Wine of the Week: Failla Pinot Noir

I was thrilled when John and I stopped at random liquor store on the way to a party and I found a bottle of 2013 Failla Pinot Noir. I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I had to buy it and save it for later. When we visited Napa and Sonoma in 2012, we were introduced to Failla Wines (pronounced FAY-LA) as one of our first stops.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures from that first stop as I was more interested in tasting the wine, but I will do my best to describe it to you. Failla is a small-family owned winery that’s been in operation since 1998. Ehren Jordan and his wife Anne-Marie Failla are the owners and winemakers.

Failla

Our wine tasting was outside at a picnic table and we also got to tour the wine cellars. It was so rustic and peaceful – I highly recommend it if you are visiting Sonoma. I found the above picture on their Facebook page and am guessing that it’s probably the same table we did our tasting at.

Our host told us that Failla was best known for its red wines and Pinot Noirs, which peaked my interested because those are my favorite. You normally can only get these wines by visiting Failla or through their mailing list. They recently launched a Wine Club. This is why I was so pumped to find it at that liquor store. Additionally, you can read more about the different varieties they have in this fact sheet.

Failla Pinot Noir

This wine is BIG and BOLD. It has a lot of flavor and runs about $35. You’ll taste an earthy Pinot Noir with notes of cardamom, spices and fruit flavors. We enjoyed this over Chicken Parmesan and it was amazing paired with the sauce John made.

Failla Cork

If you are in Sonoma, make sure to stop at Failla and if you see Failla around the metro Detroit area, let me know and I will head there to stock up!

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Wine of the Week: Belle Glos Pinot Noir

I have been saving this Wine of the Week for a while. This is hands down one of my favorite wines, but it’s a bit of a splurge so we only get it every once in a while. What really drew my eye to it in the beginning is how the bottle is dipped in red wax, sort of like Maker’s Mark. Come to find out that it is made by the Wagner family who also makes another one of our favorites, Meiomi Pinot Noir. This week’s favorite is Belle Glos Pinot Noir.

Belle Glos 2

Belle Glos Pinot Noir was created by Joseph Wagner to honor his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner. There are four different types of Belle Glos from each of the four vineyards the grapes come from; Dairyman, Clark & Telephone, Las Alturas and Taylor Lane. You can see the layout of the vineyards in this map:

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I love the taste of this wine. Wagner describes it “like a taste of Christmas, all year long.” It has a rich berry flavor with a hint of caramel. When I want to get a nice bottle of wine this is my go to, it’s wonderfully decadent and the bottle presentation definitely makes it something special.

Have you tried Belle Glos Pinot Noir yet? I would love to hear what you think about it.

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Wine of the Week: Nottage Hill Pinot Noir

Disclosure: I received this wine from a PR firm on behalf of Hardys Wines to provide an honest review. 

I received a bottle of Nottage Hill’s Pinot Noir to review for Wine of the Week. This was perfect as I needed a good bottle for our Bachelorette viewing party (a.k.a. my friend Tracy and I drinking wine). If you’ve followed along with Wine of the Week you will notice that I review a lot of Pinot Noirs, because they are my favorite wine to drink.

nottage hill final

Hardys is one of Australia’s best known wine brands and just last year celebrated their 160th anniversary. It’s a global brand and can be found in more than 80 countries, particularly in the United Kingdom.

This particular brand, Nottage Hill, is named after Tom Nottage who was the nephew of the founder Thomas Hardy. If you ever visit Australia, you can tour the Tintara Winery, which is Australia’s oldest winery and see where the Hardys wines are made.

Tracy and I really liked this Pinot Noir. The first thing we said as soon as we tasted it was that it had a kick of spice on the finish. As you keep drinking it you will taste the cherry and raspberry flavors making this an easy wine to drink. The Nottage Hill Pinot Noir is also very affordable, coming in at around $13.

The official tasting notes recommend pairing this with a mushroom risotto, but I think any pasta or steak would also be great with this.

Let me know if you’ve tried this Pinot Noir and if you have any wines I should try in the future.

For more Wine of the Week posts, click here.


Wine of the Week: Meiomi Pinot Noir

It’s been a while since I did a Wine of the Week recommendation, but never fear – I have been trying lots of new wines to share with you!

This week’s wine is one that I have been meaning to share for a long time, it is one of our favorite ones. John and I always order this one if it is on the menu. This week’s wine is Meiomi Pinot Noir, bottled by Belle Glos Wines.

meiomi final

We first discovered this wine during one of our dinners in Greektown and couldn’t believe how smooth it was (for such a reasonable price). I love a good Pinot Noir and this one is the perfect combination of flavors – berries, apple, vanilla with a slight oak on the finish.

Meiomi (May-OH-mee), means “coast” in the language of the California Wappo tribe where this wine is produced. Meiomi is a blend of grapes from Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara.

meiomi blendThe owner and winemaker, Joseph Wagner is a fifth-generation winemaker. He grew up in the vineyard and it seems like winemaking is in his bones.

Meiomi is under the Belle Glos brand of wines and I was surprised to learn that they make another one of my favorites which I will be sharing with you soon! I will just have to try them all because they are delish!

Have you tried Meiomi yet? I would love to hear what you think about it.

For more Wine of the Week posts, click here.


Wine of the Week: Cambria Wines

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cambria Estate Winery for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was approached to create a wine and food pairing for Cambria’s hand-crafted wines which is right up my alley. For those of you not familiar with Cambria, it is a family owned, estate winery from Santa Maria, California and is located in the beautiful Santa Barbara wine country. What is an estate winery you ask? I learned that anytime you see the word “estate winery” it means that they make wine from their own vineyards.

Cambria’s unique wines have received more than 150 reviews of 90+ scores in the past 20 years and they have a lot of different options to choose from specializing mostly in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their two leading wines are:

Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir

Cambria has four different vineyards and this wine is named after Julia’s Vineyard, which is named after the founder’s youngest daughter. The vineyard was planted in 1991 and offers one of the longest growing seasons in California.

 

JuliasPinot

 

This Pinot has aromas and flavors of dark cherry, strawberry and pomegranate and pairs well with a nice filet mignon or Gruyere cheese.

Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay

Katherine is the owner’s eldest daughter and this vineyard focuses more on fruit development.

 

KatherinesChard

 

This Chardonnay has subtle tropical and citrus aromas. It has a nice crisp finish and pairs well with lobster and Brie or Camembert cheeses.

For my recipe pairing, I would use Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir and make one of my favorite snacks – Caprese skewers! Who doesn’t love Caprese Salad? But when you are at a party, you can’t really sit down and eat a salad. Skewers make it easy to take with you and make them bite sized. Plus you get all the flavors of tomato, basil and mozzarella in one bite.

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If you are in Santa Barbara, you can visit the Cambria Estate Winery ® tasting room and check them out for yourself. You can also Visit the Cambria blog for terrific recipes, DIY tips and news from the Cambria Estate Winery Vineyards.

Remember that the legal drinking age is 21 years old, as always please drink responsibly.

What are your favorite wine and food pairings?

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Wine of the Week: Steelhead Vineyards Pinot Noir

Disclosure: I received this wine from a PR firm on behalf of Steelhead Vineyards to provide an honest review. 

I received a bottle of Steelhead Vineyards Pinot Noir to review for this week’s wine. This was right up my alley, because I love a Pinot Noir, it is my favorite.

Steelhead Vineyards in a unique winery in Sonoma because they are committed to creating a better world through their wine. With every bottle they sell, a donation is made to conservation efforts in Sonoma County. Their mission statement is Better Wine. Better World. Below is a picture of “Wine Creek” which runs through one of their vineyard that they have worked to restore.

Steelhead riverAfter visiting Sonoma a few years back, I loved the mission of this winery. Sonoma is such a beautiful place and it is awesome that Steelhead is working to preserve it.

So on to the wine!

Steelhead Wine of the Week

The first thing I noticed when I popped the cork is a deep fruit flavor. This wine has a smooth finish which is always something I look for in a Pinot Noir, I want it to be easy to drink. You can taste cranberry and cherry with just a hint of toasted oak and spice at the finish.

Steelhead Pinot Noir pairs best with wild Salmon, poultry, pork and lamb. I tried mine with a milk chocolate Hershey’s bar which did the trick.

I can’t help but picture that beautiful river scene every time I take a sip

Let me know if you’ve tried this Pinot Noir and if you have any wines I should try in the future.

If you missed my previous post, I am getting ready to host a Sip Happens Party with Val from Chicken Scratch, Eva Marie Taylor and Erin from Living in Yellow. Make sure to check it out here and see how you can host your own Sip Happens Party.

For more Wine of the Week posts, click here.


Wine of the Week: Estancia Pinot Noir

Today’s Wine of the Week is the Estancia Pinot Noir.

Estancia

The hubby and I first discovered this on one of our Melting Pot trips. I am a big fan of Pinot Noir and this one turned out to be fabulous. This was a few years back and ever since we will drink it at any restaurant that offers it.

Estancia is medium-bodied with a silky smooth finish. You’ll taste flavors of raspberry and black cherry. When you drink this wine, you want to let it breathe for the flavors to develop. This is best paired with smoked salmon, asparagus, pork, poultry and steak (which is probably why it works so well at The Melting Pot).

Estancia means “estate” in Spanish. The winery chose this name because they believe that the world’s best wines capture the essence of their origin. At Estancia, they control the entire winemaking process from start to finish. Estancia also uses solar energy to reduce its carbon footprint, so you know that you are being environmentally friendly when drinking it.

So the best part about the Estancia Wine? Is that they have a matching candle to go with it! Estancia teamed up with DayNa Decker to create a special collection for the winery.  They have a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir candle. The Estancia Pinot Noir candle features aromas of warm raspberry, bright cherry, cassia bark, clove bud, and vanilla wood. The Pinot Noir candle is $44 or you can get the set for $80. These would be great for all of my pregnant friends, you can have as many of these as you want!

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Have you tried the Estancia before? Let me know what you think about it in the comments.

I also have some exciting news to share with you! Coming in January, I am participating in a fun wine linkup with Erin from Living in Yellow, Eva Marie Taylor and Val from Chicken Scratch. In the meantime you can check out the #siphappensparty hashtag for some of our sneak peaks. I will be posting one of mine on my Instagram here, so stay tuned!

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Wine of the Week: Castle Rock Pinot Noir

Today’s Wine of the Week is Castle Rock Winery’s Pinot Noir.

Wine of the Week CR

My husband and I originally discovered this wine on our honeymoon. We took a Mediterranean cruise and they served this during our dinners on the ship. Well my husband loved it so much that I made a note of it and we have been enjoying it ever since. If you’ve learned anything about me yet, it’s that I love the challenge of hunting something down.

In the picture, we most recently had the 2009 Monterey County version, but after reviewing Castle Rock’s website it seems that they have a lot of different varieties, and a Cuvee, which my friend Tracy will love.

castle rock

These wines are very affordable and you can find them at most stores, I’ve seen them at wine retailers, Target and Costco to name a few. This makes me want to try all of the different Pinot Noir varieties – might be a good project over the holiday…

This Pinot is elegant and smooth. It has aromas of cherry, tea and herbal spices and tastes like black cherry, plum and spice. It is really versatile and great for most foods.

Castle Rock has a number of different Pinots including:

  • Mendocino County Pinot Noir
  • Sonoma County Pinot Noir
  • Monterey County Pinot Noir
  • Central Coast Pinot Noir
  • California Cuvee Pinot Noir
  • Carneros Pinot Noir
  • Columbia Valley Pinot Noir
  • Williamette Valley Pinot Noir

I can only speak to the Monterey County Pinot Noir, but would love to hear from you if you’ve tried the other ones.

Do you have a wine I should try for Wine of the Week? Post it in the comments section.

For more Wine of the Week posts, click here.


Wine of the Week: Cupcake Vineyards’ Red Velvet

Today’s Wine of the Week is the Red Velvet from Cupcake Vineyards.

wine of the week crv

This is one of my favorite wines to drink. It is always available in the store, easy to drink and everyone usually loves it.

Rich to the taste, Red Velvet tastes like chocolate and blackberries with a hint of coconut and mocha. For some reason, I always thought that it was a Pinot Noir, but I was wrong. Red Velvet is a mix of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Which is probably why I love it so much – I love blends!

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In my research, I also discovered that Cupcake has a whole Red Velvet line which includes a Zinfandel, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. I am going to have to hunt these out and try them.

Have you tried Cupcake Vineyards’ Red Velvet? What did you think of this wine?

Do you have a wine I should try for Wine of the Week? Post it in the comments section.

For more Wine of the Week posts, click here.


Wine of the Week: Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir

My husband and I tried this week’s wine on a recent visit to Olive Garden. We were looking for a good Pinot Noir to go with our dinner and this was a brand new wine they were promoting. We really enjoyed it and would definitely drink it again. It is widely available at the main grocery stores and pretty easy to find.

Introducing, Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir as the Wine of the Week:

Noble Vines 667

Noble Vines 667

Noble Vines 667 is a bittersweet, rich Pinot Noir. The nose reveals a black cherry and vanilla aroma. You can taste a hint of chocolate and the wine has a smooth finish. This is a great table wine that most people would enjoy. This wine would be great with a beef stew, salmon, lamb or soft cheeses. It is a great price at $14.99 a bottle.

noble 667

Noble Vines is part of the Delicato Family Vineyards in California. Noble Vines specializes in taking cuttings from original vines and “cloning” them. Basically taking vines that are known for specific characteristics and cultivating them in an environment that will bring out the best qualities of the grape.

Not all Vines are created equal

Not all Vines are created equal

Have you tried any Noble Vines wine? What did you think of it?

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