Tasting Notes: Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse

Calling all Chardonnay lovers out there! Pouilly-Fuisse may be difficult to pronounce (pwee fwee-say), but don't let the confusing name throw you off... it's Chardonnay! As some background, Pouilly-Fuisse is an appellation within the Macon sub-region in Burgundy, France. Uhhh... come again? French wine is confusing, but just think of Pouilly-Fuisse as a specific type of wine made in and named after a small part of southern Burgundy. Anyway, I wanted something that would go well with the chicken pot pie I picked up at Whole Foods, and Pouilly-Fuisse is known to go well with poultry, especially in a cream sauce.

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The Facts

  • Producer: Louis Jadot
  • Region: Burgundy, France
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Variety: Chardonnay
  • Where I purchased: Gift, but is widely available (grocery stores, Total Wine, etc.)
  • Price: $24-31

The first thing I noticed was that the wine was a yellow-gold color, darker than most whites I've had. It had notes of yellow apple and lemon. I also picked up on some almond on the nose, which may be from aging in oak. Most Maconnais Chardonnay is light and unoaked, but my understanding is that Pouilly-Fuisse (a smaller region within Macon) usually sees some oak. In reading Jadot's winemaking notes, a portion of the wine is fermented in vats, while another portion is fermented in oak barrels. This helps keep the crisp and fruity flavors, while also adding some body and weight to the wine. I have to say that it was a great choice for chicken pot pie. The creamy mouth-feel of the wine matched perfectly with the gravy filling, but there was enough acidity to cut through the richness. Overall, I really enjoyed drinking this wine, but for the price point, it wouldn't be my daily go-to. I would highly recommend having this for a party or bringing as a hostess gift. It is food friendly, and I think it would please both oaky Chardonnay and unoaked Chardonnay drinkers!

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Tasting Notes: Underwood "The Bubbles"

Canned wine was very trendy last summer, and it certainly hasn't died down yet. In fact, Underwood has released even more options this year! Their rosé and Pinot Noir have been around for a while, but I came across "The Bubbles" at Whole Foods the other week and obviously could not resist. I'm a sucker for anything bubbly!  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I gave Trader Joe's canned Simpler Wines a try a few weeks back, and let's just say it was $4 down the drain. Then again, four cans for $4... did I really expect it to be good? After that debacle, I was curious to see how Underwood's would turn out.

The Facts

  • Producer: Union Wine Co.
  • Region: Oregon
  • Vintage: Non-vintage
  • Variety: Doesn't say on the can or website, but I saw Chardonnay when I scoured the internet.
  • Where I purchased: Whole Foods
  • Price: $6.99/can

Eyes: Well, it's hard to tell because it's in a can, but the can looks nice and classy! Just kidding... I mean not about the can looking nice, but I did end up pouring some into a glass just out of curiosity. It's a very pale color and the bubbles are very fine. 

Nose: Silly me forgot to smell the wine when I poured that small bit into the glass. I think that brings about a good point, though, that the biggest downfall to wine in a can is you lose the aromas which play such a large part in how a wine tastes. Convenience is great, and I like what Union Wine Co is trying to accomplish with their #pinkiesdown motto, but you can't argue that smell and aromas don't matter with wine.

Mouth: I was a little apprehensive, but I have to say that it exceeded my expectations. It has a slight sweetness to it, which is not surprising given it's only 11% ABV (lower alcohol percentages means more residual sugar in the wine, average is probably 12.5-13.5%), but it was definitely not overwhelming in sweetness. Perhaps the residual sugar was a way to combat the lack of aromas from the can? Anyway, there was a good acidity to it which helped counteract the sweetness, and the apple and citrus flavors were front and center. The bubbles are very subtle, not like normal sparkling wine. It's almost like mineral water. When cold, it's very refreshing.

Thoughts: Is this the best wine I've ever had before? No, but I didn't (and you shouldn't) expect it to be. Is it the best wine I've ever had in a convenient container and affordable price? Yes, hands down. This stuff can be dangerous... wine in a can seems to go down much faster than in a glass! And be careful because a single can is half a bottle of wine! If you think about it that way, this would equate to a $14 bottle of wine which is a pretty great price point. Plus, with the added convenience of being in a can, that can be priceless. Are you going to a BBQ and don't want beer? Will you be heading out to the beach or on a boat or to a picnic and don't want to carry a bottle, corkscrew, and glasses? Definitely pick yourself up a can and be sure to keep it cold. I'm looking forward to trying their rosé that's in my fridge, and I'm keeping my eyes peeled for the sparkling rosé. If you've seen it in Charlotte, let me know where!

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Wine Cocktail: Sparkling Spiced Apple Cider

It's finally starting to feel like fall in North Carolina, and I could NOT be happier. Leaves are changing, pumpkins are everywhere, and the air is starting to feel crisp. What else is so popular in fall? Apples! Apple cider, apple pie, apple cinnamon candles. I love it all. To be honest with you, I am not a fan of pumpkin flavored things (GASP! I know) so I am happy to have another flavor option during this time of year.

In honor of the season, I thought I should create a wine cocktail using some fresh apple cider. I was inspired by this recipe over at Dishing Up the Dirt but made a few tweaks as I did some trial runs. The recipe is so simple and is basically fall in a glass. 

Sparkling Spiced Apple Cider Recipe:

Serving Size: 1 cocktail

  • 1 oz. Apple Brandy
  • 1 to 2 oz. Cider & Spice
  • Top off your glass with Dry Sparkling Wine

It is really THAT easy! A few notes on the ingredients above...

  • My ABC Store didn't have a normal sized bottle of apple brandy, and I was too lazy to go check other stores. Luckily, they had airplane bottle sizes and it worked great! I found that each bottle had enough to make two cocktails.
  • I first made the recipe with fresh apple cider, and I thought it tasted too much like a jolly rancher. I wanted some spice in there! That's when I went with the Cider & Spice that I found at Whole Foods (also saw it at my local chain grocery store). You could always mull your own spiced cider if you want to be fancy. I was lazy (again) and just bought the jarred stuff. Delicious! I liked 2 oz of it, but Kevin preferred 1 oz. Depends if you want the primary flavor to be the spiced cider or the bubbly! 
  • Any dry bubbly will work, so get what's on sale! I went with my go-to... Rondel Brut Cava from Total Wine. Can't be the price!

In all seriousness, this cocktail is the epitome of fall in my opinion. Enjoy this cocktail while carving pumpkins (be careful with those mini-saws!) or while you're snuggled up near the first fire of season! 

 

 

Tasting Notes: Anne de K Riesling

Another spicy shrimp dish, another Riesling. I don't want to tire you out on this combo, but this is the third time we've had this duo and it works pretty great, if I do say so myself. I went to Total Wine on a whim this past weekend and knew we were having our new favorite spicy shrimp dish, so I headed straight for the Alsace area. For those of you that are tired of hearing about Alsatian Rieslings, have no fear... I think I've exhausted Total Wine's affordable selection!

The Facts

  • Producer: Anne de K
  • Region: Alsace, France
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $14.99
  • Eyes: This wine was a pale, straw yellow color. This is to be expected given the region it's from. We actually did a blind tasting class that had an off-dry German Riesling, and it was much more of a yellow color than the Alsatian Rieslings we've had.
     
  • Nose: There were aromas of pear and apple. It smelled sweeter than I expected, but I think that was my brain playing tricks on me. As I've said before, we associate fruitiness with sweetness, but most fruity wines that I drink are not sweet.
     
  • Mouth: The wine had a prominent apple flavor come through, which is typical of Riesling. It was definitely a dry Riesling, but was fruity. There were also notes of honey, and as expected, there was a minerality to it. The wine was fuller in flavor but less acidic than others I've had. It was still tasty, but I think I lean toward the wines that really give a "zing" of acidity. 
     
  • Thoughts: This Riesling was quite good, especially for the price point. It obviously paired well with the spice in our dinner due to the lower alcohol content. This Riesling was only 12% ABV. I STRONGLY recommend that if you like spicy food, try pairing it with a Riesling. I really think you'll be surprised at how well they go together. I wouldn't say there is a standout among the Rieslings we've had lately, since they've all been good, but this one wins on price point. I have a feeling it will be our go to whenever we have a spicy dish.

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Tasting Notes: Albrecht Riesling Tradition

Remember a while back when I said I went to Total Wine and stocked up on summer wines? This was one of them. How did I pick this one out? No reason other than it is a Riesling from Alsace. Alsace is known for having excellent dry Rieslings, and since French wine has been on the mind of late, it was made for my wine stash! If you want to read more about Alsace, this is a great post by Wine Folly that gives some background on the region. 

Also, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I got a new wine tasting notebook that helps guide through tasting notes. I was super excited to finally put it to use! If you're interested in a notebook to give you tips and help guide you, De Long's is excellent. It's only about $7 and you can find it here on Amazon (YAY for Prime!). 

The Facts

  • Producer: Lucien Albrecht
  • Region: Alsace, France
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $18.99
  • Eyes: This wine was a pale yellow color and was clear. I learned from my journal that a clear wine is what we want as haziness can indicate spoilage in the wine, and no one wants that. 
     
  • Nose: The Riesling had an aromatic nose, specifically it had a strong aroma of yellow apple. There were also some floral notes... it smelled pretty. I also learned what "development" meant in relation to the aroma, and that helps identify the age of the wine. De Long states that a young wine will usually have a fragrance that is characteristic of the grape variety. I would definitely say that apple is characteristic of Riesling, so I went with youthful. This also makes sense given the vintage is 2014, but this trick would help in a deductive or blind tasting scenario.
     
  • Mouth: I got lots of apple or tree fruit and even some white fruit, which includes pear. As is to be expected from Alsace, this Riesling was dry with fresh acidity. It wasn't overly acidic but had enough to give it some oomph. Overall, it just tasted good. The flavor of the wine lingered, but not annoyingly so. To me, this wine felt balanced.
     
  • Thoughts: This was a great Riesling! It was very pleasant and easy to drink, which is important in the summer time. Kevin and I were looking for something to pair with our favorite spicy shrimp dish (recipe is here), so I knew low alcohol was important. This Riesling was the lowest we had on hand at 12% ABV, and it worked great! I enjoyed the playing the fruit of the wine against the spice, too. The price was a little towards the higher-end for an every day choice, but I was definitely not disappointed by the wine's flavor considering the cost.

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