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I recently received a shipment of Wines of Navarra to sample and review on the blog, and so far it has offered a beautiful taste of Spain. The first wine we tried was a 2015 Bodegas Castillo de Monjardin Garnacha.

Castillo Monjardin Garnacha

100% Garnacha from old vines , aged 6 months in American oak.

I am a big fan of Garnacha, and this was a big hit in our house, paired with turkey chili of all things. It would be great with a selection of Spanish meats and cheeses, and I am kind of dreaming of a glass of this wine and a plate of Manchego right now.

Elegant and well balanced, beautiful light ruby in color, this Garnacha offered chocolate, cherry, and earth notes without being heavy or overbearing at all. This is definitely a red for all seasons and could be sipped in front of a fireplace on a snowy day with lighter meat dishes as easily as it would pair with grilled chicken during a summer barbeque. I’m definitely not a red only in winter and white in summer wine drinker, and I always love finding wines that transcend season.

Exploring more of Spain (I’ve been to Barcelona only.) is definitely on my travel wish list, and I would love to walk some of the Camino de Santiago someday. . . so hopefully tasting Navarra wines where they grow is in the cards!

The Wines of Navarra website is really beautiful and offers information on the regions and its wines and gastronomy

About Navarra

Navarra is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, a storied land of vast inherited cultural wealth tucked into the Pyrenees of north-central Spain, just below France.

Navarra lies at the nerve center of a celebrated medieval pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, and was once a Kingdom of Navarra, whose cultural flowering under French monarchs in the late Middle Ages left behind both a stunning architectural legacy and a potent residual ‘Frenchness’ that still pervades local sensibilities.

Navarra sits along a rugged, transitional zone at the convergence of three major climate types–Mediterranean, Continental, and Atlantic. Its landscape comprises semi-desert basin, lush woodland hills and high mountain peaks, all within a total area is smaller than that of Connecticut.

 

Wines of Navarra provided me with wine samples. All opinions are my own.

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Tags: Navarra, sample, Spain, Spanish wine, travel blog, wine, wine blogger, wine lover

You may have noticed that I tend to like boats and wine quite a bit. A few weeks ago, I got to spend the afternoon on a Stellar Yacht Charters yacht as a guest of Santa Maria La Palma wine.

Santa Maria La Palma is out of Sardinia, a dream travel destination of mine, and it was fun to combine their delicious wine, my wanderlust, and our beautiful Boston Harbor for a day of wine tasting and education with a fun group of people.

wine cruise

Front and center we have Igor, who was in Boston representing Santa Maria La Palma. He was charming and knowledgeable and so passionate about the wines.

wine and food pairing

  The boat itself was appointed with classic luxurious detail, and the crew was phenomenal. A huge spread of food for pairing with the wines was available to us, including lots of seafood like sushi, mussels, and shrimp, perfect with wines from Sardinia.

We were treated to quite the lineup of wines, mostly white and rosato, one red, all special and memorable and celebratory. The primary grapes making up the wines were Vermentino and Cannonau, which grow very well in Sardinia and reflect the island’s terroir in every sip. We all remarked that we wished we had these wines in front of us all summer long, but that they’re also perfect for sunshine and island dreaming throughout the winter.

What did we taste? You’ll see below the full lineup on the tasting sheet. I of course left my notes behind, but I most definitely had a few favorites.

wine tasting

 

Aragosta Vino Spumante  Brut NV– Sparkling wine from Sardinia is a treat and might be replacing some of the other sparkling wines that often grace our table. One of the things I love about being able to attend wine events like this is the spirit of discovery!

Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015 – Vermentino is fun and flavorful. I got a nice bit of tartness off of this, lemons and Granny Smith apples and would love this wine with oysters. . . or even as part of a granita mignonette on top of oysters!

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Akenta Underwater Spumante Extra Dry – Just check out that bottle! This wine is aged under the sea in water that is part of a national park in Sardinia. Under the pressure of the sea and in the darkness, the bottle grows sea life on it! This was just another fascinating detail and part of the sense of place that these wines brought to the table.

wine bottle with barnacles 

aragostaAragosta  Rosé –  First of all. this wine has a lobster on the bottle and its contents are pink, which made me love it immediately. I know we shouldn’t judge a book bottle by its cover, but for th coastal living obsessed, it just makes a cute addition to a beach or boat party or a beach house themed home.

The wine is delicious, offering up beautiful, strawberry and watermelon note, fruity but not sweet. Summer in a glass and absolutely a new favorite rosé wine.

I also loved the not-pictured La Bombarde Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, a very light red wine with notes of cranberry and light cocoa, light enough for a humid boat day but warm and cozy enough for cooler weather. It would be a great Thanksgiving wine.

stellar yacht charters In addition to the wines being spectacular, the event itself was also really something special and well thought out. It was a small enough group that we all got to chat with each other, and the Captain had a pug named Junior! We had an overcast but warm fall day, lots of delicious food and wine and an opportunity to learn about the gem that Sardinia is for wine production and travel.

wine tasting on a boat

wine event

Boston skyline from a boat Life is good.

Thank you to Cantina Santa Maria La Palma and Wine & Co. for a great day!

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Tags: blogging, boating, Boston, events, luxury, luxury travel, Sardinia, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, yachts

Ever flip-flopping temperatures have confused my plants, my wardrobe, and my palate. I’ve been vacillating between crisp summery whites and sundresses and hooded sweatshirts and hearty reds. I really don’t mind an excuse to taste a delicious red wine, especially when it’s a beautiful cool evening that’s warm enough for grilling.

14 Hands Red Blend

I received this 14 Hands 2014 Stampede Red Blend as a sample. A blend that consists of Syrah, Merlot, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mourvèdre, this wine was all berries with a touch of tobacco, baking spices, and dried leaves. Super velvety, juicy, and bursting with round cherry flavor, it was nice and dry and left a long finish, thanks to the earthier notes.

We paired it with grilled Portobello mushrooms and London Broil over salad, the meat and mushrooms pairing perfectly with the wine. Cozied up in sweaters but enjoying the lush green of our back yard, we savored a bit of both seasons as we patiently wait for summer’s arrival.

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Tags: red wine, wine, wine blogger, wine of the week, Wine Wednesday

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