At Home With Voveti Prosecco

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

I admit it.  All day yesterday, I couldn’t help but think that I should be on my way to Portland, Oregon for the 2012 Wine Bloggers’ Conference.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I wouldn’t be attending, and while I know it’s for a good reason, as I start to see the #wbc12 tweets roll in, I’m sad that I won’t be joining my fellow bloggers this year.  My mood probably explains why, when I walked in the door of the condo last night and saw I had a wine package with some bubbly, I immediately put in the refrigerator so it would be cold enough to enjoy by dinnertime.  And enjoy it I did.

Voveti Prosecco

Voveti Prosecco

The Voveti Prosecco (wine) is from Italy and is made with 100% Prosecco grapes.  The sparkler had a light lemon color.  On the nose, there were Granny Smith apples, Asian pears, and the slightest hint of honeysuckle and yeast.  In the mouth, there were Granny Smith apples, Asian pears, and a hint of peaches and foamy cream.  The wine had a light body and bright acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At an SRP of $17, that about pushes the edges of how much I would spend on this sparkling wine, although it was very versatile and enjoyable.  I sipped it while reading with my feet on the couch before dinner, and it even paired nicely with the broiled tilapia Hubby made.  The fish was lightly seasoned with lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano, so it’s probably not surprising that the Italian sparkler was a nice, not overpowering compliment to the meal.  All in all, it didn’t quite make up for the fact that I was at home instead of in Oregon, but it was exactly what I needed to make me not miss the Wine Bloggers’ Conference quite so much.

Question of the Day: Do you open a sparkling wine in the middle of the week or is it the type of wine you save for special occasions?

Suggested Retail Price: $17
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Would You Like Some Cava With Your Ginger?

**I received this wine as a sample**

Tuesday was one of those days where the office was quiet, so I was able to accomplish a number of smaller projects that I hadn’t had the time to tackle.  I spent most of the day reading reports and studies, which meant that I was immersed in so much data that by the time I left work I didn’t want to open a book or look at anything with numbers.  Since I was home before Hubby, I went for a quick run before opening a bottle of sparkly and waiting for him to cook dinner.

Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut

The Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut (winery) was made with 40% Chardonnay, 30% Macabeo, 20% Parellada, and 10% Pinot Noir grapes and had a light, lemon-yellow color.  On the nose, there were bright lemons, limes, and nectarines, mixed with a touch of apples, pears, and ginger.  In the mouth, there were limes, nectarines, and pears up front, with a lot of ginger and spice lingering on the finish.  The sparkler had strong, persistent bubbles with good acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? Eh…if you have a bottle on hand, drink it, but I wouldn’t go searching it out either. At $22, this bubbly just had too much ginger for me to enjoy it.  I much prefer the Freixenet Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut (my review), the Freixenet Cordon Rosado Brut (my review), and the Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut (my review), all three of which are less expensive and far more satisfying.  So, if you’re looking for a good Freixenet Cava, grab one of the two rosés or the Cordon Negro Brut.  The extra $5-$10 for the Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut just isn’t worth it.

Price: $22 (suggested retail price)
Received as a sample
Overall: 2.5 Corks

Bubbly & True Blood: A Perfect Sunday Evening

**I received this wine as a sample**

Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut

Thankfully, work is quiet enough that I didn’t have to work on Sunday.  However, Sunday nights in the “A Glass After Work” household have evolved into quick runs before an early dinner so that Hubby and I are ready for a night of True Blood. Neither of us are big TV watchers and the little TV that we each watch is not the same, but there is something about True Blood that keep both of us entertained.  Since Sunday nights have turned into planned TV nights, I’ve started opening fun bottles that might pair well with the show, and last Sunday was all about bubbly.

The Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut (winery, snooth) was a blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Trepat grapes and had a medium-to-dark salmon color with a slight orange tinge.  The Cava had a lot of small, active bubbles.  On the nose, there were raspberries and toast.  In the mouth, there was a berry patch—ripe raspberries and strawberries.  The wine had a light body, low tannins, and smooth acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? Sure…you won’t be drinking anything out of the ordinary, but you’ll have a decent, reliable glass of wine. At a suggested retail price of $18, this wine is light, refreshing, and enjoyable.  The wine has a nice balance and is perfect for a perfect option for an every day sparkling wine.

Price: $18 (suggested retail)
Received as a sample
Overall: 3 Corks

Unique, Mediterranean Monstant Reds

Once we warmed up our palates with the general Catalonia wines, during the second day of The Wine Academy of Spain’s Spanish wine course, we tasted the very unique and enjoyable Monstants. These reds were all blends that spent some time aging in oak. The Monstants had an interesting complexity that epitomized my feeling that trying to identify all the aromas and flavors while wine tasting is like putting together all the pieces of a puzzle.

Tasting #4 on Day 2


3.5 Corks

2006 Castillo Perelada 3 Fincas Crianza (winery, snooth)
35% Samso, 30% Garnacha, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Ruby with a touch of purple
Spicy nose with ripe fruits
Blackcurrant, blackberry, and rosemary
Moderate acidity and high tannins, although not aggressive
Different tasting
Jesus said it’s very “Mediterranean”

4 Corks

2005 Castillo Perelada 5 Fincas Reserva (winery, snooth)
40% Merlot, 20% Garnacha, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon,15% Syrah, 5% Tempranillo, 5% Cabernet Franc
Medium-to-dark Ruby
Very complex nose
Menthol, eucalyptus, rosemary, smoke, cedar, rip blackberry, black plums, blackcurrant, red bell peppers on the nose
Blackcurrant, blackberry, black plums, and bell pepper in the mouth
Nice tannins and acidity
Medium-to-full body
Very unique

2003 Fra Guerau Crianca (winery, snooth)
Medium ruby with a garnet rim
Cherry and white pepper on the nose
Cherry, strawberry and redcurrant in the mouth
Medium body, acidity, and tannins

4.5 Corks

2007 Can Blau (snooth)
Bright, deep bluish purple
Rose petals, violets, cured meat, and smoke on the nose
Blackcurrant, smoke, violets, minerals, and a touch of meatiness and frying fat in the mouth
Good tannins, medium acid, and full body
Long finish
Very unique

Wines from Around Catalonia

After learning about and tasting Cavas during the second day of The Wine Academy of Spain’s Spanish wine course, Jesus Bernard powered through the various areas within Catalonia. Considering that Catalonia includes well-known Spanish regions like Penedès, Priorat, and Monstant, there was not only a significant amount of viticulture and vinification information, but also a lot of history that significantly impacted this wine growing region. It was very interesting, but admittedly slightly overwhelming.

Because these regions within Catalonia have their own microclimate, soil and vinification techniques, after discussing each regions unique qualities, we did three back-to-back tastings of wines from Catalonia. The first was a more general region overview.

Tasting #3 on Day 2

2.5 Corks

2006 Raimat Viña 32 Cabernet Sauvignon (winery, snooth)
Medium-to-dark ruby
Cocoa powder, blackberries, nutmeg, black pepper, and a touch of green pepper on the nose
Blackberries, black pepper, and blackcurrant leaf in the mouth
Medium acidity and medium-to-high tannins

3 Corks

René Barbier Mediterranean White (winery, snooth)
40% Xarel-lo, 30% Macabeo, 30% Parellada
Pale lemon with a green tinge
Green apples and herbaceous on the nose
Lime, green apples, and a touch of thyme and basil in the mouth

3.5 Corks

2005 Crev de Lauit Segura Viudas
Pale gold with big legs
Peach, pear, and green apple on the nose
Wet stone, pear, and green apple in the mouth
Silky with medium acidity and a medium body

2006 Raimat Viña 43 Tempranillo (winery, snooth)
Medium ruby with flecks of purple
Very berry, licorice, and a touch of nutmeg, violet and smoke
Good tannins and medium acidity
Nice finish