Friday, December 30, 2011

Popping for Bubbles

With 2011 drawing to a close, (how did that happen so quickly?!), I can't but help about some of my favorite bubbles for ringing in a fresh slate. Whether you will be saboring a bottle at midnight or slowing sipping your way through many bottles on New Year's Eve, I have put together a short list of some of my favorites.

Before I dive into the list, this time of year all is a very reflective time for me as with many others I'm sure. I once read that life is lived in stages and phases. I couldn't agree with this more especially as a stage of my life is drawing to a close while many phases are also beginning. As many commit to going to the gym everyday next year, while a good goal, I know if I go twice and that will be an accomplishment, I will be focusing on living in the moment while pushing towards goals such as becoming a better wine writer for example. I'm looking forward to both my personal and profession worlds undergoing some major revamping this year and would like to thank all my readers and supporters - you're the best! I wish you all the happiness and health New Year!

Alright, with the mushy stuff out of the way, here are my recommended bottles to pop:

Gruet Sauvage Brut - The most amazing wines to come out of New Mexico - seriously. This sparkling is full of green apple, citrus and flowers. Dry and crisp and retailing for around $17 it doesn't get much better than this outside of the Champagne region of France. And while you are at it, check out their Chenin Blanc - it rocks!

Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc - Rachel Zoe would either love or hate me for saying this but "I die" for this sparkling. If there is only one bottle to open as the new year approaches, this is it.

Cristalino Cava Brut - The best "cheap" bubbles out there if you ask me. Add a scope of your favorite sorbet for a fruity dessert or pre-party aperitif.

Anything Mumm - cause she knows best ;)

Gratien and Meyer Saumur Rose: Who says you can't drink summer in the dead of winter?! This unique sparkling is made from Cabernet France and Grolleau grapes. Crisp and delicious any time of year.

Have a great time celebrating and see you next year!

Charlotte :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wine for Whisk(e)y

No, don't worry, I'm not abandoning wine for whisk(e)y...well not yet anyways. But let me ask you, what generally comes to mind when you think Japan? Cherry blossoms? Sushi? Memoirs of a Geisha? (even though that wasn't very accurate). Perhaps even sake comes to mind but how about single malt whisky? Yeah, that's right, the Scots may not be too thrilled, but I am!

After surviving a fairly debilitating cold last week, I managed to feel better just in time for the Women and Whiskies event. (Good timing right ;)) Finding myself smashed among too many people in the a small yet sleek sushi joint I was thrilled to start tasting some whiskies.
The highlight of the night was the Japanese whisky made by Suntory. Having set up shop in 1923 making them  the oldest Japanese distillery, they really know what they are doing. The 12-year old Yamazaki single malt whisky was subtle, smooth and almost evaporated from your tongue.  Having been matured in three different kinds of oak; American, Spanish, Japanese, the roundness of flavors were evident. Tasting of dried fruits, honey and toast. If you love peat this may not be the whisky for you, however, the subtly of this whiskey made for some easy sippin'.

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The 17 year old Suntory Hibiki blended whisky was also a must try. Sitting at higher price point around $90, this sleek bottle looking like a large perfume bottle was by no means lacking scents. With more baking spice aromas than the Yamazaki and also a fuller mouthfeel, this whisky would be the perfect gift for any whisk(e)y lover.

Other noteworthy whiskies were Russell's Reserve 10 year old Bourbon and the Glen Grant Speyside 10 year old single malt scotch. I have to admit I skipped right over the Wild Turkey, even if it was the 18 year old "classier" version than the corner store special we drank in college, I'm not sure if it was memory lane I didn't want to visit or rather the unpleasant hangover-ville, either way, the turkey stayed out of my glass.

To check out Women and Whiskies events happening in your neck of the woods, find them on Facebook for more information.

In the meantime, let me know if you plan to drink any whiskies this holiday season.

Charlotte :)