As it’s holiday time and I’m going to be celebrating with friends and family on whom I want to focus my attention, I’m sharing another archival tasting note here now. I thought this wine was interesting enough to save these notes, and I hope you find them worth a read.
Before I post the notes, though, please accept my warmest wishes to all of my friends and fellow bloggers for a VERY MERRY HOLIDAY SEASON!!
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Appellation: Western Cape, South Africa
Price: $9.99 at Whole Foods
Notes: This Chenin Blanc was unexpectedly dry at 13.5% alcohol. What a nice surprise! It was pale yellow with scents of nectarine, honey and dusty floral notes. Acidity was good, and it was light-bodied. On the palate I found nectarine, lemon grass and hints of spice.
I mentioned in my last post, we’ve taken a stepped approach to our tree decoration this year. Not because that’s what we wanted, but because our schedules were so crazy this year we weren’t able to do otherwise.
The first two steps were 1) buying and setting the tree in it’s stand (centering, leveling, etc.); 2) applying strands of lights and the tree topper. Having managed to put the lights on successfully (in our opinion, anyway), the third step was the placement of the individual decorations a few days later.
Here, my sweetie and I have a very different view of what success looks like. I have a tendency to favor a purposeful placement of baubles closer to the trunk or “inside” as well as near the end of branches. This, of course, comes to me from my parents’ training and perhaps suits my temperament as well. My honey, on the other hand, favors the organic approach with placement of decorations in a more random, serendipitous way. You might call that a “natural” look. I suppose our viewpoints on tree decoration prove that we do, in fact, complement each other. I believe that’s true! Thus, (complementary or not) it is absolutely necessary that we both have a nice large block of time available together for the task. That normally means our tree gets decorated on a weekend.
To accompany stage three of our tree decorating, we chose to pop the cork on a California Meritage.
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Paso Robles, CA
Price: $7.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: This Meritage consisted of 66% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Malbec. It’s color was a pretty, deep red. It’s nose contained dark berry scents, pine and a touch of earth. Medium-bodied with good acidity, the Roustabout had 13.9% alcohol. Flavors included a core of plum with tea leaf, spices, and woody tannins. I thought it was pleasant and would be a good pairing with a beef dish. At this price, that could be anything from a burger to Beef Stroganoff.
In my house we always start our tree decoration with the lights. And this year, because our schedules have been surprisingly full – mostly due to end-of-the-year deadlines at work – we have approached tree decoration in a three-stage process.
First, of course, we bought the tree and set it in it’s stand. Then we decided to give it a bit of time for it’s branches to relax before attempting to shove light strands and decorations onto it. The second step, then, was to put on strands of tree lights. As this year’s tree was a tad smaller than previous years, we first applied one strand of white lights. Once we were happy with the placement of the whites, we moved on to a strand of colored lights. Again, only one strand was needed. And, of course, our tree topper star (which is lit from the inside) finished the lighting ceremony.
As always, we had celebratory vino to enjoy as we engaged in this part of our holiday tradition. Don’t get the wrong idea. It isn’t as though all our holidays follow this kind of planning. I remember a rainy and frenzied Xmas Eve on which we bought our tree and decorations then decorated it. But that is a story for another time. Anyway, in this case, we observed the lighting ceremony with a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Winemaker: Sauvignon Republic
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Marlborough, NZ
Price: $7.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: This NZ wine from “Latitude 42° South” was very pungent, presenting tropical scents in the bouquet. Acidity was high in a typically light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc with alcohol at 13%. Flavors my tongue experienced included guava, starfruit, grass and white pepper. I found it started out gently sweet on the palate and ended nicely tart. I thought it was an enjoyable glass of inexpensive white wine.
Well, I finally made it to Spain! Yeeha!
First stop was Seville where I had an absolutely wonderful time. There was the Real Alcazar which was originally built by Moorish rulers but later became the palace of Spanish royalty, including King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Yes, that Ferdinand and Isabella. And there was the amazing Seville Cathedral which houses the final resting place of … Christopher Columbus, of course. There is so much history and culture here, it’s difficult to take it all in. And then there is all the Spanish wine. Wow! The first night in Seville, I celebrated my arrival with a Rioja.
Winemaker: El Coto
Wine: Rioja Crianza
Appellation: Rioja DO, Spain
Notes: The nose on this Crianza was really great – scents of blueberry, blackberry, and pine. It was medium-bodied with light tannins and 13% alcohol. Flavors for me included dark berries, pepper and tobacco. I liked it, especially the bouquet. Not a pairing for a serious steak, but good with a lighter meal.