Friday, October 31, 2014

The Latest & Greatest You Must Try…

There is still quite a bit left here to checkout*, but I couldn’t wait to talk about some of my latest finds. After all, we are getting near the holidays. It’s time to put some ideas in your head…

Wine…
Prinz Von Hessen Rieslings
Some of my favorite wines have been Rieslings. It’s a grape that’s gotten a bad rap because everyone presumes it’s supposed to be sweet. The truth is that Rieslings can run from super sweet (like a late harvest) to dry.

I tried a trio of Rieslings from Prinz Von Hessen in Johannesburg, Germany. They varied quite a bit in both taste and price, but I liked them all.

2012 Prinz Von Hessen-A semi dry wine with strong citrus, especially lemon. A great find for $16.
2012 Prinz Von Hessen Royal-A bit drier, with some apricot mixed with the citrus. Worth $25.
2007 Prinz Von Hessen Weingut-A lot less fruit, more toast and vanilla. This wine is closer to an aged chardonnay. A good splurge wine at $60.

Spirits…
Dark Chocolate Godiva Liqueur
It was hard to imagine there would be anything wrong with the combination of dark chocolate and Godiva and I was right. This is heaven in a bottle for the chocolate lover. I poured it in coffee, mixed it in a martini, and even tried some over cake. This is a must-have for every bar.

French Gin
I am definitely a gin girl and two different brands of French gin were recently presented to me. I love tasting gin and trying to convince others to do so. It’s so hard to get people past the stage of “I don’t like gin.” Gin can be many different flavor combinations, as long as it has juniper in it.

Here are four totally different gins that I enjoyed:

Citadelle Gin
I love everything about this gin. It is super smooth, yet complex. The bottle says it has “19 spices from around the world,” but the flavor of each is so mild you’ll have trouble picking them out. I would have no problem drinking this with a little ice if I didn’t have a mixer around.

Citadelle Reserve Gin
I’ve previously tried barrel-aged gin and I was not a fan. This one is quite different. While it has a bit of an edge to it, I knew I was drinking gin, not whiskey. I still would prefer my gin to have more botanical and less vanilla when straight or with plain soda, but this really made an incredible gin and tonic.

GVine Gin Floraison
I hope all non-gin drinkers will at least try this. It’s a perfect example of gin that tastes nothing like you are used to. It’s definitely floral, with the vine flower making its way to the top of the tasting notes. On the other hand, I also get the herbs, especially the juniper and ginger. I will definitely drink this again.

GVine Gin Nouaison
This gin was created in small copper stills and it too has an unusual taste profile. I tasted more of the lime here. It’s also a bit more powerful, with hints of coriander and licorice.

Beer…
Innis & Gunn
As everyone knows by now, I’m not a big beer drinker, but I always keep a list of friends who are beer connoisseurs to come over and give some a try. Innis & Gunn of Scotland sent over some samples and the consensus is that the Toasted Oak Indian Pale Ale (IPA) is the best. This oak-aged beer past the “a bit out of the ordinary” beer to drink test.

Also popular is the Innis & Gun Rum Aged beer, a darker beer. A friend did say, though, that he’d prefer it room temperature rather than the suggested chilled.


*As is always my policy, I only share what I like, regardless of what is given to me complimentary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wine, Spirits & Other Finds

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this page. I’ve been traveling, getting started on my new Midwest Travel section on About.com, and keeping up with my other blog, Wine And Spirits Travel.  

I’ve also been doing a lot of sampling on and off the road. It’s about time I shared some of these great items. * I expect to start updating this column again at least monthly.

Wine…
My favorite of what I’ve received this summer:
2013 Mercer Yakima Valley Pinot Gris
A must try for those like me who really appreciate a good light and white.

An easy drinking bubbly which has a hint of strawberry:
Montalbera Bollicine Roseus Brut

A peachy Moscato-like wine you can take this along anywhere:
Naked Wines Wanderlust White


For the dry red drinker, who likes that cherry nose:
2009 Reserve Abacela Tempranillo

If you like a sparkle in your apple, you’ll love the strong green apple notes in this:
Kramer Vineyards 2013 Celebrate Pinot Gris

Though it’s not one of my favorite wines, this not too heavy, black cherry and white pepper taste took me in:
2010 Mckinley Springs Cabernet Sauvignon


Spirits…

Straight up cold, or on the rocks, this one’s super-refreshing:
Malibu Sparkler

A smooth taste distilled with corn and wheat from the heartland:
Salute America Vodka


And More…

Cascade Ice
I love this brand of zero calorie sparkling water that is sweetened with real fruit. My favorite is the Coconut Pineapple (add some rum and you have a super skinny piƱa colada), but I also enjoyed the Peach Mango and Coconut.


*As is always my policy, I only share what I like, regardless of what is given to me complimentary.