Food and wine pairing heaven: Sweet Vouvray and blue cheese

Foreau Demi Sec 2011

Some wines are for everyday… you knock them back without a care or thought. Those are freeing and ephemeral days. But then, there are wines that give pause… stay in your memory like your first dance with a sweetie. They grab you and hang on for the ride. I recently experienced a sexy slow dance . Tasted back in November, I still remember the wine’s sensations and flavors. But not necessarily when I drank it alone — it’s really too sweet for my palate. But when I paired it with some salty, creamy, thick-veined blue cheese, it transformed. My tweet read: “Blue cheese + Foreau Demi Sec is freakin’ unbelievable”. Not sure I need to say more.

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White wine review: Franciscan 2012 Equilibrium Napa Valley

Franciscan Equilibrium 2012

Sweet wines are everywhere. Previously eschewed for fear of being snubbed by snobs, wineries now proudly tout their full-frontal sugar on their labels. Consumers who love dessert for their appetizer should be in high heaven. Leading the pack is Moscato, whose popularity has shot up like blood sugar after a glass of it. But, sadly, most Moscatos lack balance. When I first started drinking wine in Europe, Swiss-grown Muscat (as it is called in French) tantalized my palate with sweetness and acidity. I reveled in its dry finish after my tongue feasted on a fruit salad of apricots, peaches and juicy, red apple. I had not experienced this same sensation in a wine until recently in Franciscan’s 2012 Equilibrium from Napa.

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Sweet sweet wine love: A review of Moscato Allegro 2010 California

There’s nothing like sipping a wine that smells like your grandmother’s powder room. It sends you down a memory lane of rose garden, violets and red fruits. Soothing and sweet, like grandma. And Moscato is likely what she drinks too. But whether that memory is pleasant or nightmarish relies on a good relationship with your relatives. And your relationship with sweet wines. Moscato — a low alcohol white wine that’s typically quite sugary and super fragrant — is so popular with millions of people (mostly women, which makes sense), there are actually rumblings of a grape shortage. California producers of this easy going, uncomplicated sipper are considering sourcing grapes from Italy just to fill the orders. Moscato is like the Pinterest of wine. Also called Muscat Blanc or Muscat Canelli, it originated in the Piedmont region of Italy, where it’s often made into a lightly spritzy quaffer to be enjoyed with brunch, fruit tarts and bears the name Moscato d’Asti — named after the region where it’s grown.

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Sweet sparkling wine review: Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui

In my opinion, Rosa Regale is the quintessential romantic wine and chicks seriously dig it — a sweet, rich dessert sparkler from the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s an absolutely perfect sparkling wine for a wedding, served with a decadent wedding cake, or to accompany berry-laden tarts… even ice cream sprinkled with raspberries.

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Wines for Valentine's Day: For romance, love or massacres?

Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto

Sexy, sultry, sensuous, luscious — ever wondered why these words are used to describe wine? Could it be that wine leads us down the road to romance? To desire? Wine certainly pairs with Valentine’s Day. But does romance have to rule the day on Valentine’s? What if this Hallmark holiday conjures up bitterness and resentment rather than romance? For the “singles” out there, it might be black and depressing. So I started wondering about how this day has become inextricably linked with romance.

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Wine review: La Craie 2009 Vouvray

Full-bodied and elegant, La Craie Vouvray explodes with fragrant fruit: peaches and apricots drizzled with honey, earthy chamomile. It has a burst of sweetness on the tongue but finishes dry and luscious. The best of both worlds.

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Wine review: Menage a Trois 2008 White Blend

This brand has gotten HUGELY popular in the past few years, mainly by releasing sweeter, less complex wines for the masses. Unabashed in their promotion and their choice of tropical-tasting, fragrant grapes, the winemakers at Folie à Deux (the producer) have struck a chord — with seemingly everyone from critics to consumers in this Juicy Fruit Gum-like white wine.

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Batasiolo 2007 Moscato d’Asti

The uber-fragrant Muscat grape thrives in the hills of Italy’s Piedmont region, where artisans produce the effervescent and sweet Moscato d’Asti. It’s related to Asti Spumante, but only as you are to your hick cousins in West Virginia. Low in alcohol, these flowery dessert substitutes taste soft and lush, like this one from Batasiolo. The roses, effusive peaches, apricot

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Candoni Moscato d’Asti

Many Moscatos come from Italy’s Asti region but this one originates from the Chieti province in Abruzzo. Loaded with peaches, tangerine and honey, this sweet sparkler satisfies a craving but also pairs well with Asian food.3.5 stars out of 5. Sweetness=6 out of 10 (dry to sweet). $10

Dashe 2006 Late Harvest Zinfandel Dry Creek

This family-owned boutique winery in California doesn’t make a large quantity of this truly remarkable wine (586 cases) but it’s worth the effort to find it. Chocolatey, with rich blueberry-pie-filling flavors and dried cherry. You’d think it would be cloyingly sweet with this flavor activity but it’s kept in check with a refreshing acidity. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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