Thursday, April 22, 2010

Moving Toward Open Sea

The party continues with the Wine Armada leaving the Richmond Heights harbor. My wife, Caren, put together a delicious dish of chicken, zucchini and salsa verde sauce to celebrate the launch. I was up to the task with a Spanish white that balanced perfectly with the tangy entree. The majority of wines from Rueda are 100% Verdejo, so this blend really intrigued me.

2008 Bodegas Torres Manur Pindal Rueda
Blend of 50% Verdejo and 50% Viura from Rueda

THROUGH THE NOSE: Canned yellow cling peaches “in heavy syrup” (that’s for those of you that remember a classic episode of “All in the Family”) with fresh, sliced grapefruit.

AROUND THE MOUTH: More intense grapefruit flavors, slight sugary snap peas with some white pepper, adding a slight spice to this medium body. Acidity lingered nicely on the tongue with a lengthy finish that ended pure and clean.

ON THE SIDE: The Wine Armada rolled the dice on this one and was pleasantly pleased how well it combined with the unusual combination Caren concocted. This would work equally successfully with fish and vegetarian dishes.

BY THE NUMBERS: Around $8 at Grapevine Wines in Kirkwood. May also be available at The Wine Merchant in Clayton. Wine Armada gives this a 17-gun salute on our 21-gun salute scale.

IN SUMMARY: For 8 bucks, this is a great Springtime wine will offer all kinds of food pairing versatility. At this price, we should all stock up on this for the summer, when the thought of red wine makes you want to abandon ship. Don’t believe me, then check out this amazing “wine review coincidence” link below from this week’s Riverfront Times...

(You'll need to copy/paste in your browser since I can't get this to work as a link - what a "blogger rookie"!)

Wine Armada Celebrates Launch

What better way to launch the Wine Armada than with a bottle of “bubbly.” And when it’s Spanish Cava, you’re drinking some of the best sparkling wine bargain on the planet! I had never sampled Cristalino (amazing because it can be found everywhere), but I am now a convert, and ready to add this to the growing list of Cavas that have won me over.

Cristalino Extra Dry Cava
Sparkling wine from Penedes, Catalonia

THROUGH THE NOSE: White peaches and citrus

AROUND THE MOUTH: Like biting into a cold, green apple followed by grapefruit and fresh-squeezed lime. Finishes clean and crisp.

ON THE SIDE: Cava is very “food friendly” especially with almost anything from the ocean or deep fried. Salty snacks, like buttery popcorn, also make a winning duo. Make sure to give this time to “chill out” (45-55 degrees); best way is ice, combined with cold water, in a bucket for around 20-30 minutes.

BY THE NUMBERS: Around $9.99 or less all over town. Wine Armada gives this a 17-gun salute on our 21-gun salute scale.

IN SUMMARY: What a value! A disappointing Cava is really hard to find, but this delicious, easy-drinking sparkler for under $10 is a steal. Buy this by the case for your next celebration and your guests will think you’ve splurged on something way more expensive.