Posted on 25 March 2013 by Andie
All my wine travels have a great story and end with a wonderful glass of wine. Quite honestly, southeastern Spain was not on my top places to visit this past winter, but somehow Bacchus, the wine god, made it part of my plans, only to end up providing me with a seductive glass of wine.
Let me share some of the basic characteristics of Jumilla. This region is highly known for more sunshine than rain, reporting approximately 3,000 hours of sunshine annually and an average rainfall that does not exceed 12 inches per year, resulting in some poor inorganic limestone soils. I can personally attest to the warm days and cool nights. I’ll take winter in Jumilla any day over Chicago’s brutal winter.
So what kind of grape is produced in this sunny part of Spain? The predominate grape varietal is Monastrell as it represents approximately 85% of the vines planted. Although this grape can be found in all parts of Spain, it’s abundant and at home along the Mediterranean coast. This special grape varietal is robust enough to survive and thrive under the long summer sun hours. As we drove into Jumilla country, I had Edu pull over so I take a look at the aired soil I’ve heard so much about. Although winter had just started and I saw nothing but naked grape bushes, I was still able to take in the landscape and soil that adds character to the grape.
Posted on 29 October 2012 by Andie
Northern Spain’s 2012 wine harvest was stunning. My off‐the‐beaten‐path journey to Navarra and small towns in between Madrid and Pamplona was nothing short of a Grapetackulous season. With the company of amazing friends, Katie from Canada and Mauro from Chile, all things wine and Spain were covered. One of my finds will be shared at Citimaven’s Yearly Fall Wine Tasting.
Move over Rioja…. you have some completion called Navarra!
Look for Citimaven’s next wine event in your neighborhood
Posted on 26 April 2012 by Andie
Even after years of spending time in the wine country of northern Spain, I continue to visit Ribera del Duero and fall in love with it every time. This spring was a bit different as I took an unexpected road trip to Ribera del Duero with some very special wine experts. The wine universe put one of Spain’s top leading wine critics in my path: Mr. Andres Proesnsa. I consider him to be the Robert Parker of the Spanish wine world, and although some may argue this, he is no doubt an expert on Spanish wines.
My divine experience with Mr. Proesna was unforgettable… we broke bread together, enjoyed wine, and talked shop. Oh, did I mention the 50+ wines we tasted during an intense 2 hour period? I couldn’t have dreamt up anything better than this experience. Honestly speaking, I found it funny how, in the middle of our conversation, we both smiled at each other and saw nothing but purple…. You know life is good when you share purple lips and teeth.
I invite all Spanish wine lovers to read the electronic version of Mr. Proensa’s wine guide.
Posted on 22 April 2011 by Andie
I found the perfect marriage between a decadent chocolate cupcake and a velvety apricot Sauternes.
There are no words to describe this culinary climax between my love for chocolate and white wine.
Haut Charmes | Sauternes | 2007 | Appellation Sauternes Controlee | 14% | $23
Molly’s Cupcakes | 2536 North Clark Street | Chicago, IL. | (773) 883-7220 | $3.75
Posted on 18 February 2011 by Andie
Hands down, Layer Cake Shiraz from South Australia was the crowd pleaser!
The dark exotic creamy layers of chocolate notes made the wine stand out from the rest. The University of Chicago Grad students from OMSA and LGBTQ couldn’t get enough of this bottle. Cheers to my new wine newbie’s… Kenneth, Madsion, Jimmy, Kasey, Sasha, Rebecca, Fiyinfolu, Sham, Hussein, Emily, Thandiwe, and Marta.
Let’s do this again!
Posted on 15 January 2011 by Andie
My Chicago Peeps, winter is only half way through, what better way to stay warm than with a glass of red wine in our PJs all cozy at home. Next time you make it out of your warm home through the slushy snow, make sure you pick-up any of the 3 bottles of wine:
- Valley of the Moon Syrah ||Whole Foods||Intense aromas of blueberries and cedar, exotic, and long finish
- Charles & Charles Blend ||Whole Foods|| Packed with aromas, juicy fruits, and very easy finish
- Clos Du Bois Pinot Noir ||Jewel or Binny’s|| Cherry aromas, soft vanilla, and easy to enjoy
Let me know what’s keeping you warm this winter? Yes, you!