Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 214-Black Satin $13.99 at the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Ill

This fruit wine is a blend of blackberry juice and some type of red wine that is not disclosed on the bottle. This winery's fruit wines are all blends that are so smooth and sweet, that before you know it the entire bottle is gone. This wine is very fruity and tastes like a Blackberry juice. This wine is great on it own, does not require pairing at all, but if you must I would put it with dessert. We had bought this wine before I started blogging, so we needed to buy it again in order to blog on it. I think I have now blogged on all the fruit wines at the Village Vintner. They had great sales over the month of December so we stocked up!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 213-2006 Evenus Zinfandel Port 375 ml at Trader Joe's for $9.99

I loved this wine and would probably buy it on a regular basis if it was not basically $20 per bottle since it is only a half bottle. This wine is totally smooth and reminds me of a late harvest zinfandel. The wine does have a very strong mocha flavor and a touch of sweetness. This wine has some nice legs to it and would pair excellent with dessert, however, I did not find that it needed to be paired with anything it was so good. I need to find a wine that tastes like this in a full bottle at about $15 dollars, because that would be my house red. I like a late harvest petite syrah, but honestly this wine gives it a run for its money. Hopefully, I will be able to find more wines similar to this in the future, a red wine with a touch of sweetness without the dry tannic afterbite that you find in a Cab or the peppery taste of a Syrah.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 212-St James Winery Country Red for $7.00 found at a Neiman's in McComb, Ill

We have tried St James Winery wines at numerous Binny's tasting events over the last 3 years. They make a lot of sweet and fruit wines. The wines are priced pretty reasonably so I am not sure why we have never bought any of the. The Country Red wine is a Concord blend that smells like grape juice and has some of the sweetness of grape juice. I found this to be a very simple wine, one that does not require pairing and that someone who is not very schooled on wine would like and would drink without too much difficulty. For the price, if you like a Concord wine this would be a good choice.

Day 211-Christmas Wine by the Von Steil Winery of Wisconsin $12.00 at Vino 100 in Mt Prospect

This Christamas wine is labeled as a semi-sweet wine made Door County, Michigan cherries. Again, this wine was bought as part of a Christmas themed blind tasting to replace the GPS. However, I hate cherry wine. I find it really tart and just not very pleasing to the taste. I liked this wine the least of the three that we tasted for the blind tasting on Christmas Eve. I have tried the Cherry Wine at both Lynfred Winery and at Coopershawk Winery and I don't like either of those wines, either. So it is me, if you like Cherry Wine, I would try this wine, I am not an unbiased opinion because I find Cherry wines to be too tart and prefer a lot of other fruit wines. My better half had to drink the majority of this wine, and stated that he could smell the cherry on the pouring of the wine, I however could not smell anything on this wine, however the taste is pure cherry.

Day 210-St Christopher Gluhwein for $6.00 at a neighborhood liquor store

My better half bought me a GPS for Christmas that needed to be returned on Christmas Eve since he got a GPS for Christmas and we basically share a car. So on Christmas Eve, he went on a hunt for holiday wines for a holiday wine tasting. This wine is a grape wine with natural flavors similar to a spice wine. I tried this wine cold and then warmed, and being it is not very good wine, I liked it better warmed where the cinnamon and clove flavors are more pronounced. It does not have the legs of a Glogg and I think that this wine does not have a port base as many Gloggs due. I would not drink this wine again, it is a good price, but I like the Gloggs I have tried a lot better, this is just cheap red wine with cinnamon and clove to cover the cheapness of the wine.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 209-Clos Du Bois 2007 Riesling California

I was given this wine for Christmas from my friend and co-worker who drinks strictly dry wine. For my son's birthday she bought me a port wine because as me being a non-bone dry wine drinker she has no idea what I drink because I don' t drink any of the wines she drinks. This is a traditional off-dry Riesling with some acidity and some sweetness. This wine was drank on Christmas while waiting for the turkey to cook, I actually did not make it to a pairing. The wine is fine on its own with pear and apple flavors, but I am sure would pair nicely with a spicy dish also. I have no idea on the price of this wine, other that I am sure it was under $20, however I would consider this wine as a one of the house Rieslings if the price was right.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 208-Blue Moon by the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il $12 or less a bottle with their current sale

The winery had a great sale over the weekend of 25% off 6-11 bottles of wine, so we stocked up. We bought this wine for the first time when we went to winery originally and have not bought it since, I don't know why. This wine is another great fruit wine blend of blueberry and Shiraz that makes for very easy drinking. It is a sweet fruit wine that tastes more like juice to me than wine, but at only 8% alcohol it is something I can drink without hurting too badly in the morning. If a person likes blueberries they will like this wine. This wine is another very good wine for the beginners, and would probably would be a great hit for dessert with cheesecake or for appetizer with all types of cheese. How could someone go wrong with blueberry juice with kick?

Day 207-2006 Le Cigare Volant part of the Bonny Doon December Wine Club-about $25 a bottle

I am member of this wine club because their monthly deals are great, and they make great wines, whether you get something you would normally buy or not. This wine is a blend of 43.6% Syrab, 45.5% Grenache, 11.7% Cinsault, 1.1% Morvedre, and .1%Carginane. At first I could not taste the Syrah, while I was eating pizza, but on its own after aerating I could taste the black pepper that I associate with Syrah. My better half liked it despite it being a dry wine, and I found the wine to be very smooth a great wine for pizza and pasta and generally I do not like Syrah at all. Again, Bonny Doon makes great wines, I have never been disappointed and hope I can get enought Christmas money to pay $125 for my New Years present.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 206-Cranberry Wine by Lynfred Winery for $10.00 a bottle in the fruit wine club

We chose this wine as our fruit wine for the month of Decemeber 2009. This wine is made of 100% Cranberries so the wine tastes more like a cranberry than a cranberry juice, which makes this wine very tart. I think this wine could be spritzed and combined in a vodka Cosmopolitan. We drank this on its own and with food and it is preferable with food due to the tartness. I also tried that Cranberry Wine at Coopershawk Winery and that Cranberry is even more tart where I find it unable to be drank without a glass of water very nearby. Overall, if you like cranberry you will like this wine, however if you like Cosmos this could be a great mixer also. It is a very festive wine and perfect for the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 205-Dezzani Malvasia $8.99 at Costco

This is a new wine at Costco because if we had seen it previously we would have bought it previously. Malvasia is a sweet red wine out of Italy that is around a 5% alcohol content with a little fizz to give it that carbonated pop feel. This wine is very sweet with flavors of cherry and strawberry. Needless to say, my better half finished this in one sitting. Malvasia, in general, is a very good choice for new or non-wine drinkers because it is sweet and fruity and does taste like a sparkling fruit juice without alcohol. I find this wine to be the red version of the Moscato di'Asti and would pair with similar desserts, and as an apertif.

Day 204-Sweetheart Red by Lynfred Winery for $10.00

This wine was the first bottle of wine that I ever bought at Lynfred. I think this wine is 100% Concord, but I am not sure after drinking this bottle of Sweetheart Red. I know the first bottle of Sweetheart Red that I ever drank tasted a lot more like Welch's Grape Juice than this wine. This wine has just a touch of sweetness and then tastes slightly earthy with black licorice. The wine may be only as it in the 9,000's of the 10,000 bottles that were made of this wine. I just don't know, but it tastes more like a drier red blend than a concord wine. My better half still thought it was good even though I found the wine too strange to really judge since it did not match up with my expectations at all. I have bought this wine for a co-worker for his birthday who thought it was pretty good, so maybe I just got a weird bottle of wine.

Day 203-2008 Pacific Rim Organic Riesling for $10.50 at Costco

Costco carries the Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling which we liked, and so I bought the Organic Riesling hoping to also be satisfied with my purchase. This wine was drank right after the Chateau St Michelle Riesling, so this wine had a bit to live up to. This wine is gold in color versus the typical light yellow or green tinge to some Rieslings. This wine did not have the sweetness on the front that the other Riesling had, but was very smooth with very little acidity. I can never tell the difference between organic wines and non-organic wines, and over all I thought this wine was good, I just like the Chateau St Michelle better, and it was cheaper, so I would buy that one. However, I probably like the Sweet Riesling the best of the three, so if all the prices are comparable that would be the one to buy for us, maybe not for a party or to pair with food where people generally want a wine more for pairing or for drinking without much thought to the wine.

Day 202-Chateau St Michelle Riesling Vintage 2008 for $7.50 Costco

I am pretty sure I have bought this wine by the glass, but I have never bought this very well-known Riesling from Washington state by the bottle. At this price, I needed to determine if I liked this Riesling since they come out with new vintages yearly and have more than one type of Riesling. I was pleasantly surprised by this wine, it has great balance. The wine has a touch of sweetness and only minimal acidity. The wine has a great nose with lots of fruit flavors that come through on the palate without sometimes the bite of acidity that you will find at times in a Riesling. I found this wine crisp, but not too acidic where I could feel heartburn starting. I will definitely buy this wine again, and am willing to try additional Rieslings of Chateau St Michelle since this was a positive experience. I think Costco is the cheapest place to get this wine, so I hope they continue to carry it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 200-Ridge 2002 California Zinfandel Late Picked Pagani Ranch for $20 at

I am never allowing myself to bid on wine again. Ridge wines are generally touted as exceptional wines, however the wines I have gotten from the late harvest and the late picked have been average at best. Part of the reason, I am assuming is because the wines are too old, not in the 5-7yrs they are suppose to be drank, but closer to 7-9 yrs. This wine seemed to be turning and had a very strong alcohol smell and flavor. I aerated the wine in order to tone the wine down, and it did not matter it was still bitter which you would think would not be the case after 7 yrs in the bottle. The fruit flavors are not strong enough to balance with the bitter alcohol taste, and I would say this bottle was something you would generally buy for $5 versus $20. I have learned my lesson and will not be bidding on again.

Day 199- Peravino by Lynfred Winery for $20 for dessert and sparkling wine club mbrs or $35 to general public

The release of this wine without the discount spurred me to e-mail Lynfred about releasing wines without giving the club members a chance to purchase them at a discounted price for at least 1 month before they are released to the public. So, Lynfred now has a Sparking and Dessert wine club that we became members of so we can always get the dessert wines for a discounted price for at least 1 bottle for the month. We opened this wine for the first time yesterday, and it is pear on the nose and pure brandy on the finish. This wine is 18% alcohol and you can feel it on the way down. Again, this pear/port style is potent, and only has pear taste at the beginning and then the brandy infusion gets you on the finish. This wine is going to take a while to finish, but if you are a port person that likes pears I would think that you would like this wine, however, it is best drank in small doses.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 198-Passito Pantelleria Ipsus 500ml -$9.99 from Trader Joe's

This wine is the second to last bottle of wine to go of the case of wine that we bought at Trader Joe's in October of this year. This wine was my better half's pick as it was a dessert wine that looked very syrupy to me. This wine tastes like a liquid raisin with some acidity on the finish that I am not sure would disappear with age. He bought this wine because the wine is made with the Moscato grape and he loves Moscato di' Asti and Muscat Cannelli, but even he feels this wine has too much raisin flavor overpowering all the other flavors in the wine. We would not buy this wine again, and overall the Trader Joes cheap wine experience was only ok, we found out of a case of wine about 2 wines that we would actually buy again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 197-Cherish Noir at $13.99 at the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il

This wine was the sweet/fruit wine club month for November 2009. This wine is a blend of black cherry and pinot noir. This wine is totally easy drinking of cherry sweet wine. This wine is a great drinking wine requires no pairing and is actually probably best on its own. This wine is a great beginner wine to introduce you to wine that does not have the harsh tannins, has great fruit flavor and is not high in alcohol where you feel you can't share a bottle or even have a bottle on your own. I love their blended fruit wines in general, and find that someone who doesn't generally drink wine will like this wine.

Day 196-Barros White Porto-under $15 at Vintages in Arlington Heights, Il

We bought this wine at a Spain/Portugal wine tasting at Vintages over the summer and thought this wine was sweet and a great bargain for a port. My better half thought this was a great wine also, sweet with only slight bite, and at 20% alcohol it had more than just a slight bite. We drankd this wine over two weeks, because it was so potent and it was a full 750ml bottle. I could only drink a small glass at a time, a couple of sips at at time due the high alcohol content. This wine made you warm in a quick hurry. My better half who likes port found this wine hard to drink very much of at one time, and finding foods, cheeses, desserts, chocolate to pair with the wine. Moral of this wine was that it tasted more like a straight shot of liquor than actual wine and we would not choose it again.

Day 195-Glogg by the Village Vintner for $15.99 in Carpentersville, Il

The Glogg is my favorite wine of the Village Vintner and they let you serve yourself from a warm container. I tried this for the first time last year and did not buy any stating I would get some later, and thankfully, I received 2 bottles for Christmas because they run out every year. This wine is developed from the port and red wine and added spices and is my version of hot chocolate during the winter months. I have tried the Glogg at Lynfred Winery also, and it is good too, but hands down when I get home and am chilled to the bone, I am looking for a mug of Glogg from the Village Vintner. The only negative about this wine is its price, and since I generally drink it in 1-2 sittings, I am glad that my better half prefers hot chocolate. I have only 1 bottle currently and will have to replenish my stock after the holidays.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 194-Bear's Lair Viognier for $5.99 at Trader's Joes

The writing on this label looks exactly like Stag Leap's Winery label, whose wines are extremely pricey, which makes me wonder if Bear's Lair is their cheaper label. I was pleasantly surprised with this wine. This Viognier is great fruity Viognier with very little acidity. I generally like Viognier on the nose and at first however, lots of viognier are very aciditic on the aftertaste. This wine has no bitter aftertaste, very mellow, fruit forward, and full of peaches and apricots. I would buy this wine again and would also buy this wine by the case because there is really nothing about this wine that you would not like and almost any summer party or dinner party would be well served by this wine.

Day 193-Joseph Handler Sweet Red 2008 Rheinhessen for $4.99 at Trader Joe's

This red wine was a great deal at Trader Joes for those who like a touch of sweetness with their red wine. This wine is made with the Dornfelder grape used a lot in Germany and has a lot of flavors of plum and cherry. This wine is best served cold and is good on its own or paired with something with a spicier feel such as pizza or a spicy pasta sauce. Next to the moscatelle, this wine is the best wine for the price that we bought when we got a case of wine at Trader Joe's. This wine is very mellow with no tannic dry aftertaste. I would definitely think this wine would be crowd pleaser for the non-hard core red wine drinkers, and for the people who like an off-dry wine. I would definitely buy this again at this price, and maybe buy the case for backyard barbeque.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 192-2000 Ridge California Late Picked Zinfandel York Creek for $20 found at

I am obsessed with finding late harvest/late picked zinfandels. Generally speaking, they are at least $20 for a half bottle of late harvest zinfandel, so for a full bottle I always think this is just a great deal. Unfortunately, this is another bottle of wine that was only suppose to be aged 5-7 yrs and this is going on 9-10 yrs. This wine, despite being a late harvest, is not sweet at all. It is not bad wine, it is an ok red wine for maybe 10-15 dollars with some good fruit, but you can taste that this wine is past its prime. The tannins are extremely mellow with no bitter aftertaste, but the wine has no brightness of fruit and is just ok at best. The wine is 75% zinfandel and 25% petite syrah which I would think would be a killer blend, but I think that the age of the wine has taken some of the wine's distinctness away and so again I have learned a lesson to stop buying wines at

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 191-Bitch Bubbly out of Southern Austrailia for under $12.00 at Vintages in Arlington Heights

This wine is a great buy for the holidays and New Years Eve. This wine was the most reasonable bubbly that I have enjoyed for a long time. A pink color this wine has a touch of sweetness that makes it very easy to drink on its own. The person pouring the wine, knowing I am a big fan of the Sparkling Shiraz, knew I would like this wine. I honestly can't imagine anyone not liking this wine, it is truly light and fun. It is not overly sweet like a Moscato d'Asti, however is not as dry as a rose' Champagne. I would buy this wine by the case, however I am sure this is not going to last long at the wine shop at this price. I will continue to look for this wine on the horizon, I only bought 2 bottles of it and one is already gone.

Day 190-Sacred Stone Masters Red Blend out of California at Vintages for under $15.00

This red wine paired excellent with barbeque pork and cheese steak sandwiches. This wine is a great every day read with flavors of cherry, plum, and earth or green pepper. I think this wine would make a great Thanksgiving Day wine, it is a great food wine. The alcohol content on the wine is 14.6%, so you can't sit there and drink the entire bottle yourself, but a couple of glasses with dinner was perfect. I am not sure if the grapes in the wine were listed on the back of the bottle, but I can tell you this would be total crowd pleaser for the red wine drinkers at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 189-Purple Moon Merlot for $3.99 at Trader Joe's

I tried this wine for the first time at a summer party and thought the wine was fruit forward for a merlot. I thought this wine was much drier when I opened it, and so I aerated it and it was better. This Merlot had a lot of black pepper on the aftertaste, so I was really not a big fan and paired it with food for the most part. I had a couple of glasses on its own and it is only slightly fruity with dark cherry and blackberry overtones. I would not buy this again, even though the price is less than the cost of Frappacino at Starbucks because I just did find it a wine I would look forward to drinking. It is a great price to bring to a party, and if people really did not care about the wine and are pairing it with food.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 188-2008 Vidal Blanc from Lynfred Winey for just under $20

I like this wine much more in the form of ice wine. This wine required food versus drinking it on its own. I found the wine to be too acidic on its own. The wine is a pale yellow, with a wonerful smell of lime, however the wine is just too dry for me and my better half. This wine was the white wine of the month for November at Lynfred, however this will be the last month for us, since they are not putting the premium wines in the clubs-the pear port, for example. I heard their is a blackberry port and a cherry port in the future and perhaps there will be a premium club, for now we will just stay in the fruit wine club.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 187-Oak Grove Petite Syrah 2007 Reserve at Vintages in Arlington Heights for under $15.00

Another wine reccomended by Robert that was very good. I paired this with pizza and italian sausage for dinner. The wine is packed with fruit flavors and very little tannin on the aftertaste. I did not taste the pepper that the label states comes through, but I do taste the blackberry and cherry. If you like a fruit forward red wine, this is a good wine for you. My favorite grape is the Petite Syrah, however I prefer it made new world style fruit forward, mellow tannins, and able to accompany any meal. I think this wine would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving dinner and does not break the bank.

Day 186-Stefano Farina Italia-Moscato d'Asti under $20.00 per bottle

My better half loved this wine because he loves Moscato d'Asti. I found this wine to be very sweet as most Moscato d'Asti's are, but not unpleasant. The wine was a good sparkler with good fruit flavors on the nose and the palate. I find most Moscato d'Asti similar to others we have tasted and really have a hard time distinguishing this one from another Moscato d'Asti, however it was a huge hit with my in-laws and the bottle was finished in less than 30 minutes. This type of wine is the wine you bring to non-wine drinkers, almost all think it tastes like sparkling juice.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 185-Pomegranate Wine by Lynfred Winery for $13.00

I had great hopes for this wine. We have tried the Pomegranate wine at Coopershawk Winery and really liked it and thought this wine would be very good also. This wine is an alternative to cranberry wine that is served at Thanksgivning to be paired with turkey, stuffing, cranberry, etc. I did not like the wine at all and neither did my better half. The wine had some legs and just a touch of pomegranate flavor. I had a very hard time tasting the pomegranate in this wine, when usually the fruit wines taste like you are drinking the fruit. This wine had just been bottled this month, so maybe there was a bit of bottle shock, I don't know, but I would not buy this wine again, unless I have tasted it and the wine has settled a bit. The in-laws thought the wine had a good flavor, but much prefered the moscato d'asti that we popped open after this wine. Maybe this wine would be better spritzed, I don't know, but I will have to buy the Cooperhawk's Pomegranate now as a comparison.

Day 184-Joseph Handler Riesling Phalz for $4.99 at Trader Joe's

This wine was popped the same night as the last wine, and it was ok. I have found that these very cheap wines at Trader Joes have no distinct smell or flavor. The wine had just a touch of sweetness. I found this wine to be bland, but again, for the very sporatic wine drinkers, it was fine. Rieslings are one of my favorite grapes and this wine was a disappointment to me. I would not buy this wine again, and have found that almost all the wines that we bought at Trader Joes were sub par and not really worth the money even though the money was very little.

Day 183-Medici Lambrusco Bianco $4.99 at Trader Joe's

My son had his 2 nd birthday at Moretti's this weekend so my better half's family came in from McComb, Il which is about 4 hrs away. His sister and boyfriend came up a day early and we agreed to have them sleep over at our house. Needless to say, we opened up a few bottles of wine to celebrate our first overnight guests. This wine is a semi sweet, semi-sparkler and was at best ok, but for the price and for guests that don' t really care about wine quality it was fine. This wine had no distinct fruit flavors, and really could be used for mimosas. I would not buy this wine again because there a lot of lambruscos that I like a lot more for $3 more, but if I am making mimosas where the wine is not that important I would go with this one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 182-Old Moon Old Vine Zinfandel for $5.99 at Trader Joes

This wine was paired with barbecue ribs last night. I have to say this wine was disappointing. The wine had no distinct flavors to me. The wine was more tannic than I like and without food was totally unappealing. I like a zinfandel that has bold fruit and not earthy. I have a hard time with distinct flavors in this wine and I feel that there is a reason that is only $5.99. I would not buy this wine again, and I am going to have a hard time finishing the rest of the bottle. I started reading the wineaux blog and he is much more sophisticated on his wine tasting and has an ability to point out a lot more flavors, eventually I hope to have improved my tasting abilities to that level of description.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 181-Novella Rayons de Sol Muscat Canelli for $8.99 at Trader Joes

This wine was the wine we drank on Halloween with fish sticks and chicken fried rice. This wine is semi-sweet with great fruit flavors of peach and orange. The worst part about this wine is the very long bottle and finding a place for it to fit in my fridge. This is a great every day sipping wine for summer and fall. This wine has just a touch of sweetness that would make it a crowd pleaser at any party. I think this would be a great wine for a brunch, baby shower, barbecue, and at a great price you don't mind buying a case of it. Troy took one sip and he was like we will have no problem finishing this tonight, which was good because the bottle is so long it does not fit well. We will definitely be buying this wine again and sharing with friends. Muscat Canelli is generally a style of wine/grape that we like alot for its a nice balance without being overly sweet.

Day 180-Casa Cavilla 2008 Montrelle from Vintages for $13.99

I threw out the bottle on this wine, so the name might be a little off and I thought this was one of Robert's Picks on the website, but it is not, so I am sorry if you have trouble finding the wine based on the information I have given you. This wine was a great pizza wine and we had this last Friday night after a long week with a sick Peanut, our soon to be 2 year old. The wine is very mellow with minimal tannins. I am not sure what grapes are used in this blend, the wine is out of Spain, and I think are some of the new red table wines coming out of Spain for everyday that are reasonable, ready to drink, and very amicable with all types of food.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 179-Medici Lambrusco Reggiano for $4.99 at Trader Joes

We were running low on wine, and as usual we are running low on money, so we decided to go to Trader Joe's to try some of their wines. Trader Joes is home of the "two buck chuck" and has been raved about in other blogs about their extremely reasonable prices for good wine. So we bought 11 bottles of various wines there and only spent about $73 dollars including tax. The average per bottle was less than $7, however if the wine is not good, for all these wines are new to us in terms of brand, then it is still wasted money. However, on a side note, the checker at Trader Joes told us that if we are unhappy with a wine to bring it back and they will refund the money, and I will, because I refuse to wine/money down the drain. Back to the wine, I like Lambrusco both white and red, and bought many a bottle at Winestlyes for $10, I think the name was d'Amici and it also came in red and white. This Lambrusco is not as good as that wine. This wine is a touch drier, without the vibrant fruit flavors. I found this wine kind of dull in terms of taste, a small touch of sweetness and effervescence, but not what I am used to in comparison to the Lambruso's I have drank previously. My better half says it is worth $5, and I say I would have rather have the other Lambrusco for $8-$10. However, it is a simple wine and went good with steak tacos. It is a great summer wine chilled and even thought it is chilled it is a very good apertif wine for the fall and winter that won't break the bank. 1 down and 10 to go of the Trader Joes wines to see if the quality has dropped off with the price, this wine I would say yes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 178-Octoberfest by the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il for $14.99

This wine is a blend of 4 grapes-Riesling, Gewurtz, Moscato and I am unsure of the 4th one. Each year the vintner states that he makes a new Octoberfest wine in celebration of the German festival and some of the German grapes. I believed this Octoberfest was slightly sweeter than last year's Octoberfest and we liked this year's vintage better. We paired the wine with fish and it went very well. This wine is another crowd pleaser, it is very light with some sweetness, and minimal acidity. I know this wine comes out in October, but it would be a very good summer wine also. This wine became an instant favorite, and extremely versatile with a very cute label that would make it a great accompiament to any Thanksgiving feast.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 177-Royal Tokaji Aszxu' 5 Birsalmas Product of Hungary for $20 at Binnys

This is a $50 bottle of wine that was on sale in August at Binnys for $20. This wine is a "sticky." Royal Tokaji is renowned across the world as the best wine coming out of Hungary. This wine is made in the same style as Sauternes. This wine is sweet, with honey, apricot and peach flavors. It has balance with its acidity and I think the wine could have aged even more. This is a great dessert wine that we got at a great price. This wine is obviously better than some of the ice wines that are made in the US. I would put this wine up with any of the stickies that we have had before, it is great dessert wine I would reccomend it to anyone.

Day 176-2008 Dulcis Moscato d'Asti Sansilvestro Cantine for $12.50 at Vintages in Arlington Heights

This is my better half's favorite type of wine. He has never found a Moscato d'Asti he did not like. We popped this wine at dinner on Saturday with our friends who are non-drinkers who will drink a glass or two of this wine since they feel it tastes like juice. This wine is a very good Moscato d'Asti very light with fruit and flower aromas, not overly sweet, a total crowd pleaser. I would bring this wine anywhere and it would be gone. I like Moscato d'Asti's however I find that some are too sweet for my taste, this one however is light enough that it tastes more like a off-dry bubbly.

Day 175-2006 Rocland Duck Duck Goose from South Austrailia of $13.99 from Vintages in Arlington Heights

I really liked this red wine from southern Austrailia. This wine was 55% Shiraz and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. My better half found this wine to be too dry so I basically had the entire bottle to myself. I paired it with pizza and steak and it went beautifully. This wine was so smooth with very mild tannins. I thought this wine was just wonderful, very mellow, good fruit, very versatile, a great every day red at a reasonable price.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 174-"Ass Kisser" from the stable of Rockland Estate for $11.69 at

This wine was recommended by the Robert of Vintages as fruit forward wine that is not too tannic that I would enjoy with or without food. The wine is 59% Shiraz and 41% Grenache South Austrailian Red Wine. I found the wine to be fruit forward, but with a dry semi-tannic finish on its own. However, when I paired the wine with a spicy pasta dish, fantastic, and was accused of hoarding the bottle. I think this is more a versatile food wine. I think this wine is simple and woud go with your pasta, pizza, even chicken dishes. My better half liked this wine also, and paired it with olive oil based pasta and found the wine to be a good match for his meal also. Side note-the owner Robert of Vintages is just the nicest guy and is the most helpful wine shop owner next to Mark of Winestyles in Des Plaines in finding the bottle of wine that you would truly enjoy not what is considered very good wine or really expensive wine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 172-Black Raspberry Framboise for $15.50 by Galena Wine Cellars in Geneva and Galena Illinois

This wine is infused with brandy spirits to bring it up to 16% alcohol. This wine is definitely a dessert style wine, it is a half bottle /375ml, and totally delicious. This wine is sweet without being cloying and smells like raspberry and tastes like liquid raspberry. This wine is perfect with dark chocolate and on its own. This Black Raspberry Framboise may be my favorite fruit dessert wine. I have tried Framboise before, and I don't think I have found one I don't like, but this one made from black raspberries is really something special. Finding a wine in general made out of black raspberries is next to impossible, but one made in dessert style with brandy spirits to make the wine as smooth as silk is just pure enjoyment. I might even join the case club at the Galena Cellars in Geneva due to the last few wines I have bought from the winery.

Day 171-Agoston Spain's Wild Boar 2008 $9.99 at Binnys

There is actually a tilda over the n in the name of this wine, but my computer does not have it so I have to type the name somewhat incorrectly. This wine was at the Binnys Friday tasting for Spanish wines that they are now having every Friday and Saturday for the month of October. This wine is 60% Granacha and 40% Syrah and is medium body and I would say fruit forward with a peppery finish. According to the distributer this wine won double gold, and I would say for the price a great buy for an every day red wine. We paired this wine with meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas and it went pretty good. We then paired it with some dark chocolate for dessert and it went well. Overall, the wine is on the drier side and has some peppery aftertaste, however, I found the wine to pair well with food and chocolate and to be ok on its own.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 170-Orchard Mist for $13.99 by the Village Vintner in Carpenterville

This is the fruit wine of the month for the Village Vintner for October and is the first time I have tried it since being a member of their fruit wine club. This apple wine is very good, very smooth, not tart or very sweet. The wine is blended with Gewurtzrameiner not that you would ever know and is a great fall wine. I just made apple crisp and this wine pairs good with it, but like most of the Village Vintner's fruit wines, they are very good alone. I like the Apple Wine by Lynfred a lot too, but they have been sold out for a while and I don't think they are getting any back in stock. However, the Apple Wine by Illinois Cellars that I have bought from Wal Mart is actually terrible-I could not even taste the apple in the wine. I am big fan of apple cider and if one of the winery's could make like a warm apple Glogg versus the spice type of Gloggs, I would be in heaven. As it is, I am waiting very impatiently for the Village Vintner Glogg.

Day 169-Chenin Blanc 2008 by Lynfred Winey for $18.00

This wine smells wonderful, peaches and tropical, and tastes very off dry and acidic. I had to drink this one pretty much on my own, because my better half said the wine was causing heartburn. This wine is too acidic for me, and I tried it with teriyaki pork and it was a no go. Generally, Chenin Blanc makes an off dry wine, however, this wine is too dry. I found this wine too similar to a Sauvignon Blanc, which I don't really care for either. In addition, Lynfred released their Port wine and did not put it in a wine club so the price for the first month was around $20. The wine was released as a half bottle for $35. Ridiculous! The reason we joined the white wine club again was due to the cabernet blush and the opportunity to get wines like that for the cheap price for the first month. This year there have only been 2 months with a non-dry white wine-the ice wine and then the sparkling rose'. We are going to think about dropping out of the white wine club and only being members of the fruit wine club.

Day 168-Mango wine for $10 at Lynfred winery

We are in the fruit wine club at Lynfred so we get 1 bottle a month of our choice of fruit wine for $10. The mango wine was just released this month so we thought we would try it. We had tried a mango wine in amana, iowa previously and it was really sweet so Troy was very excited about this wine. He liked the wine, it is sweet, not overly so, and he thought is was good, tasted of mango and drank the majority of the bottle. I, on the other hand, was disappointed. All of Lynfred's wine is made of 100% fruit so the fruit is very strong, the peach tastes like you are eating a peach, raspberry like you are eating a raspberry, and with the mango I just felt like it kind of tasted like peach and did not have a strong flavor of any fruit. I thought the wine was off-dry and not especially fruity and tastes more like a white wine versus a fruit wine.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 167-2008 Dewn Ca' del Solo Grenache Blanc for just a touch under $20 for wine club members

I received this wine as part of the Bonny Doon wine club. We joined the Bonny Doon wine club because they offered a case of sweet wine for $5 per bottle the Angel Paille which I have previously blogged on. I have tried Grenache in the past, generally as a red and it is extremely dry. So when I received a Nebbiolo and a Grenache Blanc for our first shipment in the wine club, I was thinking we will have to cancel our membership if all the wines are going to be bone dry. I was horribly wrong about this wine. It is a great white wine, it is more off dry than dry, and is very smooth. I drank this on its own and was totally surprised it is fruit forward and a smooth almost buttery finish. This wine is not acidic, tart, or mouth drying. I hope this is how all their wines are, very fruity without the acidic/heartburn inducing wines that you find with certain grapes. This wine is made very well, and it is not cheap, but this winery has great sales on wine, so overall I am very glad we joined the Bonny Doon wine club.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 166-2000 Ridge Lytton Estates Late harvest Zinfandel $25.00 at

This is the first and probably the last time I ever bid on a wine. However, Ridge wines are renowned for great Zinfandel so I thought this was a steal since generally their wines are over $20 and they are no longer making a late harvest wine. I was disappointed, this wine was only suppose to age for 5-7 yrs and it had already aged for 9. It was ok, like a semi-late harvest Zinfandel with some up front fruit and a touch of sweetness, but not what I expected. I would be the half bottle of Edmeades in a second over this wine, in comparison of late harvest zins. This wine was easy to drink over all, relatively smooth, but I was expecting a lot more fruit and sweetness that just was not there in this wine.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 165-Charles and Charles 2008 Rose' Columbia Valley Volume II under $10 at Binnys

The last blog should be day 164 not 168 so we are back on track with Day 165. This is the last of the under $10 Rose' wines that we bought a few weeks back, Thank God. I did not enjoy any of these wines and will never buy a wine based on price or another person's opinion again. This wine is 100% Syrah and is dry to the bone. It is one of those wines that is so acidic that it gives me heartburn. Certain wines are not for certaine people and I think I will stay away from any Rose' without trying the wine first. I have been sick a lot this month and still have difficulty swallowing so I will not be blogging probably on a lot of wine this month. However, fall is here and so most of the wines we will be drinking will be red wines. I have the list of the best wines for 2009 under $15 by Wine Enthusiast and will be trying to find some of those wines.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 164-Ferrer Malbec 2008-$20.00 at Binnys

This wine was at the Malbec tasting at Binnys a couple of Fridays ago. Every Friday, the Binnys by our house now has a tasting of some group of 5 wines. This Malbec is the best I have ever had. My better half thinks it is only good with food, but I thought this wine was very fruit forward without any bitter aftertaste, and very light tannins. I found the wine to be almost grapey, and it is very dark very purple, leaving my teeth stained a nice shade. I normally do not spend this much on a bottle of wine, but in this case, I thought it was well worth it. This wine for food pairing I would go with turkey, chicken, I think this is a great Thanksgiving Day wine. I will keep track of this Argentinian Malbec, I bought the last one at Binnys, but it is a definite crowd pleaser. I think this maybe one of my favorite red wines of all time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 163-Maipe Andean Culture Malbec Rose 2008 from Mendoza, Argentina from Binnys for under $7

This is the 3rd rose' of a group of 4 rose' wines that we bought at Binnys for a total of $20. This is what I learned from buying 4 inexpensive wines that we have not previously tried, with a typr of wine, rose', that I typically know to be dry: SPEND THE $20 ON A WINE THAT I KNOW I LIKE. Some times I buy a wine due to the price and not due to the wine. I will not make the mistake again. This wine has been the best of the 3 rose' wines we have tried, without the acidic aftertaste and the heart burn sensation. However, this is not fruit forward and does not have any sweetness in it at all. I am not going to ever buy a rose' again, unless I have tried it, the Lynfred Rose' may just be a unique wine with its off dry finish and strawberry flavors.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 162-Blackberry Wine by Lynfred Winery of Roselle, Il for $10.00

In September, Lynfred started a fruit wine club which we joined in addition to the white wine club. Now all the fruit wines cost us $10 per bottle. This is a deal, because the full bottles, the 750 ml, are all generally over $10. This wine is 100% blackberries, and that is the flavor some tart balanced with some sweet, but totally blackberry. I found the wine to go much better with chocolate than on its own, however it is good on its own, it is superb with chocolate. This wine needs to be chilled and probably one glass is enough. I have found that with fruit wines you need to drink them in a short period of time from the time they are bottled. This wine was just bottled, as when the fruit wines by the case were on sale, it was not available. And once you open the bottle, you need to finish it in 1 to 2 days or the vinegar takes over since there is so much sugar in the wine.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 161-Beaches by Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, Il for under $15

This is a sweet white wine made from the Niagara grape or the grape that ,makes white grape juice. My in-laws use to love the Concord or the Niagara grape, but since their introduction to the Moscato grape, they have not really gone back to any other type of wine. I think this wine is a nice change of pace for a sweet white wine. This is a great summer white wine for a barbeque. a lot of people will find this wine too sweet. This wine is not complex, just a simple white wine that is sweet and reminds you of white grape juice. I great introduction wine.

Day 160- 2008 Saintsbury Carneros Vin Gris of Pinot Noir for $7.99 at Binnys

This wine was another recommendation of the wine manager for the rose wines that were on sale. He says that the wine was fruit forward and not that dry. This wine has beautiful art on the bottle and is 13.5 % alcohol. The manager was mistaken, this wine is dry to the bone with only some fruit on the nose. I would never take the managers recommendation again, I would buy what I have tried previously.

Day 159- Beringer Moscato under $10 at any Binnys, CVS, local liquor store

My in-laws love Moscato and Moscato di' Asti. Hence, why they have this wine chilled when we drove up there to drop off our little one for a week. This wine is a very reasonably priced crowd pleaser. This wine has a slight sweetness that is not overpowering and still has enough fruit flavors to make it taste like a Moscato. This is the wine you buy by the case for a party, this wine is good for the non-wine drinkers, or new wine drinkers. This wine is perfect for the summer time and any type of barbeque that you are invited to that people really know nothing about wine.

Day 158-2008 Viognier by Lynfred Winery for under $20 for White Wine Club members

This is the September White Wine Club of the Month. It is fruit forward with peach and other orange flavors, with a dry finish. This wine requires food for me, a little dry to casually sip at home. I think this wine with chicken or fish, and various cheeses would be a good pairing. I drank this over a long period of time and do not think I gave this wine the food it needed to bring out its many layers. I like Viognier, but it needs to have a clean aftertaste versus a dry finish.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 157 -2008 Chateay Marqui Corteaux Varois en Provence for $3.99 at Binnys

Binny's is having a huge sale this month on rose' wines. This wine was almost 50% off so I picked it up. Generally, I do not like french wines because they tend to be drier and have earthier smells and tastes and are not generally described as fruity. The vintner describes this wine as a "delicate mix of white flowers, woodland berries and classic garrique scents." This wine has some scent of fruit, strawberries and peaches, and is a pale peach/pink color. However, this wine was very dry. It was very acidic also, which means my better half would not drink this wine. Therefore I am blogging with a headache because I finished off the wine myself, versus keep it around for another day. Generally speaking, I really like Rose', generally they are very light, crisp, and fruity. This wine is too acidic and too dry for me. Similar to a Sauvignon Blanc this wine has that type of acidity and that type of mineral flavor with only a hint of some berries. I should have known better then to buy a french wine, there is a reason it was so cheap. I would definitely not buy this wine again, and I would not reccomend it to a friend either.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 156-Cracklin Apple for $10.50 by Galena Wine Cellars of Geneva, Il

I have tasted at this winery before, and they have numerous good wines, however they give such small tasters and they only allow 6. This wine tastes like sparkling apple cider. I loved this wine and drank probably 75% of the bottle. My better half does not like apple cider and therefore just thought this wine was ok. This wine is described as biting into a crisp apple and I would describe it as a light, crisp, carbonation infused apple cider/juice. This is a great summer wine, so light and refreshing, just a tad tart which is why someone would think the wine tasted more like cider than juice. Apples signal Fall, and Lynfred also makes a great Apple wine which I like a lot also. However, this is wine is more a late summer wine and for a fall barbecue when it is still warm outside. If I had nothing but money, I would keep this wine on stock year around, because I really like apples and can't think of an occasion I would not want to drink this wine.

Day 155-Bonny Doon 2007 Angel Paille 375 ml for $5 for wine club members

I am not joking, this wine cost me $5 a bottle. I get the emails from the Bonny Doon Vineyard, and they have specials monthly for their wine club members. I have balked at joining the wine club for the last few months, because the vineyard is in California which means high shipping costs, which means for 2 bottles of wine every other month $60 when I never spend $30 for a bottle of wine. However, this wine was described as similar to a late harvest/ice wine/sauternes wines. Generally, these wines are extremely pricey and sweet. This wine is very good, tastes like honey with a gold color. The wine has some legs however, is not thick like cough syrup by any means. This wine is similar to the Kracher wines that I have previously blogged upon, and at the Festival of the Vine this weekend, when we tasted numerous wines, sweet and others we found this one was just as good or even better than a lot of the Ice wines and late harvests wines. At this price, my better half loved this wine and is excited and about giving a bottle to his parents. I will give a bottle to my friend at work, I am sure she is going to love it. I may need to buy another case.

Day 154-Peachard for $13.99 by the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il

We are guessing this peach wine is blended with Chardonnay, hence the name Peachard. I don't like Chardonnay, but I really like Peaches, and have tried the Lynfred Peach wine previously and really liked it, so we bought this wine and kept our fingers crossed. I was not disappointed, and either was my better half who does not care for eating peaches, but has taken a liking for peach wine. This wine is crisp, not overly sweet with great peach flavor. This wine, similar to Melon Delight is a great summer wine. We drank this wine without food, but this would make a great brunch wine, bridal shower, and baby shower wine. I would recommend this wine to anyone actually, people who say they don't like sweet wines, this is not a sweet wine, it is a fruit wine, and when you drink a Viognier which generally smells of peaches, but only tastes a bit like peaches, you may buy. Generally speaking if you like a Viognier, you will like this wine. But anyone who likes peaches or even the smell of peaches should try this wine.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 153-2007 Pinot Noir for $17.99 by the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il

We tried some Pinot Noir's on the Friday before we went to the Village Vintner and really didn't find one in our price range that we liked too much. However, this vintner tends to make very mellow reds and we bought this wine without trying it first. We were not disappointed this is a very mellow red, with dark fruit flavors, that paired well with pasta. We drank this wine with and without food, as it was smooth enough, without the dry, tannic feel of som other Pinot Noirs. We would definitely buy this red again, however, it is a little on the pricier side and so this would not be my every day red. If you like Pinot Noir, this is still a good price for the quality.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 152-Melon Delight for $13.99 by the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il

We, my better half and I, have been members of the fruit/sweet wine club of the Village Vintner since October 2008 and this is the first time we tried this fruit wine in the wine tasting of the month. We loved this fruit wine. We were shocked that this fruit wine was blended with Pinot Grigio because we both dislike Pinot Grigio. The vintner states that the wine is Pinot Grigio, but generally in blending the wine does not really matter it could have been any white wine. The wine is describes as having honeydew, watermelon, and kiwi fruit flavors. The wine smells of honeydew and melon, and it reminds you of sunshine and summer. We drank this wine on Labor Day which turned out to be a beautiful warm, sunny day. This wine is great alone, I would not pair it with food, just horseshoes, rocking chairs, friends and families. This wine is so smooth, not to sweet or tart, just perfect. If you like melons, and fruity wines you would definitely like this wine.

Day 151-Classic Demi-Sec by Tabor Hill Winery of Buchanan, Michigan for $7.99 at Binnys

This wine was bought on a lark since we did not like any of the Pinot Noir we tried at the Pinot Noir tasting at Binnys this last Friday. This wine did not say what type of grape was used, however the wine was described as a soft, semi-dry white wine. I believe the grape to be the Traiminette. The wine is slightly sweet with some spice of ginger or cinnamon that I find to be indicative of the Traiminette grape. At this price, this is another great summer wine to have with barbecue. We had this wine with grilled chicken breast, baked beans, and more taco dip. The wine was a hit with my better half, despite him being heavy into sweet wines, and my sister who prefers a dry wine. I would almost buy this wine by the case due to its price and its variability to appeal to a lot of wine drinkers.

Day 150-American Rose' by Lynfred Winery for $10.89 for wine club mbrs

This wine was the first wine I served to a guest at our new home we just moved into on Sept. 2. The guest was my sister and she enjoyed the wine as much as I did. This wine went great with the taco dip she brought over and was great alone. It is very fruit forward with very little acidity. The wine is not sweet and it is not dry, however I do not know if I would consider it off-dry. It has flavors of strawberry with a pretty pinkish, red hue that made it a great summer wine which we polished off while setting up the grill. I would definitely buy this wine again, but as summer comes to a close, I may hold off until spring.

Day 149-2007 White Truck Unoaked Santa Barbara Chardonnay for $8.00 at Costco

I thought that since this Chardonnay was unoaked it would be full of fruit and crisp. I have tried unoaked Chardonnay before, and prefer it to oaked Chardonnay, but I still did not like this wine. Despite being unoaked it still tastes like Chardonnay which I just don't like very much. This wine was made by the Red Truck Winery in Napa, Calif. I had eat food with this wine because on its own it was too dry and acidic for me to enjoy. I just have to realize that I am not a Chardonnay person, no matter what they do or not do to the grape.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 148-2002 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine by Lynfred Winery for $35 for 375 ,;

This wine is by far the best Vidal Blanc Ice Wine of Lynfed Winery. The only reason I bought this wine because it is way out of our price range is because I was getting 25% off the mixed case of wine. I like Ice wines and generally they are made out of the Vidal Blanc grape, and Lynfred has 2 other Ice Wines from 2007 and 2006 from the same grape which are not nearly as good. If this wine was closer to $20 I would purchase it more often, however it is overpriced for its mellow honey flavor so I will only blog on it for informational purposes.

Day 147-Blueberry wine 375 ml by Lynfred Winery for $11.00

This wine is by far the best fruit wine by Lynfred Winery. The blueberry wine goes great with chocolate and without anything. If you like blueberries you will love this wine. This wine is smooth, not tart and not overly sweet. This wine is 100% blueberries and actually tastes better than blueberries to me. I like the Cooperhawk blueberry wine also, but I have to give the nod to Lynfred. This is a light fruit wine despite being a berry wine and does not require a spritz, due to the texture of the wine being so mellow.

Day 146-2004Cabernet Franc Ice Wine for $24.00 for 200ml from the Debonne Vineyards of Ohio

We bought this wine on our trip to Ohio, and despite it not being in the price range we need to include it because it is just that good. It may be the best ice wine, myself and my better half have ever tried. The vintner describes this wine as having hints of cherry, chocolate, and vanilla and I would agree those are the flavors that come through on this wine. When someone thinks of an ice wine, they generally think of a very sweet, kind of sticky wine, that is not the case in this wine, this wine is smooth as silk and if you are willing to try an ice wine, this wine is irresistible even though it s

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 145-Apricot Wine by Lynfred Winery for $10

This wine is 100% apricots so you need to like apricots in order to like this wine. I am not a huge fan of apricots, and I think this wine is ok. I would not buy this wine again, because I like the sparkling apricot much better, and I feel this wine is a litte to heave and would do better spritzed with seltzer water. The reason the blog has been so limited this month is that a lot of the wines we have been drinking recently are repeats, and since we are moving at the end of the month, we are trying not to buy more wine, because then we would have to move the wine. Back to the Apricot wine, a definite change of pace from the typical berry wines, and a well made wine for someone who likes apricots.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 144-Elderberry Wine from Prairie State Winery of Genoa, IL for $14.99 at Long Grove Farmstand

I tried this wine at the Wine and Dine Long Grove Wine Festival. I may have tried this wine previously at the actual winery in Genoa, Il, but I am not sure. I had a cold when we visited the winery the first time and can't remember any wines that stood out in particular. This wine is sweet and tart and a very good berry wine. It is a unique flavor, and if you like berries in general, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, more than likely you will like this wine also. I find berry wines turn to vinegar very fast due to the freshness of the wine. I am actually quite paranoid about wines turning into wine ever since I had 2 wines taste of vinegar in a week. I would buy this wine again, but I would make sure that it was this year since I think this wine is one that turns to vinegar fast.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 143-2008 American Chardonnay by Lynfred Winery for $17.50

This is not a sweet wine, however this is the white wine of the month for August 2009. This wine is a Chardonnay that is slightly buttery. It tastes like your typical Chardonnay which is a grape that I don't like, I prescribe to the ABC's (Anything but Chardonnay) of wine to a certain extent. Occasionally, I like an unoaked Chardonnay, but generally speaking I need to drink this wine with food in order to actually enjoy this wine.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 142-Recession Noir $12.99 by Prairie State Winery

We have visited this winery, Prairie State Winery, in Genoa, Ill last winter. We bought the Pumpkin Wine at that time, and I am unsure if the Recession Noir was actually available. I tasted this wine with my sister at the Wine and Dine Event at Long Grove, Il this last weekend. This wine has a cute caption on the bottle and the vintner is reporting of having a Recovery Noir in the works. This wine is very mellow, a great drinking wine that does not require food. It is fruit forward and would be my house red if available closer to my home. I am going to check on line to see what the shipping charges on this wine since I think this wine would be my house Red Wine. This wine is off-dry which is why I find it so pleasant with cherry flavors that would pair with turkey and cranberry or with chocolate and fruit. This wine is better than the Fred's Red which I also considered for a house red.

Day 141-Moscato d'Asti 2008 by Umberto Fiore for $7.99 at Costco

We bought this wine because it was the most reasonable Moscato d'Asti that we have ever found in a store. Generally speaking, I do not like Moscato d'Asti because I find them too sweet. This wine tastes like your typical Moscato d'Asti very sweet with just a touch of fruit flavors. I don't find this one to have as many distinct fruit flavors so I would think that the quality is somewhat compromised by the taste, however this wine is still very good for a Moscato d' Asti and at this price it would be a staple for my better half. I would give this wine out at Christmas due to reasonable price and woulb probably be a total hit for the non-wine drinkers.

Day 140 Adega de Pegoes 2008 bought at Vintages for under $10.00

This wine was bought as part of the Spain/Portugal tasting in July at Vintages. This wine is a crisp, summer white, best served chilled with or without food. The wines of Portugal are extremely reasonable and serve as nice alternative to a Sauvignon Blanc. The vintner describes the white wine as grown in the Pegoes region, a Jurassic seabed that makes up the sun-baked plains of Lisbon, are renowned for their scented bouquet and fruity flavor. This is an aromatic medley of rich and juicy summer-ripe fruit, yet refreshingly zesty, crisp and dry. Great wiht Oriental and spicy cuisine. This wine is very fruit forward and is dry, however not as dry as Troy would make you believe. This wine would be great for a summer party, birthday party, and just sitting around drinking out at the pool. I really like this wine for drinking with chicken and fish versus alone, since it is a bit on the dry side. A great value though, for anyone who likes white wine.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 139-Emeri De Bortoli Pink Moscato at Vintages for $12.99

We tried this wine at the free wine tasting at Vintages last Sunday of Wines from Down Under. This wine is the first Moscato that we have ever tried from Austrailia. This light pink sparkler is delicious and light. I am glad that I bought 2 bottles of the wine. It is slightly sweet, but not as sweet as the Moscato di' Asti from Italy. This wine is a great wine for a girl baby shower, New year's eve, and any other celebration. I am celebrating that I made it to Friday. We were not able to taste a lot of wines at this down under tasting, we had Tyler with us and he does not have the patience to enjoy the atmosphere of a wine tasting yet. This wine was a pleasant surprise and I will consider keeping this wine as a staple in my house.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 138-Pear Wine by Lynfred Winery for $10

This fruit wine is 100% pears. My better half does not like pears, but he likes this wine. I like pears, so I really like this wine. When I tasted this wine originally at the tasting room I found the pear flavor much more distinct than I did when I drank this wine last night. I found that the pear flavor was much more subtle. I found this to be like a white wine with just a touch of pear flavor, a very summery wine. I would definitely bring this wine to barbecues, baby showers, birthday parties, I am guessing this to a crowd favorite for the both the wine and the non-wine drinkers. I find the fruit wines to be nice introduction to wines, and I think this wine has enough fruit flavors to make it a crowd favorite.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 137-Berry Sparkling Wine Doux by Lynfred Winery for $20 a bottle after discount

I know lately the blog has been dominated by the Lynfred wines, but like I reported previously the fruit wines were on sale and I bought a case. This sparkler may be my favorite sparkler yet. This wine is 40% vidal blanc, 20% raspberry wine, 20% blackberry wine, and 20% strawberry wine. This wine tastes like a sparkling raspberry/blackberry wine. If you like the raspberry and blackberry wines of Lynfred then you will love this wine. This wine would be great with chocolate, but is superb alone. This wine is similar in texture and bubbles to all the Lynfred sparklers, but I do think this one has the most fruitful flavor. This wine is not going to last long, I am just disappointed that their wines are so pricey, because if this wine was closer to $15 versus $20, I would be more likely to buy it on a regular basis.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 136-Peach Sparkling Wine Demi Sec by Lynfred Winery for $20.00 after case discount

I love the Lynfred Sparkling fruit wines, they are delicious. I have tried all of the fruit sparkling except for the Berry which I plan to drink later this month. This wine is 40% vidal blanc and 60% peach wine, a very interesting combination with a delicious finish. It is like a mimosa, but peach flavored versus orange. This sparkler is only 10% alcohol perfect for drinking earlier in the day with brunch. If you like peaches, and if don't mind the taste of peaches, I would gurantee you would like this wine. I really liked the Peach Wine by Lynfred, which made this wine a very easy sell for me. I would buy this wine by the case, to save the 20% but it is still pricey for a weekly drink, however if you can afford to splurge for a vacation or for a summer party, I would, this sparkler does not disappoint.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 135-Apricot Sparkling Wine Demi Sec by Lynfred Winery for $20 with case discount

Like I wrote previously in my blog, I bought a case of the fruit wines from Lynfred since it was 25% off the last weekend of July. All the fruit sparklings were included in this special, so I bought one of each of the fruit sparkling wines. The Apricot Sparkling wine is 15% Chardonney, 15% Pinot Grigio, 10% Chenin Blanc, and 60% Apricot Wine. The winemakers assistant when describing this wine said it was more on the dry side. I did not find this at all. This wine was very fruit forward, and was heavier then your typical sparkling wine. The wine was a deep yellow/gold color that looked very similar to the color of the Apricot wine which have tried previously and liked also. I would describe this wine as basically a sparkling apricot wine. If you like the taste of apricots you will like this wine. This wine was delicious and I am huge fan of fruit sparklers. This is a great brunch wine, lunch wine, and general sipping wine in the summer. I found the fruit sparklers to be more fun than elegant, and much better alone than paired with food. The price on the Lynfred's sparklers are just too much to buy them on a more regular basis, no matter how good.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 134-Purple Passion by the Village Vintner for $13.99 per bottle

This fruit wine jumps on the Acai bandwagon and is a blend of intense Acai fruit, raspberries with a splash of red wine according to the vintner. We found this wine to be very similar to the Blue Moon and the Pom a Berry that we like from the Village Vintner. This is very good summer wine, doesn't taste like what one would expect wine to taste like, it is sweet very fruity like a juice wine. Purple Passion is not a food wine, but a great summer sipper, served well chilled playing horseshoes, picnicing, at any barbecue. This wine is only 8% alcohol so you can over indulge a little on those nice summer evenings without forgetting the entire evening. My better half really liked this wine and gave a bottle to his father for his birthday.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 133-2005 Cabernet Blush by Lynfred Winery came out at $20 for the first month with current price now $35

We should have bought this wine by the case when it was $20 the first month it was out for white wine club members. This wine was actually the reason we rejoined the white wine club at Lynfred. This wine is a late harvest dessert wine made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. According to the wine makers assistant at Lynfred, this wine was an accident, and in my opinion, one of the best accidents of Lynfred. This wine looks like a tawny port with legs, and slight pink and carmel hue. The wine tastes of black cherry, raisin, and some honey. This wine needs to be aerated, Troy likes it very chilled, and I like it a little cooler than room temperature. This wine is a special occasion wine. It only comes in half bottles and is way too expensive. We only have this wine because for Mother's Day, they gave us 25% off a mixed case of wine. It is too bad it is too pricey because I could easily drink a bottle of this a week.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 132-Peach Wine of Lynfred Winery around $11.00 a bottle

This is one of my favorite fruit wines by Lynfred Winery. Their fruit wines are made from 100% fruit and around 11% alcohol. This weekend they had their 25% case sale on fruit wines so my blogs will be about fruit wines for the next month. This wine is sweet with some tart, and tastes completely like you are eating a peach. If you like peaches, you will love this wine. It is not that fake peach taste that is orange, the wine is a pale yellow. Lyndfred made 9000 bottles of peach which is over 800 cases of peach wine, which after tasting this wine, helps me to understand why they would produce this much peach wine. This is a great summer wine, great for parties, barbeques, this is wine I would almost buy by the case to share with friends.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 131-Borsao 2008-$8.99 at Pop the Corks in Lake Geneva, WI

This is the second of two bottles of wine I bought at this wine shop in Lake Geneva. This wine is fruit forward, but not sweet by any measure. This wine is 75% Garnacha and 25% Tempranillo, made in Spain, and is definitely a food wine. It has the strong pepper taste on the finish, and is described by the vintner as a full bodied wine and finely textured wine and as a complement to most foods. This is a great gift for a person that you know likes Shiraz/Syrah/Cabernet wines. It is so reasonable, as most wines from Spain are, and most red drinkers will find this to be right up their alley. I would bring this to a dinner party and find it cheap enough to bring to barbecue for more than 1 bottle, but at 14% alcohol it is a bit much to be drinking all afternoon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 130-2007 Late Harvest American Riesling by Lynfred Winery for $17.00

This is our favorite white wine by Lynfred with the exception of the dessert wines, basically speaking, the Cabernet Blush. We have bought this wine before, however we have not drank a bottle of this wine this year yet. This wine is crisp and slightly sweet with bright fruit flavors of citrus. This wine is perfect for the summer very light and clean. Troy thinks this would pair well with chicken and pasta, however I prefer to drink this wine as an apertif or alone. This wine is from 2007 and generally Rieslings are best drunk young, so I think I would only buy a couple of bottles of this wine if I knew I was going to drink them in a timely manner. This wine is a great wine for summer barbeques, birthday parties, and just sipping watching a ball game. It is just too pricey for me to buy on a regular basis without a good discount.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 129-Kracher 2002 #2 Chardonnay Trockenbeeren Auslese $20 at Binnys on sale from $50

This wine and a few other "stickies"/dessert wines were on a fire sale for $20 at Binny's for the month of June. This wine is delicious, very sweet without being cloying. This is a noble rot wine, made in the method of Sauternes with a grape we would have never guessed, Chardonnay. This wine tastes of honey, apricot, peaches. This wine was opened up tonight because Troy was having a bad day, and nothing improves a person's day like a dessert wine. The wine is so fragrant with balanced acidity and sweetness that allows a person to have more than one glass. This wine is 10.5% alcohol and could pair with any number of fruit desserts that you would find during the summer season. This wine is too good, too pricey, and too rare to be shared, give it as a gift and you will make a friend for life.

Day 128-2005 Old Vines Zinfandel by Lynfred Winery for $20 with discount

I bought this wine in a mad dash in May because this wine was in low stock which meant by the end of May this wine would be gone. This wine is not just Zinfandel, but also contains 2-3% port which mellows out this wine and makes it so smooth. I bought 2 bottles of this wine and really don't want to drink it because when the wine is gone, it really is gone and won't be replaced. This may be my favorite Zinfandel next to a late harvest Zinfandel. Troy is not completely impressed with the wine on its own, however he had a glass of ice wine before he started the Zinfandel and I am sure that the wine did not seem the same with that wine as a precursor. This wine is a special occasion wine for me due to the price and the fact it will no longer be produced. True Zinfandel fans may not like this wine due to the addition of the port, however, I think it makes it a different type of Zinfandel.

Day 127 Penascal Tempranillo Rose 2007 for $6.99 at Vintages

This wine was the steal of the Spain and Portugal tasting at Vintages 2 wks ago. This wine looks like a White Zinfandel, tastes very similar to a White Zinfandel and is in the price range of a White Zinfandel. This wine is slightly sweet, crisp with lots of fruit flavors. This is a great summer wine that could be taken to barbeques, parties, a very versatile wine. This wine is from Spain made with the tempranillo grape which I tend to not like because it is too dry. However, this wine has a very balanced acidity which does not cause the heartburn of some other rose' wines or have the especially dry finish. I will continue to buy this wine for the price and the taste it is a great alternative to White Zinfandel at a similar price.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 126-Bartenura 2007 of Italy Malvasia-$12.00 at Binnys

I have blogged on the Bartenura Moscato previously, and this wine tastes the exact same to me in pink. This wine is very sweet with some effervescence with a very low alcohol content of 5%. This wine tastes like sparkling juice to me. This wine is a great party wine for people that normally don't drink wine because it is a very good introductory wine with its mild sweet taste that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is a little pricey to buy in large quantities, but to bring a couple bottles would make certain to make you very popular.

Day 125-Framboise by Lynfred Winery for $35

This wine is well over the $20 mark, however this is a full bottle not a half bottle which is typical of Framboise. This wine is pure raspberry with something added to give it the alcholoic kick and bring it up to 18% or 16% alcohol. The best way for me to describe it is a raspberry port, and after dinner drink or nightcap, excellent with chocolate. The wine is strong, my better half thought it would do well sprtized with some seltzer water, and I think it is fine on its own. It is simply a bottle of wine that will take a while to finish. Since you really would not drink this wine by the 7oz, closer to 3oz with chocolate. We actually like the raspberry wine by Lynfred better than the Framboise since it is lighter and does not have that extra infused alcohol that makes this such a heavy wine. Again, even if this came in the half bottle I would generally only bring it to friend's homes that I know like port, because if you don't like port and you do like raspberries you still my find this wine a little overwhelming.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 124-Edmeades 2003 Mendoncino Ridge Late Harvest Zinfandel $16.99 at Vintages and $14.99 at Binnys

We actually had 2 bottles of this wine on New Years Eve in 2009. We love late harvest wines and this one was no disappointment. It is only 375ml or a half bottle which makes it a $30 bottle of wine which is why we do not drink it very often. This wine tastes like coffee and raisins and is very similar to the Late Harvest Petite Syrah which I also find so tasty. This wine is a romantic wine and could pair which chocolate and with cheesecake. We drank this wine with dinner with various dishes, I can't remember now, but it wasn't about pairing, the wine was delicious. I have a hard time distinquishing Petite Syrah from Zinfandel especially in late harvest, but I find nothing wrong with this wine. I am drinking it with pizza this evening. Side note: I broke the cork into the bottle and my better half had to strain it through paper towel so we could have this bottle of wine this evening-that's love.

Day 123-2008 Seyval Blanc by Lynfred Winery $17 currently with an increase to $20 at the end of the month

This is a great summer wine. This is the white wine of the month of July from Lynfred Winery and won the Governor's Cup. This wine is very crisp and refreshing, however, I prefer this wine very cold, it loses something when it gets close to room temperature. This wine was drank alone and with fried chicken and fries, and I think it did better on its own. It is light, fruity a great alternative to Chardonney or Sauvignon Blanc. The vintner states that various seafood dishes pair with this wine, which is always in short supply at my house. My boyfriend found this wine to be a little too acidic, however, I did not. I would definitely buy this wine again, however, it is on the pricey side-so I would only buy it if it was in a case situation. Currently, we just bought a wine fridge that holds 25 bottles of wine, which is completely full, after a crisis last weekend where 2 of our bottles of wine tasted like vinegar. We thought it was because of improper storage and the house being too warm, so I panicked and bought the 25 wine bottle fridge, however, it is already packed and I want to buy a case of fruit wine at Lynfred at the end of the month for 25% off. And next month is the wine tasting in Long Grove were I will need to buy more wine! I may need a second wine refridgerator-though I think my whole family would kill me!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 122-Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2007 for $15.99 from Vintages

We bought this wine at the Zinfandel tasting at this wine shop in Arlington Heights. This wine is very mellow with good fruit forward with cherries and blackberries. We found this Zinfandel to be the least tannic with the most fruit forward style moving away from the dryness of some Zinfandels that are made in the style of Cabernets. I am drinking this wine alone, since the better half is out of town and this is the third day with this wine. I have paired this wine with barbeque ribs and with chocolate and I have to say it paired better with chocolate. This is a dinner party wine, not a barbeque wine due to the price and its depth. I would only bring this wine to a dinner party where it would be appreciated versus a party where people are drinking anything without any regard for the wine.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 121-Sutter Home White Zinfandel 1.75liter for under $20

I did not buy this wine, but had it at a barbeque with friends. My friends who really like this wine say the 2007 White Zinfandel is terrible so she stocked up on the 2006. I think this ok wine in bulk when the people around are drinking to drink and not really paying much attention to the wine. The host was drinking right from the bottle, which we just found hilarious. The wine is the pretty pink color and is the typical white zinfandel that is renowned. I would not buy this wine myself it has no distinct character, but I would definitely drink it at a party.

Day 120-Bartenura Freisa D'Asti $11.99 at Binnys

We really like the Bartenura Moscato so we decided to try another one of there wine s from the Asti region. This wine is a dark red with a slight fizz. This wine is a semi-sweet wine with a bit of a dry aftertaste. Originally, I thought this wine tasted like vinegar, verified by my mother who does not drink that it smells like vinegar, however upon further tasting, I verified that it is not vinegar that she is smelling, it is just the wine smell that she thinks is a vinegar smell. I don't know I might just be going crazy. I will have Troy both this wine and another wine that I think has gone to vinegar before I try returning the wines. Based on the fact, I can't tell if this wine tastes like vinegar, and Troy thinks that since we have not had this wine before, that maybe it is just this wine-I have no idea it is only a 2007 and we bought it 2 wks ago at Binnys.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 119-Krimskoye Premium Crimean Red Champagne for $4.99 at Binnys

This is the best deal on a bottle of wine that we have ever gotten. This wine tastes just like a Lambrusco which costs $10 a bottle out of Italy. This wine is out of the Ukraine is made of Merlot and Cabernet grapes. This wine is semi-sweet and the dark grape color and little bubbles remind of Lambrusco, however as a Champagne I have never heard of these grapes being used. I have had about 4 glasses of wine this evening, so my english and grammar is going to leave something to be desired. This wine of dark purple would be a great party wine, it is very simple, very cheap, and very bubbly, a great drink for celebrating when you feel like having more than 1 glass.

Day 118-2008 Montesierra Rosado for $7.99 at Pop Your Corks or something like that in Lake Geneva, Wi

I bought this wine over the July 4th weekend in Lake Geneva, Wi. This wine shop must have been relatively new, the owner was very knowledgable about the wines and he gave free tastings on 8 wines. In addition, all the wines the shop tasted were reasonably priced at under $20. This wines smells of strawberries and fruit. The wine is a beautiful pink color and needs to be chilled before serving. The wine is 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha by the Somontano vineyards out of Spain. I tried drinking this wine with chicken and noodles and found the wine did nothing for the food and vice versa. The vintner recommends spicy dishes with this wine, however, for all the fruit forward smells and flavors the wine has a dry finish. I would definitely would bring this wine to a party or a barbeque the price is right and everyone would just mistake the wine for a white zinfandel.

Day 117-Frangelico-I cant remember the vintner out of Italy at Binny's for $11.99 or under

This wine is a red sparkling wine from Italy. It did not say on the bottle what region it was from in Italy, we were thinking the Asti region, but we don't know. This wine smells like grape kool-aid powder and tastes very similar to a sparkling grape/strawberry/raspberry kool-aid. Troy obviously loved this wine and finished it off himself pretty much. This sparkling wine is pretty purple with little bubbles, this wine's bubbles are subtle, not like a champagne where they move are constantly in motion. I would bring this wine to a party since it is low in alcohol at 7.5% and is very reasonable priced. Even the people that don't like wine will like this sparkler because if you did not know better you would think that someone added some seltzer water to the grape juice.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 115- Everyday Red by Gluntz Winery of Illinois for $8.99

This wine is a blend of California grapes for a red table wine. This house everday red wine is good, not dry, somewhat fruit forward, goes with most food. I drank this wine by myself over the 4th of July weekend at Lake Geneva. This wine was ok, nothing bad and nothing good. This wine my guess is not of great quality and I would not buy it again, because it was just ok. It is a great value, though and would be good chilled at a summer barbeque where people are looking to drink to drink versus to drink for the taste of the wine. I am always looking for a good house red wine and this wine is just not as distinct and made as well as the Fred's Red which I thought was much better and only a dollar more.

Day 116-Sovietskoe Shapanske made in Lithunia for $6.99 at Binnys

I was looking for some sparkling wine for my mostly red wine cellar currently and it was labeled a semi-sweet sparkling wine at the right price. This wine is made in a champagne-style with tons of bubbles and very crisp with flavors and aromas of bread. This wine is a combination of grape varieties and was a hit with Troy's parents. They said it was the best $7 wine they ever had, and I agree for the value this is a great mimosa drink and a great barbeque wine. I would almost buy this wine by the case as a cheap bubbly for a party. This sprakler is clean and refreshing, without the typical dryness of a champagne.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 114-2001 Kracher Scheurebe Welsh Riesling Trokenbeeren Auslese #8 out of Austria for $20 at Binnys

We made a Binnys run on 6/30/09 the last day of the sale to pick up a few more "stickies." Troy's parents were coming in town and they love sweet wines, so we brought them this bottle to try. This wine has some legs and is deep gold color. The wine tastes of raisins, apricot, and honey. It is very rich and full bodied, but it doesn't hurt my teeth like some other sweet wines. I can tell this is your $50 half bottle of wine versus your $20 Icewine. This wine has a long finish, and is the perfect dessert. Troy's parents really liked this wine and we finished off the half bottle in no time. I took a few sips and it is delicious, but anything more than that is just a little much for me. This wine is for special occasions, and since we don't see his parents very much, it was a special occasion.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 113-Fred's Red/Hoiday Red Table Wine for $10 at Lynfred Winery in Roselle, Il

We have tasted Fred's Red before at the monthly tastings at Lynfred Winery and we have never bought it, until this last month's tasting on Father's Day when we, rather Troy was given a glass for free. In the past, the Fred's Red has been rather dry and not much to speak of. However, this vintage or batch of Fred's Red is wonderful. This wine is a blend of wines, I am guessing merlot, cabernet sauvignon, possibly petite syrah, and it is very fruit forward and totally mellow. Troy felt like pasta while drinking this wine, and I can see this wine as being a great pasta wine. This vintage of Fred's Red could be my house wine, however, unless you get this vintage/batch which was in the holiday bottles it is hit or miss on which Fred's Red you are likely to buy and since I have not found the Fred's Red in the past to be anything special, I will only buy this wine again if it is this holiday bottle. This is a great wine for a dinner party and for summer barbeques because it is light, fruit forward, and completely versatile. I have been drinking this alone, and it is very good, however with a little bread or cheese, pasta and this wine would be the house favorite.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 112-Tropical Dream by the Village Vintner for $13.99

This wine does not taste like wine. This wine is infused with pineapple and mango to give it a very tropical flavor. This wine would be best served sitting on a beach on ice. This wine smells like vacation. It is on the sweeter side and the pale yellow color of a Sauvignon Blanc. This wine tastes like a wine version of a pineapple daquiri. This wine would be great at a party instead of Margaritas. This wine can be made by the batch which would cut down on the price per bottle, however, this would be pricey if you just bought it by the case for a party.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 111-2004 Arte Monforte d'Alba Domenico Clerico for $20 at Binnys

This wine was on sale in April at Binnys for $20 and being originally a $40 wine, plus a good review by Wine Spectator, I purchased 2 bottles of the wine, 1 for a gift and 1 for myself. I gave the bottle to my friend on her birthday and I saw it unopened on her table at her birthday party. I asked if she drank it and she said yes, thought I was there when she opened it, and said it was good with no other details. This is the same friend I gave a sparkling shiraz and on New Years Eve she drank and said it was delicious, and gave me no other information. That friend is Katie and she is one of my blog followers. This wine is dry, I am drinking it with rosemary crackers, however this wine has no bitter aftertaste and is very fruit forward. I am not surprised at how good this wine is, however I can't spend $40 on a bottle of wine, I can barely afford $20 and under. This wine is deep purple with no legs, I am drinking it too cold, but most people who like red wine will like this wine.

Day 110-2002 Kracher Scheurebe Trockenbeeren Auslese Number 6 by Austria $20 at Binnys

This dessert wine is a $50 that was on sale for $20 dollars at Binnys for the month of June along with a lot of other expensive dessert wines by Kracher. I don't know the grape in this wine, it could be Vidal Blanc-Troy thinks it is very similar tasting to an Ice Wine, I thinks since the bottle says Auslese that it is a Riesling. Is this wine made in the style of Sauternes with the noble rot or is it Ice Wine, we have no idea. These wines are almost never opened at wine tastings and I can not believe the luck of finding such a deal on the wines. This wine is probably the best Ice Wine/Sauternes that we have ever had before, the tastes of raisin, apricot, and honey are so subtle, the wine deliciously sweet without being cloying. This is the dessert wine that people fall in love with, Troy was in heaven and after having a half a glass I will the beautiful gold wine to him. We have tried many Vidal Blanc Ice Wines throughout this blog from both Illinois and other locales and to me this is hands down the most elaborate, smooth, and complete dessert wine. I think I will have to go revisit Binnys one more time to see if they have any left before the end of the month and the $20 for a $50 for 375ml no longer exists.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 109-Muscat 2005 by Rene Mure of Alsace, France for $16.99 at Binnys

I bought this wine because it was on sale, and based on reputation the white wines from Alsace are suppose to be the best in the world. Unfortunately, I just read that this wine should have been drank within the first two years of the vintage, and after trying the wine I know why. The wine's flavors are not very distinct and there is only a faint orange aroma typical of a Muscat, when generally this is a very fragrant wine. This wine was dry and my better half hated it. I thought the wine tasted very good with Swiss cheese. On its own, like many French wines, was very minerally and very fruit forward which is what I look for in a good white wine. This wine is too pricey to buy as a party wine and more for the wine expert versus the person who enjoys drinking wine such as myself. I am going to stay away French wines from now on, they are an acquired taste and not something I need to venture into because of the price and the extensive terroir flavor of the wines.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 108-Chocolate Cherry by Door Peninsula Winery for $16.99 at Long Grove

This wine is sweet cherry wine with artificial chocolate flavoring. I bought this wine because I like the chocolate strawberry wine, which I have blogged on previously, and at the same winery we bought that wine they had other chocolate covered fruit wines that we also liked such as raspberry and cherry. This wine is lighter than those wines and actually looks like the same color as white zinfandel with pinky/orangy color. This wine tastes like chocolate to me more than cherry, and the chocolate flavor tastes completely artificial to me. I did not like the wine. It was pricey and I thought it would be a light dessert wine, but it just tastes too fake to me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 107-Grand Finale Blanc by the Village Vintner for $26.99 for 375ml

This is an Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, so finding it under $20 is unrealistic. Actually, this wine is made from Canadian frozen juice which is extremely pricey, most Canadian Ice Wines are $80, and so I put this in my blog because I still consider this Ice Wine a reasonable price. This Ice Wine smells slightly of raisins, however, I do not find this wine as syrupy or with the legs of your typical Ice Wine. I found the flavor of this Ice Wine to be very light and not distinct like I am used to with most Vidal Blanc Ice Wines. If you like Ice Wine, as it is a favorite of my better half, I would buy this to try it out, but if you truly want an Ice Wine I would spend the extra $20-$60 and get the traditional Ice Wine. Ice Wines are wines, in general to me due to the price, for special occasions and this wine just doesn't require just so much of a special occasion.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 106-Plum Wine by Lynfred Winery for $13

This wine, like all Lynfred fruit wines, is 100% plums. If you have ever been to an asian restaurant where they have served plum wine, you have a reference point for this wine. This wine is not as sweet as those plum wines in the asian restaurant, but this wine has some sweetness and a tart finish. This wine is a better fall wine than summer wine, but it still very tasty. Cooperhawk winery also makes a plum wine which is also very good, that wine tastes almost the same as this wine. This wine also comes in the half bottle, for those who only want a glass or two. This wine would great with dessert whether that be cheese or cake. It is a nice balance of sweet and tart without being overpowering. We drank this wine with fried chicken on Father's Day and it went well, however it is really too hot out for this wine at 11% alcohol and a slightly thicker consistency.

Day 105-Reymos Espumose de moscatel $11.99 at Vintages in Arlington Heights

I bought the wine at the Zinfandel wine tasting this shop had last Sunday. I love this wine shop, they always have free wine tastings, and the owner of the shop is super nice. The shop rates all the wines for you on a sweetness scale which is helpful in deciding between wines that you have never tasted before, I have had this wine before, but I have never blogged on it. This wine is not as sweet as your Moscato di Asti-which is why my better half thinks it is only ok. This wine is a great summer wine, it is light, sparkling, with a touch of sweetness and fruit flavors. This wine is made in Spain which is known for its Cava, the spanish counterpart to Champagne, which is significantly drier that this wine. I would definitely bring this wine to a party, brunch, anything in the summer time, for the price is right, and my guess if I looked I could even find it for less money and it is only 7.5% alcohol which means you are not falling into the bag after a couple of glasses.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 104-2008 Moscato by Mezzaocorona Vigneti delle Dolomiti $-unknown

I received this bottle of wine as a gift from my co-workers for my 34th birthday two weeks ago. I was surprised that they remembered that I liked Moscato and thought this would be a pretty good bottle of wine. Troy thought just looking at the wine that it was not going to be sweet, and it wasn't sweet or have the effevescence of your typical Italian Moscato. It smelled like your typical Moscato-fruity, the vintner describes the fruit as tropical, where I smell more peaches, pineapple, and apple. I tried the wine and at first taste you get the spark of sweetness of a Moscato, however that is it, the finish is dry. Troy was disappointed in the wine, but I thought it was ok, a light, summer wine with fruit flavors that you could bring to barbecue and would pair nicely with salads, chicken, fish, and cheeses. I would not buy this wine again, it just had to dry, tart finish for me that I associate with other dry whites that I do not care to drink more than a glass or requires food because it is not enjoyable on its own. I will continue to look for my perfect summer sipping wine, I have not found it yet or my house red wine.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 102-Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Lynfred Winery, IL $20

This Sauvignon Blanc is the June 2009 wine of the month for Lynfred. This wine is a pale yellow with 13.5% alcohol. This wine smells delicious, very fruit forward and fresh smelling. This may the first sauvignon blanc that I have ever really enjoyed. Generally, I find this wine to be too minerally and tasting of grass. However, this wine is a good balance of acid and fruit flavors perfect for this warm, sunny day in June. I paired this wine with brussel sprouts and scallop alfredo and it went well. This wine is light and would pair very well with salads and chicken and if you have a lemon based anything I think this wine would be a hit. Unfortunately, I am not pairing it with any more food simply waiting for the better half to get back and the peanut to get up so I don't finish off the bottle. This wine would be great for a party or a grill out with friends if the price was just a little smaller. Here comes the summer, hopefully and the white, sparkling, and zinfandels!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 101-Razmatazz from the Village Vintner for $13.99

This is a grape wine, White Zinfandel, infused with raspberry flavoring. This wine tastes very much like a wine cooler and I gave this as a christmas gift to one of my co-workers and she really liked it, for a person who does not like wine. This wine is a very pretty pink color and tastes like raspberry white zinfandel, versus the 100% raspberry from the Lynfred winery that tastes like liquid raspberries and is more of a dessert wine. This wine is a great summer wine, great for parties, barbeques, or just enjoying the sunshine if it would ever get here. If you are going to bring a lot to one party, the Village Vintner allows you to do a Batch which basically cuts the price of the bottle in half which is what I would do. However, a batch makes about 31 bottles so you want to make sure you have a lot of places to go over the summer to bring the wine. My better half enjoyed this wine more than I did, it is just too simple for me to really want more than a glass or two.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 100-Gewurztrimer 2006 Ice Wine on sale at Binny's for $15.00 for 375ml

We finally made it to 100 wines! We are buying a house with the help of my mom so we won't be able to afford much wine anymore. It may take more like 2-3 yrs to get to 365 wines. This wine was a steal for a Gewurtz ice wine. It is apricot and peach and one of the best ice wines I have ever had. We drank this while sitting in a jacuzzi on my birthday and I just can't tell you how wonderful. If you like ice wine, you will like this wine. These are wines made for romance due to the small bottles and the sugary sweetness.

Day 99-Concord Ice Wine of the South River Vineyard in Ohio for over $20 at 375ml

This wine defininitely falls in the sweet wine category, however it is over $20. It was delicious. If you like the grapey concord wine of welch's grape juice and you like sweet, this wine is worth its weight in gold. However, this wine's only draw back is it price. It is delicious, we bought at the winery in Ohio that is made out of church. It is a really cool looking winery and this wine, for me, was the best ice wine that Ohio had to offer and they offered quite a few ice wines. The color is a rose color with some legs, however, only 10% etoh. This was my birthday wine, we have held on to this wine since February to have a special occasion.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 98-Strawberry Wine from the Lynfred Winery $12.00

This wine along with the previous Almond Sparkling Wine as well as the following to wines were the wines that myself and my better half drank for my birthday celebration. This is a sweet wine made from 100% strawberries that went great with chocolate, cheese, and crackers. If you like strawberries you will love this wine, if you think it is too sweet, then you could always spritz the wine with a brut sparkler for more of a brunch or party drink. I like this wine for dessert, and find that most people would like this wine for sipping. I would bring this and a cheap sparkler to a party for a fun bubbly summer drink that would be pretty reasonable.

Day 97-Almond Flavored Sparkling Wine by Village Vintner for $13.99

This is Village Vintner's most popular wine according to them. They said they sold 40 cases at the Illinois winery expo at the end of September in 2008. I like this sparkler, it is very similar to the cooperhawk almond sparkling which is also very good. I still think August Hill's Almond Infusion is the best of the three almond sparklers. This wine smells like almonds and if you like the almond cookies, basically you will love this wine. It is sweet and a fun wine, just a little pricey if you are going to buy numerous bottles.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 96-Chocolate Strawberry Wine by Kickapoo Winery for $15.99

This wine was bought on our way down to McComb, Illinois and I actually think this is our last bottle of wine from that week in the country. The Kickapoo Winery actually had a few chocolate wines at around the same price with different fruits-strawberry, raspberry, and a madeira style. However, this wine was a full bottle for $15.99 versus the half bottle for the same price. This wine tastes like a liquid chocolate covered strawberry. It is a little strong at 13.9% alcohol, however I think a glass of this wine is dessert replacement. I find this to be really only drank with dessert, I don't see it paired with food other than dessert because the wine is infused with chocolate flavors and strawberry flavors. I find this wine to be a good after drink, maybe with cheesecake, but a nice night cap to end the evening with friends. I think it is also a very good date wine it is romantic and fun for someone who is new to wine and doesn't really know what they like to drink. I am finishing it off this evening and found this Illinois wine another unique wine that has fun with the grape and gives the wine something totally diffferent.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 95-American Sparkling Cherry Wine Doux by Lynfred Winery for $25

solThis wine is over the $20 dollar mark however if you buy a case you get 25% off which makes it under $20. This wine is a very interesting combination of 60% cherry wine, 15% Chardoney, 15% Pinot Grigio, and 10% Chenin Blanc. This wine was recommended of all the sparkling wines at Lynfred as being the sweetest. However, after tasting the sparkling Rose and this wine, I am sold on their sparkling wines as being great summer wines. This wine taste like pure cherries so it has some tartness and great fizz. This wine was even liked by my better half who does not like cherries. This is a bottle of wine that needs to be finished the day you open it or you lose the fizz that makes it such a great sparkling wine. I can't wait to buy their peach and their berry sparkling wines now, they are truly the perfect summer wines. I am not sure if you would pair them with the meal, but with cheese and fruit and dessert, absolutely perfect. I think these a great wines to swap out instead of the traditional Moscato di'Asti, but Moscato di'Asti is significantly cheaper.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 94-Moscato 2007-Village Vintner for $14.99

The winery states they created this wine in response to the desire of the frequenters of the establishment. I brought this wine with the sparkling rose to the party and drank this after the sparkling rose, so I am a little foggy on the descriptors of this wine. It was popular with the guests, but most of them were dry wine drinkers so the moscato was a little too sweet for them. I liked the moscato with its peach flavors, it is light and sweet the perfect summer wine. This wine will be brought to many parties because it is a crowd pleaser and it is a reasonable price.

Day 93-Sparkling Rose Brut- Lynfred Winery for $17 for the month of june

When a sparkling wine says it is Brut I picture a very dry wine. I brought this wine to a party and it was great. It is not as sweet as Rosa Regale but you could taste the various strawberry and raspberry flavors in the wine. It is lovely color with very good bubbles and fizz, everyone at the party liked the wine, and I had a few glasses my self. I am going to buy this wine again, I can't believe how light and fruity the wine was, and feel this a great summer wine and if the price was cut in half I would buy it by the case. I challenge anyone to find a better Rose. This needs to be served ice cold, but I had it just cold and it was still probably the best sparkling Rose to me.

Day 92-Black Razzy by the Ackerman Winery- $6,00 for 375mg or half bottle

This wine is made of 100% Black Raspberries. This wine is very dark almost black in color with some legs. This wine is very balanced with both sweetness and tartness. This wine could be spritzed with club soda to give it a lighter flavor. This wine would go great with cheesecake and with chocolate. Troy really liked this wine and I thought it was just ok. I am finding some of the fruit wines to be just very one dimensional. I would have spritzed this wine if I were take it to a party and serve it with dessert. I would probably not buy this wine again simply because I did not find the wine to be very versatile, however the half bottle is a nice size for a wine that is for desserts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 91-Pomegranate Wine by Cooperhawk Winery for $13.99

This wine was bought last month when we did our monthly tasting at the Cooperhawk in South Barrington. We tried this wine since they were out of the Plum wine. My better half absolutely loved this wine and we bought the last bottle they had in the store. I have recently seen this wine at the Cooperhawk in Wheeling, so he has nothing to worry about, there isn't a shortage of the wine or anything to that effect. This wine is sweet, but after being chilled in the refrigerator over the last couple of days the wine is tasting a little more tart and I think getting bad with the vinegar smell and flavor, hence I am finishing the wine off as I type. I forgot we had this wine as I bemoan having only reds for summertime, however, we recently got a cold, rainy front so the reds are looking ok currently, and when I opened it I never thought Troy would be able to guess what wine it was, but he did. This wine is made from two pounds of pomegranate however, since I have not eaten a pomegranate since I was younger, I am not sure I can distinguish it from other fruit, however if my better half knew it, you may be able to pick it out also. It is a pretty red/orange color similar to the strawberry zin previously blogged. This wine could be a good party wine, however there are a lot of fruit wines I like better, if I am going to bring a fruit wine at a few dollars less. I like the blended fruit wines from the Village Vintner as some of the best party wines since they are generally very mellow.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 90-Strawberry Zin from Door County Peninsula Winery $15.99 in Long Grove, Ill

This wine was bought while at the chocolate fest in Long Grove this month. The wine is described as a medium dry grape with strawberry flavor. I was afraid this wine was going to be extremely dry, and I was wrong. This wine is beautiful orange/pink with a stong strawberry aroma and flavor. It was a beautiful sunny day today and we drank this wine as we worked in the garden. It is a wine that could be paired with dessert or with cheeses, either way in order to like this wine you need to like strawberries. This wine is a much better quality wine compared to Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill, but they are in the same ballpark of wine. This wine would be great a party if it was not so pricey. I am not sure why it is so pricey, I know Long Grove tends to run on the expensive side, however I have seen these wines at Binny's and I still think they run around $13-$14 dollars a bottle.

Day 89-2006 Petit Syrah by Micheal and David $15 at Binnys

This wine was a Mother's Day gift from Troy wine 6 bottle wine rack, plus a case of wine which does not count since it was a 25% discount at Lynfred. This wine has the cutest label with 2 elephants on it who are drinking wine and are shown to be part of a circus. This notes on the back are very cute describing the tricks of the elephants, and their bragging rights regarding their trunks. I brought this wine to Katie's birthday party also since they like dry reds. They were a big fan, and I like Petite Syrah, late harvest generally, but Petite Syrah is my favorite red grape. This wine is good, went excellent with cheeses they served and was overall a very good conversational piece due to the bottle. I would buy this wine again, generally I don't think it is a very good party wine it is relatively high in alcohol at about 13% and is dry which is just too much on a summer day. Like I said, I have too much red wine for the summer temperatures outside and I am down to my last 2 bottles of white wine. Everyone would kill me if I tried to buy another case of white wine, but my birthday is coming up and I am thinking that it may be must since all I have are reds, fruits, chocolate infused fruit wine, and dessert wines, I may just have to splurge for the right price.

Day 88-2008 American Pinot Grigio by Lynfred Winery for $20 available to the public in July 2009

This wine was the April wine of the month for Lynfred's White Wine Club. This is a dry white wine, with a great aroma, so I brought it to the Birthday party of Katie who likes dry wine this last Saturday. I had already had some wine throughout the day, so I was liking wine a bit much to be totally objective about this wine. I found this wine to be a lot better than when we tasted it, my fruit forward and mellow. Like I said, I was already buzzed when drinking this wine, but Maggie not a huge fan of white wines also said it was good wine. This type of wine requires food or a buzz to mellow out the wine and bringing out its flavors versus focusing on its dryness. I would buy htis wine again not for myself, but for a dinner party. Not a regular party because it is too pricey, but when the company knows wine and you are pairing the wine with food this is a quality choice.