I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that my parents never threw anything away. While that may be an overstatement, it isn’t too far from the truth. Thus, they had a four bedroom house filled to the brim even in retirement. They weren’t hoarders, but they were definitely savers.
When my sister and I were cleaning out the house a few years back, I packed up a number of boxes of “stuff” that was somehow connected to me. There were photos, of course. But they had also managed to hold onto, among other things, all of my school report cards. All the way back to kindergarten! K-12. Ha! Imagine how surprised I was when I found included with my fifth grade records a certificate of distinction for my efforts in Spanish. What?! I would love to remember now even as much (little) as I knew back in fifth grade. Unfortunately, if the label on this Alamos red blend weren’t translated into English, I would have had to use “Google translate” to understand it.
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Mendoza, Argentina
Notes: This blend of Malbec, Bonarda, and Tempranillo was dark garnet in the glass with red berries in the nose. Alcohol was at 13.9%, tannins were medium, and the flavor profile was primarily a very pleasant cherry.
This is just a quick post about an Argentinian Chardonnay I recently had. In the immortal words of the character Joe Friday (played by Jack Webb) from the radio and television show Dragnet, I’ll be sticking to “just the facts.”
Notes: The color of this South American white wine was a pale shade of Maize. On the nose I found lemon, toasty oak, some pineapple, and a zing of paint thinner. Acidity was good but on the lower end of what I think of as typical for the varietal. Alcohol was at 13.5%, and it was a medium-bodied selection. Flavors? Well, I tasted citrus (mainly lemon, some grapefruit), butter, pineapple, and grass. It had quite a long finish that held copious toasty oak along with hints of spice and butter. I enjoyed this selection. It does have a fair amount of oak which gives me no pause but isn’t to everyone’s liking. With the buttery undertones, maybe this would be a good accompaniment to a lobster dish or chicken with mushrooms.
It’s always a good feeling to reach a goal. Some months ago I set a goal of tasting 25 inexpensive wines from my local Trader Joe’s. In the interim, my liver and my taste buds have been put to the test. Ha! With the posting on Sauvignon de Seguin Bordeaux 2012, I have made it across the finish line!!
Now even though I’ve reached my goal, I’m not swearing off drinking wines from Trader Joe’s. No, no! But I thought after 25, I should take a breather and – more importantly – a moment to reflect on the wines. And in reflecting back, I’m going to do something uncharacteristic for this blog – I’m going to rate them, kinda. Not on a point system or a buy/don’t buy. I don’t do that here because I’m a wine enthusiast not a wine pro. But I am going to identify what for me were the top 5 wines out of the 25 I tried. Why? Well, why did the Apollo astronauts put a flag on the moon? In part, as a record of the journey! So here goes …
If you want to read the notes about my experience with each, you can click through using the link on the wine’s name. I realize there is just one white wine represented in the 5. The Joseph Händler Riesling 2012 almost made this list but just missed the top 5. And if I were doing top 10, the Contadino Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2012 and the Trader Joe’s Viñas Chilenas Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2012 would have been contenders. But my top 5 out of 25 are heavily red and broadly international with 2 French, 1 Italian, 1 Argentinian, and 1 Californian.
For those of you who are visiting oenophilogical for the first time, this is not a blog about the wines at Trader Joe’s. Far from it! Scroll down this site, and you’ll see what I mean. For those of you who are Trader Joe’s shoppers, however, the other wines from TJ’s I’ve swigged so far are listed below – in no particular order. If I’ve missed your favorite(s), please drop me a note here. I’m always grateful for recommendations!
OK, then! Here’s wishing you many good wine adventures!