Melini Orvieto Classico DOC 2012

by Amy

Last week we featured an Italian red.

Fact: if I'm going to go for a red, it's usually going to be an Italian. Like my men. That's how I roll.

Now let's talk about the other side of the coin: Italian whites.

Specifically, Orvieto.

Once upon a time, a little town called Orvieto was founded in the middle of Italy—in a place known today as Umbria—by Etruscans.

Etruscans = before Romans = a very long time ago

Italians have been making the Orvieto blend for a long time, and Umbria's hilly climate, along with cellars cut into stone hills, made a wonderful place to make wine. With a nice, long, cool fermentation, Orvieto was known as a sweet blend for many moons. But just like sock hops and poodle skirts, in the 1960s and 1970s sweet wines went from de rigueur to don't please don't, and dry whites became all the rage. Thus the Orvieto blend got a changeup of grapes, its majority makeup going from the sweet Grechetto grape of yore to Trebbiano Toscano, catapulting the blend onto the dry spectrum, where it has remained ever since.

Wines. Pop music. Hemlines. They all vary with time, don't they?

This week, I got to try the Melini vineyard's Orvieto Classico 2012. 
 

If you like Chardonnay, I think you're going to like this.

Tasting Notes

You can tell by its robust nose and golden straw color that this one's got a bit more body. This white's pretty dry, though gets sweeter the more you put away. Creamy with a touch of alcohol, the wine carries notes cantaloupe and apple blossom, along with a crisp, long finish.

Price Point

This one's super affordable, folks: you can find it here for $7.99.

Pairings

This should go nicely with a rich, creamy pasta (alfredo! carbonara! tortellini!), shellfish, goat cheese, or even prosciutto with melon.

P.S. for the history nerds: this vineyard has been around since 1705. And its founder, Adolpho Laborel Melini, used pasteurization in his winemaking 33 years before Louis Pasteur wrote about the process. What!

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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Straccali Chianti DOCG

By JT

You know what?

I don't think we've brought y'all a Chianti selection yet.


Let me remedy that right now!

Grown in central Tuscany, from whence it derives its name, Chianti was once known as the wine that appeared in the classic, basket-weave bottle frequently found in Italian restaurants, though it now appears in sleek, modern bottles. Comprised mostly of Sangiovese grapes, Chianti is earthy and rustic, and its high acidity makes the wine a great accompaniment to food.

Today's selection, Straccali Chianti DOCG, is a dry, medium-bodied red that has flavors of cherry and strawberry, with dried herb notes, with well-balanced acidity and tannins on finish.

The MSRP for this bottle is $13.95 from the vineyard, but you can find it here (at the time of this posting) for $6.69.

Tell your friends about this sweet Chianti deal (while it lasts!).

Emile Beyer Riesling

by Amy

When one goes to Las Vegas, one expects to find a city rife with slot machines, stale cigarette smoke, panhandlers and, well, general debauchery. 

One does not expect to find a bustling food scene. 

Especially a delicious urban coffee bar that may have the best pour over I've ever had, or one of the best breakfasts I've enjoyed in a long time (I'll miss you, Latin hash). 

I've just returned from a week-long trip to Vegas (no gambling for me: boyfriend and I went to see Queen Reba perform at her Caesars residency), and I must say, I'm glad to be out of the sensory-overload experience and back in my own kitchen. Though I admit, I did have a heck of a time eating my way through the city, and I'll be chronicling some of my Vegas wine adventures in the next few weeks.

One night, we were hankering for some French bistro fare and moseyed our way to Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas before we saw Jersey Boys (Um, have you seen this? It's disarmingly good!). This Emile Beyer Riesling caught my eye (and not for the usual reasons, mind you; I wanted a Riesling, and this was the only option I saw, so there). 

This dry, fruity white is deliciously smooth and boasts lemon notes and a crisp finish.

It would complement seafood or chicken dishes nicely, but I really enjoyed it alongside goat cheese baked with a light tomato sauce and sopped up with a toasted garlic baguette. 

Get your own bottle for $23.99.


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