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Archive for the ‘Wines of the World’ Category

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How cool is wine run by women? Total gender bias here, but I like supporting and empowering women and I like wine. I recently had the opportunity to try STLTO wines. Apparently, this company is run entirely by women and the brand is geared towards ladies. The letters on the label are intended to celebrate female qualities. The abbreviation stands for sophisticated, timeless, lavish, trendy, and outstanding.

Here’s what I thought of some STLTO wines:

STLTO Pinot Grigio – This wine was buttery at first and sharp on the finish. It presented a woody taste that was similar to the flavor of chardonnay, but it still had the typical characteristics of a pinot grigio. Tom and I both liked it.

STLTO Merlot – I brought this wine to a dinner at my sister’s place. I was too busy drinking this wine that I forgot to snap a picture of it! That bottle didn’t stand a chance. Only a splash was left over. My sister, Kristen, was looking forward to drinking more the following night and she was sad that there was only a little left. She’s a red fan, so that speaks volumes to me. Kristen said it wasn’t as dry as other merlots. This wine reminded her of a cabernet sauvignon, which she usually enjoys. I really liked it and would buy it again. It was a smooth red. Sometimes reds are bitter for me and hard to swallow. This red went down easy, maybe too easy. I captured flavors from this merlot that reminded me of currants and blackberry. Meanwhile, the fragrance smelled like strawberry Twizzlers. The STLTO Merlot was a pleasurable drinking experience.

STLTO Prosecco – I may not be a sparkling wine fan. I feel like I really only had 1, well, maybe 2 sparkling wines ever that I actually liked. While on a Disney Millenium Cruise to celebrate Y2K or the new millenium, I had the chance to try Dom Perignon Champagne.  I don’t remember the details about the flavor, but I remembered enjoying it! Other than that, for our wedding, my family served Verdi and I’ve been a fan of it since. Verdi is a spumante, a sweeter sparkling wine, with hints of fruit flavor. It’s easy drinking and it’s my favorite sparkling wine. The STLTO Prosecco I found hard to drink. It was overly bubbly for me. So much so that it was hard to swallow. It was hard to get past the bubbles and enjoy the flavors. However, like I mentioned, I’m not typically a sprakling wine drinker. Those who appreciate champagnes or proseccos may have a different take on this one.

I definitely recommend the STLTO Merlot. If you would like to check out these wines for yourself, the stores listed on wine-searcher.com may sell this brand.

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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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