Tag Archives: St. Supery Vineyards

¡Mucho Gusto! Get to know #SauvBlanc

16 May

Feliz Friday everyone ! Today is World Sauvignon Blanc Day, and I’m re-blogging this post from my ¡Mucho Gusto! series in honor of the occasion. Raise a glass of #SauvBlanc today!

For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, mucho gusto is what you say when you first meet someone. It’s like “nice to meet you,” but it would translate more directly as “with great pleasure.”

Gusto has many meanings, including “taste” and “flavor,” so consider ¡Mucho Gusto! a delectable play on words and a way to familiarize yourself with wine. So here we go…

Intipalka Sauvignon Blanc is made by Santiago Queirolo, one of Peru's longest-standing wineries.

Intipalka Sauvignon Blanc is made by Santiago Queirolo, one of Peru’s longest-standing wineries.

HOLA, ME LLAMO: Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine.

MY ROOTS: Sauvignon Blanc was born in France’s Bordeaux region. A bit of trivia – the grape variety hooked up with Cabernet Franc sometime in the 1700s and the result was Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, Sauvignon Blanc continues to thrive in Bordeaux. Because French wines are geographically labeled and not named for the actual grape, “Sancerre” and “Pouilly-Fumé” are 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc wines. Sauvignon Blanc was planted in other countries including New Zealand, the U.S. (California), Chile, Australia and Italy. Robert Mondavi coined the name Fumé Blanc, so if you see this on the grocery store shelf, it’s Sauvignon Blanc.

ALL ABOUT ME: Sauvignon Blanc is a dry wine made from an aromatic grape, hence its distinctive aroma. You may get nectarines, white peach, grapefruit, grass and herbs, gooseberries, and believe it or not, kitty pee. French Sauvignon Blanc may also display a flinty, gravelly minerality. Most Sauvignon Blanc is stainless-steel fermented, so you won’t get the woodsy, oaky notes you’d find in Chardonnay. It’s also known for its refreshing, crisp acidity.

FOODS I LOVE: You can’t go wrong with Sauvignon Blanc and seafood. The wine’s crispness complements the buttery texture of white fish and scallops. I’ve had it with oysters and it’s to-die-for amazing. Sauvignon Blanc is the ideal wine for vegetarian dishes. This is a great wine for salads, since the herb notes of the wine will match the crisp greens in the salad and the acidity matches vinaigrette dressing. For some Latin flair, pair Sauvingon Blanc with guacamole (the acidity of the wine “cuts” the creaminess of the guac) and spicy dishes like enchiladas and chile relleno. I love Sauvignon Blanc with Peruvian arroz con pollo (chicken in a cilantro sauce).

DO TRY THIS AT HOME: The beauty of Sauvignon Blanc is that you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy it. You can get a good bottle for $10 – $20. Of course, you can pay upwards of $150 for a classified Bordeaux blend. Some well-regarded labels include: Cloudy Bay, Kim Crawford and Matua Valley from New Zealand; Laville Haut-Brion, Alphonse Mellot and Pascal Jolivet from France; St. Supéry, Kunde and Matanzas Creek from California; Montes, Concha y Toro and Viña Leyda from Chile.

So here’s wishing you ¡Mucho Gusto! as you get to know Sauvignon Blanc. Until next time…




Most Romantic Wineries

14 Feb

There’s more to Valentine’s Day than sappy cards and waxy chocolate. And if you’re reading this, something tells me you know what that would be: Vino!

Yes, darlings, if you want to really score some points this Valentine’s Day (or to paraphrase the late, great Donna Summer, anytime you feel love), get thee to a winery. Here, in no particular order, are Señorita Vino’s top three romantic winery picks. Mmmmuuahhhh!

1. St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, Napa Valley

Do you remember your first time? The exhilaration, the butterflies in your stomach, the thought that this could be The One? Ah yes…I’ll never forget the first time I joined a wine club without telling my husband. It was St. Supéry.

The Atkinson House at St. Supéry Vineyards. Photo courtesy of St. Supéry.

The Atkinson House at St. Supéry Vineyards. Photo courtesy of St. Supéry.

My idea of the perfect date - a private barrel tasting. Photo courtesy of St. Supéry.

My idea of the perfect date – a private barrel tasting. Photo courtesy of St. Supéry.

Pétanque, s'il vous plait! Photo courtesy of St. Supéry.

Pétanque, s’il vous plait! Photo courtesy of St. Supéry.

And Señor Jim was so accepting of my impulsive streak that we celebrated one of his Big Birthdays here with a private barrel tasting. Sip some of their sublime Sauvignon Blanc, then indulge your inner francophile with a game of pétanque. That’s French for bocce. Santé!

2. Bodega y Granja Narbona, Carmelo, Uruguay

The only depressing part of my visit to Bodega Narbona was that I was on business and thus traveling without my better half, the sensational Señor Jim. This is the kind of place that will make even the most die-hard cynic break out the red wine and roses. Not only can you taste a selection of fine Uruguayan wines, including the country’s signature Tannat, but you can dine here and stay the night. ¡Excelente!

A tasting room at Bodega Narbona. Photo courtesy of Bodega Narbona.

A tasting room at Bodega Narbona. Photo courtesy of Bodega Narbona.

Old-world charm in a new-world winery. A guest room at Bodega Narbona (image courtesy o Bodega Narbona).

Old-world charm in a new-world winery. A guest room at Bodega Narbona (image courtesy of Bodega Narbona).

An al fresco lunch at Bodega Narbona.

An al fresco lunch at Bodega Narbona.

Carmelo is in the heart of Uruguay’s wine country. It’s fairly easy to get there from Buenos Aires. Take the ferry to Colonia del Sacramento and then take a bus or taxi to Carmelo.

3. Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley

¿Qué cosa? A medieval castle in the middle of a California vineyard? Winemaker Dario Sattui was so taken with medieval architecture and a particular castle he visited in Beaune, France that he decided to build one of his own back home. Besides the well-known international varietals like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chardonnay, Castello di Amorosa produces Italian classics such as Pinot Grigio, Barbera and Sangiovese.

A view of the castle from the vineyard. Photo courtesy of Liza Gershman Photography.

A view of the castle from the vineyard. Photo courtesy of Liza Gershman Photography.

And here’s the super-romántico, almost-too-good-for-a-telenovela part: The winery offers two different proposal packages! Yes, chicas y chicos, you can pop the question in the castle tower or in a “hidden” room. You get 30 minutes of privacy, a  bottle of wine and a fruit and cheese platter. You even get to keep the glasses! That’s what I call romance.

Señorita Vino wishes you all a Champagne-toast-worthy Valentine’s Day. I’ll leave you with a sentimental quote you can memorize and casually tell your  main squeeze as you’re uncorking a bottle of bubbly tonight:

“May our love be like good wine–grow stronger as it grows older.”  (Old English toast)


Today is World Sauvignon Blanc Day

21 Jun

That’s right, chicas y chicos, another wine holiday! Can I get a salud?

Today is World Sauvignon Blanc Day, and there’s  an all-day party on Twitter (#SauvBlanc). To commemorate this auspicious occasion, I’ll be tasting four different Sauvignon Blancs from all corners of the world: Chile, New Zealand, France and California.

Did somebody say fiesta?

Sauvignon Blanc has a special place in my heart because it’s the first wine my husband and I discovered together when we were dating. If you join the celebration today, you’ll see why it’s so easy to love. Who knows, you may even channel your inner Señorita Vino and find true romance over a glass. (El Disclaimer: Señorita Vino makes no guarantees that you will find your soulmate today. So don’t quit the Match.com membership just yet).

There’s a Sauvignon Blanc for almost every palate. If you’re a passionfruit and nectarine kind of chica (or chico), try a Sauv Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. Oyster Bay is one of my personal favorites; you can find it for around $10 at a wine shop or grocery store.

New Zealand is credited with starting the Sauvignon Blanc revolution in the 1970s.

Love the refreshing scent of grapefruit and fresh cut grass? Northern California has some beautiful Sauvignon Blancs with fresh citrus and herbal aromas. St. Supery is the California Sauv Blanc that my husband and I bonded over, and it happens to be the first wine club I ever joined back in 2000, the year my husband caved to relentless nagging and asked me to marry him. (El Full Disclosure: St. Supery was kind enough to provide this bottle for today’s festivities. And no, it’s not because I’m a member of their wine club. In fact, they had no idea I was a member until I did an El Full Disclosure on them and said so. Aren’t you glad I’m so ethical? St. Supery, you guys ROCK. And no, they didn’t pay me to say that.)

California Sauvignon Blancs feature herbal and citrus notes.

If you like mineral notes with olive and lemon aromas, France’s Loire Valley produces Savignon Blanc in the classic style. I found this one at Total Wine for $13.99.

A classic style from France, the birthplace of Sauvignon Blanc.

Last but certainly not least, if you’re looking for a lighter-bodied wine (less alcohol) that you can sip casually on its own, you may want to show your amor for one of our own by trying a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. A complete steal at $5.99.

Me encantan los vinos chilenos.

You’ll hear people describe Sauvignon Blanc as having some characteristics beyond the aromas and flavors mentioned above. Bear in mind that the country in which the wine was made will have a big influence on what flavors you’ll detect. Some people can smell guava, cilantro, fig, bell pepper, lemongrass and dill. If you’re drinking a Sauvignon Blanc that was aged in oak, you’ll notice some aromas that are associated with wood, such as vanilla and sweet spices.

One scent that you may also detect is kitty pee. Yep, you read it right, and no, I don’t make this stuff up. Sounds weird, I know, but I have actually smelled this in some Sauvignon Blancs, and it’s not a flaw (nor did they let the cats loose in the winery); it’s just a characteristic of the grape.

“Can I get some sardines with my Sauvignon Blanc?”

On that note, let’s talk food pairing. The crisp acidity of Sauvignon Blanc can act as a palate cleanser, making it a perfect starter. That same acidity makes it a good match for salads with vinaigrette dressings, and it ‘cuts’ through foods with cream or butter-based sauces. It’s also a great match for ethnic foods with a little kick, like Thai or Indian dishes. The wine’s lower alcohol content feels refreshing after the burn from spicy-hot seasonings. And it goes great with guacamole.

Sauvignon Blanc complements just about every cheese I love. For you purists, the classic pairing is Sauvignon Blanc with a French chèvre, or goat cheese. The acidity in the wine matches the tang in cheeses made with goats’ milk.

So there you have it. Stop reading, go pour yourself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and join the fiesta. ¡Salud!

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