November 192002 Les Coteax De L’Atlas
Really? Wine from Moracco? Probably this is a bad example… It is too good to be “average”. If you want the back story, comment or email us. Also, the cork shows leakage, so if YOU were to get this wine, you would have an even better experience.. I can’t even imagine!
As typical of vintage wines, it has an orange hue. Color is dense and gorgeous. Nose probably requires scent experiences beyond ours… But we’ll give it a shot… Shrooms, Cigar, and cedar. On the pallette it is very plum, cinnomon, orange, and oak. The orange becomes more prevelant, with a little lemon on the finish, along with some spice box. Acidity is excellent throughout, and when all is taken into consideration, this wine would go great with nearly any food, or by itself.
Price: 20 – 25 (tough to determine due to the wine being bought two years ago, and in Moracco)
If you’re like us and typically spend around $10 a bottle for your daily drinkers, then you probably also spend $30-ish for your mid range “special occasion” wines. Well, have we got a suggestion for you! This puppy is soooooooo nice! I think it is really under rated by the big-wigs at 90+, and we’ll be fixing that mistake for them.
Plenty of time has gone by since this wine was put in the barrel and bottle. I’d say it should be drank between now and a couple of years from now. The age indicator for us is the orange hue around the edges in the glass. It’s just beginning to appear. There’s a note of that dusty barrel that aged wine gets too, which this has some of. And then come the almost ironic part of this wine. It’s freshness! I love, love, love the fresh fruit aromas and flavors in this wine. Primarily strawberry, with touches of red plum, cherry, and blackberry. This is not saturated, baked fruit, thank you very much. I like a good fruit bomb from Australia, Chile, or Argentina as much as the next guy, but when you taste this you’ll realize how refreshing the fresh fruit is. Body is mid-range, not too dark or light. It has moderate complexity, with a good bit of oak, without too much vanilla (which I’m not a huge fan of), a little black pepper (yay!), and just a touch of veggie action. Tannins are fairly mild, but it has enough tannin and acidity to eat with something like bbq chicken, or other medium to heavy meat dish. I would even have it with steak, if it’s cooked with light seasonings. Not for Tennessee BBQ ribs.
It has a moderately long finish that leaves nothing unpleasant in your mouth… except maybe a desire for another sip. I will say it is hard to stop drinking this wine, so, you might want to pick up at least a couple of bottles. Get’m while they last! Still available at the time of writing! We’ll try not to buy up all of them. LOL
October 18The Bar and the Caviar
Caviar has become renowned over generations for its unique and mouth-watering texture as well as its exquisite flavor. Still, there are many misconceptions about the serving of caviar and what expectations there are from those who know it best. Though caviar is often garnished or served with other dishes, purists would say that detracts from the wonderful flavor of the dish, which is best served alone. But unlike deciding to not pair caviar with other food types, there certainly are expectations for drinks to be served with caviar. So if you plan on using black caviar an appetizer at a gala or American caviar as a first course at a dinner party, consider these various tips on what drinks to pair with this seafood delicacy.
If you’re going for a wine pairing, there are some easy rules to follow. (more…)
October 11Coming right up!
So, we pretty much exclusively have reviewed wine on this blog, without much else for content. But that’s changing. Don’t worry, you’ll still get the accurate but quirky wine reviews, and even more of them.
What we’re going to start adding are recipes of the meals we make using wine. As probably most wine affectionados do, we tend to cook with wine pretty often. Sometimes we cook things with wine that maybe most people wouldn’t. For example, I use red wine to cook taco meat. Believe me, if it didn’t make it better I wouldn’t waste the wine. Another one is that I replace water with white wine when making pizza dough. Maybe that one has been done? Anyway, I got the idea last night after making some of the best white fish ever, of course using white wine.
I’ll list the specific wine, and why I choose a wine of that type, and link to the review of that wine. I’ll also link to the recipe from the wine review.
I will also be inviting guests to write articles on gourmet foods, wine pairing, etc., so look for those articles very soon.
Hope you enjoy the changes!
I’m becoming convinced that some of the best wine from California is from Alexander Valley. Not to over emphasize the region over the producer….
There’s a story behind how we got this wine, but you’ll have to ask to hear it (comment!)… but we didn’t pay for it (OK, fine, Rika’s boss gave it to her). Basically, all we knew was what was on the bottle, and that it cost around 20 bucks.
The wine has a pretty nice bouquet – certainly not timid. Rika said she smelled a sugary candy. I think it smells of vanilla – a result of the toasted oak. In fact, it is mostly oak, a fairly strong floral component, and noticeable alcohol. When I first smelled it I thought it might be a little hot, but it isn’t. It is 14.5% alcohol, which is slightly high, but it has enough umph else-wize to hide it. (more…)
March 13Worst wines to date!
We feel the hurt like millions of other Americans. I was laid off the first of the year, and we’re barely able to make ends meet. Of course that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped drinking wine! It just means we have to buy cheaper daily drinkers and drink “the good wines” less often. So with that, I’ve been exploring some inexpensive, no, downright CHEAP wines from Trader Joe’s. We’ve had some decent ones, some good ones, and these two. Yes, I’m going to put two wines in one post. They are two varietals from La Finca wines of the 2010 vintage. And no, I don’t think age will help these wines at all… nothing will. They are from the Finca La Celia vineyards in the foothills of the Argentine Andes. I’m not going to post what’s on the back label, but suffice to say, it ISN’T describing what’s in the bottle. What it describes is a typical wine of the variety from that region. It is what they WISH they were making. False advertising if ever there was such a thing. I think the other labels of Mendoza should shut these guys down – or buy them out just to protect their reputation!
So, not that you need a description of these wines, but…
Both are very light and relatively devoid of fruit. The Malbec is the less-bad of the two. At least it was clear – the Cabernet Sauvignon was a little cloudy. They both taste like they’re high in alcohol, but they’re only 13%. A typical Malbec or Cab from this region could carry 14- 16% without being this hot. For both I had to mix half and half with 7-up to tolerate them. Hey, can’t waste it, trashy or not!
OK, I’m done. These wines suck, don’t buy them.
Rating 70 or less
December 272004 Germano Angelo Barolo
Classic Barolo, for a lot less. Orange hues, dusty red fruit on the nose, namely plum. Plum, strawberry, raspberry, black pepper and licorice on the pallet. Plenty of tannin – this wine has legs… If you have a bottle, don’t open it yet. The finish isn’t that long, bet write pleasant. In fact, it is my favorite part of this wine. There’s plenty of fruit there, and spices that make it interesting. If you’re looking for a decent barolo experience for half the usual starting price ($ 50), this its a good choice.
$29 at Wine House
May 12008 Mas Malbec Mendoza
I’m sort of unimpressed with this wine, but I’m hesitant to say that to you. Reason being, I’m a huge fan of Argentine Malbec, and have had so many of them that to me rival most other wines I’ve had. So my expectations for Argentine Malbec is always fairly high, especially “for the price” – even under $10. This is a good wine though, and at $10, is still, in my humble opinion, still a good value. All I really needed from this wine was more fruit, and I would have been very happy. I’m happy with all of the complexity it offers, fairly classic varietal profile… but it just needs more fruit. I’m not a fan of fruit bombs either. Too bad really, because otherwise it totally has what it takes to be a 90+ wine. It reminds of Durigutti, but it falls a little short of that wine.
If you like old school Italian wines, or non-fruit bomb Argentine Cabs, then you’ll like this wine.
April 302008 Contesa Vino Sfuso Rosso
I bought this wine as a party wine for the Summer. I only bought one bottle, to try it out in fact, really unsure if it would even be “good enough” for a party wine. Let’s face it, 7 bucks doesn’t usually buy a very good wine. Wow, was I blown away! I mean, it isn’t one of the better wines I’ve had, but for 7 bones??? This wine rocks! It’s rather opaque… I could barely see the sun through it (I was drinking while swimming in the pool for the first time this season)! It has an almost soda-like acidity that screams SUMMER! There’s also a bit of citrus and herb on the pallet. What’s more, it isn’t just a big ole fruit bomb – it actually has structure, tannin, and a decent vegetal aspect. This is truly classic Italian fare here. I’ll note that it doesn’t have much of a bouquet, just kinda dusty old Italian wine smell, without much fruit or other interesting odors… but also no funkiness.
This wine will be perfect for Summer BBQ’s, and even just drinking over-chilled on hot summer days poolside. Beyond that, in general I’d say this is the best wine I’ve ever had for the price. Highly recommended!
Price: $7 (K&L)
I needed a white wine to do some cooking with this week. I wanted a Sauvignon Blanc for its varietal characteristics (complexity/vegetal), but didn’t want to pay more than 10 bucks for cooking wine. Note that I also won’t cook with “cheap” wine, so only a place like K&L or possibly Wine House could pull this off for me. Rika first made a dish based on Shrimp Étouffée, so I figured I’d drink a little of it with the meal. My first sip put that “oh wow” look on my face. LOL Now, granted, my expectations were pretty low, plus anyone who’s read this blog much knows I’m not big on white wine. But I actually like this wine!