Vieux Pineau des Charentes Rosé


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Vieux Pineau des Charentes

The Pineau was a burnt Sienna color with an orange hue. The aroma included notes of jammy dried fruit and a brown sugar sweetness. The mouthfeel was velvety. The taste included baked apples with brown sugar and baked figs. The Pineau was full-bodied. The finish was long and lingered with brown sugar notes. Use this wine as an aperitif or pair with foie gras, chocolate or blue cheese.

The Vieux Pineau des Charentes was produced primarily from the Ugni Blanc. The Vieux Pineau des Charentes was produced by adding the eau-de-vie to red grape must. This drink was produced with five years of aging noted by the use of the word Vieux.

The above described wine is from Cognac Jean Fillioux in France’s famed Cognac region. The cognac house was founded in 1894 when the founder purchased Domaine de La Pouyade. Five generations have continued producing …

Easter Recipe Suggestions


This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC


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With Easter Sunday approaching so quickly, deciding what to serve for dinner can be daunting for those who are experiencing hosting Easter dinner at their home for the first time. Others experienced in hosting Easter dinner may want to offer a different entrée or side dish for everyone to enjoy.

If you are looking for a unique recipe for the day, consider one of the recipes from the Wine Trail Traveler website’s recipe section and/or look at some of our suggestions for Easter.

If you are planning on serving lamb for Easter, check out this recipe from Schug Carneros Estate Winery in California.

Sirloin Lamb Roast with a Cabernet-Olive-Roasted Pepper Jus

Ingredients

  • 1 nicely trimmed boneless sirloin lamb roast approx. 2 lbs., tied with string (your butcher can do this for you)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup shallots

Day 13 Traveled from Hungary to Austria


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Cement tanks at Domäne Wachau in Austria’s Wachau wine region

Our last day of our two week visit to Hungary and Austria was completed when we visited Domäne Wachau and later F. J. Gritsch in Austria.

Our first winery of the day was Domäne Wachau, a large winery consisting of a group of wine growers. The winery has a special history with old cellars and a special historic building now used for events. The wine cellar includes old and modern winemaking equipment including stainless steel tanks, cement eggs and old casks. The tasting room is modern. During our wine tasting, we noticed that the floor has a large image of the renowned Danube River embedded in it.

Tasting wines at F. J. Gritsch winery in Austria

We then traveled to a small Austrian town. After parking, we walked past a large church and entered a small walkway leading past the …

Day 12 Traveling from Hungary to Austria


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Our last Hungarian winery to visit was at the Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey. We received a tour of the Abbey established in 996. The Ottomans occupied the abbey three times. For the past 200 years education has been the emphasis of the abbey. We had a guided tour of many of the historic parts of the abbey including the magnificent library, two stories tall with thousands of books. One book dates back to 886; unfortunately for us, the book is locked away in a safe. The elegance of the library appeared to prove that education was very important at the abbey.

Benedictine Abbey Library

Apátság wine

A short time later we were guided to the winery on the abbey property. The winery is named Apátság meaning abbey. A document shows winemaking taking place since 996.

Nikolaihof has several old ornate oak casks.

Later in the day, our driver escorted us past the …

Day 11 of Visiting Hungarian Wineries


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Pálffy in Hungary

On Thursday, our 11th day of visiting Hungary, we stopped at Pálffy Since and visited with Mr. Gyula Pálffy, who is the owner and winemaker. The winery is a boutique style. We walked to a small knoll where Gyula provided with us with a detailed description of the region. He commented that the land was once under the sea. One of his best comments was, “You  just don’t sit down and drink wine, you have to work.” After viewing the landscape, we entered the cozy tasting room where he showed us rocks embedded with fossils from the area. We also enjoyed tasting  a few of his wines.

Kreinbacher Estate

We then traveled to  the second smaller wine region of Hungary, Somló, to learn about the Kreinbacher cellar in this region. At this modern-style winery we tasted wines and enjoyed lunch. In the Somló region, …

Day 10 Near Lake Balaton, Hungary


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Pezsgö, sparkling wine at Garamvári.

On the 10th day we traveled about two hours to reach Lake Balaton,the largest lake in Central Europe. The area around the lake to home to tourist spots, traditional homes and not far away are wineries. A ferry provides easy transportation across the lake.

The first visit of the day was at Garamvári where we met one of the owners and the winemaker. Garamvári was established 25 years ago. Today the winery, an 85 hectare estate, produces sparkling and still wines. The temperatures of the vineyards are moderated by Lake Balaton. 

We then enjoyed lunch at Kistücsök, a restaurant owned by a brother and sister. The restaurant menu offers a variety of Hungarian foods. The atmosphere is friendly with touches of low-key elegance including fabric tablecloths. After lunch we reached the far side of Lake Balaton by a short ferry ride.

Weeping vines at …

Day 9 in Hungary


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Wine cellar at Bodri wine estate

We began day 9 in Hungary by traveling to Szekszáred to visit Vida Péter, a boutique winery, where Mr. Péter Vida is both winemaker, vineyardist and owner. At a young age, Peter’s father had Peter and his brothers tending a vineyard. Eventually, Péter learned to make wine and  Péter entered wines into a contest without his father’s knowledge. When his father read the newspaper and saw that the wines had won, he told Péter, “God will help you with your work.” Years later Péter is enthusiastic about producing the best possible wines from his vineyard.

After a delightful visit with Péter Vida, we traveled to the Bodri wine estate where we learned that the family has been involved with vineyards for eight generations. A restaurant where we enjoyed lunch is also on the property. Large cellars include a section that wine collectors can …

Day 8 in Hungary


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Vylyan Wine Estate cellar

On day 8 of our visit to Hungary we traveled to Villány to visit Vylyan Wine Estate and enjoyed a large elegant lunch with the owner. The winery produces a unique Hungarian wine with the grape Csoka. Vylyan winery claims to have the largest vineyard of Csoka with 0.6 hectares.

After a delicious lunch at Vylyan, we visited Gere Wine Estate. The winery has 75 hectares of organically grown grapevines. After the end of Communist domination, the owner’s parents, Attila and Katalin, began buying vineyards. The maternal grandfather, Adam Wéber, remembered where the good vineyards had been located and this helped to locate which vineyards to buy.

Gere Wine Estate

Bock Cellars acoustical room

To end the day, we visited Bock Wine cellar which included dinner at the Bock restaurant. Bock winery now produces sparkling and still wines. Bock began producing sparkling wines in 2007. …

Day 6 in Hungary


This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC


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Tasting rooms in the Valley of Beautiful Women

On our sixth day of visiting Hungary, we returned to The Valley of the Beautiful Women in search of the two statues that we had read about. The Valley of Beautiful Women includes two rows of tasting rooms.

We also visited the Farmer’s Market of Eger, where the outside of the building was filled with an array of colorful plants. Inside the market were many farmers offering a variety of vegetables and fruits. Sweet and hot ground paprika was available in various sizes. Unfortunately for us, we knew that in order to take paprika back to the US, we needed to purchase the paprika in “sealed” packages.

 

The cellar at Gal Tibor is 500 years old.

Our final visit to a winery in Eger was to Gal Tibor. The cellar at Gal Tibor is 500 years old. This is a second …

Day 7 in Hungary


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The Hernhyák winery started in 1993 and is a family owned winery offering many wines including Noir.

We began our Sunday early in Budapest by visiting the historic church of St. Matthias. Inside the religious facility has aged statues and old ornate pews with wood kneelers.

On Sunday, many shops are closed or have shorter hours. Most wineries are closed but after breakfast we did visit a small winery about 40 minutes outside of  Budapest. The Hernhyák winery started in 1993 and is a family owned winery offering popular events for the public. They also produce distilled products. We visited the large greenhouse on the property where we saw small seedlings that had just been started.

We traveled a short distance to another small Hungarian village and had lunch outdoors at Sonkamester. We enjoyed a pleasant, sunny afternoon with members of the Wine a’ More Travel agency and their …

Day 7 in Hungary


This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Hernhyák winery started in 1993 and is a family owned winery offering many wines including Noir.

We began our Sunday early in Budapest by visiting the historic church of St. Matthias. Inside the religious facility has aged statues and old ornate pews with wood kneelers.

On Sunday, many shops are closed or have shorter hours. Most wineries are closed but after breakfast we did visit a small winery about 40 minutes outside of  Budapest. The Hernhyák winery started in 1993 and is a family owned winery offering popular events for the public. They also produce distilled products. We visited the large greenhouse on the property where we saw small seedlings that had just been started.

We traveled a short distance to another small Hungarian village and had lunch outdoors at Sonkamester. We enjoyed a pleasant, sunny afternoon with members of the Wine a’ More Travel agency and their …

The Fifth Day Visiting Hungary


This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC


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Kovács Nimród Wines

On our 5th day of visiting Hungary, we continued exploring Eger. Our day included a visit to Kovács Nimród Cellar, sightseeing in historic Eger, a visit and wine tasting at St. Andrea winery as well as dinner at Szépasszonyvölgy located in The Valley of the Beautiful Women.

At Kovács Nimród we saw a number of crucifixes and our winery/wine tasting guide noted that people would pray for a good harvest. We walked, tasted wines and walked through the wine cellars while our guide talked about the history of the winery with special emphasis on the owner. 

Eger Castle in Hungary

After our visit to Kovács Nimród, we explored the area of Eger near the castle. An array of small shops are available to enjoy shopping for souvenirs and Hungarian products. Eventually we made our way to Eger Castle, the site of the renowned Siege of Eger …

The Fourth Day of Visiting Hungary


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Árvay Family Cellars in Tokaj, Hungary

Our fourth day in Hungary began with a visit to Árvay Family Cellars. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by family members who are very involved in the winemaking, vineyards and marketing of the Árvay  wines. The vineyards of 17 hectares are organic. The vineyards consist of Hungarian and international grapevines. Upon entering the tasting room, visitors will quickly see a large display of the rocks that have been found over the years in the vineyards. The family knows details of the rocks including the ones that have fossils. Later our discussion included the improvements to the Hungarian wine industry including the more recently produced good, food friendly, dry wines.

Wine at Tóth Ferenc in Eger, Hungary

While we were excited to visit the next wine region of Hungary, we were sorry to leave Tokaj, a world renowned wine region that …

A Third Day in the Tokaj, Hungary Wine Region


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Our wine in Hungary continued for the third day. We spent the entire day in Tokaj exploring and tasting the sweet Azu wines as well as the new and upcoming dry wines. After leaving our lodging site of Gróf Degenfeld Castle, we visited Kikelit Cellars , Hetszolo Estate Vineyard and Oremus.

At Oremus, a large winery, we saw several carboys aging gallons of Eszencia. Oremus was established by a Spanish company. The winery was named for a vineyard. Grape varieties in the Oremus vineyards include Furmint, Hárslevelü, Sárgamuskotály and Zéta. The cellars of the winery remain a constant 11 to 12 degrees Celsius (52 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit).

As soon as we reached Kikelit, we stopped in a room where the types of soil and rocks from the vineyards were displayed. One drawer displayed fossils, another rocks and stones and then the third displayed artifacts found in the vineyards. Guesses …

A Second Day in Tokaj, Hungary


This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC


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Gergely Somogyi is a very knowledgeable guide.

On our second full day in Hungary, we arrived in the Tokaj wine region and met our knowledgeable wine guide an expert on the wines of Tokaj, Gergely Somogyi at Barta Cellars. Gergely guided us through the 400-year-old structure while also explaining the history of winemaking in Hungary beginning at least 1,000 years ago. He noted that the vineyards of Tokaj were classified in 1670. In 1737, the wine region was demarcated  and it became the first demarcated wine region in the world. A wall in one of the Barta buildings displayed a large map of the wine region in 1865.

As many of the world’s wine region did, Hungary and the Tokaj wine region has had its ups and downs throughout the centuries. The Hungarian wine industry also saw the loss of vineyards due to phylloxera as did many other wine …

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Cocktail


This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC


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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you would enjoy a cocktail to celebrate the day, check out the cocktail recipes on these earlier blogs.

http://winetrailtraveler.com/blog/2018/03/16/cocktails-for-st-patricks-day-2/

http://winetrailtraveler.com/blog/2015/03/11/cocktails-for-st-patricks-day/

Hope you have a peaceful St.Patrick’s Day!

Cheers!
Kathy and Terry

National Potato Chip Day and Wine


This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC


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Potato chips and champagne

Many who know me understand that I absolutely love potato chips. On top of that I am very choosy about my potato chips. I had to laugh when I told one of my daughters that my favorite potato chip was a simple, thin-sliced potato chip offered by our local grocery store. I was amazed when my daughter agreed with me.

March 14 is National Potato Chip Day

However, before I go into details about the history of potato chips, let me tell you about the best wine pairing for potato chips. While traveling in wine country, we were offered potato chips with a sparkling wine. It was delightful. Early on I would never have considered pairing wine with potato chips. It seems the salt in potato chips increases the flavor with the dryness of the wine. The chemistry works.

Four years ago when we were in …

March Festival: Greater Fort Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival


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The Greater Fort Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival is scheduled for March 20 to March 23. This large festival will include a range of alcohols such as wine, beer and cocktails as well as a delightful array of foods. Check out Sunday, March 24 which is Family Day with a focus on charity.

Special events include the Cocktail Confidential: A Spirited Affair, GFL on the Rise: An Elevated Culinary Experience and the Grand Tasting. A special VIP package for Friday & Saturday is also available. Purchase tickets online.

The Cocktail Confidential: A Spirited Affair takes place March 20 from 7 to 9pm. Ticket: $75

GFL on the Rise: An Elevated Culinary Experience is March 22 from 6pm to 9pm, General Admission ticket: $125

Grand Tasting from 1pm to 5pm – General Admission includes beverages and food samples, cooking demos, music and art, Ticket: $60

Grand Tasting – VIP  is …

Spring Charity Gala in Tbilisi, Georgia


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Marani, a Georgian wine cellar

After visiting the country Georgia twice, we have fond memories of the Georgian people, history, culture and qvevri wines and so much more.

At the time of our visits Georgia offered little assistance for “vulnerable” people. One of the many striking memories we have is of a private enterprise established by an architect who established a “home” for vulnerable people including the very young and old. By the time of our visit, Temi included a dormitory for residents, an immense greenhouse, vineyards and a marani (wine cellar) with 12 qvevri. We met several of the people who are receiving the care and assistance they need and also providing for themselves. It was an inspiring visit to see so many working together for a common goal of helping each other.

Temi is located in the Kakheti region of Georgia.

Spring at the Temi greenhouse

I began …

Two Légende Wines from Châteaux Lafite Rothschild


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Legende Bordeaux Blanc 2017

Recently we tasted and enjoyed two Bordeaux wines, a white and a red, from Châteaux Lafite Rothschild. These two wines, branded as Légende, are not from the Lafite Rothschild’s renowned aged vineyards but from younger and less prestigious vineyards owned by the famous winery and nearby vineyards. Compared to the venerated Châteaux de Rothschild wines, the Légende wine brand is much more affordable and a good value.

The Légende Bordeaux Blanc 2017 was a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. This white wine, with 12% alcohol, was dry. The color was a light yellow. The aroma was mild with intense notes of tropical fruit with a hint of honeysuckle after a late spring rain. The mouthfeel was smooth and silky. The taste was racy with notes of citrus. There were also notes reminiscent of tropical fruits like pineapple and melon. The wine had a long finish. …