Ok y’all… time to sit down with a glass of wine and relax. I have always loved to call myself a self proclaimed wine connoisseur. In my dreams one day I’ll be a sommelier! LOL, props to those guys though because they know an insane amount of detail. Plus they always help me find what I like, and I’m a picky girl about wine! Everything I mention in this post is all about reds.
First things first, I am just having fun trying new wines at home and figuring out what we like and don’t. Currently my faves are mainly French and Italian; specifically from Bordeaux and Tuscany. There is something about the terroir there is just so complex that really creates a mix of flavors that Aaron and I just love. We are big fans of high tannin. What is tannin you ask? Simply put, it is how dry the wine is.
The region in France that we are loving is Bordeaux at the moment. In that region the reds are primarily Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Although these are not all of them, they are the star of the show!
There is this little thing called G.A.V.V. to help everyone understand how the laws work. They are different by each region in the world (or AVA/DOCG/AOC), but all stand for Grape, Area, Vineyard, Vintage. This regulates how much percentage of the grape is actually what it says on the bottle.
For example, in California the grape mentioned on the bottle is legally required to have at least 75% of what the varietal is (cab, merlot, chardonnay etc..) The area mentioned must legally have a minimum of 85% of the grapes from that area. So if the wine is from Sonoma or Russian River Valley, it is legally required to have at least 85% of the grapes in that bottle grown from that area. The rest can be from anywhere else.
Next, the vineyard and the vintage are 95%. If the vineyard on the label is Opus One, at least 95% must be from there. If the vintage is 2008, at least 95% of the grapes must be harvested in that year. In Europe, it is actually much more strict. The G.A.V.V. is pretty much 100%. So you gotta keep those vines healthy! I could go on forever about all the laws and little details, but I don’t want to bore anyone.
It is quite interesting how much goes into a wine bottle. I know we are French and Italian lovers at the moment, but it is worth to mention that in a blind taste test Chateau Montelena (a California Winery) came in first place above all the Bordeaux’s tasted next to it. Which, by the way, all the judges were French, in Paris and all sommeliers’!!! I’ll say I’m proud to be an American at that LOL!
You really just have to try it all and not put your nose down at anything you haven’t tried yet. This is such a fun hobby of ours and in no way am I claiming we know it all, but I am claiming I know what I like! Which is a delicious Frenchy wine! If you’re trying wine for the first time, maybe consider getting a wine club subscription! You take tests online that ask you about your tastes and they customize a box for you! Great gift idea BTW for the holidays.
what i love
I’ve never met a chianti I didn’t love. I love them not only because of the price variety, but also I can always find something to pair with it like steak, fish or pizza. Next up on my list is a Barolo. I love when I open a bottle for the first time, I go to pour it, and it is more of a brown than a purple color. I feel like that low clarity brown is just the perfect glass for me! Make it a 2015 and I’m in heaven!!! I have my favorite vintage’s and 2015 is definitely high on my list.
How I got into wine
I feel like its a growing process. It’s hard to just jump right into a wine with such a big body. My suggestion is to go into your local wine distributor and speak with an expert! Let them know your favorite flavors like what kind of fruit and what kind of earthy taste you like! Here is an aroma wheel for you to explore.
Questions YOU asked
Go-to wine to bring to someone’s house
Masi Costasera: I like to bring a nice one to friends house‘s. I usually stick to around $50 This one is great!
Why only French and Italian
I like old world vs new world notes better. Something about old vines just gets me. I mean look at this vine, y’all! 2015 is always a favorite vintage of mine, but that’s only this year! We will see how my tastes are next year.
Any clean wines?
I will say that many wines are not organic however, there are some vineyards that have biodynamic farming methods. It is actually very interesting to learn about! One main difference from old and new world farming that it is illegal to irrigate In Europe. Can you believe that? Here in Houston we actually have a wine bar that is all organic wines. It is called Light Years Natural Wine.
Would you compare Chianti to a pinot noir, cab, or merlot?
I would compare a Chianti to a Pinot noir! Great way to start off your wine adventure. Tastings are the best way to explore what you like without committing to a whole bottle.
What do y’all think about wine? Do you like it and what are y’alls fave? Tell me something I have to try!! Also, make sure to check out this Amazon gift guide under $100 for some amazing wine must haves!
-Thank you for being here for my TED talk LOL… xox, Ash (-: CHEERS!