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Love It and Drink It - The Premier Wine Blog

Love It and Drink It

  • Summer Wines and Music

    Wine and music go together like the moon and the stars.

    Van Gogh's Starry Night

    Setting the Mood: Vincent (Starry Starry Night) - Don McLean

    Add the summer sun and you have a recipe for pleasurable moments in times like pool parties, picnics in the park, chillin in the back yard, or just sitting on the front porch watching the world go by. Beat the heat and have some fun in the sun with a dozen of my favorite wines and songs of summer. Enjoy the connection.

    Cool and vibrant

    Musical Pairing: Summertime Blues - Eddi Cochran


    Sweet and melodic.

    Musical Pairing: Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly and the Family Stone


    Light and breezy

    Musical Pairing: A Summer Song - Chad and Jeremy


    Harmonic sunlight

    Musical Pairing: Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts


    Rose colored glass

    Musical Pairing: In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry


    Smooth and laid back

    Musical Pairing: Summer - War


    Liquid sunshine.

    Musical Pairing: Summer Rain - Johnny Rivers


    Racy, on the fast track.

    Musical Pairing: Boys of Summer - Don Henley


    Sunlight dancing on water.

    Musical Pairing: Suddenly Last summer - The Motels


    Another place in time

    Musical Pairing: A Summer Place - Percy Faith and his Orchestra


    Sweet and sour

    Musical Pairing: Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams


    Jammy and loaded with flavor.

    Musical Pairing: Summertime - Kenny Chesney


    Wine adds flavor to life. Music feeds the soul.

  • Aging Wine in Bourbon Barrels? Yes, please.

    Bourbon BarrelAgeing of Bourbon starts with the process of charring new oak barrels. The purpose is to carmelize the sugars inherent in the wood, which in turn delivers a distinctive aroma and flavor spectrum to the whiskey, as it ages in the barrel. Given the wave of popularity Bourbon producers have enjoyed, in tsunami proportions mind you, it was only a matter of time, when a few creative wine makers would pioneer the unique idea of aging wine in Bourbon oak barrels. Here on the cutting edge are two of our favorites:

    2013 One Thousand Stories Zinfandel

    The grapes are sourced from parcels in Mendocino County, a place where Zin harmoniously flourishes with the climate and soil. In the beginning, normal vinification techniques are incorporated with traditional aging of the wine in American and French oak. Afterwards, the wine is aged for a while in new charred oak barrels from the Independent Stave Company. Finally the wine is finished in old Bourbon barrels from distilleries such as Four Roses and Heaven Hill. The result is a wine that registers 15.2 alcohol by volume, which is fairly normal numbers for Zinfandels, but enhanced with an extraordinary flavor profile that provides added complexities from the various steps of barrel aging.

    The wine itself features a kaliedescope of aromas such as vanilla extract, dried herbs and spices, black pepper, cinnamon and a hint of cloves, to name a few. Flavors are wrapped in a sensuous pool of black and blueberry jam swirling in a rich caramel raspberry puree. The finish is warm and inviting with no lingering taste of Bourbon at all, just smooth well balanced, highly extracted fruit.

    Although great on its own, I recommend the wine with BBQ. The spicy sweetness in the sauce compliments the rich flavors the Zin has to offer. Try to avoid too much heat in the sauce or rub. Sweetness works with Zin because of the deep fruit while heat would react with the alcohol. Not bad with a dry aged ribeye dripping with garlic and herb butter as well. For you non meat eaters, try it with grilled portabello and roasted root veggies sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon spice seasoning.

    2012 Southern Belle Vino La Tierra de Murcia

    An inspired collaboration between American importer Dan Phillips, president of Old Rip Van Winkle distillery, Julien Van Winkle and superstar winemaker Chris Ringland. The Belle is a blend of of Monestrall and Syrah grapes grown in the Murcia region of Spain. Finished in the ever popular Pappy Van Winkle barrels, the wine exhibits toasty vanilla and toffee confections packed with red, black and blue fruits that are ripe and full bodied. Balanced and elegant, there's a eminent terroir character in the wine, like standing in the vineyards and breathing the fresh morning air as the sun slowly dries the dew off the grapes.The Southern Belle is a masterpiece, where with the influence of aged bourbon barrels and the glory of Spain is revealed.

    Great with roasted meats and stews as well as venison and elk for the adventurous. Maybe some duck breast prepared medium rare and drizzled with a reduced cherry sauce accompanied with yams glazed with nutmeg, cinnamon and butter.

    Make it even better

    Light up the fire pit on a cool evening and enjoy theses wines with some Blues in the background and a Padron 1964 Aniversario Exclusivo Maduro Robusto: sun grown natural wrapper from Nicaragua. A box pressed cigar with complex aromatics of mocha, hazelnut, spice and wood elements. Nice oils, always a smooth easy burn. A little expensive but why not treat yourself to a once in a blue moon moment in time.

  • The Wonderful World of Loire Wines

    • As a general rule, the best summer wines hail from growing regions that are cold.  This makes sense, as cooler climates result in grapes that are less ripe, and therefore lighter in body and higher in acidity.  One region that never seems to fail at people-pleasing is the Loire Valley in northwestern France.

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  • Barbecuing, Premier Style!

    Ahh summer!  Between the bugs and the heat, it's never been MY favorite season, with one exception-- delicious, delicious barbecue!  Naturally, beer is a perfect pairing, as well as sangria, margaritas or any lively, fruity cocktail, but did you know there is a plethora of fabulous wines that compliment BBQ dishes as well? Continue reading

  • The OTHER Wines of Piedmont

    High up on the rolling hills, the vineyards of Piedmonte in northern Italy are constantly working and producing and striving for greatness.  Because of the cooler climate, fuller-flavored heavy reds have a difficult time ripening; however, the sunny days and cool nights lend the perfect atmosphere for growing lighter-bodied, fruit forward reds and whites that ripen evenly with perfect balance and acidity.   Continue reading

  • 10 Summertime Sippers

    With the passing of the solstice last weekend, we are now officially into summer, and shifting into warm weather wines- light, crisp and easy- as well as juicy, fruit-forward BBQ and picnic wines. Here's a smattering of great bottles to get your summer cellar (i.e. porch) started:

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  • Derby de Mayo

    I love the first weekend of May: two great events to celebrate at the start of the month!

    These two events are The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo. I refer to this time as "Derby de Mayo;" I realize this makes nearly no sense when translated from Spanish – but it's a catchy title! Continue reading

  • 10 Springtime Gems

    Yes, okay, it's not totally out of the question that it might snow again (this is Buffalo, after all), but for the most part, the weather is getting warmer and wetter, in short- it's SPRINGTIME!
    Springtime brings with it lots of sunshine, showers and fresh new flowers and grass, but it also brings a thirst for lighter reds, aromatic whites and crisp roses. Be sure to stock up on some of our favorites: Continue reading

  • St. George Spirits

    It’s April! Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, birds and bees are doing… what birds and bees normally do: it’s a great month! However, besides Easter and Passover, there are few holidays this month so finding a theme for a blog post can be a bit difficult. 

    Fortunately, one dragon-slaying saint has his name day this month.  Furthermore, he inspired the name for a distillery in the Bay Area.  So with this post I honor St. George’s Day (April 23) with a look at St. George Spirits and their finely-crafted products.
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  • Niagara Wine Trail

    Though the oldest winery in the Niagara region (Niagara Landing) has had plantings since the 1800s, it has only been in the past 20 years that this area has gained recognition by the general public. Today, there are twenty wineries along the Niagara wine trail, and this number continues to increase with regularity. Continue reading

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