2 Pack Salud-Sunday, July 10, 2011 & July 17, 2011

Soooo…July has been a month of visitors for us, which we LOVE!  The weekend after Robby & Elaine came, my mother (Eva…aka Meva) visited and although it wasn’t our week to do the Salud…she brought wine for us to try!  So, Meva doesn’t like to be in photos…never has, probably never will.  Needless to say, I wasn’t able to get a pic of her (at least one she’d approve of).  Just so you can get a visual, here’s a gem:

Meva along with Elaine, Robby, Josh, JD, Brantley and myself at my wedding after party.

Now, if you know my mom…she’s not much of a drinker at all (except for a little “eggnog” at Christmas and of course, the occasional margaritas).  She was super excited about this wine b/c it was something so out of the ordinary!  James actually told Phil about it and luckily enough, he had tried it before…so, he gave us a heads up that it’s definitely only good with desserts.  So, we swung by Earth Fare and each of us picked out a dessert (which we knew we were going to share with everyone else).

ChocoVine with individually selected assorted desserts.

Consumer: James, Sara & Meva

Name: ChocoVine

Region:  Holland

Grape Varietal:  Red with chocolate flavors

Vintage:  n/a

Price:  $8.95

Alcohol content:  14% ABV

Food pairing:  Assorted desserts including Tiramisu, Flourless Chocolate Cake and Coconut Creme Tart.

Color & Appearance:  Exact same color as chocolate milk.

Nose/Aroma:  Again, chocolate milk with a kick of alcohol…the alcohol is a bit overwhelming.

Mouth/Flavors:  Full, creamy flavor with alcohol-y (yes, it’s a word…even if we just made it up), bite in the back and really syrup-y (again, another word, ha).

Rating:  5 as dessert drink

Impressions:  Overwhelmingly sweet and definitely needs to be cut.  Mom had the great idea to throw some ice cubes in her’s…and her and James liked it much better.  I’m much more of a salty than sweet person (go ahead James, make your jab)…so I wasn’t too impressed.  Although, it would be great in “corrected” coffee.

Food Recommendations:  Mix with coffee (use just as you would Bailey’s or Kahlua) and if you’re not into coffee, it is better when chilled…and maybe try as ice cream?…we’ll let you know!

PART II:

So, the week after Meva visted…James’ father, Charles (aka Papa C), road tripped it to spend a weekend with us!  After a nice day hike at Roan Mountain,

James being silly and enjoying mother nature.

we spent the afternoon grillin’ and chillin’.  This week for the wine, we chose one that we discovered about 2 months ago.  James & I were actually at the liquor store and he stumbled across a discount wine section.  He found this Chardonnay that he wanted to try b/c it was unfiltered and unoaked, which intrigued him…we grabbed a bottle and tried it out.  Okay, I’m not a huge white wine fan, especially Chards.  But we fell in LOVE with this one.  We were scared we wouldn’t be able to find it again at our liquor store since it was on the discount wine rack…BUT alas, another trip a few weeks later and I found it again…on the discount wine rack, AGAIN! (score, Billy!)  So, I picked up a couple more bottles of wine.  Since it was a humid, summer day in the south…what better wine to drink?

If you’re like me…you know nothing about oaked, unoaked or filtered, unfiltered…except for the obvious meaning of the words.  I asked my good friend Google and this is what he told me: 

There are a number of reasons why some winemakers are now producing unoaked wine. One of the main reasons is consumer demand for a lighter, fruitier white wine without all of the overwhelming flavors created by oak barrels. The grapes used for white wines are especially delicate, with very complex aromatics that are often lost when the wine is stored in oak. Stainless steel containers, on the other hand, do not impart any additional flavor elements. Unoaked wine is said to emphasize the natural flavors of the grapes, along with elements of the soil in which they grew.” (source: wisegeek.com)

In modern times, many wines – especially mass-produced labels – are run through a fine-pored filter aimed at removing any tiny particles that may remain in suspension and give a hazy appearance to the finished wine.  Some wine makers, especially those at smaller, artisanal wineries, believe that this process may strip subtle aromas and flavors from the finished wine, along with the haze, and so they make their wines by more traditional processes. The clarity may suffer (although most well-made wines come out clear even without filtering), but these wines are certainly as good, and perhaps even better, than the industrial-type wines.” (source: wine-lovers-page.com)

Travis Chardonnay with Drunken Goat Cheese & Cellars at Jasper Hill Landaff Cheese & Organic Wafers

Consumer: James, Sara & Papa C

Name: Travis

Region:  Monterey

Grape Varietal:  Chardonnay, unfiltered and unoaked

Vintage:  2008

Price:  $14.99 (discounted price) 

Alcohol content:  14.33%

Food pairing:  Jerk Chicken with Pineapple-Coconut Black Beans & Rice, Grilled Okra & Baby Carrots.

another one of James' masterpieces!

Color & Appearance:  Cloudy due to unfiltered, pale honey, light champagne.

James & Papa C reviewing the color and appearance.

Nose/Aroma:  Fruity, green apple, crisp with light citrus.  It’s definitely light and inviting…definitely summery aroma.

Mouth/Flavors:  Smooth, clean, slight mango or melon on front and tart on the end.  It has a light minerality and fruity, but not sweet.

Rating:  We all agreed it was an 8.5/9 overall

Impressions:  James said he usually likes oak in his Chards, but this is rounded enough to enjoy time and time again.  It’s got an earthy, mineraly taste…which is quite attractive to me in a white wine.

Food Recommendations: Any kind of white fish: halibut, flounder or even salmon.

Thanks to Meva & Papa C for taking time to come visit us and enjoy some wine, also!  We had a blast!

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