One of my Christmas presents was a trip to Portland Wine Merchants, a local wine store that has a decent selection of inexpensive, sometimes offbeat wines, many of which are European. It was great fun wandering around looking at all the choices. I selected some French reds and this Italian valpolicella. We also saw one of our go-to cavas there, which I’ll share with you in a later post.
Wine: Le Muraie Ripasso Valpolicella Doc Classico Superiore
Winery: Recchia This family owned winery is located in Veneto, close to Lake Garda in northern Italy.
Grapes: 70% corvina Veronese, 25% rondinella, 5% sangiovese
Alcohol content: 14%
The color of this wine was a pretty, dark red. The aroma reminded me of ripe cherries and black pepper. The taste was pleasant, with some tannins and a bit of pepper at the back of the throat. The finish was fairly short. After letting the bottle aerate for a bit, it was mellower and very drinkable. With a bit of brie, it was wonderful. Definitely something I’ll buy again.
I love to drink sparkling wine (champagne, cava, prosecco) to celebrate specials events. My husband found out this week that a photograph of his will be published in next month’s Maxim article on Portland so it was a great excuse to try a new sparkling wine. I went to Portland Wine Merchants to find an interesting yet reasonable bubbly wine, and came home with a French vin mousseux, or sparkling wine.
Wine: Charles de Fère Blanc de Blancs Brut
Grapes: Colombard, Ugni Blanc, and Folle Blanche
My thoughts: The color of this sparkling wine was a pale gold with lots of tiny bubbles. The aroma ais fruity with just the slightest hint of rose. On the tongue, the many bubbles and sweetness were very pleasant. The finish was long and a bit acidic, which nicely tempered the brief sweetness. I really liked this bubbly and can imagine drinking it often during the summer. It was $9.99 at Portland Wine Merchants but is priced higher elsewhere.
Charles de Fère Blanc de Blancs Brut
For more information on the wine, go to the Boisset Family Estates website.