Saturday, August 14, 2021

Muscatel Sparkling Joy by 103-Year-Old Bodegas Reymos - First Wine Cooperative in Valencia, Spain #WorldWineTravel

Reymos Classic Moscato Sparkler is ideal for dessert pairing such as the Chinese moon cake ($13 at Costco) which is made of cooked egg yolks wrapped with sweetened lotus seed paste and is baked with a thin layer of pastry 

Valencia and Murcia are central eastern coastal regions in Spain, locating at the south of Catalonia and north of Andalucia. Cindy from Grape Experiences invites the #WorldWineTravel bloggers to explore the wines of Murcia and Valencia. I got to taste a low-alcohol sparkling wine made from Muscat of Alexandria, produced by the 103-Year-Old Bodegas Reymos - first wine cooperative in Valencia, and am pleased to add this semi-sweet fun sparkler to my late summer party wine list. Let's find out how Bodegas Reymos becomes the king of sparkling wines in Valencia, making award-winning and affordable wines year after year.

Bodegas Reymos, which was founded in 1918, was the first wine cooperative ("co-op") established in Valencia. It is also one of the oldest wine 
co-ops in Spain. Located in the Valencian town of Cheste, with an average altitude of 715 feet above the sea and well-drained soil conditions that are flood plains and alluvial fans, the proximity of its location to the Mediterrenean sea forms the ideal microclimate for Bodegas Reymos to grow the Muscat of Alexandria grape variety. 
Reymos Classic (SRP$9): Intense freshly harvested grape aromas on the nose, perfect acidity-residual sugar balance, low alcohol with an ABV 7.5% 
Out of its 4942 acres of vineyards and an average annual production of 42 million pounds of grapes, 90% of these grapes are Muscat of Alexandria, and the rest is a combination of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Merseguera, and Malvasia. Bodegas Reymos is one of the three co-op wineries, which partners with Anecoop Bodegas to produce and to export wines of various price ranges and varieties. Anecoop Bodegas was founded in 1986.
Bodegas Reymos at Cheste, Valencia (Photo Credit: VinosDOValencia)
So what is a wine co-op? A winemaking co-op is a group of vineyard owners working together to produce and sell wine to leverage the economy of scale. These owners become members, sell their grapes to the co-op who produces the wine and sells it to international and domestic markets. Using communal facilities and shared market efforts help spread out costs such as marketing and bottling. Co-ops are a big deal in winemaking in Spain, contributing to approximately 60% of the wine production in the country. 
Bodegas Reymos has a bottling plant with a capacity of 5,000 bottles per hour for still and sparkling wines (Photo Credit: VinosDOValencia)

Reymos Classic of D.O. Valencia is a sparkling wine made with the Charmat method. This is the simplest and most used method to capture fermentation carbonation, trapping the "bubbles" in a bulk way within the large stainless steel tanks. This is also the method used to produce Italian Procesco wines. Through Charmat, the base wine is made from the grape of choice, Muscat of Alexandria in the case of Reymos Classic. After adding a small amount of yeast and sugar, the yeast converts the sugar in the wine to CO2 and alcohol. The CO2 is trapped in these large tanks for secondary fermentation, ranging from one to six weeks. After the fermentation, the bulk wine is filtered to remove the dead yeast (lees). The winemakers may at that point add dosage - either liquor from still wines or sugar, to finetune the taste of the wines prior to bottling. 

Photo Credit: GoodPairDays

Check out the blog post of other #WorldWineTravel bloggers and see what wines they choose for this wine adventure in Spain: 
  • Monastrell from Murcia and Valencia Paired with Lamb-Beef Burgers and El Taberno from Gwendolyn Alley at Wine Predator......Gwendolyn Alley
  • Getting to Know the Grape Known in Spain as Monastrell from Linda Whipple at My Full Wine Glass.
  • Rosados from Jumilla from Susannah Gold on Avvinare.
  • Valencia Inspires My First Paella from Jeff Burrows at Food Wine Click!
  • Light up the Grill and Open that Bottle of Jumilla Wine from Wendy Klik at A Day in the Life on the Farm.
  • To Valencia with Sobrasada, Other Spanish Nibbles, and Enrique Mendoza Alicante La Tremenda Monastrell 2018 from Camilla Mann at Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
  • Muscatel Sparkling Joy by 100-Year-Old Bodegas Reymos – First Wine Cooperative in Valencia, Spain from Pinny Tam at Chinese Food & Wine Pairings.
  • Coca am Recapte and Chopo Jumilla Monastrell Rose on a Summer’s Day by Terri Steffes at Our Good Life
  • On Monastrell, Three Wines from D.O. Jumilla and Foods for Pairing by Cindy Rynning at Grape Experiences.

Monday, August 2, 2021

What do Albino Armani and Måneskin from Italy have in common? Rock Star in Pinot Grigio! Rock Star in Eurovision!

Albino Armani, which has been growing grapes and making wines for over 400 years, is no doubt an Italian rock star producer in Pinot Grigio. At its 17th generation, Albino Armani turns Pinot Grigio, which has been perceived as "simple" grapes, into truly expressive grapes that are capable of speaking the dynamic terroirs the family owns. The family-owned vineyards are situated in three major Italian winegrowing regions: Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, composing a total of 750 acres of vineyards. In Italy, these three regions overall contribute to 85% of the Pinot Grigio production. Italy accounts for 35% of the global production of Pinot Grigio. 
Albino Armani Winegrowing Map

What makes Albino Armani, a legendary and established winery still so rock'in and relatable? The humble beginning of the Albino Armani as farmers gave them the ancestral wisdom in preserving lands and co-habiting with fauna and flora. They believe in communal responsibilities in environmental, social and economical sustainability - getting all the players involved, themselves and other wineries, to collectively make the environment healthier for wines and next generations. To recognize their achievements, they have been certified in National Quality System for Integrated Production in 2019, an recognition of using the ecoysystems to monitor and reduce environmental impacts - lesser use of synthetic chemicals, fertilization, and irrigation. Additionally, the wide range of Albino Armani Pinot Grigios not only cater to many different wine drinkers who have diverse taste preferences and budgets, but also is intuned with the latest gloabal food trends, which vegan, vegetarian, fusion ethnic cuisines, causal elegant dining, and lighter flair are dominating.

Who is Måneskin?

Måneskin is the Italian rock band who won the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in May this year. Eurovision may be a bit foreign to the US readers. It is a four-hour long commercial-free song contest, where uprising singers from the participating EU countries compete annually for the grand prize. Måneskin was formed in 2016, when the frontman Damiano David, Victoria De Angelis (bassist), and Thomas Raggi (guitarist) first met each other as students during high school days in Rome. Ethan Torchio from the nearby Frosinonesoon joined them as the drummer soon after. With an electrifying performance, Måneskin won Eurovision with their original rock song, "Zitti e Buoni", which is not a typical music genre that historically would win the Eurovision. So what makes both Albino Armani and Måneskin a rock star in their own right and what commonality do they share? 
Pinot Grigio Colle Ara (SRP$22)

Albino Armani Pinot Grigio Colle Ara and Måneskin - Glamorous, Cooper Gold, and Engaging!

The Albino Armani Pinot Grigio Colle Ara has the most glamorous cooper gold color I've ever seen in any Pinot Grigios. The additional time of juice-to-skin contact of this wine fosters a rich structure, which is rarely found in other Pinot Grigios. Colle Ara not only looks "glam", the nose of dry flowers and the palate of grapefruit, peach, apricot, pineapple, and mango are pleasing your taste bud to the fullest extent. Colle Ara invites you to come back to taste more after the initial sips as a different note seems to lift up from the wine at different time - the mango note this time and apricot next time. It's an engaging wine that the more you drink it, the more you want to find out how Terra dei forti Valdadige DOC terroirs shapes this wine.
Måneskin in Eurovision 2021 (Photo Credit:

Måneskin's performance, with the winning song, "Zitti e Buoni" or "Shut Up and Behave", in Eurovision was equally engaging. The band wore stylish cooper-red body suits and platform shoes, completing the glam rocker look in the Eurovision final. The song has every elements that make it globally popular - even when you don't know Italian...the rhythmic melody will definitely unseat you! I started to look up the translation of the lyrics and learn everything about this band with sheer curiority, finding out what makes this band become an overnight sensation.
Pinot Grigio Corvara SRP$15

Pinot Grigio Corvara and Måneskin - Sapid, Likeable, and Youthful!

The Pinot Grigio Corvara is a Summer in a bottle. The wine is sapid and energetic. The scent of white flowers encapsulate the nostrils. As you sip this wine, the apple and ripe pear flavors linger. This medium-bodied Pinot Grigio will be superb with any seafood but also roasted chicken and grilled pork chops. 

Måneskin, whose members are all under the age of 22, is a high-octane powerhouse of onstage charisma and youthful energy. When they won Eurovision, the song “Zitti e Buoni” which was previosuly little known outside Italy, hopped onto Spotify’s global Top 10, a first for an Italian band.
Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave (SRP$13)

Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave and Måneskin - Rocky but Alive!

Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave is a rocky region where more than 80% is gravel-laid soil, which is not entirely grape-growing friendly. The Pinot Grigio from this region however has successfully adapted the austere growing conditions, and consistently turns out intense and aromatic wines. The Albino Armani Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave is floral and elegant. The notes of chamomile, thyme, and mineral in the wines are the characteristics that are instilled by the terroirs. 
Pinot Grigio vines are grown on rocky soil in Friuli Grave
(Photo Credit: Albino Armani)

From performing at the streets in Rome back in 2016, competing but not winning in The X-Factor in 2017, to winning Eurovision 2021, Måneskin climbed to their stardom from the rocky roads with hardwork, persistence, talent, passion and fun!  

Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie and Måneskin - Something for Everyone!

The Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie is an entry-level Pinot Grigio from the price point. The freshness and versatility of this wine makes it the perfect wine for aperitif in parties of any sizes. When it's served on its own, it's fresh, dry, creamy, and has the taste of lime, crisp apple and green pear. Thinking a bit outside the box, pouring it over ice and adding some Aperol liqueur to this Pinot Grigio would make this Aperol a crowd pleaser in a hot Summer day. 

Måneskin also sings in English. With a bit open mind, check out their youtube channel, I'm sure there is something for everyone.  

Disclaimers: The Albino Armani wines are samples. The idea of the story is my own.