Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey & Wine

People always wonder what to drink for Thanksgiving - what goes well with the turkey, yams, stuffing, etc... Well, a lot of wines to go with a lot of different foods! Here is what I drank (am drinking) today in no particular order:

Lumos Pinot Gris (Oregon)
Tegernseerhof Zweigelt (Austria)
King Estate Pinot Noir (Oregon)
Ravenswood Zinfandel
Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Cocktails

And yes they were all delicious! Everyone has something to be thankful for, think upon those things today. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A New Vintage

People just love new stuff. That new car smell, a new car, new clothes...and of course new wine! So people just line up, place orders, and can't wait to get their hands on the 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau that is released the 3rd Thursday of November, which happens to be this Thursday November 18th.

Beaujolais Nouveau is sometimes considered young and immature to many a 'seasoned' wine drinker, but it's fruity, jammy flavors make it approachable to many and also a possible gateway into some of the wines of France. It's also the perfect wine for Thanksgiving which is next week.

According to Wikipedia, Beaujolais Nouveau, made from the Gamay grape, always had a huge event to celebrate its end of harvest but not until the end of WWII were the wines available to the public. Negociant Georges Dubouef saw the marketing potential of this wine and worked with the UIVB to promoting this 'new Beaujolais'. Not only was it a way to clear lots of wine for a great profit, but selling wine within weeks of the harvest was great for cash flow. Hence the idea was born of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage. This attracted a lot of media coverage, and by the 1970s had become a national event. The races spread to neighbouring countries in Europe in the 1980s, followed by North America, and in the 1990s to Asia. In 1985, the date was changed to the third Thursday in November to take best advantage of marketing in the following weekend.

This "Beaujolais Day" is accompanied by publicity events and heavy advertising. The traditional slogan, even in English-speaking countries, was “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivĂ©!” (literally, "The new Beaujolais has arrived!"), but in 2005 this was changed to "It's Beaujolais Nouveau Time!".
So this Thursday, visit the French Embassy, or your local wine shop for fun, friends, and free wine because 'It's Beaujolais Nouveau Time!'

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another Year

It's my birthday! So I decided to celebrate with a trip on the much talked about Frederick Wine Trail. I had a driver ;-) of course and we stopped at Black Ankle Vineyards and Elk Run Vineyards both in Mt Airy, MD.

Black Ankle has gotten much press and much buzz as one of the greatest wineries in Maryland. The buzz is well worth it, the tasting room is beautiful and the wines are fantastic! I had a coupon for a complimentary tasting for two, and we were lead through a tasting of Bedlam, Viognier, and Gruner Veltliner for whites; and Syrah, Rolling Hills and Crumbling Rock reds. I think I got the birthday tasting special with a few gems thrown in. I absolutely loved the crisp, tart flavors of the Gruner and I was already a fan of the Crumbling Rock. I ordered a glass of the Viognier to sit back and enjoy.
At Elk Run Vineyards, they let you select 6 items off their tasting menu for a small fee or for a smaller fee, you can taste 6 wines that they select. Since there were 2 of us, we picked out 12 wines which gave us a great tasting of almost all of their tasting menu. Some of the standouts were the Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot. A birthday gift of the Maryland Merlot (also known as Marilyn Monroe) was given to me.

I had a fantastic birthday meeting new wine friends and tasting new wines. Cheers to another great year!