Deep purple colored it stains the walls and has a slight bluish tinge on the edges. On the nose it is very heady with aromas of dark, ripe blueberry, black currants, blue plum, violets, mint and a touch of oak by way of baking spices and chocolate powder. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and high tannins that are fine grained. This full bodied wine has plenty going on flavorwise. Blueberry, cacao, blackcurrant, plum, florals and some spices. The question of balance comes into mind as the alcohol (15% ABV) is noticeable on the nose and the mid palate. I will get over it but buyer beware. The finish is medium in length and blue fruited. The tannins having vanished, leaving a touch of refreshing acidity. The Douro Valley and this varietal, Touriga Nacional are well known to Port lovers worldwide. They make delicious and full throttle fortified wines, so having ripe, sun-drenched grapes to make a still wine is not an issue. The results are in this bottle- a yummy delight to pair with hearty dishes. Mine is Steak and Ale pie tonight but it will do well with grilled leg of Lamb or even Osso Bucco. I would drink this wine till 2030, it has the structure needed to cellar. 90 points (the slight imbalance alcohol cost a point) and for $19- 5 stars. Look for this wine or even this varietal and region when you are searching for something new. Salut….
This Tuscan blend of Petit Verdot and Syrah is a deep shade of ruby, bordering on purple in the glass. The nose has pronounced aromas of violet, black plum, cedar, a touch of fresh funk, spice box and maduro. The palate is quite zippy and fresh. Dry, with gentle tannins and medium acidity it has a medium weight body and yummy flavors. Plum, cedar, spice, maduro ( a dark tobacco), blackberry and that funk- perhaps a mushroom scent? The mouthfeel is staggeringly smooth and delicious. This wine is seamless in its component makeup. The tannins are very nicely integrated, the acidity is balanced and the depth of fruit is great. The finish is medium to long. My only concern is the funk that is very persistent. It is ever present and distracting, knocking a point off the total. Overall this is a very good wine that gets 91 points from me and at $19- 5 stars. I am pairing with meatballs and red sauce. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Shiraz is typically dark and brooding and this one is no exception, really rich purple and 75% opaque in the glass.
The label states a 15.3% alcohol so buyer beware. The nose has that jammy raspberry/cherry twizzler profile which I’m not a huge fan of- I hope the palate is a little bit more in my style. So, turns out this is quite a rich and reduced raspberry offering with toasty oak and red currants on the initial palate. As I drink this wine I’m starting to really enjoy it- the candy element long gone. The mid palate has juicy red fruits with a modicum of tannic dryness. The finish is relatively straightforward with good fruit, gentle acidity and a touch of tannin. There’s a nice mouthfeel that makes it easy to drink. Overall this is an 88 point wine that should be drunk by 2027. Ps. I did not get a hint of the alcohol, well disguised! For $19 it gets 3 stars from me. Pair with Lasagna, grilled sirloin or even roast duck. Salut….
This Pinot is a dark shade of purple and is quite a bit more opaque than expected. The nose gives me dark cherries, boysenberry, clove and cola. Very intricate. The palate is quite unique- cherry cola meets rhubarb and cranberry. I sense a cascade of acidity as my mouth starts to water but there’s a modicum of dryness from lithe tannins that hit towards the mid palate. The dark red fruit theme continues and I get a nice finish with some extras- Rooibos tea, spices and more of that cherry cola thing. It is a really tasty wine that has been extracted very well, not overdone with nice oak integration. The length of the finish is really great and the tannins stick with me for quite a while. Light-to-medium bodied, it has a nice mouthfeel. Drink this 91 point wine till 2027. I am preparing Sous Vide chicken and Swiss chard to pair. For $19 it’s an awesome deal that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Pairing spicy food with wine is pretty simple really, stay away from all reds. Riesling is the go-to normally, but I have played around with Sauvignon Blanc with great success and tonight will be trying out a Gewürztraminer with Thai red curry Chicken. The wine has a nice medium tone of yellow and the legs are very sheet like in the glass. On the nose it has that telltale floral note with melons, peaches and rosewater. The palate is very delicious with honey, peaches, tangerine and some tartness. The mid palate is more citrus driven with pomelo and tangerines alongside a hint of raw almond. The finish is long with the floral notes returning. The acidity as a whole is quite lithe with this wine which is typical of the varietal so the mouthfeel is a quite full. I am enjoying it pre-dinner and wonder if the lack of much bite will hinder the performance against the rich, spicy curry.
It was a winner! The curry was not overly hot, but very flavorful. The fruitiness and floral components of the wine were a great match. I added a heaping dollop of red chillies to test the match, it worked out great. This wine is delicious and will drink well till 2025, pair it with something fresh, something spicy, seafood, chicken or just pop it with some charcuterie. 89 points and for $19 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
I do believe that Pinot Noir pairs nicely with Duck, so here we go! This one is quite a dark shade of red but completely see-through. The nose has a candied strawberry waft along with pomegranate and some mulling spices. The palate is very approachable and offers crisp red cranberry and cherry flavors. There is a juiciness to this wine that I am enjoying. The mid palate goes back to that initial strawberry note but I also sense a decent amount of acidity. There are tannins lurking in the background that hit me on the delightful finish that is a bouquet of red fruits and a touch of spice. Yummy and light with some good fruit, it will go great with my bird. Drink till 2025. 89 points for this $19 bottle make it a 4 star wine. Salut….
Here’s the scene- it’s Christmas Eve, Moxie is making her grandmother’s famous Holiday Crunch for dinner (a pasta casserole) and I am having to pick between four different bottles to try. Eenie meenie moe and voila- the Vino Rosso beats the Barolo, the Gigondas and the Cab Franc.
No idea what the blend is until I pour the wine, it’s gotta be a Sangiovese. Light purple, totally see through and obviously Italian. The nose gives me muted cherry, raspberry and cedar plank. On the palate it is very soft and easy drinking. Strawberry and cherry give it away. Very little tannin make this super light weight and easy without any astringency or acid. The mid palate is a red fruit melange plus some plum that takes me to the short lived finish. Right at the very end I sense some acidity taking hold, but it’s not jaw dropping. A tasty wine that will go well with our pasta dish which normally gets smothered in hot sauce. 86 points and 2 stars for this $19 charmer. Drink now. Salut….
The 10th Virtual Wine Tasting featured this Spanish wine as the lone white, which we tasted both chilled and at room temperature. I made a prediction right after I tasted the room temp version that this wine would be better chilled, contrary to the usual. I was correct.
The wine showed nicely in the glass with a pale yellow color and fine legs. The tasters noted melon, citrus, ‘soapy’, pear and honey. On the palate it was considered ‘mild’, ‘light’, with notes of grapefruit and apricot coming through. The chilled version gave me a sharper nose, was more vibrant and had notes of Granny Smith apples, pear and citrus. I found it more dry, acidic and having flavors of ginger and grapefruit on the palate. One taster mentioned it had ‘Zing’ from the acidity.
As I have said before it’s hard to run a virtual tasting and make my own notes when there’s 20 other people chiming in with their own opinions, but I do try to write down what the common theme is that we are all tasting. Overall this was a nice intro to the varietal and I really enjoyed it the next night as an aperitif with some Lebanese Mezza. It hit the thirst spot right on and was refreshing with it’s acidity and that Zing! Overall I would give this Albariño 89 points, but drink it chilled. 4 stars for this $19 effort. Salut….
Bright purple and see through, typical for the Gamay grape. On the nose it shows blueberry, spice box, violets and bramble. The palate is very fresh and echoes the blue theme. Nice, rounded acidity braces the mouth and the fruit transitions nicely to the mid palate. There’s a definitive spice i’m getting- perhaps cloves? It’s very interesting. The wine feels like it may have a touch of tannic grip, which is good for this style- it allows brief to mid term cellaring. The finish is decent in length with more blueberries and a dusty component. It reminds me a little of Rioja on the back end. Quite unique. For $19 and 90 points, this Beaujolais Cru gets 4 stars. A nice gift from my cousins. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Blackish blue in the glass that is somewhat murky. On the nose it’s delightful- blackberry pie, yeast, and iodine(strange, but believable). On the palate it has a unique flavor- blackberry meets charcoal. I can’t think of a better descriptor. There’s a vast cask influence here and I’m loving it, not over-oaked but the fundamentals are there. Vanilla, popcorn, coconut. It’s not over done, just a nice, deft use of it to give this wine a unique flavor. The mid palate continues the blackberry theme and the tannins creep up, barely noticeable until the finish and by then- dry gums! The whole package is mouth-filling, interesting, well structured and balanced. I like it, a lot. 91 points and 5 stars for this $19 wine. Drink till 2025. Salut….