Category Archives: Happy Hour Wine
Richard Kinssies presented sparkling wines from around the world; Here are some of the highlights of what we tasted:
Non Vintage Szigeti Brut Sparkling Gruner Veltliner (Austria) $18
Szigeti is the producer and Gruner Veltliner is the grape. Gruner is the most important white grape in Austria and it can make amazing wines both still (without bubbles)… and sparkling. This one is bright and fresh and though it is very dry it is loaded with fruit. The nose was fabulous as it reminded me of carmelisied popped corn! This was my personal favorite and was a big hit with the other “winos” as well!
Non Vintage Henri Abele Brut Champagne (FR) $29
This is real Champagne! Though it may not be the most famous Henri Abele is one of the oldest and most respected of the Champagne houses. The wine is dry with notes of yellow apple and biscuits.
Non Vintage Domaine Michel Juillot Blanc de Blanc Cremant de Borgogne $19
This is a sparkling wine from the Burgundy region of France. It is made almost entirely from chardonnay grapes and has the elegance and complexity that that grape imparts on sparkling wines. This wine could easily pass for Champagne.
Also, we purchased three bottles from their happy hour menu to try last night. The hands down favorite was none other than Richard Kinssies ’07 Yakima Valley Tempranillo $15. The nose had a lovely eucalyptus aroma and the palate was a sumptuous mix of berry flavored tobacco, menthol, cassis with an expansive, slightly tarry finish. This wine is both a great food and sipping wine! A great value!
And of course, what “Winos” evening would be complete with out stopping at Wine World! I picked up a Muscat De Beaumes de Venise, Domaine De Coyeux, ’03, a dessert wine from the Rhone valley. There are two types of Muscat planted at Coyeux – grains blancs and grains noirs. The latter, being darker, have more aroma and flavor. In the words of the owner, the dark berries give body and the lighter ones give elegance. I haven’t cracked this open yet, so here are the winemaker’s notes: The powerful and expressive nose shows aromas of white flowers, peach and honey. On the palate the wine is round and sweet, but not cloying, with a lively acidity. The total effect is fresh and elegant with good length and lots of charm.
This is my last post of the year, but stay tuned for next year’s posts where I will have an up date on “My First Wine“, video from Green Lake Wines, updates on activities with Vintage 2010 @NW Wine Academy and much more!
I thought it might be good idea to check out the wine bar right in my own “hood”, so we checked out Brix Wine Cafe Labor day weekend. Their happy hour “hours” are now from 4-6pm everyday and not just on Sundays.
OK, OK, I ended up having a wine flight instead, which consisted of Prunotto Barbera d’Asti Fiulot, ’07, Tait Ballbuster, Barossa Valley ’07, Australia and Vieux Chateau Chambeau, Lussac Saint Emilion ’05, France. My favorite was the Lussac which had flavors of leather, mocha cherry, with good acidity and a smooth finish. The flight cost $13.
My husband had the happy hour wine selection, of which there is only one, a Syrah from Chateau St. Michelle for $5.00. It was pretty darn good for a happy hour selection. Sorry not much of a description, I only got one sip.
They have a happy hour food menu as well. Ceasear salad, flat breads, tomato bisque and some others as well.
At last, a happy hour with a pretty good wine by the glass selection!
They had 5 or 6 red and whites to choose from, with varying price ranges. They also offer quite a selection of wine flights.
We started off with a sparkler from Gloria Ferrer, “Va de Vi” N/V, extra dry for $3.75. Not bad for a cheap American bubbly! Then I ordered a Louis Latour Pinot Noir, “Valmoissine”, 06′ for $4.75. It had well concentrated flavors for a Pinot, with cherry and earth flavors, balanced, with a touch of light oak. My husband a glass of Mark Ryan “Long Haul” for $7.00, very nice as always from Mister Ryan!
The food menu was nicely priced too! We started with Lobster bisque for $3.95. Then we had the scallop sashimi and manilla clams for$ 5.95 and the crab ravioli for $4.95. They were all excellent with the ravioli and the sashimi being my favorites!
Since I, and so many people out there are unemployed, and still want to go out now and then, I thought I would check out as many places as possible that offer happy hour drinks, especially wine of course!
Our first attempt was a few weeks ago at the Tap House Grill in the Galleria mall in Bellevue. It turns out they don’t have any happy hour drinks, just food. Oh well! The food was pretty good though! And large portions I might add! Fish and chips, sammies etc…… Most certainly a beer drinkers paradise with 160 beers on tap!
The next stop (a few weeks later) we tried El Gaucho in Bellevue. They only had one red wine offering, a Malbec, from Argentina. It was very nice with aromas of dark fruits and leather. It had big black berry, leather and tar flavors and went really well with our food. But I really wanted to see more than one offering! The food was fabulous! My husband and I shared their Angus burger with bacon for $7.50 and the crab cakes, (which actually had lots of crab in it ) for $8. Both were superb and was plenty to fill us both up! And the service was good too!