@winejennifer

I love wine and my boys.

Archive for the category “spain”

What To Try At Calgary’s WineFest 2012

Calgary’s WineFest goes this weekend at the BMO Centre and I’ll be in the booth with Delf Wines pouring up some samples for the masses.

Before I tell you about the wines in the flight we’ll be sampling, make sure you check out these tips on How To “Do” A Winefest. While some treat it as a wild open bar party, it really can be an educational experience (and party) if you approach it properly.

This year at WineFest, I’ll be pouring 13 wines from Italy, Spain ,and Argentina, here are a few of the highlights:

ARGENTINA:
Finca Los Primos Syrah 2010Finca Los Primos Syrah 2010
Peppery, earthy, tea, black cherry, smoky nose. Soft, round, smooth, slightly sweet entry with good acidity. Spicy, black cherry, cedar, meaty, pepper flavours.

Famiglia Bianci Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Famiglia Bianci Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
90 points | Category Champion | Wine Access 2011 International Value Wine Awards
“The nose has intense aromas of cassis, plum and hints of the menthol and dried herbs that are typical of cabernet sauvignon. The palate is quite complex, offering a lot for this price point.”

SPAIN:
Castano Lujuria 2009Castano Lujuria 2009
89 points | Killer Value & Best of Spain | Wine Access Magazine 2011 International Value Wine Awards
“Bright red fruit (strawberry, raspberry), blackberry and perfume notes on the nose are elegantly simple and alluring. It’s a silky, medium-bodied red that delivers raspberry and cherry notes with light acidity and soft tannin.”

Castaño Hecula 2008Castaño Hecula 2008
89 points | The Wine Advocate
“The 2008 Hecula is 100% Monastrell sourced from 35 to 60 year-old vines and aged 50% in tank and 50% in French oak. Ripe, sweetly-fruited, and forward, this crowd-pleaser can be enjoyed now and over the next 4 years.”
Robert Parker

ITALY:
Villa Teresa Organic Rose FrizzanteVilla Teresa Organic Rose Frizzante
Vancouver Magazine Wine Awards 2011 – Best Sparkling
“Put a little pink on the table! Delicate cherry, strawberry and oral aromas with lovely red fruit avours and gentle bubble keep it fresh and fun.”
BCLDB Taste Magazine – Fall 2010

Villa Teresa Organic Merlot 2010Villa Teresa Organic Merlot 2010
Medium-bodied with full flavours of cherries and plums — all the fruit but without the sweetness. Its Italian character comes through in earthy and herbal notes. Excellent with salami, pork and white roasted meats.

If you’re coming to WineFest this weekend, please introduce yourself to me in the Delf booth.

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The Grape Escape


This weekend is Calgary Co-Op’s Wine, Spirit and Beer Festival, The Grape Escape.

Once again, it’s completely sold out, but I do have a couple of tickets to the Friday afternoon VIP tasting session to give away.

I’ll be pouring Nollen Notorious Rooster Riesling, Road 13’s Honest John’s Red, Castano Monastrell and Freixenet Carta Nevada at the Grape Escape.

Nollen Notorious Rooster Riesling 2010
“Every once and a while an inexpensive Germany riesling, almost always from the Mosel, over delivers and that is the case with Notorious a delicious little riesling. We love the fresh nectarine skin aromas and the peachy, watermelon fruit all with freshness and balance.”
Anthony Gismondi

Castano Monastrell 2009
“It is a dark ruby-coloured wine with a fragrant nose of underbrush, blueberry and plum. Super-juicy on the palate and densely packed, this is a pleasure-bent effort for drinking over the next 2-3 years.”
– Robert Parker

Honest Johns Red 2010
“The fruit explodes out of the glass with aromas of red currant, black raspberries and bing cherries. The nose also shows signature Okanagan character, followed by subtle layering of chocolate, cedar and tobacco.”
– JM Bouchard, Winemaker

Freixenet Carta Nevada
“As semi-dry Cavas go, it’s hard to lodge a complaint against this one. It has a full bouquet of powdered sugar and white fruits, and the palate is sturdy and shows sweet mango and papaya flavours.”
– The Wine Enthusiast

**UPDATE** Congratulations to Erin Darroch for winning my tickets!

Calgary Needs A Champagne Friday Food Truck

freixenet food truck

The Freixenet Tastings & Tapas Truck

I like to celebrate Champagne Fridays. It’s nothing fancy, just at the end of each week a cork flies across my home office instead of getting cracked with a corkscrew.

In Dallas, this week, Champagne Fridays took on an entirely different meaning as The Freixenet Tastings & Tapas Truck rolled into town. It’s been cruising across the states all summer offering people the opportunity to taste Freixenet [87 points Wine Access] sparkling wine, nibble on “tapas” and play games.

The perfect definition of a Champagne Friday, in my books.

Today, in Calgary, we experienced our first snow of the season and the food trucks are turning their menus to more comfort food selections. Still, a little rolling Freixenet Friday in the Stampede City could do us all a bit of good.

Don’t you think?

How To Decorate Wine Bottles For Halloween

Freixenet Cordon Negro All Spooked Up For Halloween

Halloween is a Monday this year, which means the holiday will be turned into a 3 (maybe 4) day celebration. You’ll have events on Friday, Saturday (maybe Sunday) and Monday.

The kids get Monday for the trick or treating. That’s a given. Mom and Dad might take one of the other days on the weekend to get ghoulish with some friends. If a house Halloween party is on tap for your crew, don’t show up empty handed.

A bottle of Spanish bubble Freixenet Cordon Negro makes the perfect host(ess) gift. The matte black bottle (murdered out as Rob Dyrdek would say) easily lends itself to the spirit of the season and it’s simple to dress up.

A tissue, elastic and felt is all you need to turn your bottle into a spooky and festive ghost. The plain silhouette of the bottle is also a great canvas for stickers you might have left over from decorating with the kids.

The wispy curls of “smoke” that pop with the cork and when it’s poured also chime in time with the mood of the party.

It’s affordable too, with prices around $15.

This latest bottling of the classic Cordon Negro Brut is as clean, fresh, fruity and balanced as ever; infinitely drinkable without demanding too much contemplation. [Wine Access]

Visit Freixenet on Facebook for more fun Halloween ideas.

Bodegas Lustau Sherry Tasting with Christopher Cannan

Cannabis presents Bodegas Lustau

“In North America, sherry needs an education.  In the UK, sherry is a birthright,”  remarked one of the attendees of a recent Bodegas Lustau tasting. Not being from the UK, and needing the education, The Delf Group invited Europvin‘s Christopher Cannan to host the tasting.

Mr. Cannan is one of the wine world’s most recognized wine exporters.  His regions range from Spain to Portugal to Hungary to, of course, Bordeaux.  His portfolio features more than 300 labels and with more than 30 years in the industry, his humility is only superceded by his experience.

Bodegas Lustau is from the southwest of Spain, almost in North Africa.  The region is very warm and is buffeted by 2 winds; one from the Sahara, the other from the Atlantic.  The soil of the region is mostly chalky and that’s where you’ll find the sherry vines, struggling in the white dusty earth.

Sherry grapes are picked in August and on their own make a very boring and insipid white wine. So they are fortified to add some depth along a scale that ranges from very dry to very sweet.  Sherry doesnt typically have a vintage.  Fractional blending, where portions from various casks are blended for each bottling, insures the product has a consistent taste from year to year to year.

For the sweeter sherries, the grapes are picked and left in the sun for 3 weeks to dry.  What’s left is more sugar than juice, but they are pressed nonetheless.

Surprisingly, sherry is very affordable considering the age, effort and quality required to produce each bottle.  The Bodegas Lustau flight presented by Mr Cannan wholesales from $9 – $24.

Bodegas Lustau

Lustau Manzanilla “Papirusa” Solera Reserva – $9

Bone dry, light, fresh, very tangy.  Pairs wonderfully with tapas, shellfish, seafood and sushi.

Lustau Palo Cortado “Peninsula” Solera Reserva – $24

Given 92 points by Wine Advocate, Robert Parker writes “Great balance, intensity and acidity as well as a scorched earth / roasted nut character.”  Pairs well with meats, poultry, game and consomme.

Lustau East India Solera – $13

With 94 points from Wine Advocate, Parker calls it “weighty, sweet and provocative. It boasts a dark amber color as well as a huge nose of melted toffee, caramel, figs and prunes.”  This was given the name “East India” after sailors found the sherry tasted better after the long trek between England and India.  Whether it was the motion of the ocean, or the humidity of India, the sherry tasted better in the colony.

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