Green Wine Practices

In this day and age, everyone is trying to be good to the environment and their bodies.   It’s no surprise to find that wine is also going Green so to speak.  In my research on the subject, I found that there IS such a thing as Green Wine.

Green-Wine

Vinho Verde (Wine style)
Vinho Verde is a Portuguese wine that originated in the historic Minho province in the far north of the country. The modern-day ‘Vinho Verde’ region, originally designated in 1908, includes the old Minho province plus adjacent areas to the south. Wikipedia
This post however is about Green wine practices which are becoming more popular.
I love this info graphic provided by wine.com that shows the process and the meaning behind green wine.
green-wineSo the next time you see a glass of GREEN WINE, you’ll have a better understanding of how and why it got that way.
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How To Remove Wine Bottle Cork Without Cork Screw

Every once in a while we’ll pack up a basket with cheeses, fruits, some brie and crackers etc. and select a great bottle of wine to enjoy out on a picnic or rendezvous somewhere.  One of the biggest disappointments is laying out your blanket under a nice shady tree, setting out all your goodies and suddenly realize you forgot the cork screw to open your wine.

If you ever get caught in this situation, here’s a great way to to not only open that bottle of wine and keep that special someone happy but there’s a good chance you’ll also impress the heck out of them too. I’m really glad I found this tip to share with you and I hope it comes in handy one day. Make sure you share this with your friends, we’ve all been there!

 How to open a bottle of wine… without a cork screw.

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Wine Terms and Definitions

Photo by: Brad Andersohn
When hearing  someone define the taste or the texture of a wine, it can be interesting and quite comical. I will never forget the first time I heard someone refer to the wine as Barnyard.  HUH??  Well, that term refers to the flavor or smell of manure…Double Huh??

The question is, who has really tasted manure anyway?

On The Wine Lovers Page, they define it quite nicely. In the sometimes slightly wacky world of wine evaluation, it is entirely possible for a wine taster to say, “This wine tastes like $#@*!” … and mean it as a compliment.

Let’s take a look at bad flavors in good wines, and specifically brettanomyces (“Breh-TAN-oh-MY-sees” or just plain “brett” for short). Brett is a wild yeast that’s sometimes found on grapeskins and that can get into wine barrels, where it resides and grows and can be almost impossible to remove. When brett appears in a wine, it creates earthy organic aromas and flavors that don’t sound appetizing. The aroma of brett-afflicted wines may range from leathery to mousey, wet-fur, or “barnyard” aromas like chicken manure or horse sweat. Some tasters also find a twangy metallic quality in the aftertaste of bretty wines. In short, it’s no coincidence that many wine scientists refer to wines with brett as “afflicted” or “infected.” Read entire post here…

Another funny one is Cat Pee, referring to a Sauvignon Blanc , which I have personally experienced when drinking this varietal. So with that said, there are many interesting ways to define the wine you are tasting.  I think it could either be super funny or extremely annoying to throw around some of these terms depending on the company you’re with.

Here are some terms from Wine Folly, one of my favorite wine blogs.

CHEWY: When you take a sip of wine with chewy tannins, it dries out the interior of your mouth so that you “chew” or clean the tannins of the insides of your mouth.

CIGAR BOX: Cigar box flavors are hinting toward sweetness and cedar-wood with an abundance of smoke. This is a super positive and desirable characteristic that wine writers love to use when they find a wine they wish they could just slowly sip on a leather chair.

FLABBY: Flabby means the wine has no acidity.

BRIGHT: Bright wines are higher in acidity and make your mouth water.

Go on and have some fun with these.  For a full list visit Wine Folly. Their Motto is, Learn by drinking.

I LIKE THAT!
Cin, Cin Salute!

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Cheese – Wine’s Best Friend

A cracker to clear the palate, some sweets or candy to pair with the desert wine, but it seems like cheese is the most commonly paired food that goes best with any and all wines.  Why cheese? Why not? Different cheese’s paired with the appropriate wines can accentuate the flavors in both the wine and the cheese.


The chart above will help you to determine which cheese’s go best with which white or red wines, but keep in mind that there are no rules.  Likes, taste, and desire is and always will be about personal preference.

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Drinking Wine on a Budget

Everyone knows that wine prices can range from very low to very high.

The cheapest most inexpensive bottle of wine (which many refer to as “Two-Buck-Chuck” from Trader Joe’s) runs just a couple bucks, but the most expensive wine ever sold was a bottle of 2004 Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon going for a purchase price of $168,000.00.

Some Master Sommelier wine sleuths gathered together and suggest some of their favorite, inexpensive, well-known wines.  They also reveal some of the tricks they use to find these affordable wines.

Drink Wine on a Budget

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All Different Types of Wine

When most people think about wine, the first types and most popular that come to mind are Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot, and Zinfandel etc. Here’s an eye opener of the variety of different wines that are available. It’s almost a certainty that you’ll discover a new type of wine after viewing this chart.

Different types of wine

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Thanks to WineFolly.com for sharing this. Check out their Wine Basics Beginners Guide.

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Pinot Perfume-Reata Winery

My love for Pinot Noir is no secret.

I find it to be the sexiest of any wine and yet I am super picky about how I like it.  I tend to love a Pinot that is a bit deeper and richer.  Berry taste should be big as well as an earthy taste.    These are classic characteristics and yet I have tasted so many that have fallen flat and were a total disappointment.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that I look for is a floral note that gives it the taste of roses or lavender.

The reason why I named this post PINOT PERFUME is because I found the most incredibly fragrant Pinot that I have ever encountered.   It smelled as though I was putting my nose into a huge bouquet of roses.   I swear I could have lingered in that glass forever and possibly poured it on my body.  I’m not kidding it was THAT Fragrant.  Super CHERRY flavor danced on my tongue along with earthiness and then the ROSES!  It was elegant and wonderful!

This wine that I speak of is REATA Estate Pinot Noir 2009

Reata Winery is halfway between my home and Napa and is literally 10 minutes away.  I have driven by it for years and never noticed until this time, the perfect time.

It’s beautiful with lavish wood floors, ceilings and stone walls.  There are beautiful wooden beams and cowhide covered couches and chairs in a wonderful little sitting area. The Western theme is cute.  There is even a moss covered cow that is there to greet you upon entering.

 The beautiful large windows show the breathtaking valley.

There is a large area on the wall covered with 594 bottles that Ron Keith called, ” THE WALL OF WANT”  (In the picture below I purposefully included the head of someone behind the wine bar to show how big this bottle display is)  Ron was there pouring our wine keeping us company as we enjoyed the tasting.  It was his last day, well he said that it was SUPPOSE to be his last day, but that he was covering for the Winery manager that was on a camping trip.  What a nice guy!

If you’re headed towards NAPA VALLEY on HWY 12 this quaint little place is right there on the right and if you blink you’ll miss it so stay sharp!

Do yourself a favor and bring some food to enjoy at their nice outside picnic area area and buy a bottle of that sexy Pinot to enjoy with your honey.

Cin,cin! Salute!

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Michael Mondavi Family Estate

“Wine is our life…we look forward to sharing it with you!”  is what the Michael Mondavi Family Estate Mantra is, and you certainly feel it when you enter what they call their Tasting Gallery.   Located just off the Carneros region of Napa Valley, this tasting Gallery is quaint, and warmly welcoming and much like an art gallery in itself with each label presented artistically among the decor.   The gorgeous and breathtaking views on their large porch area beckon a picnic with one of their beautiful and tasty wines.

We had the personal pleasure of meeting TRACY RIOS (Retail Manager) who was very passionate and knowledgeable about the history of the Mondavi family.  It is clear that she has experienced every facet  of the wine making process and had so much to share which further enhanced our wine tasting experience.  We appreciated the fact that this kind of mentality is what sets Mondavi apart from the other tastings rooms that go through the motions of just pouring the wine, verses educating the customer.  Mondavi has been producing world renown wines for Four generations and we hear that the 5th generation Mondavi has just been born into the family.

Click on the wine labels below for more information and details:

     

The wine I chose to review is from the ISABEL MONDAVI line “ISABEL MONDAVI DEEP ROSE, 2011”

MY REVIEW

This super light and refreshing ROSE is surprising with strawberry, cranberry and apple flavors and a slight acidity that dances in your mouth.  It reminds me of a summer day and I definitely put it in my GIRLIE WINE category.  I would personally serve this for a Sunday Brunch, Womans’s Tea, or for a special occasion such as Valentines Day or a Wedding Anniversary.    This makes for a perfect aperitif wine.

Mondavi offers three different wine clubs and make it affordable to any budget.

I highly recommend visiting this elegant and beautiful place.  I also recommend that you bring a nice picnic and enjoy it with one of the many wonderful wines presented here.  With the generous tastings that they offer you are sure to find just the perfect bottle.

Come find out why the San Francisco Chronicle voted them among “THE BEST TASTING ROOMS IN NAPA VALLEY

Cin, Cin, Salute!

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Vezer Family Vineyard – Mankas Restaurant

In the Valley right near our home in Suisun there is little wine community with a handful of wineries, and one of our very favorites is VEZER FAMILY WINERY.   They make top notch wines and are considered superior in the valley.  We frequent both the VEZER tasting room, and THE BLUE VICTORIAN which is their sister winery just down the road housed in YES a cute little Blue Victorian nestled amongst the vines.

~The Blue Victorian~

One weekend my husband and I went wine tasting at Vezer and when they closed, Frank Vezer came into the tasting room and asked us to hang around and have a glass with him.  He asked us about our family and about ourselves and of course my husband told him about our music and said, “You should hear my wife sing.”  So of course I did and he had this idea of me working in the tasting room and singing while I pour wine for the customers.  I almost took the job but got busy during the summer and was unable. I was honored to be asked.

Vezer Family Vineyard-Photo by Kim Liew

Funny thing though that nearly a year later Frank and his lovely wife Liz opened a new restaurant next to their winery.  One day as I was alone having a glass of wine and reading a book out on their beautiful back deck Liz walked by to go into the barrel room.  I had never met her, but I somehow knew she was Franks wife.   We started talking and she took me over to see the new MANKAS Steak and Tapas Restaurant.  It was absolutely beautiful and everyone was rushing to get it finished.   I felt the excitement and asked if there was anything that I could do to help.   Well her husband  Frank was nearby and told her that I sing,  and I was asked to perform for the first private invitation opening.

I sang and and my Husband played ukulele.  We walked around serenading each individual table.  At the end of the evening I was honored to sing I’m In The Mood For Love for the Executive chef David Pajarillo and his girlfriend in honor of Valentines Day.  Before blessing the Mankas Corner with his culinary talents, Chef David worked as head chef at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, and worked with Michael Mina at AQUA in Las Vegas.

What a blessing for us to perform that night for such and exciting time for the VEZER family and their friends.  They made us feel like family too!

Mankas Corner Restaurant has a full bar with a incredible wine selection!   Check out their menu.

Ron Plunkett is the staff Sommelier and is on hand to help heighten your food and wine experience.  His resume is impressive including, last year being named the Sommelier of Comic-Con in San Diego.  He also served wine to the cast of Cowboys and Aliens, Twilight and numerous Movie and TV stars such as Billy Dee Williams and Katie Leclerc star of ABC Family’s Switched At Birth.  Most recently he appeared on TV with FOOD NETWORK star, Andrea Immer Robinson and the show, DAILY TASTINGS to be aired in the near future.

Roberto CromeyerGeneral Manager, born in El Salvador Central America.  He has worked in the food and beverage industry since finishing High School.  He has also worked for numerous Cruise ships, Cypress Club in San Francisco, Mondavi Winery, French Laundry and Don Giovanis in the Napa Valley.

Jo is the Bartender or mixologist if you will. (You won’t find THAT in the dictionary) and what she refers to as a LIBATION RELOCATIONIST.  Come in and let her explain just what that means.  Jo is friendly, knowledgeable and super innovative with mixed drinks and coffee creations.  She made me a Key Lime Pie Martini that was just as good as the real thing but in drink form.

                                                       I can’t leave until I do my little wine review.

La Salette Love

THE REVIEW

The wine I chose is VEZER LA SALETTE -A Sirah/Zinfandel blend.  This wine has a sexy nose that is just as pleasing as it’s taste with sweet cherry flavor and soft oak right out the gate.  It’s anise nuances and intense flavors last through a silky smooth finish.   The wine maker  Gary Galleron is known for his beautiful blends.  This is my absolute favorite!

Mankas Corner Steak House and Tapas has been compared to Rutherford Grill and Cole’s Chop House!  If it’s wine tasting, dining or both that you’re looking for. come to our little CORNER!  You will have a very lovely experience.

Cin, cin! SALUTE!!!

 

 

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