Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Truro Vineyards and South Hollow Spirits of Cape Cod - August 26th, 2016

Truro Vineyards entrance

I have arrived at Truro Vineyards! Incredibly for the first time!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Spirits: Biserna Muskatova Rakia, Peshterska Otlezhala Rakia, Kehlibar Rakia

August is The Return of Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com, following up last year's original Bulgarian Wine Month!

Biserna Muskatova Rakia, Kehlibar Rakia, Peshterska Otlezhala Rakia

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine

Rakia is fruit brandy from the Slavic nations in the Balkans, usually served on the rocks in small glasses. There's evidence that it was invented by the Bulgarians in the 11th century, which completely destroys previous guestimates of when alcohol distillation was even discovered! If you'd like to learn about the history of Bulgarian rakia and how it's made, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

Even though I'm a Certified Specialist of Spirits, I'm not all that into spirits. I can tell you about the history, production and laws of the different kinds of spirits but there are things that are out of my realm. Simple example: I know what separates an Islay Scotch from a Speyside Scotch. But would I be able to tell you the difference between two specific Speysides like Glenfiddich 12 year and Glenlivet 12 year? No way. Sure, every once in awhile you'll see me pick up a bottle of liquor and enjoy it. But my CSS was earned solely on intense book study in the name of education. I'm a wine stalker first and foremost, and a simpleton beer enjoyer second.

So I'm not one to really judge a rakia, for kinda that reason but moreso because it's not a widespread thing here in States. Availability and popularity of rakia is nonexistant. But I've got three bottles of Bulgarian rakia in front of me, all grappa from the Muscat grape. I'm gonna give you a rundown of each one and tell you what I think. All three can be purchased on BulgarianWine.com

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wine Review: Bessa Valley Winery 2006 Enira Reserva

August is The Return of Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com, following up last year's original Bulgarian Wine Month!

Bessa Valley Winery 2006 Enira

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

This is the fifth of six reviews of Bulgarian wine this month, and the last of two by Bessa Valley Winery. Those wines by Bessa Valley are the 2008 Enira and this 2006 Enira.

The Bessi were a tribe of Thacians. The Bessa Valley within the Thracian Valley of the Thracian Lowlands is their namesake. Bessa Valley Winery was founded in 2001 when 800 properties were purchased for its creation. German Count Stephan von Neipperg, owner of Bordeaux's Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere and La Mondotte, assists with the winery's production. The Count wanted to be a part of bringing quality wine back to Bulgaria. He's quoted as saying "I’ve chosen Bulgaria because of the magnificent terroir. With Enira we revive the image of the Bulgarian wines worldwide."

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wine Review: Bessa Valley Winery 2008 Enira

August is The Return of Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com, following up last year's original Bulgarian Wine Month!

Bessa Valley Winery 2008 Enira

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

This is the fourth of six reviews of Bulgarian wine this month, and the first of two by Bessa Valley Winery. Those wines by Bessa Valley are this 2008 Enira and their 2006 Enira Reserva.

The Bessi were a tribe of Thacians. The Bessa Valley within the Thracian Valley of the Thracian Lowlands is their namesake. Bessa Valley Winery was founded in 2001 when 800 properties were purchased for its creation. German Count Stephan von Neipperg, owner of Bordeaux's Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere and La Mondotte, assists with the winery's production. The Count wanted to be a part of bringing quality wine back to Bulgaria. He's quoted as saying "I’ve chosen Bulgaria because of the magnificent terroir. With Enira we revive the image of the Bulgarian wines worldwide."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wine Review: Ivo Varbanov Syrah "Feux d’artifice" 2011

August is The Return of Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com, following up last year's original Bulgarian Wine Month!

Ivo Varbanov Syrah 2011

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

This is the third of six reviews of Bulgarian wine this month, and the final of three by Ivo Varbanov. Those wines by Ivo are his 2011 Merlot-Syrah "Sheherazade", his 2013 Chardonnay "Clair de Lune", and his 2011 Syrah "Feux d’artifice" that I'm reviewing right now.

Ivo Varbanov was born in Bulgaria in 1972, and he started playing piano at the age of six. He grew up to become a famous, award winning concert pianist in his home country. In 2004 he started his own winery in Thracian Valley, in which he himself is the winemaker. After taking time off to battle and defeat leukaemia from 2009 to 2012, he got back behind the piano. And back into winemaking.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A totally accurate chart on wine consumption.

How will I feel in the morning?

A totally accurate chart on wine consumption: How will I feel in the morning?

It's always the last glass that gets ya.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wine Review: Ivo Varbanov Chardonnay "Clair de Lune" 2013

August is The Return of Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com, following up last year's original Bulgarian Wine Month!

Ivo Varbanov Chardonnay 2013

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

This is the second of six reviews of Bulgarian wine this month, and the second of three by Ivo Varbanov. Those wines by Ivo are his 2011 Merlot-Syrah "Sheherazade", this 2013 Chardonnay "Clair de Lune" I'm reviewing today, and his 2011 Syrah "Feux d’artifice".

Ivo Varbanov was born in Bulgaria in 1972, and he started playing piano at the age of six. He grew up to become a famous, award winning concert pianist in his home country. In 2004 he started his own winery in Thracian Valley, in which he himself is the winemaker. After taking time off to battle and defeat leukaemia from 2009 to 2012, he got back behind the piano. And back into winemaking.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wine Review: Ivo Varbanov Merlot-Syrah "Sheherazade" 2011

August is The Return of Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com, following up last year's original Bulgarian Wine Month!

Ivo Varbanov Merlot-Syrah 2011

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

This is the first of six reviews of Bulgarian wine this month, and the first of three by Ivo Varbanov. Those wines by Ivo are this 2011 Merlot-Syrah "Sheherazade", his 2013 Chardonnay "Clair de Lune" and his 2011 Syrah "Feux d’artifice"

Ivo Varbanov was born in Bulgaria in 1972, and he started playing piano at the age of six. He grew up to become a famous, award winning concert pianist in his home country. In 2004 he started his own winery in Thracian Valley, in which he himself is the winemaker. After taking time off to battle and defeat leukaemia from 2009 to 2012, he got back behind the piano. And back into winemaking.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bulgaria - Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia

"Sofia was defended by tough men with moustaches, who drank rakia before the fight and thus became invincible." - Ottoman commander Lala Şahin Pasha on the siege of Sofia, 1382
August is The Return of Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com, following up last year's original Bulgarian Wine Month!

IMAGE CREDIT: bnr.bg
If you haven't read the first two parts of my Bulgarian Wine series then I suggest that you do. Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History has some great stories covering the entire history of wine in Bulgaria, while Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine will catch you up with the grapes, regions and wine laws of today's Bulgaria.

Throughout July of last year I reviewed many Bulgarian wines, which you can read here, and all of this month (August 2016) there will be more, which you can read here. At the end of the month I'll try some Bulgarian rakia, these ones technically grappa, so I figured that writing a Part 3 of my Bulgarian wine series to cover rakia would be fitting.

Rakia is the fruit brandy of the Balkans, made by every Slavic nation in the region. There's evidence that the Bulgarians invented this stuff and were producing it hundreds of years before distillation even made it to western Europe. It's the adult beverage pride of the country and their national drink.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mistaken identity.

When somebody says you recommended a wine that you've loathed for years: "You've mistaken me for somebody without taste."

"You recommended this to me last time I was here."
*looks around* "Uuuuh, me?"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Now accepting samples for review in the fall!

The gates are open again! At some point in September I'll run out of wine for review! And that would be very sad.

So I'm now accepting samples of wine to be reviewed in the fall and into winter. Send me six or more and I'll dedicate a whole month to your wine.

If you're a brewery or a beer marketer, I also do beer reviews from time to time so I'm not against that either.

Contact me via my contact page or by emailing JoeyCasco80@gmail.com

Monday, August 1, 2016

August Wine Pick: Gran Sarao Cava Brut

This WINE PICK of the month was written for the Luke's of Cape Cod website.


Gran Sarao Cava Brut

I've got this thing for sparkling wine. Trying a new one makes me incredibly happy. Of course, the result isn't always good but just the prospect of popping a new one brightens me right up. My wine pick for this month didn't disappoint.

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