Rethink Pink with Charles and Charles

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

charles_and_charlesRosé. Blush. The pink stuff. Descriptors like these are enough to make any manly man cringe and any serious wine drinker raise a brow. But if the first thing that comes to your mind is white zinfandel, then this might be a good time to take another look at rosé wines and dispel the myths that have surrounded them for so many years.

Myth number one: rosé wines and blush wines are one in the same. False. According to Wikipedia, the term “blush” was actually coined by a wine writer named Jerry D. Mead upon tasting a pink wine made from cabernet grapes in Sonoma Valley, 1976.  The name of the winery that produced that particular “blush” wine was Mill Creek Vineyards, and its winemaker, Charlie Kreck, took Mead’s suggestion and trademarked the word “blush” in 1978.

Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano Reflects Tuscany’s Rustic Charm

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

MorisApril is perhaps best known for two things: rain and Easter. Not only in America but in many other countries as well. While the rain falls from gray skies and the sun attempts to peek out and shine a ray of warmth, so millions of believers emerge from their winter dens to celebrate spring and Christ’s resurrection from the tomb. It’s all about rebirth and renewal; the celestial and the earthly beginning anew. And one country that is most steeped in celebrations during the month of April is Italy.  Of course the Vatican in Rome is home to the pope, the world’s most famous catholic, but celebrations of all sort blossom and blaze throughout many Italian cities.

If you’re wondering what exactly Easter has to do with wine (and henceforth this article,) well then you may have never been to catholic mass. We’ve all heard the story of Jesus transforming water to wine, and we all understand the idea that the ritual of baptism symbolizes the cleansing of the soul and the washing away of sin to be born into a life with Christ--or something along those lines. The point is: the fact that Easter is in April and close to the spring equinox should surprise no one.  Rain, eggs, blooming flowers, newborn litters of fluffy bunny rabbits and little yellow peeps-- it’s all quite indicative of rebirth and renewal. And wine has its place too.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

imperial_stout_cigarHere in Florida, it is hard to argue that our winter has all but ended.  Although it’s not technically spring, we haven’t got much time left to go. It may be in the 80s during the day and the snowbirds may have started heading back north, but if you like the cold, then rest assured winter can still be found in Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout by Cigar City Brewing.

Last week’s article was all about springtime in a bottle.  If Honig’s deliciously green sauvignon blanc was poured into a bed of flowers (gasp!) the roses would grow sweeter, the ants would dance, and the soil would rejoice and give thanks for the gift of such heavenly nectar. If Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout was poured on the ground, a hole would melt into the earth deep enough to reveal the center of its molten core. To put it simply, it’s heavy stuff.  Heavier than Twiggy’s coat on a Siberian vacation. Thicker than the blubber found on the seals of the North Pole. More intense than Charlie Sheen on a three day bender. You get the point.

Honig 2009 Sauvignon Blanc: Springtime in a Bottle

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

Honig_2009_sauvignon_BlancThe beginning of March heralds the season many of us have been excitedly waiting to arrive. Spring. The equinox may not occur until the 20th, but the signs of the season of rebirth are already peeking around the corner.  Punxsutawney Phil declared it, and it shall be so. In Florida the change of seasons may not be as discernible as it is up north, but we have our own indicators that spring is near, such as the abundance of plump, juicy strawberries bursting out of baskets on the shelves of farmers’ markets and grocery stores throughout the state. The warm afternoons stretch a little further into the night, and flip-flops begin making their way back out from the closet.

Cab is King

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

Angeline_CabernetCalifornia cabernet.  It’s one of the most well-known and well-respected wines in the world.  And California itself accounts for 90% of wine production in the U.S. Take a stroll down your nearest supermarket wine aisle, and you will notice how prolific cabernets from California regions have become. There’s good reason for this, but there’s also been criticism surrounding the rising prices of some California cabs.

The reason wine drinkers are currently so excited about New World regions like Chile and Argentina is because of the mass amounts of quality wine coming out of these countries at affordable prices. Consumers have a right to be frugal about their wine purchases—especially in this economy. So it is no surprise that buyers are thinking twice before shelling out more than $20 for a decent bottle. This doesn’t mean that many California wines aren’t worth a price tag of $20 or more, but when people can purchase an equally delicious bottle of cabernet from Argentina or Chile for literally half the price, what’s to stop them?

Perhaps it’s habit.  We know what we like and sometimes it’s hard to stray.  It is also hard to ignore the influences of experts from reputable wine sources who tend to rate California cabs higher than other wines, in terms of flavor, complexity and quality.  Cabernet is a fuller bodied wine and takes very well to oak. This means it also ages very well and is capable of displaying a deep wealth of flavor. For the serious wine drinker interested in beginning a cellar, you can bet California cabernet will take up a good portion of the racks. So maybe bigger really is better? You can judge that for yourself.  The main point is, for a serious investor, Cabernet’s ability to stand up to oak and age means it will benefit from a few years on its side, deepening in complexity, and therefore increasing in value over time.