Tag Archives: white wine

Toast from JaM Cellars Bubbly Review

Toast Sparkling Brut

Hello my wine lovers!! Have you noticed something new??!!? That’s right, check that web address. www.yourwinegirltx.com   I am now a full blown official website!!  Yourwinegirl is now easier to remember, and easier to enjoy! 🙂

Now onto the wine of this hot (didn’t it hit like 105°F yesterday?) summer hour! This wine comes from the same family as the Butter chardonnay, and I can definitely taste the family resemblance.  🙂

Toast Sparkling Brut

Toast BRUT Sparkling

Non Vintage Toast California BRUT Sparkling

Watch the WINE REVIEW video i made about this Sparkling BRUT

Okay, so JaM cellars is seriously starting to become my favorite winery (still love you too Gruet)! First Butter, and now Toast, I swear it’s like this winery can do no wrong!

Bright and beautifully bubbled, this lightly golden wine has wonderful aromas of white peach, melon and buttery yeast from the first swirl in your glass. (Remember the best way to fully enjoy a glass of bubbly is to drink from a white wine or tulip glass. Yes, it does look like a tulip…it’s honestly better because it’s not quite as open as your white wine glass, so it preserves the bubbles better while still opening up the bubbly to it’s full potential! Mmmm).

Lingering you in, the white peach continues and meets with sweet pineapple and creamy nectarine as you take your first sip, and ends with a slight toastiness and a long, lingering sweet nutty finish. 

Absolutely amazing, this sparkling is unlike any bubbly I have tasted! I mean, I was absolutely blown away! Sweet here, creamy there, nutty there! But like many of you are probably thinking, how can this be a Brut???!?!? Brut means Brutally Dry.. yep, you heard me, it means even more dry than Extra Dry, which is what this bottle of Toast tastes more like, and what I know many of you freak out over when it comes to picking a bottle for making Sunday mimosas. (Hint: extra dry is slightly sweeter, so it’s better in general for making mimosas).

So how does JaM do it?! Turns out, they add a little touch at the end of their wine process.  🙂

I know you’re dying to find out how bubbly is made, so here is a fun little summary!

Toast is made in the sparkling wine process called Méthode Champenoise

Also called the Traditional Method, and best method to make sparkling wine, this is how wine in Champagne, France is made. In a nutshell, when you make sparkling wine, there are four different methods as to how you ferment the wine. This can tell you the quality of the wine.

The traditional method is when the wine goes through a secondary fermentation in the same bottle. The secondary fermentation is how the bubbles are made… which is by adding another dose of sugar and yeast, also known as liqueur de triage, (remember sugar+yeast=alcohol) to the already made bottled wine and capping it (It’s almost like a bottle cap. No corks are used yet).. so that it can start another(secondary) fermentation process. When this happens carbon dioxide (bubbles) are trapped in the bottle, along with the yeast, that is now trapped and basically dies at the bottom of the bottle. (Ever heard of the term Sur Lie? It means aging on the yeast. It’s when winemakers leave the wine to age on this dead yeast to further influence the flavor of the wine to how they want it to taste. Which means, they can have a huge yeast impact, very little or any amount they prefer depending on how long they age it! Pretty cool actually. It can age like this for years!)

Entering the Remuage phase, while the wine ages on this yeast, in order to better help remove it eventually from the bottle (because well, not a lot of people like to drink dead yeast from their bottle of wine. And it could also impact the flavor later on in the wine if it did stay in the bottle, though there are some left with the yeast in it), the bottle is turned slowly via riddling. A person, or rumuer, will actually turn the bottle (riddle), which is neck down in a riddling rack (think of a coffee table with holes that hold the bottles by the neck at about a 30-45°angle) slightly every day so that the bottle is not agitated (remember all that carbonation is still in the bottle!) and the yeast makes its way to the top of the bottle.

Finally, after the yeast has sat for at least several months (usually a minimum requirement for sparklings) aging the wine, and is now at the top of the bottle, it is time to let it out in what is called the dégorgement phase. The cap is removed and the yeast sediment is blown out of the bottle from all the natural carbonation that has built up behind it!

Here is what makes Toast taste so sweet and different: right after all the sediment comes out from dégorgement, and before the official corking of the bottle, they add Muscat to the wine! (That sweet grape that Moscato is made from!) in what is called the Dosage phase. This is the final topping of the bottle as a liquid sweetener, liqueur d’expédition, and in this case, Muscat, is added and the cork is finally ending the process. Ta-da!

I know. Exciting stuff right?

So what are you waiting for?! You know it’s gonna be good. You know how it’s made. Grab some friends, make up a celebratory occasion, or have a legitimate reason, and pop a bottle open! 🙂

Perfect to Pair With: Cheese plates, chicken and pasta, seafood risotto, fresh strawberries and fruit, or just plainly chilled by itself!

Average Price: $24.99  (This has been my highest priced recommendation, and I am sticking to it! A great price for a sparkling wine in itself, you will love this bottle!) – Available at jamcellars.com, total wine, and other wine specialty shops. Or ask to have it brought it at your favorite wine retail location! 🙂

Cheers my wine lovers!

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Also, if you are looking for more don’t forget to watch the WINE LESSON video I made!

Food and Wine Time! Chinese Food and Butter Chardonnay Tasting Review!

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Welcome back my wine lovers!! It’s starting to get crazy out here in our Texas weather, so how about a wonderful wine and food pairing review?!?
So I have been wanting to try this wine for a very long time. Everyone talks about it, everyone wants it (hello, look at the catchy label!!), and well, I finally caved on my birthday, (yep, in case you missed it, I turned the big 3-0!) got a bottle, and had it with some awesome authentic Chinese food at Monkey King Noodle Company in Deep Ellum (awesome hand made noodles!! YUM!) with the hubs. So totally worth every bite, and probably the best meal and wine pairing I’ve had in a long time!

 

Butter Chardonnay is from JaM cellars, a winery business started by John and Michele Truchard (get it?! JaM!) that has produced some amazing wines, which some of you are probably familiar with. Their very first wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, looks like this:
Another catchy label right? Well, I have not tried JaM Cabernet yet, so no offense, but this Butter is freaking awesome! Yeah, I said it.
Beautifully golden in color, the aromas you get right off the nose are lovely! Creamy butter and yeast (okay, so when I say yeast, since a lot of you are probably like eww, I mean the smell of bread dough about to be put in the oven, where that smell of yeast is so prominent. I swear, smell that dough the next time you’re about to bake it. I mean, yeast is one of the basics you need to make wine, so smelling it in white wine especially is not that uncommon), you can smell in the first swirl of the wine, then it opens up with vanilla and toast (Remember, these two descriptors are our big hint in the  wine world to tell us that this juice has been aged in oak barrels. Oak aging will almost always give you that toastiness and vanilla aroma), and a little bit of pineapple! I know, it sounds ridiculously awesome right? Heck yea!
But the best part is taking that first swig of this lovely white!
It slides down like pure creaminess. The perfect amount of creamy butter and vanilla and that tiny bit of toast and lemon all come together like a great lemon sandwich cookie (just not quite as sweet)!
I know, I just made your mouth water. So what’s stopping you from buying this awesome bright yellow goodness? Don’t know what to have it with? Problem solved.
Have a glass with some real Chinese food. No, not that instant ramen, but authentic Asian goodness. I had this for the first time with Monkey King’s DanDan Noodles (ground pork and fresh noodle soup), as they were out of the hot spicy beef noodle soup, and it was the best decision ever! The perfect amount of spiciness, the ease of the ground pork (pork is just about always good with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. It’s a win-win!), and the chicken broth just complemented the wine so well, I cleaned my entire bowl, and finished two glasses! Yep, simply a delicious birthday dinner.
So what are you waiting for? The Texas weather to get better? That might be a while. So go grab a bottle and some noodles!
Perfect to Pair With: Chinese noodle soup, pork dumplings, chicken alfredo, shrimp scampi, salads, or by itself on a nice patio!
Average Price: $16.99 -(a little high, but totally worth it!) – Available at Whole Foods, Market Street, Central Market, Total Wine, and some Safeway locations!
Cheers my wine lovers!
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Green Wine for St. Patrick’s Day?!?

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day my wine lovers! Now I know that this is a big beer holiday, but hey, why don’t we change it up, and make it a wine holiday! 🙂

Now how do we make this grand Irish tradition a wine holiday you ask?
Well, how about with a glass of GREEN WINE?! That’s right! Someone finally came up with green wine, and that someone might just be me! 🙂

So how did I do this you ask? Well, it is quite simple… and quite fun!
Step 1: Pick out your favorite bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Why Pinot Grigio? Good question! Well, if you look at your selection, majority of your Pinot Grigio bottles are green, or have some green to them somewhere on the label. Hence, a reason why I picked the Kirkland Pinot Grigio.
The other reason for picking a Pinot Grigio is that they are light, easy, refreshing, and inexpensive (Kirkland Pinot Grigio is on sale at Costco for $5.99! You can find a bottle of decent Pinot Grigio around $8 at any wine retail location!). Personally, for me, I have always assumed a little green tint to Pinot Grigio because of the citrus and light feel. I could also say the same thing for Sauvignon Blanc. The point: grab an inexpensive bottle of Pinot Grigio!
Step 2: Go Green!
Yes, what you see there on the table is GREEN WINE!! 🙂 All it takes? A couple drops of Green food coloring! Yep! That is it! No harm to the wine in any way, no take away from the taste, just plain ‘ol non toxic coloring dye!
Now you can make it your wine as green as you want. Like in the picture above, and the video available below, you can add a couple of drops to your own glass, which makes it an Emerald Green, or you can add a couple to the bottle, and come out with almost a Slimer Green (yes, totally just made that reference to the Ghost Busters. Can’t help it. He is an awesome shade of green! Click on the link to watch a clip of Slimer’s first appearance!)
 
Step 3: Enjoy!
Now that you have your St. Patrick’s Day juice, it’s time to celebrate and enjoy! I know it is a little weird to look at while you take a sip of the green delicious liquid, but I promise, it is worth it, and will be a huge hit at your next gathering! Plus, how many times can you say you drank Green Wine?!?
So sit back and relax with your bottle of Green deliciousness and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day my wine lovers! Cheers!

Popcorn and a Glass of Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk!

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Hello again my wine lovers!! Hope you are keeping up the drinking, as it is a civic duty of a wine lover. 🙂 Now grab some popcorn, (I really do enjoy a bag of the Skinny Girl Popcorn. My husband got it for me and it’s so delicious!) and then hit the store for a bottle of today’s wine tasting!

 Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk

 
Okay, so yes, I will admit, I read the book when it first came out, and went to see the movie Valentine’s weekend. My two cents: book definitely better, but the movie did a pretty good job too! And yes, I went to Alamo Drafthouse and had a glass of this white blend while watching the movie too. Don’t judge me. I like wine and I am sticking to it!
Now when I found out about the Fifty Shades of Grey wine a while back, I was surprised that a white blend (well now that I think about it, Grey does drink a lot of white in the movie and I believe in the book too…) would be made (there is also a red blend, called Red Silk, which I will hopefully be trying soon!). However, I think this blend hits it just right!
A blend of Gewürztraminer (as I mentioned in Rose Wine tasting, the one that usually has a defined Lychee taste) and Sauvignon Blanc, this crisp white blend is light and full of flavor!
Clear with a light golden hue, this white opens up with lychee on the nose, a little pear and crisp honeysuckle; but blows your mouth with even more lychee (it’s like you just bit down on one! Mmmm), grapefruit and a slight creamy butterscotch!
So what are you waiting for??! Grab that popcorn and a bottle and enjoy all for under $15!
Perfect to Pair With: Popcorn, light pizza, fruit and cheese plates, white fish, and of course, just by itself!
Average Price:$12.99- Available at Albertsons, CVS (yep, the drugstore!), Total Wine, World Market and other wine retail locations!
Cheers my Wine Lovers!!

It’s Wine Time! How About a Cold Glass of Cameron Hughes CAM Collection Chardonnay?

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Welcome back my wine lovers! Hope you all are keeping warm in this icy Texas weather. If not, just grab a bottle of wine and start chugging! Well, only if you are stuck inside like most of us. 🙂
So on to the featured wine! Now as some of you may know, I used to have many jobs. (I used to have five jobs at one point. All I can say is, there was $$$ coming in.) One of these jobs, that really got my fascination with wine going, was working for a wine negociant, Cameron Hughes Wine as a Wine Contractor. Many of you might recognize the name from Costco and Sam’s Club, (That’s where I actually started. Doing dry tastings at Costco. I worked every weekend for months, to the point that I became dubbed “The Wine Girl.” Most of the people did not even know my name. Just wine girl. Hence, I am now yourwinegirl,…. you know, just in case you were wondering how I got the name,) when they were in the Lot Series (The ones with Lot # that were like super inexpensive. We’re talking mostly $10 and under. I believe this is where my $10 and under obsession began)…. and yep, I was one of those people who would talk to you about the wines and offer you a taste as well. Ah the days.
Jump to the present, and Cameron Hughes now has his own line, the CAM collection
 
I am loving this wine! I do not think I have ever liked a Chardonnay so much as this one. 🙂
Born in the sunny Monterey County in California, this wine is just lovely. 100% Chardonnay grapes, the golden color lights up your glass as honeysuckle, mango and vanilla fill your nose. My favorite part is when it hits the lips and it tastes like creamy, lingering pineapple mango all the way down! (I am a huge fan of Mangos! Some might even call me that. Right Pineapple? ;-p)
Perfect to Pair With: Creamy pasta dishes, salmon, white fish, white or margherita pizza, or just by itself!
Average Price: $15.99- Available at Tom Thumb, World Market, Kroger and other wine retail locations!
Cheers my Wine Lovers! Enjoy your snow (ice) day!

Wine and Big Bang Theory?! Don’t Mind If I Do!

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Hello again my wine lovers!!! I know my posts are becoming more few and far between, but I am here for you! Ever have a question or curiosity, just email me (yourwinegirl [at] gmail dotcom), Facebook me (Facebook.com/yourwinegirl),  or leave comments on my video tastings (youtube.com/yourwinegirl)!!

Now who’s a fan of the comedy show, The Big Bang Theory? Well, just in case you were unaware, I am a big fan. Not like a fanatic, or overly obsessed, but I do enjoy smart comedies (hello, Frazier was totally awesome too!) Now, if you have been watching recently, you will notice that they usually all drink wine through out the episode. The fun part for me, being a wino and all, is to watch what they drink (weird I know, but it’s fun, and well, I am a nerd), and I am sure I am not the only one who will occasionally notice what the label is.

Presenting, the winners of last night’s episode, “The Prom Equivalency” (<–watch the episode):








Bota Box Chardonnay

Visible on Penny’s counter in the beginning of the show, this inexpensive, medium bodied white with aromas of vanilla and green apple, is part of the box wine trend that is blowing up all over the world! (You’ll notice if you watched Shark Tank recently. BeatBox wine is available at Spec’s Liquor now!) I mean, it’s the most economical way to go right now. How you may ask? Well:

A: Bota Box is made from recycled material. Now who’s against saving mother earth?
B: The wine inside the box is actually inside a huge plastic bag (another recyclable!) with a spout on the end, that you pull out of the box (There’s an outline on the side of the box where it comes through).
The great thing is that the vacuum like action of the spout keeps the oxygen from interacting with the wine in the bag (oxygen + open wine = spoiled wine. You’ll start to get that different, funky taste), making the wine last up to a month after you open it! Woo-hoo!
C: 3 Liters worth of wine. That equals 4, yes I said 4, bottles of wine. How many glasses is that you may ask? Well, it adds up to 16 glasses. Yep, looking better by the minute right?
D: Party in a box. It is very inexpensive, good eco friendly wine that you can take anywhere (hello hiking, camping, tailgating. Anywhere that prohibits glass, this baby can go!) and can sit in your fridge for a month.
E: All of the above only add up when you figure in the price. Most of these boxes you will find on sale for under $20!!

Perfect To Pair With: Salmon, Creamy Alfredo Pasta, Greek Salad, or your favorite cheese and fruit plate!

Average Price: $19.99 – Available at Tom Thumb, Market Street, Kroger and other wine retail locations!

Now don’t judge Penny and the others so fast. We are in a wine loving economy 🙂 Right after you see the Bota Box on the counter, Penny actually pours three glasses of red wine. It’s a quite Noble wine:

Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon

From the soils of Lodi, California (great grape growing rocky, free draining, sandy soil area), this wine is one of my absolute favorites for under $12! 
Called Noble Vines for the long growing history and traditions in Lodi (long history, long roots, good wine!), this is a nice medium bodied red with blackberry, cherry and coffee filling your nose, it goes down like silk with the slight toast and tannins, and leaves your mouth filled with deep cherry, blackberry and slight pepper. Mmmm. Oh yes, Penny has good taste and a great budget!

Perfect To Pair With: Stuffed Pork Loin, Ribs, Grilled Hamburgers, Chocolate, Pepperoni Pizza, or just great by itself!

Average Price: $10.99 – though you can find it on sale for $9.99! Available at Tom Thumb, Market Street, Kroger and other wine retail locations!

Cheers to Big Bang and Wine! 🙂 What a lovely combination! 

“The Secret to enjoying wine: 1. Open the bottle and allow it to breathe. 2: When it does not breathe give it mouth-to-mouth.”

What Kind Of Wine Are You?

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Time to share your feedback my wine lovers!!

IF YOU WERE A WINE, YOU WOULD BE……

A Merlot! Because I’m Fruity!
 
A Cabernet! Because I’m Big And Bold!
 
A Riesling! Because I’m Light and Sweet! 
 
A Malbec! Because I’m full of spices and love!
 
A Pinot Grigio! Because I’m Zesty and Tangy!
 
A Shiraz! Because I’m spicy and berry licious!
 
A Chardonnay! Because I’m rounded and buttered up!
 
You can be more than one wine, but share why! This is meant to be fun and shared with all wine lovers!!! Please leave your answers and even other wine suggestions!!
Cheers!!!

“Being in Love is Like Sipping A Glass of Good Cabernet.”

Wine and Dine! Easy Quinoa Salad and a Glass of Bubbly!

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Hello wine lovers!  Trying to come up with something easy,  filling,  healthy,  and of course pretty to eat tonight for dinner? How about some quinoa salad with vegetables and some lemon dressing,  with some sauteed shrimp?
Then top it off with a bottle of Spanish sparkling wine,  Cava. The equivalent of French Champagne,  and made in the same traditional method (made in the same bottle), the bubbles, the peach and light fluffy bread essence of a well made cava (which are $15 and below),all capture the simple, light,  citrus glory of a quinoa salad and the atmosphere of, “Hey,  it’s time to cool down and unwind.”
So sit back,  relax and enjoy a refreshing glass of lovely bubbly at your next (can you believe it,  it’s just that simple,) 20 minute meal 🙂
Have a great weekend wine lovers!
Cheers!
“Wine me baby! “

Temperatures to Serve Wine

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It’s your lucky Friday! It’s a double posting today! But hey, let’s get straight to the point! After all, it’s Friday!!

I have been given lots of questions recently, especially on my
Yourwinegirl Fan Page about what are the ideal temperatures at which to serve wines. Now, as some of you may have noticed, there are many different types of wines out there. I hope to touch on every type that I can on my blog, but that also means that there are different temperatures to serve these wines at in order to be able to taste and enjoy your wines to their full potential.

Below, I have included a chart that I was given in school, that from time to time I need to reference to. On top of this information, a good rule of thumb for serving wines:
REDS: Chill 15 minutes before serving (Yes, you can chill red wines… to actually have them at room temperature is a little too warm for most red wines)
WHITES: Let it stand/Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving

Service Temperatures:

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Very Cold
39-43°F
Sparkling and sweet white wines 
Cold
43-50°F
Dry white wines, rosés, and top quality Champagne
Cellar Temperature
55-57°F
Top Quality Chardonnay and light reds
Just Below Room Temperature
57-64°F  – Full bodied Reds
Hope you guys find this chart a little handy dandy and answers at least some of your questions. 🙂 If you have any more questions, please feel free to leave comments or send me a message or comment on my fan page: Yourwinegirl

Have a great weekend everybody!!! Cheers!!
“We All Need A Little Grape Therapy.”

Happy Friday Chardonnay Tasting!!

Chardonnay-Bottle

Chardonnay 2011

Behold! My Wine Lovers! Seems we keep missing each other!! 🙂 Sorry for the delay this week, but all is now well!
Proceeding onward, this week’s wine bottle tasting is the Bonterra Chardonnay 2011. An organic grape white wine, (apparently I seem to keep picking up these organic whites!), this California wine is a wonderful complement to almost anything!!

Bonterra
Chardonnay 2011
Made with Organic Grapes
Mendocino County


“Bonterra was founded on a philosophy that farming organically produces the purest, most flavorful fruit. This holistic approach balances the land and the surrounding habitat of wasps, birds and wildlife to produce wines of unmatched flavor and distinction. Our Chardonnay is filled with flavors of green apple, pear, citrus and hints of French and American oak.”

WARNING: THIS PARAGRAPH CONTAINS MANY BOLD WORDS. IN CASE YOU WERE EVER WONDERING WHAT A WINE TERM MEANS, AN EASY EXPLANATION WILL FOLLOW AFTER. ENJOY!!

What better wine to drink just about everything with, than this awesome Chardonnay?? This amazingly cheap and fully organic wine (it’s certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers), is incredibly
 golden in color, (the main color of the wine. Sometimes also referred to as the core.)
medium bodied, (how heavy the wine is. This can range from light to heavy.) and wonderfully smooth with
aromas (what you smell when you maybe take a quick whiff when poured into your glass, OR when the bottle is opened) of lemon, pear, apple, some slight
toast, and butter (when these two words are seen in descriptions, either together or just one by itself, it means that there is some OAK influence. Oak aging usually gives off an aroma and/or taste of toast, and sometimes butter), that bring your taste buds alive as you can taste the refreshing and slightly tart lemon that brightens your entire mouth!

Enjoy this wonderful wine with anything from baked sweet potatoes and vegetables, to chilled seafood or pot stickers!! Just about anything fancies this under $10 wine and really intensifies the wonderful flavors.

So why yes, of course, sit back, relax and enjoy this beautiful bonterra out on the patio while watching the sunset. 🙂

Happy Friday Everyone! Cheers!


Average Price: $9.99 – And of course, your girl found it for a deal at Costco for $8.99 It’s also available in grocery stores and liquor stores for just about the same price when on sale!

*“his lips drink water but his heart drinks wine” *