Wines of Illyria Blatina 2015 Review – Simple Red from Herzegovina

In our never-ending quest to try all the grape varietals in the world, we've been enjoying several bottles from the Wines of Illyria brand as they feature an array of new-to-us grapes from the Balkans at a relatively reasonable price point.

Blatina is one such grape we got to try from this brand, and while we thought this particular bottle was somewhat simple it went quite nicely with stuffed cabbage rolls!

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Domaine des Quatre Routes Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2020 Review

Whenever we have oysters, our thoughts go to Muscadet Sevret et Maine sur lie as the pairing.

There is something about this particular grape that works so well with oysters as the lees aging offers a richness to what would otherwise be a simple wine. Beyond that, we historically have noted a decent salinity in this style of wine that offsets the brininess of oysters quite nicely.

So naturally, when we had oysters delivered to our house, it was time to open a Domaine des Quatre Routes Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie!

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Castel Mimi Rosu de Bulboaca 2015 Review – A Moldovan Red Blend

When exploring one of our favorite local liquor stores by Angie's parents' house, we often head to the “other wines/international” section to find bottles from countries that aren't well represented in the US.

When this particular store started stocking Moldovan wines, we had to grab a few bottles purely for the fact that we never had wine from this country to begin with.

We quickly opened our Castel Mimi Rosu de Bulboaca shortly after buying it, and quickly realized that this one was made in the classic Bordeaux style as a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. While I admit I never actually looked at the grapes until after buying this one (and maybe would've second-guessed it as I am not a huge Bordeaux fan), this bottle ended up being quite enjoyable all the same.

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Rotie Cellars Southern Red 2019 Review – A Rhone Blend in Washington

It only took a while after arriving in Washington that we realize this state produces some pretty incredible grapes. Not only that, but Washington wineries tend to produce similar to two renowned Old World styles- namely Bordeaux and Rhone blends.

As we are fans of all things Rhone wine (less so Bordeaux, if we are being honest), we were drawn to sampling as much Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre as we could in Washington.

So when we were visiting Latta Vineyards outside of Seattle (after trying a bottle of their amazing Grenache), we found ourselves heading next door to Rotie Cellars immediately thereafter. As the name comes from one of the best wine regions in the Rhone (making arguably some of the finest Syrah in the world), we knew we had to give them a try.

As it turns out, their Southern Rhone Blend was a winner!

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Cave Ridge Le Bon Minou NV Review – A Perfect Thirst Quencher

Before discussing Cave Ridge's Pet Nat, Le Bon Minou, we should take a step back and make a special note of the winery itself.

I was fortunate enough to visit Cave Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on a trip and found it to be one of the most beautiful wineries in Shenandoah. The ambiance was so nice, in fact, that I stuck around for an extra glass of wine after my flight simply to soak up the view, which, as luck would have it, ended up being the Le Bon Minou Pet Nat- of which I naturally bought a bottle.

So while this winery is indeed quite remote, even by Shenandoah standards (I later sent my brother, particularly for another Pet Nat bottle, and his only reply once there was “how did you find this place?!”). Yes, it is that remote.

But those making the trek to this particular vineyard will love it for the views, but you'll want to stay for another to try the Le Bon Minou if it is not available in a flight.

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6 Douro Valley Wineries to Visit When Exploring Portugal

The Douro Valley in Portugal is one of the most awe-inspiring places we've been to. Not only is it the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, we'd take it one step further and also call it the prettiest wine region in the world too!

While getting around the Douro Valley is so challenging that a Douro Valley wine tour may be a better option for most (as driving there is, in a word, terrifying), we put our fears aside and hit six great Douro Valley wineries during our two-and-a-half-day visit.

So in this one, we thought we'd share more about the wineries we were able to see!

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Quinta do Portal Grande Reserva 2016 Review – High Praise Abound

During our travels around Portugal, we had two kinds of red wines. The first was intense, hot climate reds that were loaded with tannin and out of balance with the other flavor characteristics. The second had the same intensity but managed to find the perfect balance to make them enjoyable.

Quinta do Portal's Grande Reserva was most certainly the latter. This wine sings.

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