Monday, December 19, 2011

Crème de Lys Chardonnay 2010 California

The lady at Tom's Jug House (yes, Tom's is a new one for me!) made this wine sound SO GOOD. Of course, she mostly just read the yummy bits off the label aloud to me: "Rich and creamy . . . lush flavors of tropical fruit, baked apple and citrus . . . VANILLA AND CRÈME BRÛLÉE!" (I really think she actually shouted that last part.)

She sold me on it. Quickly. She had me at "You ought to try this one," in fact. But I forgot about the part where I don't really care much for white wine. (Have I mentioned that before?) And not only that, but when I tasted it I didn't get the richness, the creaminess, the fruits, the vanilla OR the crème brûlée (sad face). It tasted a bit bland (watery, even!) and it made my mouth long for a solid, spicy red. What I really need to do is recognize the fact that when I am craving crème brûlée, I shouldn't bother reaching for a wine that claims it tastes like that most delectable of desserts. That's like eating baked chips! Or listening to one of the more recent Journey albums! And if I'm looking for something "rich and creamy" this close to Christmas, I should really just go straight for the eggnog. (Yeah, and now my mouth is watering.)

But the experiment was not a total loss, because I was introduced to Tom's Jug House, and that is exciting for two reasons. First, because (though I suppose this could be attributed to the novelty of the place) they seemed to have a different--and wider--selection of wine than I've grown accustomed to. And second, because they have Wine Wednesdays! That sounds great. *I* should have Wine Wednesdays. (Who am I kidding? I have Wine Every Day days.) But at Tom's Jug House, Wine Wednesdays means 10% off all wine! Now, I was too delirious with joy during my visit to notice whether that's actually a good deal, or whether a wine sale just means TJH just brings their prices down to Party Factory levels. But I'll definitely be visiting Tom's again. On a Wednesday!

I probably won't listen to the recommendations for whites next time, though.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Battle of the Pinot Noirs

It's about time I posted on my wine blog again! I've had a trio of bottles waiting on me to do a tasting flight. It's been so long since I bought them that I somehow started thinking they were Rieslings, but NO--they're all Pinot noir! How could I have made them wait so long?

Of these three bottles, we're covering three different years and three different countries.

Just had to show you the cutesy
 little penguin footprints
imprinted on the foil
Up first is the 2010 Little Penguin from south eastern Australia. The label tells me to look for delicate flavors of cherry and strawberry with a hint of spice. It's the brightest, reddest one of the three, and OH, it smells so good! Maybe that's just because it's been too long since I've had a Pinot noir. But I do smell red berries. As for the taste: Wow, that's quite sweet for a Pinot noir. Not too sugary-sweet, though; just fruity-sweet. It takes a bit for the spiciness to come out, but after a moment it hits with a zing.

Next is the 2009 Red Bicyclette from Vin de Pays D'Oc, France. The label claims enticing aromas of fresh red fruits and a soft, smooth mouthfeel. It looks slightly orange-red in my glass (though I'm sure some of you would call it pink-red instead). Oddly enough, there's not much to the nose. Maybe it's not completely odorless, but it's close. And, well, there's not much to the taste, either.

Finally, it's the 2008 Cupcake Vineyards from the central coast of California. The label suggests the bright aroma of cherries with a touch of red currants and a hint of spices. It's "reminiscent of a cherry cupcake with currant coulis*" (whatever that is). I see there's a slight purplish tinge to the deep red color, and it's not quite as clear as the other two (or maybe it's just in a glass that's a tad more smudgy? I'll never tell). It has more of a sharp green odor than the other two, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. Something about it makes me want to break out the cheddar cheese. The taste, however, is not great. It's rather bland. But I'm sure the cheese will help, and if you'll give me a moment I'll let you know . . . YES, it's excellent with cheese. But only with the cheese.

I wonder if the poor Red Bicyclette would be helped by cheese?
Let's see . . . nope. For whatever reason, that one actually tastes worse with cheese.

My verdict: I like Australia's Little Penguin the best, although California's Cupcake with cheddar cheese is a close second. The French Pinot noir was my least favorite, although if France keeps all of her best wines to herself, that's not too surprising.

*I looked up coulis for you, and apparently it's like gravy made of fruit. I'm sure it tastes better than it sounds.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 2009 Columbia Valley

I'm hoping to convince my book club girls that they really do like Real Wine (instead of that good-but-just-barely-wine Electra). My subtle method is to force them to try new wines at our meetings. The girls seem to favor sweeter wines, so this month I brought a Riesling. The label says it's in the middle of the road, right between medium dry and medium sweet.

What can I say about its appearance, other than that it is a nice clear pee yellow? (Red wine is just so much prettier.) This Riesling has a very pleasant and fresh taste, and I totally get the pear that the label mentions. The peach is much more subtle, although that's actually a good thing for me. I still harbor a massive taste aversion from the Unfortunate Peach Schnapps Incident of the late 80s.

So it appears that I've finally found another white that I like, to go with the lovely Purple Cow Muscat. I need to do a Riesling tasting flight to see if I prefer this one to any others. Unfortunately the Book Club Girls were not so appreciative. (That's not entirely disastrous . . . more for me!) I'll just have to keep working on them. Any recommendations for Gateway Wines?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

OH noes

Now you know I'm high class
Ohmagoodness, I have used up my box of wine. I always keep a box of wine in the house only just so that I will never ever run out. It is time for a trip out of the dry county.

In the meantime, I have been intending to mention that the box of wine I have had, a burgundy (my first, I think . . . isn't it a shame that it wasn't in a bottle) had quite an interesting feature. If I drank it while eating popcorn, the combination tasted just like chocolate!

Are you taking notes on how to be a wino?
  1. Drink wine from box
  2. Drink wine with popcorn (or anything else you can imagine)
  3. Cry when wine runs out and vow to ensure that it will never happen again