Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Wine News You Can Use: The CARE Law

I usually try to stay away from things controversial, but I kind of liked this article (although I only skimmed through most of it).  In the past few years, I've become extremely interested in what started Prohibition, how Prohibition played out in the U.S., and the effects of Prohibition today.  The state distribution laws were one of those things, and now that we're entering the days an internet-buying society, I think this article is worth sharing.  Here's what's going on in America in the wine world today.  Enjoy!

This article was originally posted at  It has been pasted here for your convenience.

Alcohol bill splits industry, campaign contributions

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wine at Disney World, Orlando, Florida

I had to do a brief post for those that are waiting to travel to Disney World, and aren't sure if you'll get to capture in some of that childhood fun with a taste of adulthood.  I can definitely say that for the first time in my life, my recent visits to Disney World (in Orlando, FL) have been exceptionally different than times past.  This may be because I'm older, the company, or the fact that I actually stopped to enjoy an alcoholic beverage here and there... but nonetheless, I was thrilled for these experiences. 

As I've gotten older, I really enjoy EPCOT.  Visiting the countries - going in and out of air conditioning when it gets too hot - is perfect.  Plus, almost every country has a signature menu or beverage listing that you can indulge in.  Gone are the days where there are many little children around to watch them fly on the dumbo ride (that's at Disney World) and in are the days where we eat, drink, and laugh all day long (while watching other families struggle with little kids).  =)  What's there to do at Disney as an adult, you ask?  Please, allow me to share some of my experiences!  Seriously, I can tie wine into every-day living no matter what!  (My family is going to be thrilled I'm sharing these pictures with you...)

(Photo by my grandfather)

First, I'd make a brief decision on what kind of alcohol you'll be enjoying throughout the day.  For example, the day that we went, we stuck to mixed drinks because it was incredibly hot and I wasn't sure how beer or wine would make me feel out in the Florida sun.  Second, also make sure that you drink plenty of water.  You pay a lot of money to get into EPCOT, so enjoy the day... don't drink it away!  That being said, there were some incredible mixed drink options:

Orange & Lemon Alcohol Slush
Orange = Grand Marnier
Lemon = Vodka

Carbonated Raspberry Flavored Vodka (shown with my uncle)
Orange Slush (shown with my aunt)

Both of these beverages were served outside of France.  If you want my expert opinion, grab the drinks outside of France and sit inside one of the French cafes while enjoying some of their pastries.  Absolutely marvelous way to spend a hot afternoon.  Oh!  And I was told that the restaurant at France is to die for - very classy and dressy.

French Restaurant at EPCOT
(Photo from Google Images)

We also indulged ourselves in margaritas outside of Mexico.  They were splendid!  A hefty $9 to $12 (depending on your choice of tequila), but you received a good quantity and could opt for several flavors.  This drink was incredibly refreshing to sit out and watch the Monorail go by!

Margarita Hut at EPCOT -- TOTALLY worth the stop
(Photo from Google Images)

We also attempted a plum-wine green tea slush from Japan (I think it was Japan...).  I have to admit, I was not a fan.  The thing was incredibly sour.  I took one sip of that and passed it along, but it's there for those that are interested in trying something new!

Green Tea Plum Wine Slush Hut
(Photo from Google Images)

The Plum Wine Green Tea Slush 
(Photo from Google Images)

Italy was the hot spot to find some good deals on wines.  We spent some time in this wine shop:
It also featured a lot of wine goodies - like cork holders, cork screws, coasters, etc.  I really enjoyed this shop.  Additionally, Germany featured some great Rieslings and Gewurztraminer.  We were all incredibly attracted to the Affentaler Rieslings - I think the bottle had something to do with it:
(Photo from Google Images)

Germany at EPCOT
(Photo from Google Images)

Or if you need that California Wine Country kick, wait the line out for Soarin' (or grab a Fast Pass in the early morning to return at a later time).  As my aunt says, this ride is worth a day at EPCOT.  Although it only lasts a few minutes, the ride lets you float around the entire state of California, including Wine Country.  (You'll flight right through some hot air balloons!)  It definitely was a bit surreal to see all those sights after living there for about 2 years. 

Soarin' - the Ride Over the Golden Gate Bridge
(Photo from Google Images)

Regardless - my point is this: you can find wine everywhere!  Even at Disney.  And, I must put a small tab here that EPCOT features their International Food & Wine Festival every year from September through early November.  I'm going to try to make it a point to get there this year and do some wine investigation.  Hopefully, there will be more on that in the future!  Cheers!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's in My Glass Wednesdays! 2007 Brut Rose by Domaine Carneros Winery

There needed to be a wine that was classy, but fun to sum up my 2 months here in Florida.  And here it is - my last wine review from the Sunshine State: Brut Rose by Domaine Carneros (by Taittinger).  As I'm obsessed with bubbly, it seems only fitting to "cheers" my exit with some slightly salmon-colored bubbles.

I have to admit that I'm rather sad I never stopped to photograph Domaine Carneros Winery despite the many times I drove by it or stopped at it for work or fun.  Thankfully, there are a lot of images on Google, and this one pretty much captures the essence of the winery:

Domaine Carneros
(Photo from Google Images)

I'm especially a fan of the purple/pink Spring time flowers.  :)  Gorgeous, classy, sophisticated - the quintessential visit if you only get to go to Napa and Sonoma once.  This winery lies right on the crossroad (Highway 121/12 or the Carneros Highway) between the start of Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  They make brilliant Pinot Noirs and some incredible sparkling.  Sit on their balcony and watch the cars pass by while you indulge in a moment of a serenity:

View from Domaine Carneros Balcony
(Photo from Google Images)

One sip of their Brut Rose (said "rose-ay") took me back to the days of Napa... reminding me of my time well-spent there, the experiences and sights, the day-to-day routine, and the countless rows of California wines at my finger tips...  But the glass was also used in celebration of my fun times in Florida and, of course, new memories to come.  Without further ado... 

Sparkling Wines at Domaine Carneros
(Photo from Wikipedia)

2007 Brut Rose
(Photo by author)

The D-2010 Scale 
2007 Brut Rose by Domaine Carneros (Carneros, CA)
Appearance (10 points possible): Lots of small bubbles burst from this salmon-hued/light pink wine.  Bubbles are everlasting - signature of the Methode Champenoise style. - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Strawberry, bread/yeast, slight rose. - 18 points
Taste (10 points possible): Off-dry Brut sparkling, but the wine seems particularly dry.  Light bodied, crisp in acid, nice strawberry, but aged flavor.  Very refreshing. - 8 points
Balance (5 points possible): I thought this sparkling was perfectly balanced - no one attribute really stood out to me, and I'm especially happy to see the 12% alcohol limit for this style.  Wine is 55% Pinot Noir grapes and 45% Chardonnay. - 5 points
Finish (5 points possible): Again, a nice combination of a slightly fruit, but aged sparkling.  Finish lingers forever and definitely refreshes palate.  A good sparkling choice for when you want something subdued and sophisticated. - 5 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible):  Label, glass bottle, cork, and capsule are all high quality. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): To the modern-aged wine drinker, this may not be appealing from a marketing perspective. But, in terms of the Napa/Sonoma tradition, the appearance is quite lovely.  I especially enjoy the golden symbol of the winery. - 8 points
Other (5 points possible): Traditional, California packaging.  And of course, the style of this label fits the "ambiance" of the tasting room. - 5 points
Total Points: 94 points
Overall Thought: I enjoyed this bubbly.  Of course, this is probably beyond the price point that many would like to spend for a sparkling wine, but I very much enjoyed it. 
Food Pairings:  We drank this throughout an afternoon on its own.  Truly enjoyed it without a major food pairing, but then again, I feel that way about most sparkling wines.  Of course, sparkling is a good choice whenever you need something light and refreshing between dishes.
Cost: $36
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 2 or 3, depending on your budget.  I would say this is an "occasion" wine.  If you want to get a sparkling wine from California with a little more class, then this is a good choice.  If you are looking for something sweet, fruity, and fun, then a lower tier sparkling wine is probably for you.  But there is a time and place for every wine out there!
Where to buy: I'd check this one out on their website!  Cheers!