Fàilte! Welcome to the next installment of Exploring the Wine Glass. Mike and I are big proponents of you should drink what you like and you are the only one who can taste like you. We advocate the fact that everyone experiences the wine differently, so in these posts we do not discuss our tasting notes. Instead we include basic information about each of the wineries, and/or a bit about what was happening in our lives while we were enjoying them. With that said, if you are interested in reading our tasting notes and our ratings head on over to Delectable and check us out. We tell it as we taste it over there. Click here to see the chart we use to describe the color or if you want to see the wines themselves as they are poured, visit our YouTube Channel and watch for yourself. As always, since as oenophiles we love to celebrate #WineWednesday, our week runs from one Wednesday to the next.
Another Wednesday is upon us and we were really tired. The long red-eye flight on Sunday into Monday plus the horrible weather we had Monday afternoon, really started to take its toll. We both knew there was going to be wine in our future, but neither wanted to deal with a meal. So left over pizza it is. There is nothing wrong with pizza two days in a row! We opened a 2014 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is one of those wines that you know exactly what you are getting every time you open a bottle. I swear it doesn’t matter the vintage, it is always grapefruit upfront and a nice wine for the price. It’s a wine that you know you can open when company shows up unexpectedly and it will be greeted with smiles.
I have written about Kim Crawford several times already, but this time when I went to their website, I realized they have redone it. Their new motto of “Escape the Ordinary” is obvious throughout and they have recipes, cocktails, and party pairings. They also have some pretty cool craft ideas. Head over to their website and check it out.
Thursday February 18th is National Drink Wine Day. Now, very few of us ever need another reason to drink wine, but I guess it is sort of nice when they tell us we “should” drink wine! I have written posts about Open That Bottle Night, and other Hallmark Holidays and how I feel about them. Then of course, I created and worked exceptionally hard to get #CabFrancDay as a recognized holiday on December 4th. So I knew I needed to open a special bottle. One day while I was on twitter, I saw a tweet from Lichen Estate located in Boonville, CA (Anderson Valley.) They were talking about their Sparkling wine. I made a comment about how being a science nerd, I love lichen and how I absolutely love sparkling wine. They were kind enough to send me a sample. This was the bottle I opened for National Drink Wine Day.
This was the first Blanc de Gris I have ever had. In fact, I don’t even recall ever hearing about a Blanc de Gris. So When I opened it, I must admit, I was a bit hesitant. That hesitancy disappeared instantaneously as soon as I raised that beautiful liquid to my lips. This was not just an acceptable wine, this was a mighty fine wine! We paired it with fritatta primavera and afterwards I immediately sat down and wrote the post WIYG this #NationalDrinkWineDay? I’m Lichen This Sparkling.
Benson Marketing had sent me two sample bottles of Landmark Vineyards. In 1974 the great-great granddaughter of John Deere, Damaris Deere Ford, was part of a group that founded Landmark Vineyards. Fifteen years later, Damaris is the sole proprietor of Landmark and moves the vineyards to its current site in Sonoma. She decides to focus only on Chardonnay and hired Helen Turley as her winemaker. The Chardonnay has been placed in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines six times. Landmark then wanted to expand to Pinot Noir. The first vintage was produced in 1995 under the label of Grand Detour (named after the town her great great grandfather, John Deere, had his blacksmith shop) But it wasn’t until 2014, that Landmark released its Overlook Pinot.
On Friday, we opened the Pinot and paired it with hummus pizza. This was an unusual pairing but it was really good. I wanted to make something out of the ordinary for this Pinot and when I found a recipe, I knew that was it! It was super simple to make and it really was delicious and healthy! Double bonus – then add in this wine and you have won the Triple Crown. With the Pinot being so good, we chose to open the Chardonnay on Saturday. I don’t think we have ever had back to back nights of the same winery before, but we were chomping at the bit! We made honey mustard stuffed chicken with roasted potatoes to pair with the Chardonnay and it was a definite Yeah! Yeah! [I can’t believe I actually just typed that]
Tonight’s wine was a 2012 Columbia Crest Merlot. This is one of our go to #WineWednesday wines. It was a hectic day, so we didn’t want anything major dinner. We kept it simple with some Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar cheese and crackers. It’s the simple things in life that make it so wonderful. This wine received an 89 from Wine Spectator and an 88 “Best Buy” from Wine Enthusiast. The SRP is $12, but we readily get it for $10, so it is a no brainer for us.
The final Saturday of February is known to us oenophiles as “Open That Bottle Night” or #OTBN. It is a holiday started by the Wall Street Journal’s “Tastings” columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher. It is meant to gently nudge people who are keeping certain bottles of wine captive in the wine
prisons cellars. In all honesty, Mike and I are not people in that category. We do not hold any of our wines for ransom. No wines are held on that high of a pedestal that we are “afraid” to open them, but we do like to partake in the wine holiday.
For this #OTBN, we opened a 2012 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc. We purchased this wine at the winery when we visited Elizabeth Smith aka travelwinechick this past November. We were eager to open it and it did not disappoint. For dinner we decided to make Colby Jack and Cheddar macaroni and cheese. [yep, we had some leftover cheese from Wednesday] It was a wonderful pairing and a fantastic Open That Bottle Night.
This 100% Cabernet Franc is currently sold out and with good reason. From their website:
2012 was a great vintage in the Napa Valley. Early spring rains gave us just the water we needed to get the vines growing, then the warm weather set in right on cue. All summer long we enjoyed warm days and cool nights that were so beautiful it was almost too good to be true! A long mellow season with enough heat to polish the grapes and develop the flavors, and no extreme weather events to compromise the valley-wide excellence. Every grape on the estate was picked at optimum ripeness.
Hope you have had some great wines and times these past two weeks. Remember, always Pursue Your Passion. We would love for you to leave a comment telling us what your favorite recent wine was.