Graduating & Wine Tasting

Hello friends! It has been awhile since I’ve posted and I am sorry!

If you have been wondering what I have been up to lately, it’s school!
I will be graduating in June and as a graduation gift to myself I have booked a 15 day trip to Europe! I can hardly wait to try all of the fabulous Italian wines. I will be staying in Florence and Rome while in Italy and would love any recommendations of wineries in the area. Cheers!
Map of Italian Wine Regions

(Image Source: Wine Folly)


Venturini Baldini Lambrusco dell’Emilia

Let me tell you about my best friend.

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Why is this wine my best friend?
Because like my best friend, this Lambrusco is dry, sweet, bubbly, and full of character.

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I have had the Venturini Baldini Lambrusco a number of times and let me tell you, it never gets old. The bouquet on this wine is fruit-forward and sweet. However, once you take a sip you are introduced to the soft tannins and delicate acidity. I have served this wine over summer and I will be bringing a few bottles to Thanksgiving dinner as well. This is one of the most versatile wines I have ever tried. Not only is it refreshing and bubbly, it is also dry and earthy which will complement Thanksgiving dinner perfectly. Along with producing wines, the Venturini Baldini estate is also known for their production of cask-aged vinegars. The estate prides themselves on their use of organic farming. They explain on their website that they may produce fewer grapes by using natural fertilzers, but the results from this method of farming are “tastier” and “healthier”. *Fingers crossed* I am hoping to visit Italy after I graduate college and the Venturini Baldini estate will be a point of interest for me. Not only for their wonderfully delicious and organic wines, but also because I am a sucker for a good aged balsamic. 🙂

Cheers to a short work week & a Happy Thanksgiving!

Baldini Lambrusco dell’Emilia
Region: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Alcohol by Volume: 11%
Avg. Bottle Price: $16.99

Joseph Filippi Winery

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Located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA lies the charming, boutique-style Joseph Filippi Winery. We are all familiar with Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles, but Rancho Cucamonga, California? Believe it or not, the Cucamonga wine district originated in 1838 where the valley’s earliest vineyards were planted by Jose Maria Valdez. Today, we can thank Secondo Guasti for the prosperity of the Cucamonga wine district. Guasti took notice of the superb wine-making conditions and purchased 8 square miles of the Cucamonga wine district which eventually grew to be over 5,000 acres.The Joseph Filippi Winery is one of the many stone winery buildings that Guasti erected on the land he purchased.

Since moving to Rancho Cucamonga almost a year ago, I have passed the Joseph Filippi Winery a number of times. I had heard many good things about the winery from friends and family and I was eager to experience it for myself. After parking, 2014-11-14 14.32.21I couldn’t help but take in the beautiful scenery that surrounded me.
I know it is hard to believe,but it was a brisk 68 degrees in Southern California the day that I visited the winery, which is perfect wine tasting weather if you ask me. I was greeted by Dave Gordon, who so graciously walked me through a fabulous wine tasting as well as a very informative tour of the winery. Along with the wines, I really enjoyed learning about the Redwood tanks that the winery ages their ports and sherries in. The Joseph Filippi Winery has had the Redwood tanks since the 1930s and they are known to be around 2,000 years old. Along with the Redwood tanks, they also age their ports and sherries in whiskey barrels. Stainless steel tanks are also used at the winery for a variety of different reasons such as for fermentation, storage, or the blending of grape varietals. If you are in the area and stop by the Joseph Filippi Winery, I strongly suggest taking the winery tour.

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I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the 2009 Zinfandel Reserve. This wine is perfectly balanced with bold tannins and a soft smoky finish. I will definitely be picking up a bottle (or 2) for the upcoming winter months. I was also a fan of the Chardonnay and the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay was mild and fruity, perfect for the summer time. While on the other hand, the Cabernet Sauvignon was medium-bodied with hints of spice and dark cherry. I am not usually a fan of sweet wines; however, Gordon mixed me a concoction called the “Almond Joy” and I must say it was quiet delicious. The Almond Joy was a mixture of their almond champagne (yum!) and the chocolate port. I definitely suggest giving this sweet treat a try as well.

If you are ever visiting Southern California, look no further than Rancho Cucamonga where you will find the wonderful Joseph Filippi Winery. And if you ever need a friend to visit the winery with, you know where to find me 🙂

Cheers to another wonderful week!

2011 Pisano Rio de Los Pajaros Reserve

It has definitely been a busy week for me between midterms, presentations, and papers. However, I couldn’t forget about my favorite day of the week, Wine Wednesday! I know, I know.. I am a day late with my post but you better believe I enjoyed a glass of wine before bed last night. I sent my boyfriend out yesterday to pick up a bottle of2014-11-05 22.12.14 wine from Total Wines & More that I had done some research on. After reading this article, Could wines from Uruguay be the next big thing?, I couldn’t help but track down a bottle of Uruguayan wine. I decided on the 2011 Pisano Rio de Los Pajaros Reserve. This wine is a delicious blend of Tannat, Syrah, and Viognier. Tannat is a brand new grape to me, I had never heard of it before searching for Uruguayan wines. It turns out that Tannat originated in Southwest France; however, it is now one of the most well-known grapes of Uruguay. The color of this wine is a gorgeous purple hue with a distinct aroma of blackberry and spice. Those I enjoyed this wine with were all fans; however, we all agreed that letting the wine breathe for fifteen minutes definitely helped. I loved the soft tannins this wine offered along with the earthy undertones. I would recommend this wine paired with an aged cheese and smoked sausage platter. (Yum!) Cheers to a great week and to finding a new and delicious wine!

2011 Pisano Rio de Los Pajaros Reserve
Region: Progreso, Uruguay
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Avg. Bottle Price: $14.99

Time to Break Out the Bubbly!

2014-11-02 14.08.58Now that Halloween has come and gone, I am already on to the next holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are all great holidays to bring out the bubbly and cheers to friends, family, good health. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bottle of Champagne, but this Zonin Prosecco is my new favorite bottle of bubbly.
With subtle notes of almond and fresh fruit, you really can’t go wrong with this sparkling wine.

Prosecco or Champagne? Both are sparkling wines; however, the region and the grapes used to produce the two are what make them different. Champagne can only come from the Champagne region in France and Prosecco is a sparkling wine produced in the Veneto region of Italy. Prosecco is only made from one grape, the Italian grape Glera, while Champagne is made from chardonnay, pinot meunier, and pinot noir. The process of producing Champagne is more complex, which in turn tends to be more expensive. Since I am a college girl on a budget, I am going to stick to my ever so delicious bottle of Prosecco. 🙂

Cheers to a fabulous week and a Happy November!

Zonin Prosecco
Region: Italy
Alcohol by Volume: 11%
Avg. Bottle Price: $14.99

Devilishly Delicious Halloween Wines

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Halloween Inspired Wines

With Halloween right around the corner, I have been searching for a few wines I could enjoy while passing out candy to the kiddos. While browsing the aisles at my local BevMo I was surprised with just how many wine labels are Halloween inspired. From a chardonnay labeled Ghost Pines to a red blend called Phantom, the list of spooky Halloween wines is endless. The three wines I decided to give a try are Boneshaker, The Velvet Devil, and Incognito. Boneshaker was by far my favorite out of the three. The aroma, flavor, and even the label all worked together nicely. At first glance you notice a skull, but as you examine the label a bit longer you notice the bicycle which makes up the skull’s eyes. This bicycle that you notice is actually called a velocipede and was given the nickname “boneshaker” due to the extreme discomfort this bicycle caused its riders. Boneshaker is a zinfandel out of Lodi, California. I may be a bit biased towards Boneshaker because I haven’t met a zin from Lodi, California that I haven’t loved. The Velvet Devil is smooth and luxurious just like velvet. This merlot is full-bodied with aromas of plum and dark cherries. Both The Velvet Devil and Boneshaker would complement a nice hearty meal. I would suggest a chunky two-bean and beef chili. (Yum!) I of course had to incorporate a white wine into my list of Halloween wines. Incognito, from the Michael David Winery, is a great, easy to drink white blend that will surely stand out at any Halloween party. This white blend tastes as good as it smells. With flavors of melon, apricot, and peach who could say no to this wonderfully crisp white blend. Incognito was so enjoyable, I would suggest savoring this wine all on its own. (At least that’s what I did) This is one white wine I will surely keep around through the winter months. All three Halloween inspired wines were devilishly delicious and you don’t have to be frightened by the prices of these wines, all three were under $20.

Until next week, cheers!

Boneshaker 2012 Zinfandel
Winery: Hahn Family Wines
Region: Lodi, California
88% Zinfandel
12% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol by Volume: 15%
Avg. Bottle Price: $18.99

The Velvet Devil 2012 Merlot
Winery: Charles Smith
Region: Washington State
90% Merlot
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Avg. Bottle Price: $10.99

Incognito 2012 White Wine Blend
Winery: Michael David Winery
Region: Lodi, California
Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Avg. Bottle Price: $14.99

(Image Credit): Vivino