New Year’s Eve makes many people think of drinking bubbly at midnight to celebrate the possibilities of that new year beginning and say goodbye to the year that is ending. Midnight this year may be one of the most momentous in recent history as 2020 has been a year like no other we can recall. 2021 gives us all hope for better times. So bring on the bubbly!
Champagne is the bubbly that comes to mind, but most people have never really had Champagne. For most people this is just the generic name they give to bubbly wine. The only true Champagne comes from the Champagne Appellations in France with requirements on its making. But sparkling bubbly wines are made almost everywhere that wine is made using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Some countries have put their own customization on this popular celebratory wine.
Germany’s sparkling wine, Sekt, is not very well-known outside of the country. Until recently it wasn’t able to be purchased except in Germany. The uniqueness of Sekt is that it is made with Riesling grapes. Spanish sparkling wine, Cava, is made with Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo grapes, though also sometimes with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Probably most wine lovers are more familiar with Prosecco, a sparkling wine made in Italy with the Glera grape. Prosecco has been around for centuries and in much of the twentieth century was a rather sweet wine. Today, Prosecco is generally a crisp aromatic wine. It is sometimes made with Perera, Bianchetta, and Verdiso, and the better known wine grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir.
New World wineries in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa are also contributing excellent sparkling wines. Names like Brut and Blanc de Blancs are on labels from California, Washington, and Oregon. Kentucky wineries Smith-Berry Vineyards and Winery and Talon Vineyards and Winery make sparkling Moscato wines that are sweeter choices.
My personal favorites tend to be Prosecco. La Vostra Prosecco, a crisp Italian sparkling wine is easier to find than some and is excellent.
Whatever your choice, raise a glass at midnight tomorrow, say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021. “To a better year!”
Cheers! Here’s to you! Salute! Whatever your preferred libation, drink up!
Today is the anniversary of the end of Prohibition. From January 17, 1920 to December 5, 1933, the United States prohibited the making and sale of alcoholic beverages.
So whether your drink of choice is gin, tequila, vodka, bourbon, beer, or wine, it’s the day to raise your glasses in a toast – “to the end of Prohibition”.by admin
Thanksgiving Day is this week. Even though 2020 has been a rough year and we have lost many loved ones and many experiences, we are thankful to be here. Thanksgiving celebrations will be different with most of us staying at home and not spending the day with family. Things appear to be looking up so stay safe and look forward to a new year. Have a glass or two of your favorite wine and enjoy a quiet day at home.
Celebrating our Anniversary for many years has meant visiting a favorite winery. Due to the conditions this year, our trip to visit the wineries in Southwest Michigan was cancelled. We made plans to visit our favorite local winery, Brianza Gardens and Winery for the afternoon but the state changed the date they could open. So this year (after a trip to Brianza to pick up some wine and get a photo) to celebrate 52 years of marriage we shared a bottle of wine on our back porch, It was a 2012 bottle of Octagon, from Barboursville Vineyards and Winery in Virginia, along with some Bruschetta, and it was excellent!
We’ve all been living an existence unlike any we have known before, looking for any bit of normalcy. Celebrating something silly just for the fun of it might be a good way. May 25, 2020 is National Wine Day. Can you think of anything more fun?
For those of you who are red wine lovers, try a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Zinfandel, of maybe a Tempranillo. If white is your choice, how about a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. Others might choose a Rose or a nice sweet fruit wine.
Whatever you choose, get some wine, relax, and have a fun day!by admin
Most wine lovers don’t think of North Carolina when they start looking for a bottle of good wine. But, if they’ve ever had one from there, they might.
In 1835, North Carolina opened its first winery, Medoc Vineyards. At the turn of the century, there were 25 wineries in the state, but they closed during Prohibition. Duplin Winery was the first modern one to open in 1975. Almost twenty years ago on a trip to North Carolina, we visited a few wineries. Since then the state has developed a wine industry that that includes 186 wineries and 2300 acres of of vineyards and is ranked 11th in the United States in wine production. Biltmore Estate Winery is one of the most visited wineries in the country.
One of our favorite wineries is Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery in Ronda, North Carolina. We first visited there in 2014 and fell in love with the place. We have visited there many times since then and have enjoyed many wines. It’s hard to choose your favorite from this winery that specializes in Italian style wines.
So wine lovers, I recommend that you give North Carolina a try. You definitely !won’t regret it and you might find yourself a new favorite spot!by admin
Since I shared this upcoming A & E program and wrote about our experience at the concert, I thought I’d share my review of the television show.
After waiting for over a year to watch the A & E special tribute show Willie Nelson American Outlaw, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. First let me say, if I had watched the show without having been at the taping concert, I would have enjoyed it a lot. I still thought it was a good show, but it could (and should) have been a lot better.
Some of our favorite moments from the concert were the ones that were left on the cutting room floor. Just a few examples, Kris Kristofferson sang Me and Bobby McGee with Willie and Eric Church. Norah Jones did an amazing job of the haunting ballad Remember Me. When Allison Krauss sang Angel Flying too Close to the Ground, the entire audience was spellbound. There were other performers and songs that were better than some of those that did make the A & E broadcast.
It left me feeling that the producers were not the country music fans. This was also demonstrated by the interviews about Willie, those featured most often were Sheryl Crow and Dave Matthews. Those were not the first names to come to mind when discussing Willie’s career. Singers who have toured with Willie would have been better choices, such as, Emmy Lou Harris and Lee Ann Womack.
Even a glass (or two) of Barboursville Vineyards Vermentino, which is excellent, didn’t make me mellow enough to ease my disappointment. Maybe there will be an unedited DVD. A true fan can only hope!by admin
On January 25, 1919, I wrote about our trip to Nashville to see a tribute concert featuring many artists honoring the career of Willie Nelson. This concert will be televised on A & E this Sunday, April 12, at 10 PM. Anyone who enjoys Willie Nelson, or even just enjoys country music, should tune in. The concert was amazing and we’ve been looking forward to it for a year! Hope you get a chance to see it! Pour a glass and enjoy Willie!by admin
Wow, another day to celebrate our love for wine. Today we get to add one of our favorite snacks. It sounds like a perfect day to relax with a Kentucky wine from your favorite winery and one of Kentucky’s excellent cheeses, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon from Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery paired with a cheddar from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese. Perfect way to end Wine and Cheese Day!by admin