Can you believe we are in the last month of the year for 2016. The term ‘time flies’ is starting to scare me a little because it flies a bit too fast. I do, however, love the month of December. I love how my home looks. I love how Leo looks cuddling under my Christmas tree.
That’s Leo. And I love getting together with family and friends to enjoy the holidays and enjoy a nice glass of wine. This is a great time to try new wines, as friends are dropping over with wine you haven’t tried before, and you could also bring something new the next time you go visiting.
A new wine I have tried in the past week is the Zonin Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore from the year 2014. Valpolicella Ripasso is a meet in the middle, between a Valpolicella and an Amarone. Valpolicella Ripasso became the ‘new’ style of wine late in the 20th century. It means ‘repassed’, and with this technique the pomace of leftover grape skins and seeds from the fermentation of Amarone are added to a batch of Valpolicella for a period of extended maceration. Amarone is a very rich wine, and Valpolicella tends to be a lighter wine. When you pour a Valpolicella through Amarone skins and seeds, some of the flavors of the Amarone tend to come through. I find it delightfully smooth but not as heavy as an Amarone, and they don’t tend to be as expensive as an Amarone. This particular one from Zonin was not only delicious, but it came in under $20. It had nice fruit with some spice on the finish, and I will definitely enjoy it again.
Here’s another fantastic find from the week. At just $17.99 per bottle, the Mas Buscados Tempranillo with some Petite Verdot is wonderful. This wine hails from Spain and apparently sells very well in New Zealand where they make their own spectacular wine. I loved the subtle flavors of cherry and the hints of black pepper which makes for a super food friendly wine. Great with hearty stews this Winter. Spain produces some wonderful wines and tend to be very good value for the money, this one did not disappoint.
And my wine of the week…..
Another Valpolicella Ripasso. This is a delicous smooth wine and I can’t stress how good value they are for the money. This particular wine stays on the skins and seeds of the Amarone for 20 full days. 20 days to absorb all those rich Amarone flavors. Amarone gets its flavor from the process of drying out the grapes or ‘raisinating’ them, which means to shrivel them. The unique method that is used is to harvest very ripe grapes and then to let them sit and air dry on mats for extended periods of time is called Appassimento. Amarone wines tend to be very full-bodied and alcoholic wines, but I find the Ripasso method smoothens that out to a degree. Valpolicella Ripasso wines are super food friendly, and will go with just about anything.
That’s it for me this week. I know it’s busy, try to find the time to enjoy a glass of your favorite wine.
Till next week, Cheers