Miami area.  I am sharing with you the four of the six sampled that I liked so much that I bought a bottle of each.  Don’t judge me.  It’s the holidays.  I’m going to give them as gifts… to myself.

Zonin Rosé Prosecco 

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What They Say:  Following the destemming and gentle pressing of the red grapes, the crushing will release the juice and tannins, allowing a short skin contact which will contribute to its’ slight pinkish colour. The characteristic light strawberry blond color of the must comes from the antocians of the skins. In order to maintain the natural bubbles, the partially fermented must is converted to sparkling wine in pressurized stainless steel tanks in accordance with the traditional Charmat method.  A lightly-coloured sparkling rosé with a fine and seductively delicate perlage.  Pleasant, intense and fruity, evoking memories of wisteria flowers and Renetta apples.  Well-blended and delightful. On the palate it is soft and smooth with floral notes and a hint of almond.

What We Say:  Our esteemed host and curator for the evening, Stefano Campanini, told us that this rosé is so light that it is perfect for day drinking.  Well, right there you have me.  If I like anything, it’s day drinking.  In this case, he is so right about this being the perfect selection for such an activity.  It is light and fresh with no acid.  It goes down easily and doesn’t have a heavy sweetness.  This bottle doesn’t need to go with food, but if you insist, try it with shrimp, light hors d’oeurves or fish.

Blend Information:  No information available

Region:  Veneto, Italy

Price Point:  $12.99 on wine.com

Website:  www.zoninusa.com

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Balan Prosecco

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What They Say:  **Translated from Italian by Google**  It’s a vine that is well suited to the cultivation of a hill. The cluster is quite large, sparse, sparse tip, winged. The berry is round, of medium size but variable, with yellow-green skin that turns yellow gold vintage. The grape has a great flexibility of processing, can produce sweet wines or dry, calm, sparkling or sparkling depending on the type of wine. The wine that is obtained is a soft straw yellow in color with a characteristic scent reminiscent of acacia flowers and wisteria that grows wildflowers, wild apples to mature, mountain honey.

What We Say:  This was next in our tasting and was a special purchase by Wines By The Bay for their store.  We were told this is one of the best bottles of prosecco we would ever taste.  While my history of prosecco drinking is rather short, this was really delicious.  It has a good balance and is really refreshing.  You could easily move on to this, after your day of drinking the rosé, and carry through the evening.  A helpful (and fun) hint!  Add a little prosecco to your risotto to make it fluffier!  Can’t wait to try that!  Or I can’t wait to tell someone who wants to try that and invite me over.

Blend Information:  No information available

Region:  Chions, Italy

Price Point:  $16.95 on winebtb.com

Website:  www.balan.it

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Brut-Comté Crémant du Jura

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What They Say:  **Translated from French by Google**  Visual aspect: beautiful string of fine bubbles in the corolla and rise from the bottom of the flute, light green hues.  Aroma: fresh white fruit nose, almond. Taste: finesse, lightness, perfume floral, mouthfeel and a nice attack reveals a mature character.  After alcoholic and malolactic fermentation is carried out, taking foam according to the rules of the method champenoise sparkling wine for this.

What We Say:  Yes, it’s bubbles from France.  No, it’s not champagne.  It’s sparkling wine since it’s not from the Champagne Region of France.  When Stefano told us this was 100% Chardonnay, I was sure I wouldn’t like it being that I’m not a big fan of Chardonnay in general.  I especially thought this after just having tried a sparkling wine that was only 25% Chardonnay and not liking it.  My hopes weren’t raised after, at first take, the aroma had notes of… wait for it… a nutty cheese.  Yes, you read that right.  And I wasn’t the only one at the table that said it.  But smell it again after it’s been in the glass a moment and the fruit & almond notes the vineyard mentions above are what is present.  The taste was the most surprising as it was delicious.  I never would have expected to enjoy this as much as I did. For the price point, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a very drinkable sparkling wine that doesn’t want to spend a ton of money.

Blend Information:  100% Chardonnay

Region:  Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Price Point:  $19.9 on winemadeeasy.com

Website:  www.clavelin.fr

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Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D’Asti

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What They Say:  Moscato was already a very popular wine among the Greeks and Romans,who appreciated its pleasant characteristics as an excellent dessert wine.  Our Nivole comes from the hills around Canelli,white calcareous-sandy soil and with an excellent exposition.  Colour: pale straw-yellow with greenish reflections.  Aroma: intense, aromatic and fruity, hints of clary, peach, grapefruit and meringue.  Taste: clean, light and delicate, backed by an excellent, refreshing acidity.

What We Say:  An appropriate way to end the evening is with a sweet dessert wine.  I find most to be far too sweet to get past more than a few sips, so I wasn’t expecting much here.  But again, I was surprised.  The nose is yummy (technical term) peach, apricot and honeysuckle.  I was surprised at how light and fresh it is.  This is one of the few dessert wines of which I could sit and drink a full glass… or two.  It doesn’t need to be paired with actual dessert, but we were served a delicious chocolate chip cake last night that was a lovely accompaniment.  I think this would pair well with fruit and soft cheeses as well.

 

Blend Information:  100% Moscato

Region:  Piedmont, Italy

Price Point:  $13.95 on crownwineandspirits.com

Website:  michelechiarlo.it

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November’s Featured Wines – Second Flight

Melissa:  I’m begging forgiveness once again my friends.  It’s been beyond crazy at the Two Winey Bitches North Jersey offices.  I’ve been sitting on this write up for no good reason because honestly I want to shout from the rooftops my love for this featured wine!!  You know we’re huge fans of Layer Cake by Jayson Woodbridge, well I was talking to my wine guy George a while back about some selections and he said he was finally getting in 2 cases of Cherry Pie.  Needless to say, my eyes lit up and I immediately called dibs on 2 bottles (some greedy person dibbed an entire case!!).  See, as the story goes, Mr. Woodbridge had wanted to make a Pinot Noir and sought out the owners of Stanly Ranch, on the Napa side of the Carneros appellation because their grapes were becoming well known as some of the most sought after Pinot Noir grapes in California. They told him they would give him a small allocation to make wine, but future allocations would depend on the quality of the wine he made.  After tasting the 2007 Cherry Pie Pinot Noir from the barrel, and deeming it one of the best ever made from their grapes (no big shock for fans of Jayson’s work), the owners of the ranch granted him free rein to choose from the very best blocks of the property for his wine.  Needless to say, the allocation of fruit is now whatever he asks for.  OK, so I pulled that from the website, but I LOVE the story!!  You know what else I love?  This here Pinot Noir!  I’m a huge Pinot fan to begin with (as anyone who reads the blog knows, it’s my go to wine – my comfort food), I think there is more ability for the winemakers to leverage other subtle flavors that can be overpowered by bolder grapes.

Cherry Pie Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch ~ 2010

Cherry Pie Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch ~ 2010

*Original oil on canvas by TR Colletta

What They Say: 2010 Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir:  The nose is redolent of dark bing cherries, hints of black and white pepper on meat roasting in a wood oven, memories of English plum pudding steaming at Christmas, a touch of saddle leather, warm spice and tobacco at a distance.  The nose continues to build and unfold with hints of violets and Portobello mushrooms blackberries, minerals and sweet earth.  The flavors are very concentrated, after some time in the glass, they open up to show beautiful balance and sophistication, and an elegant, glyceral texture.  Dark and intense fruit carries all through the palette, the finish then lingers uncovering a wisp of anise, blackberry honey, and golden pastry roasting in the oven… Cherry Pie.  It shows tons of textural richness in its sweet candied red fruit, there is no shortage of lush overt fruit this year.  Clearly this wine will be very hard to resist and pairs well with a very large range of foods.

What We Say:  I decided to share a bottle of this with friends who offered to have us over for dinner while dealing with Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath.  They had heat and DirectTV and offered up some Sunday football.  Also noteworthy was the husband came over and spent 3 hours with a chainsaw helping cut up our downed trees.  How else could I properly say thank you other than sharing a coveted (yep, I said coveted) wine?  Pop open this yummy treat before dinner then serve with whatever you want.  Really, this is just as fantastic to sit and sip while watching or enjoy with a nice dinner.  We paired it with pepperoni pizza and it was delish!!  Tip of the hat to you Mr. Woodbridge!!  Vintagepoint.com claims:  We drink a lot of it before, during and after meals.  It never tires the palate.  I couldn’t agree more, this is a fantastic Pinot that is meant to be enjoyed, it’s up do you to decide if you want to share.

Blend Information:  100% Pinot Noir

Price Point:  49.99(-ish) http://cherrypiewines.com/find.html

Website:  http://cherrypiewines.com/