Wine Not? Amarone, AKA: my new favorite

amarone

Hey y’all! What’s new? Tried any good wines lately? I’d love to hear about them! We recently got a new wine in our monthly Winc shipment called Negrette. I’m not entirely sure what I think of it and I’m still mulling it over. I’ve never heard of it before, but google tells me “it’s low in acidity and not especially tannic”; also “it tends to lack personality”. Hmm. Now, I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure that means I need to drink the whole bottle as to not hurt its feelings (also, I’ll take those remarks with a grain of salt, coming from a website that uses the Comic Sans font…).

Anyway, what I came here to talk about is my new favorite wine! EVER! It’s so, so, so amazingly good, you guys. Like, life-changing good. It’s called Amarone (ah-mah-roh-neh. So-dee-lih-shus!). 

Get this, Amarone is made by first drying the grapes out in the sun, then pressing them to make wine. So essentially, they’re making wine out of raisins (is your mind not blown?! ‘cuz mine is!). Which means, the sugar content is higher, which means ultimately, the alcohol content is higher. Which means, it’s going to be fuller and richer and beautiful-er. WHICH MEANS IT’S DELICIOUS AND AMAZING AND OMGYOUHAVETOTRYIT.

Ok, sorry for my shouting, but y’all. Every time I would take a sip of this wine (paired with juicy, medium-rare ribeye steaks), I felt like doing a happy dance it was so delicious. Because of the way it’s made, you’d think it would be sweet, but it’s not! It’s nicely dry, has some lovely acidity (the thing that makes a wine taste “crisp” or “refreshing”), but it’s very full-bodied; like heavy cream vs. skim milk. A real treat.

But an expensive treat. Upon researching it and talking to a wine rep at Total Wine, Amarone usually runs anywhere from $35-$75, or more. BUT, luckily Amarone’s lesser known cousin, Ripasso is here to save the day! Ripasso is often referred to as “Baby Amarone” and is made by a similar process. It’s not exactly the same, but for around 15 bucks, who cares?! Drink the Ripasso as often as you want and save the Amarone for special occasions!

If you get a chance, give this a try and let me know what you think!

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Wine Not? Monthly Wine Subscriptions

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Let’s have story time. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful (more or less), young(ish) woman who spent all her days raising 3 small children. One dark, gloomy day, after picking up dried, crusty playdough, cleaning up uneaten lunches, fighting naptime battles, and one long, harrowing quest to locate a missing Blankie, our young(ish) mother found herself tired, rundown, and in desperate need of a shower. But alas, there was no time for rest; and the mother sat in the corner and cried while her children ran amuck through the house with underwear on their heads.

Just then, the clouds parted and the sun shone brightly. The woman opened her front door just in time to see a handsome prince in a white, shining Fedex truck. He strode up to the door, knelt before her, and presented her with a magical box. And inside the box was wine! The mother was saved! And in that moment, there was much rejoicing and she knew she was going to be alright. The End.

 

LOL. Ok, so my life is really not that dramatic. And I love my kids to pieces so I really don’t mind when they run around with underwear on their heads (I’m usually running right along behind them snapping pictures, so…). BUT, that one Friday out of each month certainly is rejoice-worthy. A few months ago, I joined Winc, a monthly wine subscription service that delivers new bottles of wine right to my door. I decided to treat myself since I seldom go out and spend tons of money on clothes/shoes/purses, etc. And let me tell you, it’s one of the coolest things ever! I went online and filled out a little quiz to determine my “palate”, and then they sent me 3 bottles to try for free. I was immediately hooked and have kept up the subscription with no plans of ever canceling it. I look forward to it every month.

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I can pick which wines I want, or they’ll choose for me, based on my palate quiz. And they always include info cards for each bottle, along with a recipe that pairs well with the wine. I love, love, love it. I’ve tried so many new kinds of wine that I never would’ve picked for myself, which means now I have so many new favorites. I really just can’t say enough good things about Winc.

And I’ve seen several other awesome looking monthly wine subscriptions out there, as well. Including Bright Cellars, which is created by a couple of MIT grads with a passion for wine. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of these (although I’ve noticed Winc is one of the less expensive ones, so…win-win!).

Since I have no idea what I’m doing as far as wine goes, I’m always super overwhelmed when I walk into a big wine store with shelves and shelves of different wines. That’s why I love having this subscription. Someone else chooses for me, and I can go online or to the app and rate the bottle. Based on my ratings, my flavor profile gets more and more fine tuned. I mean, seriously! How cool is that?!

If you think you might think you’d like to give Winc a try*, click HERE and get started. They’ll take care of shipping AND send you a bottle for free! Yay for free wine!

Do you have a wine subscription? What kind? I’d love to hear from you!

*Winc didn’t hire me to write this post or compensate me in any way, and all opinions are 100% my own. But I’m not gonna lie, if somebody paid me to drink wine…well, I wouldn’t be mad about it. 😉

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canned

Before I start, let me just go ahead and get something out of the way- I am in no way, shape, or form a “wine snob”. K? I don’t discriminate when it comes to wine. I don’t care about “vintages”. I embrace and even welcome a good boxed wine. Screw top? Cork? Who cares! I don’t care if it’s “cheap wine”; if it tastes good, I’ll drink it. I once saw a sign that said, “Life’s Too Short to Drink Cheap Wine”. Hmm. Agree to disagree, I guess. While I absolutely love splurging on an expensive bottle every now and then, I have no problem with stocking my wine rack with $10 (or less) wines. So there. I’m glad I got that off my chest!

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So. Canned wine. You’ve probably seen this trend really picking up lately. Especially among those pesky hipsters (but the good news is, you don’t have to grow a handlebar mustache or wear dark rimmed glasses to enjoy it). I first saw canned wine on a trip to Target back in the Spring. They had a couple of different options, including this adorable little four pack (it even comes with a cute little straw, just like a juice box! Mommy’s special juice box…) and these Fresh Craft wine cocktails, which were really good. Very fruity and refreshing.

I think the biggest draw for canned wine is its ability to go almost anywhere. The beach, the park, on picnics…anywhere glass isn’t allowed. Plus, you get to feel all hip and trendy while you drink it. I guess the only downside to canned wine would be it’s inability to age well. The corks on bottled wines allow tiny amounts of oxygen to come in contact with the wine, so it helps it age (according to google). Canned wine is in an airtight aluminum can, so no air can get in, which means no aging. But this is a non-issue for me since I do not care.

But doesn’t it taste different? Newp. I’ve actually done a fair bit of reading about it, including this article from Time.com and this article from Bon Appetit. I mean, if it’s crappy wine to start with, chances are it’ll still be crappy in a can, but great bottled wine = great canned wine. And there are plenty of great canned wines out there nowadays. And lots of wineries are jumping on the bandwagon.

I think this is the best one ever- Underwood by Union Wine Co. First of all, they have some HILARIOUS videos (seriously, watch them all- you’ll laugh out loud), and their motto is “Wine doesn’t have to be this hard.” #pinkiesdown. Seriously, I think I found my people. I found these cans at my local Trader Joe’s and got the Rosé and the Pinot Noir. They’re around 5 bucks each and perfect for two people to share (each can equals about 2 glasses).

The Rosé was a little on the sweet side for my liking, but I still enjoyed it. As for pairing- I paired mine with a glass and a cantankerous 4 year old and lemme tell ya, it paired BEAUTIFULLY. After a long day of parenting barn animal children, it hit just right on the palate. I haven’t tried the Pinot Noir yet, but I believe it’s their most popular one, so I’m looking forward to it.

Ok, so. We’ve talked about canned wines. What are your thoughts? Personally, I’m all in. I love the concept, I love the portability, I love the ease. It’s win-win. Yay, cans!

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