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.

Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Avada Reflects Sherry’s Staying Power

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

Alvear_Pedro_Ximenez_de_AnadaPedro Ximenez: International man of mystery? World class athlete? Millionaire playboy? None of these, actually. As unusual as it may sound, Pedro Ximenez is a grape,  otherwise known as PX to aficionados of the wine world. There is a story about a man of the same name, (or something close to it,) who is allegedly responsible for bringing this grape to Spain. Unfortunately, he was also none of these things, but this white grape varietal has a distinguished reputation all its own.

Pedro Ximenez the grape has been known to star in variations of white table wine in Chile. Fortified wines in Argentina very similar to those most commonly made in Jerez, Spain are derived from a closely-related varietal known as Pedro Gimenez. And in Australia, PX is used to make the fortified or sherry type wines known as Apera.

California Cabernet is King

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

AngelineCalifornia 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.

Zios Albarino Hits All the Right Notes

Written by Sheri Varasdi on .

ziosEvery once in a while, the stars align, the moon is full, and everything in the world seems right.  You might not be able to explain it, but something magical is happening and suddenly, in between delectably juicy bites of your baby lamb tenderloin and sips of a pretty darn decent Chianti, you have a flavor epiphany.  This is it! You think to yourself.  This is what all those Wine Spectator folks have been talking about! A total eclipse of the sun: the light goes off; there is darkness. And then, bang! It hits you.  The sun comes back out and it seems as if it has never before shone so brightly.  You, my friend, have just experienced a perfect pairing.