Something Wicked…

Drink up, witches! It’s haunting time again. This year, I found three wines that will scare up some yummy vibes in your goblet.

Each year when I look for wines to celebrate the season, I’m drawn to those with interesting labels. On my hunt, I found there was one with a distinct tv show tie-in (eg The Walking Dead Red Blend ~ I can only imagine what’s in it…).

Many wineries put together red blends just for the holiday, which is an excellent way to conjure new fans. This year, I was possessed by wines that have singular qualities that consistently haunt my mind like a spirit.

Ok, one was a blend. 👻

Here they are, in no particularly earthly order:

Darkness Falls Red Blend

Spellbound 2016 Petite Syrah

Seven Deadly Zins 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel

Click the video below to see more about the tasting profiles, pairing options, and price points of my Halloween wine picks for 2018!

 

These are all enjoyable offerings that will look bewitching in your Halloween display, won’t behead your budget, and will pair well with any spooky party fare.

I hope you all have a ghoulishly safe and happy Halloween! 🎃

Cheers!

Copyright©️TheWineStudent, 2018

Advertisements

Treats Before Tricks!

Chocolate. Red wine. Chocolate. A perfect pairing especially at Halloween. 🎃

I been gifted a bottle of Chocolate Shop wine a while ago but I was a little skeptical. I’ve tasted chocolate flavored wine that was basically a bottle of Bailey’s Irish. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but when you want a glass of red…

This wine was very different, especially when you first open it; an immediate chocolate vibe was instantly on the nose. Ok, it passed the first test- it smelled amazing- but I was still not convinced.

Right off the bat it was very sweet, a lot more than I normally like. But as I sipped further rounder, full-bodied notes of dark cherry, stewed blackberry emerged, melding with the chocolate vibe. I experimented with it by leaving the wine to aerate for about an hour, and found the flavor evolved into a rich, pleasing dark chocolate covered cherry.

This was a very different wine for me: My preferences are for earthier, beefy red wines that have a slight whisper of chocolate, as part of their fermentation but aren’t necessarily chocolate fortified. A fortified wine has an extra element added (in this case chocolate essence) that adds sweetness or additional alcohol. This wine was a cool, decadent combination treat.

It helps to keep an open mind – and to let it breathe for a while! My only caveat is to not pair this wine with anything too sweet. Most experts agree that sweet wines paired with sweet treats can be overwhelming ~ I ate a handmade sea salt caramel with this wine, and the sugar level was way over top! Stick to some mild, slightly savory cheeses.

Finally, the best way to enjoy any wine during Halloween is with a good scary movie. I paired this wine with ‘The Lost Boys‘, a neo-classic 80’s vampire movie. 🧛‍♂️🦇

giphy

Next post: My Halloween picks for 2018! 👻🎃

Cheers!

©TheWineStudent, 2018

Top Three Valentine’s Themed Wines!

It’s the weekend before the official love day, and whether you’re just celebrating you or love divine with your partner, thoughts ultimately turn to… wine!

Much like at Halloween, I noticed many labels this year sporting a serious Valentine’s vibe.

Here are three that caught my eye.

 

 

2014 Queen of Hearts Pinot Noir

Young and fruity, this Pinot has flavors of:

• Red fruit such as: strawberry, cherry and raspberry

• Cola- yes! Like the soft drink, this wine has that bright, effervescent mouthfeel (sans bubbles) that you find in cola. It made this almost refreshing in a way.

• Silky tannins

It pairs well with:

• Pullled pork, seared salmon/tuna

Roasted chicken or duck

• Cherry flan

LO-VE Wines Garnacha

Originating in Spain, but imported and bottled in Napa, this is a 95% Grenach, 5%Tempranillo. What makes this wine unique:

  • Essences of lavender
  • Strawberry, raspberry
  • Liquorice with a hint of leather

It pairs nicely with:

  • Rich, lusty stews featuring pork or lamb
  • British pub classics such as shepherds pie, bangers and mash
  • Favorite winter go-to’s like mac and cheese

2016 Finca Pasion MiAmor Malbec Ihaven’t profiled this on my Malbec Monday posts so this was nice to find! As with most Malbecs, this features darker fruit characters with some spice and:

• Essences of plum, and a little strawberry

• Blackberry

• Clove and pepper for a little caliente

It’s dinner companions include:

• Beef or venison

• Chili con carne, fajitas, beef burritos

• Pasta bolognese or with meatballs

There are many great choices out there to help set the mood but remember this: If you can’t be with the wine you love, love the wine you’re with!

Have a fun and safe Valentine’s Day! ❤️🍷❤️

©TheWine Student, 2018

Malbec Monday!

fullsizeoutput_8733

It’s been a while for Malbec Mondays! But with it being a particularly snowy Monday here in the Cleve, I thought I’d check my cellar and to my surprise discovered a pristine 2012 Peninsula Ridge McNally Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve Malbec. Most Malbec I’ve enjoyed is cultivated within the warmer climates of Mendoza, Argentina.  So I was surprised to find that a more northern winery was including this varietal in its reprtoire.

Peninsula Ridge is located in Southern Ontario, specifically the Niagara escarpment, snuggled within what’s known as the Beamsville Bench region. The Beamsville Bench is a somewhat small but excellent appellation that provides continuous air circulation ~ cooler breezes move in off of Lake Ontario, and circulate just around the foot of the escarpment. This works to keep temperatures moderate and leads to consistent growing conditions. Its slopes are mostly north and east-facing, with smaller streams running off the escarpment that serve as a dependable water source. The soil is a complex variety of gravel, sand, shale, sandstone and limestone, which you might think would give a heavy mineral vibe, and I have noticed that in some other varietals from this region. But this wine was very fruit forward with a low mineral taste.

Malbec is typically noted for flavors of:

  • black berry
  • black plum
  • clove
  • pepper

This Malbec is a terrific example of the above flavor profile. I noticed that it had medium tannins, and a nice creaminess. It is aged in new/ one-year-old American Oak, which gives an overall stronger flavor with increased vanilla and coconut. And it tends to give a creamier texture to the wine. Over time, tannins have a tendency to dissipate which might account for moderate tannin feel in this Pen Ridge offering.

So tonight, I’m staying inside in my pj’s, a good book, a glowing fire and a nice glass of Malbec. Not a bad way to start the week.

Cheers! 🍷💋

©The Wine Student, 2018