Suite Four Sparkling Wine

Varietal: Unknown | Region: California | Retailer: Suite Four | Price: $19.99

Having a week off before I start my new job has been pure heaven! It has afforded me long overdue “ME TIME” and allowed me to catch up on much needed reading (sike!) wine drinking. I finally got a chance to try the new Suite Four sparkling wine. Last summer, Suite Four was founded by Cyrina Yarbrough, a Cali native now living the D.C. life, in an effort to create an unpretentious wine that millennials could drink whether it’s in a fancy flute or in a red solo cup.

And that’s what initially drew me to Cyrina’s story when we first connected a couple of months ago. She get’s it! Everything about wine doesn’t have to be formal. With Suite Four, Cyrina has created a universal wine that anyone can enjoy no matter what stage you’re in on your wine journey. I applaud her determination to break into the wine industry and re-define the preconceived notions of how wine should be experienced. Let’s keep it real…you don’t have to travel to every wine region or be well versed in wine lingo to appreciate good wine.

Ty’s Takeaways…

I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this sparkling wine. I was just praying that it wouldn’t be sweet! I decided to save Suite Four for a special occasion. So, when I got my ah-mazing, new job offer, I knew it was time to pop open this bubbly.

First off, I was in a rush to drink this wine after an unsettling week at work, so I put it in the freezer to chill for a minute couple hours…oops, my bad. I accidentally left it in too long, so it had a bit of a slushy consistency to it, which turned out to be super delicious! So quick side note, Suite Four is also good slightly frozen :) But, I digress…let me get back to my review.

The moment I took a sip, I knew that Suite Four and I were going to be best friends. Yessssss!! It was an instant connection. That Pam and Gina, Meredith Grey and Christina Yang closer than close type of friendship. I immediately wanted to celebrate!

Maybe it was because I had over-chilled the wine, but I found it to be very crisp and refreshing. Suite Four may also work for a nice summertime spritzer this year. Anyways, after drinking this wine, I felt like I had been invited in on a little secret and wanted to share with others. I wanted someone else to feel what I was feeling in that very moment.

The aromas of this sparkling wine are soft and sweet. It reminded me of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. On the palate, you get flavors of green apple and peach, with hints of honey and vanilla. I was happy to discover that this was not a sweet sparkling wine, but it also wasn’t completely dry either. It has the perfect balance, with the bold fruit flavors taking center stage. Plus, the wine gives off this nice effervescence, that turns this wine into a great dance party in your mouth. Hence, why this sparkling wine was the perfect choice to celebrate this next season in my life!

Rating: 4 Corks

Sip, Chug, or Cork It? 

Cyrina has definitely accomplished her goal of creating an affordable wine that millennials can truly appreciate! But, please note that you don’t have to be in your 20’s or 30’s to enjoy this wine! Suite Four is double-fisting sip-worthy.

If there was ever a wine anthem for celebrations, Suite Four would be the official representative. Trust, you won’t want to put this wine down. It’s that good!

**I received a complimentary bottle of Suite Four sparkling wine. All opinions are my own.

Rosa Regale

Varietal: 100% Brachetto | Region: Piedmont, Italy | Retailer: Check Online | Price: $13/$14

Mood: Hopeful

*Queue Beyonce* Where are all my single ladies? This post is for you! Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and it can be a little daunting if you’re not in a relationship.

But, I’m an optimist and believe in that Keith Sweat Make it Last Forever type of love. It may not happen today…or tomorrow, but one day! So, fix your face if Valentine’s Day has you feeling some type of way.

It’s just a day. I repeat…IT’S JUST A DAY!  

Wine Pairing: CELEBRATE if you’re single. Don’t let all the couples have all the fun. A couple of weeks ago, I received a bottle of Rosa Regale from Banfi Wines. I thought it would be perfect for some Single Awareness or Galentine’s Day fun. Rosa Regale is a sparkling red wine from Italy. It’s made 100% from the Brachetto grape. This red has very unique aromas — strawberries, raspberries, and a hint of red roses. Many of which you can taste on the palate. I found the Rosa Regale to be pretty sweet, reminding me of a Moscato…Uh oh!

Rating: 2 Corks

Sip, Chug, or Cork It? Anyone who knows me in real life, knows that I am not a fan of sweet wines, but I’m not going to let that get in the way of my recommendation. I know a lot of my readers do enjoy the sweeter wines, so I’m not going to be a hater. With that being said….I personally would cork it, not my type of wine. BUT if you’re on the sweet train, then you should definitely sip it! No matter if you’re single or in a relationship, Rosa Regale is a nice sparkling wine to share with friends or serve after a romantic dinner.

Oh, and if you’re in a relationship and are looking for some last minute Valentine’s Dday ideas, check out the YGOM Valentine’s Day Pairing Playbook.

** Banfi Wines sent me a complimentary bottle of the Rosa Regale. All opinions are my own.

Valentine’s Day Pairing Playbook

Raise a glass if you survived Super Bowl 51. **ting**

A double clink if you survived Super Bowl 51 and live in Houston! **clank, clank**

Next up, the holiday that people either love to love or love to hate….Valentine’s Day. I always get asked about wine pairings for this romanic day, so I decided to put together a little pairing playbook to help you pick out the right wines.

Now, don’t stop reading if you’re single and Valentine’s Day is the furthest thing from your mind. You don’t have to be in a relationship to take advantage of these recommendations. Whether you’re planning a romantic dinner for your significant other or getting a group of friends together for some Galentine’s Day fun, these wine recommendations are perfect for any special occasion. So, let’s get started!

Pre-Game

Chandon Blanc de Noirs for $16.99 at H-E-B

Start your evening off with some bubbly. Nothing like a champagne or sparkling wine toast to get the festivities started. I chose the Chandon Blanc de Noirs, which is available at H-E-B for only $16.99. Chandon is a very popular sparkling wine producer in California and H-E-B sells it at a very affordable price! I actually had the opportunity to visit their tasting room on my last trip to Napa.

Chandon Blanc de Noirs is a brut (dry) sparkling wine. It is filled with cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors. Although, this bubbly is on the drier spectrum, the flavors build for a nice soft, creamy finish.

Pairings: I paired this sparkling wine with semi-covered chocolate strawberries. I found all the ingredients at H-E-B. The recipe (which a friend and I made up on the spot) is super easy. Just melt the chocolate of your choice and dip or drizzle the chocolate on your strawberries. We also decided to jazz up the strawberries with some sprinkles. First off, the strawberries from H-E-B were sweet to perfection, then couple that with the sprinkles and paired with the dry cherry flavors from the Chandon Blanc de Noirs — waaaiiiittttt for it— OMG! Pure magic in your mouth.

Oh! And don’t forget the roses! You can buy a bouquet of fresh long-stemmed red roses from H-E-B in-store for $9.99. You can gift them or use them as the centerpiece for your table setting.

Found these heart shaped flutes at H-E-B for $2.47. Super cute! Plus, you can also find tea light candles for $5 from H-E-B to set the mood as well. Heyyy boy heyyyy!

The Main Event

Pictured left: Bread & Butter Pinot Noir for $$18.99; Pictured Left: Duet Chardonnay-Viognier for $$11.57. Both available at H-E-B.

I chose a white and red wine for the main meal.

First, let’s talk about white wine. I’m all about staying away from the status quo. Impress your love bug or friends with the Duet Chardonnay-Viognier. This white is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Viognier (30%). The aromas are a little funky – very earthy, but you’re in for a surprise on the palate. It’s a dry wine, but filled with lots of tropical fruit flavors on the front and ending with a nice, subtle tart finish.

Pairings: This Chardonnay-Viognier blend would pair well with some grilled chicken or a light fish like tilapia, or maybe even a pasta dish with marinara sauce.

If white wine isn’t your thing, try this Pinot Noir from Bread & Butter. If you recall, I recently reviewed their Chardonnay, which was awesome sauce. Well, their Pinot Noir is just as good and only $11.57 at H-E-B. The nose on this red wine is delicate, yet very pretty – lots of floral, chocolate, cherry cola, with a hint of pears and creamy caramel. If you haven’t been hit with cupid’s arrow, you definitely will after drinking this red. This Pinot Noir is light and very smooth on the palate. You get these earthy, mineral undertones followed by flavors of ripe cherries and raspberries. The tannins in this red are almost nonexistent, so you get more of the fruit flavors without the bitter aftertaste. Best served cool.

Pairings: This Pinot Noir would complement heavier dishes like steak, salmon or other fatty fishes, or even a casserole. And don’t forget H-E-B is offering a sweet deal this month. Buy their H-E-B Meal Simple™ Lobster and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese and get two 3″ French Tarts (February 8- 14). Now that’s a great deal! Pair the lobster mac with the meat of your choice and you can get your dessert included for free. Because this Pinot is lighter, it will pair with the heaviness from the cheesy pasta. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I definitely plan to treat me, myself, and I come V-Day!

Celebration

Colby Red Blend for $10.73 at H-E-B

Be sure to leave room for dessert! I remixed this dessert idea from Pinterest and created the YGOM Wine Trifle! Here are the ingredients:

  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Raspberries (soaked in the red wine of choice)
  • Mint Leaf (for garnish)

I love that this dessert is so easy to make AND I actually used wine glasses from H-E-B. All you have to do is layer the ingredients in a wine glass. First, the red velvet cake, then layer with some cream cheese frosting, followed by the wine soaked raspberries, a little whipped cream, and simply repeat. Make sure to top off with whipped cream and garnish with a mint leaf or shaved pieces of chocolate. I’m not a dessert person at all, but I sure did finish a glass by myself. This dessert is soooo freakin’ good! If you want to impress your boo, then definitely try this recipe!

Pairings: I chose to incorporate wine into the actual dessert. If you make the red velvet cake from scratch, you can infuse it with red wine and also soak your raspberries for about 30-45 minutes in wine as well to absorb the flavors. For this recipe, I used Colby Red Blend. I’m not a big red drinker, but this blend was love at first sip. It’s only $11 at H-E-B – super affordable and quality red wine! Colby red wine is a unique blend of  Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Petite Sirah (15%), Merlot (12%), Zinfandel (11%), and Syrah (8%) – smooth, light, and fruit forward…just how I like my reds! On another note, you could finish off the Chandon with the dessert, but it honestly stands on it’s own.

So, there you have it! The YGOM Val(Gal)entine’s Day Pairing Playbook. Hope these wine recommendations get you ready for your special day.

**This post was sponsored by H-E-B. All opinions are my own.

Bread & Butter Chardonnay

Varietal: Chardonnay | Region: Napa | Retailer: H-E-B | Price: $16.99


Mood:
Woke (meaning: to be aware)

Friday marked the beginning of a new presidency here in the U.S. I’m still in shock over who the American people selected to run this country. It’s an uneasy feeling knowing that someone with zero political nor military experience will be in charge of the free world. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, that has to make you feel some type of way.

It kind of feels like an episode of one of those crazy reality shows where I’m just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to run out and tell us that we’ve all been punked. However, this is our new normal.

But, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you can’t sit around and complain when things don’t go your way. Silence won’t get you anywhere either. You have to be a part of the solution. Now, more than ever is the time to be vigilant and most importantly active in what’s going on in your local community and the world around you. You can’t sit on the sidelines being passive aggressive. It’s important to stay educated and informed on the issues. I really hope that our country comes together (whether you’re unhappy or completely thrilled with the current administration) to hold this new office accountable for the decisions that they will be making on our behalf. If the claim is to make “America Great Again” *eye roll*, then let’s make sure that as a collective the United States continues to excel over the next four years.

Wine Pairing: I encourage everyone to stay woke as this new administration takes office. I have the perfect wine pairing for this new attitude. It’s called Bread & Butter Chardonnay. Produced in Napa, California, this Chard is only $17 at H-E-B. If you’re not a fan of Chardonnay, this one will make you a believer. I’m a HUGE fan of bold, butter Chardonnays and Bread & Butter does not disappoint.

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of vanilla, as well as  toasted butterscotch and almonds. As you swirl your glass and allow the aromas to open up, you’ll smell a hint of sweetness like the sugar on a freshly torched crème brûlée. Those same aromas transfer to the palate for a great glass of Chardonnay. Upon the first sip, I felt this instant tingle of happiness. It reminded me of the 2008 election, when the country was filled with hope and excitement. If I could bottle up the last eight years of the Obama administration into a bottle, this Bread & Butter Chardonnay would encompass all of those wonderful feelings.

This Chardonnay tastes ah-mazing! First of all, this full-bodied, dry white is so rich and creamy. You definitely get those toasted flavors of oak mixed with vanilla and butter as you ride out the smoothness of flavors. Can I just say this wine is soooo smooth?! It reminds me of the way that President Obama looks at Michelle in awe and appreciation.

In case you forgot. This wine feels like forever!

Then you’re surprised at the end with this small burst of sweetness. You can really taste a bit of crème brûlée, which I think a lot of non-white, sweet wine drinkers will appreciate. I absolutely loved this Chardonnay and thank the lady at H-E-B for recommending it to me. This is the perfect wine to get you pumped and ready for the next four years. Hey! You may need several bottles to get your through ;)

Rating: 4 Corks

Sip, Chug, or Cork It? Sip with one eye open because now more than ever is the time to stay woke. I really enjoyed this Chardonnay. It may give JaM Cellars Butter a run for its money. Definitely in my top two favorites of Chardonnays!

Sip & Chill: The Netflix Wine Guide

Winter has been off and on this season…at least in Houston. So, when winter does decide to slide through like it did this weekend (we’re in the 30s), my comfy couch inside my warm and cozy apartment become everything!

I think we can all agree the struggle to venture out when it’s cold is so real in these streets. But, being a homebody is all fun and games until you start wishing you had someone else to cuddle up with besides your pillow. That’s when the cuffs come out!

For those not familiar with the term, cuffing season is a winter sport when people who thought it was cool to be single over the summer when things were poppin’, suddenly decide it’s no longer good for man (or woman) to be alone now that temperatures have dropped and social calendars aren’t filling up like they used to before. So, the desire to be “cuffed”or tied down in a serious relationship becomes more appealing. I don’t know why colder weather brings out the thirst loneliness in people, but having a boo tends to come in handy (for more reasons than one) when it’s cold and human interaction (outside of work) is limited.

It’s no secret that Netflix & Chill is the infamous cuffing season activity. Watching Netflix is an easy trap way to hook-up hangout when you don’t feel like going anywhere. However, whatever happens next when that red screen flashes is simply up to you. But no matter how you choose to “chill,” a Netflix evening isn’t complete without wine of course! Yes, it’s that fermented soother when you’re alone on the couch or that grape encourager when you’re trying to set the mood.

That’s why I created the YGOM Sip & Chill: Netflix Wine Guide to get you through the ups and downs of cuffing season. Whether you’re single, in some sort of situationship or in a committed relationship, I have the perfect wine to pair with whatever season life has you in. So, check out these wine recommendations for the next time you decide to make it a Netflix night.

#Unbothered 

Club <insert your name> is always lit on Friday nights! Once 5 o’clock strikes, you can’t wait to head home, put on your finest pajamas, tie up that head scarf, and hit the couch. Raise a glass if this is how you get down on Fridays most evenings and are not ashamed!

Hey! Nobody said being single was easy. Yet, you remain cool, calm, and collected as cuffing season approaches. Although you may not have a boo to snuggle up to for movie night, like Kendrick Lamar said “we gon’ be alright!”

Pop open this Italian sparkling wine and make it a group night or chill by yourself. Either way, this wine will light up any night!

Wine Recommendation: Mionetto ‘Il Ugo’ ($11.98)

il-ugo_281high

Mionetto ‘Il Ugo is a sparkling wine unlike any other. It’s a little off-putting on the nose at first, but don’t let that stir you away from taking a sip. Its funky floral aromas eventually die down once you allow the wine to breath a bit. Then you get this nice earthy, almost forest-like scent. It reminded me of the Mahogany Teakwood candle at Bath & Body Works, which is very soothing. The taste of this sparkling wine is pretty unique as well. It’s slightly sweet, but not overpowering, with a mix of elderflower and fruit flavors, such as citrus and pear. These flavors are very enjoyable. It’s like Christmas in your mouth. Sipping this will definitely have you feeling unbothered!

I Wanna Be Down 

A little Netflix & Chill never hurt nobody! Besides, it’s cuffing season and you’re trying to get chose!

I mean he did say he would cook dinner (Mmm hmmm) and then you could watch a movie and drink wine afterwards. No harm, no foul in that right?! I could yell don’t do it girl, it’s a trap. But, we’ve all been there before and know a man cooking a meal (and it’s free!) will get you EVERY-SINGLE-TIME! (I may or may not be speaking from experience) So, no judgment if you’re scurrying to get your stuff when that “come through” text appears. If you’re trying to be down, set the mood with this amazingly tasty White Pinot Noir.

Wine Recommendation: Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir ($16.99)

This White Pinot Noir is awesome sauce! It’s a great inexpensive grocery story find that you can easily pick up for a movie night. The aromas are really bright and airy. You’ll find hints of tropical fruits like pineapple, peach, and green apple. This dry, light-bodied white is best served chilled to give it that crisp, clean taste. Low in acidity, its fruit forward flavors help liven up the palate and then it ends with a tart finish. People are seriously sleeping on White Pinot Noir! If you’re really trying to pull out all the stops to impress a special someone, this wine will let them know for sure that you wanna be down!

Not on My Watch

Netflix & Chill?! Umm, boy bye!

You’ve seen AND heard it all before. So, when you get asked to come over to a watch a movie AFTER 10 p.m., you can’t help but tilt your head to the side like…

He must not know that you turn into a pumpkin around 9 p.m. You’re the girl who’s not here for any of those reindeer games. So, if he’s coming to watch a movie, then that my friend is what you’re going to do because none of that “chilling” stuff will be happening on your watch. But, first open up this bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand to calm your nerves.

Wine RecommendationSileni Estates Sauvignon Blanc Cellar Selection ($14.99)

 

sileni

Sileni Estates has one of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the game! Their Cellars Selection is 95% Sauv Blanc and 5% Semillon. Those intense grassy aromas, that are normally found in classic New Zealand Sauv Blancs, immediately jump out at you. You’ll also get hints of fresh, ripe tropical and passionfruit aromas that follow onto the palate. This wine is sooo smooth. It feels like air on your tongue. Every sip is refreshing. It will give you the liquid courage to stay strong and let any foolishness know that nothing will be going down on my watch!

BAE on a Budget

Times are hard on the boulevard! I mean he (or she) is cool and all, but you’re not sure how much you’re trying to invest in this situationship JUST yet.

So, count your coins and impress your boo with this red blend!

Wine Recommendation: Smashberry Red Blend ($13)

smashberry

This wine is a great go-to red, when you’re looking for a good quality wine at a lower price. The blend consists of 38% Merlot, 34% Petite Sirah, and 28% Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re not a fan of super dry reds, then you’ll enjoy this selection because Smashberry is all about the fruit flavors. On the nose, you get raspberry and boysenberry aromas with little hints of chocolate. The fruit flavors are just as amazing. Its rich tannins complement these flavors for a clean finish. This red will definitely impress bae and they won’t even know you were on a budget.

Baby, Let Me Upgrade You

You’re not just trying to “chill” with anyone these days. You’re in a serious relationship that has shifted your priorities.

Netflix doesn’t really fit your intentions anymore. You’re about that Amazon Prime life now! This upgrade is the first of many as you work towards locking things down with your boo.

So, let me introduce you to some new things like this French white wine to get you to that next level.

Wine RecommendationPatient Cottat Sancerre  ($21.99)

sancerre

This white is EVERYTHING and changed my entire life and now I’m sharing the wealth with you. I’m normally not a fan of French wines, but this one has me thinking differently. Patient Cottat Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc from France. It’s filled with soft floral aromas with Muscat-like and passionfruit undertones. The taste of this wine will blow your mind and will definitely have your guest wanting to stay forever. Its crisp fruit flavors are followed by this mix of mineral and citrus flavors that give it a nice bold punch. Once you have one sip, you won’t be able to stop (trust me I know). Your love will be extremely impressed with this wine upgrade.

Make it Last Forever

You’re committed and in it for the long haul (for real, for real) This is the type of love that has you jumping on people’s couches.

You don’t need a movie night to make things happen! Just a couple of forevers and this bottle of Stellekaya Orion to make it last forever.

Wine Recommendation: Stellekaya Orion ($32.99)

getwineimage-ashx

This red is a French-style Bordeaux blend. It consists of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Merlot. This wine was matured in French barriques for 20 months, so you know this red is in it to win it! It’s bold aromas are filled with dark cherries and berries. This full bodied red has this velvety consistency that is layered with black fruits and hints of chocolate. This is red is strictly for the grown and sexy who have stood the test of time!

Well that completes the YGOM Sip & Chill: Netflix Wine Guide! I hope this wine list will help get you through cuffing season no matter what stage in a relationship you’re in. Wine is always the key to a great night!