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Archive for Wine

REVIEW: BevWizard Wine Smoother

How many times have you opened a bottle of wine to find it tough, tannic, yielding no fruit? Maybe you drank it anyway, maybe you set it aside and opened another bottle, hoping for a better experience. BevWizard is hoping to give you a better experience the first time around. It’s a $28 gadget that claims to soften red and white wines and make them fruitier. If your wine is too hard, too tannic, too acidic, just snap the pouring spout onto the bottle, pour the wine through it, and it will be altered into a better state by the magnets inside, so say the manufacturers. In some cases, we found that it works. In our tests, it softened and brought out the fruit in reds that were 6 years or under. In the case of Barolo, it softened the tannins but we didn’t like the result. If you like gadgets and experimenting, you may want a BevWizard of your own. Read the results of our tests in the full review, in the Wine Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   BevWizard

In some cases, the BevWizard pouring spout can help snatch victory from the glass of defeat.
 

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PRODUCT WATCH: Tulip Hill “Aria” Wine


Aria Wine
“Aria” wine and CD gift set.
  Many wine collectors also like opera. Now, there’s a gift custom-made for them. Janet Hopkins, a soprano with the Metropolitan Opera, has teamed up with California’s Tulip Hill Winery, an award-winning boutique winemaker, to create Aria, a red meritage (blend of grapes) with a matching CD of arias by Ms. Hopkins. The singer was involved in selecting the blend, working with Tulip Hill wine maker Ed West; she then chose just the right music to complement the wine.
Recipients can sip the wine as they listen to favorite Italian songs such as “O Sole Mio” and “Santa Lucia,” as well as arias from La Boheme, Madama Butterfly and Turandot. The gift set, in a handsome black package that unfolds to reveal both the bottle and the CD, is $59.95; both the wine and the CD are sold separately as well. For more information about this limited-edition gift, visit TulipHillWinery.com

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WINE: Beauties From Calabria and Puglia

Last night we went to a tasting of Southern Italian wines from Winebow, an importer and distributer of premium wines from Italy, Spain and South America. You can pretty much never go wrong with a Winebow import. Company founder Leonardo LoCascio, who presented the wines, has the passion and palate to represent only well-made wines from family-owned properties. All of the wines were good, some memorable, and most were priced for everyday enjoyment at $10 to $15. We fell for two wines from grapes we never heard of (but like most people, we know little about the wines from this region). Gravello IGT* Val di Neto 2005 is a “Super Calabrian” wine, a new blend of 60% Gaglioppo, a grape indigenous to Calabria, and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, an expensive import from France that adds depth, character and cost (and the title “Super,” which began in the 1980s with the Super Tuscan blends). The wine is aged for three years, of which 18 to 24 months is spent in Allier barriques, the fine oak barrels used to age Bordeaux. Drinking beautifully now, this wine has serious plummy fruit and a finish that lasted for about 10 minutes. It’s worth every cent of the $32.00 retail. For almost a third the price and equally as impressive, the rustic-style Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva DOC 2003 from Puglia (the heel of Italy’s “boot”) was spicy, earthy and sensual. It’s a blend of Negroamaro and a small amount of Malvasia Nera. Five days of maceration with the skins has extracted beautiful color plus black cherry and dried fruits—prune, raisin—plus lead pencil nuances found in some great Bordeaux. In fact, the wine is aged for two years, and 20% of it is refined in French barriques of Allier, Nevers and Tronçais oak. It’s a beautiful food wine for roasted and grilled dishes, as well as pizza, for those of us who think that “pizza wine” should be as good as “filet mignon wine.” Both wines are available nationwide. At these prices, we’re buying a case of the Gravello and two of the Salice Salentino—which for $12 makes a great stocking stuffer.   Gravello Val di Neto
Gravello Val di Neto from Calabria: beautiful fruit, complexity and length.
*IGT, Indicazione Geografica Tipica, indicates a geopgraphic area but is not as strict as the DOC classification, which specifies permitted grape varieties, amonng other things. Many non-traditional wines such as the Super Tuscans fall into this category.

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PRODUCT WATCH: Martha Stewart Wine

  Soon it will be possible to eat an entire Martha Stewart dinner. The lifestyle guru, who has most recently launched a line of food products with Costco, is now creating wines with E & J Gallo. The “Martha Stewart Vintage” will debut with 15,000 cases next year: a 2006 Sonoma County Chardonnay, a 2005 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2006 Sonoma County Merlot. Initially, the wines will be sold for $15 per bottle in six cities where the Martha Stewart brand is particularly strong: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon.

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