Tag Archives: Rose

Mother’s Day Wines

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and what’s a better way to treat your Mom than with wine!? Whether it’s a mimosa with breakfast, a little outdoor brunch with a pretty pink rosé or my Mama Margie’s favorite, rich and spicy Zin and ribs for dinner, we’ve got the wines to make Mom smile all day long!

Opera Prima Mimosa and Bellinis Daimiel, Spain $7.99 –

If you go to the website of J. Garcia Carrion, you will learn that they are the number one juice producer in Spain, and second in all of Europe. They also make many wines, including Opera Prima. So it makes sense that they would combine the two and make premade Mimosas and Bellinis.  Mimosas are the classic brunch cocktail of champagne and orange juice. Bellinis are an Italian version using Prosecco and peach nectar.  Just released in Michigan, these no mess drinks are delicious! Light and fruity, they take the guess work out of making it. And at $7.99, you can’t even make a good Mimosa for that price!

Andrieux & Fils Côtes Du Provence Rosé 2011, France $14.99 –

When spring has sprung and flowers are in bloom, my thoughts start focusing on all of the lovely rosés that will be coming in. We just received this little beauty from Provence France, one of the very best regions for making rosé.  Floral with strawberry and raspberry, the finish is clean and pleasing; it’s terrific with tea sandwiches and light fare.

Tres Sabores ¿Por qué no? Red Blend Napa Valley California 2009, $21.99 –

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Julie Johnson’s Tres Sabores outdoor tasting room. The sun was shining and the farm animals that inhabit her organic vineyard provided a wonderful aural ambiance.  Being a self taught winemaker, Julie’s love of cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel, enticed her imagination to make a rich and hearty red blend of her favorite grapes… thinking “Why not?” What was produced is now one of my favorite BBQ wines. So if meat on the grill is Mom’s request for supper, be sure to grab a bottle of this spicy red.


Every Mom has a sweet tooth and we just got in 4 types of wine smoothies.  More like a decadent creamy liquor than a wine, these are the perfect sweet refreshment when blended with ice.  Vine Smoothies come in Pina Colada, Peach, Strawberry and Berry and are all $10.99.

So this Mother’s Day, be sure to get on Mom’s good side with a gift of wine!


– Jennifer Laurie

The Lighter Side of Red Wines

We’re in the thick of the dog days of summer – long, hot days, trips to the pool and barbequing with friends and family. In my last article I wrote about some of my favorite white wines for the summer, but sometimes a red or rosé pairs better with a meal.  Lately it’s been my goal to seek out those special warm weather reds. I think you’ll approve of what I found.

Chateau Des Annibals Coteaux Varois En Provence 2010 Rosé, $16.99 –

Okay, I don’t normally use terms like this, but this wine is sexy! The Chateau Des Annibals’ label has an elephant on it, paying homage to Hannibal’s ride through the French countryside with his war elephants. Along with the elephants came the Gypsies, singing their siren song “Suivez-moi-jeune-homme” (follow me young men) which is also featured on the label. Seductive back story aside, the color of the wine is that of flushed rosy cheeks, the nose has rose petals and strawberries, and the flavor is bright, fresh, and lovely.

New Age Rosé NV, $8.99 –

In my last blog, I wrote about how nice the New Age white is for the Summer.  Well, the Rosé is the fuchsia colored sister to that wine, and is just as pleasing as the white!  It gets its vibrant color from equal parts Merlot and Malbec.  Like the white, it has a bit of fritz to it and is abundantly fruity with notes of wild strawberries and raspberries. See this as a warning or an accolade; it has some sweetness, akin to very ripe sugar dipped strawberry.


Autumn Flight Barbera, NV 10.99 –

Barbera is a grape that is indigenous to Italy and is starting to make waves in California. The Autumn Flight is light to medium bodied, fruit forward, fresh, and food friendly! On an extra hot day, don’t be afraid to chill this down and take it to the neighborhood cookout or Barbeque.  Black stone fruits, smoke, and a touch of coffee round out the flavors, while the acidity gives the finish nice grip.

Chime California Pinot Noir 2009, 12.99 –

Chime Cellars make Riesling and Chardonnay but their main focus is on Pinot Noir.  We brought the entry level California Pinot to Nino’s about 6 months ago and it has been flying off our shelves ever since!  I believe this is because it’s fresh and fruity, with flavors of fresh baked cherry pie and a touch of toasty vanilla and nutmeg on the finish. It’s a lighter Pinot Noir in style, so whether you are having chicken kabobs on the grill or fresh fruit by the pool, it is an ideal summer red.


Ca’Bona Sangue Di Giuda, 2009 $11.99 –

It’s late, it’s hot, and the kids are at camp. You and your lovely spouse are sitting in the backyard listening to the symphony of crickets and cicadas, watching the lightning bugs float by. This is the perfect time for Ca’Bona Sangue di Giuda. This wine, served chilled, is red, fruity, bubbly, and a touch dry on the finish.  Sangue di Giuda or Blood of Judas; allegedly named by disapproving monks for its aphrodisiac like qualities, has flavors of strawberry and raspberry preserves.  If you want to add a little dessert to the mix, I recommend Just Desserts Raspberry Scones or any good quality dark chocolate.

I can’t finish this festive summer sipper article without mentioning something about Sangria.  Many of you have inquired about recipes or wines to use, so here is my Sangria breakdown.  For Peach Sangria I would recommend the Sweet Sunset Golden Peach wine ($9.99), or the Montpelier Viogner ($7.99) if you want it a little drier.  For white Sangria I like to use Terra Andina Sauvignon Blanc ($7.99) and for red Sangria I use Protocolo Spanish Red ($7.99).  Here is my Sangria recipe…

Jennifer’s Red Sangria Recipe:

1 Bottle Protocolo Red

1 Orange Sliced Thinly

1 Lemon Sliced Thinly

2 Limes Sliced Thinly

1 Nectarine Cut into Sections

1 Peach Cut into Sections

½ Cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

½ Cup Orange Juice

1 Cup Lime Perrier

Or if it’s just too darn hot to do all that work, we just got in Bethany Frankel’s Skinny Girl Sangria ($14.99). Just open and serve!

Summer is in full swing and I hope that you stop by and pick up a couple of my chillable red picks!


– Jennifer Laurie

Easter Wines

Walk into any of our stores right now and you’re hit with the abundant fragrance of our Easter Lilies.  Our Floral Departments are covering the stores with bright, beautiful, April flowers and, though there is still snow in the forecast, it reminds me that Spring is in full bloom. Easter is less than a week away and everyone is looking forward to sitting down with friends and family to enjoy the traditional Ham or Lamb. In my family we enjoy both, which makes my job a little difficult.  Do I bring a zippy light bodied Gewurztraminer for the ham? Or a fruit forward, robust, red for the Lamb?

Who am I kidding? I’ll bring both…

Here are my picks for whichever meat you choose!

Hamming it up –

I love the salty sweetness of ham; it’s the Kettlecorn of the meat world. Whether you like red or white I would stay on the fruity side when pairing this pink meat.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurz Gewurztraminer California, 2010 $8.99 –

Poor Gewürztraminer, I believe this grape does not get requested as much as it should because of its tongue tying name. However, when it comes to pairing with Ham it is a must! The Gewurz has the customary lychee, pear and spice, but it’s not nearly as sweet as most others.  The fruity front palate and dry, refreshing finish makes this wine unique – and it’s so affordable!

Saint Roch Les Vignes Rosé Cotes De Provence, 2009 $14.99 –

Rose is another option if you like fruity but not too sweet.  This is a light, fruity, Provence with rose petal on the nose and strawberry and red raspberry on the palate. Refreshing and bright, it is the perfect palate cleanser.

Wild Horse Pinot Noir Central Coast California, 2008 $24.99 –

Fresh and fruity, this Pinot Noir is dense and big enough for your “red wine drinkers” but light enough to pair with ham. Black cherry, baking spices, and a hint of toasted oak round out the finish.

Jenny had a little Lamb –

When my folks prepare lamb they use fragrant and bold spices and seasonings like rosemary and garlic. When pairing lamb, I like to play up the rustic taste and texture of the meat.

Juliet Fiero Chardonnay Paso Robles California, 2009 $14.99 –

Only 224 cases of this little gem of a Chardonnay were produced. The Juliet Fiero is complex and medium bodied, with loads of ripe pear and apple.  The acidity is bracing to cut through the sometimes oily quality of lamb, but round enough with its touches of lemon curd and butterscotch, to pair well.

M. Chapoutier Les Vignes De Bila – Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2008 $13.99 –

Lamb and Cotes du Rhone is a classic pair. Both have an earthy, rustic quality.  In the case of the Chapoutier, I like the notes of lilac, black cherry and plum that are elegant yet firm in structure. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan and was one of Wine Spectators Top 100 wines of 2009.

Falesco Merlot Umbria Italy 2009 $14.99 –

Saving the best for last, Nino’s has kept the Falesco Merlot on special down from its original pricing at $18.99 because it is such a great value.  Falesco has produced a concentrated and ripe Merlot, with black plum, blueberry, and blackberry, finishing with herbs and a touch of cinnamon. This is a knock out.

So, whether you’re trying out Chef Pete’s new Crusted Red Skin Potato Bake with Ham and Cheese or having a more traditional fare, these wines will make your Easter meal complete!


– Jennifer Laurie

Thanksgiving Wine Picks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, from the sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie to the turkey and wine, I am lucky enough to sit back and enjoy it all.  However, for most shoppers, it’s a hectic scramble through the aisles of Nino’s as they grab all of the appropriate turkey day complements. Well, here are my picks for the big day to help ease your wine worries.  Whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge, Nino’s has the wine to suit your needs.

Drink on a dime – These wines are easy drinking crowd pleasers that won’t bust your budget!

Castle Rock Pinot Noir California Cuvee 2009 – Regularly $12.99 Now $8.99

What an overachiever! Even at $12.99, this is a great value.  Cooked plum, forest floor, and ripe cranberry with a nice dry finish.

PKNT Pinot Noir Itata Valley, Chile 2009 – $6.99

A very nice little Pinot Noir that’s fruity, with black cherry and spice notes.

Conde De Alicante Rosé Alicante, Spain – $6.99

Bright strawberry and raspberry fruit with a clean, dry finish.

Columbia Crest Riesling Two Vines Columbia Valley, Washington – $7.99

Sweet, with zippy acidity. Pear, honey and apricot round out this clean finishing Riesling.

For The Savvy Sipper – Good everyday values for the more sophisticated palates.


Georges Deboeuf Morgon Beaujolais, France 2009$11.99

There has been a big buzz around the 2009 Beaujolais and this little gem did not let me down! Strawberry and Bing cherry in the nose, with lovely floral notes.  Black currant and blackberry, with a chocolaty richness and supple mid-palate.  Not overly dry, but has a little tannic grip that leaves you wanting more.

Maipe Rosé of Malbec Mendoza, Argentina 2010 – $10.99

Last February I was able to go to a trade tasting in Virginia, where I tried nearly 200 wines. Out of the lot, the most memorable was this little Rosé from Argentina.  The color is bright Magenta, the nose is full of bright strawberry and pomegranate fruit, and the taste is a burst of watermelon and strawberry. There’s enough fruit to keep the White Zin drinker happy and enough complexity and acidity for everyone else.

Helfrich Pinot Gris Alsace, France 2007$11.99

Fresh and clean with cooked pear, apple, and just a touch of grapefruit. This wine is not too sweet, just lightly juicy to complement an assortment of flavorful dishes.

Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc Sonoma County, California 2008 – $16.99

Ripe juicy pear with citrus notes. Round and fleshy. Nice acidity on the finish makes this a great palate cleanser.

Serious Snobbery – If you have guests coming over that love to lament about the do’s and don’ts of wine, here are my picks to impress the self proclaimed sommelier in your life.

Apolloni Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon 2006 – $32.99

Soft and complex, this wine integrates toasty oak with black cherry and spice. A ripe, round, and stylistically classic Oregon Pinot Noir. Aerate or open at least an hour before dinner.

Celani Family Vineyards Rosé Napa Valley, California 2009 – $17.99

Crisp and clean, the acidity in this rose will cut through the heavy potatoes and creamy dishes. Bright strawberry and pomegranate flavors.

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France 2007 – $69.99

Vieux Telegraphe is a favorite of Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, and yours truly. The 2007 is highly sought after for its ripe complexity and cellaring ability. However, with a little aeration this will make your cranberries sing and your Turkey dance! Herbs, ground pepper, and stoney in the nose, the palate is ripe with cooked cranberry, fig, currant, and a touch of licorice on the finish.

Champalou Vouvray, France 2007 – $19.99

Made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes, this wine expresses ripe stone fruits like peaches and apricot intertwined with notes of white flowers. The creamy, fruity mid-palate will complement golden raisin in stuffing, cooked apples, and the turkey.

Now of course, we have many, many more wines to choose from and everyone’s tastes are different.  Think of this as a starting point.  If one of these wines intrigued you but you want something a little different, Nino’s wine team will be here to help find the perfect bottle for your Thanksgiving feast!


– Jennifer Laurie