#Super Bowl XLVII- BEER vs. WINE

I rarely drink wine at live sporting events.
Wine doesn’t taste great in plastic bottles and cups.  And it just doesn’t feel right.

In the privacy of your home you should drink what you want, but wines are sometimes a better match with food. Try it for yourself, beer vs. wine,  with your favorite Super Bowl dishes.

 If you normally drink lager beer…

(Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois), you are drinking beers that are light bodied, bright and crisp.

Similar white wines would be Pinot Grigio (from Northern Italy), or Sauvignon Blanc (try the Loire Valley, French version). Drink with Chips and Dip!

If you want to try some reds look for low tannin, fresh acid wines like Barbera or Beaujolais (not Nouveau, please). Great with Doritos!

Summer ale (Sam Adams) or Belgian White (Blue Moon) is your thing?

Try white wines with more aromatics like Albariño (Rías Baixas, Spain) or Torrontés (Argentina).

For a slightly more aromatic red you may like a chilled Tempranillo (Rioja/Ribera del Duero), or unoaked Sangiovese.
All great with nachos or chili!

Hefeweizen (wheat) beer fan?

For whites, try Gewürztraminer from Alsace, France. Gewürz (guh-vorts) for short, is spicy and can be dry, or have a little sweetness. Perfect with asian flavored chicken wings.

Another option is Zweigelt, a funky, spicy, but floral red from Austria.

IPA (hop) head?

You might want to try the New Zealand (Marlborough) style of Sauvignon Blanc, grassy with Juicy Fruit (the gum) flavors. Another white wine option is Chenin Blanc (French, not South African) if you want a fuller bodied wine.

“Go to” reds could include Cabernet Franc or Carmenere from Chile.
Also great with chili!

For traditional Ales/Stoudts…

Since they are full bodied there are only a few whites for you, Viognier (northern Rhone, France) or oaked Chardonnay (Burgundy, France).

On the red side, go big or go home! You would probably enjoy full bodied reds like Aglianico (Italy) or Australian Shiraz.
Save these wines for the main course…

For some of my other “Super Bowl” favorites see previous recommendations:

Super Bowl XLV

Super Bowl XLVI


As always, please let me know what you think…

Top 100 VALUE wines of 2012

It’s that time of year…Wine Spectator recently released their list of the Top 100 wines of 2012.

Due to personal preferences I can’t tell you whether you will really love all of the wines on the list or not. However, if it is under $20, (I also include exactly $20) and makes this list, it probably is a solid value.

Last years list only contained 12 wines under $20- this years has 27. Also, I am noticing a large number of wines coming from South America.

Hint: just because they might not have made this years list- the 2011 list are still good wines to try!

Here are the VALUES (ranking/Score/Price)…
Continue reading

Spanish Wines…What do you know about them?

Attending an event hosted by the Greenwich Wine Society to taste and learn about wines of Spain…

What I already know about Spanish wines:
1. I really enjoy them, especially Albariño (white wine grape) from Rias Baxias the Rosés of Navarra, and the reds of Ribera Del Duero, Priorat, and Rioja Alta (made from Tempranillo, mostly)

2. The main red grape of Spain is Tempranillo, which is also traditionally  blended with Garnacha (Grenache), Manzuelo and Graciano.

3. The main white grape is Viura, which plays an important part in Cava, which is traditional method (Champagne style) sparkling wine.

Cava is made from these Spanish grapes:
Parellada- (pair-ee-ah-tha)-the  main component, light, crisp, with high acidity
Macabeo- (mah-cah-bay-oh) (aka: Viura) soft, fruity, less acidic
Xarel-lo- (char-el-oh) aromatic, intense- gives wine it’s impact

4. The wines of Spain are some of the only wines in the world that universally have aging requirements built into their wine laws. So generally, quality Spanish wines have older vintage dates on the bottle when they are on your store shelves.

Here are the aging classifications:
Jovenno oak at all. great chilled in the summer…ask for these if you like light refreshing reds
Crianza- aged at least 2 years, minimum 1 year in oak barrels. Released to the market after October 1, 2 years after harvest.
Reserva- Aged 3 years minimum, minimum 1 year in oak. Released to the market after October 1, 3rd year after harvest.
Gran Reserva- Only made in select vintage years. Aged 5 years minimum, minimum 2 years in oak. Released to the market after October 1, 5 years after harvest.

If you like vanilla, wood, leather, in your red wines, Spain might be just what you are looking for…

Excited to see what else I learn…


4th of July- Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and Watermelon Wine…


One of my favorite things on a hot summer day is ice cold watermelon. Read on for 2 ways to have watermelon, without the seeds, or the mess.

IZZE esque Sparkling Watermelon– I don’t believe this is officially launched (I know people at PepsiCo). But when it becomes available, you should try it. IZZE was started in Boulder, Colorado, their products use all-natural ingredients (sugars and flavors-including grapes). The IZZE esque line is lower calorie, with a light sparkle, and very refreshing. Great for making “adult beverages” like IZZE watermelon and vodka.

Enanzo Garnacha Rosé Navarra is a pink wine from the Navarra region of Spain. It is made from Garnacha (Spanish for Grenache) grapes. It is produced using the traditional “free-run” technique, where the grape must is obtained by gravity alone. When the picked grapes are dumped into the collection tank, Continue reading

Around the World in 80 Sips- Wines of the Week

Host of the Event

The Crowd

I attended an excellent event thrown by Bottlenotes Around the World in 80 Sips. This is a great opportunity to learn while “drinking around the world”. Virtually every style of wine can be sampled in one place.

Click here to see the wines poured

Below are some wines that really stood out, for me. The exclusive retail sponsor was Continue reading