Belle Glos - Dairyman Pinot Noir - 2014

It's dreary and cold and time to turn on the oven and bake up something warm and sweet. And time to pour a little something to make my stomach warm while I bake.

I still have an abnormal amount of pumpkin leftover in my pantry from the holiday season so I decided to whip up some pumpkin bread while I popped open a bottle of one of my favorite holiday wines- Belle Glos Dairyman Pinot Noir

This wine shouldn't necessarily be boxed into the "holiday" category because it is fabulous all year round, but the wax seal just adds that extra level of flair that I consider holiday special. 

This wine is a slightly on the pricier side - runs about $50 a bottle- the top shelf at the grocery store. I actually picked up my most recent bottle at the local Safeway. I definitely was feeling a little fancy pants tonight even though my pants were of the yoga variety. This wine does not judge you.

This is not your average pinot noir. This wine is far from light bodied. Each sip is smooth and full of cranberry, raspberry, and hints of baking spice and vanilla. Just describing this wine makes me think of the holiday season. It is refined, and even the newest of wine drinkers can appreciate the depth of this wine when it is presented to them. (Mostly because the bottle looks fancy AF.)

To keep going with my holiday tangent, I can't help but smile at the pairing of this wine with my homemade pumpkin bread. The bread is sweet and full of spices that create a festive party in your mouth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The first thing you do is open your Belle Glos. Then you pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until smooth.

Grease up your bread tin with butter - don't cheat and use the spray. It comes out a zillion times more delicious when you use straight butter here. Then pour into bread pan, cup cake tins, or your vessel of choice and bake for about 45 min. The time varies based on your vessel so make sure you are checking your treat with a toothpick as it bakes and pulling it out when the tooth pick is clean.

A near perfect pairing especially on days when you want that snuggly warmth. 

 

 

 

Underwood Pinot Gris

The Oregon wine series is still in swing here at Not Quite A Somm, and apparently, so is can wine. 

My first wine in a can experience was with Portland Sangria and I was definitely feeling it. So I couldn't stop myself when I saw Underwood Pinot Gris in the Portland stores as well.

To be honest, I've seen Underwood wine in San Francisco, but I had never thought to buy it because we all just bring our bottles out in the park without a second thought, but in Portland...people don't seem quite so bold with their public intoxication (not that I am encouraging this behavior by any means). I like wine in parks...therefore, I must have the wine in a can.

I decided to explore this wine while traversing the Portland Japanese Garden

This can fit perfectly in my purse and was a refreshing partner for the afternoon.

I have noted before that I love the convenience of the can of wine, and I really hope that more wineries consider packing up some of their vintages this way. I often crave a glass of a lighter wine like this Pinot Gris but rarely finish the whole bottle if I don't have someone to share it with, so the can is the perfect serving size for me.

As for the wine itself, I can't deny the simple pleasure that this wine provided. Not overly complex and a light mouth feel, this wine is my ideal outdoor delight. The notes of lemon and citrus are bright and don't linger, and I can see myself opening this again in the summer sun.

Needless to say, I'm a new fan to this can wine business...and also of the Japanese Garden...which you can see glimpses of below.

Bota Box - NightHawk Black

I typically try my best to be diverse in the wines that I post about on here. I think it would get pretty boring if I only posted about the same vineyards over and over and over, BUT I felt like I would make a personal exception for this because I felt like this particular brand deserved a second cheers.

Again we said hello to BotaBox! (The first time was here.)

A little backstory to this view and box of wine: a group of friends and I managed to get our hands on a campsite on Angel Island. No cars here, so we had to hike our gear in... and by gear, I mean wine... and I guess tents and sleeping bags and other not-quite as-necessary things. Simple solution? BotaBox. ONE box equals FOUR bottles

But let's get back to the wine.

The box fit nicely into one of the packs. We kept it in the box for fear of poking a hole in the bag of wine inside the box, but if more space is needed, you can easily remove the bag from the box and smoosh it around to fit whatever space you have.

After setting up camp and a bit of hiking and exploring, it was time to sit back and enjoy the views and the wine. Honestly, we chose this particular BotaBox because NIGHTHAWK BLACK just sounds BADASS. The shallow basis on which we picked this box turned out to be a good one, because this is hands down the best box red wine that I have had to date.

I could be riding the high of a great camping trip, but this box spouted out a cranberry-colored wine with a flavor as deep as the color. This box of happiness is a red blend of California Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, and Syrah. And if you are a bit more of a seasoned wino, you can taste each as you sip: jammy Zin, bright, dark fruits from Petite Syrah, and a lingering tobacco Syrah finish. Yes, my friends, all of this is packed in a cardboard box.

What made this even more magical? We bought this on sale at BevMo for $18.00. There are bargains and then there are miracles. This is a boozy miracle.

Thank you, BotaBox, for our new go-to camping wine and for providing the perfect wine to pair with perfect Bay Area views.

 

 

Edna Valley - Sauvignon Blanc - 2015

I'm still on a baking bender. My Goat Cheese and Lemon cookies sent me on a mission to make more unique cookies for my wine tasting nights, and with the warm weather making another appearance, it felt right to open a bottle of Sauvy B while I got back in the kitchen.

Enter the Edna Valley 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. This bottle stood out to me because of the bright green which reminded my of the wonderful grassy notes often found in this varietal. And something extra wonderful about this bottle? The price tag of $9.50. Yes please!

Now, this pairing may not be for everyone...mostly because I just went by color. Green bottle means green cookies. Not the best wine logic, but the perfect excuse to make Matcha Green Tea Cookies.

So much beautiful and wonderful green! This might have been better served for St. Patrick's Day but screw it.

So much beautiful and wonderful green! This might have been better served for St. Patrick's Day but screw it.

I know it is October and this typically isn't what I would call Sauv Season, but San Francisco has been hit with a pleasant warm few days after a weekend of rain, and this wine just feels right for this sunshine.

This Sauv Blanc hit my nose with citrus and grapefruit, and tickled my palate with tropical fruits. I generally expect lower dollar Sauvignon Blancs to overwhelm me with lime and dryness, but this wine was balanced all the way around- a depth of guava and melons through the start and finished with a slight zingy dryness. Another win for the central coast of California! The area keeps producing better and better wines!

Time for cookies.

Here is what you need to buy aside from your wine:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon green tea powder (matcha)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk

Here is what you need to do while drinking your wine:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease baking sheets or butter them up. Pick your favorite
  2. Mix flour, matcha, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Beat brown sugar, butter, and white sugar together in a large bowl until blended; add in vanilla extract, egg, and egg yolk and mix together until smooth.
  4. Mix flour mixture into creamed butter mixture until dough is blended.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls about the size of a quarter and drop onto the prepared baking sheet 2 to 3 inches apart. The cookies do spread as they bake.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until edges are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. BARELY brown. If they are in the oven too long, the cookies lose their lovely rounded edges and get a little too crisp.
Future Cookies ready for the oven!

Future Cookies ready for the oven!

Excuse the lack of prettiness going on here, but laid back sunny day calls for a casual presentation. 

Believe it or not. The dryness of the wine cuts through the sweetness and butter in the cookies, while the matcha compliments the melon and tropical flavors of the wine.

 I am definitely adding this wine to my favorite wines under $10 list, and adding these cookies to my "must bake again" list.

Hopefully this post didn't make anyone too green with envy.

Fontanella - Mt. Veeder Chardonnay - 2014

It has been some time since I have taken some time for just me. The end of summer this year has been quite sour and I thought it was time for me to kiss the summer goodbye in the wine-ist of ways.

With one hand full of lemons and the other hand with a full glass of Chardonnay, I took to the kitchen. 

But before I go any further, let me tell you about this wine.

Up in Napa, through the windy roads of Mount Veeder, is nestled Fontanella Family Winery. While they primarily focus on deep red wines, they consistently create a chardonnay that I keep mooching off my friends who are members of the wine club. 

This Chardonnay is the definition of balanced. None of that slap you in the face oak that a lot of people expect from California chards. It also doesn't butter you down too much either.  Crisp but not dry. This wine is light and gives you a sniff of warm baked pears. This wine has an oh-so-smooth finish that keeps me always coming back for more. 

I could go on and on, but I won't because I want to tell you about the goat cheese and lemon cookies that I whipped up to pair with this number.

Pale straw yellow liquid happiness to kiss bad days away.

Pale straw yellow liquid happiness to kiss bad days away.

Now when it comes to pairing, goat cheese always jumps out at me when I have a glass of Chardonnay. What better way to make use of these lemons, than to combine them with the things that make me happy. Now I know, lemon...you think hella tart and sour. You are quite right. But don't worry, these cookies are as balanced as the wine.

Cookie Ingredients

  1. 8z goat cheese, softened up
  2. 1 stick unsalted butter, soft
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. Juice of 2 lemons - save the rind for zesting if you like the tang though
  6. 2 -1/4 cup flour

Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the goat cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs
  4. Mix in the lemon juice
  5. Mix in the flour.
  6. Drop rounded balls of dough onto cookie sheets. balls should be about quarter size
  7. Bake for 7-8 minutes until set. Cookies should not brown and will not spread very much. They will stay light in color and poofy.
I added a little lemon zest on top of some of my cookies to make things a little prettier.

I added a little lemon zest on top of some of my cookies to make things a little prettier.

A little bite of heaven with a little sip of Chardonnay. Baking and Boozing. 

They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I think what I did is better. But that's just me.

Goldeneye - 2013 Anderson Valley - Pinot Noir

Pinot. Pinot Noir.

Did you say that like James Bond? Because the winery is Goldeneye and if you didn't think 007 then I just don't know what to think of you.

My friends, I found a new favorite pinot. I feel like I say that about every other Pinot Noir that I come across. But I have officially narrowed it down. COOL WEATHER pinot noir is my favorite of the pinot, and this Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is truly GOLDEN - and so is the label!

This wine takes your taste buds on a total trip.

SIP...blackberries and cherries...earthy leathery stuff....FINISH...woody? 

Not acidic. Slightly tannic. 

That cool coastal terrain in the Mendocino area is so key.

Each and every sip makes you feel wise, sophisticated, and sexy.  It makes me want to swirl the wine glass and make sultry eyes at someone across the room. 

Why yes, I sipped away while sitting by a fire place. A wine like this deserves some ambiance. At $55 a bottle, with my broke ass budget, you better believe that I am making an event out of drinking it. (And yes, it is cold enough where I am for this toasty vibe.)

It is worth every penny, and you can find it at Bevmo and most online retailers or straight from the winery. 

I cannot wait to try more pinot from Goldeneye. If they are anything like this vintage, then I may have found the sexiest pinots of all.

Cheers all you sexy people! 

Stephen & Walker - Dry Creek Zinfandel - 2012

Indian summer has arrived. The fog has been creeping in every morning and running down the streets in the evening. Golden Gate Park looks creepy and I'm back in layers and sipping on Stephen & Walker Dry Creek Zin. 

I'm not going to lie...I joined this wine club when I was a bit drunk so getting my first shipment of wine was a box of surprises- pleasant surprises! I'm a sucker for a zinfandel that I can pair with barbeque and by golly, this wine does the trick.

Just having a sip on the stoop while watching those low, low clouds cover my neighborhood.

Just having a sip on the stoop while watching those low, low clouds cover my neighborhood.

Love the details in this label so much!

But really, this zin was layered with flavors of deep blackberries and baking spice notes. A lot of spice but a round finish that hugs your mouth. A mouth hug. Sounds weird. But so be it. 

Fair warning- this bottle will get you DRUNK. 15.5% alcohol over here. I split this bottle with a friend and didn't expect to have the wine giggles before the bottle was empty. I'm a light weight, but this hit hard and fast. I recommend pairing with carbs. My carb of choice: barbeque chicken pizza. 

Oh hell yeah, I added pineapples to this. Pretty sure that killed the pairing, but YOLO.

Also, this comes in at $39 a bottle. Treat Yourself to a night of take out and moderately priced wine on a foggy night. I promise you won't regret it. 

Truvee - Rosé - 2015

Another summer Saturday and another bottle of rosé...this time...a bottle of 2015 Truvee Rosé. 

Look who is pretty in the lightest of pinks.

Look who is pretty in the lightest of pinks.

We opened this bottle in the heat of Discovery Bay while floating and paddle boarding in the delta. We kept this as chilled as we could to compete with the sun that was bearing down on us, but over chilling it still didn't tame the characteristics in each sip.

The initial sip hits you heavy with sweet fruitiness- strawberry and raspberry right out the door. And a strong acidic finish. The combo makes you go AHHHH. It is light and refreshing for those who find themselves outside and in need of a boozy beverage. 

Broken Earth - Chardonnay - 2013

I've been basking in a lot of bubbles and rosé so I thought I would shake things up with some Broken Earth 2013 Chardonnay. That was an earthquake pun.

bechard2013

Now this is actually not what I would call the most summer-y of wines. Maybe save this for fall. Or maybe just drink whatever you want, whenever you want, because you feel like it. But this chardonnay has a lot of depth! I swear I got notes of cantaloupe on the nose, followed by citrus on the tongue that is rounded off with a nice oakiness/butteriness reminiscent of your traditional California chardonnay. SUCH LAYERS! (and you wear layers in the fall...I'm just trying to prove my point about this being a fall wine.)

This darling runs at $18 a bottle which is a solid win in my book. This leaves me a little scratch to maybe get some brie which is my favorite cheese to pair with almost any chardonnay. 

But despite my insistance this might be more of a fall wine...I enjoyed it poolside....in 95 ° F. Like I said. You drink what you want when you want to. 

Hot, hot heat making this little glass looks sweaty but oh so sun kissed 

Hot, hot heat making this little glass looks sweaty but oh so sun kissed 

J Dusi - Zinfandel - 2014

There are few things I love more than a barbecue with my friends. Most people associate beer with a barbecue, but can beer bring out the marinade in your tri-tip? Can it enhance the sauce on your ribs?...Well, I'm sure there are some beers that can, but screw that. We poured a bottle of 2014 J Dusi Zinfandel this weekend for those of us who prefer an higher alcohol content in our beverages.

This zin was bright and fruity which made it great for sipping before the food was done grilling, and continued to work as we ate our meal. Tons of cranberry flavors squished in here. Red fruit all around. 

A small pour before dinner...or maybe what is left of a giant pour since it is placed in the corn hole danger zone! 

A small pour before dinner...or maybe what is left of a giant pour since it is placed in the corn hole danger zone! 

A little peek at what was cooking on the grill!

A little peek at what was cooking on the grill!

This $38 bottle was a great fit to our meat filled meal. The fruit matched well with the juice of the steak and the rub that we used brought out the spice notes at the finish of the wine. This is another fun number from Paso Robles, and I am very impressed! Not very tannic or bold, but it was certainly a crowd pleaser and easy drinker. 

Didn't serve this in the proper glass, but does it really matter when you are in the backyard?

Didn't serve this in the proper glass, but does it really matter when you are in the backyard?

Giant glass and bottle or tiny little table? 

Giant glass and bottle or tiny little table? 

It is a bit pricey for your basic backyard barbecue, but if you want to spoil your friends and family a little bit, this isn't a bad choice! 

14 Hands- Hot To Trot - Columbia Valley 2013

This Wednesday, I had no will to leave my apartment. Even the lure of my favorite wine bar couldn't get me out of my sweatpants. The evening was crying out for two things that cost me as much as one glass of wine at a bar.

Kraft Mac n Cheese and a bottle of Hot to Trot.

Dinner for One. 

Dinner for One. 

My best friend discovered this wine on sale for $6 one day a couple years ago, and we haven't stopped buying it ever since. Typically, it is about $10 a bottle, but you can find it at Trader Joe's for $7 on the regular. 

When you pop the cork, let this one breathe for a bit. If you have a decanter, use it. Decanters make everything fancier anyway. Trust me on this one. When this wine opens up, it shows the most depth I've found in a bottle of wine on the lower grocery shelves. (Shame on grocery store for making me bend over to pick it up.)

The first notes of this wine when you open it up are dark fruits. The dark fruits are easily currants and cherries- frankly, they slap you across the tongue. The wine is smooth and mild with the tannins. And while I do love the fruit in this wine, my favorite part of this wine is the finish. The finish is that of leather and baking spices. It is one of the most comforting combinations to me. I can't help but snuggle up when I drink a glass of this wine. It is dark, but welcoming and warm. Hot to Trot, you little seductress, your name is oh so fitting.

Pairing this deep purple treasure with a $1 box of pasta is probably appalling to most. But I feel like combining a favorite drink from my adult life with my favorite dinner as a child is a happy meeting of the memories.

 

 

2015 - Buena Vista - Count's Selection Pinot Gris

The weather in San Francisco has been nothing short of dreamy.  Sunny and breezy and 70 degrees. So me and an old friend from my hometown grabbed a bottle of wine and took a quick stroll to Golden Gate Park.

Yes, I live a 5 minute walk from the most glorious park and yes, we drink in public because...everyone here does. We just do. Because we are hardcore like that.

We twisted open this Buena Vista Pinot Gris. I've been a member of the Buena Vista Wine Club for awhile now and so I got this baby for less than the $25 that it typically costs. But $25 isn't bad for a picnic wine especially if you want to impress those sharing your blanket.

This bottle didn't stand a chance against two winos from the valley. RIP delicious friend.

This bottle didn't stand a chance against two winos from the valley. RIP delicious friend.

I thought this would be dry. I've always thought of Pinot Gris as a bit too dry for my liking but this was well balanced.  This wine was fruity and round, but limey-zesty at the finish. Honestly, it reminded me of a 7 Up at the finish with the limeness of it. When they say citrus for this wine, I say lime.

But what I really love about this wine is the sweetness that reminds me of the most ripe peaches and nectarines. Not that slight tartness you sometimes get from the skin of a nectarine, but the squishy insides of fruit. The fruit that has been on the tree forever and somehow hasn't been murdered by a bird or bug. It is the first flavor you get when you sip the wine, and it lingers into the refreshing zest at the finish.

The wine looks incredibly delicate for the amount of body that it has. When I see wines this light in hue, I tend to expect a light body. This one surprised me with a nice medium body feel. Just what I like! I'm going to be real, I have no idea what to call this color: excessively light straw? nearly platinum blonde? hydrated person tinkle? If you know, tell me, I would appreciate it.

I almost always love a wine from Buena Vista, and this Pinot Gris is no exception!

A little glass sitting on a bench...just waiting for the one who will pick them up and take them.

A little glass sitting on a bench...just waiting for the one who will pick them up and take them.

But really....what do you call this color? 

But really....what do you call this color? 

Pinot Gris facilitating conversations about Game of Thrones, 4th of July plans, & the Warriors.

Pinot Gris facilitating conversations about Game of Thrones, 4th of July plans, & the Warriors.

 

 

 

 

2014 MacRostie Russian River Pinot Noir

While the rest of California spent the Summer solstice melting in the heat, I spent the sunset walking my small San Francisco neighborhood. The Pacific Ocean keeps the evenings chilly even when the days are warm. This means that I get my Summer whites during the day and my cozy reds at night.

And this night deserved a bottle of the 2014 MacRostie Russian River Pinot Noir. 

This wine is just perfect for a slightly chilly day. I prefer it sitting on a stoop with a light jacket with a friend and long conversations. This is not a gulping wine. Shame on you if you do. This wine is plump with fruit but not overwhelmingly so. Mostly blackberries. The softness of the wine is mixed up with little tannins. In fact, if this wine were a rapper, I would call it Drake. Soft but tries to have a little bit of edge. But not near enough edge to make you remotely think of it as harsh. The tannins just add a little itty bitty dry to the palette and a wonderful spice that makes you smile with each sip. 

This is more of a shake than a swirl but that color though!

This is more of a shake than a swirl but that color though!

This runs at $42.00 a bottle and is not something you generally find chilling out on your grocery store shelf, but is definately worth hunting down if you are Pinot Noir fiend such as myself. 

And just to set my sipping setting for the other night, here are a few snapshots of my stroll.

Rosé de Robles- Summer in a Glass

Summer time means rosé. 

It's mid-June and not even officially summer, but I have tossed back more pink wine than I would like to admit. I can't get enough. I apologize in advance for possibly only blogging rosé reviews for the next month.

So to kick off our summer sipping, I give you Robert Hall's 2015 Rosé de Robles. This is a blend of all things sunshine but specifically, 42% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 11% Mouvedre and 6% Counoise. I'm going to be honest, I'm not even sure what each one of these grapes are, but heaven help me, I love 'em.

This delight is dryyyyy. The dryness of this wine made it perfect for enjoying on the warm and muggy beach in Honolulu. (Not to brag...but a little bragging.)

A friend has aptly renamed this wine as a "fru-grigio". 

Frugrigio: noun: fro͞o-grē-j(ē-)ō : Frugrigio is a wine that is a rosé but tastes as if someone shoved a massive amount of fruit into a bottle of pinot grigio. 

Each sip tastes like wine filled strawberries. It is a pleasant sweet that doesn't make you sick to your stomach, and begs for one too many glasses to be had at a time.

And the price point makes it just as sweet. I got my bottles for $10 each. Some grocery stores have it shelved for around $15 a bottle. STILL NOT BAD. You can buy direct from the winery and often times, they sell it for a bargain when you buy in bulk. But really, 6 bottles of wine? I wouldn't call that bulk. I would call it a small party.

 

 

Sunset & Chardonnay

Rodney Strong Sonoma Coast 2013 Chard

San Francisco - typically a haven for fog and perpetual temperatures in the 60s- had a magical rarity where the sun blazed through the marine layer and graced us with glorious heat. This made for a perfect wine Wednesday at Ocean Beach.

I rounded up a few of my overworked friends and we hopped the bus to the beach just in time for one of the most gorgeous sunsets that California has to offer. This light chardonnay was a delightful pairing with such a sight.

This wine is fairly light and nicely rounded on the finish. It has a lot of fun tropical notes with a slight hint of oak but definitely leans more towards a French-y steely taste. It was bright and citrus-like (I feel like that is a standard chardonnay thing to say). This wine was refreshing with the heat but stood up to the salty air and cool ocean breeze. Not exactly buttery. Not dry. Not sweet but pleasantly fruity.

This gem runs around $25.00 a bottle at full price and received 95 points from Wine Spectator (if you are into arbitrary number ratings like me.). 

This is a solid beach or park wine especially for those who aren't the biggest fans of Sav Blancs or drier whites that people tend to gravitate towards for outdoor boozing.

Now...to really show you how we enjoyed this wine...Enjoy sunset from Ocean Beach, San Francisco with me and my friends.

Emeritus- 2013 Hallsberg Pinot Noir

I'm still on my Pinot Noir bender. I can't get over the complexity and layers that this stuff can pack. No longer the weaker red that I used to think of it as, but I digress. 

Let's talk about this Emeritus Pinot from Hallsberg. 

Behold! Pinot with a Painting because I had nothing else for a background. 

Behold! Pinot with a Painting because I had nothing else for a background. 

This bottle currently takes about $40 out of your pocket. Not cheap but not the most expensive. 

When you first take a sip of this, it is like....POW TARTNESS...if you enjoy that sort of tongue slapping flavor profile...chug immediately upon opening. For those who don't enjoy that, like myself, let this baby sit and open up for a bit. A decanter would be a good friend to you with this wine.

Now after giving this juice some time, sip and you still get hit with berries. I would venture to say the sweet and tartness of cranberries. Personally, I say yum to that. After you get the berries, the wine rolls into mellow oak spices and baking spices. The wine is not too light but definitely not heavy at all. Not too dry or tannic either.  

I really wish I could have had this around Thanksgiving with some turkey and stuffing and all the fixin's, but since it was a lazy girl's friday night, I drank this with olive infused goat cheese and prosciutto. The goat cheese made the wine less tart and I just eat prosciutto whenever I can for any reason at all so I really can't give a fair assessment of how it paired...because in my world proscuitto pairs with all things.

and to conclude- more pictures for your viewing pleasure and more about the winery that I got this wine from here

BOX WINE- Labor Day 2015 review of Bota Box

Box Wine...need I say more? 

Actually, I do.

Because this Labor Day weekend, we hauled over to Discovery Bay for some Wakeboarding and Tubing action and since I felt as if a glass bottle of wine MIGHT be some sort of hazard, I promptly purchased a box o' wine for the drinkin'.

Since college, the go to box has been Franzia . But something pulled me away from the tried and true...and brought me face to face with Bota Box.

Hello my $15 friend!

Hello my $15 friend!

This box was MADE for ADVENTURE. I mean they demand hipster adventuring with their packaging that is 100% recycleable and BPA free!

But really, the box was MUCH smaller than the other boxes of wine especially for containing FOUR bottles worth of Chardonnay goodness. Perfect for cramming it in our cooler that was already too full of Coors Light and other things that I pretentiously refuse to drink.

The box was easy to open. I didn't have to stab it or punch it: Easy-peasy. And the nozzle- pushy thing, wasn't a hassle either. 

And for the taste, I was pleasantly surprised. This chardonnay is much lighter than you would expect...kinda like the Coors Light of wine box wine. Just incredibly light. It had no bitterness like I expect most box wines to have either. Not too oak-y and definitely lots of yummy melon and citrus notes. Now just because I say it is light, fair warning...it still packs that wine level punch with 13.0% alcohol. 

Frankly, this bag of delight got thrown back faster than any of the beer. This is saying a lot because I was only self proclaimed wine lover aboard. The perfect booze for our boat day in the 95 degree heat.

Would I buy this wine again? 

TOTALLY. 

I'm not about to take my best bottles out on these adventures and it looks like I found the box bound companion for my future.

Ladies and Gentlemen...this is how to properly handle your Bota Box. Perfect for high speeds, sunshine, and like their website so perfectly says... ADVENTURE.

Ladies and Gentlemen...this is how to properly handle your Bota Box. Perfect for high speeds, sunshine, and like their website so perfectly says... ADVENTURE.

 

Tom, You do Chardonnay right.

I love Chardonnay. Call me "basic" or whatever you like, but I love it. And that is all there is to it.

Typically, I prefer a steel barrel but Tom...TOM does Oak Chardonnay in a way that I cannot resist.

And by Tom, I am referring to Tom Maas of Pear Valley Winery in Paso Robles.

AND even more specifically Tom's Oak Chardonnay (2013).

This dream maintains a lightness that is perfect on a warm breezy day. Personally, I prefer it with a sea breeze but I'm spoiled.

This Chardonnay isn't crispy in my opinion. Duh. Oak. But here is what makes this so delightful...It's got the full bodied fun of an oaked wine but maintains those wonderful lighter fruit flavors like apples and pears. 

I don't chill this as much as other whites because I think the flavors and smells really come alive when it isn't served up as cold. Less of that "white" wine taste and more actual flavors.

And if my word isn't good enough, this gem sells out FAST. I bought 6 bottles during my last trip to the Central Coast.  It runs at $22 a bottle, but I have a friend in the Pear Valley wine club so HELLO DISCOUNT!  

Here's to the lightest Oak Chardonnay I know!

Cheers!

Kalimotxo

I don't love every wine I drink especially when it comes to red wine. I often try to pawn off those poor rejected bottles to guests and friends but often feel a tinge of guilt that I'm serving up something that I personally can't even swallow. 

But apparently years ago (since the 1970s), the Basque party people in Spain already had the solution to my problem of refusing to waste even my reject reds.

The answer: KALIMOTXO

It's quite simple: 50/50 red wine and cola.

Both just stirred together and served over ice and in a mason jar for an ultra hipster effect.

That's it. Not even kidding. And dear lawd, it is delicious. Imagine yourself sitting by the pool cramming a burger in your face with this to wash it down. Perfect.

The wine cuts the fizzy of the soda down where it's still bubbly but not burp inducing and the combo of wine and cola creates an extra special cherry soda (at least with the wine I mixed). 

Mix, drink, enjoy, repeat!

Happy end of Summer!