Tag Archives: wine values

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!

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!

It’s Summer Time! Rose Wines!

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Happy Summer My Wine Lovers!!! I am ecstatic to be writing for you again!!! It has been too long, but yourwinegirl is here to stay, and is now a married woman! ☺ (Sorry boys, I’m taken!) 
Now what better way to celebrate this Texas heat, then with a glass of chilled wine? 
But with what wine, you may ask? What about trying something new and PINK? Yes, I said Pink.  I mean, it’s summer my wine lovers. Pink is the new Red!
 So what is this awesome pink wine I keep talking about? It’s called ROSÉ! 
This pink wine is the most refreshing and light, fruity pink wine you will ever try this summer! Ranging from slightly sweet to dry, these pink wines are full of light cherry and raspberry, and just so darn delicious! Perfect for the poolside (hello ladies, I know you hide it in a red solo cup… just like I tend to do myself.. ☺ ), a Sunday patio brunch, or a make your own sangria night with your girlfriends (heck yea!); there are so many to try, and all under $10!
How can this be you say? Never fear! Yourwinegirl is here for you! I have two Rosés for you this week. Both under $10, both delicious and pink!
Starting with the awesome frog, Toad Hollow Dry Rosé is probably my absolute favorite pink wine! Made from the awesome Pinot Noir grape, (fun fact! Rosés are made from either
Option 1: The Pinot Noir grape, and barely pressed, (which really means that just a little bit of contact is made with the grape skin when combined with the yeast and sugar liquid, to get the awesome flavors and pink color in the wine!) 
OR,
Option 2: A blend of red and white grapes! (Remember how you would always lose your crayons? Not that way, but the coloring way.  Well, I totally lost the pink crayon. Actually, it cracked in half, so I need to use my red and white crayon to get my awesome pink! ☺ ) These grapes can range from Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Muscat, and more! )  
this pink is full of rose aromas (some floral-ness going on as soon as you open it!), that follows with tastes of strawberries and some delectable slight raspberry.  This wine blows me away every time! It’s just so light and smooth, with the perfect amount of fruits and dryness, all for under $10!
 Perfect To Pair With: Salmon, pasta, or even spicy buffalo wings. 
Average Price: $9.99 – Available at Market Street, Kroger, Albertson’s,  and liquor stores!
What about this other Rosé in the picture? Ah yes, my other wine of the week, the blended Ménage à Trois Rosé!  Yes, we all know the name…and yes, it kills me every time, but hey, makes you love their wine even more! ☺
 This pinky is a blended rosé of Merlot, Syrah and Gewürztraminer. What’s the last grape you ask? Yeah, it’s a tongue twister (pronounced Ge-vourz-tra-meener), this grape adds a little bit of Lychee fruit  荔枝 taste(Asian fruit you peel with a white fleshy inside, revealing a sweet fruity goodness), to the floral, raspberry,  and strawberry notes. Making your mouth water right? Just a tiny bit of dryness, with a lightness that’s sure to please, especially in the blazing hot summer sun; this wine is another great under $10!!
Perfect to Pair With: Asian dishes, white pizza, grilled pork dishes.
Average Price: $9.99 – Available at Market Street, Kroger, Albertson’s, and liquor stores!
Cheers my Wine Lovers!!! 
Stay cool and wined up! ☺

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.”

New Age Red Tasting

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Welcome back my wonderful wine lovers!! Cheers to a wonderful weekend and a loving hug to all my winos!  Sorry for the very long delay in this post, but all is well, and now time to get down to the bottle!!!

New Age Red
Non Vintage
San Rafael, Mendoza




Served Chilled, and this will probably be the last chilled bottle you can have this year before the cold front really comes in (Am I right Texans?!), this Argentinian wine is a wine spritzer’s dream come true! It’s literally like a red wine spritzer in a bottle! 
A blend of two popular Argentinian red grapes, this wine was specially made in a way that the floral aromas of rose and violets (yep, FLORAL is a common description that you will soon see popping all over labels. Yes, wine can definitely have a floral smell. Think about it the next time you smell some fresh cut flowers, and if you’ve ever smelled them anywhere else. Say, maybe some Honeysuckle in a Chardonnay??)  catch your nose when the glass reaches the lips, folding into flavors of cherries, and raspberry that stick to your tongue like a juice cocktail blend with an oh so slightly sweet sparkling “sprite” touch to refresh your palate. 

Enjoy this wine simply by itself as a dessert, with some spicy dishes (it will definitely take that little extra spicy Zzzing off), or sweet dishes. Personally, it tastes good no matter which way you have it. Have it with chocolate, Kung Pao Chicken, in a glass with a splash of lime (makes it a little more exotic and brings out a little more of the flavors), or while watching the next Cowboys game with a bowl of hot wings (yes, WINE can go with football party favors. In my opinion, usually better than beer!). 

So sit back, reel in the last days of warm weather, and enjoy a glass while watching the sunset. 

Average Price: $8.99  – You can also find it on sale as low as $7.99. Widely available at grocery stores, liquor stores and whole sale in the “Argentina” wine section, or in the “Red Blends” section. 

Happy Friday my Wine Lovers! Cheers!! 

“The wine cup is the little silver well, where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell”

More Wine Please

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Hello My Lovely Wine Lovers!! I have missed you so! The wine tasting is to follow this week, but just wanted to share some wine info with you guys to increase some of that wine knowledge I hope I’m installing in you! 😀
I Saw this on my local news, and just had to share it with you!

Glass Shape, Color Can Influence How Much Wine You Drink

There’s always a reason to over pour your wine one night, especially after a crappy work day, but also when it comes to one of those over-sized fancy wine glasses too. (You know what I mean, who can resist the awesome huge wine glasses?!?) Just remember my wine lovers, a standard glass of wine is 5 ounces! How much is that you ask? A little over half a cup. Yeah, that’s right, HALF A CUP. Check out that measuring cup of yours; yeah, it’s not that much. But that doesn’t mean you can’t slowly sip that glass or hey, even have more than one glass! It’s just a little way to help you regulate (you can do it!) and remind you that when you go out for a drink, that half a cup is your way standard size; so enjoy and savor it, or buy a bottle (it could be cheaper!).
By the way wine lovers check out my Thoughts on How to tell if wine is bad on your way out

“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.”

Apothic Red Labor Day Tasting!

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Greetings my wine lovers! It’s Labor Day weekend,  and you know what that means!!! Grape juice time!!!
Don’t forget to pick up a bottle, (and believe me,  there are a lot of sales going on in the wine department this weekend), and enjoy this holiday with family and friends!  May I recommend the very affordable, easy drinking Apothic Red?
A California red blend that is so smooth and lusciosly delicious with chocolate, vanilla, and red berries, that even your best girlfriend who only likes super sweet wines will devour every drop; except (and drop this line after a glass or two), It’s not super sweet! It’s right on that dividing line,but not so sweet that those who crave the bold and heavy reds will enjoy this wine as well:-)
Pair this wine with just about anything, from foods with some sweetness, like milk chocolate, or even the heavy and bold foods, especially meat lovers pizza. 🙂  I actually paired this awesome red with red velvet cookies! (And man was it delicious!)
So sit back, relax, and enjoy your holiday weekend with this beautiful red bottle (It’s bright and red bottle just lures you in), while watching the sunset and eating some barbeque:-)
Average Price: $9.99 – however,  you can usually get this on sale for $7.99 at grocery stores and Costco!
Have a great Labor Day weekend Wine lovers! Cheers!
“Wine is the thinking person’s health drink.”

Red Diamond Merlot Wine Tasting!!

Welcome back my wine lovers! I so apologize for the delay in tastings, but as promised, here is wine tasting #1 of 2 this week!! Now, let’s get down to the bottle! In honor of the awesome video that my friend, Jillian posted on my page, today’s selection is the Red Diamond 2010 Merlot!  Now just in case you have no idea what video I’m talking about, please enjoy it below.

Now, after watching this, who would say no to Merlot?! Actually, at first, I did debate it, because honestly, and hopefully you’ll still think so awesomely of me, I am not a big fan of Merlot. I never really have. They’re usually either too much or too little for me. But, being the wine lover and always wanting to share and expand my knowledge with you guys, I decided to suck it up and do it! Now, I must say, that my boyfriend did have a hand in this selection. I asked him to pick one at the store, (I was there looking at bottles of Merlot as well) and this is what he picked, and I am happy to say that my boyfriend can pick some awesome wine!!! 

Red Diamond 
2010 Merlot
Washington State

“Our Merlot is of Washington’s best varietal – a polished wine with softly-spiced black cherry, berry and plum flavors. Reveal your Red Side with Red Diamond Merlot.”

Rated as one of America’s Top 10 Restaurant Merlots by Wine and Spirits Magazine (it’s an American magazine that rates wines and spirits on the 100 point scale. A little bit easier and more fun to read in my opinion than some others), you can definitely see why after the first sip. 

Now I must say that when you do first pour this raspberry red wine in your glass and breathe in the aromas, you will more than likely be overwhelmed with alcohol. Granted, it’s not higher in alcohol than the other wines previously reviewed (it’s only 13.5%), but it does knock you off your rocker there at first. However, you will also get a nice whiff of cherry as well, that intrigues you to take a sip. This is where I was blown away. Intense and succulent red and black fruit take over your lips and slide down your tongue, as you can taste the black cherry, raspberry, plum, and some slight toast and vanilla. From here, my mouth exploded with even more delight as this:
incredibly smooth (it’s definitely not rough or unbalanced), 
dry (wine is either dry, off-dry or sweet. It’s not sweet sweet, not quite sweet enough to be off-dry, so it’s classified as dry, BUT not horribly dry), 
medium bodied (wines are classified as either light, medium or heavy body. It’s not light as a feather, or heavy like a thick smoothie, but just right in the middle like a juice thickness), 
medium alcohol (can be classified as light, medium or high alcohol. The alcohol is not barely there, or always there in your face intense, it’s medium to where it’s balanced and enjoyable)
and long lingering finish (put as either short, medium or long finish, it’s not short in that the tastes go away very quickly, or medium to where the tastes linger for a little bit at the back of your throat, but as long, as the wonderful berries and oak and any other tastes you pick up definitely last to the end and linger at the back of your tongue before completely going away) wine just really changed my mind about Merlot. 🙂 

Enjoy this Merlot with beef, pork or even portobello tacos (yes, it really does go great with any of these kinds of tacos, just as long as they’re “meaty”), chocolate cake or brownies (it’s good with dark chocolate but in honesty, probably a little better with milk chocolate), or almond toffee (oh yeah, it’s good)! I personally had it with some small brownie bites and almond toffee, and then the next day, with meat trio pizza where it was absolutely divine!! 

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the full moon with a glass or two (yes, the bottle was 2/3rds gone for me and my man, as well as my co-worker when he enjoyed his own bottle)!

Average Price: $11.99 – Though you can find this on sale majority of the time for $9.99 at grocery stores like Kroger and Tom Thumb.

Happy Tuesday Wine Lovers!! Stay Tuned for Tasting #2 This Week!! 

“If your heart is warm with happiness, you’ll need a glass – if sorrow chills your heart, have two!” 

Sweet Red Wine Tasting!

Sweet Red

Hello my wine lovers! Glad to see you again! Now let’s get down to the good juice!  This week’s wine selection is Llano Sweet Redfrom none other than, TEXAS! The newest state to join the wine industry, and becoming increasingly popular, Texas is making a huge impact, as more and more wine drinkers are discovering the wonderful wines to come from yes, my home state. 🙂

Non Vintage 
Llano Estacado
Sweet Red

“Llano Sweet Red is medium sweet with a smooth finish and aromas of blackberries and cherries. We recommend this unique wine be served slightly chilled or at room temperature with spicy Texas foods, Southwest cuisine and oriental dishes.”

(Just a little fun information for you guys!) Classified in probably the first wine category to put Texas on the Wine Country map, Texas Sweet Reds, have kind of become the staple, at least, of the lone star state. I mean, you couldn’t go wrong with a sweet delicate red that was easy, very affordable, and showing your local support! Of course, since these wines became popular, other awesome wines have surfaced and become vineyard favorites.

One of the first vineyards to gain this popularity, Llano, has always been one of my favorites. Never a disappointing wine, this vineyard is wonderful, supportive and affordable as can be!

A nice light cherry colored wine, the aromas fill your nose within the first swirl of your glass. Raspberries, blackberries, cherry, and a light effervescence take over and create an intoxicating atmosphere as you breathe it in, bringing your mouth joy as you take a lovely sip of an off dry (meaning, it’s sweet, but not intense dessert sweet), light bodied red wine, that awakens your palate (tastes) of blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and for me, some sprite/spritzer (let me know if you taste this too!). Ending with a smooth (it’s not rough) medium finish (the tastes linger for a little while after taking a sip), this wine is sure to please your taste buds and cleanse your mind of the day.

Enjoy with spicy foods, asian dishes, as your dessert, or, as me and my family did, with portabella mushroom tacos and salad! The slight jalapeno in the tacos really complemented the sweetness in the wine. 🙂

So sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekend with a great bottle of Texas Sweet Red! 🙂 
Average Price: $ 7.95 – I got mine for $6.99 at Kroger. Widely available at grocery stores, and liquor stores! 
Happy Friday Wine Lovers!
“Love is like wine. To sip is fine. To empty a bottle is a headache.”

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE WINE WEDNESDAY!!!!

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Columbia Crest H3 Horse Heaven Hills Les Chevaux 2010 750ml

Whoo!! It’s What’s Today’s Wine Wednesday Tasting Time!!! (Yes, I know it’s a tongue twister 😛 ) This week’s wine selection is the H3 Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Crest 2010 Les Chevaux Red Wine. A wine from one of my favorite locations, Washington state, I have been dying to try this bottle! 
Columbia Crest
2010 Les Chevaux Red Wine

“Washington state’s famed Horse Heaven Hills, named for the wild horses that once roamed this area, have been home to the Columbia Crest winery for over two decades. Our winemaker blends innovation and tradition to capture this unique basalt and bedrock terroir creating wines that highlight the intensity of these grapes. Les Chevaux (French for “the horses”) is a special blend of varietals from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA and personifies the legacy of the wild horses that once roamed this fabled area.”
Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator (it’s a pretty awesome magazine that gives ratings… basically like a test grade. Those rated 85 and above are usually pretty darn good ), this medium bodied wine is amazing!! Like being in the hills of heaven, you can taste all the love and passion that went into making this beautiful dark, ruby colored wine as soon as you open the bottle. Filling your nose with aromas of dark fruits, strawberries, and earthiness (think of mother nature), you can literally taste the nuttiness, candied fruits and slight chocolate as this red liquid coats your mouth into happiness. A wonderfully, lingering smooth finish, you can enjoy a glass with the dark meat of your choice. I enjoyed this with a slightly peppered steak and roasted vegetables, and it was incredible (so good in fact, my boyfriend and I drank over half the bottle)!! Simply becoming one of my new favorite wines, this bottle is all yours for under $15! 

So sit back, relax, sear up some meat (isn’t July 4th tomorrow? ) and enjoy a glass of red in celebration of our red, white, and blue!

Happy Independence Day! Cheers!

Average Price: $14.99 – However, I found mine at Costco (you DO NOT NEED A COSTCO MEMBERSHIP TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL… in case you were wondering) for $9.99! 


Language is wine upon the lips.