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Caruso e Minini ‘Perricone’ Sicily

The last winery visit during our Sicily adventure was to Caruso e Minini in Marsala. This is a relatively young winery that was created when fourth-generation winemaker Stefano Caruso partnered with Northern Italian marketer extraordinaire Mario Minini to create this brand that now exports mostly indigenous Sicilian varieties, including Grillo, Catarratto, Grecanico, Inzolia, Zibibbo, Nero d’Avola, Frappato and Perricone as well as some international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Merlot. Today, the company is helmed by Stefano’s two daughters, Giovanna and Rosanna. I am a huge fan of their wines. In addition to the Perricone, I  have enjoyed…

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The Weekly Pour #2

The Weekly Pour is the culmination of the micro posts on Strong Coffee to Red Wine. Each week subscribers will be notified via an email that posts are available to read and enjoy. This does not apply to folks using another RRS feeder. Contesa dei Venti 2020 Vittoria Doc Nero D’Avola Sicilia Last October in Sicily, on our visit to Donnafugata, we had the good fortune to have Tommaso Bellisola, the Senior Hospitality Manager at the Vittoria tasting room, lead our tasting. His depth of knowledge and his passion for Donnafugata wines was a perfect match for our needs. Contesa…

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2022 What a Year !

The other day Gary and I shared a bottle of LXV Rosé of Cabernet Franc. It was the perfect way to cap the day. As we drank it, I kept thinking about how fortunate I am. And that led me to think about the year that was 2022. But also the depth of gratitude I feel for the folks surrounding me. 2022 Gratitude… for Some Important People in my Life My Husband – we are approaching 35 years together, and I would not do it with anyone else! My Sisters – I am not sure what our parents did, but…

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Etna DOC – Wine on a Volcano

The inhabitants of Sicily have been making wine for millennia. However, the Phoenicians in the 1100 – 1000 BCE brought vines, advanced enology, and viticulture knowledge to the island, which began the quest for quality wine. Sicily’s wineries have been raising the bar ever since. Wine grapes are grown all over Sicily, including 23 DOC sub-regions and one DOCG sub-region. The island is most known for wines from Marsala DOC, Vittoria DOC, and Etna DOC. Etna DOC wines drew me to Sicilian wines, so we started our trip there. Side Note: In preparation for this trip, I read a couple…

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Sicily – 2 Weeks Tasting and Exploring

We have been home from our wine trip to Sicily for two weeks. Jetlag was a real ogre. I was almost non-functional for days. But now there is excellent clarity. We were on the island for a two-week trip using my self-guided itinerary. We accomplished a lot and covered a lot of territory, probably too much. But when I am in a new foreign location, FOMO takes over. I fear I may not return, so I cram the schedule full. Even though I left several days for sightseeing, it sometimes felt rushed, and I did not like that. But such…

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Chardonnay – Both Maligned & Loved

As one of the world’s most popular wine grapes, I feel bad for Chardonnay. Opinions of the wine are intense and quite polarizing thanks to California winemakers’ style choice back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wines, back then, were flamboyantly big, bawdy, and voluptuous. They were heavily oaked, and in the case of Chardonnay, they were also heavily “buttered.”  Some wine critics praised the choice, so the crowds dutifully followed. But these wines were the antithesis of the more restrained Burgundian style, and that’s when the maligning began. As the California trend continued, sadly, the market was flooded…

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Confessions of a Wine Geek 2022

Ahem… Not Wine Geek but Wine Enthusiast. I did a confessions post like this back in the Spring of 2018. That list is still reasonably accurate, with the exception that after our last wine fridge purchase, Gary has vetoed getting any more. (for the record, the last wine fridge purchased holds 350 bottles, so I dare not complain.) New Confessions 2022 I have been known to use an Infrared Thermometer Gun to check the drinking temperature of my glass of wine. We always use the “Three Sip Rule” before we say anything about the wine we just tasted. Or you…

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Red Wine for the Heat Wave

So you wanna be cool? Then drink a wonderful chilled red wine during this heatwave. And while most red wines should be consumed cooler than room temperature, I am talking chilled to 50º-55ºF to knock that sweat from your brow. But be careful; not all red wines should be chilled to that degree.  A chilled red wine should be refreshing. Chilling red wine affects characteristics in wine differently. Tannins, for example, are accentuated by the chill. Grippy, parching tannins are far from refreshing by taking on an astringent quality. Aromas and flavors are muted when chilled. So a fruit-forward wine…

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Rosé All Day * Our Current Favorites

In our house, rosé is a 365 days a year beverage. It started that way and never waivered. Thankfully more and more folks understand that there is a place for rosé all day and every day. This is our annual list of rosés we love. First are our new discoveries, and then we list our usual suspects. Why? Because they are delicious year over year. But You can read about them from the last rosé post. Now let’s start with some new finds that we are loving. This is Our 2022 Rosé All Day Lineup   Paul Thomas Chavignol Sancerre…

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