Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 52-Tropical Paradise by Emerine Estates for $19.25

This wine was another wine that we purchased on our trip to Ohio. We bought the Black Cab wine at this winery also previously blogged upon. This wine is very different. It is 24% apple, 24% pineapple, 5% grapefruit and 47% grape wine. This wine tastes like pure pineapple and is very tart, and dry. This wine had to be needed a large glass of water with it due the thirsty factor that ensued after drinking it. Like the name, it tastes like a wine that you would sip outside at the pool. I am surprised by the tart aftertaste because the wine is pineapple forward and the wine balances out that sweetness by the dry, tart finish. I would say if this wine could be made into a frozen drink then you would have the perfect summer slushie. I like this wine but, I think my limit is going to be about 2 glasses because the acidity is going to cause some heartburn since I am drinking it without food. I think this wine would be an apertif wine or a dessert wine, basically what you would pair pineapple with, may be some polynesian dishes or hawaiian fare. I like the wine it is just a small dose at a time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 51- Dcubed Zinfandel Late Harvest 2005 for $23 at Binny's

This was one of the wines we tasted with our red dessert wine tasting. We tasted this wine after the red ice wine and it came off very dry. However, we drank the Zinfandel Late harvest after the port the next day and it was what I expected. I actually bought this wine after tasting the Dcubed zinfandel which we thought was pretty good, and knowing that we generally really like late harvest wines and have really enjoyed late harvest zins by history we bought it untasted. This wine is very fruit forward and has an aroma of blackberries and has a slight pepper aftertaste. If you like zinfandel, you will like this wine. This wine is very jammy like a zinfandel and has a very smooth aftertaste. The problem with the wine is the price and the small bottle it is only 375 ml for the $23, however at 15.9% it is a wine that you have in small doses. Also, I probably could have aged this wine a little longer. However, we were playing Winerd and needed a third red wine similar to the dessert red wines.

Day 50-Bogle v2005 Clarksburg Petite Syrah Port-$19.99 at Binny's Beverage Depot

Yesterday's, Buccia's was Day 49-again the result of too much in too little of time. The wine tasting this week included this port, a late harvest zinfandel and a cabernet franc ice wine that I have blogged on previously. I bought this wine because I am a huge fan of petite syrah, and have never seen a petite syrah port before at a wine shop. It is only a 500ml liter bottle, but at 20% alcohol the smaller bottle is a good idea. The vintner desribes this wine as "handcrafted from 100% Petite Syrah grapes. Its unusual depth and complexity reveal a concentration of raspberries, blackberries and chocolate flavors, making a luscious dessert wine." You have to like port to like this wine, the petite syrah flavors and not as dominate to me as the stong alcohol and brandy flavors. It is has rasperries on the nose for me and would go great with chocolate, or really any type of dessert. I think I would try it with cheescake. It does go best in the apertif glass and I am drinking as I watch the NCAA tournament thinking about making cheesecake. This is an up and coming winery whose wines are reasonable priced and advertised by wine spectator as good wines for the price. I would agree with that with this wine the price was very reasonable for the product.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 40-Terrace White-a white table wine from Buccia Vineyards for under $13 a bottle

This wine is one of the three wines we bought a Buccia vineyards on our trip to Ohio in February. This wine is a beautiful gold color almost bordering on an orange color. This wine is a blend of 3-4 grapes, however, I do not remember the blend which the owner told us. This wine is rich, with apricot and apple flavors. The wine is tart with some acidity that leaves you with a little bit of a pucker. I popped this wine for my sister who was visiting, however she likes dry wines typically chardonneys and pinot grigio, two types of wine, I don't like and therefore do not have on a bottle of those two varietals on hand. This I felt was my driest white and therefore I offered this one, however, I am sure that she did not like this wine. It is not dry, it is just tart. I think it is ok, I think the grapes were a little green and that where the tartness comes from, and it is a hardier white which goes well with bleu cheese, and possibly a chicken alfredo meal. It is not a wine that generally consider a drinking wine, I think it would do well with food.

Day 48-Trimanette- 2008 by August Hill for $14.95

This wine was one of the sweet wines of the month for the month of March 2009. The winery describes this wine as a semi-sweet white table wine with spicy aroma and a tropical fruit taste. Sharing characteristics of its parent, the Gew├╝rztraminer grape, this French-American hybrid grape is grown in Illinois. This is not the 2006 bottle on their website, but the 2008 version. i definitely think I opened this wine too early, I think it was just bottled and their was some definite bottle shock. The taste was similar to a Gew├╝rztraminer, but there was an aroma and flavor of rubbing alcohol with the wine that made it very acidic. It took me three days to finish off this bottle of wine, and it was best by the third day versus the first. I really like the wines from this winery so I was very disappointed. I am going to blame myself and knowing that it was a 2008 I should have known it was recently bottled and let is sit for a couple of months.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 47-Biscotti's Dark Cherry for $9.99 bought at the winery in Conneaut, OH

We bought this wine in at the Biscotti winery, the person doing the tasting was just a fill-in for a friend and therefore had no information on the wines, when we bought the Strawberry and the Elderberry wine. This wine was on sale for $10 and tastes like a chocolate covered cherry. This wine is a beautiful pink-red color and is fruit forward and sweet without being syrupy sweet. Sometimes cherry wine, like the ones at Lynfred and Cooperhawk, are bitter and taste similar to cough medicine for me. This wine is described by the vintner as being a semi sweet wine with the taste of cherry. I really like this wine, I am a huge fan of cherries and like chocolate covered cherries a lot also. The wine has some tartness and it is somewhat heavier and has an alcohol content of 12%. However, these last two fruit wines from Ohio have just been delicious. I chilled this wine and I think that helped this wine from being overly sweet, and more tart. I don't think this is a food pairing wine unless it is dessert like a cheesecake or a creme brulee. I prefer to drink it when I get home from a long day at work as a sweet respite from the world. Unfortunately, my better half has visited his family for the next 2 days and I have to save him a glass of this wine since it is a new wine to us. That is going to be hard.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 46-Black Cab by Emerine Estates at $19.49

This was one of the wineries we tasted at when we visited Ohio. This winery is considered organic which is why the price is on the higher side, and the wines are mostly a combination of fruit wines. We tried many unique wines at this winery, a carmel apple, strawberry shortcake, and a coffee wine. This combination wine of blackberries and cabernet sauvignon is delicious. It is all blackberry on the noise with a mellow cab finish. The wine is totally purple and semi-sweet with your tannin held slightly in check, however the finish is slightly dry with a great fruity aftertaste. I am drinking this wine while my better half is talking with a mortgage broker while I watch the NCAA Tournament and this wine pairs well with candy,cheese, and cheetos which is what I have munched on while drinking this wine. This wine screams for chocolate and would be a great wine with cheescake or with that cheese platter.

Day 45-Illinois Cellars Apple Wine Bavarian Style $6.00 at Wal Mart

If this wine was done in one of our blind taste tasting I would never know it is an apple wine. It tastes like a pinot grigio or pinot noir. All that is apple is the slight aroma of apples otherwise in it is an dry white wine. I really like the apple wine by Lynfred Winery which is 100% apples and tastes like apples and is on the sweeter side. This wine does not have anything distinguishable about it to me other than its cheap price. However, even at this reasonable price I would not buy this wine again. I thought since this was a wine made in Illinois that it would be a fruity wine, but I was mistaken. Save yourself the 6 bucks, put it towards a better wine.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 44-Biscotti's Family Wines Strawberry for $12.00

This wine was bought while in Ohio at the winery that made these fruit wines. My better half thought this wine was the best of the three wines. This wine has the prettiest color I have ever seen, a pinkish reddish. This strawberry wine, which is very sweet, is 12% alcohol by volume, but when we visited this winery the person handing out tastings was just a fill in so it is unknown the percentage of strawberries that are in the wine. I knew this was strawberries because it taste like a more strawberry Boone's farm. It is a little too sweet for me, however, maybe if I decided to spritz it it may be better. I don't know even super chilled this wine is not light enough and crisp enough to me to be a great summer wine and would just recommend this wine for dessert or as an apertif.

Day 43-Lynfred Winery's Raspberry Wine 375ml for about $10.00 bottle

This wine is 100% raspberries. This wine was the favorite of the fruit wine tasting. This is a smooth wine is bright with a very fruity flavor, that we paired with chocolate to cut some of the tartness and tanginess on the tongue. The consensus of the group was this wine was very fruity and had no bad aftertaste. This wine smells of raspberry and tastes like a rich dessert wine that would go well with any decadent dessert or again as an apertif with some cheeses. If you like raspberries, you will like this wine, and if you don't like raspberries then you need to find a different wine for yourself. This wine needs to be chilled, but requires no aging. This is a great wine to bring to pair with dessert, or as a romantic wine to have on special occasion in a hot tub. Again, this wine can replace the raspberry or the strawberry, if you like those fruits. I do, so I enjoy this wine a lot.

Day 42-Biscotti's Family Wines Elderberry for about $12

This wine was bought at the Biscotti winery when we visited Ohio in February. This wine was my better half's favorite at the winery. This is a pretty, fruity wine that was one of three at the Graham/Patis tastings this week. This is a bright wine that is sweet with a strong fruity aroma, with a sweet aftertaste. This wine goes well with chocolate and is a good wine to have for dessert or chilled as a apertif with cheeses. My sister and her husband participated in this tasting and they like this wine the least of the three. I have never eaten elderberries so expectation in terms of taste is not there on some level, however, this is a very berry wine that tastes similar to raspberry and strawberry.

Day 41- Castle Rock 2007 Pinot Noir Mendocino County for $9-$10 at Costco and Binnys

This wine was recommended by two wine books I read, as a very reasonable Pinot Noir that is food friendly, fruit forward, without heavy tannins which makes you pucker and the black pepper finish that you find with some dryer reds. This wine paired well with barbeque chicken and salad with garlic dressing. This is not a sweet wine, but this is a great house wine to pair with food at a great price if you having someone over who does not like sweet wine. This wine would be great at Thanksgiving when there is a variety of foods to eat, goes well with both chicken and red meat. I like this wine more on the chilled side however, this wine is a more of a light red and could be treated almost as a white wine. My better half does like this wine as much, he likes to keep his wine and food separate. I would be bring this wine to a dinner party and to get togethers and I am sure would be extremely popular. Not our typical sweet wine, however in combination with food is very good.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 40-Vintage Shamrock White Berry Bog for $13.99 by the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il

Happy St Patricks Day! This wine is White Berry Bog with green food coloring for green wine in celebration of St Patrick's Day! White Berry Bog is white grape wine with natural flavors added. The vintner describes the wine as bursting with the sweetness of the White Cranberry. The White Cranberry is picked earlier than the red variety giving it a clear, less tart Cranberry. Village Vintner then blends it with Pinot Gris to give it a nice smooth finish. They describe this wine as perfect for backyard barbeques and sharing with friends. March was you pick it for the fruit wine of the month club and the green wine was just too much fun to pass up. If you have ever had the cranberry wine at lynfred winery or cooperhawk winery, they will describe the wine as a mouthful of cranberries which makes for a very tart wine. This wine is not tart. I don't even like pinot gris generally and I can't tell it is the wine that is blended in this wine. It tastes like a very mild alcoholic cranberry juice. It is only 7% alcohol, only a little stronger than the green beer. This wine is sweet and light similar style to a white zinfandel with a cranberry flavor versus a strawberry flavor. I guess many people would not consider this wine, however, it is fun for the holiday and easy drinking.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 39-2007 American Ice Wine Vidal Blanc by Lynfred Winery

This wine is the reason we are members of Lynfred's wine club. Generally speaking, a lot of the white wines Lynfred comes out with are dry, however, since every month the member gets a newly released wine, it could be anything. Since we have rejoined, starting in the month that had the Cabernet Blush in 11/08 this is the second wine that we really liked as a drinking wine. Most ice wines are vidal blanc, and this one shows to be one of the better ice wines. We really like the other ice wines at Lynfred, however, with price tags of $35 for the half bottle, we just can't afford that on a daily basis. This wine is only $20 this month for white wine club members and then will also be jumping to $35 for next month. This wine is all honey, orange, and peach with some acidity as when you look at in your glass their looks to be little bubbles, however there is no fizz to this wine and I do not understand why there are bubbles. This wine is very sweet with a thicker consistency made in the fashion of typical ice wines. It is a dessert wine, best served in a apertif glass, however even with the smalller glass, it seemed that the bottle was finished in no time. My better half loved this wine and we had to buy 2 additional bottles at the March price to helpp us make it through the next few months.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 38-Valle Re Lambrusco Emilia found at Winestyles for under $9.00

I was introduced to Lambrusco at Winestyles in Des Plaines, and it has been one of my favorites wines since that time. I have heard that the native italian teenagers consider this wine, juice, and at 7.5% alcohol level it is almost juice. Lambrusco is native to Italy and is sparling coming in both red and white, and this is a red lambrusco. I love lambrusco. It is cheap, sparkling, semi-sweet versus sweet like a moscato d'asti. This wine does not have a lot of depth, will not get better with age, and requires no food for pairing, and I feel there is no better wine for a spring day relaxing around the house. It has just warmed up in Chicago after a long, snowy, harsh winter and we are watching some golf and Big Ten basketball with this wine. Life is good. I have given this to friends for their birthdays, and for barbeques. It is a wine for all occasions and almost anyone who has every had this wine remembers days of their youth.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 37-Leonard Kreusch Rheinhessen Spatlese 2006

I don't even remember buying this wine. We both thought this wine was the worst of the three we tried this evening. Troy thought we should pour it down the sink. I thought that we had tasted it before, but I don't think so. I think this was a bargain basement deal on a bottle of wine that I just could not pass up. I tastes like honey with a unique flavor. This is a white wine from Germany but does not say Riesling as the predominant grape. just as vinified from very ripe grapes. It is described as having full, rich cantaloup and fresh melon flavors and pairing well with spicy dishes. We never noticed the melon flavors an really and thought maybe this wine has been aged too long. I know I bought this wine because it said spatlese and I know that means semi-sweet or off-dry, but if I would have tasted it, the cloying feel of the wine would have kept me from buying it. As we taste more wines and document on them, we keep a running total of the wines we have liked, loved, hated, and above all wanted to share with everyone to document sweet wines under $20 that an average joe can find in their area for a change of pace from beer or liquor.

Day 36- 2007 Schmitt Sohne Riesling 2007 Spatlese

This was the favorite of the wine tasting this evening. I originally bought this wine during Octoberfest when all the German Rieslings were on display. Oh I forgot, we were sick this week and therefor were not drinking bottles of wine this week. We broke the fast on Thursday by going out to Binny's and doing the California wine tasting of over 60 California wines. We had to bring Tyler, so we only made it through about 25 wines until we needed to leave. We are back in the saddle and enjoying wine again between blowing our noses. I have started reading wine books since I have run out of romance novels in an effort to always have good wine on hand, however since we have started the blind tasting, I have seen that I buy a lot of mediocre wine and when in a wine club you get a lot of mediocre wine. This Riesling is actually very good and is made in the stlye I like. It is slightly sweet or off dry with clean fruit aromas with minimal acidity. As I have learned spatleses is the middle ground between kabinett-dry and auslese-very sweet in terms of riesling. This riesling is close to $10 a bottle and is great summer wine chilled with great fruit to give a refreshingly sublte glass of wine that would work at any barbecue or beach party.

Day 35-Illinois White Wine by Fox Valley Winery Inc of Oswego, Il

This was one of the sweet wines for the sweet wine of the month club for March 2009. This Illinois White Wine was one of the three wines my better half and I tasted this evening in a blind taste test. It is a nondescript blend of wines, gold in color and relatively sweet with some fruit and floral aromas. We are not sure of the exact blend of grapes, we guessed viognier, niagara, but we are not sure. Both of our ratings of this wine ranged in the average and if we were not in the wine club we would not have bought this wine. I would describe this wine as slightly sweet, but nothing special. This wine is not crisp enough for me to be a great summer wine and does not have enough distinguishable grape flavor to work with food. Overall, this wine would be one that you could probably pair with cheeses and fruits due to the various amount of cheese tastes and the different types of fruits.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 34-Buccia Terrace Red under $10.00

This red blend was one of the three wines we tasted in the blind tasting. This is blend of reds with a strong smell of concord and very tart finish. We loved this wine at the vineyard, however I find this wine to be very young and needs to be aged. I knew at one time what wines were in this blend, which are unique, but I did not write them down and therefore, I can only tell you the wine smells like concord, but is not a sweet wine. This wine has 11% alcohol volume and finishes like green grapes to me. I find this wine very green, like the wine needs to be aged, however, when I tried this wine originally I found this wine to be much sweeter on the finish. Either way, we enjoyed the wine tasting when we bought the wine, and we finished the bottle when we opened it.

Day 33-Naso Rosso of the Laurello Vineyards of Ohio for $10.00

We decided to do a blind tasting tonight of 3 red wine blends and we, my better half and I, had a great time. This is a drier blend of various grapes, I don't remember the specifics, except that this has some concord grapes in the wine. Troy, my better half, found this wine to be very dry, I found this wine to have a lot of depth and very good with my wine crackers. When I bought this wine while we were in Ohio and I felt for the price and the flavor a great bargain. The winery described the Naso Rosso is fun fruity red wine that is perfect for every occasion which I would agree with, however if a person does not like dry wines, this would not be your choice. My better half thought this was the worst wine of the three and I felt this wine was second best. It is a little higher in alcohol content of 12.5% and with any type of food improves the flavors. I can drink the wine without food but as I finish off the bottle, I truly enjoyed the wine with its various flavors and found that this could be a daily table wine for me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 32-Pom-a Berry by the Village Vintner for $13.99

This was the wine of the month for February 2009 for the sweet/fruit wine club. We have had this wine before, in fact, it was one of the first wines we ever tried and bought when we went tasting at this winery in December 2009. "The Village Vintner's Pom a Berry is a red wine that brings together juicy and sweet flavors of wild berries and the rich and crisp notes of orchard fresh pomegranates. Combined with the rich flavors of Zinfandel, this delicious elixir is best enjoyed chilled." This winery does not use only fruit like Lynfred which just uses 100% fruit. This winery gets its juices from all over the United States and then blends the juices. The wine tastes a lot like juice and my better half, now my fiance, loves this wine. It is low and alcohol content at 7.5% and low in sulfites. This is a wine that you would start a person who does not like wine. I can't taste the zinfandel in this wine and would think most people would think this is more juice than wine, but it is very easy drinking and is very reasonably priced. I think this winery blends fruits with wines very well, we have never been disappointed with their fruit sweet wines.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 31-New Age Red Wine for under $10.00 at Binnys

This is the red counterpart to the New Age White Wine which I previously reviewed. This wine is very similar to white zinfandel. I didn't find this wine to be too exciting, no distinct flavors or smells. It is slightly sweet, however the aftertaste is minerally almost metallic to me which I don't like at all. I ate this wine with pasta, and because this wine has really very little depth, it added nothing to the meal. This wine is similar to a boxed wine, nothing great or bad about it and at a very reasonable cost. I would bring this wine to a summer barbeque where no one really cared what the wine really tasted like as long as it wasn't horrible. I would not buy this wine for myself again, because it just was not that enjoyable.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 30-La Spinetta 2007 Bricco Quaglia Moscato D'Asti for $16.99 at Vintages in Arlington Heights

I bought this wine for my better half at Vintages as a peace offering since I went to the Champagne/Sparkling wine tasting with my sister while he worked. This was one of the two sweet sparkling wines at the tasting, and is this wine ever sweet. This wine has peach overtones and is one the more sweeter moscato d'asti's that I have tried. The wine is a golden color and has a good fizz to it. I would replace dessert with this wine because of the amount of sweetness. My better half will drink the majority of this wine since I find it to be so sweet it hurts my teeth. Again, this wine is very low in alcohol at 5.5% and is a great wine chilled for the summer. To many, this tastes like sparkling juice, however the moscato d'asti's are rarely bad and tend to be liked a lot by the non-wine drinkers.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 29-Village Vintner Pink Catawba for $13.00

This wine was wine of the month for the sweet wines club for January 2009. The Village Vintner which is located in Carpentersville, Il has some of the most unique sweet wines. The vintner describes this wine as a sweet and fruity rose wine made from a native american late ripening grape. It's reminiscent of raspberries and peaches embodied with candied fruit. The vintner believes the wine pairs well with light fish dishes, cheese and crackers, or just sip and relax. The best comparison of a wine made out of Catawba is a white zinfandel. I find the Catawba wine to be sweeter than the white zinfandel. This wine is very good with a tart finish. I am over half through the bottle as we speak, and I am very happy with the purchase. I think this is a very good drinking wine with out food with more fruit flavors of raspberries and strawberries. I have tried numerous wines made out of catawba and blends with the catawba grape and generally they are on the sweeter side and fruity. This is a grape that is grown native to the United States and we have tried it made it in ohio and in illinois and this wine is a great indication of how good a catawba wine can taste.