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.