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Archive for August, 2014

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My birthday was this past weekend and in the lead up to the occasion some friends and family asked what I wanted. There’s not much that I can think of other than wine and clothes. I replied with my favorite NJ wines, which are easy to rattle off! However, with a friend visiting from out of state and family located all over NJ, I realized that it may not be easy for them to get these wines. Other than NJ wines, I don’t know of too many others to suggest. As far as white wines go, I enjoy Kendall Jackson with sushi. I also like Bogle and Toasted Head Chardonnay. One of my usual go to’s is a German Sweet Red made from Dornfelder grapes. I think it’s called, Weingut Fritz Windisch Heimersheimer Rotenfels Dornfelder – there’s no way I can say that, but I know what the bottle looks like. I realized I really need to try more wines to diversify my palate and so I know what to look for in the stores when they don’t have my preferred Jersey wines.

With this revelation, I decided to add a new feature to NJ Wine with Me called Wines of the World. Once a month, I will try a completely new wine that I’ve never had before and let you know what I think it tastes like. Hopefully, my thoughts can help you determine if these wines are worth a try. If you try it or tried it, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

For the first installment of Wines of the World, I tried 2 white wines by Brancott Estate in New Zealand. They are both of their Flight Song line. The first is Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc 2013. The fragrance reminded me of a Riesling, which tends to remind me of iced tea. I found the wine to be effervescent in a way. It was somewhat tingly, which gave it a refreshing quality. It seemed like it had more acidity. The Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc taste reminded me of lemon and grapefruit, which would explain the iced tea smell. The finish was slightly sour. While I experienced some fruit flavors, this was not a sweet wine. It leaned to the dryer side. I can imagine sipping this wine at a backyard party on a deck while watching fireflies bob above the grass.

The next wine was Flight Song Pinot Grigio. I liked the flavors of the Sauvignon Blanc, however, I preferred their Pinot Grigio. It went down real easy because it didn’t have the sharpness that some other Pinot Grigios have. I didn’t get as many flavors from this wine, just a touch of lemon. It didn’t have the aftertaste or tingle that I experienced in the Sauvignon Blanc. I can see myself finishing a bottle of this. If you notice in the pictures, there’s a little bit less in the Pinot Grigio bottle.

An interesting note about these wines, they are made with grapes that were harvested earlier in the Summer when natural sugar levels are lower. This enables the wine to have less calories and sugar, but remain flavorful.

After trying these, I’ll have to try some other New Zealand wines to see if the features of these wines were unique to the location or just to this vineyard. If you would like to buy these for yourself, they are for sale @ WineChaeteau.com, which is a NJ based wine retailer.

What should I try next? Any suggestions? Let me know in the comments if you try these.

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Just recently, Tom and I took part in another Old York Cellars Virtual Vines wine tasting. To attend a Virtual Vines wine tasting, you just have to sign up ahead of time to receive your wines in advance. Then, on the day of, login to Livestream to attend the live tasting session. For this Virtual Vines, we logged in at our kitchen table, where we set up our laptop and tasted the wines. I have to add that I was running late on my way home because of traffic and Tom prepared everything. I’m so lucky to have such a good husband! Appetizers were made, wines were opened, glasses poored, he took pictures, and logged into the Livestream. He also coined the term “wine selfie” – all before I came home. Check out the slideshow to see Tom’s “wine selfie.”

For this particular home wine tasting, we tried their What Exit line of wines. We sampled What Exit White, What Exit Red, and What Exit Blush. I tweeted as much as I could about our tasting experience, because each tweet generated $1 towards the Hometown Heroes organization. Hometown Heroes helps people in crisis. They also honor real heroes in the community like Old York Cellars, who is helping those in need through their fundraising efforts. Hometown Heroes, as well as the What Exit Wines line, began after Superstorm Sandy hit. Proceeds from the sales of What Exit Wines benefit recovery efforts.

What Exit White – We started with the What Exit White. It wasn’t long before it was gone! I tweeted, “We may have already finished the @WhatExitWines White. It’s that good.” This white is 90% Chenin Blanc and 10% Seyval Blanc. This was a light, crisp, and easy drinking white wine. We got hints of honey with a finish of apricot.

What Exit Blush – What Exit Blush is similar to What Exit White in that they both have 90% Chenin Blanc. Except that the remaining 10% in the Blush is Cabernet Sauvignon. The What Exit Blush is a dryer blush, not sweet or fruity like others.

What Exit Red – Old York Cellars makes some of my favorite red wines. As I said in other articles, my taste tends to lean sweet or to white wines. I am usually surprised by how much I enjoy Old York Cellars reds. What Exit Red is another one. This wine is made of 80% Merlot, 10% Barbera, and 10% Landot Noir. I loved the bouquet. I smelled fragrances of fruit and oak. This red was warm and bold. It seemed to provide heat, but it didn’t make me hot. It’s mild for reds, which may be why I like it. I got a black cherry flavor from this one.

I loved the labels on these bottles. If you love all things Jersey, you would like them too. The What Exits wines are good, but it’s also worth buying just to have this awesome label! The labels are customizable too. You can include your exit, town, or a personal message. What Exit Wines would make great, unique, and special gifts.

If you’d like to see Old York Cellars for yourself and welcome the Fall harvest, check out their upcoming Fall Harvest Festival on September 27th and 28th. They’ll have hayrides, vineyard tours, and they’ll share information about the harvest. The next Virtual Vines is taking place on September 25th. Check their website for event details.

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