Wines with a V

I am typically a red wine drinker. Since this past summer though, I have been drinking a lot more whites. Even in this cold, drizzly Seattle weather, sometimes a crisp white wine just sounds tasty. Lately, I have been gravitating towards wines that start with V… Strange huh? Does a wine that begins with V ring a bell for you?

The white wines most wine novices typically gravitate towards are Chardonnay’s, Sauvignon Blanc’s and Pinot Gris/Grigio’s. But not me. Because of you, my friends, I am a risk taker who is down with the V’s. Which means you should check them out next time you are at your local wine merchant. These wines will say to your guests, host or friends that you are adventurous, daring and wine knowledgeable…. (Trust me; they will be impressed with your picks)

These are my 4 varietal, go -to favorites lately

 

Verdejo (Verdelho) – Ola! This is bright and fairly medium bodied Spanish (and Portuguese) white wine (although, I have an Australian Verdejo last night from Mollydooker and it was a lot of fun). Being this is typically a Spanish wine, it pairs well with most fish/seafood dishes, pastas (esp. with pesto) and vegetarian dishes. This is also a wine that will go nicely with an Indian dinner or something with a lot of spice. It has a well balanced flavor with many foods!

Vermentino – I have been on a Vermentino kick lately. This is another medium bodied wine that often has hints of mineral and citrus (lemon and pear in my opinion). Vermentino is typically from Sardinia and Liguria, but can often be found grown along the Mediterranean coast. Simple fish dishes are what I would pair this with. I love the flavor of Vermentino, so I wouldn’t have it with a dish that would take away from its simple, yet elegant flavor. A nice tossed salad would also pair nicely with this wine

Vinho Verde– This fun Portuguese, semi-sparkling white wine is inexpensive and goes well with spicy foods. This wine, in general, does not have a whole lot of flavor, but I feel it blends nicely with spicy foods (I had one with empanadas and it tasted brilliantly together). It would also be a fantastic wine to drink with fish tacos, seafood stews and crab cakes. You usually can find this wine under $10. What a steal!

Viognier- This is a French (WA, CA, OR, and Australia as well) dry, florally, full bodied white wine. Now, my issue with Viognier is that the floral nose and taste can be overpowering (I prefer subtle wines). However, if you find the right balanced Viognier, it is heaven in your mouth. You do have to play around with them to find your perfect Viognier though. Once you find that perfect wine, it will go nicely with Asian dishes, Chicken, dishes with cream sauces, lobster and pork. Viognier is one of those wines that will blend nicely with a variety of cheeses…

Alright, just one more V wine…

Valpolicella – This is not a white wine, but I wanted to add in as a favorite red wine of mine. Valpolicella is an Italian, light-bodied dry red wine from the Veneto region. Like with Viognier, I have had some bad Valpolicella that tasted thin and had the flavor of dried cherries and stale licorice. I am REALLY picky about my Valpolicella. Finding the right one can take work, but again high risk means high rewards. Once you find the right Valpolicella (look for Valpolicella Classico Superiore) it will be smooth, well rounded. This wine is great to start your dinner party off with. Pairs well with Italia dishes (pizza, pasta, etc), Risotto, grilled/roasted chicken and sausage.

Go ahead and show off your adventurous wine side to your friends. Bringing one of these V wines to your next party will impress your other wine novice friends. And it’s just nice to break out of the norm.

Put down that Chardonnay and pick up a Vermentino!

Cheers and Happy February friends….

 

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wineries, wineries, wineries….

Just beginning our day at DeLille

I love wineries! Which makes sense because I love wine.  I love wineries because it gives you such an insight to their wines. Some wineries, like their wines, are over priced and pretentious. Some wineries take the time to get to know you, as you them, and let you absorb the wines at your own pace. Then there are those who get you in and out as fast as possible , cheap service and probably cheap tasting wine – like a fast food restaurant. Horrible food, but it fills you up quickly. I obviously prefer the second, but sadly have experienced the other types as well. 

I am not going to get into all the wineries I have been too. I am not here to bash wineries (or their wines) either. I would like to tell you about the wineries I explored yesterday and the wine (and one particular winery) I feel you should invest in!   

Yesterday was a marvelous day! We set out on an adventure of exploring local wineries. Our wine tasting group included, my husband, brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, mom and myself. And since going to the Eastern side of Washington was not a possibility, we decided to check out Woodinville. Now, Woodinville is notorious for two of the biggest wineries in Washington, Columbia and Chateau St Michelle ( honestly are far from my favorite) – but did you know there are 45 wineries/tasting rooms in Woodinville? I didn’t, but now I do. I mean, this is a wine lovers paradise. But, since we had little one in tow (yes friends, it is possible to wine taste with a baby,  some wineries more welcoming than others. Just be mindful – swish, swirl and spit!) we had to limit the number we visited. 

Stop #1 DeLille Cellars

Ok, I have had one of their most popular wines called D2. FABULOUS wine! My brother-in-law Michael introduced me to this little piece of Heaven and have been in love with ever since. Just one slight problem, the price. DeLille’s wines over priced (for us novices who don’t have unlimited funds). The taste of their wines impressed me, but  turned off by the price. Nothing under $35.00. If you are in the mood to splurge, I will tell you the two wines I found the most delightful. 

2006 Doyenne Signature Syrah – $34.00 – A very rich wine with a taste of berry and spice. Not my favorite Syrah, but seductive on the palate. 

2007 DeLille Cellars D2 – $35.00 – Like I said a little piece of Heaven. The taste is of plums, cherries, vanilla and little spice. It is a smooth wine and goes down very easily. One of my top 10 favorites.   

Stop#2 Tefft Cellars 

 

This winery just opened a tasting room in Woodinville. Their original winery is located in Outlook, WA – a suburb of Yakima. I have been to the Outlook winery twice and enjoy their nicely priced wine. Out of the three I visited yesterday, this winery by far had the best service, class, atmosphere, price and wine. All 6 of us walked into this well designed wine cellar with lush chairs, couches and friendly smiles, in awe. We sat back and enjoyed our tasting of 14 wines (I did not taste all 14, I apologize) – for about an hour and a half. We had the full attention of the owner and his knowledge and enthusiasm for his wines was inspiring. I enjoyed so many of Tefft’s wines (and bought) – but I will give you a couple of the wines I recommend the most. I HIGHLY recommend visiting this winery as well! 

Viognier: Light, crisp, sweet, and citrus fruit taste. Very enjoyable. Most people think you can only drink white wine in the summer, but not true. This wine would taste wonderful anytime of the year. A great price of only $16.00 

Villa Toscana: A classic Chianti – everyday table wine. Bold smell, yet a light pepper and cherry taste. $18.00 

2006 Merlot: All 6 of this agreed this was a tasty wine. Very spicy and earthy. $23.00 

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: a smokey Cab – at first taste is dry, then ends with a sweet finish (weird I know, but once you taste it you will understand). Very powerful, but extremely yummy. Splurge on this! $28.00 

They also have three ports that were a hit with our group ( I did not taste). You are able to find Tefft wines in local grocery stores, as well as Trader Joes and Whole Foods. 

Stop #3 Facelli Winery 

 

I have to say I was a little disappointed with this winery. Facelli was the third winery to open in Woodinville. You can only purchase their wines from the winery. I would recommend one wine from Facelli: 

 2008 Lemberger – It has a light taste with a smooth finish – tastes of plums, cherries and raspberries. $17.99 

For those interested in learning more about Woodniville wineries, you should explore the Passport to Woodinville April 17th and 18th. Check out their website! http://www.woodinvillewinecountry.com/index.cfm 

If you attend this, let me know what your favorite wineries are! 

Happy wine touring!