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Welcome Fall With Austrian Wines!

Austrian Wine Class

Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar

Roanoke, VA…September 13, 2017

Mr bills wine rep

Wine Representative Klaus Wittauer presents Wine from Austria.

https://kwselection.wordpress.com

http://kwselection.com

Klaus obviously loves Austrian wines…as he explained during our Austrian Wine Class:  Coca Cola wines you can buy anywhere. Real wines made by real people ~ with a story behind the wine is so much better!

mr bills bubbly

We began the evening with Leo Hillinger Secco Sparkling Pinot Noir.  Italy (much like Champagne, France protects the name “Champagne”) protects the name “Prosecco”, so Hillinger named this wine “Secco” to highlight the bubbles in the wine.

Class notes:  “Pink Ribbon”  100% Pinot Noir crafted into a sparkling rosé wine made in the ProSecco style. It has delicate aromas of fresh strawberries and red berries, which follow through on the palate. the flavors are beautifully balanced with a vibrant and refreshing dry finish.  Wonderful as an aperitif to begin a great dinner and  evening, pairs well with Sushi, or serve after dinner with fresh strawberries. Secco also makes a perfect toast!!  Hillinger donates to Breast Cancer Awareness and puts a little pink ribbon on the wine label. $23 range. 

Riesling mr bills

The first day of Fall is Friday, September 22, 2017 and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The  Josef Bauer Riesling Hengstberg 2015 is the perfect pairing for your Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings.  This was my favorite wine of the evening ~ well balanced with fruit and fresh acidity, light peach and apple notes…perfect for Fall sippin’.

Class wine notes: This is a wonderful dry Riesling from a family-owned estate’s terraced vineyards over Feuersbrunn, Austria.  Very ripe with lots of stone fruit aromas, full-bodied with a great balance of fruit and acidity. Great with white meat and fish dishes, light pastas, appetizers, especially smoked trout.  Austrian Rieslings are generally loved by sommeliers because they are high quality, pair wonderfully with food and are light enough to not ruin your palate before a meal.  $18 range.

 http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/buying-guide-the-wines-sommeliers-love  

Mr. Bill noted that Every day is holiday and Riesling fits with any holiday.  

mr bills riesling

Steininger Loisium Weingarten Grüner Veltliner is a very popular Austrian wine. On my notes I wrote “Crisp Apples!”…which matches the crispness in the Fall air outside.

Class wine notes:  Steven Holl – Kamptal Reserve. Named after the architect who built the Loisium museum. The label shows the original blue print of the entrance building, cellar world and Spa Hotel.  A single vineyard Veltliner with inviting fruit in the nose, exotic notes and fine ripe aroma of apples. The finish is complex and balanced with a long beautiful echo and the traditional white pepper.  $25 range.

These Grüner Veltliner grapes are grown in the vineyard that surrounds the Loisium museum and there is a hotel on the grounds.  How fabulous! Here’s a link to Loisium Wine & Spa Resort Langenlois:   http://www.loisium.com/en/langenlois/news-resort

mr bills red wine

Leo Hillinger HILLside 2014.  I found this wine to be low tannin and very sippable.

Class notes:  60% Syrah, 30% Merlot, 10% Zweigelt. This wine has explosive nose of plum, raspberry, sweet tobacco and vanilla. Big and full up-front with good spice, black pepper and a long pleasant lingering finish.  The Wine Enthusiast gave this wine 92 points.  There is just a hint of dark fruit. The palate lightens with expressive and finely drawn fruit.  There is pepper-tinged red cherry, fine notes of cranberry and red currant. The fruit here is beautiful and taut; there is freshness, tension and real elegance.  Tannins are supple and fine, and the body is unforced and fresh. $35 range.

Steindorfer Beerenauslese 2015.   Rich and honey laden with a touch of sweet petrol on the nose.  To my palate the petrol makes the wine a bit earthy which pleasantly offsets the sweetness of the wine, but does not detract from the sweetness of the wine…nicely balanced.  $30 range (half bottle). (This wine was not included in the tasting, but is one of our favorite ways to end a meal.)

mr bills wine representative

Just for fun…take a bunch of green seedless grapes, wash them and remove them from the stems. Place in a bowl and freeze the grapes. Use them in your white wine to keep your wine cold.  Red seedless grapes can be frozen and used to keep rosé wine cold.

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Napkin Riesling

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Behind The Label

From one of my favorite wine bloggers…a Cava that is beautiful inside and out!

Talk-A-Vino

We eat with our eyes first – everybody knows that. We drink in exactly same way. While looking for the wine to buy, we always start from the label. Of course, sometimes we might be looking just for the specific producer’s name – but way more often than not, wine consumer is lured by the appearance of the bottle before anything else. We let the bottle speak to us.

Wine producers always knew the effect of the bottle appearance, and always tried to design attractive and appealing labels – think about Château Mouton Rothschild, for example, which started their “Artist” wine label series back in 1945. 20-25 years ago, the design, and most importantly, production capabilities were limited both in style and the cost. But not today- there are literally no limits to how creative the wine bottle design can get in today’s world. It is hard to tell what…

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The Friday Fizz: Three-Under-$30 (per bottle)

  • Never too early to plan for Champagne Friday…bubbly recommendations from Specs Fine Wine, beardalton, all under $30 a bottle.

SPEC's FINE WINE

I love Champagne and for me, every Friday is Champagne Friday. Still, I don’t always want to break the bank buying my Friday Fizz. Here are three of my favorites priced under (Ok, just under) $30 per bottle. You’re welcome.

LOUIS SACY Brut Originel, Champagne, NV     ($29.99)
A blend of 55% Pinot Noir with 30% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier aged 30 months en tirage (on the yeasts).     Gold-straw in color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-light-bodied with fresh acidity. A yeast-fruit-and-mineral nose gives way to a crisp, fresh palate featuring citrus and a bit of red fruit accented by yeast and a sort of flinty minerality. Fresh and focused, it is best suited to be served as an aperitif or with the lightest seafoods. Perfect with oysters. With time in the glass, it layers in some richness and vinousity. BearScore: 91.

J.P. MARNIQUET Brut Tradition, Champagne, NV     ($29.99)
An…

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Balsamic Vinegar Pearls Bruschetta ~ Flavor Bomb!

Balsamic Vinegar Pearls…Bursting with flavor!  

balsamic container

balsamic caviar

Looks like caviar!

Available on-line…black,  white, lemon (yellow), white truffle and pomegranate balsamic vinegar pearls…

balsamic brushetta

Tomato Burrata Bruschetta with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar Pearls

Burrata means “buttered” in Italian. I like to describe it as fresh cream and curd (like a fresh ricotta) wrapped in mozzarella cheese and it is fabulouso!

barrata cheese

These flavor bomb appetizers are so easy to prepare.  Spread burrata cheese on toasted French bread rounds (I purchased my toast rounds from Fresh Market).  Top the cheese with chopped fresh tomato and julienned fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Top with a few balsamic vinegar pearls.  Enjoy!

beets

Dinner this evening will include roasted fresh golden beets with baratta cheese sprinkled with  balsamic vinegar pearls.

bee

I found this little guy enjoying my pink Dragon’s Breath plant (Celosia) in the garden this morning.

dragon fruit

Speaking of dragons…we enjoyed slices of dragon fruit this morning for breakfast ~ tastes like pear and kiwi…yum!

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Vintage Champagne May Be a Dying Breed

Cheers to the Grape Geeks for sharing this interesting perspective on vintage champagne.

The Grape Geeks

In recent years sales of vintage Champagne have stagnated in favor of flashy new vintage labels. Is it purely a matter of younger consumers favoring labels with club cache, or merely that champagne consumers are unaware that vintage labels can in fact be more bang for the buck? Read more.

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Sun, Surf and Champagne!

One of my favorite photos of “George Gershwin” our 18-year-old kitty. Sadly he passed away this week. He was an inside kitty but loved to play out on our deck whenever we were out there. He kept a good eye on our champagne glasses to make sure they were always full.  Miss you my sweet boy!

For years we’ve named our kitty cats after big band musicians (we love big band!)…

Ginger Rogersmaxinekitty cat

Ginger Rogers, Maxine Andrews, Cole Porter, George Gershwin…but we are starting to run short on names, so maybe we should start naming our kitties after champagnes… Charles Heidsieck, Henri Giraud,  Pol Roger perhaps?

Pol Roger NV Brut Champagne ~ $40 – $50 range.  Consists of one-third pinot noir, one-third pinot meunier and one-third chardonnay grapes. Pear, honeysuckle and toast notes. Nicely balanced with tiny bubbles dancing around the glass.

Pol Roger’s Philosophy: 

There is that moment
when the spirit of Pol Roger is revealed.

One may think one knows champagne and yet, that day, one truly discovers it.

Pol Roger was Winston Churchill’s favorite champagne house.

My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best. ~ Winston Churchill

Food and Wine Magazine recommends pairing Pol Roger Champagne with Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grapefruit Glaze. Here’s a link to the recipe:  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-chicken-breasts-with-grapefruit-glaze

pol roger champagne

squirrel sign

Always love our local wine shops creative signs…thank you Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar!  http://mrbillswinecellar.com

Sun and surf is always good for the soul and we had lots of both last week.

I found these Limited Batch Cape Cod Roasted Black Garlic Potato Chips at the beach. Delicious!

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Wine, one sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise and taste.  ~ John Milton

We had fun tasting J Vineyards & Winery NV Brut Rosé, Russian River Valley while we were enjoying sun and surf.  $40 range.  66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 1% Pinot Meunier. Pretty salmon color with lots of little bubbles dancing around in the glass. Slightly acidic with a dry finish. Elegant mouth-feel with notes of strawberry, ripe red apples and toasted hazelnuts.

veuve at the beachsunglasses

 Veuve Clicquot sunglasses!

robe

Veuve Clicquot robe and matching slippers. A fabulous surprise from my wonderful husband.

champagne tops

wine sign

Now back at home I am looking forward to Fall (begins September 22!) with my favorite hot tea…The Republic of Tea Hot Apple Cider Tea. $11 per container…may seem expensive, but each container has 36 tea bags in it which equates to .30 per cup. Yummmmmm…

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Please follow me on Instagram: Bubblybeeboop

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Review: Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV

One of my favorites… Ruinart Blanc de Blanc …reviewed by the Champagne Tipplers.

Champagne Tipplers

Ruinart lays claim to be the world’s oldest Champagne house (Gosset is older but used to be into still wines for a long time), founded in 1729. It is the legacy of a benedictine monk; Dom Thierry Ruinart, who was a worldly man. He came to know of a “wine with bubbles” which was not yet known as champagne but was growing popular with aristocracy.

He became fairly obsessed with bubbly wines, so much so he would often go back to his family in Champagne and divulge plans to establish production in the area.

Sadly Dom Ruinart died in 1709, but his nephew Nicolas Ruinart took his ideas on board and started the first Champagne House; Maison Ruinart.

The house features a historic set of Cellars – or “Crayéres”, which are cut into the chalk underneath Reims. They are listed as a UNESCO world heritage item – but this has worked against them.

The extensive documentation of the historic cellars allowed…

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