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Wine should not be so difficult: A trio of great values!

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Wine should not be so difficult; we professionals sometimes take the subject a little too far. We go into acidity, pH and alcohol. Some of us even talk about volatile acidity and brettanomyces. Certainly, these are subjects we can get into, if anyone wants to learn more. But wine is about enjoyment. When I started drinking wines at age 21 (or maybe a bit earlier when I took a sip of some Beaulieu Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet out of my dad’s glass when he wasn’t looking) it tasted good to me. I was just mimicking what the French did with their children to get them acclimated to the world of food and wine. Tasting.

One of my wine missions in life is to bring good values to the wine-drinking public. Heck, anyone can buy the most expensive wine in the world, with a reasonable expectation that it may be pretty good. But to find bona fide values in the marketplace takes more than just knowing brands. So I want to share with you three delicious wines that most of us can afford. This trio hovers in the $10.00 to $15.00 range – what we call great values.

The Hess Select brand is one of the wine world’s hottest and recognized values and the Chardonnay, from Monterey County, drinks exceptional well.  Ripe fruit abounds, and its easiness on the palate puts it a cut above the rest. I can see this one as a superior cocktail party wine and one that a working chef can enjoy before the meal is served.

Over the last few years, Red Diamond has become a great American standard for good wine. My favorite of the line is the Cabernet Sauvignon. Smooth and delectable, could be a treat for the backyard cook at the grilling station.

Loosen is an extraordinary international name and the Loosen Bros. Riesling Dr. L from the Mosel drinks with grace and style. A well-defined Riesling, this wine shows telltale apple and flowers in its flavors, and is elegant on the palate. For those fearful of Riesling, this one will take you to the head of the class.

Wine does not have to be complicated.  Don’t fret if you are not following the right protocols – just enjoy!

A delicious no-nonsense Rioja

14_04_16 1130 Rioja at The Wine Bar_1600_BlogLife does not have to be over-complicated, instead of fretting over every little thing that we are planning to do, we should just enjoy. The 2010 CVNE Crianza affords this possibility. So full of fruit and vitalilty, this one simply goes down easily. Made from 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha tinta and Mazuelo (now say that three times or more), this wine is so Spanish. Yet it maintains an almost New World spin. This is Rioja of great pleasure. Tell the chef in the house to grill some lamb and get ready to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. #cvne #cune #rioja #crianza #spanishwines #tinto #grilled lamb

Roast Pork, white rice and brown gravy

Okay, you intense wine guys and super health folks, I fully realize that white rice has no nutritional value, but this dish when made right is really delicious. My question is what is the wine match? I like cru Beaujolais, such as a Saint-Amour or Fleurie or Brouilly (three of the 10 crus). I like a gentle red with lots of fruit and choosing these three crus seemed perfect. Give these reds a slight chill and enjoy. A good friend of mine Terry Tenopir recommends the Andre Ostertag Riesling from Alsace, hmm, that could be good too. What do you think? @wine_com

Tempranillo Day

It’s International #TempranilloDay – time to celebrate by opening up your favorite bottle of Tempranillo and sharing what you’re drinking and why you love it.

This grape, indigenous to Spain, is actually the fourth most planted wine grape in the world. It produces wines that are medium to full-bodied, with flavors of plum and cherry and a slight earthy note. With a food-friendly structure and excellent value, these wines are perfect for the fall season.

Tempranillo is the base for the majority of wines from Rioja and the Ribera del Duero. But it’s not limited to these regions – Spain actually has over 60 different regional names for the grape. The variety takes well to oak and you can find some pretty long-lived Tempranillos out there.

Our favorite food pairings include: tapas, paella, spanish cheese & meat, and bocadillos.

Need help finding a great Tempranillo? Check out our selection. Also, today (11/14), you’ll receive 10% off 6 or more bottles. Use code RIOJA in your cart!

Cheers to #TempranilloDay!

Perfect Wines for Trying Parenting Times

siblingsWe posted this through our friends at skinnyscoop.com and received a fantastic response! In honor of Mother’s Day, we though we’d re-post. Cheers!

 

The kids won’t. Stop. Fighting.
WINE: Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
They may not be able to partake with you, but perhaps you can drink in sibling harmony with Leeuwin Estate’s Siblings. A delicious white that may give you strength to referee fighting in the background.

Not one child will fess up to breaking the vase in the living room
WINE: Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir
Someone had to do it, but no one wants the blame… In honor of your childrens’ ability to sidestep taking responsibility, sip on Innocent Bystander’s Pinot Noir (they also many a delicious Pinot Gris).

You have to give your kid candy to even take a bath/nap/get out the door
WINE: Decoy wines by Duckhorn
Some people call it a bribe, we call it a decoy. After all, aren’t we just distracting our child to get them to do something else? Is it really so wrong… ?

Both you and your spouse forget to pick up the kids at school
WINE: Veramonte Ritual Pinot Noir
No kids like to be forgotten at school, but it certainly happens due to miscommuncation at home! Get into a routine and ritual and sip on Veramonte’s Ritual Pinot Noir. Perhaps a few glasses of this will help you forget that you forgot.

Come home to find your husband has let the kids run amok
WINE: Tait “The Ball Buster” Shriaz
Yep, sometimes you’ve got to bust some balls, especially when you come home to a house in chaos. Sip on the “Ball Buster” Shiraz while you knock some sense into your family.

Toddler has a meltdown in grocery store (or other public place)
WINE: Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir (or any of their Pinot Noir)
You leave your cart abandoned in a random aisle as you carry your kicking and screaming 2-year-old out of the store. Time to break out the good stuff. Sip on Domaine Serene Pinot Noir to help melt away the stress.

You’re called into school to discuss your child’s “behavior” issues
WINE: L’Ecole 41 wines
You may be dreading that conference at school, but pop open another schoolhouse treat from L’Ecole Winery in Washington State. Their selection is top-notch and will help you focus less on the “other” school you have to see.

A REALLY bad day of potty training
WINE: Clean Slate Riesling
You don’t want to even remember what you cleaned up that day – you just want to start over. Start a clean slate with this crisp and refreshing dry Riesling.