Meet the Whites: Moscato

A couple New Years’ ago I walked into our local ABC Liquors and asked for something sparkling that wasn’t Brut. The very helpful clerk brought me back to the Italian imports section and pointed out several possible wines, one of which was a Moscato d’Asti, with which we happily rung in the new year. Since then it’s gone from the back of the store to boxes in the aisles of Wal-Mart, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be dismissed out of hand. It’s like the elephant in the room, these days: Moscato has become a major player in accessible
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Meet the Whites: Riesling

Now we’re into the fun wines! Okay, they’re all fun (when applied liberally) but the sweet wines are lovely in their own right: they go well with desserts! And dessert is often my favorite meal of the day. There’s more to Riesling than just a dessert wine, though, the varietal can be used in everything from the driest of dries to the sweetest of sweets–this grape’s got range! The later the harvest, the sweeter the Riesling, and you wouldn’t think so at first but the super-sweet dessert variety is helped by a virus! Botrytis Cinerea (aka “noble rot”) is a
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Meet the Whites: Chardonnay

Some would consider my not covering Chardonnay first heresy–I say it made just plain good sense. Chardonnay is something a lot of people drink because they recognize the name, not because they necessarily like it. It’s on every wine list and every hotel and restaurant has their house white which is probably 9 times out of 10 a Chardonnay. That said, there’s a reason it’s so popular to begin with. Chardonnay has a lot going for it in a fresh, crisp way with a strong combination of flavors from lemon and apple to melon and pineapple. It’s often described as
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Meet the Whites: Sauvignon Blanc

Last week we talked light-and-crisp Pinot Grigio and this week we’re only taking a half-step up, really, with Sauvignon Blanc. One of the major white wine grapes, Sauvignon Blanc can be found bottled as the stand-alone varietal (sometimes labeled Pouilly-Fumé from the Loire Valley of France, or Fumé Blanc from certain California bottlers) or blended into other wines, such as the sweet dessert wine, Sauterne. I say it’s only a half-step up because, depending on the bottle, it can fall into the light-bodied category or medium. It’s still a super-safe wine for folks who aren’t sure what to drink, mostly because
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Wine Search I-Phone App

The next phone application I am going to review is called Wine Search. This app is available for the I-Phone and is very handy when going out to eat. If you are like me, you do not like to get ripped off when buying anything. I always try to compare prices, see if coupons are available and more just to get the most bang for my buck. With this app, you will have a piece of mind when ordering wines at restaurants and wine bars. The way this app works is when you get to a restaurant, you can look
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Giant Eagle Wine Dinner

Once a month, my mom hosts a Wine Dinner at Giant Eagle where wine shoppers can come and enjoy a nice night of food and wine. Although this event has only been going on for about a year, it is planned very well and it was a treat to attend. Last week, my boyfriend Erik and I went to the monthly wine dinner. It costs $15 per person for a 5 course meal and wines with each course…not too bad The event is set up is the nice area of the store with tables and we were even lucky enough
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Our First Festa

This past weekend Tallahassee saw it’s first (annual? only the future will tell) Italian Family Festa out at the John Paul II Catholic High School. I found out about the Festa through Groupon, which turns out to be a fabulous resource for learning about local businesses and events, not just saving money at them. With the Greek Food Festival an annual event that we dearly love, we hoped the Italian Family Festa would come close to that ideal. As a first-year festival there were some expected hiccups. The website, for instance, was a little sparse on details (it would have
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Spanish White Wine to Know and Love

One piece of advice that’s given to new writers is to “write what you know.” This same bit of wisdom can be applied to novice wine buyers. As an example, I recently wrote about a wine, a tempranillo that was sent to me to sample. Created by one of Spain’s oldest wineries, Bodegas Monticello, I enjoyed it because the Reserva was warm and earthy. You could almost taste Spain in each sip. A few weeks later I was browsing the aisles of a neighborhood wine shop looking for a reasonably priced albarino, a Spanish white wine that has become my
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Cool Weather. Hot Red! Wine

I received a bottle of wine in the mail the other day as part of a promotion for Spanish wine. The wine, a 2003 Montecillo Reserva, is 100% Tempranillo from Rioja Alta region and as such is dark in color and earthy in tone– perfect for sipping on the first chilly night of autumn here in the desert. They recommend pairing it with game, but we drank it with tacos filled with refried beans and leftover prime rib carne asada style and it seemed to work. Created by the Bodega Montecillo winery, the wine spends part of the aging process
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Nice Wine!

Full disclosure, a while back I received two very nice bottles of wine from the Rene Barbier folks as part of their Mediterranean Wine Series. There was a white and a red,of course, but both were very user friendly. The white was perfect for summer on the back porch. The red was just bold enough to be paired with steak or some pasta or enjoyed on its own. Both wines are from the Penedès DO in Spain. The region is one of the oldest wine growing regions on earth. Moderately priced they can be found at World Market. Look for
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