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.