Tag Archive | Italian varietals.

Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc and a Little Italian Prosecco

This has been a long week.  Jon and I took a President’s Day weekend trip and arrived home on Monday evening (multi-part blog post coming soon – I promise!)  My boss is on vacation (a very over-due vacation), so I’ve been in charge this week, and as a result work has been a bit more busy than usual, and then we had some other stuff going on too.  So this weekend has been a well-deserved break.

On Friday night, I opened a bottle of 2010 Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc.  We purchased this bottle during a trip down to Woodinville last year, and I think that Matthews does a great job with their Sauvignon Blanc.  It is actually blended with 6% Semillon, so it isn’t 100% Sauvignon Blanc, but you would never know it from the taste.  This is a crisp wine, with a light acidity and minerality, and hint of floral taste.  It went well with the cheap pork roast and hominy that I quickly cooked last night, but I imagine I’d have been happy pairing it with any type of food.  Jon and I finished the bottle off tonight (Saturday), and it went nicely with today’s shrimp tacos too!

2010 Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc

After my one glass of remaining Sauvignon Blanc, I wanted something more this evening, so I opened a bottle of Italian Prosecco Spumante by Villa Carlotti.  I had never had an Italian sparkling wine before, and this bottle was a gift from my former boss after we settled a union contract last year.  As I hadn’t tried it before, I did a little research, so here’s your wine education for the day.  Prosecco is the grape – apparently also called Glera… I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of either.  Spumante is the Italian word for the full-sparkling type of production.  There is also a semi-sparkling method of production called frizzante.  Weirdly, you can also buy inexpensive frizzantes in cans in Italy (that just seems wrong to me, but hey, what do I know?)  Due to the fact that Prosecco is secondary-aged in stainless tanks, this makes it much less expensive than its French sparkling cousin – Champagne.  Prosecco is also the typical ingredient in a Bellini, if you are partial to those.

At any rate, the Villa Carlotti Prosecco Spumante is a very dry sparkling wine with a light taste of pear, and a hint of Golden Delicious apple.  Based on internet prices, it seems this wine is fairly inexpensive… between $7 and $11 a bottle, so it would be a great everyday drinking wine.  Could be perfect for Mimosas on a Sunday morning!  Or Bellinis!  I should google the recipe….

Sinistra – the Leftist Wine

Tonight I’m enjoying a glass of Sinistra, a wine produced by Tsillan Cellars in Lake Chelan, Washington.  I discovered this blend of Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera when I visited Chelan last fall for a work conference.  Since then, I have purchased it when I found it (which to tell the truth was only once).  Sinistra is Italian for left – whether it be left-handed, or a leftist political party formed in Italy in the late 90s.  I’m not sure what the significance was in naming this wine, but it works.  If anybody knows, please let me know!

Tsillan Cellars sit on the hill above Lake Chelan, built in the Italian Villa style, with a beautiful outdoor patio and plenty of seating.  The size reminded me more of a Napa winery than most of the ones that we see in Washington and Oregon.  That said, the staff are friendly and down to earth, and more than happy to recommend a great wine with dinner – they have a restaurant too.

The wine is a blood red color, which a very acidic nose (not uncommon with the Italian varietals).  At first taste, it reminds me of a tart raspberry.  The oak that it was aged in is not apparent, leaving a lovely, approachable wine.  It is an excellent wine with food – tonight we had it with some delicious hamburgers made from locally raised, organic beef.  It complemented the richness of the beef nicely.

Jon doesn’t typically go for the Italian varietals, but he announced that this would be a winery he’d be happy to visit.  Hopefully we can make it over to Lake Chelan sometime soon!

The Italians make great wine!

I’m home from my conference in Yakima, and surprise, surprise, it has been raining.  The story of my life this spring.  So, this evening, I’m drinking a wine that reminds me of sunnier places – Italy.  It’s a Facelli Winery Cabernet Franc.  Facelli is located in Woodinville, Washington, and we visited the tasting room in September 2010.  It was on that trip that we picked up this particular bottle.

This Cabernet Franc has a chocolate and cherry nose, and it tastes like tart dark cherries and raspberry.  The tartness is a characteristic of the Italian wines, and is one of the things I really like about it.  One of my favorite things about the Facelli wines is that they don’t have the heavy oak that so many of Jon’s favorite wines have.

All in all, this is a wonderful light red – it would be great with a pasta dinner!