Wine of the Week: La Caudrina Moscato D'Asti

IMG_4915.JPG

Vintage: 2017

Region: D’Asti

Style: Moscato

Country: Italy

Winery: Caudrina

Tasting Notes: Aromatic florals, white flowers, delicate fruit, apples and peaches. A perfect moscato.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Apparently, I’m beginning to like white wines, though moscato is in its own category—a super sweet dessert wine. My parents visited the vineyard years ago, and on a recent trip to Italy, wanted to go again because they loved the moscato so much. La Caudrina is not easy to get too, but this is what makes their moscato superior—the hills are rocky and steep, and the grapes have to struggle a little to grow. The vineyard itself is very small—I found only one place in the US that carries it—so far. Help me spread the word and lets get them imported everywhere, shall we? There’s something so charming about rolling up to someone’s house that doubles as a production facility, discovering a delightful wine, and playing with their incredible enthusiastic dog, appropriately named Barolo. That was my experience at Caudrina. Everything about the afternoon was charming and delicious.

Pairings: This is a dessert wine, so I like to pair moscato with creme brûlée. Anything vanilla in nature would be perfect (she says, dreaming of cake.)



Wine of the Week: Damilano Barbera D'Asti

IMG_5685.JPG

Vintage: 2011

Region: Barolo

Style: Barbera d’Asti

Country: Italy

Winery: Damilano

Tasting Notes: Cherries and spice on the nose, blackberries and orange on the tongue. A nice dry finish.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: I discovered Damilano in San Diego at a fantastic restaurant called BiCe. They made me fresh, gluten-free pasta, they have a cheese bar with a sommelier (!), and we had a bottle of 2010 Damilano Barolo Lecinquevigne that made my head spin. I immediately searched for more, but that vintage was limited. Happily, Damilano is an established producer, so they’ll make more. They also make this delightful Barbera. We visited Barolo in April 2019 and I was even more entranced when I happened upon their tasting room. A superb winery.

Pairings: Try this with salami, prosciutto, and a cheese board populated with hard cheeses, parmesan, asiago, fontina. Toss in some olives and grissini for good measure. You won’t be sorry.

Wine of the Week: Predator Cabernet

IMG_7858.JPG

Vintage: 2016

Region: Lodi

Style: Cabernet Sauvignon

Country: USA

Winery: Predator - Rutherford Ranch

Tasting Notes: Dark fruit and spices, a hint of smoke, long finish with just a touch of cocoa

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: I really, really wish Predator would do a merchandising deal with the Nashville Predators, something like Hamilton did with Federalist. That would be too cool for words. This is a highly drinkable and consistent cab, like all Predator wines.

Pairings: Everything. Seriously. This wine is a great match for platters, antipasto, salmon.


J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

 Subscribe in a reader | Receive updates by email

Wine of the Week: Maggy Hawk "Stormin" Pinot Noir

IMG_8415.JPG

Vintage: 2014

Region: Anderson Valley

Style: Pinot Noir

Country: USA

Winery: Maggy Hawk

Tasting Notes: Cloves and vanilla, dark fruits, lots of plum, but ripe plums. It’s not sweet at all, nice and dry. A hint of smoke on the finish.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Holy. Cow. This pinot drinks like an old vine zin. It’s not as large and in charge as an old vine, but it’s chewy, utterly nuanced, and delicious. Complex is a good term here. We had it at the Capitol Grill in New York, as part of their Generous Pour series. I could have stopped with this one and been perfectly happy. A delightful, albeit a little pricey, wine.

Pairings: Held up to shrimp and lobster, and also to a nice filet. A very versatile wine.

Wine of the Week: Ledson Legend Red

Vintage: 2006

Region: Sonoma Valley

Style: Blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon

Country: USA

Winery: Ledson

Tasting Notes: Spicy and bold, with a blend of jammy merlot and rich cabernet grapes, this drinks like a Bordeaux and looks like a Pinot.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Several years ago, on a birthday trip to Napa and Sonoma, we saw a cool château off the Sonoma Valley main highway. Thinking perhaps we could snag a last minute tasting, we stopped in, and it was the best decision we’ve made in a long time. You’re going to see a few wines from Ledson on The Wine Vixen, because we joined their wine club that day. I’m always impressed by the quality of their wines. If you’re interested in a club, this is the best one out there. They welcomed us with open arms, have customized cases for us, are always open and willing to see us if we want to stop by, and make DAMN. GOOD. WINE.

Pairings: Steak, steak, steak.

My Vivino