Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving + Wine = A good time.

So, what's the plan for thanksgiving? Gonna gobble down some of the usual suspects? You know Turkey, maybe a little ham and stuffing? This year please don't allow for your food to go down to the depths of your stomach, lonely, let's fix it up with something. For this post I plan on listing some of the usual dishes that 90 percent of the american people eat on Thanksgiving and pairing it with wine. With each dish, some will be conservative in approach and some will be for a more adventuress sort, you let me know what works for you. Without further ado,
let's start.

Black eyed Peas (or any earthy type vegetable): I'm pretty sure, although palates are different, that most red wines would not suffice when pairing with black-eyed peas. So what I propose is an Albarino from Spain (Salneval 2008, 9.99 at World Markets). It is an earthy but fruity white wine that has the flexibility to hang strong with the earthiness of black eyed peas.

Turkey: 1st pick: Zinfandel (Peachy Canyon 2007, 8.99 at trader joes)- because if you happen to be at a persons house that tends to dry out the meat a bit, the over-ripeness of the fruit in this wine may save the meal. Zinfandel tends to house lush red fruits within every glass sipped upon.

2nd pick Shiraz (Shoofly 2008, 7.99 at world markets)- because like zinfandel, this wine has a lot of red fruit within it's bottles. To be more specific, the reason I said Shiraz and not Syrah is because although Syrah is the actual grape varietal based out of France, Australia has decided to call the Syrah grape Shiraz. And the truth is, I think if you want to enjoy the Syrah grape, at least on Thanksgiving, Australia is the place you want to enjoy it from. Australian Shiraz tends to have heavy fruit throughout the palate, which might do well for those of you who need a wine to pair up nice with a juicy turkey. FYI, stay away from any over 14.0 alcohol, I'm just saying, It could over power the food.

Ham: The truth is, I would be surprised if you could find a white wine that would pair well with Ham, I know there are some out there, but far and few in between. I think a light but fruity Pinot Noir (Trinity Oaks 2009, 9.99 at Bevmo)would work.

Fried Chicken: So there are two ways you could go about this, you could get some oak induced Chardonnay (Markham 2009, 13.99 at Trader Joes), which would be a safe pairing. Or you could go for a more fruity and acidic alternative, Vouvray (Chenin Blanc, La Cheteau 2009, 5.99 at Trader Joes) from the Loire Valley in France.

Shrimp or light fish (especially with a little spiciness): Your best bet is Prosecco (Zonin 6.99 at trader joes) from Italy, It's reasonably priced and has the bubbles to balance out the flavor of fresh seafood.

Dessert (fruit forward vs. Rich and sweet): If your desserts are focused on fruity dishes my best recommendation is a Muscato D'asti out of Italy (Vino Dei Fratelli 2009, 11.99 at Bevmo), it should have enough bubbles to clear your palate before each bite, and also offers fresh fruit to fall in line with the dish you will be scarfing down.
To pair well with a dessert, that is considered more of a sweeter and richer dish, the standard recommendation is a Port (Graham Six Grapes Port 19.99 at World Markets). Which is well and good, but if you have the chance to get your hands on a Ice wine (Jackson - Triggs Vidal, 19.99 at World Markets) or Late Harvest Riesling(Hogue Late harvest Riesling 2009, 8.99 at Bevmo), you may end up being the life of the party.

Other than that, I know it's been a while since I've posted anything, I am sorry, sometimes life just happens and other things sneak into the picture that you didn't expect. Please leave a message if anything I wrote, helped you out. Till then, Peace and Wine for all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trewa Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile) 2004

Trewa Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile) 2004, Im impressed...

nose:Loads of black wild cherry, hints of licorice, hints of tea and earthiness

taste: Structure-not extremely concentrated, but fruit filled mouth-feel. Long finish, good mid, and decent front end.
Some fruit and other nuances were: Tea, juicy wild cherry,with the earthy tones kickin' in on finish.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quick post: Flood Plain Proprietary Red Wine 2005

Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Note: needs to be decanted to taste the pure essence of this wine.

Nose: Black cherry, Blackberries, Blueberries, definitely fruit-forward with hints of mushroom in the mix.

Taste: Blackberries/cherries, round tannins on finish, good initial attack, mid is a little hollow when you pop and pour, but after a couple of hours of being opened, the mid is just as good as the rest of the weight of this wine. The finish is also long and carries with it a hint of pepper to accompany the red fruit.
This is a very good bottle for the price, and if you can find it, try it, and buy a case, Trust me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Saviours Rock 2008 Durif (Petite Syrah)

This is going to be a quick post. I'm going to start, on certain wines, giving my tasting notes. I'm still going to write bigger posts, but let's just call the smaller ones "on the go, wine tasting notes." So I'm drinking a Durif aka a Petite Syrah:

Nose: Cassis, pepper, hints of beef jerky, raisins, dried cranberries, some minerality, complex.

Taste: Pepper, Rasberry, green broccoli, chocolate on the front, beef jerky and black cherry on the finish, a long finish, and very well made.

You can find this wine at Grocery outlet for 9.99, pick it up if you get a chance and leave a comment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Class of Wine: Have the Lines Blurred?

So with all the vices in the world that people tend to partake in, there is always the, so-called elite society, in which most opinions of this vice dictates a kind of guide line in which the majority tends to adhere to. Wine isn't any different, and I call this the class society of old world versus new world. Although wine has been made throughout the world for thousands of years, such as in original Greek and European lore as a whole, I think the Classes of wine society is BULL...., you pick what follows. Ok maybe 10 years ago, these class designations had truth in its merits but now, there is so much good wine out there for decent prices, I think it's harder for these vineyards, who were putting out decent wines at astronomical prices to survive in the market we are in today. Now, don't get me wrong, I do understand, vineyards, wine-bars and restaurants, needing to make money in the market we are in today, but what I love about what's happening in wine today, is the fact that the juice has to measure up. In the past, in most vintages, the winery just had to base their pricing on the name of their enterprise and place of origin if they were successful in the past. While there are still some who have that clout, many have been forced to either lower their pricing or actually stand behind their product, sales have shown that there is no longer a choice in the matter.

So let's get down to brass tax in the elite society of the wine industry, we have the royalty, France and Italy. And I must confess I love wines from the old country, for the simple fact that from the time of wines being produced in those areas all the way up till the last 10 years, wines have for the most part sat apart from most wines all over the world. I mean there are other places who have very old vines such as, Spain, Chile, Argentina and parts of Australia, but the consistency of great wines coming from these places were at a minimum. Then after 10 years of the places, considered new world wine producers, stepping up their game, from wine making to distribution of brands throughout the world, we have the collapse of the economy. You may ask how does the collapse of the market effect the wine industry, well in my opinion it nullified it. The collapse of the market allowed Chile and many places previously mentioned in this piece, to showcase that their wines not only rival, but in many cases, surpass the "Old World Wines" at a lower price to your wallet. With these changes the category of good wines has more than doubled, and those brand driven wines who may have made great wines in the past, but make only decent to good wines now, have to reconsider their pricing structures.

Now, don't get me wrong, I will still fork out cash for a great wine, but now as a consumer, I have a choice of paying more for a wine that is double the price of a bottle outside of the old country branded juice, and is equal in taste, but far less in pricing. Knowledge is the key to picking out good to great wines, some brands are not as strong as they once were, so in essence, the lines of class in the wine industry have, in the past, been based on have become blurred. I suggest you as a consumer, to initially drink wines from all over, not just the so called upper "echelon," then remember the wines and where they come from. When you've found a few wines that tickled your taste buds, do your own research, and if that's too big of a task, or you don't have the time in your busy schedule, continue to read blogs and literature like this, let us show you the way. Sorry for the soap box, just had some stuff on my chest, till next time, enjoy wine, food, pleasant company and life, Salut.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mission Sud Cabernet Sauvignon Vin de Pays d'Oc 2008

Gotta love the french, just when you think that the pendulum has swung, in regards to Cabernet Sauvignon, to California's Napa and Sonoma Valley, they step up to the plate, and say in a reserved definitive tone,"We still got the top spot." So without elaborating anymore, I am drinking tonight the, Mission Sud Cabernet Sauvignon Vin de Pays d'Oc 2008. Now, when purchasing this wine, forgo the idea that this is an old-world type of Cab, this is something different for France's royal Bordeaux line. Getting right into this Cabernet, on the nose, I get chalky black cherries, some spice, hints of mulberry, plum and sweet ginger. On the palate, I get Blackberry and Cranberry, and although the Blackberry dissipates in the mid the cranberry, goes all the way to the finish. The tannins in this wine start in the mid and translate to the finish in a rounder delicate style. I also pick some plum in the front to mid and some hints of cedar on the outside of the mid palate. I believe the wine maker enjoyed making this fun wine, and I definitely enjoyed drinking it, because of it's deliciousness and the smooth finish. You can find this wine at your local Grocery Outlet, check it out and leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2008 Chariot Gypsy

The wine that I'm drinking tonight is for the red fruit lover. This trader joe's gem is a nice blend of some well known grapes, with contribution from Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah and Sangiovese. So without further ado, I am sipping the 2008 Chariot Gypsy, and on the nose I'm picking up rasberry with hints of peppered licorice. Also under the rasberry and peppered licorice, I get some red cherries. With that last whiff, my nose has finally found it's climax, and I allow my mouth to be entertained. When tasting this wine I pick up mineral ladened rasberries and strawberries on the front end that translates all the way throughout the palate, which continues strong on the finish. Along with minerality and rasberry/strawberry, I also pick up some pepper on the mid palate to finish, accompanied by a hint of red cherry. With the varietals in this wine, it would be easy to be goopy and over the top with heavy fruit, but this wine contains the fruit very well, and is well made. Lastly, for those who are not big fans of Zinfandel from Lodi, this wine includes that grape and is not over the top and is very fresh and clean, especially on the finish, so try it, buy it, and leave a comment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Les Vignes De Bila-Haut 2008 Cotes du Roussillon Villages

It was a good weekend, I got to hang out with my lady in Capitola, where we enjoyed the beautiful weather, beaches, and cuisine of the area. Oh, and let me not forget, drank some great wine at Cava Wine Bar. If you get a chance definitely check it out, Cava has some great, off the beaten path varietals and producers. One wine that seemed very interesting to me on their menu was the Les Vignes De Bila-Haut 2008 Cotes du Roussillon Villages (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan). Although we left too early for me to get a taste, I found a bottle at a nearby wine shop and decided to pick it up. So on the nose, I picked up Black-cherry/Rasberry, sweet Plum, hints of pepper, and stony minerality. The complexities of the nose at the price of 12.00 dollars definitely compelled me to want a taste. With that being said, my tasting notes consist of rasberry, red plum, black cherry, incorporating pomegranate and briar on the finish. Also, some things I enjoyed within this wine's juice was good structured tannins, decent minerality and a adequate length in finish. My advice is buy it, try it, and allow your mouth to take it for a ride. Oh, and leave a comment.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wine Filled Glass For Valentines Day


Love, love, love, Love is in the air, accompanied by tunes from Sade's
"Cherish The Day." So you might ask, what is a good pairing for a day
filled with an abundance of love, other than just, great music, well,
I'm sure you already know, WINE. My question to you is, for your
inevitable Big V-day, what will you be filling your glass with? If you
are not sure yet, I may have some suggestions for you. Starting up my
suggestions, I'm leading off with a white wine, and because Riesling
is considered one of the most flexible grapes in regards to pairings,
I decided that Clos Du Bois Riesling (found at most supermarkets)
would be a nice precursor wine to start the dinner or your night in
general. So on the nose there is a spicy apple and blue-stone
minerality. When consuming this wine the major highlights are the
spicy pear, jasmine and lemon spritz. Look to pair with seafood, like
shrimp, crabcakes and oysters. After the Riesling, when the night
starts to get a bit more serious, and you want to start turning up the
heat, a great wine, and I've said it before in a former write up, seek
out the Bruno Porro San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogiani 2007 (Trader Joes).
This wine is just smooth and sexy, that's all that needs to be said.
For tasting notes, check out my blog, October 13, 2009 posting. Look
to pair this Dolcetto with skirt steak, and herbaceous chicken dishes.
Now that the mood has been set, there are decisions to be made. For
those looking for a serious bottle that's complex enough to enhance
your dinner and also has enough structure and fruit to stand alone you
may want to check out the 2007 Juan Gill from Spain (World Markets).
On the nose of this wine there are tones of earthy red plums, cassis,
and vanilla. Also in nooks of this nose I pick up blueberries and
tobacco. When tasting the Juan Gill I taste mineral-laden strawberries
and tobacco. Up the middle of the tongue there are also nuances of
green herbs and vanilla with a nice backbone of firm tannins. If
eating is done, and you are looking for a wine, that in my opinion, is
better when not accompanied with food,try the Jade Mountain 2007 La
Provencale. Warning, this is a Fruit forward and palate coating type
of wine. When smelling this wine there is peppercorn, hints of
brocolli, herbaceous red fruit, hints of cocoa notes and an
interesting apricot thing going on. Tasting this wine, I enjoy
black-cherry and black-berries dancing throughout my palate. There is
a enormous fruit in this wine, with some green herbs on the outsides
of the palate and rasberries running up the middle of my tongue. I
even pick up some chocolate in the Jade Mountain from the mid to
finish, and what a long finish. A beautifully complex fruit forward
wine that I hope you get a chance to drink it, and enjoy. So there you
have it, those are my picks for Valentines Day, for those who take my
advice, thank you, for those who don't, whatever you are drinking with
your special person that night, drink responsibly and be safe, I know
I will. Happy Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Napa Valley)


I rarely say this, but the wine I'm drinking tonight is the opitome of a quality at a low price. And the kicker, which you are gonna love, is it's a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. I don't know, maybe it's the times we are in, where the economy has declined, but I never thought I would find a quality Cab from Napa under $5.00. So without further ado I am devouring the Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. This wine starts off well, but the more you drink it, the better it gets. On the nose, I pick up mint, black-cherry, light chocolate, and hints of herbs, although it is a bit closed. When tasting this Cab there is beautiful black-cherry on the front that carries throughout the palate. In the mid the black-cherry is joined with plum and starts to tail off in the finish. There are also great firm tannins rounded out with herbal notes on the edges of the tongue. The only thing is the finish on this wine could be longer, but there is a great quality about this wine and I see potential. For 5.00, and to be a Cab from Napa is unheard of, so visit your local Trader Joe's and snag this wine. As for me, I'm grabbing a case.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tableaux - Red Table wine 2006

As much wine as I drink on a weekly basis, a person who loves the vino as much as I do, tends to seek out more complex wines. Sometimes, though, a person just wants something fun, you know, something you don't have to think too much about. Well tonight, I'm drinking the Tableaux Red Table Wine 2006 from Southern France (a blend of 50% Syrah, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon). The nose holds Rasberry and cherry notes, along with some floral nuances. On my tongue I definitely translate from the nose the cherry on the initial attack with rasberries joining the party in the mid. The finish get a little watery, but wine is not horrible, and for those looking for a good pizza or party wine, this may be the right bet. Try it and leave a message.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Calcu 2005 Redwine Valle De Colchagua


The bottom line is, there are many areas throughout the world that make exceptional wines, but none that make better wines for the value, than Chile, Period. So, with that, I'm going to get into the wine I'm drinking tonite. This south-american gem I'm drinking to is the
Calcu 2005 Redwine Valle De Colchagua. On the nose, I pick up wild
cherry, hints of chalky vanilla, and nice milk chocolate. Something
else that comes through when smelling this wine, is green herbaceous
notes and earthy green pepper with hints of plum, which undoubtly
came from the graceful Carmenere grape in this wine. And with that I
feel I've smelled enough of this wine, so, what I taste in this bottle
is wild cherry, plum and cassis on the initial attack.
There are also heavy tannins well blended into this wine throughout
the mid to the finish, which says a lot about the wine maker.
On the back sides of the palate I also loved the cocoa bean and
long finish of wild cherry. I love wine, and what I love more is wine
I can get at a low price, this is an area that is under the radar
for quality wines, although it should be considered an old wine
area, with quality old vines. So check out Chile, drink and enjoy.

P.S. The blend on this wine is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cab. Franc
and 20% Carmenere.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Carrick 2006 Pinot Noir (Central Otago New Zealand)


In the world of wine, one of the most sought after grapes is Pinot Noir. And the two main areas that produce consistent and quality bottles of Pinot Noir are Burgundy of France and California. Although these two regions are considered the top producers of Pinot, there are other places making some serious wines. Two places that my tongue have been enjoying as of late are Chile and New Zealand (Central Otago to be specific), and tonight I'm drinking the latter. So, I'm a cut to the chase, I'm drinking the Carrick 2006 Pinot Noir. On the nose there are aroma's of sour black cherry, hints of soil, and rose petals blended with hints of gaminess. I so, appreciate the old-world nuances on the nose integrated with the vibrancy of the fresh-fruit in this wine. Inevitably I transition to the tasting. Initially I taste in this bottle a combination of cranberry and sour Blackberries which traveled on the outside of the of my tongue through to the finish. In the mid-palate, there were beautiful hints of rasberries and rose petals shadowed by well integrated soft tannins which also translated to the finish. This is not only a well made wine, but the fruit and terroir are beautifully translated in this bottle. I found this Pinot at Grocery Outlet for 13.00, online I've seen it range from 22.00 to 37.00, so in essence, this is a steal. Go out and enjoy a great pinot at a great price.

P.S. If you really let the air in your y mouth when trying this wine you will also pick up a hint of strawberry on the initial attack of your palate, I love the red fruit integration this wine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

La Yunta Tinto 2007


Tonight I'm drinking an Argentinian Blend. And what a blend this South American wines is. This La Yunta Tinto blends Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Malbec 35%, Bonarda 16%, Syrah 11% the white wine grape Torrontes 3%. Normally, I would elaborate with flowery dictation about what I felt when I drunk such a wine, but not tonight. I do love this wine, so I'm goin' to get right into it. On the nose the La Yunta carries Plum/black Cherry, and bright Strawberries, it also breeds within it's womb hints of Venison and earthy licorice. When tasting this bottle from Argentina, I caught nuances of big fleshy strawberry and rasberries mixed in with well blended tannins, which carried through the long finish. Also in the mid to finish I taste some pepper from the Syrah blended in, and sour plum which deliciously danced on the tongue for at least two minutes after the wine went down my throat. So that is it, try it, and comment if you like it, comment even if you don't like it, I just want to know your opinions. Peace and I hope you are thus far enjoying the new year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tin House 2004 Edna Valley Syrah

Yes, I'm sorry, this is the second Syrah in a row. This year seems to be the year of the Rhone Valley grapes, and with that comes the grapes of Mouvedre, Grenache, and of course Syrah. Well, in this instance I am showcasing the grape that dominates the Northern Rhone, Syrah, but this wine is not from the Rhone Valley. My mind is in the San Luis Obispo County in California, if you don't know. So, getting into one of my favorite area for Pinot Noir, I am allowing my palate an adventure and trying a Syrah from Edna Valley. I am drinking,tonight the Tin House 2004 Edna Valley Syrah. On the nose I embraced rasberry,
new car smell, soil, hints of creaminess and chocolate. Tasting this
Syrah I catch Blackcherry and plum which got a little sour on the finish.
This Syrah is a smooth and silky wine with a long finish. I also enjoyed
the blended cherry and chocolate on the outside of the palate. Seek and
Ye shall Find, all readers should keep this passage in mind when looking for this Syrah, and
and definitely leave a comment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

BigHorn Cellars 2005 Syrah from Napa

So, for the record, I love Rhone Varietals, that includes Syrah, Mouvedre, and Grenache. Syrah, for one reason or the other has taken the world in it's talons and run with it. I'm kinda tired tonight and am not in the mood to get into my personal feelings about Rhone grapes so I'm a get right into this wine. I'm drinking the BigHorn Cellars 2005 Syrah from Napa. On the nose I pick up Tobacco, Blackberries/Cherries and chocolate hints of chalky plum and chocolate. Upfront on this Syrah I caught sharp tannins. I also tasted from this Syrah the dry and concentrated fruit of Blackcherry. This wine also intoxicated me with a long finish of tobacco mixed with black tea and chocolate On the long finish. California Rhone Varietals are not my favorite, but this wine shows more than potential, and I'm curious to what you, who read this, thinks. Leave a comment.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

J.P. Mendoza Pampa De Baco Malbec 2008

I do love world wines, you know the wines that don't come from Napa, which is difficult for a native of California. But I do love wines from all over the globe, and one place that I've not given enough creatence to is Argentina. So because of my neglect, let's showcase their shining star, Malbec. Now, I've had numerous Malbecs from in Argentina, and I have had some bad experiences for my palate. But there are some great Malbecs from Argentina, which once was a royal varietal from Bordeaux that in the past was considered mostly a blending grape, that became a great wines in it's own right. An example of this Ideology is the Pampa De Baco Malbec 2008. On the nose of this Argentina treasure are blackberries and plum meshed in with floral nuances, tobacco and hints of bread. What I tasted was a dark fruited front end, such as Blackberries, plum, and hints of cassis. Also on the palate I tasted coffee and hints of tobacco, with nice round tannins on the finish. This wine has a brilliant balance of dark fruit and concentration. Grocery Outlet is not everywhere but, definitely look for this bottle if you, yourself are in this store. And if you get a chance to try such a Malbec, please leave a comment, I'm curious to know what opinion another palate holds.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Camillo Trebbiano D'Abruzzo 2007 (Italian)

Time to switch it up a bit, I know it's been a while since I've featured a White wine. And to be honest, the white wines I've been drinking lately have, at best, been sub-par. Although this, white wine does not blow my mind, it has some interesting nuances that deserve some attention. Now, to my notes. Again the name of the bottle is Camillo Trebbiano D'Abruzzo 2007. On the nose is where I become very intrigued with this Italian Grape, I pick up, initially, a beautiful Pear and Cinnamon scent which literally makes me want to bite through this glass to get closer to the wine. Upon further sniffing, I also pick up hints of mint and acacia flowers, I love this nose. The taste carries with it good minerality accompanied with a blend of pear and apple throughout the palate. There is also a hint of orange peel on the mid/sides of the tongue but for the most part, it seems a little one-noted with the pear/apple components. Although a bit one-noted, it is a well made and balanced wine. And if you are searching for this wine, this Italian White wine is not a widely spread varietal around the United States, but I implore you, if you get a chance, to try this if you find it. And of course leave a comment. Happy New Year.