Monday, September 14, 2015

Wine and Spirits to Warm your Fall

It’s that time of year when a chill starts to come into the air. What better way to warm up than with a glass of something tasty. Here are some of my recent finds.

Walnut Street Winery Shanle Tropical Breeze
This small winery in the suburb of Rochester, Illinois, went big, using grapes from all over the world and then blending the raw grapes into their own products. I’ve only tried one so far and it’s a winner. The Shanle Wines Tropical Breeze is an ideal viognier, easy drinking with light citrus and tropical notes.

Baglio Di Pianetto Ficiligno Viognier
This viognier from Sicily is quite different than the Shanle. It’s not quite as sweet and easier drinking, with hints of kiwi and lemon.

Vigna di Pettineo
Also from Sicily are two wines for those who want drier reds. Vigna di Pettineo Nero d’Avola is an excellent choice with strong chocolate flavors. It’s got a Chianti-like taste, dry, but fruity.

Vigna di Pittineo also has a Sedara which is well done, but very dry, with pepper and smooth tobacco notes.

Little Black Dress
If you are looking for an inexpensive Pinot Noir that even a non-pinot drinker (like me) will enjoy, this is the one. You’ll notice it’s lighter on the tobacco and pepper than most pinot noir, but has enough flavor to keep your interest.

Also from Little Black Dress is a Rose Pinot Grigio that was a nice change. It had a nice strawberry flavor, but it wasn’t too overpowering. Just make sure you chill this one well for full flavor.
Frontera Pinot Grigio, Concha Y Toro
This is the wine you want to stock up on and keep in your refrigerator. At only $11 a bottle, this Chilean pinot grigio is what you pull out when the neighbors drop by to sit on the porch, or when you don’t know what to bring to a large dinner party that will require more bottles than your budget will take, but you want to make a good impression. 

Frontera Pinot Grigio a very light wine with subtle notes of pear and just a bit of honeysuckle. It will go with everything.

New Amsterdam Pineapple Vodka
For a while, it seemed as if flavored vodkas were being delivered to my door all the time. It was the spirit to make and I tasted the good, the bad, and the ones that should not have wasted a bottle. It’s been months since I’ve gotten any flavored vodka, but this one was worth the wait. New Amsterdam did Pineapple Vodka just right, with lots of fruit flavor while keeping it from getting too sweet.

I’m fine with this just on the rocks, but a little coconut water could make a very light pina colada.

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