Posts tagged ‘Wines’

April 27, 2014

Drinking Italy


Vineyard Fields in Tuscany

On the way home from our trip, Alan and I did a little math and figured out we drank at least a case of wine during our trip. We had a bottle with dinner each night, several wine tastings and a few lunches included a glass of Chianti. I did realize fairly soon into the vacation that if I wanted to enjoy the rest of the day and evening, opting for water was a better choice for me at lunchtime.


Wine tasting at Banfi

Most all of the wine we drank was absolutely delicious. Italians take their wine very seriously. They are happy to help you select a bottle and often, the wine list in a restaurant is literally a book. We learned a lot about the wine making processing visiting the Banfi winery, Casa Emma in Chianti and a wonderful winery called il Paradiso di Frassina in Montalcino. We brought wine home to enjoy from all three places. Though I scored a bottle of Casa Emma’s Vin Santo, rather than wine. Vin Santo and biscotti is my new favorite dessert. Dip the biscotti into the Vin Santo and enjoy!


Vin Santo & Biscotti from Casa Emma

Our wine tasting at Banfi ended with a nap. We must have tasted 20 wines. By the end of the tasting I realized I’m such a cheap date. I enjoyed their inexpensive Chianti better than the 2004 Brunello. We did find a wonderful Brunello at il Paradiso di Frassina to ship home, along with a wine he called 12 Grapes. Delicious.


Barrels of Brunello in the cellar at Castello Banfi


Wine barrels in the cellar at il Paradiso di Frassina

I made sure to photograph the bottles we loved most, so I could share them. We tasted a lot of great wines! I know the photos of the labels will serve as a helpful reference to search for the same wines here in the States. I could write a blurb for each one below to tell you it was smooth, easy to drink, etc. Just trust me, these were all delicious.


As I pulled together these wine photos, I realized that all the bottles below are Chianti Classico. I know that some of them are available here in the States. Though the first bottle was one of my favorites and is only available in Italy. We actually found the winery in Radda, an area in Chianti, but they were closed the day we were there. I would have shipped home a case. Sigh.





The bottle below was the only white wine we drank on the trip. We had it at Pierluigi in Rome, and it was a perfect match with our seafood dinner.


Here are a couple of dessert wines we enjoyed. I’m looking forward to opening the bottle of Vin Santo we brought home from Casa Emma. I just need to find some reasonably good biscotti.




November 21, 2013

French Reds for the Holidays


Grand Vin de Bordeaux
Chateau Ferrande

We’ve been partial to Italian reds for quite some time. Although this Barolo is still a favorite, there have been a number of delicious French wines that we have discovered recently. Each one would make a wonderful bottle to bring as a housewarming gift this season or to serve at your holiday table.

Years ago we had the Graves above and loved it. I found it again just recently at Philips Fine Wines in Stockton, NJ. You can’t miss that bright yellow label. I was concerned it wouldn’t be as good as the last time since a few years had passed, but it was just as yummy – about $25.00 a bottle.


Grand Vin de Bordeaux
Chateau les Barraillots

Last month a large group of us went out for dinner at a new restaurant in our area called Caleb’s American Kitchen in Lahaska, PA. It’s a BYOB and each couple brought a bottle of wine for the table. This bottle was from our “wine expert” friends. Peter where are you? I don’t know the details about this bottle and have looked for it in two different liquor stores, but alas, I can’t find it. Peter send information pronto! It was fantastic!


Bucks County locals if you haven’t been to Caleb’s it’s a must!  I will go as far as to say it’s the best steak I’ve ever had. That means our friend Caleb beats out Wolfgang Puck’s Cut at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn, Barclay Prime in Philly, Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans and the many other yuppified steakhouses I’ve been to over the years. Caleb’s steak is far better. As you can see my steak eating (and my husband) have had me traveling around for many a fancy steak. I recommend the 18oz Kansas City Bone-in strip steak at Caleb’s. I eat the entire thing with only the bone left for our puppies to fight over. I should mention Caleb has lots more on the menu other than just steak, all delicious. Call for a reservation, tables can be hard to get. Click the logo above to go to his website.


Grand Vin de Bordeaux
Chateau du Bousquet
Cotes de Bourg

This last bottle was also purchased at Philips. Priced at just less than $20.00 a bottle, we’ve gone through a few recently. I’m hoping they have more for me to pick up for our Thanksgiving table… which is next week! Can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by. Lots of planning and cooking to be done here. Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving, or as I like to call it, the best holiday ever!

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