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Tag: Rosé Wines

Pinko de Mayo: La Vieille Ferme 2015 Cotes du Ventoux Rose

The La Vieille Ferme 2015 Cotes du Ventoux Rose has a lovely blush colorOkay. So, the roasted chicken I made to pair with this wine is seriously both the easiest roast chicken recipe and the best-tasting roast chicken recipe ever. Right now, just thinking of it, is making my mouth water. I’ll get to the recipe for it in a minute.  The best part of the chicken recipe is you can totally whip it up if you just happen to have a whole roaster chicken hanging out.  The second of the Pinko de Mayo wines we purchased from our local wine and spirits store was the La Vieille Ferme 2015 Cotes du Ventoux Rose. 

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Pinko de Mayo: La Valentina 2014 Rosé Paired with Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake

2014 La Valentina RoséIn honor of May being the month of Rosé wines, I figured I’d pick up three wines available for under $15 to pair with food and write about. These are wines you don’t need to cellar, but you can if you’d like. It’s nice, though to have wine on hand you can open up and drink at dinner on a Friday evening. And open up and enjoy is what we did. The first of the wines I paired up was the 2014 La Valentina Rosé, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, and I paired it with a chicken pesto pasta macaroni and cheese dish. Believe me when I say it, this is not your average mac and cheese. You can find the recipe at the end of this post. 

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A Labor of Love Tasting

Ripe Sauvignon blanc grapes.

Ripe Sauvignon blanc grapes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This week’s tasting at Creekside was called “A Labor of Love.” The wines at this tasting were all made by family-owned wineries, and the cheeses were provided by family-owned dairies and cheese-makers. We tried eight of the ten wines (We skipped the Frank Family Chardonnay only because we’ve had it before and quite enjoyed it). Here are the notes.


2011 Honig Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($17) – This wine is big, creamy, and beefy. It is halfway between a Chardonnay and a Riesling. It was nice, and has been a perpetual favorite of ours.


2009 Treana 50% Viognier and 50% Marsanne, Central Coast ($23) – This wine has citrus and kumquot notes and is very green on the nose. It also has subtle notes of Italian seasoning woven through.


2011 Buoncristiani Rosé of Syrah & Malbec, Napa Valley ($20) – This wine is phenomenal! It is good with white cheddar and olives. It is smooth, light, and refreshing with hints of blueberries. It’s one of the new rosé wines that proves that rosé is not limited to the dull white zins of the past.


Pinot noir growing in the French wine region o...

Pinot noir growing in the French wine region of Burgundy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


2009 Athair Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma ($37) – This wine was also quite excellent. It had notes of tobacco and spicy red peppers. It was absolutely excellent when paired with the Humboldt Fog cheese.


2010 Middleton Family Wines “Casa de Arcillia” Tempranillo, Paso Robles ($18) – This wine was very nice as well. It was creamy yet balanced. It was big with that cigar box nose that makes me just want to run away with the glass into a corner and savor it. IT had notes of fruit, pepper, and spice and was very well balanced. It paired well with the white cheddar.


2009 Haraszthy Family Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi ($16) – I was stunned to learn the price of this outstanding must-try wine. It is well balanced, with a heavy creamy body, and that lovely cigar box aura that we love so much. It also had some hints of rust – but in a good way. This one is a must-try for your list.

2009 Marietta Cellars Angeli Cuvee, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah & Caringnan, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County ($30) – This is a bit generic as far as wines go (it may be that it was overshadowed by the Haraszthy Family Old Vine Zinfandel). It has notes of fruit juice, cigar and spices. It was also quite good.

2008 Bell Cellars “Claret” 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Syrah, 5% Petite Verdot, and 3% each of Cab Franc, Merlot, Malbec, & Petite Syrah, Napa Valley ($33) – This red blend was very nice. It had notes of vanilla, almonds, raspberries, and dark chocolate. It too comes highly recommended.  



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Creekside Cellars’ Olympic-Themed Tasting


LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Giant Olympic ...

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 28: Giant Olympic rings are towed on The River Thames in site of the O2 arena (R) and Canary Wharf financial district on February 28, 2012 in London, England. With 150 days remaining before the start of the London 2012 games the Olympic rings, measuring 11 metres high by 25 metres wide, are being showcased on the river as Mayor of London Boris Johnson is announcing details of two new cultural programmes, which will be part of the London 2012 Festival, along with details of other cultural events being organised to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

This week’s tasting took patrons on a tour of the world’s wines. There were many successes on the list. It was one of the rare events that we actually tasted all ten of the wines offered. Here’s a rundown of the notes we made on the wines.

2011 Col de Salici “Prosecco Superior” from Valdobbiadene, Italy – ($19) – This prosecco was smooth and understated, but quite nice.

2010 Boutari Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece – ($20) – This wine was very Greek and minerally, almost like sea foam. It had thyme and rosemary notes, and went well with an aged goat’s milk cheese called “Pico” from Perigod, France.

2011 Nautillus Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand – ($18) – This wine had a pine and green nose, you could tell it was a young Sauvignon Blanc. It was also nuanced – foresty, and had hints of mushrooms and white pepper. It was pretty darn good, and is on our wish list to purchase in the future.

2009 Glen Carlou Charonnay from Paarl, South Africa – ($19) – This wine was quite versatile, rustic, and oaked. It would be lovely with a chowder or white cheddar. It was really versatile, and it’s the kind of wine that would pair well with many different meals.

2011 Chateau de Lancyre Rose of Syrah, Grenache, & Cinsault from Pic Saint Loup, France – ($19) – This wine was summery and fruit-salady. There were notes of watermelon and cantaloupe.  It would pair well with falafel and other light vegetarian or Mediterranean dishes. This is a great wine for summer parties.

2009 Migration by Duckhorn Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, California – ($36) – This was a light, chocolaty Pinot Noir that had cigar box and allspice notes. It was very nice.

2009 Urban Ribera Tinta Del Pais (Tempranillo) from Ribera Del Duero, Spain – ($16) – This wine had notes of tomato, and would go well with a spaghetti or pizza. It was a fairly standard red wine, but had good balance. It was fruit forward done right.

2011 Achaval Ferrer Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina – ($25) – this wine had hints of paprika and cayenne pepper. It was a firecracker and reasonably good.

2010 Langmeil “Hanging Snakes” Shiraz from Barossa, Australia – ($19) – This one had plum notes and it was okay.

Dow’s White Port – Served chilled with lime twist and tonic water from Douro, Portugal – ($17) – This was the star of the show. It was cocktail-ish, and didn’t need a pairing. It had vanilla and blueberry notes. It would pair well with broiled plums and marscapone chesse.


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Creekside’s Grilling Wines Tasting

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting (Photo credit: cheesy42)

This weeks tasting focused on wines that pair well with grilled foods. The cheese plate featured the added bonus of grilled marinated sausage. It was definitely a very fun tasting at Creekside Cellars.

We started off with the whites, and skipped the sparkling. The first white was the 2011 Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc from Chile ($10). This wine had notes of grapefruit and granny smith apples. It was young, green, and good – but not amazing. My suspicion is that in a few years, this wine will develop further and come to maturity.

The 2009 Naia Verdejo from Spain ($15) was next. This was a very nice wine. It would go very well with a grilled peach dish or with an appetizer of chips and mango salsa. There was a tiny bit of oak on the taste, but it also had apricot and nectarine hints. I thought it would pair nicely with a desert I make involving broiled peaches and mascarpone cheese. For this, half peaches and remove pits. Sprinkle nutmeg and allspice over the fruit, and put a dollop of maple syrup in each half. Finally, spoon some marscapone cheese in and put peaches under the broiler for 5-8 minutes. Enjoy while still warm.

Unidentified glass of rose wine

Unidentified glass of rose wine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2010 Catena Chardonay from Mendoza, Argentina ($19) was pretty good. It was strong with a smokey oak flavor done well with hints of cream and artichokes.

Next up was the rosé, Bastianich’s Rosato di Refosco from Friulani, Italy. Until the experiences both of tasting Bertagna’s rosé and of the wine trail rosé wines, we would forgo this pink wine choice. Like many are now realizing, there are merits to a good rosé. This one had hints of parsley, it was pretty decent.

We then moved onto the reds. First up was the 2009 Moniz Family Pinot Noir from Sonoma, California ($20). This was a very nice wine. It paired well with gouda and bleu cheese, and it was very balanced. The wine itself had notes of plums, basil, and sage.

tasty boom boom

tasty boom boom (Photo credit: sara_mc)

The 2009 D’Arenberg “The Stump Jump” 42% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 25% Mourvedre ($13) was up next. This wine had a lemon lime and blueberry flavor. It wasn’t our favorite, but it wasn’t bad either. The 2010 Charles Smith Wines “Boom Boom” Syrah from Washington State ($19) was phenomenal. This wine was light yet peppery. It had hints of oregano, white pepper, marjoram, and berries. It had a floral perfume nose and was quite creamy. It would make an amazing pairing with chicken.

The final wine we tasted was the 2010 Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles ($18). This wine had the wonderful smokey cigar box/tobacco notes that I’ve come to love in wines. It also had hints of espresso and blackberries.

What are your favorite flavors to taste in wines? Post your answers in the comments.

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Odyssey Winery and Vineyards

Odyssey Vineyards and Winery

Odyssey Winery and Vineyards held an event featuring wine tasting and jazz music from the Eric Peter Trio. This winery is a hidden jewel located in Chico, California. At the event, there were five wines available for tasting.  All grapes were grown at the Odyssey estate.

The 2008 French Colombard was up first. This wine was light and easy drinking – it was very nice. It had hints of celery and cardamon.

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was very good. Had we not recently purchased bottles of Cabernet, we might have brought this one home. It was oaky and smokey with hints of vanilla, blackberry, cloves, and tobacco.

The 2008 Blush Grenache was very very nice. This was a sweet rosé – it was like orange marmalade on sourdough toast. This was followed by the Late Harvest Symphony. This was very sour and would make a great pairing with a key lime pie or a berry cheesecake. It would be absolutely amazing with creamy deserts. The Zorba Port rounded out the tasting. It was very dark and heavy, and needs to be paired with something dark. This desert wine showed hints of dark chocolate and cherries.

Have you tried an Odyssey wine? What did you think?

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