Terre de Marco Prosecco

Found a new Prosecco at a tasting last week — the Terre di Marca. Fairly dry with a unique sweetness that’s not overkill. Has some apples and pears to it and a tiny bit of honey. Great to enjoy during the summer. And the bottle is unique, sort of stubby, vs. the traditional bottle. Was in the low-mid teens, price-point wise.

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Bubbling over work

I have side gigs to help fund my travel and wine rack. One of them is working wine tastings. I had one yesterday afternoon, New Year’s Eve, at Bassin’s/MacArthur Beverages in Washington, DC. And, oh darn, I had to pour bubbly! One was sparkling wine from CA the other three were veritable Champagne.

#1 Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley. This is the an estate/winery Louis Reoderer (next on the list) opened in the US. $20. It’s a sparkling wine, since it’s CA vs. France. This is roughly 60% Chard, 40% Pinot Noir. Some nice fruit notes for bubbly, especially compared to other bubblies (aka champagnes). And, at least half the cost.

#2 Louis Roederer Champagne, Brut Premier. $40. This is a blend of roughly 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. Traditional Champagne taste. I would put it ‘medium’ toast, nice and soft.

#3 Taittinger Champagne. $40. This is a blend of roughly 40% Chardonnay, 60% of Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier. Medium bubbles, soft toast taste, just rolls around the mouth and down your tongue to give you pure happiness.  I am partial because it’s one of my favorites.

#4 Comtes de Champagnes, Taittinger, Blanc de Blanc 2006. $129 (yes, that price is correct). 100% Chardonnay. Very nice taste all around, and while it was definitely a better taste than the prior 3, it would be tough (for me) to spend that much. However, 3 people did buy bottles. All personal choice.

Cheers to 2017!

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Blinder than Blind

Wine tasting on weekends are some of the best things to attend.  Recently a wine shop in DC presented a blind tasting.  They admitted when we got there that maybe they could have made it a bit easier and made it one region, one varietal or narrowed it down in some fashion.  Why?  Because we felt like we were taking the test for a Master Somm.  It was awesome.

IMG_3693We had one bubbly, 3 whites and 3 reds.  This store sells mostly old world wines and everything we tasted was sold in house.  It was tough for me because I lean new world.

All I can say is I got a huge F on this test.  I was writing/spelling wrong at some points because I was confused and failing so badly! I was close on some, region-wise.

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Does that mean I need to take it again and taste more wine?  I was definitely blinder than blind is this one.

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A Year in Champagne

Sometimes you can catch great movies on the plane.  I recently had the pleasure of watching A Year in Champagne, a documentary about the ins and outs of champagne making.  It followed several champagne producers and shows how difficult of an industry it is for us to be able to enjoy this bubbly liquid.

Producers/vintners have code to follow, tough seasons, some have small shops (and even crops), but all have one goal — to deliver a delectable bottle with a cork that pops and a liquid we enjoy.  It was also wonderful to see how there are still the small family-owned businesses working against the big corporate ones.  There is a lot of behind the scenes work and business that happens, from sales to chemistry to timing and more.  A quality line in the movie and one or my favorites, perfect for the industry was along the lines of ‘Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink.’

Some of the greatest highlights:

-one vintner has 750,000 (yes 3/4 million) bottles they turn by hand (frequently) over the course of a year to deliver the best taste

-vines are restricted to a certain height, otherwise licenses can be revoked

-they have a specific/allocated amount of time in which they can harvest, otherwise licenses can be revoked

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(image source: ayearinchampagne.com)

Annual Champagne Expo

Last year I accidentally found out about an annual champagne event that takes place at a wine/liquor store in DC when I was just walking by the store.  It’s Magruder’s Annual Champagne Expo that features 15-20 bubblies for you to sample/taste/enjoy/leave with or without.  People call in advance to find out when this event takes place, bring their own glasses, and have quite the afternoon.

This year there were five table and a total of 18 champagnes.  When you walk in, you get your tasting card for the vendors to mark and you’re off!

Table 1

Trouillard Brut — creamy

Roland Champion Aramis — ‘chunkier,’ earthy, mineral, (ugh)

Roland Champion Grand Cru Brut — softer

Roland Champion Grand Cru Rose — unique, nice

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Table 2

Perrier-Jouet Brut — apple, citrus, light, crisp (on sale for $32.99 — I know this because I left with a bottle).  The box is great!  White case.

Mumm Cordon Rouge — less fun

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Nicolas Feuillatte Brut — marginal

Domaine Carneros Brut — NICE (on sale for $22.99 — yes, proud owner)

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Table 3

Laurent-Perrier Brut — smooth yet sharp, bottled 3 years

Delamotte Brut — chardonnay, good, but not great

Schramsbert Blanc de Blanc — sweet, Napa

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Table 4

Andre Clouet Brut Rose — NO!

Voirin Jumel Blanc de Blanc Cramant — unique, nice, 100% Chardonnay

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Andre Clouet Grand Reserve Brut — GREAT!  #1

Chapuy Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc — 100% Chardonnay, ugh (keep in mind these are my own tastes)

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Table 5

Ruinart Blanc de Blanc — ok

Ruinart Rose — smooth, perfect, if only it wasn’t (on sale for) $79

Pommery Brut — high carbonation, true champagne

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So come the end, the taste buds were happy and overwhelmed, I left with two amazing bottles and learned more about many bubblies.  Until next year.