Tisdale Merlot NV

Another cheap wine tasting brought over from Blogarythms.

Tisdale?  New to me!  Just found this at a local grocery store.  It was inexpensive and on sale – so I decided to give it a try.

Vineyard:     Tisdale
Varietal:       Merlot
Vintage:       NV
Appellation: California
Price:          $5.00

Notes:         Extremely light-bodied selection with dark red fruit flavors.  Not on my favorites list.  This archive tasting note was posted originally in April of 2010.


Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer. 


From Oenophilogical Mit Liebe: Liebster Award Noms

OK.  So it took me more than a day to get these up!  Hopefully you were humming the Carly Simon tune “Anticipation” [a great song] while you waited.  If anyone was waiting – LOL.

Playing “Telephone”

As I mentioned in my previous post, I did some looking around to inform myself about the Liebster Award.  What I found was that a nominee was originally supposed to nominate 3-5 others for the award who had fewer than 3000 followers each.   What?!  I feel like I’m playing that old game “Telephone” where you whisper something to one person at the end of a line and see what comes out at the other end.  It’s never what you started out with.  Thus, there are folks now nominating 11 blogs each with 200 or fewer followers and asking them 11 questions.  That was some game of Telephone!!

Given that I like sticking to the basics [and I don’t believe I could think up 11 interesting questions for my nominees to answer], I am going to revert to what appears to be the original rules.  I have to credit Sopphey Says for her research into the Awards.  You can find her post on this topic HERE.  The post she cites – the earliest she could find – is HIER at a German blog called Bird of Paradise.

Doing My Part

The answers to the questions I was asked and recognition of my nominating blog can be found in my previous post by clicking ICI.

Questions For The Nominees

1.  What was your favorite kids’ TV show as a child?

2.  What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

3.  If you had to choose between them, would you listen to waves or birdsong ?

4.  How many umbrellas do you own?

5.  If you could learn 3 new languages in a day, what would they be and why?

The Nominees

labellestudio — all things beauty-full [from a pastoral locale in northern Bavaria]
Wine Serf —  whose goal is to “look at wine from the bottom up – the $15 range”
Whine & Cheers for Wine — the wine experience and everything that comes along with it
365x24x17 —  a serendipitous photo blog w/ 1 of 2 people taking a pic at 5 p.m. every day of the year
Perth Wine Enthusiast — I think that title says it all!

Drop by these blogs, check them out, and leave a congrats or two for the good and interesting work they’re doing.   And, once again, I have to thank Winebbler for nominating me.  You should check out what she’s doing, too!

Epilogue:  There were a number of blogs I contemplated nominating who had already been nominated.  In the spirit of spreading the love around, I tried my best to look at only blogs that – due to some egregious oversight – had not yet been nominated.

A Little Riesling At The Pub

Following up on my intent to broaden my wine horizons and in the interest of internationalism, I’m going to be tasting 3 wines from Germany in the next few days.  This is the first.  You may remember that I wrote a post not too long ago about a nice red I’d tasted at a local watering hole where they have good live music, too.  Anyway, things went so well with the red that I thought I’d give one of their whites a try.

Winemaker:  Lucashof
Wine:  Riesling
Vintage:  2010
Appellation:  Pfalz
Price:  Not Available

Notes:  It was simple, light bodied and for me light on flavor.  What I tasted was lime and peach (with the fuzz on the quick finish).   Dry – Sweet?  This Riesling comes in at 11.5% alcohol.   It wasn’t bad at all, but I  just didn’t think it brought that much to the table.  I almost didn’t post this review because I couldn’t find this wine at retail anywhere in my area – or even online for that matter – for this vintage.   But then I thought maybe others would run into it at their local haunt/restaurant/etc., so I went ahead.  I’m thinking maybe this pub doesn’t go through much Riesling and they should’ve served this a year ago.  I see that Lucashof gets good reviews for their wines, so I am going to give another of their selections a try in the future.

First Sips Toward A Love Affair

First, I have to admit that I came to wine fairly late.  I was well into my adulthood when I decided to investigate.

Early Impressions

I may have been reticent to give it a go because of experiences early in life.  You see, my parents weren’t really drinkers (maybe once or twice a year).  On the rare occasion they chose to drink, it was not so much for the flavor as for the experience (aka effect).  As a result, they usually bought pretty gosh awful wine.  Now and then, they would give me a taste.  And it was those first sips of bad wine that stuck with me for years.

Good Company Helps You Grow

But then (years later) I fell in with a crowd of folks – both at work and in my social circle – who were singing the praises of wine .  These folks were actually talking intelligently about the flavors in the wine.  In fact, I remember the first time I noticed the flavors in a wine.  A colleague from my office was quite the oenophile.  One evening he was sipping a Chardonnay and talking about how buttery it was.  He offered me a glass, and I didn’t want to be impolite.  I took a sip and — OMG — it had a pretty strong buttery flavor.  And that was that!  I wanted to know more.

Managed Expectations

Of course, there is so much to experience in the world of wine that just stepping into a wine store was initially daunting.  I was just a beginner, so I decided to start on the bunny slope.  What I mean is that I decided to start with only wines that were of a single varietal.  That way I could learn what the flavor profiles were for specific types of grapes and the wines produced from them.  And because that was still a very large number of wines, I decided to limit myself further to wines produced domestically in the U.S.  That way I could compare the differences among the wine houses as well as how changes to the many variables in winemaking made changes in the resulting wine.

Rome Wasn’t Built In One Tasting

According to The Wine Institute, the U.S. produced almost 700 million gallons of wine in 2011 (over 600 million in California alone).  Knowing what that might do to my liver, I took a few years  – yes, years – in my exploration of domestic single varietal wines.  Oh, I can’t say that I didn’t ever stray.  I’m only human.  I can still remember an amazing Gaja Barbaresco that had lovely blueberry flavors.  While that whetted my appetite for more, I did my best to focus because … my tongue was in training.

The World Is The Territoire

Now I have finally made the move to a deliberately broader wine experience.  Don’t get me wrong: I am no pro.  But I think I’m at a place where I won’t be confused and completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume and diversity of wines from across the globe.  Of course, I’ll be moving at a measured pace as I look, swirl, sniff and quaff my way along this journey.  And I’ll be posting my palatal travel experiences here at Oenophilogical.

I’m open to suggestions, by the way.  Big time!  So feel free to drop a comment here or in response to any of my posts with your recommendations on your favorite varietals and/or wines.

All Photos In This Post Are Credit WikiMedia

Turning Leaf Chardonnay 2008

People are going to think all I do is drink wine.  It’s not true!  I have aspirations, mind you.  Here is another bottle from my past being redeposited here for archival purposes. 

Not destined to be my favorite Chardonnay, this one certainly isn’t on the bottom of the list, either.  It’s solidly in the drinkable range, especially for those who like California Chardonnay.  I do, actually.  Still, I prefer a little more acidity in mine than what I got from this Turning Leaf 2008 by E&J Gallo.  But you don’t have to remind me!  I’m not spending $20, $30 or more on a bottle.  So ….

Vineyard:     Turning Leaf
Wine:           Chardonnay
Vintage:       2008
Appellation: California
Price:          $8.99

Notes:         Flavors on this selection are very restrained for a California Chardonnay.  I tasted lemon-lime and honey, some light toasty oak notes, butter and allspice on the finish.  It wasn’t very crisp for a dry Chardonnay – almost fatty on the tongue (thus the butter, I suppose).   Light though it was, the flavors did manage to come through a meal as well.  Lest I forget, I found citrus and apple aromas in the bouquet. 

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclosure.

Honey Moon Viognier 2011

11#10  This post represents a minor milestone.  It’s the tenth installment in my tasting of wines from the local Trader Joe’s shelves.

Winemaker:  Trader Moon (Delicato Vineyards for Trader Joe’s)
Wine:  Honey Moon Viognier
Vintage:  2011
Appellation:  California
Price:  $5.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:   This was a fairly simple, straightforward wine.  It had a very strong bouquet of peach and citrus.  Primary flavors for me were peach, lime and honey.  On the finish the citrus lingers and it gets a tiny bit of grass, too.  Although not heavy, the wine has a fat feel in the mouth – as if it had a lipid element to it.  Perhaps that has to do with lower acidity.  Alcohol is 13%.   It was certainly pleasant enough to drink.  I could see this as a refreshing cooler to sip in summer.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer. 

Crane Lake Merlot 2008

Another inexpensive wine from the Blogarhythms archives.

This is a simple, easy-drinking Merlot from California.

Vineyard:     Crane Lake
Varietal:       Merlot
Vintage:       2008
Appellation: California
Price:          $5.49

Notes:  Medium-bodied Merlot with lots of plum flavor and hints of spice (vanilla).  Easy to drink and easy on the wallet.  At this price point, grab a bottle and see if you agree.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.