Back In Action For 2010!

Monday, October 25th, 2010 | Wine Tasting Notes | No Comments

Good Evening - it’s good to be back!

Many of you are probably wondering where I’ve been all year long. Well, in a nutshell, I made a pretty drastic career move, all of which put me dead-center into an environment of nothing more than WINE!

As of January, 2010, I’ve embarked on my first full-time excursion into the world of wine sales.

Ok, and yes, some of you may think that’s ‘cheating’ because I have a wine blog. I certainly don’t want you to be fooled into thinking I’ll only be pushing MY wines. The wine world is vast, ever-changing, and so does my palatte. So, in lieu of change and new experiences I’d like to say HELLO again and give you a snippet of some wines that I’ve had the pleasure of being exposed to, ever so wonderfully, by a collection of wine which is never-ending. So, hang on to your glasses… here … we … go!


One word - Bierzo. The grape - Mencia.

El Castro del Valtuille 2005 Joven - Bierzo, Esp.

As much as I am a LOVER of Spanish wines, only a few can classically pair with a vast assortment of food. The bright acidity of the Mencia (like Cab Franc) grape can hold up to salty, tangy, sour, sweet, rich and eclectic flavors.

I was especially floored when I had this with some seared pork belly and pickled watermelon rind. Too crazy? Then try some pan seared skirt steak and caramelized red onions. MELT! $16 - $20.


A little Rhone ditty….

Domaine de Chateaumar - Cuvee Bastien - 2008

100% single vineyard old vine Grenache will make anyone swoon with the flavors and aromas of juicy blueberry fruit, smoky bacon fat and dark chocolate aromas. All the while being silky, smooth and accessible to any new wine enthusiast.

Enjoy with some hearty fare of game meats, duck in a dark currant sauce, beef stew, some sexy roquefort, or heck, chcocolate covered bacon! $15 - $18.


A Friuli

Scarbolo Pinot Grigio - 2008 - Friuli, IT

There are wine makers who have passion, and there are winemakers who are passionate; Valter Scarbolo is one of the MOST passionate winemakers I’ve met, to date. This man could talk for hours about the beauty, pureness and pleasure he receives from his grapes.

His Friulian Pinot Grigio has such wonderful finesse, balanced fruit and texture, it makes me wonder why all pinot grigios can’t be like his. But then, if they were, his would not be special. The grapes he grows are in a cooler climate region and have almost an oily texture as it coats the mouth. There is a touch of minerality which gives the wine its refined posture. Valter even produces a ‘Ramato’ pinot grigio to give the grape an even more expressive presentation. Wonderful apple fruit, some honey and white flowers make this a very aromatic wine as well.

Enjoy this with Salumi, veal Milanese, Branzino or a selection of mozzarella. $12 - $15.

I  think 3’s a charm and a good tease. Wait till I show you what I’m having with Thanksgiving dinner!

To be continued…



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Wine Value For Take-Out Night! Montresor Garganega ‘Bianco del Nago’ 2008 Review

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 | Food Pairings, Wine Tasting Notes | 1 Comment

I’ve officially discovered the most perfect Chinese, Japanese and Indian takeout wine…. and the best part: it’s under $10!

From the lovely land of Veneto, Italy, known for it’s Soaves, Valpolicellas, Amarones, and other high-priced Italian goodies, we have Cantine Giacomo Montresor. Specifically for tonight, ‘Bianco del Nago’ IGT, 2008, a wine produced from 100% Garganega (the grape). The Nago river is located very close to the vineyards and is the main water source of this wine project that was started by Montresor in order to showcase some indigenous varietals of the region in their own light. And showcase, they did! It’s a bit new to the wine market, so you’ll have to ask for it. Maybe you’ll find it at a restaurant near you too. {Sorry for the tiny picture…I’ll be posting more later.}

I spent the majority of the day getting to know this wine. This is the classic grape base  of popular Soave wines. Being new to the varietal, I tried it by itself, with sushi and Chinese (as I write) and it has held up on all levels! The initial reaction was surprise, mostly because the wine is very inexpensive. (I tend to be skeptical of low-price wine…. I’m a wine snob sometimes.) But man, talk about a hidden gem packed in a cool little bottle! Screw-top cap for easy access, no fuss and black and white with orange that catches the eye. Why not try something new?? And, it’s an enjoyable summertime sipper. :)


The color is a medium straw yellow. The first sniff lends itself to a very aromatic nose of a Bartlett pear and sweet apple fruit. There is a very pretty florality note, like orange blossoms and honeysuckle as well. I get almost a Riesling-esque quality to the nose. Fresh, vibrant, spring-time aromas. It makes me smile.

But, the flavor is fresh and fruity, with a nice racy acidity around the palate with a very clean and coif-fable finish! Lots of orange citrus fruit, a little lemon, some white peach is present, but not overwhelming. It finished rather dry by itself, but when I started in on my Chinese chicken lo mein and sauteed string beans, the finish carries through and the acid cuts through the fat nicely. Earlier I tried it with some sushi and whoa! The wine actually brought the sweetness of the rice out on the palate, along with the texture of the fish. The dry, clean finish turned more silky and smooth with almost a wet-minerality at the end and more viscous in texture. Anything spicy or fried was also a pleasure with this wine, as the wine didn’t taste watered down, just more complex.

So if you typically like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and need a change of pace, go find this bottle! Or, ask your friendly wine store owner to bring it in! You’ll be happy you did and you won’t break the bank! Enjoy!

What to pair it with: Asian cuisine (Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai), soups, grilled fish, oysters, stir-fry, curry.

Cost: $7-$9 (prices vary from state-to-state)

Alc %: 12.5%

Try it if you like: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Gavi or Vermentino


Kronick Wino

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A New Pinot Love - C.Donatiello 2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Sunday, April 25th, 2010 | Wine Tasting Notes | No Comments

Admittedly, I have not written in a while, as some of you know. So tonight, let me share a wine that I can’t seem to get enough of….

Out of numerous Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs I’ve had the pleasure of tasting, this one stands out based on balance, silkiness and drink-ability. Often times I am stuck with an overly rich sense of earthiness on the nose that dilute the other flavors.  But, dear friends, fear not! For I have discovered C. Donatiello’s coveted 2006 Pinot Noir!  Not only was this a brilliant vintage, Chris Donatiello, along with his brilliant winemaker, Webster Marquez, took their estate-grown grapes and created something way more delicate and beautiful to drink than I could image.

The nose consists of light strawberry and cherry fruit, a little vanilla from the french oak and some spice, with just a little cinnamon. The first sip went down all too easy, as did the rest of the bottle. Wonderfully silky, fluid, slightly sweet berry fruit and brown sugar. There was literally no indication of tannins, but just a mild acidity. Kind of reminds me of a fresh summer berry pie with sugar sprinkled on the freshly baked pie crust. In a nutshell: Pure heaven! Drink now, drink later, drink anywhere and any day! Absolute bliss in a bottle!!

You can follow them on Facebook here.

Or, check out their website: C.Donatiello Winery.

Big thumbs up, guys! Keep it up! (oh…. this nifty little bottle will run you about $35-$40 clams.)


Kronick Wino

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