I have just returned from Lebanon and the UK, so Moxie decided to cook a meal for me and Beef Bourguignon it is! She did not venture into the cellar for a bottle of Pinot, opting to remain clear and go directly to the wine shop where she picked up this $11 California offering. It shows medium opacity and a somewhat dull ruby color with medium looking legs (13.8% ABV). The nose is interesting for a New World Pinot- there’s quite a bit of earthiness to alongside the cherry, pomegranate and raspberry aromas. I also get some baking spices and a touch of funky red licorice. The palate is dry with very lithe tannins and low acidity. It’s a fruit forward wine that bursts with cherry and strawberry, pomegranate and black raspberry. The spices are present but very subdued. Medium bodied with a short finish- quite tasty. This is a not an age worthy wine, but it rocks as a pop-n-pour and doesn’t break the bank. It gets 87 points from me and 4 stars. Very smooth and appealing. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Deep ruby/purple colored with a tinge of blue on the edges. The nose gives me aromas of blueberry, açaí berry, plum, mint, candied black cherry and smoke. Th palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins. I get flavors of açaí, blueberry, charcoal, candied black cherry and plums from this medium to full bodied wine. I also get some heat on the back end even though it only sports a 13.6% ABV. The finish is short in duration and I get some charred oak notes along with the fading tannins and blueberry. It’s a decent weekday wine that gets 87 points from me and for $11 it’s a decent value that gets 3 stars. Drink now with burgers, pizza or other family favorites. Salut….
This is yet another style of wine I have never tried- Retsina from Greece. This one is pale lemon colored and has a very unique set of aromas. Resin, pear drop, wet wood, lemon verbena and dare I say it….vomit? The palate is bone dry with high acidity and a light body. The flavors are also very unique, starting with that resinous note along with freshly sawed green wood, lemon, pine needles and green pear. The finish is short to medium in length and tart. An interesting wine, probably not something I will rush out to replenish but it was worth the try. I can’t score this $11 offering at this point but you should really get one for yourself. I am pairing it with tacos, the spices will do well with the dryness and acidity of this unique wine. Salut….
Medium ruby colored in the glass- this blend of Syrah and Nero D’Avola has aromas of plum, licorice, game, violets, blackberry leaf, some licorice and a caramel/burnt sugar note. The palate is dry with medium acidity and silky smooth, medium level tannins that melt away gracefully. Medium bodied, this wine has nice flavors of plum, florals, blackberry and a touch of licorice alongside that caramel note. The finish is mid length and I get a charred wood note with more anise. The tannins make a comeback to remind me that they are still grippy. A nice bottle that ran me $11! I would drink this with stews, leaner cuts of meat and pasta for sure over the short term- till 2026. I give it 89 points and 5 stars. Salut….
Pale lemon/lime colored in the glass. Aromas of lemon, asparagus, cut grass, melon and cape gooseberry. On the palate this is a dry wine with high acidity. The fruit is very rounded and I get the melange of citrus meets classic Sav Blanc fingerprints and some interesting twists with the gooseberry and melon. The wine is medium (-) bodied and has a refreshing, if not short finish. Serve chilled it will pair nicely with raw oysters/clams, steamed shrimp or chicken salad. I like this $11 wine and give it 90 points and 5 stars. Drink now. Salut….
Pasta for dinner means an Italian wine but I’m afraid this one might be a touch young. Made from Montepulciano grapes it is medium opacity with garnet hues. The nose is medium (-) in intensity and gives me aromas of red licorice, cherry, smoke, nutmeg, red plum and cherry cola. The palate is not what I was expecting- much more approachable. Dry, with medium (-) tannins, juicy acidity and medium weight body. The flavors are medium intensity with notes of cherry, cola, strawberry, nutmeg, and a hint of red plum. I don’t get the smoke component any more. The tartness of the cherry is evident on the finish, which is relatively short. I like this wine as a basic, no frills red that will serve the pairing well. It gets 88 points from me and for the entry-level price of $11 it is worthy of 4 stars. Keep a few on hand for a weekday spaghetti night. Drink now. Salut….
This Grenache/Syrah blend is very dark purple in the glass and 75% opaque. On the nose I get telltale raspberry plus red currants and red licorice. The palate is quite dry right off the bat and a touch austere. As I work my way through the black tea notes I discover raspberry and cherry cola. The mid palate is very tannic but I still get red fruit and now- black licorice. The finish is a long and dry affair, the tannins really gripping my gums. There is a touch of bitterness all through the wine that bothers me somewhat, perhaps a bit of decanting or aerating would soften it up? I think this is a basic wine that will do well paired with hearty meat stews, especially Lamb. It gets 85 points from me and at $11- 3 stars. Drink till 2023. Salut….
I needed a white to go with tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner, this one was up next on the bench and seems appropriate considering the fare. It’s a dark yellow color in the glass. On the nose this wine offers butterscotch, yellow apple, lemon zest and popcorn. The palate is smooth, buttery and full bodied. The classic Cali Chard notes are evident. Oak influenced lemon, apples and melon make for a very tasty wine that will appeal to many. My mate Dusty would love this one, his sister-in-law Arty would hate it. I know many people truly dislike the flavor of Chardonnay that has undergone Malolactic fermentation with an abundance of butter flavor as a result. Others love it to the point of seeking it out. I digress. The mid palate is warm and a bit more cutting with a whiff of acidity starting to appear. The finish is long and silky with popcorn, butter, lemon and green melon flavors carrying through til the end. Not much acidity sticking around for the finale but I’m okay with that. This is for short term drinking and will pair well with Salmon, shrimp cocktail or even baked chicken. I like it for what it is and give it 89 points. For $11 I can see why it’s one of the most widely produced Chards out there. 5 stars for this daily drinker that needs to be bought by the case if you like the style. Drink till 2022. Salut….
Very dark purple and nearly opaque in the glass. The nose on this Zin gives me sweet plums, white pepper, licorice and dried cherry. On the palate is has a warm intro bursting with purple fruit ganache, sweet black cherry and a modicum of very fine grained tannins. The mid palate continues the black/purple fruit theme but it’s here where I sense the 15.1 % alcohol. It’s not bothersome, just be careful! The tannins are really well integrated so that I get just a touch of dryness on the backend to go along with some steeped plum and charcoal notes. I really am enjoying this wine, it will pair nicely with the braised Lamb shanks in the oven. It gets 89 points from me and for $11 it’s one to stock up on for casual meals and Friday Happy hours. 5 stars, drink till 2024. Salut….
Our second Sav Blanc of Thanksgiving was another Kiwi wine. Pale yellow in the glass with a somewhat muted nose of tangerine and pomelo. On the palate it is refreshing with that orange citrus flavor along with grated ginger and capsicum. There is a hint of wood accent on the mid palate and a touch of acidity. It’s a fuller mouthfeel but is a bit shallower on the flavor profiles. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 quaffer to drink till 2022. Salut….