Freixenet cavas – Segura Viudas

You know the name Freixenet (pronounced fresh-a-net). Its black-bottled Cordon Negro Brut namesake has been one of the world’s leading sparkling wines for decades. It was the first non-French sparkling many baby boomers tried back in the 70s. And oh, how we liked it.

Calçots with Romesco sauce for dipping
Calçots with Romesco sauce for dipping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When sparkling wine is made in Spain via methode champenoise, it’s known as cava. Freixenet makes cavas and other types of wine, and it also owns a brand known as Segura Viudas, makers of several value-for-dollar cavas. Dry. Sparkly. Delicious with food.

When you visit that lovely winery outside Barcelona in the spring, they’ll set up a red-hot barbeque on the patio and roast some calçots for you to peel and eat by hand. Calçots are a special variety of spring onion grown in Spain and served with a fabulous romesco sauce made of ground nuts, red peppers and spices. Naturally, you’ll be invited to wash them down with one of Segura Viudas‘s excellent bubblies.  Watch out! It’s all so good you may have trouble stopping…

Photography - Segura Viudas Winery (2)
The patio at Segura Viudas winery outside Barcelona – fabulous grilled calcots!

Read about these beauties on the Segura Viudas website.


Cubs opener safe rides home from Captain Morgan and Uber

1913 Chicago Cubs, baseball card portrait
1913 Chicago Cubs, baseball card portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Going to the Cubs home opener? Planning to imbibe a bit to celebrate and wanna get home safely? Thanks to Captain Morgan Rum partnering with Uber, you can  score 15 bucks towards a ride on UberX – if you’re one of the first 3500 users to apply a special promo code on your account for a ride home that evening.

$15 vouchers good for:

  • WHAT: Rides on uberX from Wrigleyville
  • WHEN: 6 p.m. CST on Monday, April 11 and 2 am CST on Tuesday, April 12
  • WHAT TO DO: Starting on Monday at 2 pm CST, enter promo code ‘HOMECAPTAIN’ in the Uber app. Download the Uber app if you haven’t; signup is free.
  • HOW IT WORKS: The $15 voucher will be automatically applied to your account when you take a qualifying ride.

The partnership will provide up to $50,000 worth of ride vouchers for baseball fans 21 and over. Good going, Captain Morgan and Uber.  Rum ‘n’ cola, anyone?



Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel shakes up the wine world

Jacob's Creek Double Barrel Shiraz - beautiful!
Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz – beautiful!

Heresy or genius? About four years ago, at a dinner with copious quantities of wine passing ’round, an idea crept into the minds of the winemakers at Jacob’s Creek wines, home of Barossa Shiraz and Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. What if, they said, we took our fine finished wines and did something radical with them? What if, they said, after we’ve finished them with American or French oak, we let them rest another spell in whisky casks? What will that do to our fine finished wines?

You and I are the winners, because the answer is unequivocally: good things. After many months of experimentation with time frames and different types of barrels, JC winemakers have perfected a process that dramatically changes and ultimately elevates their final products into another realm.

Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon  * * * * Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz  * * * * *
The normal finished Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant with notes of cassis, red fruit, black currants and toasty oak and vanilla. It’s fresh and bright with lots of tannins and a long finish. The normal Jacob’s Creek finished Barossa Shiraz comes out of the bottle soft and velvety, with notes of plum, cloves, blackberry and chocolate. It’s a lovely Australian example of what most countries know as syrah.
Add – 3 months aging in an Irish whisky barrel Add – 3 months aging in a Scotch whisky barrel
Double Barrel Cab – opens aromas to darker fruits, leaf, richer. “Depth of concentration, softer, fleshier.” Beautiful. Double Barrel Shiraz – notes of olive, darker blackfruit, oak char, intense fruit. Gorgeous.
Tasting notes - before and after whisky barrel aging
Tasting notes – before and after whisky barrel aging

They knew that extra aging couldn’t be for too long; you don’t want your lovely Cab or Shiraz tasting like whisky. Thank goodness, Jacob’s Creek’s Ben Bryant explained, they took their time figuring it out.

In a couple of mini-tastings I conducted among friends, the consensus was that the change was not only dramatic, but also transformingly positive. The wines were lovely to start with—even confirmed Cab drinkers admired that first-finished Shiraz—having been made with grapes harvested under ideal conditions. Then, the Double Barrel treatment brought out hidden mystically mysterious gems in the wine.

Wow, people. Go get some Double Barrel and see what you think.