Scotch and Meaning : part 2

Here are the next two Glenmorangie Scotch from my taster pack. Glenmorangie is in the Highlands, which is the largest whisky producing region in Scotland. I find Glenomorangie to produce more full-bodies whiskies. There are 5 other regions producing Scotch, each with its own character. Most of my posts have been on wine, wine regions etc. and it’s well known that the flavor and aroma differ greatly depending on the region. Same goes for Scotch.  Some may be more peaty, others may be more smokey, yet others more full body vs light body. I find it interesting and there’s so much information to share: I’m keeping my post short these days, so, I encourage you to have fun exploring on your own and learn about the regions of Scotland. Maybe one day, when things settle down here at home, I will have time to write more frequent posts and include some details for you.

The Glenmorangie Original was like any other regular old Scotch, not impressive or complex in my opinion, but decent and good. This Scotch has a place color, a bit of an abrupt finish like many Scotches.  It’s aged in American white oak. Simple. Expected.

The Lasanta,  a deep apricot color, on the other hand, was very good, nice round long finish and a slight sweetness but still had that Scotch tingle we expect on the lips and at the back of the throat. I really enjoyed the Lasanta. It’s aged in sherry casks, giving it warmth, a little spice and nuttiness. This was an unexpected but close second to the Nectar D’Or reviewed in my previous post.

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Scotch and Meaning

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Hello Readers!

It’s so nice to have a few minutes to write to you. My dog Elvis is improving but we still have a long way to go. I celebrated two things over the weekend. The first and most important- Elvis started bearing weight on his affected hind leg. The second- I have an appointment with a local school department to discuss writing and teaching a curriculum for the kids on Self Love and Self Care.  Afterall, so many people have to re-learn how to really love when they hit adulthood. So, let’s teach them young, when it really makes a difference for communities and families.

So, in celebration, I bought myself some Scotch. I will be writing on each one I taste in the upcoming posts. The posts may still be brief as I’m still dealing with a lot at home right now, but I do like to share my experiences with you whenever I can jot down some quick notes. I hope you’ll give this Scotch a try and leave a comment if you have tried it. Enjoy!

Below you will find a photo of the cutest little tasting pack from Glenmorangie. I spent $25 US dollars and the tasting pack has 4 different bottles, each one is 100 ml.

I’ve tried one, which is also shown below in the photo. This is Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, aged 12 years in Sauterne barrels. It’s called Nectar D’Or. It is a gem, for sure. The choice of barrels , along with  the aging of 12 years really provides a smooth finish, not too smokey or peaty at all.  There is a viscosity to this one.  I enjoyed this gold-colored scotch on the rocks. It’s silky and ever so slightly sweet.  Scotch from Highlands is less smokey compared to Scotch from the Isle, which is more smokey. This Nectar D’Or is Luscious!

scotch botle

Glenmorangie’s website reveals this interesting tidbit: “The Tarlogie Springs, Glenmorangie’s own water source and most prized asset, is the product of rain that has been forcing its way through layers of limestone and sandstone for a hundred years. These natural minerals give it its ‘hard’ water qualities and provide Glenmorangie with a raw ingredient unique amongst Highland distilleries. Our ancient ancestors drank here, considering the pure, mineral-rich waters of the Springs to be sacred”.

 

scotch pack

Taking a hiatus

Hello all,

I’ve had one thing after another going on since late last summer. My dog Elvis had a torn ACL right hind with surgical repair and a 6 month recovery , now his left one is torn and surgery mostly likely next week. His sister has just been diagnosed with Cushings disease so I have my hands full at the moment, not to mention I work a day job as a nurse practitioner. So, Wine and Meaning will be reposting some fun articles to keep you entertained and informed during my hiatus and I will be back asap. Thanks for all your good wishes and understanding and loyalty along the way. God Bless each of you.IMG_0808

Pinot Blanc

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pinot blanc

A beautiful Trimbach Pinot Blanc from Alsace paired with hard salami wrapped around mozzarella cheese.

In Alsace, the wine produced from this grape is a full-bodied dry white wine and it pairs  very well with the saltiness of this hard salami and the creamy mozzarella. It is both fruity and floral with high acidity and generally made for immediate pleasure!

                    

Sparkling Wine: Tulip, Flute or Coupe?

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It’s always a good time for Sparkling Wine! Too many people I know enjoy it only for celebration. Think of sparkling wine as an everyday wine. There are many good producers offering bottles in the $15 USD range. I recommend a Brut (dry) version. Sparkling wine will go with just about any food you could try pairing with it. This Friday after work instead of cooking, pair take-out Chinese food with a sparkling wine.

Here’s a tip: try something new by enjoying your Champagne or Sparkling Wine in a white wine glass instead of a champagne flute. You’ll find it enhances the aspects of bubbles, aroma and taste.

There are several other glass types, more commonly used for Sparkling wine.

The flute is a stem glass with a tall tapered or elongated shape, designed to retain sparkling wine’s carbonation by reducing the surface area for it to escape.The champagne flute was developed in the early 1700s.

The coupe is a shallow saucer shaped stemmed glass. Romantics will tell you that the shape of the coupe was modelled on the breast of French queen Marie Antoinette. The facts tell us the glass was designed in England in 1663.

The tulip glass has wider flared body and mouth than the flute. Some think the tulip glass allows more of the aroma than a flute while still slowing the loss of carbonation.

Stay  in touch with Wine and Meaning. Here’s a link to a previous post on several influential female Champagne producers:

https://wordpress.com/post/wineandmeaning.com/2474

glass-gruet

A Coupe glass

Saint Valentine’s Day

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Wine Lover’s Devotional: 365 Days of Knowledge, Advice, and Lore for the Ardent Aficionado by Jonathan Alsop (2010) provides today’s recipe and wine pairing. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I thought the readers would appreciate this.

Chocolate Bruschetta:

1 crusty baguette

olive oil, to taste

sea salt, to taste

1 bar of chocolate  (8 oz)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice baguette into 12 (1/2 inch) oval slices. Arrange them on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place generous amount of chocolate on each slice and bake in oven for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing:

Zonin Primo Amore Juliet:  7.5% alcohol, white semi-sparkling

Zonin Primo Amore Romeo: 8.5 % alcohol, red semi-sparkling

These refreshing table wines from the Zonin family in Italy will surprise and delight your sweetheart. Take a lesson in amore from the Italians! Primo Amore wines are made near Verona, Italy, home of the real-life couple who inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Romeo is made from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Malvasia Rossa. Juliet is a blend of two aromatic white grapes; 70% Garganega and 30% Moscato.

Saint Valentine’s Day (commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day) is an annual commemoration held on February 14th celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs, Valentine. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (“valentines”). The day first became associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

st valentine

Fun fact:

“WEARING YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE” IS MORE THAN JUST A PHRASE.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names to see who their Valentine would be. They would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for one week so that everyone would know their supposed true feelings.

Source:  KATHLEEN DAVIS DEC 15, 2016 -Woman’s Day

 

“Wine should embody the true character of the grape, the people and the land where they are grown”

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This blog is named Wine and Meaning. Meaning is finding the connection between things. I admire Tarallucci e Vino’s philosophy of wine : “it should embody the true character of the grape, the people and the land where they are grown”. This philosophy fits right in with the heart of this blog. I enjoy learning about places, the people and their passions, the climate, the geography, the food and wines of the world. In psychological terms, this gives me a connection to the world: a common ground with others of hobby, passion, and community. Wine is the bridge.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lorenzo Baricca (Wine Director and Partner at Tarallucci e Vino (4 locations in New York City). His professionalism and extreme knowledge is highlighted in our conversation as you will read below. Many vineyards he works with in Italy are  small batch, family-run and biodynamic. Some of the grapes he offers cannot be found anywhere else in the US except on the wine list at Tarallucci e Vino. Terroir is a way to talk about the connection between food or wine and the place from where it’s grown. Terroir is a way of adding meaning to the food and wine we enjoy. At Tarallucci e Vino, Chef Ben Lee has announced that each week, Tarallucci will feature a farm from which they get fresh produce at the New York City Green Markets. Lorenzo discussed Chef Ben Lee’s long time cooperation with the GREEN MARKET FARM and Chef maintains close relationships with many of the farmers. Tarallucci e Vino has a special selection in their menu called DALLA FATTORIA. This consists of dishes created based on ingredients from two selected farms for that week. Chef creates one appetizer and one entree from products that come only from the week’s chosen farms(s).

Photo courtesy of The James Collective

Lorenzo Baricca- photo courtesy of The James Collective

Tarallucci e Vino
Abruzzese restaurateur Luca Di Pietro founded Tarallucci e Vino to capture the authentic taste and casual elegance of Italy’s dining culture. The culinary philosophy at Tarallucci e Vino adheres to the Italian ideal of high quality, sustainable, seasonal food, sourced locally and prepared to highlight the natural beauty of the products. The menus rotate with the seasons, using crops from the neighboring farmer’s market and from a network of local purveyors.

Recent two-time Ospitalità Italiana Award winners for authentic Italian cuisine, Tarallucci e Vino is rated “the best and the most true to the Italian way” by Vanity Fair and lauded as “satisfying in every way” by The New York Times.

Lorenzo grew up in in Vezzano sul Crostolo, Emilia Romagna watching his grandfather make wine. He owned and opened wine bars in Italy before moving to New York. He joined the Tarallucci e Vino team in 2007, becoming a partner in 2013, and has made it his mission to fill the wine list with unique, small-batch producers. He takes frequent trips back to Italy to see his family and to discover new winemakers. (Bio courtesy of The James Collective)

Lorenzo and I had a fantastico conversation about the wine list at Tarallucci e Vino in New York City.

W & M: What is your wine for every day?

LORENZO: ONE OF MY FAVORITE WINES FOR EVERY DAY IS LAMBRUSCO, EASY TO DRINK, LIGHT AND REFRESHING. YOU CAN HAVE IT AS AAPERITIVO, WITH PASTA, MEAT OR EVEN FISH. IT IS VERY VERSATILE. I GREW UP DRINKING LAMBRUSCO AS A LITTLE BOY. MY MOM MIXED IT WITH WATER FOR ME WHEN I WAS LITTLE. IN THE AREA WHERE I GREW UP, EVERY FAMILY HAS A BOTTLE OF LAMBRUSCO READY FOR EVERY LUNCH AND DINNER.
 

W & M: What is your special occasion wine?

LORENZO: AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA ( I CONSIDER IT TO BE MEDITATION WINE MOST SUITABLE TO DRINK IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE) AND WINES WITH THE NEBBIOLO GRAPE, LIKE BAROLO OR BARBARESCO IF IT IS FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION DINNER.

W & M: Do you have a favorite wine quote?

LORENZO: LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK BAD WINE.

W & M: Please give a brief history of your time in Italy as owner of a wine bar before moving to New York.

LORENZO: MY BAR FOCUSED ON A FEW DRAFT BEERS AND LOCAL WINE FROM SMALL PRODUCERS. WE USED TO PREPARE EVERY DAY, SMALL BITES TO OFFER TO OUR CUSTOMERS DURING HAPPY HOUR. MANY LOCAL PEOPLE, BUT ALSO SOME TOURISTS, BECAUSE WE WERE LOCATED ON THE ROUTE TO THE NATIONAL PARK OF APPENNINO REGGIANO AND CLOSE TO THE CASTLE OF MATILDE DI CANOSSA. WE USED TO ORGANIZE PRIVATE PARTIES AND OUR “CHEFS” WERE ALWAYS MY MOM, HER SISTERS AND SPECIAL SUPERVISION BY OUR GRANDMA. EVERYTHING WAS HOMEMADE AND WHEN POSSIBLE DIRECTLY FROM OUR GARDEN.

W & M: I see that you work with many vineyards that are family-run and biodynamic, and some of the grapes you offer cannot be found anywhere else in the US. Please list one of the wines you have with those grapes and name the grape. How often do you return to Italy to discover new winemakers?

LORENZO: I GO TO ITALY EVERY 3 TO 4 MONTHS. EVEN IF I AM ON VACATION, I CONSIDER MYSELF VERY LUCKY BECAUSE MY WORK IS MY PASSION. I ALWAYS TRY TO VISIT SOME PRODUCERS TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW. TARALLUCCI e VINO IS THE ONLY RESTAURANT IN THE UNITED STATES TO CARRY THIS SPECIAL LAMBRUSCO CALLED LAMBRUSCO BARGHI, L’INCONTRO, CANTINA PUIANELLO– ONLY 2800 BTL AND ONLY ONE PRODUCER . THIS IS A SPECIAL VARIETAL OF LAMBRUSCO. IT WAS CONSIDERED EXTINCT, BUT A FEW YEARS AGO THEY REDISCOVERED A FEW PLANTS IN ONE VINEYARD. THIS WAS A FAMOUS LAMBRUSCO IN THE 1800’s AND IT WAS MENTIONED IN MANY BOOKS OF THAT TIME. I AM SO PROUD OF THIS BECAUSE IT IS FROM MY AREA OF ITALY.

W & M: Let’s talk about a couple of wines of interest to me on your wine list: please tell the readers about each wine.

Frizzante wine (sparkling)– Franciacorta, Ferghettina, Brut (Lombardia) … pronunciation-franchacorta

LORENZO: THIS IS A BLEND OF CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NERO. VERY FINE PERLAGE AND CLEAN AFTERTASTE. STRAWBERRY AND APRICOT ON THE PALATE. LOCATED CLOSE TO LAKE ISEO. IT IS A SMALL PRODUCER WITH VERY HIGH QUALITY PRODUCT. ELEGANT, MEDIUM BODY, PERFECT AS APERITIVO OR WITH OYSTERS.

Bianchi wine (white)– Etna Bianco, Bianco di Caselle, Benanti ’11 (Sicilia)

LORENZO: 100% CARRICANTE HIGH MINERALITY BECAUSE IT IS MADE IN A VOLCANIC SOIL. IT IS DRY WITH A PLEASANT ACIDITY AND NICE AROMATIC PERSISTENCE. TASTE OF ANISE ON THE PALATE. BENANTI IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST PRODUCERS OF WINE IN ITALY. GOOD PAIRING WITH SEAFOOD.

Spergola, Pomoria Bianco, Cantina Puianello ’14 (Emilia Romagna)****  this is from his home town 🙂

LORENZO: 100% SPERGOLA MEDIUM HIGH ACIDITY, WITH FLORAL NOSE, THIS WINE IS UNIQUE. SIMILAR TO SAUVIGNON BLANC BUT MORE FULL BODIED AND CRISP, WITH GREEN APPLE ON THE PALATE AND A TOUCH OF TOASTED ALMOND ON THE AFTERTASTE.

Rossi wine (red)– Etna Rosso, Rosso di Verzella, Benanti ’12 (Sicilia)

LORENZO: GRAPES- NERELLO MASCALESE AND NERELLO CAPUCCIO, IT IS A WINE WITH HIGH MINERALITY BECAUSE IT IS MADE ON VOLCANIC SOIL. MEDIUM BODIED, IT IS RICH IN FRUIT ON THE NOSE LIKE RASPBERRY, POMEGRANATE AND PLUM. INTENSE AROMA WITH HINTS OF VANILLA.

By the bottle– Ormeasco Superiore di Pornassio, Guglierame ’11 (Liguria) 100%

LORENZO: ORMEASCO HAS VERY SIMILAR DNA TO DOLCETTO FROM PIEMONTE. MEDIUM-FULL BODIED DRY WINE, RUBY RED COLOR, WITH NOTES OF LICORICE ON THE PALATE. THE PRODUCTION IS VERY LIMITED DUE TO THE TERRAIN. THE VINEYARDS ARE PLACED ON TERRACES, EVERYTHING IS HAND-KEPT. THE WINE IS PERFECT WITH STEW MEAT OR FISH AND WITH MEDIUM AGED CHEESES.

W & M: I’d like to give you my choices for a meal, start to finish. Would you please recommend a wine to pair with each course and briefly describe why you chose that wine to pair with these food choices.

Brushette Course: Baccala 5 which is cod, potato, artichoke, mint

LORENZO: 100% TREBBIAN DI LUGANA, FAMIGLIA OLIVINI, MARKED MINERALITY, MEDIUM LIGHT, WELL BALANCED, FRESH GOOD MINERALITY

Cheese Course: Caciotta del Lazio which is sheep milk served with Chef selected condiments

LORENZO: COULD BE MANY PAIRINGS- BARBARESCO, ALESSANDRO RIVETTO, A BAROLO, TANNINS ARE MORE GENTLE, WITH A NOTE OF MINT AND TOBACCO, IT CAN MATCH PERFECTLY.

Secondi Course: Sogliola which is a pan roasted local sole, saffron sun dried tomato & green olive relish

LORENZO: ETNA BIANCO, PIETRAMARINA. IT IS A COMPLEX WINE, WITH INCREDIBLE ELEGANCE. THIS IS DELICATE, SO IT WON’T OVERWHELM THE TASTE OF THE WHITE FISH.

Dolci: Vin Santo Wine and anise cookies: why do these two pair so well

LORENZO: BECAUSE IT IS SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU HAPPY AND SMILE. USUALLY IT IS SHARING A PLATE OF COOKIES, SOMETHING I LOVE TO SHARE WITH FRIENDS.

On that note W & M says …Lorenzo, you made me smile and this wine list makes me smile. Thank You  for the unique wines and your passion certainly radiates in the wine list at Tarallucci e Vino! 

photo courtesy of The James Collective

photo courtesy of The James Collective

Blizzard Wines

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snow

A while back, I took a poll: “what are you drinking during this Nor’Easter?” Thanks to all who participated, this made it such fun whilst snowed in. Special thanks to Roz for your suggestions and encouragement.

The wines listed below have provided comfort, joy and coziness to some of us in the Boston area during a storm that dropped 3 feet of snow. When one is “cooped up” inside for more than a day, watching the snow fall and drift by for 36+ hours, one has to find something with which to look forward. Maybe it’s a day to cook so here’s that perfect wine to pair, or maybe it’s a day to enjoy the quiet and reflect.  Drinking fine wine provides an occasion for pleasure and opportunity for thought.

Voltaire said ” Taste invites reflection.” So here are some  of our favorites for you to try.

Roz2012 Chasse Gardee, Fitou. Fitou is a red-wine appellation at the heart of the southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. The ‘Fitou’ from which the wine (and the appellation) gets its name is a small village just a few miles from the Mediterranean coast. Blend: 45 % Cargnan, 35 % Grenache, 20% Syrah.

Erika and Jo-Ann in London to each receive WSET Achievement Awards-  Celebrating with Tio Pepe. Tío Pepe is a brand of Sherry. It is best known for its fino style of dry sherry made from the palomino grape.

KarinMoet Chandon Impèrial Rosè Champagne  paired with Davio’s Rueben Spring Rolls with Russian dressing dipping sauce. Brut Impèrial Rosè is a blend of the three wine varieties, with an emphasis on Pinot Noir, embodying a fruity character. Rosè with shades of copper, good intensity.

Shareen2009 Muga Reserva Rioja paired with chicken quesadillas. Brilliant ruby color. Black raspberry and smoky oak scents, mineral and spicecake notes. Dense with intense flavors of black raspberry, mocha and vanilla. Very full, velvety wine, finishing with smooth, ripe tannins and a vibrant red berry quality.

Lori and Ray2006 Conn Valley Vineyards Eloge. The 2009 Eloge offers glorious aromas of cedar or cigar box wood notes, a creme de cassis core of concentrated dark fruits, red currents, violets, spice and toast from the oak. Blend: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot.

Anne MarieHard Cider, the choice of the Patriots Team

Tres2003 St Supery Elu. Napa Red. Aromas of dark fruit, blackberry and black plum combine with elements of espresso, vanillin and molasses.  Notes of smoky oak and dusty terroir, flavors of dark plum and cassis with anise and toasted barrel attributes. This red blend offers a finely textured silky structure.

Lasha2010 Chateau Coufran. Haut-Medoc appellation. The French vineyard of Chateau Coufran plants 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Haut-Médoc is a land of red wine,  not too powerful with a delicate bouquet of vanilla and black fruits.

MikeChianti Classico Riserva, he’s visiting Florida of all places during our epic snowstorm! The Chianti Classico region is central to the region and arguably the most famous. In 1996 it was awarded DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status, to raise its perceived quality. All Italian DOCG wines are actually tasted and analyzed in a lab to meet government approval. If the wine passes, it will receive an individually numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork. Chianti Classico’s are also the wines that you will see bearing a black rooster on the neck of the bottle.  Blend: at least 80% Sangiovese grape,  other red grapes permitted to make up the rest of the blend.

Jonathan2011 Guigal Cote du Rhone. Deep, dark red. Aromas of red berries and spices. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensely aromatic wine. Or maybe  2014 Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc depending on dinner. Santa Rita’s internationally popular, best-selling “120” Series of varietal wines recalls the heroes of a pivotal event in Chile’s successful 19th century struggle to overthrow Spanish rule. History relates that in the early 1800s Doña Paula Jaraquemada, then proprietor of the Santa Rita manor house and estate near the Chilean capital of Santiago, famously gave refuge in the cellars of her property to 120 Chilean patriots. When a brigade of Spanish soldiers arrived at the expansive one-story ranch house in search the band of rebels, the feisty matriarch stated she would rather see the Spanish burn the property to the ground, with her inside, then let them step foot within her family home. Thus it was that band of 120 men that lived on to fight another day, and the dwelling, now the site of Santa Rita’s highly acclaimed Doña Paula Restaurant, occupies a unique place in Chilean national history. Blend: 100 % Sauvignon Blanc. Pale straw color, bouquet of citrus blossoms and peaches, rounded out by appealing herbaceous notes. Nuances of citrus fruit and white peach, supported by a zesty acidity and smooth texture that lingers on the palate.

. wine bottles in snow