Beaujolais Nouveau…The Real Start to the Holidays

2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau top labelThe start of the holiday season is really the third Thursday of November—Beaujolais Nouveau Day!  Yes, I know that makes me a tool of the wine marketing machine, but I admit that and then open a bottle or two of Beaujolais Nouveau because it’s fun and festive.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this wine, Beaujolais Nouveau comes from the Beaujolais region of France.  The wine is made using Gamay grapes, but unlike most wines, it isn’t aged before it’s released for sale.  Within a 6-8 week period, the grapes are harvested, crushed, fermented, bottled, and shipped to distributors and wine stores.  It is a fruity, low-acid wine, and the whole purpose of enjoying the immature wine is to get a sneak peak at what the year’s vintage of Beaujolais will taste like.  Beaujolais Nouveau should really be consumed within the few months of its release.  I never drink it after January, as it’s not meant to age in a bottle.  The longer it sits, the less enjoyable it will be.

My first bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

My first bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

And with that, let’s take a look at the 2014 vintage…

I ended up with two bottles, one that I bought from Whole Foods  and another that a friend gave to me because he knows how ridiculously excited I get about Beaujolais Nouveau Day.  And, just like last year, the two bottles had different labels.  However, this year, I felt that they tasted similar.

The 2014 Georges DeBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau (winery, snooth) is 100% Gamay grapes and is from Beaujolais, France.  The wine was a medium, watery ruby with purplish tints.  On the nose, there were candied strawberries and hints of white pepper.  In the mouth, there were strawberries, raspberries, and hints of white pepper, thyme, and orange zest.  The wine had a light-to-medium body with medium acidity.

 

My second Bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

My second Bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

Is this worth a glass after work?  Definitely!  If you see this wine/beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At $10 a bottle, this wine was surprisingly complex for being so young.  It has nice flavors and is very drinkable.  It’s a wine that, as we enter the final stretch of the the end of the holiday season, you should definitely keep in mind.  It’s perfect for a big dinner with family or friends because it’s not only affordable, but also food friendly.  It will pair nicely with a roasted turkey or Christmas ham.

As for me, I actually didn’t end up enjoying this wine on the Third Thursday of November.  I had a work event followed by a condo board meeting, so it wasn’t until Saturday night that I finally opened my first bottle.  Hubby and I had spent the day packing in preparation for our big move–we put an offer in on a house and it was accepted, so we’ll hopefully be in the new place by Christmas!  After a full day of packing, I was ready to put my feet up and just relax, so I poured a glass, pulled out my knitting, and turned on a movie.  The wine was enjoyable on its own and was a great way to decompress after the stress of packing.

Question of the Day: Are you a Beaujolais Nouveau fan or do you prefer to ignore the hype?

Second bottle closeup of Beaujolais Nouveau 2014

 

Price: $10
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 3.5 Corks

I’m Back…with a Joyeuse Rosé

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

Hello dear readers…I know it’s been almost two months since my last post, and the best I can do is apologize for the silence.  September hit and life got very busy.  After 8 years of living in 750 sq. ft., I think that Hubby has finally had it with my wine taking over the living room.  Ok…well, maybe that’s not the only reason why we’re looking to move, but the search for a DC rowhouse that we want to call our own is on!  That search, though, has been an all-consuming treasure hunt, which means Sunday blogging has been become all about open houses, appointments with our real estate agent, and half marathon training.  Admittedly, there are still a few more weeks before the half marathon, and the house hunt continues, but I’ve missed sharing what I’ve been drinking with you…so, I’m trying a new, temporary blog schedule.  And with that, let’s dive right in… and what better way to do that than sharing a rosé that is not only a great summer option, but also a wine that would be nice for Thanksgiving dinner?

2013 Anne de Joyeuse Camas Pinot Noir Rosé

2013 Anne de Joyeuse Camas Pinot Noir Rosé

This summer ended up being the summer of rosé wine for me, and on August 28th, I continued the trend.  Work was actually fairly slow that day, but I started things off with an early morning visit to the dentist and ended it with an emergency visit from the plumber.  By the time I settled into the evening, I was ready for a glass of wine and to watch the U.S. Tennis Open.

The 2013 Anne de Joyeuse Camas Pinot Noir Rosé (winery, snooth) is a Vin de Pays d’Oc made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes.  The wine was a light-to-medium orangeish-pink.  On the nose, there were Bing cherries, strawberries, and raspberries.  In the mouth, there were Bing cherries, tart strawberries, and a hint of thyme.  The wine had a light body and lime-like acid.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine/beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At an SRP of $11 a bottle, this wine has a fantastic quality/price ratio.  Is it the most complicated rose you’ll ever taste.  No.  But, is it a solidly enjoyable wine?  Absolutely.  The wine would be perfect to enjoy with cheese or other high-fat appetizers, as well as with a dinner of creamy entrees or buttery side dishes because the acidity of the wine will be a palate cleanser and keep the food flavors a little more vibrant in your mouth.  So, as you think about your Thanksgiving menu, if you’re planning buttery Brussels sprouts or if your like my mother-in-law and serve homemade mac-and-cheese, this is a wine worth considering for your table.

Question of the Day: Do you enjoy drinking rosés all year long or do they tend to be a summer wine for you?

Suggested Retail Price: $11
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Enjoying the Local Species

Blue Mountain Barrel House Local Species

Blue Mountain Barrel House Local Species

Blue Mountain Brewery is about 2 and a half hours away, so it’s definitely not a “DC Beer,” however, I still think of it as local. In fact, Blue Mountain Brewery makes quality craft brews, and while it’s taken me a little while to find my favorite of their beers, I have enjoyed the ones I’ve tasted so far.  So, admittedly, while I ended 6th Annual DC Beer Week  (August 17-24) with a non-DC beer, I did go with a “Local Species,” and it definitely hit the spot.

The Local Species (brewery, untappd) is a Belgian Pale Ale made by Blue Mountain Brewery in Nelson County, Virginia.  The beer was a dark, hazy, reddish-amber with an off-white, foamy head and a lot of lacing on the glass.  On the nose, there was toasty maltiness mixed with hints of red apple and caramel.  In the mouth, there is a maltiness and some grass mixed with the slightest hint of something sour, maybe sour grapefruit, and some toffee-like sweetness, probably from the bourbon barrel the beer was aged in. The beer had a nice body with a long, smooth finish with only a hint of hoppy bitterness.

Cork and closeup of Blue Mountain Barrel House Local SpeciesIs this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At $11 for 750ml, this beer is easy to drink, food-friendly, and well-balanced.  Hubby and I have started the fall race season training, so I enjoyed the Local Species on a Sunday evening while recovering from one of my first longer training runs.  It was a great beer for putting up my feet, relaxing, and catching up on my Runner’s World and Vogue magazine reading.

Question of the Day: How far away is still local for you when it comes to buying local beer or wine?  For you, is buying local more about supporting small producers than it is about actually buying local (for example, is buying a Robert Mondavi wine when you’re in Napa still buying local)?

Price: $11 for a 750ml bottle
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 4 Corks

August 2014 Instagram Round-Up

August 2014 Instagram Part 1

1) A Green Hat Rickey at Boss Shepherd’s to start off August
2) CitiOpen 2104:

Hubby and Me in our seats at Stadium Court
Enjoying a Goose Island 312 at the J. Erlich/A. Ram vs. J. Rojer / H. Tecau match during the men’s doubles semi-finals
Vasek Pospisil vs. Richard Gasquet in the men’s semi-finals

3) My new Nike Pegasus 30s
4) A gorgeous day at the Capitol
5) My Snooth virtual wine tasting line-up — Champalou Sparkling Brut Vouvray & 2012 Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray

August 2014 Instagram Part 21) Fantastic date night at CulinAerie’s “Pucker Up” couples cooking class making salmon cakes with lemongrass aioli, seared scallops with citrus butter, risotto with lemon and mint, and a lemon poppyseed cake with limoncello glaze (not pictured)
2) Sunday afternoon blogging with a 2011 Austin Hope Syrah in my glass
3) My standby cookies – Oatmeal Raisin – #CookiesForCoworkers
4) My first pair of Fluevogs – the Bellevue MaryJanes
5) Our table at Hubby’s cousin’s wedding

August 2014 Instagram Part 31) Sunset at the Bay Bridge
2) My August 2014 Birch Box
3) My first beer for DC Beer Week — the Flying Dog Dead Rise
4) Brownie Cookies (recipe from Jen’s Favorite Cookies) — #CookiesForCoworkers
5) Sunday night post-run recovery … hot pink compression socks & 2012 Afton Mountain Cabernet Franc

Getting Rowdy During DC Beer Week

With Congress in recess during August, the 6th Annual DC Beer Week  (August 17-24) couldn’t have fallen at a better time for me.  The slower work schedule not only allowed me to head out to lunch at places that were offering local beers, but also let me taste one while there.  Halfway through the week, I met a colleague at a DC restaurant institution — Old Ebbitt Grill.  Old Ebbitt can be a little touristy, but they have some of the best crab cakes in the city, so when I saw that they were one of the restaurants participating in DC Beer Week, I couldn’t pass up going there.

As I already mentioned, a number of DC beers are only available on tap at local restaurants or at the breweries themselves, which adds to the mystic of some local brews.  The problem for me is that unless you visit the brewery, you’re missing out.  And, since Hubby doesn’t drink, going to a brewery on a Saturday afternoon isn’t really his idea of fun, so there are a number of local beers I’ve been reading a lot about, but haven’t had a chance to taste.  As, Atlas Brew Works has only been open for about a year, their beers are a little harder to find than some of the other local breweries, so I haven’t had a chance to try one yet.  Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Rowdy Rye on the tap list at Old Ebbitt.

A pint of Atlas Brew Works Rowdy Rye at Old Ebbitt Grill

A pint of Atlas Brew Works Rowdy Rye at Old Ebbitt Grill

The Rowdy Rye (brewery, untappd) is a rye beer from Atlas Brew Works in Northeast Washington, DC.  The beer was a hazy, copper color with hints of amber.  On the nose, there was rye bread, caramel, and black pepper mixed with a hint of something floral and zesty.  In the mouth, there was only the slightest hint of hoppy bitterness mixed with rye, caramel, black pepper, and resin. The beer had a medium body.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  This beer is anything but rowdy, as it’s well-crafted and nicely balanced.  It’s a beer  I wish was available in my local store because it would make a regular appearance in my house.  In fact, it’s a beer that I enjoyed so much, I looked up the location of the brewery to figure out how difficult it would be to visit semi-regularly so that I could keep some of their beer on hand.  The Rowdy Rye was smooth and easy to drink on its own, while also making a gorgeous pairing with my crab cakes.  To be honest, when I first tasted the beer, I was concerned about how the pairing would work.  I loved the way the beer tasted, but I couldn’t picture it mixing well with my lunch.  So, I was very pleasantly surprised to see how the beer and the crab cakes really enhanced each other when put together.

Question of the Day: Do you buy growlers of beer from a local brewery or store?  If so, I’d love to hear more about your experiences.

Atlast_Facebook_ImageP.S.  For those of you who are local,  Atlas Brew Works is holding an anniversary celebration at the brewery THIS Saturday (9/6) from 1-5pm.  There will be local DC food trucks (including one of my personal favorites, Cap Mac), live music from local bands, great beer (obviously, although only your first beer is included in the price of admission), and community spirit, as all the proceeds from the event will benefit the Washington Humane Society.  Tickets are $10, and you can purchase them here through OnTap.  I’m not getting any kickbacks from the brewery or OnTap if you buy tickets, although I did receive complimentary admission from Atlas for Hubby and me, so we’re planning on checking things out.  If you see me, say hello and we can toast some fantastic local brews together!

When & Where: Saturday, September 6, from 1 to 5 pm
@ 2052 West Virginia Ave. NE, Washington, DC
Food: DC Sliders, Cap Mac, and Woodland’s Vegan Bistro
Music: Live music from Bumper Jacksons (a DC roots jazz/country swing band),
Unstable Heights (a Baltimore progressive/alternative rock band), and Sunwolf.

Price: $6.95 per pint
Purchased at Old Ebbitt Grill
Overall: 4 Corks