Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro

Country: Italy
Region: Castelvetro
Grape(s): Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
Year: Non-vintage
Maker: Fiorini
Price: $15

It was probably this year that I came to the realization that wine with bubbles is for more than toasts and mimosas. I’m sure it’s a well-worn path for wine drinkers, fitting in somewhere with the decision that you can drink whites in the winter and that some reds are better just a little bit colder. In any case, new ground for me. And so I started drinking a lot more bubblies. Lambruscos, sparkling rosés, dry effervescent Loire chenin blancs. A lot of good wines. And I blame those wines on this decision.
Continue reading “Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro”

Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro

2014 Insolia from Sicily

At a glance:

Country: Italy
Region: Sicily
Grape(s): Insolia
Year: 2014
Maker: Valle Dell’Acate Tenuta Ibidini

Price:  12.99

We moved across town recently, which was a pain, because moving always is. The upside (in addition to now living in a better apartment and having access to a grill) is that we are now way way closer to a wine store. The prices are not the best (but not terrible either), but the tastings are a stone’s throw away, and with plenty of bottles still firmly in my price range, I’ve already been hitting it pretty hard.

One of the bottles that I bought as a result of just such a tasting was an Insolia from Siciliy – the first Insolia I have had and one of the first Sicilian wines for me as well. In the spirit of embracing the new shit I now live by, this bottle came up to the roof to keep me company while I did some grilling (insert American flag emoji). Because I’m lazy and not that adventurous, I threw some chicken thighs in a marinade of balsamic vinegar, oil, and some garlic scapes from our CSA, let it hang out there an hour, then added salt and pepper and grilled them super hot for around four minutes a side – consistently good and more or less effortless.

The wine was a solid companion – good but not great, undoutedly refreshing and reasonably priced. It was tart, more so than I remembered from when I had tasted it a few days earlier in the store, and a little briny as well. It was definitely different – a little flat and without the mouth puckering of a viura but also absent the oak or butter or a chardonnay, though still woodier than I would expect from a super dry wine. It reminded me quite a bit of the Chardonnay I brought back from Mexico, with some of the vegetal, celery-like flavors around the edges. In the end a wine that did the trick, and one that I imagine I will pick up again at some point down the road.

2014 Insolia from Sicily

2013 Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir

At a glance:
Country: Chile
Region: Casablanca Valley
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Year: 2013
Maker: Prisma

Price: 12.99

I usually try to weave a few interesting little life bits into these reviews. This is not one of them. On the day we opened this bottle, the first pinot noir I’ve ever had from Chile, it rained, and I got a haircut, and not a lot else happened. Maybe I should have taken that as an omen of sorts. Continue reading “2013 Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir”

2013 Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir

2013 Mavrud from Bulgaria

At a Glance:
Country: Bulgaria
Region: Thracian Valley
Grape(s): Mavrud
Year: 2013
Maker: Trianguli

Price: 14.99

Sometimes, when you are going to buy wine, there are people in the wine store just giving out wine. For free. This happened a few weeks back, and even more exciting, the tasting was of Bulgarian wines. So I have never been to Bulgaria, but one of my close friends has, and holds a long-standing location crush. He loved the people, the geography, and the food, and filled me in on his plans to summer in Bulgaria. He was even looking at houses, and I remember years ago hanging out with him while we trawled Bulgarian real estate sites. Not sure if it has changed, but at least back in 2007 there were definitely deals to be had, as long as you didn’t mind a corrugated roof and a lot of cinder blocks (in his early 20s with a limited budget, the homes he was looking at were firmly in the “fixer upper” category).
Continue reading “2013 Mavrud from Bulgaria”

2013 Mavrud from Bulgaria

2014 CVNE Monopole – Viura from Rioja

At a glance:
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Grape(s): Viura
Year: 2014
Maker: CVNE

Price:12.99

As we dig out of the storm that blanketed much of the East coast (and gave some of us lucky folks a few days off of work), I thought I’d get my shit together and post a few notes about one of the wines that helped get me through the storm. Last week, as the storm picked up speed, I decided it was time to open up a bottle. While a red seems like the intuitive pick, I decided to switch it up (so, so brave, I know) and opted for a viura from the Rioja region in Spain. Continue reading “2014 CVNE Monopole – Viura from Rioja”

2014 CVNE Monopole – Viura from Rioja

Red blend from Côtes du Rhône

At a glance:

Country: France
Region: Côtes du Rhône
Grape(s): Blend (Grenache/Syrah)
Year: 2013
Maker: Domaine des Pasquiers
Price: 11.99

I picked up this bottle from a local wine store – it’s one they import themselves, an organic blend from a smaller producer in the Côtes du Rhône region. My first sniff and sip were a little off-putting – the wine seemed almost acrid, which didn’t seem like a great sign. Continue reading “Red blend from Côtes du Rhône”
Red blend from Côtes du Rhône