Archive for December, 2014

The Artistry of Shiraz

Taylors Wines' Blog

Shiraz is undoubtedly one of our favourite varieties here at Taylors Wines. There’s a luscious allure to this ancient red, which has the ability to either stand in magnificent solitude or to blend with others in perfect symmetry. Botanical genealogy traces the first Shiraz (or Syrah) vines to the pairing of two obscure grapes in the Rhone region of south-east France. It was in the upper segment of the Rhone that Shiraz first blossomed in winemaking, with vintners from 500BC onwards discovering the deliciously round and fruit-focused flavours of this versatile red wine. Folklore, however, would have us see the precious Shiraz vine being spirited back from the same-named Persian city during the Crusades circa 1200AD – prized spoils from the East as it were. But genetic science doesn’t tend to back up this rather romantic version of Shiraz’s provenance. Still, you never know for sure in wine lore!

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the 2014 grapey gift guide – non-wine goodies!

grapefriend

It’s back! Your guide to all the grapiest gifts, fit to be gifted to you or yours.

jingle bell wine stopper

121595985

Adorable – it actually jingles! The perfect little happy sound when you’re re-opening a bottle. $24 from C Wonder here.

wine sriracha

wine sriracha

Most people pair wine with food – these grapefriends put it right in the food! Spicy sriracha has really had its moment recently. I was never a huge fan until I had this wine-infused one. Jojo’s made two kinds, one with Ravenswood Zinfandel and one with the Petite Sirah. $14 here 0r $22 with the wine here.

mondavi wine-dyed shirt

mondavi crawford denim shirt

The limited-production Robert Mondavi Private Selection x Crawford Denim Vintner Shirt has super cool wine-dyed fabric accents on the collar and cuffs. They hand-dyed it with Mondavi’s Heritage Red blend, which is made from mostly Syrah and Merlot, with some Zinfandel, Thompson Seedless, and Petite Sirah. The shirt’s $135 here.

grapey jerky

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Reminder – Tasting Notes Radio Podcast

I just wanted to remind you that you can subscribe to Tasting Notes Radio Podcast on both Stitcher Radio and through the ITunes Store.

Be sure to tell your friends about this fun wine and beer podcast

Tasting Notes Radio on Stitcher

Tasting Notes Radio on Itunes

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The wonderful world of social media #wine

These guys do a fantastic job of social media. Keeps all of us working harder.

The Wine Wankers

The Wine Wankers as we appear on Instagram (click for more detail) The Wine Wankers as we appear on Instagram (click for a more detailed image)

It’s only been just over a year since we were encouraged by other bloggers to venture out into the wild world of Twitter. A brave move it was. We had no idea what we were in for. Initially it just seemed crazy. We couldn’t get our heads around it all and after a couple of weeks we almost threw in the towel. Lucky we didn’t give up because we’ve now got almost 120,000 people following us on Twitter. It’s still crazy but social media #wine works for us!

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Holiday Gifts

This a great post on Holiday Gifts. I wish I had written it.

Charles Scicolone on Wine

Other than a great bottle of wine, here are some books that I would highly recommend for your favorite wine and food lover this holiday season.

The Italian Vegetable Cookbook, $22IMG_6656

Michele Scicolone is the author of 20 cookbooks. Among them is the best selling “The Italian Slow Cooker.” There are 200 recipes in the book, which come from home cooks, chefs, produce vendors and vineyard owners throughout Italy, as well as family specialties handed down from her grandparents.   Beautiful full color photographs throughout. Amazon reviewers all give this book 5 Star reviews. I personally taste tested these recipes and can highly recommend them!

Italian Wine NotesIMG_6648

Gary Grunner and Bob Lipinski, $12.50 Paperback

Gary Grunner has worked in the wine and spirits industry for over 25 years. He has a passion for Italian wines and is the recipient of the Italian Trade Commission’s Distinguished Service Award for the…

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Podcast #5 – Wine Tasting 101 and J Sparking Wines

Welcome back to Tasting Notes Radio, today we are going to cover a number of subjects.  First off we are going to go back to Wine Tasting 101 and talk about how to taste wine.  Then we are going to look at the differences between Champagne and Sparkling wines. Finally we are going to talk about two fantastic Sparkling Wines from J Vineyard and Winery.

WWW.TASTINGNOTESRADIO.COM

 

 

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Wine Tasting 101 and J Sparking Wines

Welcome back to Tasting Notes Radio, today we are going to cover a number of subjects.  First off we are going to go back to wine tasting 101 and talk about how to taste wine.  Then we are going to look at the differences between Champagne and Sparkling wines. Finally we are going to talk about two fantastic Sparkling Wines from J Vineyard and Winery out of Healdsburg California.

There are two ways to taste wine, and in my opinion both are correct.   And both have their place out there. Let’s start with the more complex style.

  1. Pour the wine into a wine glass. Now for you who have trouble with this, this means no Styrofoam, plastic, or mason jars. This is a glass shaped like a bowl, and in most cases has a stem running off the bottom. Fill the glass about 1/3 of the way up.
  2. Place it to your nose and smell the aromas
  3. Now swirl the glass in your hand. It is not uncommon for someone to swirl it by placing the base on a table top and moving it in a circular motion. Also be very very careful doing this while next to someone you’re trying to impress or wearing white.
  4. Bring the glass again to your nose and smell the aromas that have opened up. Really get your nose into the glass
  5. Now drink a little, holding it in your mouth
  6. Swirl it around so all your taste buds experience it.
  7. Now with the wine still in your mouth suck a little air in over the top of your mouth. This will help you get the full flavor. It also can give you an idea of how much alcohol is in the wine by the intensity of the heat
  8. Now if you’re drinking is the time to swallow it. If you taste a large number of wines, you might want to spit it out into a container. This is a very acceptable practice at tasting rooms and wineries around the world

Now the less complex way to taste wine

  1. Again pour about 1/3 of a glass with wine in it.
  2. Now take the mouthful you want
  3. Swallow
  4. Let’s face it sometimes we just get too fancy and forget, it’s just grape juice.

Be as complex as you really want to be.  However if you start doing the more complex style too much, before long you will find yourself doing it with everything in a glass. I caught myself once swirling a glass of Coke, and even a beer or two. Trust me …weird looks from people.

Enjoy the wine, that’s the most important part of it all.

champagne-department-mapBefore we get started let’s talk about the term Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Simply put all Champagne is Sparkling Wine. However all Sparkling Wine is not Champagne. The simple difference is Champagne, must come from the Champagne region which is about 90 miles outside of Paris.  Most wineries acknowledge this and call their wine by the accurate title. In the United States this is something that is not enforced and you will see wines called Chablis, Champagne, and Burgundy and so on. It is perfectly legal, though in my opinion not ethical, to name an American Wine after a foreign location.  The next time you order Chianti, is it really from Tuscany, or is it from the Central Valley of California.

 

 

So let’s talk about wine. Today I am going to talk to you about “J” sparkling wine. Now as we approach the holidays, New Year’s Eve, College Bowl Game Wins, and the Super Bowl; this is a great time to enjoy sparkling wine.  However any time is a great time for sparkling. Today younger people are drinking more Sparkling Wine that their parents. In fact 36 % of Gen Xers drink Sparkling Wine more frequently than Baby Boomers at 22%.

J Brut Rose

J Brut Rose

Let’s talk about two exceptional Sparkling Wines today. The first wine is the J Brut Rose NV which comes from the Russian River Valley. This is a fantastic wine at $38.00. The Brut Rose is a light red color, with a lovely floral bouquet. Plenty of Cherries and Strawberries overtones in this well balanced wine. The finish is amazing as it lingers for an amazing time. The J Brut Rose is a blend of hand harvested grapes; 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier.

BLEND: 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier.
APPELLATION: Russian River Valley
HARVEST DATE: NV
WINE ALCOHOL: 12.53% by volume
WINE ACID: 9.3 g/L
WINE PH: 3.12
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 1.15%
CASES PRODUCED: 10,000
RELEASE DATE: July 2013

 
J Cuvee 20The second wine from “J” is the J Cuvee 20 Brut which comes from Sonoma County. This wine has a suggested retail price of $28.00 and is worth every penny. This wine has a beautiful clear color. The Cuvee 20 is extremely fresh and full body with tons of citrus flavors such as grapefruit and lemons. Like the Brut Rose these grapes were all hand harvested.  It has a blend of 54% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir and 2% Pinot Meunier. This is an outstanding sparkling wine at an amazing price point for the quality. Don’t miss out on the J Cuvee 20 Brut.

BLEND: 54% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir and 2% Pinot Meunier
APPELLATION: Sonoma
HARVEST DATE: NV
WINE ALCOHOL: 12.53% by volume
WINE ACID: 8.9 g/L
WINE PH: 3.23
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 1.40 %
CASES PRODUCED: 30,000
Be sure to check out the podcast on the Itunes Store and on Stitcher.

If you have a negative comment or a suggestion, please email directly at info@tastingnotesradio.comand perhaps it is something we can look at. You can also follow on Twitter @tastingradio. Additionally you can follow me on the Untappd beer app and Delectable wine app both for Iphone.

 You can also join this blog by clicking “Follow Me” on the side. Your comments are always welcome.

 

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