Vigneti Del Sole Pinot Grigio 2014

by Amy

They say seasonal eating is best, and I believe them. What I love about the seasons is that they're tied so intricately with the foods we eat throughout the year. I'm certainly not tired of summer's bounty yet, are you? (I love you, tomatoes, even if I have to withstand inferno temps to get to you)

Today's selection, Vigneti Del Sole Pinot Grigio 2014, is summer in a bottle, and it'll go well with so many of your favorite seasonal dishes. Taste and see!

 

Tasting Notes

This one's super light, which you might guess from its palest-straw-gold color. Super bright on the nose, lemon and apple blossom abound, and it tastes about the same going down. Not too sweet but not too tart, this is a dry wine that's got a lovely crisp finish that's longer than you'd think. 

Price point

This one's a super bargain: only $7.97 from this merchant.

Pairings

Serve this with a lighter fish, like mahi mahi, or some shellfish. The wine's crisp citrus will also play nicely with a delicate chicken salad or a German potato salad.

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde

by Amy

It's fun to be surprised, isn't it?

Usually, we live for routine—and for good reason. We enjoy predictability, keeping pace with the rhythms of the day. But every now and then, it's nice to shake things up.

Such is the case with this week's wine. I wasn't ready to be smacked in the face with so much flavor.

As a somewhat wine no0b, I'd never heard of Vinho Verde before. It's a Portuguese wine, grown in the northwest Minho province. And the "Verde" in its name doesn't dictate the wine is green (as you can see, it's the palest shade of vermillion). The "Verde" here indicates that this wine is intended to be consumed when it's very young—as in, two years after bottling. 

With such a young wine, I expected it to be a little aggressive. What I didn't expect was for it to be the near-liquid equivalent of a Warhead
 

Tasting Notes

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde: my, oh my, how flavorful you are.

On the nose, folks, you're in for a citrusy good time—it's like sniffing straight lime zest. And when you sip? Be prepared: it is tart. If the idea of sucking a lemon is your idea of a good time, then have at this one. It's so crisp, so citrusy, with a light hint of floral pineapple. AND after a few sips, I detected a bit of effervescence; sure enough, tiny bubbles were rising to the surface. Apparently, sometimes vinters inject this blend with carbon dioxide, making this young wine seem a very close cousin to the white wine spritzer. If you wanted to muddle some fruit and mint into your glass to make a white sangria, I bet it would be mighty tasty.

This wine is like Pellegrino and lemonade had an alcoholic baby. It's something else. 


Price Point

Smile, everybody: this one will only set you back about $7.99, though you may get a better deal at your local merchant.


Pairing

When I opened this bottle, I made a pan-seared salmon with a cajun spice rub. I'm going to be honest: the vinho verde was more pleasant to drink on its own than paired with the fish (the flavors of the wine wine and the fatty/oily salmon flavor didn't play well together—too much flavor fighting). I bet vinho verde be better with a super aromatic/spicy dish, like a Thai curry or maybe some zesty fish tacos and guacamole. 

Verdict: this wine has summer written all over it. Take it to the beach or on a picnic for a cheap offering that'll leave your guests speechless—or, at least, cock an eyebrow.

Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio 2014

by Amy

When it comes to my drink choices, sometimes I'm a broken record. But I don't really mind.
 

Honestly, this isn't a recent phenomenon: I've always been this way. I could quote The Little Mermaid word for word when I was 5 because it was the only movie I'd watch for days on end. Even now, if I like something, even after the 50th time of indulging in it, I'm still gonna love it as much as I did the first time.

This is a great trait to have when you're broke and you don't mind eating beans and rice for days on end. It's not so great when you binge-watch the night away instead of folding the mountain of laundry that you allow to sit in the dryer for an embarrassingly long time. (talking about a "friend" here, guys)

Don't get me wrong: I enjoy trying new things. But some nights, all I want to do is curl up with a nice, comfortable favorite, whether it's a TV show or a drink. And I generally know which varietals are my favorites: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling really turn my crank. So on this blog, I'm going to do my best to try not to be a broken record, but bear with me if I post about these gems a bit more than some other varietals. 

P.S. You have full permission to suggest new varietals for me to try. In fact, I'd rather you speak now than forever hold your piece!

ANYWAY. Onto this lovely Californian Pinot Grigio.

Clos du Bois' 2014 Pinot Grigio was everything I love about this varietal: it's light, crisp, and just delightful to drink. There's lots of candied lemon on the nose, with notes of grapefruit, ginger, and tiny bit of grass on the palate. This isn't too acidic, so I think it'd be phenomenal paired with sushi or some really aromatic Thai food, like Tom Kha Gai or a green curry. I would order it again in a heartbeat. 

And good news: it's only $11.99


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Laguna Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2013

 

by Amy
 

I started 2016 off as a cliché. I resolved to save money this year.


I know exactly what my problem is, too. Anytime I want something, I start justifying the indulgence. 

"Oh, but I never buy (purchase item here)!"  

"I've worked so hard this week."

Or (my personal favorite) "It's Saturday!!" Unfortunately, many a purchase has been justified by the mere fact that it was Saturday. I'm not proud of this, kids.

And I've decided to kick that thinking to the curb before I start living out of my car.


As I started crunching numbers, I bemoaned that in order to save some cash, I really shouldn't partake in my favorite pastime: finding new restaurants and indulging in multi-course meals (and, because I like red meat, that usually means a big ol' steak—JT can vouch for this).  But, like the sensible man he is, Boyfriend said we shouldn't eliminate my ritual entirely—we should just do it sparingly and on budget.

He's a smart cookie, that one.

So we decided we'd still find new restaurants (or, more accurately, new to us restaurants), but do it only once a month instead of, you know, whenever we felt like it. And our first selection was The Southern Steak & Oyster, which skirts the edge of downtown Nashville. 

Y'all. Despite the bar-like atmosphere and noise level, the food is on point. As is the Laguna Chardonnay on the wine list.


This Chardonnay has ample bunches of honeysuckle and citrus on the nose. The palate boasts delightful notes of pear and lemon, and the tannins are pronounced, but not overpowering, and long on the finish. This was deliciously paired with slightly sweet-and-salty oysters from the outer banks of North Carolina. I can't wait to try this with some melon and strawberries in the spring.

Good news: you can find this vintage for less than $20! Get a bottle here for $19.74.
 

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Augey White Bordeaux

By Amy

On a rainy Saturday night in September, I found myself in a situation familiar to all over-achievers: I was the first of my party to arrive at the restaurant. What's the best thing to do when you're waiting on the others? Why, peruse the wine list, of course! Never one to waste time, I grabbed the list and scanned, looking for something new to tickle my fancy, when I spotted my poison for the evening.

White Bordeaux? I thought. Hmm. . . 

I wasn't disappointed. This Augey White Bordeaux is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon with fresh aromas of citrus, apples, and a hint of lemon grass—it's not too sweet, either. It's a lovely pairing with chicken, fish, and goat cheese, and a steal for only $7.99 per bottle.

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