Tag Archive for: Malbec

Weekend Wine Roundup: A Sassy Blackbird Rosé and a Sultry James Cole Malbec

15 Jan
January 15, 2013

Napa Valley Wine Reviews and Ratings

As the W.C. Fields saying goes, “I cook with wine and sometimes I even add it to the food.” Saturday afternoon was one of those occasions when the wine remained in my glass while I prepared a baked ziti with turkey sausage. I pulled two very different bottles from our stash and enjoyed one as I “worked” and the second while we ate. Here’s the scoop on these Napa Valley wine reviews and ratings.

Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste 2011 Napa Valley Rosé (13.5% Alc.)

Though it was one of the coldest winter days we’ve experienced in Chicago this season, I was in the mood for a bright, light-bodieBlackbird Arrivisted wine to kick off my afternoon. I found this bottle at a local shop recently and, as usual, couldn’t wait to give it a try. I’m familiar with Blackbird and have driven by their vineyards along the Oak Knoll Crossroad, but have not actually tasted with them at Maisonry in Yountville yet. My husband also tells me I’ve had one of their reds at some point, but it must have been long ago, pre-blog. This pick was meant to be. As we unscrewed its top, songs from the Beatles’ White Album randomly began popping up on our iTunes playlist.

The 2011 Arriviste is a Bordeaux-blend Rosé comprised of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc. The wine took on a beautiful salmon hue in the glass and was highly aromatic. I observed floral notes, along with blood orange and strawberry on the nose. While sipping, I couldn’t help but comment on just how crisp and balanced this wine was drinking. The strawberry permeated throughout and made its medium-long finish all the better. I saved some for the following day to pair with an Asian-inspired chicken dish, which worked well. I really enjoyed this mid-day pick-me-up and know it would be a great porch wine again this summer. Rating: 4.83

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Now This is How You Host a Home Wine Tasting Party!

11 Nov
November 11, 2012

Inspiration and Tips for a Memorable Event

A colleague and fellow Napa wine enthusiast kindly invited us to participate in his annual home tasting party over the weekend. I knew we’d be in for a treat, but this event rivaled something you’d read about in Martha Stewart Living. As we entered, guests were asked to pick up one numbered wine glass that had been adorned with a homemade cork charm. (To create these, the hostess cut corks into thin, circular slices with a sharp knife, inserted a small jewelry hook into the top and tied them to each stem. I found a similar DIY charm tutorial at Naturally Savvy.) Next, we were provided with scoring sheets that asked raters to evaluate samples on their appearance, aroma, body, taste and finish at up to five points per category for a total of 25 points each. Then, we were free to begin tasting.

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