Category Archives for "Red Wine"

Mar 07

Marques de Vitoria Gran Reserva 2001, Rioja, Spain

By Louise | 2001 , Red Wine , Rioja , Spain , Wines I Dislike

Marques de Vitoria Gran Reserva 2001, Rioja, Spain

I bought this at the airport in Madrid when I had some Euros left to spend.  I picked it because I thought 2001 was a good year for Spanish wines and so went with this wine.  It has a really strong nose (or smell).  There are strong woody (slightly oaky) smells mixed with red currants, and  there’s a sharp acidic tinge to the red currants smell. 

In the mouth, it has high tanin with high acid.  I find the wine almost too sour!  There is also a bitter finish to it that I dislike.  I can barely taste the fruit.

According to wine-searcher.com, average prices for this wine is $24, but it looks like it’s mostly foreign websites that sell it.

Dec 25

Mulled Wine and Christmas Pudding – The British Christmas

By Louise | Recipes , Red Wine , Sweet , Uncategorized , Wines I Like

ingredientsformulledwineLast year I reviewed some Gluhwein, which is a traditional spiced red wine drunk all over Europe and known by that name in Germany.  In other countries, it is called various other names.  In England, where I grew up, it’s known as mulled wine, and this Holiday season, I’m putting up a recipe for making your own delicious mulled wine (the British name for Gluhwein).  This is best enjoyed warm…imagine yourself next to a log fire with snow falling outside.  It’s the perfect winter drink!

Luckily, the recipe for this delicious alcoholic drink is simple to make and will spread the scent of Christmas spices throughout your home!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of 750ml cheap red wine (I chose a merlot, but pretty much any cheap red will do)
  • 1/4 cup of brandy (again, any cheap brandy will do)
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tablespoon of powdered cinnamon)
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon of orange peel (fresh or dried)
  • 1/4 cup of honey (can be adjusted to taste – I left the honey out of the photo)

Directions:

  1. Pour the wine into a saucepan and add the brandy, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel.  (If you have some cheesecloth, then you can put all the spices into the cheesecloth so that it’s easy to take it out of the wine once the flavors have been cooked in.  If you don’t have cheesecloth, then don’t worry, we’ll use a sieve.)
  2. Heat on medium heat so that it starts simmering but not boiling (i.e., little bubbles on side of saucepan and not violent bubbles throughout).pot
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes.  Then add the honey (you can add as much or as little as you want).  Alternatively, you can serve the wine without honey and leave it to your guests to add it themselves.
  4. Using a sieve, remove all the bits of spices from your wine.
  5. Pour into cups and serve.

cupmulledwine

For a more authentic English Christmas feel, serve the drink with some traditional English Christmas Pudding, which is a dense fruitcake-like dessert (served with brandy on top and then lit on fire) enjoyed at Christmas dinner!

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Aug 06

Domaine Raymond Usseglio et Fils 2007 Rouge from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France

By Louise | 2007 , Chateauneuf-du-Pape , France , GSM , Red Wine , Uncategorized , Wines I Like

Apologies for the shoddy picture, but it was taken in a BYOB restaurant with poor lighting (I was sat in front of a picture that was lit with alternating blue and red lights). The BYOB restaurant was a great French place called La Sirene in Soho, New York. The food was excellent, and good French cooking always pairs well with a great bottle of French wine! The French sure did a great job of making sure their wines went with food! This bottle was fairly fruity with some bright cherry notes. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is probably one of the most famous wine producing regions in the world, and I’ve often heard people talking about a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Paper in tv dramas and movies! The wine is produced from a blend of 3 different grapes, around 75% grenache, 5% syrah, and 10% mourvedre (often referred to as a “GSM” blend). You can buy this bottle online or at Astor Wines for around $50 (it’s $47.99 at Astor).

Dec 22

Catherine et Claude Maréchal Savigny-Lès-Beaune Vieilles Vignes 2007 from Burgundy, France

By Louise | 2007 , Burgundy , France , Red Wine , Vieilles Vignes , Wines I'm Neutral About

I’m almost shocked at how many red wines I’ve consumed since I started this blog a month and a half ago. I had initially thought this blog would be dominated by sweet white wines, but I am happily surprised by my willingness to experience wines outside of my normal riesling/dessert wine range. I bought this wine at Astor Wine and Spirits and took it to a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) French restaurant called La Sirene in the Village (NYC). I’ve recently started liking BYOB restaurants because it’s nice to have a good bottle of wine with dinner without breaking the bank! And what better bottle to take to a very traditional French restaurant than a French red.

The wine didn’t have a particularly strong smell, although I detected dark cherry and oak in it. The taste was a bit disappointing – it was quite bitter and had a higher tannin level than I would have liked. However, the wine did improve with food. I got the beets salad with pistachio, apple, and brie for my appetizer, and the wine paired decently well with that because the beets were fairly sweet. The wine also paired well with the goat cheese tart appetizer because that again was slightly sweet in flavor. I think the sweetness of the food calmed the bitter taste in the wine thereby enhancing the flavors of both the food and the wine. Unfortunately, the wine didn’t go too well with my main course, the baked seafood shepherd pie, but I could have guessed that. The conclusion: probably not a wine I’d drink again.

Where can you buy it? Although I had bought it at Astor for $29.96 only a few weeks ago, it does not appear to be on their website anymore, so I fear it may have sold out. However, it is sold at a few other places, e.g., Sussex Wines & Spirits (but for $44.99).

Dec 20

Domaine Roger Perrin Rouge 2008 from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

By Louise | 2008 , Chateauneuf-du-Pape , France , Red Wine , Wines I Like

I had this wine at DB Bistro Moderne (Daniel Boulud’s restaurant in Midtown New York) a couple of nights ago. It was a delicious red with a very strong fruity (and slightly oaky) smell that reminded me of berries. In the mouth, it was slightly oaky with a hint of spices and very little tannin. What I really enjoyed about this wine was how nothing jumped out at me. I think some people classify that as a bad thing in a wine, but I like my red wines to be smooth and easy to drink. I tend to dislike wines that are described as “big!” The other people at dinner with me also enjoyed the wine (and they generally drink a lot more reds than I do!). The wine didn’t pair so well with the hanger steak that I got as my main course, but it did go amazingly well with Olivier’s Alsatian Tarte Flambee that I got for my appetizer. I would highly recommend trying those together if you get a chance to eat there.

If you just want the wine by itself, I see it sold on many websites for around $30 per bottle. I think the label on most bottles look slightly different from the picture I have up, but it’s the same wine. If you’re in NYC, it looks like K&D Wines and Spirits on Madison Ave. has it for $28.99. If you want to buy online, I think Discount Wine Buys has it for $28.94. At DB Bistro Moderne, the bottle was $75.

Dec 18

Chateau les Tuileries 2009 from Bordeaux, France

By Louise | 2009 , Bordeaux , France , Red Wine , Wines I Like

This was another wine in my box of 12 from Barclay’s Wines. This bordeaux was light and fruity on the nose and slightly oaky and spicy on the tongue. I definitely felt some tingling on my tongue due to the spiciness. I’m generally not a big fan of red wines because they either have too much oak taste or too much tannin. This wine, however, was a good balance of both. The tannin wasn’t so high that my mouth was filled with grittiness, and the oak taste was very subtle and not overpowering. All in all, a very enjoyable bordeaux.

According to barclayswine.com, this 2009 vintage won a gold award at the Bordeaux Wine Awards (Concours de Bordeaux). I don’t generally place much stock in awards like this one (which is apparently an award recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture in France) because my tastes may vary from their judges, but I have to admit that this wine is good enough in my view to win something! Barclay’s Wine seems to agree as they call it a “classic Bordeaux done to perfection, certainly deserving of its gold medal.”

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this wine sold anywhere other than on Barclay’s Wine’s own website (barclayswine.com), but it’s pretty cheap at $14.95 per bottle.

Dec 02

Four Vines “Old Vine Cuvee” Zinfandel 2007 from California

By Louise | 2007 , California , Red Wine , Wines I Like , Zinfandel

Sorry, I have no pictures of this wine bottle. I got a glass of it at Del Frisco’s in midtown New York for around $11, and I never got to see the bottle. This wine had a very strong raspberry smell to it. If smells were visual, then I’d describe this as a vibrant bright clash of reds and yellows. Maybe I’m crazy to think about it in colors, but there you go. I would definitely give this wine the thumbs up, not only because of its great aroma but also because it was slightly sweet and fruity on the tongue with relatively little bitter tannin taste (although there was a slight red wine grittiness left in my mouth after I swallowed). In some ways, it almost felt like drinking an alcoholic berry juice, although don’t worry, it was nowhere as sweet as juice! The only downside to the wine was that it didn’t go too well with my steak. A bitter taste emerged when I tried it with my steak, and there was even a slight spicy tinge to it. Sadly, none of that bitterness or spiciness added to the my steak, which was nonetheless delicious.

Where else can you buy this? I think this is a pretty common wine that you can find a lot of places – I’ve found on BevMo’s website for $9.99.

Nov 28

Domaine Parent Pinot Noir 2005 from Burgundy, France

By Louise | 2005 , Burgundy , France , Pinot Noir , Red Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

Initially, a dark and intense cherry smell greeted my nose. This was followed by the mouthwatering smell of blackberries mixed with a tinge of oak. It was definitely a burst of fruitiness. Upon tasting the wine, the oak taste became very prominent, and I could detect a slightly smoky quality to the oak. At the end, just before I swallowed, I felt a spicy kick emerge to finish the wine off. The aftertaste was slightly bitter and slight sour. Not a bad wine, although perhaps not my wine of choice.

This wine has quite a bit of history to it. The wine producer, Domaine Parent, dates back to the mid 17th century and boasts Thomas Jefferson as one of its earliest customers. It’s a wine from Burgundy (known as Bourgogne in French, which is what you see written on the bottle label), which is where Pinot Noir grapes are traditional grown. Indeed, Burgundy is thoroughly famous for its Pinot Noirs. The Pinot Noir grapes that are used to make this wine comes from 30-year old vines, which are grown in clay/limestone soils. The grapes are harvested by hand, and after fermentation, they are matured for 12 months in oak barrels. I’ve read suggestions that this bottle can be aged for 3-5 years. Some Pinot Noirs only reach their peak after aging for 15-20 years.

You can purchase this wine at PJ Wine in New York for $14.99 a bottle for the 2007 vintage. I saw the 2005 vintage sold online for $27.95 a bottle. I’m not sure what difference there is between these 2 vintages so I can’t tell you why the prices vary.