MEAD

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There is a nice new wine trend that is about to happen. Some say it is more like wine, others like beer, but in looking at the chemical synthesis, I would say it should be classified as a wine. Honey Wine. MEAD.

Mead is mentioned in a lot of Norse Mythology, which is very interesting. Its origin was definitely from the Germanic roots. As a lover of mythology, knowing Zeus and other gods were sipping on some Mead is pretty cool! (Greek Mythology is littered with Mead references, honey Nectar of the gods for sure.)

The Fermentation process is pretty standard at this point in time. Honey being the fermentable sugar, it can ferment from 8-20% ABV. It has a taste of wine and beer at the same time with a neutral honey flavor. A pale yellow color, some can be unfiltered and some not. You can get strong notes of honey on the nose the minute you open a bottle.

Utica, NY has seen a very large growth of local farms, breweries and restaurants join this clean living, farm-to-table lifestyle. One farm in particular, Heartsease Hill, honey and honey product producers have gotten into the Mead industry. Sue and Joe have become close personal friends of mine, and their product of Mead is high quality and evolving everyday for the best. You might even be able to find this Mead on tap at Nail Creek in the near future. Playing with different styles and flavors, this style of wine has become my favorite after dinner Digestif! Sweet, but not sugary. As a fan of dry wine, I think everyone should give it an opportunity.

As the NYS Craft Beer and Wine industry begins to expand, you should be seeing a lot more high quality and unique products from very talented people.

Keep an eye out, wine lovers!

XOXO, Cheers!

Vino First!

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Recently I have been so busy. Working for the restaurant and bakery. Wine tastings for the restaurant. Idea sessions with my boss for business ideas, plans and wine. WE LOVE to talk about wine.

Trying to find time for my friends isn’t so hard. I work with some great people and we have so much fun in the late hours of the evening. All my boys can keep me laughing until about 3 am on a weekly basis. I couldn’t be luckier. I love that they are winos also and love me to teach them.

In lieu of my recent profession and fondness of wine, a fondness that grows everyday, I will be starting to focus on wines, spirits & sometimes food for pairing on this blog. Learning about viticulture is very complex and takes a lot of time and practice. It is a wonderful life.

Every two weeks I am hosting a session of Wine Regions to further my education and everyone who wants to learn also! I will keep my blog up to date using this schedule and informing the social media world all about wine from the standpoint of a chemist, a server, and obviously a certified Wine student.

Being a server at a very upscale restaurant has helped me learn so much and begin my journey in this profession as well as keep up with classes for my Master’s Degree. My boss and co-workers are wonderful and very educated. They are teaching me so much!! He says working for him is like a semester at culinary school of knowledge. It is not easy and expectations are high. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This week in wines I started Italy. So stay tuned for my post all about Italy!!

Drink up.

Cheers!

Let’s Talk Spain

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Spanish Wines is something I have recently started to get into. They have been making some great wines and blends recently with some very native and global grapes. Some of their main grapes, mostly indigenous of Spain are:

Red Grapes:

  • Cariñena
  • Garnacha
  • Monastrell
  • Tempranillo

White Grapes:

  • Albariño
  • Godello
  • Torrontes

There wines are fruity, bold and smokey, with the exception of some more neutral grapes for dinner wines and summer days. The Albarino grape is a very light grape with a resemblance to Vermentino and Verdelho white grapes of the world.

There are three different levels of quality you find in Spain that law has required for labelling it’s designation.

  • Crianza red wines are aged for 2 years with at least 6 months in oak. Crianza whites and rosés must be aged for at least 1 year with at least 6 months in oak.
  • Reserva red wines are aged for at least 3 years with at least 1 year in oak. Reserva whites and rosés must be aged for at least 2 years with at least 6 months in oak.
  • Gran Reserva wines typically appear in above average vintages with the red wines requiring at least 5 years aging, 18 months of which in oak and a minimum of 36 months in the bottle. Gran Reserva whites and rosés must be aged for at least 4 years with at least 6 months in oak.

I URGE everyone to try some Gran Reserva and a Spanish Rose in the near future.

2010 Un Paso Mas Red Blend

Cheers everyone!

Reds of February

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There are a few Cabernets that I have wanted to try recently.

1. 2012 Chop Shop Cabernet Sauvignon

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It is a California Cabernet Sauvignon grape, with strong cherry, strawberry and vanilla flavors. 12.7% alcohol, this is smooth, easy and full of flavor. More medium body and taste for a Cabernet, I really enjoyed this alone and drinking quite casually. Would pair very well with red meat.

2. 2013 La Bodega Cabernet Sauvignon

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We move from California to the Mendoza Valley of Argentina. This Cabernet pairs well with a rich hearty meal. Out of all four reds, I find this to be my personal favorite. I am also a favorite of South American wines very much so. This Cab has flavors of coffee, chocolate, violets, and strawberry and blackberry jams. Although Argentina is known for its Malbec, this grape is treated with much care for this bottle.

3. 2012 Reckless Optimism Red Blend

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A red blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah grapes, this California blend is smooth and velvety. I might need to get another adjective besides velvety because I think all (mostly) red wine tastes like velvet an heaven. It is very lighthearted light bodied red. I would recommend to wine drinkers who lean towards the white for a red. Smells a lot like Strawberry Jam. The bottle, whether half full or half empty, smells like optimism…. so says the bottle. And so says me to anyone sipping! 15.1% Alcohol.

4. 2012 Big Beat Red Blend

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A mix of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec grapes, this California Wine, from Paso Robles, is one of my favorite lighter blends thus far. 15.1% Alcohol, this red is strong and filled with deep red fruits, bio;gets, vanilla and a very nice light toast. This wine has been called the ‘Upside Down’ Bordeaux as 60% of the grape majority is Petit Verdot.

Drink Up and Enjoy!!!

Cheers bitches!

 

Rosé {R&R&R}

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With the school year during intercession, and just working full time, I have been really on a R&R kick. There are a few things this break that have gotten me to this very calm, slightly reclusive, and health fanatic state. Also the time to be able to post my thoughts. Hopefully this semester will keep this track. I feel strong and better then ever, sometimes you really do just need a break from the chaos of it all.

~Rosé – I can honestly say that I have drank at least twenty bottles of Rosé. All different flavors, it is so amazing. Dry and bubbly, just the way I like it. My top three choices of this break were:\

  1. Old School Cinsault RoséOLD+SCHOOL+ROSE
  2. Broadbent Vinho Verde (As Always)
  3. Moët Chandon RoséRose-Imperial_fixed_1280x1096
  4. Mumm Napa Brut Rosé1_1522750_3

There is this new APP for both Android/iPhone platforms called *Delectable* which I have been using very frequently to track the wines that I drink. It is used a lot by Sommeliers and those who really know wine more so than casual wine drinkers but I very much so recommend all to start using it!

~Sauvignon Blanc

1. NYE was filled with much alcohol, and mostly Champagne & Sauvignon Blanc with two of my human beings from a hometown family. It was quite a messy situation, but we all made it out alive and standing…. I think. Anyway, the Wine was from Ninety Cellars, and has a delightful, crisp taste that is to die for.

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~Gin & Lemon Whiskey Cocktails

I had many of these cocktails at one of my favorite bars downtown Rochester called Ox & Stone(http://www.oxandstone.com/). Great bartenders, great cocktails and a old timey feel with dim lights. Very nice for an evening of brooding. 😉

This weekend I will be traveling the East Coast to visit some dear friends and I will be loving the life for sure. I will be excited to document yet another trip of good food, good alcohol, and of course my best friends. As my relaxation continues, I must get back to work so as to finish all my paperwork before I depart tomorrow.

Boston, here I come!

-Cheers Bitches!

Vino

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I am going to start posting more and more wines, because we all know that being a wino is everything and a way of life. I drink a lot of wine, and am quite knowledgeable about it, especially those who are chemically inclined enough to understand the process.

Reds are just the best. Red wine will always make you happy and feel lime you have a velvety blanket around you. These four reds are a Cabernet Heavy Red Blend, two Cabernet Sauvignons, and a Pinot Noir.

  • Franciscan Estate – Magnificat – 2011 – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdote, Malbec Blend
  • Seven Oaks – J. Lohr – 2012 – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • [Noble Vines] – 337 – 2012 – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • La Crema – 2012 – Pinot Noir

The bottles all average around $12-$14 dollars and the Magnificat is around $40. The Magnificat was one of the best red blends I have ever tasted. It was smooth velvety and filled with smooth flavors. One thing you will learn is that I do not like sweet wines. I love wine filled with tannin and  delicious velvety flavors. The second bottle was a very delicious Cab, it was not as smooth as the first. The flavors were a little more harsh and acidic. The third bottle is bottled from one of my favorite wineries, [Noble Vines]. The have many different bottled wines that will most likely be seen throughout my posts. It is always smooth, medium body and delicious for a Cab. The last bottle is the La Crema. This Pinot Noir was very lightly bodied and smooth. It is always a good red for during the day, for dessert, pr for just a lighter wine in general.

Cheers Bitches!