Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tasting Notes: MAN Chenin Blanc




The Free-run Steen Chenin Blanc by MAN Vintners from South Africa is nice and crisp with citrus and green apple notes.  If you like white wine, make sure you taste this Chenin Blanc from this region.

Winemaker’s notes:

The Agter-Paarl area is the ideal region for growing Chenin Blanc and our farmers have the largest collection of old vine Chenin Blanc in the country. To do justice to the excellent bush vine (un-trellised) grapes, we only use free-run juice – we don't press the grape skins – and we leave the Chenin Blanc on its lees for three to four months before bottling for a richer, fuller mouthfeel. We call this our 'sweet and sour' wine - the acidity and sweetness are perfectly balanced. We've been told many times that this is a wine you taste and immediately love - and who are we to disagree?

This one of those wines that you keep in stock for when you want wine and you need to take a wine to a soiree. It will pair well with chicken, fish, cheese, figs, and other yummy delights. Basically, don't sleep on this on wine. It should run you around $9-$10 bucks.



MAN is one of my favorite South African wineries. My first experience with their wine when I tried their Pinotage. I enjoyed that one so I moved to their white wine. Not only is their wine very good, but very affordable. You should be able to find MAN wines at spots like Costco or Fresh Direct. Their goal is to make high quality wines that you can drink every day. I'd say their mission has been achieved.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Passport For Your Palate: Wines For The Holidays From Around The World


Even if you aren’t physically traveling that doesn’t mean that your taste buds can’t go on a wine adventure. There are some delicious wines made around the world that are perfect for the holiday season.
Here are some of my picks for your palate passport. Most of the selections are under $15 dollars except for a few. Get your sip on!

North America

Everyone knows that California produces some of the best wine in the United States, but what about Oregon and New York? Those are two wine regions that might surprise you.
Truvée Chardonnay
This sustainable wine from the Central Coast is off the hook. It would be fabulous with turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes. Though a honey baked ham or slow cooked veggie dish would be perfect as well. This woman owned winery has it going on.
Château Frank Célèbre
This delicious Crémant comes from the Finger Lake region in New York. It has flirty aromas of honey, apple, and spice. This 100% Riesling sparkling wine will make you feel like you are sipping an expensive bottle of bubbles. It’s also so affordable that you can get about four bottles versus one bottle of champagne.
Naked Winery Dominatrix Pinot Noir
It’s safe to say that this will add a bit of naughty to your nice this season. A delicious and intense red wine from Oregon with aromas of dark cherry and leather. The kind of wine that is pairs perfectly with holiday dishes.

Europe

Most people know that France is famous for it’s delicious wine. So many wine region that will make you say “oh la la”. Then there is Italy which makes some of the most delicious and food-friendly wines on the market. That is not to say that you should sleep on Greece, who definitely hold their own when it comes to wine.
France
Veuve Ambal Bourgogne Mousseux Rogue
This winery makes amazing sparkling wine at an affordable price. What a special sparkling red burgundy made with Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes. It’s a wine that I love recommending. Think cherries, wild berries, and caramel. This is one that pairs great with dessert, but also pair it with something savory. Trust me.
La Vieille Ferme Rouge
A delightful table red wine that is very food-friendly. It will pair with a variety of meals and is perfect for sipping while hanging out with friends. It’s a good one to have around for entertaining and to get your through the winter months.
Spain
Vilarnau Brut Reserva
When you have champagne dreams, but a tight budget, get your cava on. This Vilarnau Brut is wonderful for a day of sipping on any holiday. Spain’s answer to champagne will leave you a happy camper.
Italy
Donnafugata Sursur Grillo
A light crisp yet elegant white wine from Sicily that would a great as an aperitif or paired with cheeses. Use this wine as a kick off to your festivities, though I say it would great with meals as well.
Perlage Sgajo Prosecco
This extra dry Prosecco is perfect for those into clean living, because it’s organic, sustainable, and vegan. It’s a light sparkling wine made with 100% Glera grapes. Once this wine opens up a bit it’s absolutely delightful.
Greece
Domaine Porto Carras Malagouzia
Give it up for this Greek goodness. A solid fruity white wine that will make any white wine drinker happy. I got up close and personal with this winery at a dinner in NYC and loved their wines. The wine is clean and crisp, ‘tis the season.

South America

The wines from Argentina and Chile will make you smile, oh yes they will. The best part is they won’t hurt your pocket. Make sure that you give some attention to wines from these regions

Argentina
Baron B. Brut Rosé
I had the pleasure of having this wine while I was in Argentina. I immediately feel in love with it. The bad news is that it will be hard to find in the USA. The good news is that Baron B is a Chandon company so grab a bottle of Chandon Brut Rosé if you can’t find it.
Chile
Casa Silva Carmenere
The Carmenere grape has origins in France but is now mainly found in Chile. The red fruit and violet aromas in the wine make is simply divine. This one can be paired with pretty much whatever you want.

Africa

South Africa is making producing some beautiful wines. They have very interesting grape varietals. There are many wine competitions held in the country to make sure the quality of wine is held to a high standard.

MAN Pinotage
Sounds like Pinot Noir, but taste more like Shiraz is how Pinotage rolls. It’s a medium bodied juicy wine with notes of red fruits, coffee, and chocolate. It will please all of your guests into red wine. South Africa is known for their elegant Pinotage wines.

Asia

You may think of this continent when you go to the wine store. However, there are many gems coming from this area. When was the last time you got up close and personal with an Israeli wine? Long story short, there’s more than just Manischewitz.
Israel
Domaine du Castel “C”Blanc du Castel
A lovely Chardonnay wine produced in the Judean Hills. This is a fine choice for your white wine needs during the season. It’s not to buttery like a lot of Chardonnays tend to be. You might not believe that it doesn’t come from Cali. This wine will surprise you.