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Tag: Chenin Blanc

Helpful Tips For Choosing The Best Napa Valley White Wine

English: A 2005 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Ro...

English: A 2005 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Robert Mondavi Winery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve decided that I will accept guest posts for this blog, especially while I’m pregnant, in order to provide you with fresh wine news. Here is another post from Chuck Withers over at Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog.

 

When it comes to Napa Valley wines in general, there isn’t a high likelihood of selecting a bad wine. With quality soils, climate, and wineries, Napa Valley regularly produces some of the world’s finest wines. With Napa Valley as your location of choice, you can be confident of getting good quality wines.

 

There might be, however, some choices that might work better under different situations. White wines, for example, tend to be more conducive to certain meals than red wines. Even in the case of white wines, however, the decision can seem slightly overwhelming.

 

Whether you are selecting wines for yourself, or for a special group of people, here are some tips to help you choose the right Napa Valley white wine.

 

Setting The Mood

 

With their elegance and glamorous quality, particular wines can have a distinct effect, adding to the mood in nearly any event. As you consider which white wines to serve at a specific event, it can be a very good idea to have some sort of an atmosphere in mind. What type of a mood would you like to create?

 

If your goal is to create a sophisticated atmosphere of elegance or grace, Chardonnay may be a good option. Commonly noted as the most popular of white wines, Chardonnay can greatly enhance an elegant occasion. With crowd-pleasing flavors ranging from nutty to tropical, Chardonnay can be the perfect addition to any wedding party or stylish dinner. If Chardonnay is your choice, make sure to serve it chilled, but not too cold. Before serving, you may want to pull the bottle out of the refrigerator for a few minutes to let it warm up a bit.

 

If you are looking for something slightly more exciting, perhaps for a big party, you may want to consider providing multiple types of Napa Valley white wines. You may even want to consider using wine-tasting as part of your event. Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris can be great options for these types of events.

 

As you consider the desired mood for your particular special event, you can be well prepared to find the perfect wines to serve.

 

Planning Wine For A Specific Meal

 

Another major factor to help in your selection is the type of meal you will be serving. While some Napa Valley white wines may be versatile enough to go well with a variety of meals, there are some that go best with particular dishes.  When there is a specific menu in mind for an event, it may be a good idea to plan your wines to match.

 

When your meal contains lots of spicy foods or smoked meats, you may want to consider serving Gewürztraminer. This can be a delicious choice, providing a spicy enhancement to your meal. Riesling, which may be either light or medium bodied, may also be a good choice to add to your spicy dishes.

 

For light meals, containing dishes like chicken or salad, Pinot Blanc or Chenin Blanc may be a great choice.

 

Confidence In Your Choice

 

When surrounded by the people you care about, you can have a quality experience no matter which white wines you choose. Don’t be too stressed out about having the perfect choice every time. As you grow in experience, you will become more confident in your selection of wines. With Napa Valley white wines, any choice is a good choice.

 

Article courtesy of Chuck Withers of the Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog, follow him on Twitter @twoguyswine for more updates on wine, travel and many more international delights.

 

 

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Celebrate! September is California Wine Month

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California (Photo credit: the_tahoe_guy)

 

This week’s tasting at Creekside Cellars was in honor of California Wine Month, and all wines were from California vineyards. As always, there were some real stars of the show and there were a couple of wines that were fine, but would have specific uses (for example, as an end of summer wine). Here are our thoughts on the eight wines we tasted.

 

2011 Honig Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($17) – We have had this wine before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a decent wine. It had notes of honeydew and a sweet nose. It had hints of clove-like spices and it was light and summery.

 

2011 Pine Ridge 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier, Clarksburg, California ($17) – this is a nice end of summer wine. It is a heavier and rounder wine than the Honig. It had more of a cantaloupe bouquet than a honeydew melon bouquet. Overall, it was pretty good.

 

2010 Sextant Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands ($30) – This wine had almost a paint thinner nose – but in a good way (oh, come on, admit it sometimes there is something alluring about the smell of paint thinner!). It had notes of walnut and oak, and it was quite smokey. It would be a lovely wine to accompany Wining Husband’s feta-green pepper bagel dish.

 

glass & bottle of Syrah rose

glass & bottle of Syrah rose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

2011 Ampelos Rosé of Syrah, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara($18) – This was a pretty good rosé that held up well to both cream and sweet cheeses and fruits. The wine was smokey and spicy. It was a nice, easy-drinking wine.

 

2009 Leveroni “Seven Oaks Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Sonoma ($20) – This wine was peppery, tannic, and yet smooth. It had notes of cloves, nutmeg and plums. It would pair very well with teriyaki steak.

 

2010 Morgan “Cotes du Crow’s” 55% Syrah, 45% Grenache, Monterey County ($18) – This was a nice wine, but it would be interesting to see whether it would open up over time. It was light and had a grape-like flavor (think Welch’s Grape Juice). It was perhaps a little two smooth and needs more spice. I’d be interested in trying it after it was decanted to see what happened.

 

2009 Three Saints Syrah, Santa Rita, Santa Inez, and Santa Maria, Santa Barbara ($18) – This wine was tannic and had a bit of a rubber note to it (but not in a way that detracted from the quality of the wine. It had a lot of spice – both in the form of paprika and cloves. It also had hints of semi-sweet chocolate.

 

2008 Carol Shelton “Karma” Zinfandel, Sonoma County ($33) – This wine had notes of hazelnut, vanilla, and coffee. It was a cigar box and had a lot of spice. This was a wine we enjoyed very much.

 

2010 Educated Guess “Hypothesis” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($40) – This was our favorite wine of the tasting. It was smooth and spicy with notes of brown sugar, maple, espresso, and chocolate. This wine would be absolutely lovely with filet mignon with an olive tapinade.

 

 

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Creekside Summertime Wines

Ripe Sauvignon blanc grapes.

Ripe Sauvignon blanc grapes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This week’s theme at Creekside was summertime wines. We tasted eight out of nine of the offered wines, and we liked all but one of the wines (and that one was still pretty good. All of the wines were meant to be refreshing and fun – the perfect wines to accompany a late summer barbecue.

 

2010 Domaine des Corbillieres Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine, Loire Valley, France – ($18) – This wine had a hint of apples to it. It was dry like Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider (except for the fact that it was a crisp white wine). This wine would be a great accompaniment to brie and apples as an appetizer. We liked it a good bit.

 

2011 Pine Ridge 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier from Clarksburg, California – ($17) – This wine had a stone fruit nose, and on tasting, we sensed white peaches and pepper. It went very well with the blue cheese from the cheese plate (Roaring Forties Blue). This wine was also very nice.

 

2011 Chamisal Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay from Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, California – ($17) – This wine was also nice. It had hints of paprika and spice. It was a dry white wine.

 

2011 Waterbrook Rose of Sangiovese from Columbia Valley, Washington – ($16) – This wine was buttery, lemony, and spicy. It would go well with a sweet and sour type dish. We liked it okay, but thought that Bertagna’s Rose of Sangiovese outshone it.

 

2007 Monte Antico “Toscana” 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet and 5% Merlot from Tuscany, Italy – ($13) – Even though the composition of this wine only included 5% Merlot, you could taste the fruit forward done right qualities. This wine had the cigar box qualities we love with notes of black pepper. If you love caprese salad (who doesn’t?), this would be a perfect pairing.

 

2009 Ancient Peaks Merlot from Paso Robles, California – ($16) – This wine was filled with notes of berries and spice. It was very robust and went great with the blue cheese. It’s strongly recommended.

 

2009 Kingston Family “Lucero” Syrah from Casablanca Valley, Chile – ($18) – This wine as phenomenal. This wine had a mushroom finish to it. It would be a wonderful pairing with a stroganoff. It also had a coffee finish and hints of truffles and cigar box qualities. This wine is on our must-purchase list.

 

2009 Yalumba “The Scribbler” 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia – ($19) – If you only try one wine from this list, you might want to make it this one. This wine was sour, hazy, and also had a lovely cigar box quality to it. It was spicy, and the finish reminded me of pumpkin pie spice – something I love to sprinkle over fruity summer deserts. It also has some hints of olives to it, and it turned smooth with the creamy cheeses. It was simply wonderful.

 

 

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2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Horse Heaven Chenin Blanc

 

This lovely wine had citrus notes to it. The wine was created at the Horse Heaven Vineyard, and we purchased it from Chateau Ste. Michelle when we did the winery tour. The Horse Heaven Chenin Blanc was light and easy drinking. It makes a great summer wine. The only thing about this wine I don’t like is that it’s gone!

We paired this wine with fish and wax beans. It would go well with an artichoke heart and feta cheese pasta dish the Wining Husband makes. It would also go well with a chicken curry. There was a ginger bouquet to the wine that was quite lovely.

Have you had this wine? What were your thoughts about it? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

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