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Showing posts from December, 2010

Pacific Rim White Flowers Sparkling Riesling NV

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This is the must have bubbly for tonight!


Yes, this is a Washington State sparkling Riesling. Pacific Rim, a Riesling focused winery, was originally located in California, but is now located in West Richland, Washington about a 10 minute drive from my home. They moved here because the grapes are grown here. Makes sense to me. The grapes used in this sparkler are from their Selenium Vineyard — located north of the Yakima River at an elevation of almost 1000 feet.

Riesling is not a traditional varietal for sparkling wine. You might even expect this wine to be over the top sweet, but it's not. This is a gorgeous, dry, crisp, lovely bubbly wine. It has a fragrant floral nose, which leads to a mouth full of crisp apple flavor and a snappy finish. I've already enjoyed two bottles of this wine in the last week. I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy some too.

Although reasonably priced at $16 on their Web site, you may be able to find it for less locally (I certainly did). However…

Staton Hills 1995 Merlot

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I won’t be surprised if you don’t know this label. 

In 1999 the Staton Hills Winery was purchased by the Chalone Group (now Diageo Chateau & Estate Wine), and the name was changed to Sagelands Winery. Staton Hills Winery originally opened in 1984. Located just south of Yakima, my wife and I used to visit Staton Hills on the way to and from Seattle. I recall tasting there on a Thanksgiving weekend, large Christmas tree, roaring fire, a lovely sparkling wine and Pinot. This bottle of Merlot has resided in our wine fridge for more than a decade. Christmas day, my wife decided it was time to open it. No, I was not consulted.

We were in a hurry to visit friends for Christmas dinner, so lacking time to consider a glass, I had a quick taste and spit. At first I thought the wine had turned, it seemed quite sharp/acidic tasting and very thin. On day two, I changed my opinion of this older wine.

The next day and for the following few days, I reconsidered this 1995 Washington Merlot. It is s…

Columbia-Crest Grand Estates 2007 Syrah

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My first impression after a glass of this wine was,
“This is what the color purple tastes like.”


If you read my posts, then you know that I favor Syrah, I favor odd year vintages and I favor a great deal. The Columbia Crest Grand Estates 2007 Syrah is all that and more.

I used my Rabbit Wine Aerating Pourer to pour this lovely dark wine. When I stuck my nose in the glass, I got a whiff of asphalt after a summer shower; the aroma gradually shifted to root beer with an underlying heady aroma of earth, candied violets and cedar. This wine has a lovely mouth feel and good weight, cola, blueberry and a pinch of tarragon, balanced acidity, pleasantly dry, good finish which lingers pleasingly, not hot at 13.5% alcohol. Well done Columbia Crest, this vintage is drinking grand.

I found this wine selling locally for only $8.99. Go buy some and find out what the color purple tastes like. It’s the season of giving, so send some bottles my way. Recommended.

Cheers!

Just for Fun Gifts

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If you are like me, then you are still out shopping for Christmas gifts. Naturally, I do most of my shopping on the computer. Not meaning to, I've stumbled across several wine related gifts I had to share.

Games for the Wine "Expert"
The following games are for fans of wine over the age of 21. Any of these gifts will give the players the chance to show off their knowledge of wine (or lack of). Read reviews at the bottom of product page for an idea of how the games are played.

Wine Wars: A Trivia Game for Wine Geeks and Wannabes: This game is described by the publisher as "..fun and fascinating trivia game tests your knowledge of the fruit of the vine. Let the battle begin as players answer questions in categories such as Vine to Vino (growing grapes, making wine, and world production), Wine Cellar (selecting, storing, and tasting wine), and Cork Culture (wine people, business, arts and science, and trivia). Perfect for those new to the world of wine, but challenging e…

Giving Wine Gifts

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You Can Always Gift Wine

Let's not forget, one of the best wine gifts is a gift of wine, one you personally enjoy. My first impulse is to gift someone a bottle of wine for their birthday, anniversary or house warming. Many of Washington States fine wineries provide convenient online purchasing options from their Web sites. If you can't purchase the wine online, then call the winery to see if they are able sell and ship direct to you or your friends.

If you have time to browse this site, then you should be able to find something you or your friends will enjoy. I  usually provide links direct to the wineries Web page when I review or mention the wines I enjoy.

Good luck, Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings and most of all Cheers!

Gifts for the Wine Traveler

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This Holiday Guide is for the Wine Tourist

When I was still working for a winery, I met many travelers from around the USA and the world. One of their most frequent concerns was how to travel safely with their precious cargo. Here are some suggestions for you wine tourists.


Travel Wine Protector - Set Of 2 price $13: While I've never used these, I've met people who swear by them. Whether you're traveling by air, road or sea, these very affordable wine protectors may not only protect your precious wine, but may also protect your clothing when you stash those bottles in your suitcase (I don't advise traveling with wine in your luggage, but you know you do it).


WineDiaper Padded Absorbent Bag, Set of 3price $9: I just discovered this product. While I'm not a fan of the name "WineDiaper", the reviews are very positive, you cannot argue with the price and you can re-use it! That's win-win in my book.


BottleWise Duo TX price $75: The image tells the story, a c…