Posts tagged #Rose

Getting to Know Rioja Wine at Village Vino

We’ve been trying to expand our wine horizons beyond California. 

The blind tasting at our 2014 Oscar party featured only one California wine. Our last two posts featured Spanish wines: a Granacha and a white blend called Auzells.

Yesterday, we met our friend Yolanda at Village Vino to try some Rioja from CVNE. This winery produced the #1 wine on Wine Spectator’s 2013 Top 100 list. That particular wine wasn’t being poured, but we had to check it out nonetheless.

We’re not too familiar with Rioja, but the grapes tell us this region is right up our alley. Red Rioja wines (Rioja tinto) typically feature Tempranillo grapes, which is a versatile grape that pairs well with food. 

Our tasting started with a Viura. This was a very dry white wine with lots of minerality and almost no acidity. It almost reminded us of a French Sauvignon Blanc with even less citrus. You could really taste the limestone soil that the grapes were grown in.

Next up was a Rosado (rosé) made from Tempranillo. We’re slowly discovering that a Rosado doesn’t have to be a nasty, semi-sweet, psuedo-wine. Many, like this one, can be light and refreshing with good flavors for a pre-dinner drink or to enjoy with a light meal.

We then took a tour of several levels of Tempranillo from Crianza to Gran Reserva. These levels are controlled by law in Spain and primarily reflect the different aging processes. (If you want to learn more, check out this excellent Rioja primer from Wine Folly.)

They were all lighter-bodied red wines, but had a nice underlying earthiness to them. We all agreed these would drink much better with food.

Village Vino has some very tasty light bites, so we decided to order a cheese plate and a flatbread pizza. Our tasting was almost finished by the time we realized we wanted food, so we opted to shift regions and share a bottle of Stoller Pinot Noir. Stoller is an excellent example of Oregon Pinot Noir with excellent cherry flavors coupled with that typical Oregon earthiness.

Sally and friend Yolanda enjoying wine at Village Vino
Posted on April 13, 2014 and filed under Tasting Experiences.

Holiday Wine Sharing

The holidays are an excellent time to share a bottle(s).  After years of crashing friends and family, it was time for us to host our first Thanksgiving Dinner. With family in all week, we shared quite a few bottles and they all paired very nicely with the food currently up for grabs. 

Thanksgiving Day was all Cuvaison ~ an appropriate choice as we are very thankful for all the great wines they produce.  We started the afternoon with the 2010 Vin Gris and washed down our Thanksgiving dinner with the 2009 Bald Mountain Zinfandel. 

2010 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

We are not normally fans of rose’ wines. And, I will admit, when the Vin Gris arrived as part of a club shipment I mentally put it on the ‘gift it’ list.  We later visited Cuvaison in Carneros and it was on the tasting menu. At first sip, we realized this was not a typical rose’ ~ a great surprise ~ and it quickly moved from the ‘gift it’ to the ‘it’s a keeper’ list! 

The wine has bright, fresh fruit without being overly sweet.  Like its parent wine, Pinot Noir, it has a very elegant, smooth structure. The biggest hit of the day was pairing it with the prosciutto wrapped melon. Quite enjoyable, and all were bummed when the bottle went empty!

Check out this short video from the winemaker, Steve, where he describes the wine in more detail. 


2009 Bald Mountain Zinfandel

We tasted a lot of Zinfandel on our California wine adventure earlier this year.  The ’09 Bald Mountain Zin really stood out ~ hands down the best we tasted on the trip.  It has a nice berry fruit nose, smooth but jammy on the palate, with a light peppery finish.  This full-body, fruit forward zin was a perfect pairing with our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. 

While it will probably age very well over the next 5-7 years, it is so darn good now I know our few remaining bottles won’t last that long. Only 685 cases were produced.  If you happen to come across a bottle, snag it.  It is a special treat!

What wine did you enjoy with your Thanksgiving feast?   

Posted on November 26, 2011 and filed under Wine Discoveries.