Bottle of The Week- Marchesi Biscardo Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Corvina Blend

Here we go again with another northern Italian red blend, this time it’s from Veneto, not Tuscany. I picked up the Marchesi Biscardo Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Corvina Blend, 2013, from a local wine store, Gibb’s, which I have been visiting since before I could walk, with my parents. You could say I practically grew up there. The first thing I thought when I saw the Ripasso Corvina Blend was “Amarone!”, and you all know how much I love an Amarone.  Ripasso is actually a method of winemaking where the wine is “re-passed” over dried grape skins, which generally gives the wine more structure and lower acidity. This method is extremely popular for people who love the style of Amarone wines but don’t always want to spend the big bucks required to get a decent one. Continue reading

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Dueling Wines, Sangiovese Blends

With the upcoming trip to Italy I have been consuming all the Italian wines I can get my hands on. For this second installment of Dueling Wines we decided, since we will be staying in prime Chianti country, that we would pick a couple of Sangiovese blends to pit against each other. The grape name Sangiovese derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, which means the blood of Jupiter, so I guess the Romans liked drinking metaphorical blood even before they became Catholic. When the grape is younger it takes on a more fruity spicy flavor, but once it has been aged for a bit, it becomes more earthy and oaky flavors. Sangiovese is well known for its naturally well balanced structure and flavors and is Italy’s most widely planted grape. Continue reading

Bottle of The Week- Les Allies Côtes du Rhône

“What did the Romans ever do for us?” If you’re a wine lover, if you are reading this it’s safe to say you are, the answer to that question is “a lot!” Not least of which includes the initial cultivation of the Rhone Valley wine vineyards. Brian what have the RomansWhile it is true that the Ancient Greeks actually first planted in that area, it was the Romans who really established it as an area with the great vineyard reputation it has today. The Romans used the river as a sort of highway through France, (or Gaul, if you want to be historically accurate) planting vineyards the whole way. After the decline of the Roman Empire the wine trade in this area was severely impacted and really only flourished in the southern area, closer to the mediterranean, and in the north, the areas that supplied Lyon. In the 14th century, when the papacy moved from Rome to Avignon, the areas in between began to flourish once more, becoming the famous region we know and love to this day. Continue reading

Girl and The Goat

You know how there are those restaurants that are so hyped up that they have a two month wait to even get a reservation, and they inevitably never live up the expectation? Girl & the Goat is the exact opposite of that, the not living up to the expectation part, I mean. I had been hearing about this restaurant for months prior to my trip last weekend to Chicago. We tried to get in back in early December when I was in the city, to no avail, and made our reservations then for late January. Even with the reservations being placed over a month in advance we couldn’t even get a Friday or Saturday night! I’m sure everything I have just said does not make you want to go there in the least bit, however, you should seriously reconsider because if you are not on the phone calling to make a reservation by the time you are done reading this post you’re crazy. What is so special about this place? Well, have you ever even had goat liver mousse before? It is even better than the chicken liver mousse I had two nights prior to this, which was delicious. Continue reading