Vinho Verde: A bubbly treat!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10, 2014 by Julia

Alas, it’s been much too long!

I’m taking a moment to revive this appetizing (if I do say so myself) blog.  It’s clearly been much too long since I’ve reviewed a good wine and I have several up my sleeve.  My choice for this post is a wine I first tried two years ago near birthday in May, which is when I believe it should be had … and June, July, August… well really, I guess it’s great most of the time.  It’s an effervescent “green” wine, however, and I think it really ‘sparkles’ in summer months.  And because it’s Boston and I’m freezing, I thought I’d take a few moments to daydream of warmer months.


Vinho Verde: Casal Garcia

Let’s begin with the basics:
Where: Portugal
When: It’s a “nonvintage” wine– so drink the one you find!
What: Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde does not refer to a particular grape variety. Rather, the term means “green wine” in Portuguese and refers to a wine growing region in the northern part of this country. All you need to know is that wines from this region in Portugal – particularly the white wines – have a clean, crisp taste rare for many wines this young at this price.

Review of Casal Garcia

casal-garcia-vinho-verdeThe Casal Garcia is blend of four grapes: Trajadura, Loureiro, Arinto and Azal. To be honest– I’m not familiar with these grapes. Though it’s worth noting that some wineries call one grape one name and they’re a completely different name somewhere else. Think– “Shiraz” versus “Syrah.”  In any event, these are the grape varietals but the percentage breakdown is not clear and based on all of this—I don’t think it makes a huge difference.

One remarkable thing about this wine—is its consistency.  Casal Garcia creates just the right blend year in and year out, so I wouldn’t bother paying too much attention to the vintages.  The taste is completely… refreshing.  Rather than the buttery, or sweet, type of white wine you may be accustomed to, this wine is crisp with a bite of citrus and of course… has a nice bubbly consistency that is ideal in the summer months.

Rather, the Casal Garcia goes down smooth and easy and light as an early morning ocean breeze. If you like Tanqueray and tonics with a twist of lime, you’ll love the Casal Garcia.

And, it may be sacriledge in the oenophilic world to say it—but I love this brilliant sparkler vino with just an ice cube or 2!

JuliaUncorked says:
Taste: Delicious, tangy, refreshing and… makes me think of warm summer days.
Price: On average, this is a $7 wine!
Alcohol content: 10% ABV.  Ideal for a glass or 2 any night!


Little James! (Basket Press Wine)

Posted in Earthy, food pairing, French, Full Body, Grenache, juliauncorked says (rating) on November 19, 2012 by Julia

The Wine:  Recently, I happened upon a new wine shop and needless to say: there is an inverse relationship between the dolla’s in my bank account and finding new, fun wines to try.  I have several wines to review, but the first one that comes to mind was a delicious 100% Grenache bottle called, “The Little James Press Basket.”  If you don’t think I bought it simply based on its label, you are mistaken.  However, my choice was validated as I was checking out!  The wine seller (puns do not work well in text)– explained that this vintner is trying to increase their appeal to the cheap-wine-buyer market (nope, I was not offended).   He explained that while the 450 year old Chateau de Saint-Cosme Rhone producer offers several $100, high-scoring wines, they are achieving the lower price and improving their overall wine process! (win win)  The secret? The Vintner is mixing his vintages!  In each bottle you get a taste of the last 20-30 years of wine, right in your bottle!  10% of every vintage is barreled and then placed into the wine the next year.

The Place: This is made in the Languedoc region in Southern France, which is easily the largest region in terms of vineyards, and the region in which a majority of France’s cheap bulk wines are being made. A lot of the wine in Languedoc is considered (and labeled) “Vin de Pays d’Oc” (aka: Table Wine). However, because they are not bound to as many rules as the rest of France i.e. Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire–  they can be much more innovative.

The Name: The Little James’ Basket Press is a 100% basket-pressed wine. The basket press was the first type of mechanized wine press to be developed, and its basic design has not changed over the last 1000 years.  Not sure what that is exactly? For your reference– a modern wine barrel press: 

The taste: Delicious! It’s not heavy and yet not jammy or fruit forward either.  Grenache is a sturdy Rhone grape, with a little terroir (ok, dirt) taste through the sip-start to finish.  The whole taste of this one is what I like to say is “purple”– you can taste and smell dark fruit- like blackberry and cherry with a little bit of smoke and dirt.

All in all, it’s an impressive wine that would pair with a variety of foods– from some cheese and baguette to roasted vegetables.  I could probably manage to drink it on its own, too 🙂

JuliaUncorked says: 8/10!  For only $14? Very hard to beat!  I hesitate to write that because I’ve read it’s hard to find :-/

Uno Mas more please! Review: Cotes du Rhone Villages “Khayyam”‘

Posted in food pairing, Full Body, Grenache, juliauncorked says (rating), Red, Syrah, wine on April 19, 2011 by Julia

I was lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful bottle of red the other night with my roommate from college on her birthday! I brought the bottle for HER technically, but you all know better than to think I wouldn’t insist on perhaps trying a little myself… The bottle came from one of my favorite wine shops: Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square, Somerville. I truly adore this place for many reasons: wine, chocolate, beet salad (best in town), meats, cheeses pretty much anything you could really need in life, they serve. However, I can’t lie, this isn’t the place to go on the cheap. The shop carries the best, unique treats, from sandwiches to homemade pastas, they’ve got the a most UNIQUE selection around, which is quite true of their wine selection as well.  That means… they don’t really sell to the under $12 per bottle crowd. If you’re looking for a birthday present for someone who loves wine though… this is ideal! (HINT HINT, my birthday is coming up….) Haha.

These are the college roommates: I’m so lucky 3/4 of us enjoyed this bottle together because we live THAT close!  #notreadytobeonmyown 🙂 Continue reading

A Cambridge Cellar (Red White Boston Event!)

Posted in Cabernet, Events, food pairing, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Red, Rose, wine on March 10, 2011 by Julia

This post is brought to you in large part by @RedWhiteBoston, @WholeFoodsRVR and @PantherVin who joined forces to host a really dynamic, interesting and informative wine tasting last week!  The setup for the tasting was simple; RedWhiteBoston knows wine and wine events,  Panther Distributing distributes (yes, you guessed it) wine to the greater Boston area… and WholeFoods on River Street has a wonderful little room with space for wines, appetizers and people!  The evening was attended by people throughout Cambridge and Boston- who really know their wines.  After each tasting, we were asked to “judge” the wines with some fun… albeit vague… badges.  For example “off the beaten vine” and “easy drinking.”  Rarely do I find wines NOT for “easy drinking,” so luckily (for the lushes in the crowd) we were given a ‘cheat sheet’ for appropriate badges per bottle.   In addition to this fun setup, we were also doing out part to help inform the Whole Foods crew which wines to purchase for the store.  Thus, I’d call this, among the most productive of wine tastings I’ve attended 🙂

(apologies for the photos and lack thereof. Mine came out very poorly!)

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Fine Wine Experience!

Posted in Bordeaux, food pairing, Full Body, juliauncorked says (rating), Merlot, Red, wine with tags , , , on March 7, 2011 by Julia

Last weekend, I was very fortunate to be hosted by my boss and his wife at their lovely home on Cape Cod.

Some icing on the cake is that my boss is a connoisseur and collector of excellent, unique wines from around the world.  See, I told you: I’m one lucky girl.  We tasted several incredible bottles over the course of an evening that included a cocktail hour, appetizers, salad and dinner!  The night was capped off with a fantastic video of a classic jazz concert from Pittsburgh (my home town! and the same band that played my mom’s wedding!).  And, if you know me at all, you know that a night of (excellent) wine, shrimp and jazz is probably one of the best nights I could enjoy.  The quality of the wine made the evening all the more unique and celebratory!  (Especially unique as the “aging” I have come to know is more like that in the comic –>)

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Mysterious Vino: Morse Code!

Posted in Australia, juliauncorked says (rating), Red, Shiraz, wine on February 3, 2011 by Julia

I can’t lie: I bought Morse Code for its name and label.  Who wouldn’t!?  Some friends and I started the evening wine tasting at Ball Square Fine Wines!  It’s a weekly tasting,  pretty casual, and I’d totally suggest trying it out!  We tried a variety of wines and then I perused the shelves looking for something fun after that.  Don’t worry (I know you were…), I bought one from the tasting too, but that’ll be another post.

So, onto Morse Code Shiraz! Continue reading

Viva Vino Italiano!

Posted in food pairing, Italian, Red, wine with tags , , on January 23, 2011 by Julia

Small news flash about JuliaUncorked: I don’t normally drink Italian wines.  I’m not even sure why that is. Sometimes I’m just more enthused by the idea of a spicier region, like Chile, Spain or bolder like those in New Zealand and Australia.  I‘m not sure I appropriately appreciate the nuanced, refined balance of fine Italian and French wines.  But perhaps that’s a good reason to try them more often!  In this case, I can’t take credit for “boldly” trying to expand my palette; rather, a dear friend brought this to a party I threw a few weeks ago and *shocker* we DIDN’T drink it! So, lucky me!  Enter: the 2007 Cantina Numa Tolenus Rosso Piceno. Continue reading

When life delivers wine…

Posted in food pairing, Full Body, juliauncorked says (rating), Malbec, Red, wine on January 12, 2011 by Julia

You drink it!  There are certainly drawbacks to being in the office until, say, 9pm.  Sure.  However, I can tell you there is hardly a  situation not improved with a bottle of wine.  Ergo, late in the evening, whilst hard at work, my coworker and I decided that wine would be a fun addition to the work at hand.  Going to GET wine wasn’t really an option- no local wine shop and hey, we had WORK to do!  Enter:  Enter: search term “wine.”  Enter: resounding shout of joy by julia, “WHAT?!  We can get wine delivered!” Continue reading

The Art of de Cant

Posted in Full Body, Syrah on November 24, 2010 by Julia

I’ve never been a big “decanter.”  I mean that as loosely as possible; I literally don’t own a decanter.  But my recent experience has me thinking of making a purchase.  I opened a bottle of 2006 Bonterra Syrah.  It probably should have been opened a while ago honestly.  It’s been collecting a little dust in my mom’s wine collection.  But, hey, that’s what she brings me home for.  So, voila! Daytime vacation drinking!  I’m drinking while typing, so this should make for a good post…  Continue reading

Terra Rosa, on the Cape!

Posted in food pairing, Full Body, Malbec, wine on October 10, 2010 by Julia

This summer I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful weekend on the Cape and in Rhode Island.  I got to try several wines over the weekend and more importantly, I got to attend the Newport jazz festival!  If you don’t know this about me… wine + jazz = happiest me.  (Oh, also my other favorite Jazz made an appearance… see below).  Because it was delicious and enjoyed amidst a beautiful Cape evening, I’m focusing this review on Terra Rosa- a delicious Malbec from Argentina.

I’m going to make this short and sweet… the pics tell the best story anyway.

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