Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wine Wednesdays - 2011 Bret Brothers Chardonnay

I'm in the midst of planning a trip to Burgundy, France in May, so to add to my inspiration, I tried a Chardonnay from Burgundy while out on Friday night.  

We were at Anfora in the West Village, I'd never been before but I would highly recommend it, super cute place with great wine and small plates.  If you're looking for more of a heartier dinner option, their sister restaurant Dell' Anima is right next door with pastas to-die-for.  

My companion requested the "butteriest Chardonnay you have" to the bar tender.  Although I'm typically more of a fan of balance vs. overpowering butter in my chardonnay, I told him to make that 2, and I wasn't disappointed.  Turns out there was only 1 chardonnay on the menu anyways, and it was delicious.  Bret Brothers 2011 Chardonnay from the Macon-Villages area of Burgundy.  Macon being short for Maconnais, a region further south in Burgundy, lending itself to more fruit forward, less acidic wines.  And while "butter" was certainly a component of the wine, it was perfectly balanced with fruit and acid. We didn't eat but this would be a perfect wine for food.

Wine:  2011 Bret Brothers Chardonnay
Purchased:  Anfora Wine Bar
Price: $26 retail, although it seems to be sold out online
Would buy again: Yes!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wine Wednesdays - Weekend Getaway in Healdsburg

A few weeks ago I posted about the Ramey Chardonnay we enjoyed on our girls trip to Healdsburg.  To follow that up I thought I'd share more about our getaway weekend.  I wasn't that familiar with the Healdsburg area, considering it's only a hop/skip/jump over the hill from home, but in 45 minutes we were transported to an entirely new wine country with so many things to explore!

Healdsburg is the town epicenter of the convergence of 3 main wine-growing regions:  Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, and the Dry Creek region, all comprising the greater Sonoma region.  Varietals abound but Russian River Pinot Noirs and Dry Creek Zinfandels are some of the more famous ones inherent to the area.  

We made our way through Alexander Valley, stopping in Geyserville for some antique shopping at Gin'Gilli's Vintage Home.  

We weren't quite ready for lunch, but if you're in the area Diavola came highly recommended.  

We continued on for a tasting at Sbragia Family Vineyards.  We pulled up to the property and were immediately taken aback by the beautiful view.  The owner and winemaker was the winemaster at Beringer for 32 years.  The wines were good, the sauvignon blanc was even passable by my anything-but-sauvignon-blanc mother!  If you're in the area it would be a wonderful place for a picnic.

After tasting we went on to Healdsburg for lunch at The Shed, so tasty!  We checked into our hotel, which I can't recommend enough, I was just bummed that Mom forgot to remind us to bring our swimsuits, it was actually warm enough to lay out in December!   

We spent the rest of the weekend shopping the square, eating amazing gelato, and had another tasty lunch at Chalkboard.  In 36 hours we only scratched the surface, with so many wineries to taste I will certainly be back sooner than later!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wine Wednesdays - Alpha Omega 2011 Chardonnay

One of my favorite places to taste at home is Alpha Omega, located just north of Rutherford right off Highway 29.  The winery is absolutely gorgeous, and a perfect place to spend an afternoon basking in the sun, something we were lucky enough to do during the 70+ degree temps in late December.  

My favorite wine of the day was the 2011 Napa Valley Chardonnay.  My cousin first introduced me to their chardonnays at Christmas and this vintage lived up to what I remembered.  A beautiful bright, golden color with a distinct nose of lemon and stone fruit.  The taste was a balance of minerality and more fresh citrus.  At $65 retail, this is certainly a special occasion wine, but worth the splurge.  And if you're in the Valley it is definitely worth stopping by the tasting room for a one-of-a-kind experience.  

Haute Nomad came to visit all the way from London!
Wine:  2011 Alpha Omega Napa Valley Chardonnay
Purchased:  Tasting Room
Price: $65
Would buy again: Yes, for a special occasion.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wine Wednesdays - Josh Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Back to a red for this week; perfect to cozy up with during this never-ending cold snap.  We drank this wine the day after Christmas, perfect for sipping with our snacks-turned-dinner meal of cheese, charcuterie, and various leftovers.  

Surprisingly delicious for such a young wine.  A great balance of fruit, toasted oak, and light tannins makes for an easy drinking wine.  Probably not a wine you want to hold on to for years to come, but perfect for opening and enjoying straightaway and at a compelling price point that allows you to do just that! 

Wine:  2012 Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
Purchased:  By a friend
Price: $14.99
Would buy again: Yes!

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