Bubbly and chocolates still perfect for Valentine’s Day

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Photo by Jasmine Waheed on Unsplash
Gal/Pal/Valendtine’s Day. Photo by Jasmine Waheed on Unsplash.

Another of our country’s manufactured holidays coming up tomorrow. But who cares if somebody made it up to sell greeting cards? It does make a nice opportunity to celebrate the love and friendship that make life worth living. And even though it’s a cliché, champagne/bubbly and chocolates will never go out of style as a gift to light up your friend’s/lover’s eyes.

While we have in the past been only mildly enthusiastic about most of the Prosecco we’ve tried, that’s not so anymore. Mionetto brand has us embracing this bubbly as we do champagne. Their expressions of Prosecco are all made with organically grown grapes and are full of flavor. We tried their Prosecco DOC Organic and found it much to our liking, and by the way, you can buy some of these at your local Binny’s or Target. Here are a few of their expressions:

Mionetto Prosecco DOC
Mionetto Prosecco DOC

Mionetto Prosecco DOC Organic. The grapes for this wine are from a certified organic winery in the town of Vazzolo in the hills of Treviso. The winery practices organic farming techniques and grows the grapes without synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. 100% Glera grapes are harvested in the second half of September. Primary and secondary fermentation takes place in temperature control stainless steel. This one is verified separately to ensure purity. It’s bright yellow in color with delicate notes of elderflower and green apple on the nose. On your tongue, the winemaker says you’ll notice an explosion of green apple, pineapple and orange with a refreshing crispness from delicate bubbles. Perfect with cheeses such as Gorgonzola along with dates or figs, or with prosciutto and melon. We love this wine!

Mionetto Prestige Organic Prosecco DOC Extra-Dry
Mionetto Prestige Organic Prosecco DOC Extra-Dry

Mionetto Prestige Brut. Made from 100% Glera grapes from the province of Treviso, an area renowned for high quality Prosecco, this sparkling wine offers a luminous straw yellow hue and stylish mousse. The palate is marked by aromatic notes of honey and white peach. For stocking stuffers, you should start with Mionetto’s signature mini bottles ($4). The classic ribbon beautifully displayed across the bottle means there’s no need to wrap. You can even customize with a notecard displayed around the bottle’s neck. SRP ~$14 750ml / $4 Mini 187ml.

Mionetto Prestige Rosé Extra Dry. This deeply luscious sparkling rosè is the result of soft pressing of red grapes. The wine offers a peach blossom luminosity accompanied by a fine, lively perlage. Intense fragrances of violets, raspberries, strawberries, and wild flowers make a perfect pairing for your holiday table. Serving this cuvée with a grilled turkey breast or fish (or a variety of fish on the Feast of Seven Fishes) is sure to be a recipe for success.  SRP ~$14 750ml / $4 Mini 187ml.

Mionetto Luxury Cartizze
Mionetto Luxury Cartizze

Mionetto Luxury Cartizze DOCG. This elegant Cartizze boasts luminous golden tones and delicate beads of tiny bubbles. A majestic, multi-faceted bouquet releases seductive impressions of apple and pear alongside notes of citrus and glazed almond. On the palate it is crisp, well-balanced, and elegant. The perfect gift for anyone special in your life! SRP ~$45.

And just for fun, think about getting your gal/pal/valentine a prettily decorated and beribboned box of Fannie May Double-Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Pixies. We totally love the dark chocolate on top and the crunchy pecan pieces and chocolatey caramel inside these gems. But if you love milk chocolate, they come that way, too.  Order from Fannie May’s own Amazon store, or find your nearest Fannie May store if you want to surround yourself with the aroma of fresh chocolate while you drool over all the choices for your gal/pal/val or just for yourself. And because you can buy Fannie May and Mionetto in your local establishment, it’s not too late for tomorrow.

Fannie May Pixies come in milk or double-dark chocolate
Fannie May Pixies come in milk or double-dark chocolate
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New Russian River Valley contender – Dutton-Goldfield Winery

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Beautiful expressions of Pinot Noir by Dutton Goldfield
Beautiful expressions of Pinot Noir by Dutton Goldfield

New wineries are birthed all the time these days, what with global warming making climates around the world noticeably warmer. And for vintners in California, the vast selection of terroirs makes it easy to make many different expressions of grapes grown there. Recently received samples from a new contender that’s breaking out with multiple beautiful expressions of luxury Pinot Noir wines. Can’t go wrong with these lovelies.

Dutton-Goldfield Winery, located in the heart of Russian River Valley in CA, makes wines with the brightness of fruit, complexity, structure and balance you’d expect from grapes grown in this cool coastal neighborhood.
The partners, Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield, each came to winemaking from a completely different direction – Steve from farming and Dan from chemistry – but their partnership has manifested itself beautifully in their work with their now-over-80 vineyards comprising 1000 acres. They grow many different grapes and make small quantities of many different varietal wines, but they specialize in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their Pinot Noirs comes in multiple expressions each year to represent all the different vineyards they own. See the full list of current Dutton-Goldfield releases here. Their Chardonnay is a delightful treat, as an aperitif and with meals. The DG Wine Club is a way for members to connect with the history and knowledge of the founders and to guarantee their own supply of DG’s single-vineyard, limited production wines all year. Below are winemaker notes on some of their new releases with links.
Pinot Noir 2017, Azaya Ranch Vineyard, Marin County. Black raspberry, plum and Bing cherry aromas with undertones of thyme and sandalwood. The palate shows boysenberry, blueberry and raspberry, with cinnamon and nutmeg notes. Perfect with earthy dishes. 360 cases produced. SRP ~$62.
Pinot Noir 2017, Angel Camp Vineyard, Anderson Valley. Aromas of dusky plum, with back notes of brambleberry and sandalwood, along with violet floral accents. In the mouth, sweet plum and wild berry fruit are underlaid with black tea, peaty earth and spice box. Round and soft tannins and a creamy finish complete this elegant wine. Serve with earthy foods. 364 cases produced. SRP ~$62.
Deviate Pinot Noir 2017, Sonoma Coast. Bold aromas of black cherry and black raspberry, with accents of tobacco, thyme and licorice along with violet floral notes. Mouth-filling with rich brambly berry flavors. Drink now or let it unwind, in the glass or the bottle. Black raspberry with black tea notes. the firm tannins carry it to a long, sandalwood-laced finish. Intense wine that pairs well with bold flavors like beef, hot peppers, lamb stew, duck curry or peppery cheeses. SRP ~$72.
Pinot Noir 2017 Docker Hill Vineyard, Mendocino County. Deep and layered. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, sandalwood, and peaty earth with a base of tobacco and black tea. Taste sweet blackberry and boysenberry that lead in waves to the long, creamy finish. Pair this robust wine equally sturdy foods like ribs, sausages or cumin lamb kebabs or creamy, tangy cheeses like herbed goat cheese or young pecorino. 402 cases produced. SRP ~$68.
Pinot Noir 2017, Dutton Ranch/Emerald Ridge Vineyard, Green Valley or Russian River Valley. The nose alerts you to this wine’s intensity with packed aromas of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and cherry, rolling like waves after each other. Then berries and cherry compote join sandalwood, cinnamon and a sweet-earthy beetroot on the palate. Firm round tannins are ready now but will keep broadening with time in the bottle. Put this on the table with rich dishes – lamb or game birds with herbs or mushrooms, or with tangy cheeses like manchego. 671 cases produced. SRP ~$68.
01Incidentally, this is only a sample of the selection of beauties from this winery. Explore the Dutton Goldfield website and let your tastebuds tingle as you make your selections. These people do a great job.
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