Tag Archive for spice

Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia Corvina IGT 2011

Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia Corvina IGT 2011
Veneto, Italy

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I won this wine as a prize at the Lunar New Year celebration I blogged about earlier this week. My expectations were high, being as the wine was selected by a sommelier, though it is still a wine you can find under $10. One of my dining companions was also a sommelier, and she advised me to let the wine air out for a few hours prior to drinking it. Well, call me impatient, but I’m using an aerator instead because…I’m impatient.

The nose smells strongly of strawberry with fruit leather grain. It tastes super smooth on first sip, prompting me to weep for how long it has been since I’ve had a wine this complex and balanced. Strawberry and raspberry fruit notes dominate with some cherimoya that blends everything nicely together. Light spice intermingles with the fruit: cinnamon and cardamom. Leather and cream are both present enough to provide depth but not distract from the primary fruits. Medium-bodied, with enough texture and tartness to keep it interesting throughout the glass.

Note to self: Go to more parties where you can win wine from sommeliers.

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Fat Grape Winery 2010 Merlot

Fat Grape Winery 2010 Merlot
Northern California

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I posted recently about what I’d recommend for a foodie day trip to Treasure Island. Fat Grape was the sulfite-free winery we visited that offers a zillion different types of wine to taste for free. The Fat Grape 2010 Merlot was one of two wines that impressed me, and here’s its official the Gourmez review.

As you can see, the bottle was so freshly filled that it wasn’t labelled yet, and we were instructed to drink it within 10 days of purchase. No problem! Normally I don’t take a picture of the wine in its glass, because I haven’t found that wine colors vary enough to note. But because the bottle had no label, I figured you deserved a shot of the glass.

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And this medium-bodied wine is interesting in the cup, murkier than normal due to its lack of filtration and with a brown-plum tinge to its purple. It has legs and smells amazing. The nose is sweeter than I normally like–plenty of brown sugar and vanilla that intermingle with boysenberry and softer peach. Its taste is much more complex than that nose belies, which is partly why I enjoyed it so much at the tasting. The dryness is like sandpaper rubbing softly against your skin—not too rough, but the sensation lingers. Moderately dark chocolate and a mix of cherry and boysenberry notes rise up to take the mild spice for a dance. It’s port in unfortified form: fresh, crisp, and thoroughly enjoyable.

My food blogger pretensions tell me I shouldn’t enjoy this sulfate-free, slap-happy wine as much as I do, but I’m not lying when I say it’s delicious.

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Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:

Can’t find any! There are mentions of the wineries but no specific views on the wines. Hopefully, I can entice other bloggers to share their thoughts on Fat Grape.

Reviewed 26 November 13.

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Covington Sweet Potato Vodka

Covington Sweet Potato Vodka
Snow Hill, NC
40% ABV

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With a slogan like “the best yam vodka on Earth,” Covington gets out of my gate with a head start. If you are not a pun enthusiast, that may translate to a 10-second penalty. It’s made in North Carolina and thus qualifies as a local spirit for me, one that attracted my attention as soon as word of it hit the social media scene. So I was excited when a foodie friend gave me a sample bottle to taste for the blog. And yes, that is my disclaimer that my alcohol was provided for free for this post. You are such smart readers!

Vodka is a spirit I drank plenty of when I started out in the brave new world of libations, but I haven’t had it often since my tastes grew more … refined, shall we say? Naw, that’d be a lie. I just moved away from vodka-based fruity cocktails and toward the stronger stuff. So I’ve only tasted one or two vodkas for the blog before. I chilled the bottle in the freezer, as the online hive advised me, then poured it into my triple shot glass.

Yes, this is an excuse to show off my triple shot glass.

Yes, this is an excuse to show off my triple shot glass.

The coloration is uniformly clear. Its smell is mild and pleasant, nearing toward marshmallow with an earthiness that grounds it. The vodka has much more flavor as I drink it than I expected. That marshmallow impression remains, but that may be because yams make me think of sweet potato casseroles with marshmallow toppings. The alcohol burn is mild. The potatoes add a natural, gentle sweetness that pleases me. As it moves toward room temperature (yes, I’m a slow drinker), the alcohol gets bolder and spice comes out, but not the pie type. They are close to fenugreek or coriander. I’m intrigued by the broadening flavors, but I do think the vodka is better chilled.

Covington Sweet Potato Vodka is quite pleasant, almost like Pinnacle’s whipped cream vodka but so much less artificial in flavor and sweetness. It would make a great martini, but nothing dirty or cheesy would combine well. Perhaps a vermouth wash would work, but I’m hesitant to suggest that either. More creative thinking is needed. Maybe Lillet Blanc as a wash? You don’t want to obscure the subtle sweetness of the yams. Alas, I had only enough vodka to fill that glass, so I’m only dreaming of the possibilities.

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Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:

I didn’t find anything by way of blogger reviews. But Covington did win a 2013 Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits competition, so congratulations to them on that!

Reviewed 1 May 2013.

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