My Mother’s Day Treat – 1893, Bas-Armagnac Delord X.O.

 

First let me state, I am a novice when it comes to spirits. However, my years of tasting has matured my palate and with the assistance and knowledge from my husband, I am capable of identifying a good spirit when I come across one.

Folks, I have been presented with one; 1893 Bas-Armagnac Delord X.O. is an OUTSTANDING cognac!

 

For mother’s day, my wonderful husband and mother-in-law gifted me with a bottle of a French cognac, Bas-Armagnac Delord X.O. FYI,  Armagnac is a grape brandy from the Gastony region of southwestern France.

 

After chipping away the melted plastic from around the mouth, it made me wonder “Goodness, was this cognac sealed in 1893?!”

We popped the cork and was greeted with bold aromas bold fall spices of vanilla, clove, cinnamon, caramel with cedar & Oak. We’re reminded of the butterscotch candies.

Bas-Armagnac Delord X.O has a beautiful blood orange color.

OMGGG! Smooth, creamy vanilla with touches caramel flavors with just enough heat.

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After ten days of cloudy weather, the sun has broke through on this Friday 13th and the air is filled with the cognac aromas. This has turned out to be a beautiful Friday the 13th, which has always been a day of good luck :).

 

 

Today, Bas-Armagnac is paired with Oscar and Felicia cigars and great Latin Jazz. With the cigars’ saddle wood and soft spice aromas, the cognac, the music and warm spring breeze, we have escaped to Paradise.

I respect history and when you’re consuming a spirit or wine that dates back to 1893, it is important to know its origin.

HISTORY

The Armagnac Delord story dates back to four generations that begin in 1893.

In 1893, Prosper Delord, a distiller and cellar master, travelled with his alambic (yes, I had to research alambic, which is a vessel with a beaked cap that was formerly used in distilling) to farms, converting white wine into Armagnac.

NOTE. Alambic Distillation is an ancient technique that date backs to the Chinese 3000 years BC. For historical information on Alambic Distillation visit www.essentialspirits.com.

In 1932, Prosper’s sons, Gaston and Georges created the “Armagnac house Delord Freres” in Lannepax. Being producers, distillers and traders and sold their Bas-Armagnacs from Gascony, France to the United States.

From 1963, Gaston’s sons continue the Armagnac adventure and run the family business.

The House of Deloard’s vineyard is located in the village of Lannepax and is 42 hectares, which is equivalent to approximately 104 acres of land. It is comprised of four traditional Armagnac grape varieties: Ugni Blanc 56%, Colombard 24%, Baco 14% and Folle-Blanche 6%.

For more information visit: http://www.armagnacdelord.com/en

 

Thank You My Wonderful Husband and Mama Monique!

Salute! Sante!

Trummer’s Coffee and Wine Bar’s Wine Flight

 

It’s sunny, hot and too late to drive to a vineyard. Desperately wanting to try something new, I remembered a coffee and wine bar that opened last year called Trummer’s Coffee and Wine Bar, Gainsville, VA; coffee and wine, my two main indulgences.

Wine Flight

(very small sample of available wines)

Trummer’s offers three wines in their wine flight for under $20.00. After being asked a few questions on my wine preference, which was for whites, nothing sweet and I like sauvignon blancs and for reds, big, bold with firm tannins.

Folks, this is not your standard tasting. The bartender begins to pour full glasses of wine. I whispered to my husband, “I said I wanted a tasting, right?” He nodded, yes. “Well, I’m about to have an expensive tasting”. I was presented with three full glasses of wine. I don’t know if this was an error, but this happy chic wasn’t going to bring it to his attention. 😀

Yes, you “Neggy Netties” could say, “Technically, you’re receiving at least eight wines in the tasting… they’re just doubling up on the pours.” 😛 WELL, I’m not at a winery and was VERY excited that I was getting THREE FULL glasses of wine for under $20.00 😀

MY SELECTION

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Steininger Gruner Veltliner – Reminds me of a Viognier and a dry Petit Manseng, citrusy with a slight oaky creamy finish – VERY NICE! This is exactly what I wanted on this hot humid 81 degree day!

Enrique Mendoza “La Tremenda” – Mmmm… aromas of black licorice and hint of molasses. The taste is Friggin Fantastic! Fruit-forward cherry flavors and the tannins are subtle but present. Every sip is Delicious!! Magnificent! I’m officially in “wine utopia”. If you do not recall from my previous blogs, wine utopia is when your eyes close, head begins to sway and moans begin to escape your lips –YES, THIS IS WINE UTOPIA!

Luberon Grenache – spicy and earthy aromas. If I had this wine before the “La Tremenda”, I would say this is very good. Following the “La Tremenda”, Luberon is nice. 

 

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To top off the wine flight, we are served Trummer’s Truffle popcorn, “Trés Bon!

 

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You can clearly see which wine I enjoyed the most! One bottle turned into three (3) bottles :). I preached many times, always purchase in “at least” quantities of three’s. The first bottle, you are so excited you want to consume immediately. The second bottle, you share with your friends and the last bottle, you lay down in your cellar (this method is also an excellent way to establishing an cellar). When you need to replenish, you will save money because you only have to purchase two bottles :). 

I’m fascinated by the quaint little coffee and wine bar, Trummer’s.

WHO IS TRUMMER’S?

Besides this sweet elder man, who I am presuming is the manager; tidying-up, staying in the background but has his eyes on everything (the thought of him makes me smile 🙂Trummer’s is named after the owners Stefan and Victoria Trummer, who lives in Clifton, VA and also the owners of “Trummer’s On Main” in Clifton, VA; formerly the The Hermitage Inn. By the way, Stefan was not that sweet elder man in the coffee and wine bar :). They’re a young couple who has an extensive restaurant background, met in New York and moved to Victoria Trummer’s hometown, Clifton, VA.

I have to mention I like the Trummer’s logo with the coffee and wine rings. GREAT CONCEPT!

(images courtesy of http://www.trummerscoffeewinebar.com)

 

We’re looking forward to having Trummer’s coffee.

If you’re in the Gainsville, VA area, I strongly encourage you to visit Trummer’s and don’t forget to order the Truffle popcorn.

Trummer’s Coffee and Wine Bar
Address: 14013 Promenade Commons St, Gainesville, VA 20155
Phone:(703) 754-0135
Menu: trummerscoffeewinebar.com

 

Salulte! Sante!

The Legendary Mr. David A. Harvey – ORIGINS OF MODERN USAGE OF ORANGE WINE

 

On February 8, 2016, I posted a blog title “Orange Wine”. The research material that was utilized for my blog had inaccurate information. It was reported that UK Wine Merchant David Harvey “accidentally” created the term “Orange Wine”. Well, Mr. Harvey himself contact me and provided accurate information. YES, MR. DAVID HARVEY! 🙂 I was ecstatic, like a school girl who was finally able to wear her new “black and whites” shoes for the first day of school.

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I ran to my husband and excitedly explained, in response to my blog, the man who created the term “orange wine” sent “ME” an email. Softly smiling he replies, “Baby that’s good.” Of course, I had to read him the message. 😀

On May 30, 2016, I corrected the “Orange Wine?” blog post to read as follows:

The term “orange wine” was created by UK Wine Merchant David Harvey in 2004, which was purposefully created and others saw fit to use the term since that time.

Mr. Harvey bestowed upon me the honor to share his “ORIGINS OF MODERN USAGE OF ORANGE WINE”, which I am much appreciative. (And days later, I am still ECSTATIC!) 😀

Without further ado, I present you the: 

ORIGINS OF MODERN USAGE OF ORANGE WINE, by David Harvey (edited May 2016 for Tree)

I actively discussed this issue from first principles with Frank Cornelissen, when working with Frank on Etna in 2004, and started to use it thereafter. It was the year of making his Mongibello Bianco No.1 2004 (now Munjebel Bianco): we were daily drinking and talking about Radikon, Dario Princic, Gravner, Vodopevic, Castellada, pre-2002 La Biancara, Massia Vecchia, etc.

The quest for a name arose from my concern that there was no name, let alone category for these wines, which are visually, aromatically and structurally divergent from white wines, and would therefore risk rejection in both the on- and off-trades, having worked as Head Sommelier between 1993 and 2002.

The rational was that they should be labelled by the same criteria as white/rosé/red wine, i.e. by the final colour of the wine, and not the component parts (e.g. colour of grape,) nor the technique (e.g. sparkling, fortified, skin-contact, etc.)  All the other possible colour names were already used in specific appellations, e.g. Vin Jaune (yellow), Rivesaltes Ambré (amber) etc., or were too pretentious, like’ golden wine’, or were not common to key wine-production languages.

Skin-contact for example was not considered useful, as very brief contact in French is called maceration-pelliculaire, and, most all red wines receive skin-contact. So the term is simply not precise, nor unique.   

And, I admit that I did not take very seriously Orange state, Orange county, orange fruit, as origins or materials with potential conflict. (For which, the relevant Australian authorities have since publicly spoken out.) 

Georgia was also discussed at some point: someone (who?) told me that in Georgia, ‘red wine’ meant just that, ‘white wine’ ditto, but that ‘wine’, tout-court, meant macerated white grapes. Georgia does have claim to being an ancient wine country, with use of ancient vessel types, and possibly unceasing use of macerating white grapes. However, it does not have the oldest proven claim, the sole terracotta claim, the sole maceration claim, and certainly not the total quality claim. Yes, it did directly inspire the re-introduction of white grape maceration, for total quality dry orange wine-making in Italy. However, the great examples in the 21st Century hail from an epicentre of Oslavia in the Collio, produced since 1997, released this century. The renaissance (or emergence) of quality in Georgia postdates this period, and of the qualitatively top three or five orange wines, all are arguably made in Italy.

I used it ‘naturally’ in tastings or conversation with Jancis Robinson MW and Rose Murray-Brown MW in 2008, Jamie Goode, the Dressner team at Villa Favorita, Alice Feiring (at La Dive, in the Veneto, in London, etc.), Joseph di Blasi of Vinosseur, after which it was used for the first time. There is no prior mention I have come across, online or in print. I also used it with a bunch of winemakers.

As wine merchant sous l’nez, my early offers to private clients also went to some UK press, with orange wines labelled as such from 2006. L’Ortolan restaurant, whom I have helped out over the years, ran an orange wine section since about 2007 under Head Somm Stephen Nisbet. I believe that the first monographs were ‘Glass of Orange’ by Rose Murray Brown MW in The Scotsman, April 2008, and Jancis Robinson MW’s write up of the Contrade dell’Etna tasting online in April 2008. (Frank Cornelissen was in Belgium getting divorced, and so I flew down to man his table, and used the term naturally.) It has since been used in most all the major UK & US broadsheets, blogs and beyond.

So, we could now go back and say that traditional Tokaji, where the aszu berries are macerated in a base wine, is orange, whereas modern direct-pressed Tokaji, or pure free-run Essenzia, is white. Same for white port: foot trod white-grape port is orange, whereas direct press white-grape port is white (if perhaps coloured due to oxidative tendancies, or elevage, which does not count.

Of course, someone may have said it before. Isabelle Legeron MW subsequently found the Pliny quote about there being ‘white, yellow, red and bIack wines’. (My orange is almost certainly his yellow.) I was simply systematic about choosing the name ‘orange’ and using it, with a certain group of people at a certain time, with no ambition other than enhancing communication, which seems to have worked. There was no forced attempt to make it stick: it merely happened to stick. I cannot truly say that I now entirely agree with my choice, however: it is no coincidence that Cornelissen calls his wine white, and Gravner calls his wine amber…

In 2011, I wrote a concise article for The World of Fine Wine, and in 2015, the entry on orange wine for The Oxford Companion to Wine, 4th Edition, edited by Jancis Robinson MW.

David A.Harvey
Raeburn Wines, London Office
david@raeburnfinewines.com
http://www.raeburnfinewines.com


FANTASTIC!!! Very informative and an enjoyable read! Mr. Harvey, Thank You, Again!

Folks, I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did. For a copy of the articles previously mentioned in Mr. Harvey’s article visit  The World of Fine Wine

 

Now, I’m on the hunt for some Orange Wines.

Salute! Sante!

Note. featured image from sloveniaforyou.com

Still in a Zin Mood – Brazin 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel

 

Goodness, I hope the scent of nail polish remover is coming from my fresh manicure that was done two hours ago and not from this Brazin 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi, CA).

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LAWD JESUS, let’s get this wine tasting started so I can decide if it’s going to be a Knob Creek evening :).

I’m still in my Zin mood from “The Federalist”. If you have not read my blog on  The Federalist and Tobaccology to the Rescue! check it out, the wine is delicious!

YIKES, this is harsh! Brazin needs some breathing time, even after aerating.

Twenty minutes later, I nervously sniff. Spicy aromas with a touch of turpentine; YUP, this is not a misprint, turpentine. Research states the scent of turpentine in wine is due to Volatile Acid, which is cause when bacteria create acetic acid, the substance that gives vinegar its flavor.

Once I get pass the turpentine aroma, I’m detecting blackberries flavors with hints of cocoa and the wine is young. I will chalk this up that I received a bad bottle, I hope :/ .

Curiosity got the best of me and I had to read the reviews on Brazin 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, which were mixed. The Wine Enthusiast rated Brazin 85 points and described the wine as follows:

A sweet, syrupy aroma and candied fruit flavors, sprinkled with baking-spice notes from oak aging, make this wine attractive in a bubble-gum way. It is fruity, medium bodied, fresh and frothy.

I wish I purchased this bottle of Brazin.

My fellow Zinlovers, dare if you will; but remember “Life is too short to drink bad wine”.

 

Salute! Sante!

Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo & LaGloria Series R

The Cure for Mars-Mercury Retrograde

You know you are in for treat when you pop the cork and you are greeted with a blast fruity aromas. There’s a haze of aromas in the air and a slight breeze just carried it away. Mmmm… thus far, Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo Di Manduria is off to a great start.

Color – beautiful shimmering crimson red color.

Taste – OMG! Fruit-forward black cherries flavors with soft mild tannins on the finish. The third sip introduces earthy and spicy notes with a slight herbal on the back of the palate.

Pinnacoli Primitivo is the perfect cure to Mars-Mercury retrograde. Mars-Mercury retrograde??? Yes, Mars-Mercury retrograde, let me explain:

 

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courtesy of almanac.com

Excerpt from Farmer’s Almanac:

Meaning of Mercury Retrograde
… Sometimes the other planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion. 
Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. This time was traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration. Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.

What to Do When Mercury is Retrograde
The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So,when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.
About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand.  You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.

To make matters worse, Mars is also in retrograde. Yes, the universe is giving us a double-whamming. If you are curious, per the Farmer’s Almanac, following are the 2016 Mercury Retrograde dates and Do’s and Dont’s during Mars-Mercury Retrograde:

• January 5 to 25
• April 28 to May 22
• August 30 to September 22
• December 19 to 31

MARS is Retrograde – Be Careful of Your Actions: 5 DOs
and 5 Dont’s – Mars Retrograde Do’s and Dont’s.

… Once every 2 years the planet Mars goes retrograde, as it will from April 17 through June 29, 2016. During this time span we may want to think “twice” about initiating certain actions because the retrograde can lower our energy level and bring frustration and obstacles to our major efforts.

In less than a week, I began to experience the effects of Mars-Mercury retrograde:

  • First incident, my federal taxes were rejected due to someone used my social security number to files taxes to receive a refund;
  • Second, family crisis; and
  • The third incident, my lawnmower that I utilized for only one season started leaking gasoline. In my attempt to save money, I told my lawn service that their services were no longer required this season.

I surrendered to the universe and allowed the system to correct itself. So, I did what I do best, sip, puff and write.

 

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Enough astrology; now, it’s time to see how well Pinnacoli Primitivo pairs with a full-bodied La Gloria Cubana Series R cigar. I typically would not pair a full-bodied cigar with a Zinfandel. For those of you who do not know, Primitivo is the same as Zinfandel (Zin).

DNA testing confirmed that Italy’s Primitivo and Crljenak Kastelanski, an ancient Croatian variety, are genetically identical to California’s Zinfandel grape. However, there are some differences in vine strength and the size of the grapes cluster. In April 2002, U.S. government was considering Zinfandel and Primitivo as synonyms. However, a decision has not been made and the U.S. requires Zinfandel and Primitivo be identified separately on wine labels. (wineinstitute.org and winespector.com)

You can’t discuss Zinfandel without mentioning Ridge Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA, which in my opinion produces MAGNIFICENT Zins!

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Courtesy of lagloriacubana.com

 

LaGloria Cubana is one of “go-to” cigars that never disappoints. I have to mention, you have to respect the workmanship that goes into designing a cigar band. It by far doesn’t represent the quality and taste of a cigar. But, as consumers, we are attracted to the flashy and the Series R band is a nice piece of art.

LaGloria Cubana Series R has a nice draw and I’m detecting cocoa flavors -smooth smoke. The LaGloria has soften the cherry flavors and reintroduced herbal notes in the wine. My wine covered palate has also produced spicy and herbal notes in the cigar. FANTASTIC smoke!

Smoking a cigar and sipping a delicious wine unwinds the mind and relaxes the soul; I am content.

 

I will say Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo Di Manduria is holding up well to LaGloria Cubana Series R. FOLKS, WE HAVE A MATCH!

 

 

P.S. In my attempt to be healthy, I’m consuming one glass of wine a day. On day three, Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo is still yummy and flavors continue to intensify.

Salute!

Announcing Our New Book – “The Puros Diary vol.1”

 

Challenges of the Self-Publishing

The self-publishing process to release an affordable and quality product has been daunting. Without a major publishing company to cover sales, printing and marketing expenses, which are outrageous, prevents an author to release a product at large volume and for a reasonable sale price. Even though troublesome and days of contemplation, we continued with our goal & published a book, which will soon be available in an ebook edition.

Our adult illustrated short story base cost has exceeded our desired sale price. So, do not be alarmed by the sticker price and hold the “Who the hell do they think they are?!” comments 🙂 ; just know the profit is below $5.00.

Without further a due, we are proud to release the cover our first book collaboration, “The Puros Diary vol. 1”.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

The Puros Diary vol.1 is a journey through a smoke screen where the forbidden burns the imagination. The diary proposes an eye through a key hole of unusual passion, sensuality and burning leaves.

Release date: June 2016

Justin Cabernet Sauvignon and its Many Accolades

 

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When a wine makes your eyes close and your head sways and at that moment, it’s just you and the wine. You have just experience, what I refer to as “Wine Utopia”. Justin Cabernet Sauvignon has done just that! Right smack in the middle of Matchbox, Woodbridge, VA.

 

After 3 hours for shopping for a prom dress for the teen, I’m in dire need of a drink. I already have my mind set on a slice pepperoni pizza “Mark” style, which is served with bananas peppers. I hope it’s as delicious as Quattro Goombas brick oven pepperoni pizza with banana peppers.

 

 

To my surprise they list a “draft wine”. Curiosity has become me and I had to have a taste… ehhh too light.

 


Then my eyes set upon “Justin” Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. I have been following Justin on Instagram and I now have the opportunity to finally taste a Justin wine. FOLKS, Justin’s Cabernet Sauvignon is DIVINE! Oh My Goodness, ripped black cherries and peppery fall aromas.

Maybe it’s shopping fatigue or my need of serenity. Call it what you may, Justin Cabernet Sauvignon is FRIGGIN FANTASTIC! So fantastic that I pulled out my phone to immediately record this experience.

Every sip of Justin is DELICIOUS and paired with the pizza is producing charcoal smoky flavors, MAGNIFICENT!!! 

Tasting notes from justinwine.com

“COLOR: Clear with a dark ruby purple core lightening at the rim.

AROMA: Aromatic with ripe black cherry, blackcurrant and berry fruit with vanilla, cinnamon and subtle dried fall leaf accents.

PALATE: Classic cabernet with moderate plus blackcurrant and cherry fruit and baking spice flavors on the entry. Sweet tobacco and savory herbal notes arrive on the mid palate, along with beautifully balanced tannins that provide a structure that supports the wine through its perfectly balanced, clean finish.

FOOD PAIRINGS: It would be hard to find a better go-to red wine to go with a wide range of red wine leaning foods like steak, lasagna or a wood fired pizza.”

 

Good to see that I made the perfect wine selection to pair with my Mark style pizza.

Then there was dessert. I will just say that the diner scene with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally” was recreated; YUP, ORGASMIC!

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I can not wait to visit Matchbox again to find other delights.

 

Salute!

“Sunshine in a Bottle” – Cana Vineyards 2012 Rhapsody in White

 

Note. This blog was written during my “blogging block”. I had no trouble sipping just to lazy or tipsy to post. As an FYI, there are a few more wine blogs coming that was created during this temporary phase of blockage.

 

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Cana Vineyards 2012 Rhapsody in White – I selected this wine because our stock of every day drinking red wine has depleted greatly. Plus, it is going to pair very well with the delicious pork chops and spinach salad my amazing husband and artist Amoxes (visit Amoxes Art page; gotta get that plug-in :)) has made for dinner.

 

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Yes, he’s not only creates masterpieces on canvas, his talent extends to the kitchen and creates delicious gourmet meals. Teen: “How does he make gourmet meals with the food in our kitchen and you can’t?” Being the wonderful man that he is, he immediately replies “Your mom is a good cook.” Teen and I both know, he is being kind. I’m not bad, but I am nowhere in his league.

To be honest, I was disrespecting the wine and just pulled out anything and wasn’t expecting much. To my great surprise, I selected a beautiful shimmery golden Cana Vineyards 2012 Rhapsody in White. Rhapsody is airy (you can feel the breeze-wind) with flavors of pineapples and pink grapefruit with a touch of sparkle, which I am unsure what is producing the effervescent. Cana’s Rhapsody in White is a delicious semi-sweet white wine with low residual sugar; Elegant!

Maybe it is the name, the airy-windy aromas or soft sweet flavors, but I instantly imagine a woman in the middle of the open grassy field, her hair and dress blowing in the wind; this would be my wine label design for Rhapsody in White. You can guess what followed; “Babe, I need a quick illustration of …” what I just wrote and POOF! In approximately ten minutes, I was presented with “Rhapsody”, which was created utilizing an ink pen. HE’S AMAZING! 

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Hmmm… (sipping) I may have to rethink the cancellation of my wine club membership at Cana. Even on the brink of the Washington, DC 2016 Blizzard, I’m having some sunshine, “Sunshine in a Bottle“. PERFECT NAME!

 

Washington DC area 2016 Blizzard

 

My first review of Cana’s 2012 Rhapsody in White was in August 2014, read the first blog at treevinos.com, “Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg, Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover.

In 2014, I described this “Sunshine in a Bottle” as a semi-sweet white wine, 50% Riesling and 50% Traminette, floral and citrus aromas, 4.2% residual sugar – not heavy or sugary. GOOD, check mark. Two years later, Rhapsody has aged deliciously.

Folks, I have to share, I wasn’t spelling the word “effervescent” properly. So, I decided to speak the word and have my MAC record the word correctly. I selected the “Speech” option and began to say the word, at the monitor-into the invisible microphone LOL (hey, I thought all Apple products operate the same LOL). A male voice began to recite the blog. I have to admit hearing your words spoken by a male is an indescribable feeling. It also provides insight from the reader’s perspective. WIERD 🙂

Cana Vineyards 2012 Rhapsody in White is a fruity delicious wine that would be perfect for a brunch and pleasurable to wine novices and connoisseurs.

Visit Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg 

 

at 38600 John Mosby Highway, Middleburg, VA 20117

Open on Saturday 11 am – 6 pm and Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday from 12 pm – 6 pm. Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Visit their website for more information: canavineyards.com 

Salute! Sante!