Some wines I remember for their impact on my senses – their bouquet, their flavors. Others I remember as part of what I was doing when I drank them – at a birthday party, concert, special restaurant, etc. When I popped the cork on this bottle, my sweetie and I had decided to catch up on our pop culture and begin watching Season 1 of the show True Detective via HBO Now. I truly didn’t realize how dark the story line would be, or I might have opted for something else. The juxtaposition of a light white wine and the grim crimes being investigated on the screen, however, may have made both more memorable.
Winemaker: Viña Maipo
Wine: Mi Pueblo
Appellation: Central Valley, Chile
Notes: This light-bodied, light-hued Chardonnay had bright acidity and a bouquet consisting of lemon, pineapple and spice. Alcohol was at 13%. On the palate I tasted lemon, pineapple, grass and a very forward kerosene note. I’d suggest pairing this with food as (for me) the kerosene note was a bit off-putting. Maybe that’s why it was marked down from $12 to $5.
I know the bubbles/bubbly wine writing challenge is past, but I wanted to post this anyway. First, though, many congratulations to Traveling Wine Chick for coming out on top in the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #27! Her entry is quite an enjoyable piece. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it. Click HERE to view. This post won’t be as fullsome or as well phrased, but it will be about bubbles nonetheless.
Winemaker: It’s A Headsnapper
Appellation: Prosecco DOC, Italy
Notes: At 11% alcohol, this light straw-colored bubbly was a tad sweet. It had good acidity, a light heft on the palate, and a bouquet of nectarine with floral notes and a hint of cream. At least that’s what I smelled. I can only share with you what my nose told me. Flavors were gentle as was the effervescence. It seemed like a light citrusade to my taste buds – a mix of citrus. It was pleasant, and I actually thought the tart flavors balanced the sweetness pretty well. It’s simple. It’s easy to drink.
I picked this Merlot up on a very recent visit to my neighborhood Trader Joe’s. Sometimes …
Other times “whatcha see” is an illusion, and what lies in store can be either a horrible shock or a pleasant surprise. Personally, I like pleasant surprises, and this wine turned out to be one of those.
Winemaker: Trader Joe’s
Wine: Grower’s Reserve Merlot
Price: $4.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: A medium-bodied red with good acidity and medium-plus tannins, this inexpensive Merlot had a definite purplish hue which brought to mind big, juicy, ripe plums. My eyes, however, deceived me. What I found in the bouquet was a mix of cedar, earth and barnyard with sweet floral notes. On the tongue it had an almost chalky texture with cola, blackberry, and tea leaf along with some sweet cherry that blossomed after oxidation. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a sweet wine: alcohol is at 13.2%. Anyway, I liked it. It’s cheap, and it’s competent – even interesting – as inexpensive wines go. House red for me? It’s a possibility.
As I said before, it’s never a bad idea to plan ahead for the holidays. Many of us forget due to our excitement over the “majors”, though, that the spooky holiday comes first. Let’s face it, I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I went to a party in costume. [OK, I won’t tell you.] Why has it been so long? No, it’s not because I’ve completely lost the fun in my life. Mostly it’s due to a lack of advance prep work.
So, if you’re thinking of having a get-together (with or without costumes) on Halloween, I have another candidate for you to audition for the beverage table. This one is also for a casual affair not for the wine aficionados. And this wine, too, has a Halloween-appropriate label. And name! In fact, the wrapper that comes with each bottle is even more Halloweeny than the label. If you serve it at Halloween, make sure your guests get to see and appreciate the wrapper art as well.
Winemaker: Curious Beasts (by Truett Hurst)
Wine: Blood Red Wine
Varietal: Red Blend
Notes: With a name like Blood Red Wine, this selection is appropriately dark ruby in the glass. On the nose I caught scents of red berries, sous bois, and a hint of caramel. At 14.7% alcohol, it had little to no tannins that I could detect. Still, there was plenty of flavor in this light-bodied selection. I tasted lots of cherry and blackberry with some raisin and caramel along with a touch of eucalyptus. It was certainly pleasant enough to drink. Since there’s not much in the way of structure, it is a drink now kind of wine. I think it would be decent with a pasta dish or with Mexican cuisine.
It’s here! Tomorrow (Monday, September 19) is the last day to get your votes in for Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #27.
If you haven’t read the entries, head on over to the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge blog where you will find all the entries as well as the instructions for the MWWC #27 voting process.
My entry into this month’s challenge is at Inside Out, Upside Down. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so. And then please cast your vote. A vote for me would be nice. LOL
With a name like Lindeman, I though for sure the founder of this winery would be from continental Europe – Germany, Holland, Switzerland, etc. Not so! Turns out Dr. Henry Lindeman was from jolly old England. He did get his interest in winemaking from travels on the continent. But then in the 1840s (at the age of 32, if my math is correct) he packed up and moved to Australia’s Hunter Valley where he planted grapes on a property he called Cawarra. Interestingly enough, all did not go smoothly for him. The winery tells us in their online history that Cawarra was burned by an arsonist in 1850. Even so, Dr. Lindeman was determined in his love of wine and winemaking. After the fire, he worked for three years as a doctor in nearby gold mines to save up enough money to restart and rebuild the vineyard. Which he did!
Wine: Bin 50
Appellation: South Eastern Australia
Notes: The bouquet or nose on this Shiraz was unexpectedly faint with light scents of pine, berries and spice. Contrary to it’s bouquet, the color was a deep, dark burgundy. It had decent acidity and gentle tannins with a medium heft on the tongue. Speaking of the tongue, flavors I found included dark fruit, pine, paint thinner, some tar and ash. Although lacking structure, here is a cheap red that isn’t the quintessential fruit punch in a bottle. It needs time to breathe. So, go ahead and decant it 15 minutes to half an hour before you plan on serving it. With oxidation, the ash, tar and especially paint thinner recede some, allowing the dark plum and currant to share the spotlight. Not a fancy or subtle wine, this seems a good candidate to serve with a casual meat dish such as flank steak or even a burger.