Posts Tagged ‘champagne’

10th February
written by The Chronicler

On Tuesday, Valentine’s Day will arrive to either charm or torture you.  Whether you are headed to an anti-Valentine’s Day party or having a romantic evening for two at home, here are 3 wines that will bring you nothing but cheer:


Lanson Champagne just arrived to the U.S. market in December, though the Lanson house dates back to 1760.  I’m glad they finally showed up to the party.  After I popped the cork, this bottle went quickly.  It is a lovely rosé Champagne that can be served as an aperitif (before dinner) or with dinner, as it is dry.   It has prominent notes of white flowers and lavender balanced by strawberry, melon and toast with a touch of sweet cream and citrus on the back end.  It is supple in texture with a long, smooth finish.  Begin your evening toasting with Lanson Brut Rosé, pair it with fish and poultry dishes or with fresh fruit or cheese for dessert.


Price: $55


Paul Jaboulet Aine “Les Cedres” Chateauneuf Du Pape 2006 is a red wine blend from the Southern Rhone region of France.  The blend is comprised of 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre.  It is perfect for a romantic dinner for two, and absolutely divine with red meat.  Its notes of fruit, herbs and spice are very well balanced with moderate acidity and sweet tannins.  It is boldly flavored with the sweet meat, herbal and spicy notes you expect to find in a Southern Rhone but its elegance and seductive charm is reminiscent of a Pinot Noir.  This one is for lovers only.


Price: $50


Late-bottled-vintage (LBV) Port is a treat, especially when paired with chocolate or blue cheese.  Noval Unfiltered LBV Port 1999 is a fantastic value.  It has the rich flavors typical of a LBV Port.  Because it was not filtered, it has a fuller body, adding to the intensity of the aromatic bouquet.  I suppose that everyone will be eating chocolate on Tuesday, but if you (like me) aren’t much of a chocolate person, it is heavenly paired with blue cheese.  One bottle will go a long way at a dinner party.  I recommend decanting prior to drinking.


Price: $18

*Rating Scale: 1 Cork = Bad, 2 Corks = Palatable, 3 Corks = Good, 4 Corks = Excellent, 5 Corks = Classic


29th December
written by The Chronicler

2012 Sparkling Wines

In just a couple of days, we will toast to a new year and the resolutions we hope to keep throughout 2012.  Here are five sparkling wines that will add a pop to your new year’s toast:


Henriot Brut Souverain is one of my favorite Champagnes.  It has a rich flavor profile that makes you feel regal with a freshness that entices you to let your hair down.  Perfect for an intimate gathering, it is dry with notes of apple, apricot, and orange blossoms.


If Henriot is regal yet fun, then Louis Roederer Brut Premier is stately yet laid back.  Its dryness is more pronounced, but it is very easy drinking.  Crisp with notes of toast, ginger, and granny smith apples, this Champagne will have you pouring another glass.


Barefoot is the budget sparkler of the bunch that under $10 is a good value.  Last year, Barefoot’s Sparkling Moscato was very popular with my friends and family.  The Brut Cuvee is far drier with notes of creamy vanilla, pear, and a bit of toast.  This one is great for a large gathering, and you can use the leftovers for mimosas in the morning.


Voveti Prosecco is cosmopolitan.  This one is for the hottest party at the hottest club.  It is trendy yet sophisticated with notes of lemon, orange blossoms, peach, wheat and touch of vanilla.  Voveti is another dry sparkler but very fresh.


For those who prefer pink, Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé is a lovely selection.  It is flavorful and crisp with notes of strawberry, raspberry, pear, citrus and vanilla.  Gloria Ferrer is a crowd pleaser.

What will you be toasting with on New Year’s Eve?  Have a safe and happy New Year!


30th November
written by The Chronicler

The Cork Chronicles began one year ago this month with the first post titled “Just Taste It,” imploring you all to form your own opinions about wine and to learn more about wine simply by drinking it.  Over the last year, I have heeded my own advice and drank more wine than I ever had before and writing about the many opinions that I formed.   In seeking to educate The Cork Chronicles’ readers about wine in a fun and engaging way, the most valuable and unexpected lesson that I learned is that life is too short not to follow your passion.

See, when I started this blog one year ago, I was a class action litigator at a well-respected law firm, and wine was merely one of the ways that I sought to escape the stress and dissatisfaction that my career brought.  The positive feedback and warm reception that you all gave to The Cork Chronicles empowered me to leave the life of a litigator behind and pursue my passion in wine as well as other entrepreneurial endeavors.  My life has drastically changed for the better, but it all started with The Cork Chronicles and the delicious and intriguing world of wine that inspired me to share what I know with you.  Thank you for continuing to read The Cork Chronicles and inspiring me to live my dream.

In celebration of The Cork Chronicles’ one year milestone, one of you will WIN A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE!  Yes, that’s right, the good stuff, not Cook’s sparkling wine.  To participate, all you have to do is “LIKE” The Cork Chronicles on Facebook and post a comment on the wall.  Feel free to post your favorite wine, ask a question about wine or tell us what topics you want to see covered on The Cork Chronicles.   The winner* will be randomly selected on December 12th.

Tonight, I’m toasting to all of you who read and support The Cork Chronicles.  Thank you.


*Please note that you are only eligible to win if you live in the U.S., are over 21 years of age and your state’s laws allow wine to be shipped to you.  


28th October
written by The Chronicler
By Janelle Carter of The Cork Chronicles and Sanura Weathers of 
Imagine stepping into a lobby elevator where you were simply looking to wind down the day with a few colleagues, and stepping out onto the penthouse floor with magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline, Godiva chocolate and Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne to greet you.  Sound like a dream?  Well, it kinda was… Cocktails & Caviar at Dream Downtown Hotel. This event was hosted by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos of Extra Virgin, a couple who are as beautiful on the outside as they are inside.
On our third night of Food Network’s NYC Wine & Food Festival, we were privileged to attend the glamorous and oh so delicious soiree–Cocktails & Caviar. Our access to this highbrow affair was serendipitous, and we savored every minute, every bite, and every sip of it. We were presented with sturgeon caviar spooned over fried oysters on the half shell and served caviar in many different ways that it felt like a little piece of heaven—pure culinary bliss. Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne was flowing all night from every corner of the room to compliment the caviar encrusted hors d’oeuvres.

Our favorite hors d’oeuvre was watermelon slices topped with smoked salmon, salmon roe and sturgeon caviar (Unfortunately, we don’t recall the chef who created it to give credit). We enjoyed a number of other tasty culinary creations. Chef Michael Lomonaco with Chef Michael Ammirati of Porter House New York collaborated together to create Buckwheat Blini and Caviar. Chef Eduard Frauneder and Chef Wolfgang Ban of Edi & The Wolf made Crispy Garlic Crostini with dill marinated cucumbers and trout roe. Chef Nikki Cascone of Red Hook Hospitality made Wild Salmon and Bass “gefilte fish” with horseradish, lime and radish salad with salmon roe. Chef Alain Allegretti of La Petite Maison presented Red Shrimp Tartare Espelette Piment, lemongrass oil, purple potato chips and black lump caviar. Chef Patrick Connolly made Pork Terrine, pickled vegetables, foie gras rouille and coriander. Along with the caviar and fried oysters, servers also presented deviled eggs with caviar and crispy Pommes Frites.

The cocktails would not be upstaged by the caviar. As if free flowing Champagne wasn’t enough, the bar served theme cocktails made with Effen vodka: The Classic Martini, EFFENtini, Black Cherry Kiss, Toast of the Town, Cucumber Crisper, and Black Pomegranate Martini. The Cucumber Crisper made with Effen Cucumber vodka, Perrier, peeled cucumber, mint leaves, simple syrup and fresh Lime juice served as our digestif for the evening. We took our drinks for a stroll on the terrace to take in a better view of the picturesque skyline as we toasted to a fabulous evening of Cocktails & Caviar.

If you were at any of Food Network’s NYC Wine & Food Festival events, please share your experience in the comment section below. If you weren’t there, you have to make it a point to be there next year. We definitely will!

Did you read our NYC Wine and Food Festival, Part I?  Part III coming soon.
24th June
written by The Chronicler

Oh, I had a grand time at Wine Enthusiast’s Toast of the Town: Chicago Edition.  Where else could you sip on delicious wine and enjoy mouth savoring food with Sue?  For those of you who have yet to meet Sue, she is the largest, most complete, best preserved T. Rex … In. The. WORLD.  (That was for you, Sam.)  Sue lives at the Field Museum which was an appropriate venue for such a grand event.  The majority of wine producers pouring wine for the evening were California producers.  In California, wine makers go big: big fruit and bold flavors.  So, Sue’s presence seemed fitting for the occasion.

There's Sue in the back

Toast of the Town ranks among the best of wine festivals.  Wine festivals are a great opportunity to taste a lot of different wines during the same time period, allowing you the best opportunity to compare and contrast and develop your palate.  However, I have found that few of the wines poured at festivals are of high quality.  Given the high ticket price that wine festivals tend to command, I am often disappointed by the wine selection offered.  I purchased a VIP ticket to Toast of Town in order to have access to the premium wine selection, and it was worth it.  I tasted very good wine from producers such as William Hill in Napa Valley, California; Scala Dei in Priorat, Spain; Louis Roederer in Champagne, France.


My favorite wine of the night was MacMurray Ranch Winemaker’s Block Selection Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2008.  This is a remarkable Pinot that shows a lot of complexity with smoky undertones and a soft, round finish.  The most interesting wine I enjoyed was Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier Eden Valley 2009.  Botrytis cinerea is a mold that when it grows on grapes, it causes them to shrivel, concentrating the grape’s natural sugars and flavors.  I expected this Botrytis Viognier dessert wine to be very sweet.  Indeed, it is sweet, but it maintains an airy, crisp factor that I didn’t expect.  This wine would pair wonderfully with fresh fruit.  There were several Napa Valley wineries represented at Toast of the Town.  What would Napa Valley be without Cabernet Sauvignon?  The best Cabernet of the evening was Merryvale Profile Napa Valley 2007.  Profile is a Bordeaux-style blend with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is smooth and has a depth of character, balancing notes of cassis and dark berries with tobacco and cedar.  Profile is drinkable now but will be even better with a few more years of age.

Though the wine took center stage, the food—prepared by 35 top restaurants in the city—held its own.  Grahamwich gyros, lobster rolls and red velvet cupcakes, oh my.  Here’s to you, Wine Enthusiast!