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Category Archives: Holiday wine

Wine of the week: Segura Viudas Brut Reserva NV

wineofweek

segura viudasThe Segura Viudas cava proves cheap wine’s greatness, a sparkling wine from Spain that offers much more value than it costs, and that does so year after year after year. Best yet, it does so without much Winestream Media attention, a minimum of high scores, and the kind of fawning that more expensive wine and Champagne gets from wine snobs.

I’ve been buying the Segura Viudas ($9, purchased, 12%) for years, almost from the time I started the blog. Yes, the company that makes it paid for a press trip to I took to Spain, but when has that ever stopped me from writing what I thought? This is terrific wine, ideal for sipping, toasting, and meals — bone dry, with tart green apple flavor balanced by a little tropical fruit, the yeastiness that you expect from more expensive champagne-style wines, and tight, delightful bubbles. I really love the bubbles.

This week, when it comes time to celebrate The Holiday that Must Not be Named, don’t worry about impressing your significant other with some high-end, overpriced sparkler that has the kind of description — “dough aromas” — that makes you shake your head and sigh. Pour this, don’t mention how much it costs, and accept the compliments gracefully.

Winebits 320: Valentine’s Day 2014

winenews

Valentine's Day 2014Suggestions from around the Internet for The Holiday that Must Not be Named, covering a variety of contingencies. I also have a bubbly suggestion here and a more affordable one here:

Bring out the wallet: My pal Blake Gray, who is championing the five percent of Americans who buy wine that costs more than $20, should enjoy these suggestions for Valentine’s day — the $56 Moet Rose Imperial and the $119 version, which comes with the wine and two Champagne flutes. Because, for your money, you deserve something more than just quality sparkling wine. Says one expert quoted in the story: “They’re racy, they’re elegant, they got that aroma of red fruits, they strike a chord.” What more can we ask for?

Two-buck Chuck, anyone? Seriously, suggests Christy Strawser in Detroit, who has a compiled a cheapskate’s guide to the holiday. Which, frankly, made the Wine Curmudgeon shed a tear in admiration. Her favorite? The Charles Shaw merlot, available at Trader Joe’s for $3.49 or so. You’ll have to supply your own glasses, though.

Scoring? Really? When the Wine Curmudgeon was a youth, many similarly-aged young men boasted of “scoring with chicks.” This was, of course, a foreign concept to someone like me. Nerd and geek were insults then, and we didn’t get to be network television stars. So I’m at a bit of a loss about what the headline for this post means: “10 Valentine’s Day Gifts to Score With.” Does it mean pleasing someone or does it carry the other — dare I say — sexual connotation? Because, frankly, I’m not sure anyone is going to score with a chick or dude with the wines mentioned in the article. They’re Red Diamond pinot noir and merlot, $10 grocery store-style wines sold mostly in restaurants. There is certainly nothing wrong with them, but I think Blake’s 5 percenters would most decidedly turn their noses up.

Expensive wine 59: J Vintage Brut Late Disgorged 2003

winereview

Expensive wine 59: J Vintage Brut Late Disgorged 2003There won’t be a specific post for wine and Valentine’s Day this year, but I will cover the subject today, tomorrow (featuring Valentine’s Day suggestions from around the Internet), and Wednesday. I did a Valentine’s post last year because I wanted to emphasize sparkling wine, but that job is pretty well done. And I’m not a big fan of the holiday that must not be named, anyway.

I am, however, a huge fan of the J Vintage ($90, sample, 12.5%), price be damned.  Is “very yummy” too technical a wine term to describe it?

Look for layers and layers of complexity and flavor – some pear fruit, some yeastiness (but not overdone the way many French wines at this price are), and even some melon. Don’t often get that in a bubbly. In all of this, the wine is not as aggressive as J’s non-vintage wines, which means less citrus and more subtlety in the fruit flavors. But there are still lots and lots of tiny bubbles, for those of us who love that.

Is it worth nine bottles of a quality $10 Spanish cava? That all depends who you are going to share it with.

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