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!”
“I’m dreaming of a wine Christmas!”
Celebrating Christmas this year means a quiet evening at home enjoying a special wine. The good thing is there are so many wonderful wines. I always recommend choosing your favorite, whether it is red, white, rosé, dry, or sweet.
Some Kentucky wines I recommend: a red – Brianza’s Cabernet Sauvignon, a white – Sauvignon Blanc from Forest Edge, a rosé – Lover Leap’s Rosé, a dry – Chrisman Mill’s Old Vine Zinfandel, or a sweet – Blackberry wine from Smith-Berry.
For a perfect Christmas Eve, start a fire in the fireplace, turn on the lights on the tree, dim the lights, and share a glass (or two) with the one you love.
Merry Christmas to wine lovers everywhere!by admin
Brianza Gardens and Winery has a new release and it’s not wine – their new release is a Brandy.
For those unfamiliar with brandy, it is a liquor produced by distilling wine and contains a higher alcohol content that wines. Owner and winemaker, Tony Parnigoni’s new brandy is made using his Chambourcin wine, distilling a portion and blending that with the remaining wine then aging it in a Buffalo Trace barrel. He did an excellent job!
Brianza Brandy offers complex aromas and flavors. Wine lovers will find it very enjoyable. When you pour a glass, let it breathe just a bit, then enjoy the first aromas of dark spices (cloves and cinnamon) and hazelnuts. Take a sip; the first flavor you taste are those same spices. Then when you swallow, the taste is of a just picked blackberry, leaving you with a warm finish. This brandy made from Chambourcin is a pleasant addition to the Brianza list of wines.by admin
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
Though it seems like forever since I started the adventure of writing a cookbook, with assistance I have finally reached my destination. The manuscript for Vineyard to Table-Cooking with Kentucky Wine was just sent to my publisher. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before the book is in my hands.
The book contains 69 original recipes created using Kentucky wines, as well as some informative chapters on the history of wine and food, tips for cooking and choosing wines, health benefits, and cooking healthy.
I can’t wait to share the cookbook with you!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.
As a wine lover, we have visited most of Kentucky’s wineries. As a life-long Kentuckian, we have visited several of the state’s bourbon distilleries. But last weekend was a new experience for us. We visited Castle and Key Distillery just outside of Frankfort. Located on the grounds of the Old Taylor Distillery built in 1887, with its original castle and grounds restored, Castle and Key offers visitors several different spirits. Castle and Key distills three styles of gin and a vodka.
While tours have been stopped during the pandemic, you can still visit, taste, and enjoy the grounds. After tasting the spirits, either straight or in cocktails, visitors can buy the products or gift items in their gift shop. The historic buildings with outdoor tastings at Counter 17, the grounds with the Springhouse and Botanical Trail are very impressive. Castle and Key Distillery is an excellent place to visit. We enjoyed our visit and look forward to returning when tours resume. It is great way to spend an afternoon visiting a piece of Kentucky history. And they serve gin.
In this disturbing year, finding a safe place to relax and enjoy an afternoon break is a great find. Our place is Brianza Gardens and Winery. On bad days, on good days, or just Wednesdays, stopping at Brianza and sharing a great Cabernet Sauvignon makes it all better. We’ve shared picnic lunches, ran into friends, and just visited with Tony and talked about wine.
Fall in the vineyard has been beautiful. Kentucky wine lovers would enjoy a visit. Try a tasting flight and choose the wine you love most. Enjoy!
If you’re missing the Chrisman Mill Vineyards and Winery, Hummingbird Ridge Distillery, and Fuego Grill, you might be interested in the pop-up sales from their newly opened Hummingbird Bakery Company.
Denise Nelson has created custom design sugar cookies. She uses only natural ingredients – Potassium Bromate free flour and 100% natural Madagascar vanilla. They are not only delicious but also a work of art.
Check out their Facebook page.by admin