Author Archives: The Frugal Wine Snob

PREVIEW: Mia line of Spanish wines, just released in the U.S.

Pictured here is a 187ml bottle of Mia sparkling Moscato, a well-made sweet wine. Weighing in at 7% ABV, it’s light enough to enjoy with lunch without spoiling the rest of your day. And, it’s delicious, with a bouquet of … Continue reading

Posted in Moscato/Muscat, Spain | Leave a comment

Catalan cuisine: Cooking with “Chef Isma,” Ismael Prados Soto

What better way to learn about Catalan wines and cuisine than to experience a cooking class? As part of my tour of Cataluña, I did just that. Our guide and chef was the talented “Chef Isma,” Ismael Prados Soto. A … Continue reading

Posted in Alberino, Cava, Food, Spain, Tastings, Tempranillo, Travel | 3 Comments

René Barbier vineyard: Innovation in Cataluña’s Penedès district

This is Part Two of my report on Spain’s Catalan Freixenet properties. Part One covered my visit to Cataluña’s Priorat district and the Morlanda winery. This post will focus on the René Barbier vineyard in Cataluña’s Penedès district. Once again … Continue reading

Posted in Macabeo, Parellada, Spain, Technical Stuff, Visits to Vineyards/Winemakers, Xarel-lo | Leave a comment

A visit to Cataluña’s Priorat district and the Morlanda winery

Recently, I went on a media/trade trip to Spain to visit the Freixenet (pronounced “fresh-a-net”) properties. I learned about their famous Cava, the sparkling wine made in the Method Champenoise (more on that in another post). But besides Cava, I … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Cava, Grenache/Garnacha, Spain, Visits to Vineyards/Winemakers | 3 Comments

RECOMMENDED: More from Casey Flat Ranch.

2013 Viognier, 14.1% ABV, $20 SRP. This lovely light-straw-colored wine started out with canteloupe, a hint of citrus, and a delicate candy (circus peanuts!) flavor, which always delights the heck out of me on the rare occasions I encounter it … Continue reading

Posted in California, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah/Shiraz, Viognier | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Casey Flat Ranch “CFR” 2010 Estate Red Wine, Capay Valley, 14.8% ABV, $35 SRP.

WOW. This opaque, nearly-black wine was smooth yet charismatic from the get-go. Flavors of cassis and blackberries played nice with the pleasant but not-overbearing wood overlay of faint cedar. This was an extraordinarily rich potion that was balanced, impressive, and … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Mourvedre, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Cono Sur “Bicicleta” 2012 Merlot, Valle Central, Chile, 13.5% ABV, $7 and up

It was one of those nights when I didn’t want to consume any of the wines we’ve laid away at home; I just wanted to get ripped. Late Thursday night, I was on my way home from a theatre rehearsal … Continue reading

Posted in Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Chile, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot | 3 Comments

TASTING: Wente Vineyards, Wine and Music

On Thursday, August 1st, Karl Wente hosted an interesting Wine and Music tasting, with his friend Shannon Koehler. Besides being a fifth-generation winemaker, Karl is an avid musician. Karl started on saxophone, gravitated to electric guitar, and plays acoustic guitar … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Music, California, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Tastings | 1 Comment

RECOMMENDED: Primal Roots 2011 White Blend, California. 13% ABV, around $10.

Primal Roots has made a tasty white blend consisting of 50% Viognier, 20% French Colombard, 15% Riesling, and 15% Gewürztraminer. We enjoyed the contrast of its Sauvignon Blanc-like acidity, and its somewhat sweet, Moscato-like floral notes. A hint of cinnamon … Continue reading

Posted in California, Colombard, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier | 2 Comments

RECOMMENDED SUMMER WINES: The White Knight

A division of The Other Guys wine group (Sebastiani family), The White Knight brand’s motto is “Saving the world from the tyranny of Chardonnay!” Cute. After their initial offering of an impressive Viognier, the Knights have expanded into Riesling, Moscato, … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chardonnay, Moscato/Muscat, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling, Viognier | Leave a comment