Epcot Food & Wine Festival is a great opportunity to discover new wines. Among the 28 wines and champagnes I sampled last week, here are three new interesting discoveries from Germany, China and Portugal.
Germany’s Kloster Pinot Grigio
You don’t see many Pinot Grigio’s from Germany. This one was served at Epcot’s Germany Weinkeller and comes from the Rheinhessen, the largest of Germany’s 13 wine producing regions. It’s 100% Pinot Grigio grapes fermented in stainless steel and stored in stainless.
- Aroma: Clean and fruity.
- Taste: Crisp citrus with hint of nut. Soft yet medium bodied (more so than your usual Italian Pinot Grigio).
- My thoughts: I really enjoyed this wine. I’m a Pinot Grigio fan so was fun to find one from Germany.
China’s Dragon Hollow Chardonnay
We’re hearing a lot these days about China’s growing consumption of wine. Well here’s a wine made in China. This was the wine served at the China International Marketplace. Their website says they are the first premium wines produced in China. No pesticides, clean water and modern winemaking technology are used. And the Ningxia Helan Mountain Eastern region where the wine comes from is same parallel as Napa and Bordeaux.
- Aroma: Granny Smith apple and alchol.
- Taste: Clean tart apple with hint of almond.
- My thoughts: It was exciting to try this wine and while it has potential, particularly as an un-0aked Chardonnay, it doesn’t yet fully live up the the websites description. I found it overall flat after the first sip and pretty high in alcohol yet its only 12.9%.
This is a fun one! Port is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Duoro Valley in northern Portugal.Â Croft has been making Port for four centuries and now created something totally new..a rose style. Typically Port is thought of as a heavy after dinner drink. Croft Pink is best served chilled or over ice AND perfect for cocktails. This was served atÂ the Intermission CafÃ© hosted by Kobrand
- Aroma: Berry and floral.
- Taste:Â Raspberry and cherry with some heat, due to the almost 20% alcohol content.
- My thoughts: WOW! This a great new spin on the classic Port which I donâ€™t usually drink. I preferred Croft Pink with bubblesâ€¦soda water or Prosecco. Try adding a lime too.
Â More to come on Champagne and additional Italian wine discoveries. Cheers!
Tagged As: Chardonnay
, Chinese Wine
, Croft Pink
, Dragon Hollow
, German Wine
, Pinot Grigio
, Portuguese Wine
, Wine Discoveries
Two new Italian wines exclusively for Disney Parks, Sogno dâ€™Italia, were introduced at this yearâ€™s Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Bottled by Placido in Tuscany and imported by Banfi Vintners, these easy drinkable wines will continue to be available after the festival at Enoteca Castello in Epcotâ€™s Italy and begin to be served in many Disney restaurants.
Sogno dâ€™Italia means dream of Italy. â€œWhen we dream of Italy, we dream not only of its noble traditions but of its appealingly easygoing lifestyle. These wines embody both of those ideas,â€ says Placido winemaker Paolo Benassi.
I really enjoyed these wines and they are great examples of wine from Tuscany.
- Like most Chianti, this wine is made of predominantly the regionâ€™s native Sangiovese grape.
- Aroma: Classic violet.
- Taste: Soft round plum and cherry with hints of spice.
Pinot Grigio, Toscana IGT
- This wine is unique in that typical Pinot Grigio comes from cooler northern Italy. This one from warmer Tuscany so the grape variety has slightly different characteristics.
- Aroma: Fragrant white flowers.
- Taste: Crisp freshness yet pear forward.
Each bottle costs $16.95 or $6 for a glass. For more fun wine photos from the festival, visit the gallery.
Salute to dreams of Italy!
Tagged As: Banfi Vintners
, Epcot Food & Wine Festival
, Italian wine
, Pinot Grigio
My goal at Sunday’s 36th Annual Virginia Wine FestivalÂ was two part…1)Â Buy a few great examples of Virginia wine for my upcoming girls’ weekend, and 2) Discover a few new Virginia wineries I haven’t tried.Â Success on both fronts!!
The two-day event held in Centreville, Virginia (about 30 miles west of Washington, DC) brought together 40+ wineries sampling wine, workshops and seminars presented by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, and 100 artisans and vendors. Sunday was a great day to attend … smaller crowds = tasting table waits.
After visiting 12 winery tents and tasting 75 wines, I bought 9 bottles to share with my girlfriends. The wines below should give them, many who are skeptical about Virginia wine, a great taste of our state’s offerings. This is also a great list for those of you new to Virginia wine!
This was a great new discoveryâ€¦.a winery with a long Virginia history re-introduced in 2008. The wines are made by Michael Shaps of Michael Shaps Wines and Virginia Wineworks.
- 2009 Chardonnay: Citrus aromas and taste, minimal oak, a result of the old French Oak cooperage. $20
- Equation Merlot “X”: This Merlot blend with 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot is a fabulous wine! Red fruit aromas followed by a dark red fruit taste that’s round and smooth. $15
- 2008 Cabernet Franc: Aromas of violets pair with spicy, peppery, cassis flavor. $15
It’s hard to showcase Virginia wine without the great wines from Barboursville so I had to pick up some of their festival offerings.
- Barboursville Brut: This was my first time tasting their sparkling wine. A very nice blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Fruit aromas and a great pear taste. $18
- 2010 Chardonnay: This wine is aged in stainless steel creating a crisp Chardonnay with apple aroma and flavor, and a touch of pear and lemon. $11
- 2010 Chardonnay Reserve: This is a great contrast to the regular Chardonnay as its aged seven months in barrel creating a rich and complex Chardonnay with heavier apple aroma and flavor now adding pear and vanilla to the mix. $15
- 2010 Pinot Grigio: True Italian styleâ€¦aromas and flavor of apple, pear with a touch of pineapple. $15
- 2009 Viognier Reserve: Great example of Virginia’s official grape. Smooth tropical fruit and floral aromas and flavor.$22
- 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: This wine is only created in the best vintages. Strong berry aromas combine with pepper and currant flavors. $30
(I’ll also take a few Virginia bottles from my wine rack this weekend…Blenheim Vineyards, Virginia Wineworks and Breaux. More to come after our tasting!)
Tomorrow an overview of the informative Wine Judging Seminar I attended at the Festival.
Tagged As: Barboursville Vineyards
, Blenheim Vineyards
, Breaux Vineyards
, Cabernet Franc
, Cabernet Sauvignon
, Horton Vineyards
, Michael Shaps
, Pinot Grigio
, Virginia Wine
, Virginia Wine Festival
, Virginia Wineworks
Today is the launch of a new wine label, entwine, that makes pairing wine and food easy. From Food Network and Californiaâ€™s Wente Vineyards, the initial line of entwine wines is now available nationwide with the 2009 vintage of four varietals, including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, retailing for $12.99 each.
Each wine is presented via the launguage of food and provides suggested pairing on the back of the wine label.Â We had a fun sneak peak tasting at the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference two weeks ago and I enjoyed the Pinot Grigio.
Keep a look out at your local grocery and also check out their website for recipes and pairings.
Tagged As: Cabernet Sauvignon
, California Wine
, Food Network
, Pinot Grigio
, Wente Vineyards