Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dolce

by J.T.

Y'all. It's really, really hot outside.

Thankfully, I've been in Colorado this week visiting family, so I've been spared a bit. But I'm headed back to Tennessee today, and I know what's waiting for me:

Humidity to the nth degree. 

Oh, southern summertime . . .

When it's hot outside and I need a little something boozy, I know just the cold beverage to reach for: 
 

Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dolce


Tasting Notes

Served ice-cold, Lambrusco is the perfect drink to sip in the summer shade. Light-bodied  and bubbly, it's sweet and fruity, tasting of strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.

Price Point

You're going to love me for this: it's only $6.99.

Pairings

Think antipasti and cured meats: salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, cheese. Lambrusco and nibbles—a great party combo!

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.

Juvé Y Camps Rosé Brut Cava

by Amy

It's about time we had a rosé on the Vixen.
 

And I'm giddy this gets to be our first.

As my boss very publicly pointed out on Facebook, yesterday was my birthday! I've been taking advantage of celebrating for the past few days (because Monday isn't exactly prime party time, ya know?). Over the weekend my friend Lauren and I went to Nashville's Chauhan Ale & Masala House (owned by Chopped judge Maneet Chauhan) for some delicious haute Indian fare. The rich, jewel-toned décor and screens of Bollywood dancing made for a festive birthday atmosphere, but that didn't hold a candle to the delicious food. Oh, if you enjoy Indian food, you need to get a reservation here: the lentils are especially to die for.

And a key component to any birthday celebration is the bubbly, is it not? 
 

Allow me to geek out on the Cava we imbibed. You're gonna want to listen to this.

Cava is Spain's national bubbly, the equivalent to France's Champagne and Italy's Prosecco. A wine celebrated by Catalonians for generations, Cava isn't overly sweet and is usually aged for nine months to three years.

Made from Pinot Noir grapes, Juvé Y Camps Rosé Brut Cava is fruity, floral, creamy, and delicious. This one's a Brut, meaning it's the driest of dry bubblies. As an apértif, this makes me happy—I don't want to start with something overly sweet. The color on this wine is gorgeous, a dark coral. With hints of strawberries and honeysuckle on the nose, a full, creamy mouthfeel and a palate of tart berries, I could've happily downed a few more glasses (had they not been overpriced at $10 each).

But great news: in the vein of Prosecco, Cava isn't nearly as expensive as Champagne (thanks to Spain's mechanized production), but it's definitely worth a buy. You can get a bottle of this Rosé Cava here for only $16.99—a great excuse to party anytime! 


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