The Millesima Blog Awards Are Back #MillesimaBA2017

The holidays are a perfect time to get nostalgic, and Millesima is making me all sorts of nostalgic this week. Entries are now open for the 2017 Blog Awards, which means seven lucky bloggers will be heading to En Primeur in Bordeaux in April. This time without me[1]. I’m so jealous.

On a boat in Bordeaux
On a boat in Bordeaux

This was literally the trip of a lifetime, especially for a wine blogger. Me and my blogger counterparts, three from the US, three from Europe, were treated like Kings and Queens from the second we stepped off the airplane until the moment we were chauffeured back to the airport[2].

Château d'Yquem in all her glory
Château d’Yquem in all her glory

You may recall last year when I asked you, and every other person I’ve ever met, to vote for my entry in the awards[3]. The contest asks bloggers to submit a wine blog that fits into one of three categories:

  • Wine & Food Pairing Award
  • Wine Travel Award
  • Wine Reporter Award (an open category celebrating the best in wine writing)
Millesima Blog Awards
Millesima Blog Awards

Wine bloggers from the USA, Europe, and Asia are qualified to enter so long as the entries are written in English. A panel of three judges whittle down the contestants to a few finalists and then it goes to popular vote[4].

Winners this year will be flown to Bordeaux, enjoy a private guided tour of the city, a gala welcoming soirée, imbibe at exclusive tastings of the 2016 vintage en primeur with the Chateaux of the Union des Grands Crus, and more[5].

I think I read something about how past winners aren’t eligible. Maybe I’ll start a new blog called Winer Esquirer and submit an entry again. Technically, Winer Esquirer wasn’t a winner, so I think I’m ok. That’s not cheating right?

If you have any questions about how fantabulous the experience was, feel free to reach out. I love reminiscing about French fairytales. For example, we literally drank the 2015 vintage of Château d’Yquem like water. For a few hours. At the Château. While we chatted it up with the winemaker.  For real. That happened[6].

Angels sing all day at Château d'Yquem
Angels sing all day at Château d’Yquem

My friends at Millesima and Bernard Magrez truly know how to make you feel like royalty. Every detail was attended to, and the trip was a jam-packed, wine-filled breathtaking experience. Not only was the wine and food phenomenal, it was an incredible chance to make some lifelong friends from all over the world. My buddies and I still chat today and I’ve even had the opportunity to meet up with people I met there in New York.

You can visit the blogs of my fellow winners, Madelyn, Michelle, Jeremy, Mike and Toma, where they document their fabulous international wine journeys.

Wine Blogger Friends
Wine Blogger Friends, from left to right, Michelle, Jeremy, Toma, Mike, Madelyn, and Wine Esquire.

I really can’t say enough about the experience, and if you’re a wine blogger, you’d be crazy not to give it a go. Can’t wait to read your entries, Cheers!

Link to more information and to enter. Be sure to get your entry in by December 30!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Never say never though, I’m working out a way for me to go back too!! #seeyouthere
[2] In a wifi-enabled Mercedes. Because how else do you travel around Bordeaux?
[3] I wrote about a white Bordeaux blend, homemade crepes and a crazy a#s client. I miraculously ended up winning the Wine and Food pairing category.
[4] Thank God for Facebook. If I’m friends with you on Facebook, I asked you to vote. Probably on a daily basis. #sorrynotsorry

Caviar Tasting at Pape Clement. That was all for me. #nobigdeal
Caviar Tasting at Pape Clement. That was all for me. #nobigdeal

[5] Did I mention I’m jealous? #sojealous
[6] See my highlights, here. More in-depth reminiscing about d’Yquem, the Bordeaux Tour and dining a la Michelin Stars, residing at a Château for a week (#normal), and tasting Sauternes like it’s my job (well, it is my job, I’m a wine blogger).

I'm pretty much a farmer. Working the fields at Chateaux Pape Clement. #nobigdeal
I’m pretty much a farmer. Working the fields at Chateaux Pape Clement. #nobigdeal

Riesling is My New Cabernet

Riesling

Well, maybe.

If you ask me what my favorite wine is, I’ll always answer Napa Valley Cabernet. Give it to me big, full and juicy and I’m a happy camper. Some argue that there are better wines in the world, and I’m not about to disagree, but everyone’s palate is different. I’m still exploring and figuring mine out, and if I’m in a pinch and just want some good wine, I’m usually not steered wrong with one of my favorite Napa fruit bombs.

That being said, since my real goal is to always experience different wines,[1] I’ve encountered a fair number of Rieslings in the last year that have been impeccable. They work as stand-alone drinkers, and pair exceptionally well with food as well[2]. Now, I’m not going for the super fruity sweet Rieslings that were popular with all my friends in college, but rather the more subdued, not so sugary varieties that have real body and character.

A few weeks ago[3] our Sommelier Wine Friend[4] brought over a bottle of 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett.

Riesling
2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett

The sparkle hits you right away. Petrol and peach on the nose; amazingly silky mouthfeel with notes of peach, pineapple and green grass. Simply gorgeous. We served this as an appetizer, sans food, before Husband’s incredible dinner of braised short ribs[5] and duck fat potatoes[6].

Riesling
Riesling and Gourds … the perfect combination

So even though I’m still a huge fruit bomb fan, I’m seriously open to exploring more and more Rieslings, and this one was a winner. It retails throughout the country for around $26-30, and let me tell you, it’s well worth it.

J.J. Prüm is a seriously well-respected wine house. In 1911, Johann Josef Prüm began the estate and his son Sebastian joined him in 1920 when the first bottlings were released. JJ and Sebastian’s ancestors continue at the helm today; it is currently run by Sebastian’s son Dr. Manfred Prüm, and his granddaughter, Dr. Katharina Prüm. With an exclusive focus on Riesling, their 33.5 acres of vineyards produce some of Germany’s finest, and they have a long history of aging well. Their harvest tends to be late which gives the wine the ability to stand the test of time.

The wines are grown in Wehlen, a tiny village of about 1,300 residents in the heart of Mosel, one of Germany’s 13 wine regions, and perhaps its most prestigious. The Prüm vineyards are nestled along the Middle Mosselle, the central section of the Moselle River which runs through France, Luxembourg, and Germany.

Riesling Wine Cork
Cork Shot #forthewin

The sundial on the Prüm labels is a nod to the real life sundial which graces the face of their Sonnenuhr vineyard.

JJ's Sundial. Photo (c) courtesy of pop & pour
JJ’s Sundial. Photo (c) courtesy of pop & pour

New, crisp and interesting Rieslings will always be a hit, so this would be the perfect thing to bring to an intimate dinner party as an apertif or give as a gift. After all, #tistheseason.

Until the next glass, Cheers!

Lawyer Footnotes

[1] We are, after all, here for a limited period of time, and the wine selection possibilities are endless.
[2] See, i.e., Riesling is a Viable OptionHey, Can We BYOB?, and Indian & Riesling: Wining & Dining 101.
[3] Jeeze, time flies, huh?
[4] If you don’t have one of these wine friends, I’d highly recommend finding one. #WineFriendsForTheWin
[5] Which we paired with a big Napa fruit bomb. Obviously.
[6] #DietStartsMonday

What to Drink: Thanksgiving Edition

There’s a few important things coming up on the calendar:

  1. T-Minus TEN days until Turkey Day[1]
  2. T-Minus ELEVEN days until Black Friday[2]
  3. T-Minus FOURTEEN days until Cyber Monday[3]
Because Bubbly is always a good idea! (c) Vinley Market
Because Bubbly is always a good idea! (c) Vinley Market

There’s a lot to do to prepare in the coming days, arguably the most important of which is deciding which wines you’ll be pairing with your Thanksgiving Feast[4]. I’ve teamed up with Vinley Market to discuss what wines go best with turkey, Grandma’s Stuffing and Aunt Mary’s Sweet Potato Casserole. I’m thinking that Zinfandel, Rosé and Riesling should all be making appearances. And if you’re not hosting, you should probably bring a bottle of bubbly![5]

Check out my Thanksgiving Wine Pairings and let me know what you’ll be drinking this Turkey Day.

And while you’re at it, get 10% off your wine order at Vinley Market with coupon code WINEESQUIRE10.

Until the next glass, Cheers!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] That means its T-MINUS TEN days and a few hours until 24/7 Christmas Music! YAY
[2] Also, another day off work. #score
[3] Is your Amazon Wish List ready? Mine is. #alwaysready
[4] Or Friendsgiving Feast, as the case may be.
[5] Obviously.

Place Setting Goals (c) Vinly Market
Place Setting Goals (c) Vinley Market

Wine News Roundup: Cheesy Celebrity Edition

All the latest wine fodder for your next dentist appointment, cocktail party or pre-trial hearing. You’re welcome.

Wine and Water. There seems to be a polar shift happening in the universe[1]. Somms are now becoming water experts leaving wine behind[2], and Italy has started filling their fountains with wine instead of water[3]. What a time to be alive.

Wine Fountain For The Win.
Wine Fountain For The Win. (C) Dora Sarchese VineyardWine and Cheese.

Wine and Cheese

a. There’s a reason you love to pair wine and cheese, and it’s apparently scientific fact that they go together like Peas and Carrots. A study published by very knowledgeable researchers has found that cheese gives wines a more pleasant flavor, and decreases brain activity associated with disgust. Cheers to cheese (and wine)! Also, how do I sign up to be a subject in one of these studies?

b. As my mother always says, a little is OK, too much is no good. Kim Jung-un, that crazy dictator guy in North Korea[4], apparently has a bit of a wine and cheese problem. He’s tipping the scales at around 300 pounds, allegedly because he can’t stop popping Swiss cheese cubes and sipping on bottles of Bordeaux red wine. I feel your pain buddy, I feel your pain. He’s even bragged about having ten bottles before dinner. #cantstopwontstop

A Crazy Time in Celebrity Wine.

a. Brangelexit. Brangelina’s sudden breakup has left the state of their Miraval Rosé up in the air and the Château has allegedly been for sale since before the divorce bombshell broke. I was always on Team Jen, but I did taste the stuff a few times[5]. I admit, I didn’t want to like it, but I did. Perhaps now the bottle I still have in my cellar will be worth some money as a collector’s item.

Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt Miraval
Château Miraval (c) People Magazine

b. Calling All Outlander Fans[6]. Claire and Jamie’s passionate love story has apparently spurned a line of wines. Not sure how I feel about this, although I usually am drinking a glass of wine while reading the books or watching the TV series. Sassenach Cabernet anyone?

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c. Hello Kitty? I’ve never understood the allure, but my 3-year-old neighbor is obsessed[7]. Apparently enough adults are likewise enthralled, and a special edition of Hello Kitty Wines was recently released by an Italian winery who partnered with Japan’s Sanrio, creator of Hello Kitty. Turns out the wine is virtually impossible to find right now, so if you get some, let me know how it is so I can pass it on to my neighbor, for that time when she can drink wine in 18 years.

Hello, Kitty! (c) Torti Wine
Hello, Kitty! (c) Torti Wine

Until the next glass, Cheers!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] And I’m not talking about the REAL polar shifts that apparently are happening, or already have happened, or may happen in the future, depending on who you ask.
[2] LA’s Ray’s and Stark Bar, an upscale eatery by the Patina Restaurant Group, purportedly has a FORTY. FIVE. PAGE. water menu. Yes. You read that right. 45 pages. Really?
[3] This has been added to the Wine Esquire’s Wine Bucket List. A free-flowing wine fountain. In Italy? How can I NOT go?
[4] I hope the government doesn’t come abduct me because I wrote about him. If I disappear, you’ll all know why.
[5] I’m a sucker for Rosé, pretty bottles, and pretty labels, and they pretty much nailed all three.

miraval rose brad pitt angelina jolie
Rosé All Day

[6] If you haven’t read them yet, please do yourself a favor and download Book 1 on your Kindle. I can pretty much almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Assuming you’re into time traveling historical romance kinda stuff. Disclaimer: If you don’t like it, it’s not my fault.
[7] She was the cutest damn “Spooky Kitty” for Halloween you ever did see.