Belle Ambiance is a marque under the Delicato Family Vineyards umbrella. Tasting notes and details can be found under the latter website, and I've seen the displays in local wine shops. With the low prices, pastel labels, and simple yet classy presentation, these seem like the perfect wines for weddings, baby showers, and similar occasions. Lest anyone think that I am classifying an entire line of wine as feminine, I would like to point out that I catered a wedding and baby shower within the past year with tremendous success. A classy, French-inspired, Art Deco type label works much better in such an occasion than a Spanish wine label that celebrates bull testicles (more on that in a future post).
2013 Belle Ambiance Pinot Grigio
100% Pinot Grigio
$10, 13% abv.
I have a complicated history with Pinot Grigio, and this is not my favorite presentation of the grape, but it has its place as something gentle that a lot of people will enjoy at a big event. Light and crisp, tiny touch of lemon peel, gentle body and an overall refreshing profile. Great for mingling and talking in lieu of a sparkling wine.
2012 Belle Ambiance Chardonnay
$10, 13.5% abv.
This California Chardonnay shows a touch of honey and a little sweetness. Firmer body than the Pinot Grigio, with a little oak to provide depth and a hint of vanilla and caramel. A good one to go along with the chicken covered in a creamy mushroom sauce at the wedding reception.
2012 Belle Ambiance Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir
$10, 13.5% abv.
This one surprised me with a little more complexity than I was expecting. Classic strawberry profile but there are nutty and earthy undertones on the nose. A mellow body with low tannins contributes to a real crowd pleaser for folks that may not be ready for a strong Cabernet Sauvignon. Obviously the best choice for everyone whose seating card has a red tag.
Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.