Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Taking Time Off!

Dear Friends,

I'm taking a while off from blogging due to my mother passing away Sunday, November 6, 2016. I will be back as soon as I can be home at my own computer. Right now I am spending time with my family in Orange, Texas.
Love you all!

Sailing in San Francisco Bay...

Friday morning we ate breakfast at the greatest little place in Sausalito! Don had eaten there with Meredith on one of their daddy/daughter trips and highly recommended it. We found out just how fabulous it was.

We drove to a local market, picked up some things for our sailing excursion and headed to Treasure Island to meet Dave and Priscilla, our captain and wife (also our winemakers) from Sebastopol, CA.

Here are some photos from our sailing that day. It was blustery and cold at times.

Natalie, one of my two beautiful daughters!


Don sailing the boat

Dave and Priscilla

Dave talking with Mike and Natalie

The beautiful city beyond the bridge.

After sailing all day, we drove to Healdsburg where we would be for the rest of the weekend. More wine tasting to come!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sausalito, California July 2016 #MadrigalWinery

July took us to California one more time for a Lobster boil at Sbragia Family Vineryards. But one stop in Sausalito by the bay to enjoy great food and friends was a must. Natalie and Mike, my daughter and son-in-law, were with us to enjoy three days of NoCal, wine, sailing and food!

We began our adventure with a toast to the four of us at Poggio's Restaurant, dining outside on the sidewalk across from sailboats moored at a yacht club.

Carpenè Malvotlti Brut Rosé from Veneto, Italy ($20)

We checked into our quaint hotel next door to the restaurant and then began our tasting of Madrigal wines.

Madrigal Family Winery tasting salon and gallery is a block away from where we were staying. So it was really easy just to walk to, which is something we never experience in CA.

Our first wine to taste was a 2014 Gewürztraminer from Mendocino. It was actually good, considering I don't like that varietal of grapes.

The following bottles are the ones we tasted. The host was so gracious to let us try every wine they had open and we ended up buying some because it was all delicious and very reasonably priced.

2013 Tempranillo, Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA ($45)

2013 Nuestras Sangre Red Wine from Napa Valley

This beautiful bottle of 2013 Sonnet #63 Red Wine, the Wine of Lovers ($75)

2013 Las Viñas del Señor Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA

2013 Cabernet Franc from Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA

2013 Petite Sarah from Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA ($70)

And finally, a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak from Napa Valley, CA ($86)

It was a wonderful tasting. Thank you Madrigal Family Winery!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sbragia Family Vineyards #sbragiafamily Lobster and Chardonnay Dinner on the Patio!

Near the end of July, we headed to Geyserville, CA to enjoy some lobster and Sbragia Chardonnay with the Sbragia's at their Dry Creek Valley tasting room! We found out about this event for wine club members in April on our river cruise in France. Not living in California or near the tasting room has made it almost impossible to attend events they have throughout the year. So needless to say, we made plans for this event and were really excited about going. And we had invited Mike and Natalie to go with us.

This low country lobster boil was eaten right off the table outside the tasting room on the terrace with plenty of Chardonnay to drink. With music, laughter, plenty of hungry people, Sbragia Chardonnay and the Sbragias, this was the perfect party!

There's Mike, Don, Rebecca and Scott Scherr dining with us!

Adam and Kathy invited us to see their offices and wine storage barrels below the tasting room. All six of us were delighted to get an inside look at what makes Sbragia Family Vineyards so desirable. I believe it's their commitment to making the best wines possible not only because they enjoy wine, but because they want others to enjoy it also. It's got to be very hard work, but it's very appreciated by everyone who drinks their wines. 

 Adam gave each couple a bottle of 2013 Neal Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain and a bottle of 2013 Siena Dale Dessert Wine. Neither of these wines have been released yet. So we were pretty blessed to receive these from Adam and Kathy. Thank you again so much!

We went back to the offices where Adam opened a bottle of the Neal Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and it was absolutely divine!

After the bottle was finished which didn't take long, we went back up to the tasting room, checked out other areas of the room and then settled on the porch outside to visit with Adam and Kathy. We closed down the tasting room, the Sbragia's left to pick up their children and we said our goodbyes to the Scherrs. What a fun night!

Vickie and daughter, Natalie

Monday, October 31, 2016

Drink Rosés Now (or all year round if you're like me) #darkhorsewines #TBWines #BostonWineExpo

My youngest daughter, Abigail and I recently went shopping at the local Tom Thumb for food and drinks for her twelve days here in Dallas this past summer. Of course, little Adelyn and Rayleigh had their own opinion about what they wanted to eat which was quite different from their mommy's idea.

But when it comes to wine, my daughters and I pretty much like the same thing.
The only thing that might be different about our rosés is the color. I prefer the lightest, but will drink others. Abigail likes it all. Natalie only drinks the palest pink salmon ever known to rosé. I don't see one below that she would drink at all! LOL

Abigail and I discovered four different rosés in Tom Thumb that we decided we would try.

2015 Hogwash ($16) by Tuck Beckstoffer Wines out of St. Helena, California. I had never heard of this wine until visiting with friends at their home in June. I loved the pink pig on the bottle and the simplicity of the label. The color of the rosé drew me in closer. As you can see, a lot of guests loved this wine. "This is purely and simply summertime in a glass." Very pale pink salmon color and delicious.

2015 M Rosé, ($20) Château Minuty,  Côtes de Provence. A magnificent wine of pleasure, the harmony of grenache and cinsault, and a round mouthfeel. Gorgeous!

2015 Dark Horse Rosé ($9) Limited Release. It’s a blend of 40% Grenache, 20% Barbera, 20% Pinot Gris, and 20% Tempranillo. It's a beautiful pale pink, although you can't tell her. A lovely drink of pink right now!

~2015 Mont D' Azur~Cloud Chaser, ($25) Côtes de Provence Rosé, France. Love, the French flag on the front of the bottle. This is sunset in a glass! It's a rosé for all seasons as I said before. I drink them all year! What a lovely pale pink color. This wine was rated 90 points and this winery has won so many awards! This rosé is a blend of 50% Cinsault, 20% Mourvedre, 19% Grenache, 3% Carignan, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Tibouren, 2% Syrah. And if this bottle isn't pretty enough, check out their website! It's gorgeous!

At the end of August, I went to stay with my mom some and check in on her daily. Part of the time I was with Abigail and her family. And guess what! We found four more rosés new to us both. In the photo above we have a:

2015 VillaViva ($12) produced from vineyards surrounding the fishing village of Sete and facing the Mediterranean Sea. This rosé bursts of flavors of strawberries, raspberries and traditional English bonbons. It is a 100% Carignan grape varietal.

2015 Chloe Rosé produced and bottled in Livermore, California. Aromas and flavors of strawberries, raspberries and watermelon make this a crisp, well-balanced wine. This can be found at Kroger.

2015 Villa Des Anges, ($9) a Cinsault Rosé from the Languedoc region of Southern France. It's light-bodied, intensely crisp, and vividly fresh. We loved this one! A super value Rosé is always a huge hit for us! Lots of melon on the nose and palate, with hints on citrus rind and fresh herbs. A go-to grab-and-chill Rosé that goes with everything.

2015 Père Anselme Côtes de Provence ($7) a bright fresh taste of red berries and citrus fruit. An orange-pink color. This is a good one too!

I've had a few other rosés in Canada, but haven't blogged about those yet! In time, in time! Until then.....

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pairing 101: Rosé All Day at Molto Formaggio, The Cheese Shop #MoltoFormaggio

My youngest daughter, Abigail and I, attended a cheese class at the end of July offered by Molto Formaggio in Highland Park Village. I had been to a couple of them where they serve foods to pair with their wines, but never a "class" where you learn how to pair the wines.

This was a class for pairing of rosés with their cheeses that were out of this world.

We arrived and took two places close to the door, took a few photos and got started on the wines. This is a fairly small shop with plenty of cheeses and wines, but not a lot of room to sit and dine. They set up small wooden trays on stands (reminds me of tv trays in the old days) and chairs pretty close to each other. But everyone makes it comfortable without getting in your space.


Notice the bottles of wine sitting so carefully within the beautiful cheeses!

This was our first wine to taste. A 2015 Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé ($20) from Côtes de Provence. Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache make a balanced trio full of fruity flavours, nicely sharpened with a touch of Mourvèdre. This was paired with:

Abbaye Belloc (French Sheep's Milk) served with Alain Millait Raspberry Jam also from France. 

They say if it grows together, it goes together! 

A Vacherousse D' Argental (French Cow's Milk) was served over a Raincoast Crisp cranberry cracker with citrus balsamic vinegar and a bite of Lonza with Gold Rush mustard. 

Lonza-Cured pork loin

The second wine and pairing are as follows:

A 2015 Château des Antonins Rosé ($15) a Bordeaux rosé from France. I was a little put off by the color, but it turned out to be amazing. It was paired with the following cheeses and cracker:

Le Jeune Autize (French Goat's Milk)

Brebirousse (French Sheep's Milk)

Victoria Amory rosemary crackers

and coppa, a cured meat much like prosciutto.

The last of the rosé wines was a 2015 Bisson Golfo Ciliegiolo ($21) a product of Italy. When is a rosé not a rosé? i had to struggle with whether to officially classify the Ciliegiolo varietal in this category or whether to present it as a light-colored red wine with lots and lots of character. Ciliegiolo is a variety of a red grape from Italy named after the Italian for cherry. Something new I learned that night. 

Ok, it was good! Abigail bought all three rosés from our class!

So here's what that Bisson rosé was paired with.

Nevat (French Goat's Milk)

Served over an olive oil cracker with crabapple preserves.

Prosciutto di Parma

Vulto Creamery Hamden (US Cow's Milk our of New York)

Served on a Potter's Smoked Applewood cracker.

Our small bite dessert was Heritage Lemon Shortbread.

This class was so much fun and we learned so much about cheeses, crackers, jams, and meats. I will return to another class as soon as possible.

Thank you Molto Formaggio for having these classes!

After leaving the class, we decided we were still hungry and thirsty for more rosé, so we went around the corner to Bistro 31 and had my favorite!

 2015 Château de Berne Impatience  $19
Extremely pale and shiny salmon, pink rose, with a pretty iridescent shimmer. This was a great way to end the night!