Thursday, June 30, 2011

White Sangria

Sometimes, Sangria sounds good... but then you start thinking... I'd prefer a white wine base instead of a red wine base.  (No?  You don't?  Oh!  Well I do!)

White Sangria
(Photo by author)

After enjoying a nice, sweet white sangria this past weekend, I thought I'd share an easy recipe that I discovered while dining at Disney's Beach Club Cape May Cafe!

White Sangria
1 shot of Peach Schnapps
Lots of ice
Fill with your favorite Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris) or Chenin Blanc
Add an orange slice and some fresh raspberries, as well as a fun/crazy straw

Tell me this doesn't sound incredibly delicious while sitting outside reading your favorite summer book, watching the 4th of July fireworks, or simply enjoying a meal with your family (as we did).  :)  And, it's incredibly simple to make!  Plus, unlike red sangria, there's no wait time to enjoy it.  You can drink right after mixing.  Cheers!

"Johnny Depp" and I enjoying our red and white sangrias
(Photo by my little brother, Chris)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's in My Glass Wednesdays! 2009 Agiorgitiko "My Big Fat Greek Wine"

What do you drink when you're on vacation?  Apparently, I partake in some wine!  

Wine from Kouzinna
(Photo by author)

I thought it ironic that after posting a huge article on the wines of Greece on Friday (if you missed it, catch it here), I actually had some Greek wine while with my parents and "Johnny Depp" at Kouzzina, Cat Cora's (aka Iron Chef Cat Cora) restaurant at the Disney Boardwalk in Orlando, Florida!  [Side not: "Kouzzina" means "kitchen" in Greek... or so we were told...]

Entrance to Kouzzina by Cat Cora
(Photo by author)

Regardless, I chose a red Agiorgitiko from Peloponnese, Greece.  Which apparently looks like this...

(Photo from Google Images)

Agiorgitiko is a Greek variety that is either produced on the heavy-tannin side or light and fruity.  We tried 2 Agiorgitiko's and I have to say, I enjoyed the light and fruity one much better than the tannic one.  Plus, the fruit and slight spice paired well with everyone's spanakopita (Greek spinach pie in phyllo dough) and Greek Trio (Greek lasagna, char-grilled lamb burger, and cinnamon stewed chicken with orzo).... yuuuummmm.  I didn't get any pictures of the food (it was too enticing and I dove right in!).  But I did snag a photo of the illuminated olive oils.  (They did serve an olive oil tasting, which was to die for!)

Greek Olive Oils
(Photo by author)

Needless to say, this wine won't disappoint.  On a bonus note - "My Big Fat Greek Wine" served it's purpose: it brought our family together for an evening out, in the hot Florida sun, with lots of new food and good memories to remember.  Opa!!!

Opa!  "Johnny Depp", me, Dad, and Mom at Kouzinna
(Photo by Eddie... from Kouzinna)

2009 Agiorgitiko by "My Big Fat Greek Wine"

The D-2010 Scale 
2009 Agiorgitiko by "My Big Fat Greek Wine" (Peloponnese, Greece)
Appearance (10 points possible): dark red ruby color, dark red edges - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Lots of red fruit.  Fresh red berries, roses, slight hints of cedar, raw oak, and cinnamon. - 18 points
Taste (10 points possible):  Very light and fruity on the palate.  No real depth mid-palate, but lots of berries and slight spice flavors.  A crisp acidity and lingering finish of cedar, oak, spice, and vanilla.  Think beautiful woman in a flowy white dress in the crisp coastal breeze... type of red wine. - 8 points
Balance (5 points possible): A light red wine.  No one attribute really stuck out, but it did lack some depth and structure. - 4 points
Finish (5 points possible): Hints of cedar and spice with a touch of vanilla kiss your palate. - 4 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible):  Dark glass, Nomacorc closure (unprinted), and peel-off capsule (which means you don't have to use your sommelier tool on the corkscrew!). - 4 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible):  LOOK at this label!  HOW FUN IS THAT?  I'm sure it's not "classy" but it sure caught my attention.  I'm glad the waitress gave us a taste, however, because I might have been swayed that it was a bad wine hid behind a good marketing scheme. - 10 points
Other (5 points possible):  I don't know - Opa! - 5 points
Total Points: 93 points
Overall Thought: This is the perfect introductory dry, red wine.  It's fruity and yet slightly serious at the same time.  It's a good red for those that prefer less-tannic and low-alcohol reds, but yet, captures the finesse of a good red wine for those serious red wine drinkers.  And I think the acidity in this wine made it perfect for the Greek meal we enjoyed.  Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better wine at the restaurant.  It was fun enough to enjoy and yet cost effective.  "Johnny Depp" called it a Greek wine that was like traditional Chianti.  Opa!  (I think I just like saying "opa" all over my blog!)
Food Pairings:  I'd say this wine goes well with Greek food.  :)  After all, it was produced in Greece!  Try it with some spanakopita, gyros, Greek salads, Greek olives... whatever your favorite Greek dish could be. 
Cost: Retails for about $10 (you'll pay more in a restaurant)
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1 - This is a fun red wine that is a good way to introduce you to Greek wines.
Where to buy:  It looks like "My Big Fat Greek Wine" is being retailed heavily at restaurants, but I suggest you check out their website for a retail store near you!  Opa!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Have Some Wine Fun with Lolita Wine Glasses

Every time I walk into a Hallmark shop, I can't help but evaluate the recent updates of Lolita wine glasses or Designs by Lolita.  

Lolita Glasses at Hallmark
(Photo by author)

True, they aren't your sommelier style evaluate-sip-evaluate-swirl-sip-evaluate wine glasses.  However, how fun would it be to have a wine glass that represents you?  I often have found myself purchasing a few of these for special occasions - turning 50, getting into the world of wine tasting, graduating from college or graduate school, getting over a lost love, Father's Day, etc.  Whatever the occasion, Lolita's wine glasses have something for everyone.  

And they aren't overly expensive.  Most glasses cost just under $25 online.  (A retail store may sell them at a slightly higher price.)  Each is hand painted and fun with a wine cocktail written on the bottom of the glass to match the theme of the glass.  Here's just a few of my favorites (all photos from Lolita Wine Glasses website):

Beach Diva

Bubble Bath


Movie Night

Pink Ribbon

Wine Tasting

Little Black Dress

19th Hole

For the manly gifts, there's also Rocks Glasses, such as Lolita's Poker Rocks Glass:

Or add some colorfully designed classes that are very retro-chic:
Pointelle Stemless Glass

Gallery Crawler Stemless Glass

Palm of My Hand Stemless Glass

Or, you'll also find Lolita's ornaments.  Check out these wee little ones that I found out the local Hallmark store:
(Photo by author)

Lolita Bejeweled Mini Wine Ornament
Bejeweled Mini Ornament

Check out more of Lolita's products and themed paintings at Designs by Lolita!