Wine of the Week: Domaine de la Présidente Côtes Du Rhône

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Vintage: It’s a mystery

Region: Côtes du Rhône

Style: Red Blend – Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault

Country: France

Winery: Domaine de la Présidente

Tasting Notes: Dark fruits, spice, violets and pepper.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: A special bottle of unknown vintage (because look who missed that on the photo…) but I do remember this as an excellent Côtes Du Rhône, and a limited edition. I wanted to slot it this week because A - I love a good Côtes du Rhône, and B - I want to talk about the pairings.

Last week, I mentioned Italian wines are enhanced by garlic. In the same vein, French wines are enhanced by onions. It’s something about the soil, the food, the style of the wines, but trust me, if you pair these younger, easier wines properly, you’ll get a lot more out of them.

Pairings: Soupe à l'oignons gratinée, naturally, of which I have an excellent recipe to share below.

Wine of the Week: Prunotto Langhe Nebbiolo

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Vintage: 2016

Region: Langhe, Piedmont

Style: Nebbiolo

Country: Italy

Winery: Prunotto

Tasting Notes: Roses. Licorice. Raspberries. Incredible!

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: I love this wine. I love Prunotto in general, and I’m always a big fan of a Nebbiolo. My family is from the Piedmonte region, so a good Nebbiolo makes me happy. Prunotto is always an elegant bottle, and this isn’t super heavy and overwhelming.

Pairings: As with most Italian wines, garlic helps you realize the full potential. I’d do lasagna or spaghetti with this one.

Wine of the Week: Jacuzzi Barbera

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Vintage: 2011

Region: Rancho Victoria - Sierras

Style: Barbera

Country: USA

Winery: Jacuzzi

Tasting Notes: Very indicative of the varietal with cherry and strawberry on the tongue. Bright, light, and tasty.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Here’s an Italian grape presented in the hills of Sonoma County, California. We discovered Jacuzzi after a not great experience with another, will-remain-unnamed vineyard drove us away. (Hint—women do drink red wine…). Jacuzzi was open, welcoming, and had some intriguing Italian-based wines, so we had to give them a try. We brought this bottle home and just cracked it open last week, and boy, did it stand up well to a few years of cellaring. I wouldn’t let this vintage go too much more, but it was very good.

Pairings: This Barbera is on the lighter side of reds, so this is a perfect wine with lemon chicken or grilled fish.



Wine of the Week: Don Mendo Gran Riserva

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Vintage: 2011

Region: Cariñena

Style: Red Blend—Tempranillo, Carignan, Garnacha

Country: Spain

Winery: Don Mendo

Tasting Notes: Cherry and blueberry, notes of leather and tobacco. I especially appreciate that hint of smoke from the earthy tones.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: We found this through our Wall Street Journal Wine Club, and it was a fun surprise. I’m not usually a big fan of blends, but these balanced quite well. A nice, easy bottle for a Tuesday night.

Pairings: We had it with some spicy tacos, but would also do well with carnitas, both pork and chicken. Anything with cumin, actually.

Wine of the Week: La Caudrina Moscato D'Asti

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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.)