Thursday, July 15, 2010

D'Aquino Asti Spumante for $6.99 at Trader Joes

My better half's favorite wine is Asti, Asti Spumante, Moscato di'Asti, basically anything sweet and sparkling, he is a big fan. The reason I don't buy these types of wines more often, is because of what happened last night. We popped this bottle, and the wine is very light in nature with just a touch of sweetness, actually much better than I expected with no cloying sweetness or a feel of regular pop on my teeth. My better half finished off the bottle over the course of the next 2hrs, with only a glass taken by me. The wine is really good, but Troy does not know what moderation means when it comes to Asti.

Lost Angel Muscat Canelli for $5.99 at Trader Joe's

I was low on wine and low on money as usual, so we headed to Trader Joe's for some hopefully good wines at a very reasonable price. This wine is a great summer wine. This wine was served chilled and was perfect on its own. Some tropical smells and flavors with a touch a sweetness without being overly sweet, very light, just perfect for summer. The wine tastes of peaches and oranges, very fruity wine a total crowd pleaser. I could buy this wine by the case and drink it all summer without any problems.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wyndham Estates Bin 555 Sparkling Shiraz for $5.99 at Binnys

I was having a very bad day, so I headed to Binnys to cheer me up. And I found this great deal on Sparkling Shiraz, this was originally $15.99 and has been on sale last month and this month. I had to buy 6 bottles of it since it was such a great price. I have spent a lot more on one of my favorite wines the Sparkling Shiraz-usually they go for about $20 a bottle. This wine is not overly sweet and tastes like raspberry and cherry. This wine is best served very chilled and I liked it best with chocolate. I bought 6 bottles of this and I am down to 1 bottle. I really like this wine and will may need to grabd a few more bottles before the end of the month.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Landshut Sweet Red Rheinhessen 2009 for $4.99 at Aldi

Aldi is not your typical place to pick up wine, but occasionally they have something that looks interesting so for this price I picked up a bottle. This wine is described as medium bodied and sweet. This wine tasted like tart/sweet cherry to me. I thought it was ok, best served chilled, good on its own, and good with a light beef stew. It reminded me of a sweeter, very cherry Pinot Noir. I thought the wine was pretty good, but my better half downed 2 glasses of it and said it brought on a raging headache within 10 minutes of finishing it. I had no effects from the 1 glass I had, and I attribute his headache to an overabundance of soda and not enough water over the last few days. If my better half did not attribute his headache to this wine, I definitely would buy this wine again, a very reasonable, beginner red wine for a great price.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2008 Banyan Gewurtztraminer Monterey County for around $15 at Vintages

I thought this wine went very well with spicy chicken tacos, my better half thought it was heartburn wine. I thought it was good, but it put me right to sleep. My better half is burnt out on wine currently, so I have not been drinking as much lately. My peanut has to go into surgery so maybe I will feel like drinking later in the month.

2008 Cabernet Ice Wine by the Reif Estate Winery for 200 ml at $30 from Niagara, Canada

This wine was pure sugar, I could not taste fruit at all. I thought this wine had no depth and tasted like syrup. I had my friend since she was going to Canada to pick me up ice wines based on price, thinking that I would like them, but never again, I will not spend big money on a wine that I have not tasted before.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kiwi Peach Wine by Lynfred Winery for $13 at the winery

I was really optimistic about this wine. We have determined that kiwi flavoring in wine tastes like beets to me and even with the addition of the peach wine the wine still has the beet flavoring to me. I am just super surprised, others have described this flavoring as tropical and I just can't get it. This same beet flavor came through to me on the Kiwi rose' also and we returned this bottle due to this issue. I generally love the fruit wines from Lynfred and really like the Strawberry Rhubarb which is new, so I just learned something about kiwi and will refrain from buying this kiwi again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2009 for around $12 at Vintages

This white wine is very crisp and clean, but way too acidic for me. This wine pairs better with cheese that on its own. I find this wine to have some lime and grapefruit flavors, but it is too much on the Sauvignon Blanc type of wine for me. This wine needs food, at least for me, but I will be taking a break from the Pinot Gris for a while, will stick with the Rieslings and white wine blends.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2009 St Christina Weinkelleri Mosel Piersporter MIchelsberg Riesling Spatlese for $9.99 at the wine shop in Lake Geneva

This wine is a semi-sweet Riesling that is a perfect summer wine. Chill this wine, buy it by the case and have a party. I really like Rieslings and this Spatlese is the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity to make it good on its own versus paired with food. This wine is a great summer wine and beginner wine for those who believe all wines are dry. This wine is a great price and good fruit, not too much acidity, and could be a house wine for me.

2008 Pacific Rim Gewurtztraimer for around $13 at Vintages in Arlington Heights

This wine is a pretty gold color made with 83% Washington grapes and 17% Oregon grapes. This wine was on the recommendation of Robert, he said it was off dry and not acidic to the point that it caused heartburn. My better half actually liked this wine a lot more than me, I found this wine to be too acidic with a touch of sweetness. I probably just need to stay away from a Gewurtztraimer since this wine tends to give me heartburn.

Cocoa Razz 375 ml by Village Vintner for under $20 at the winery

This winery makes my favorite Port and this Port with some infusion of chocolate and raspberry is also very good. I paired this wine with chocolate and it was a perfect dessert wine. This wine smells of black cherry and tobacco and tastes like a chocolate covered cherry and raspberry. I really liked this wine as did my better half and we finished off this half bottle of wine while watching a new show. I would recommend this wine if you like Port and would definitely pair it with dessert for a dinner party.

Friday, June 4, 2010

2009 Lindemann's Moscato out of Austrailia for $4.50 at Jewel

This wine tastes like pineapple. This Moscato was a huge hit and only last 2 days. This wine is from Austrailia and generally Austrailia does not make a lot of Moscato's, but this one was truly tropical. This wine is perfect for the warm summer days. This wine is totally fun, and would be a huge hit for any type of party without breaking the bank.

Pere et Fils Laurent Miquel Chardonnay Viognier for around $15 at Vintages

Rob, one of the most informative wine shop owners, described this wine as buttery peaches. Generally, I do not like Chardonnay especially after has been oaked. This wine was a casualty after a very bad day of work. I drank the first 2 glasses and thought not bad, a little buttery, but with enough good balance between acidity and oak to allow to be drank on its own. However, after a cheeseburger and fries this wine lost its muster. I finished the bottle, and the first 2 glasses really hit the spot, I think it would make a good wine to pair with a fish or white sauced pasta dish, and my guess don't get any where near this wine after a cheeseburger and fries.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Red by Sutter Home for $4.50 at Jewel

This wine is combination of Merlot and Zinfandel and Moscato. This wine is a semi-sweet wine, not sweet like the label describes. I thought this wine was ok, a great value. I did not require food for this wine, but my better half felt the wine needed food. I think this wine is a great barbeque wine and party wine when it is more about quantity versus quality.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Raspberry Wine by Vetro Winery in Wisconsin for around $12

This wine needed to be opened early than I did. Raspberry wine is generally made in a dessert style and is very sweet, and it almost always identified with chocolate. This wine is a semi-sweet wine, almost a dry style of raspberry wine, that is very light. I spritzed this wine to add a touch of sweetness to it, but as I said I think I waited too long to open it, because the flavor of the raspberries is not very pronounced any more. I tasted at the winery and it was much better than when I just opened it, so I think I just needed to get to this bottle of wine a little faster. Generally speaking, fruit wines have a shorter shelf like and need to be drank within the first 6 months of bottling.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sangria by Village Vintner for around $15 in Carpentersville

This Sangria is the May wine of the month for the fruit wine club at the Village Vintner. I have tried this before and thought it was ok, but my better half does not like Sangria, so generally I don't buy Sangria. This wine is actually very good for Sangria, tastes just like it, yet is totally smooth. We also spritzed this wine with Diet Sprite Zero and it was the perfect summer refresher. This wine with a spritz is truly a festive summer drink. I will definitely break this out for summer barbeques, and can't wait to buy another bottle. This wine is totally fun, cut up fruit, and add additional alcohol if you want, but no doubt about it this wine aims to please.

2007 Murphy-Good Sonoma County Zinfandel Liar's Dice for $12 at Binnys

This wine was opened after several other bottles of wine, so my enjoying this wine might have something to do with the buzz I have already started early. This wine according to my better half was dry, but no one had a hard time drinking it on its own or drinking it with cheeseburgers and ribs. I thought this wine was very good, very fruit forward, and with very little tannic aftertaste. I would definitely try this wine again, as I thought I would be more objective if I could have it prior to imbibing in other wines.

2009 Sutter Home Moscato-under $10 at Sams Club

This wine is your very basic Moscato perfect for a friendly get together where it is more about the company than the wine and you don't want to break the bank. This wine is slightly sweet and goes very well on its own versus pairing it with food. We drank this wine in record time as Moscato is a favorite of my better half and my guests made fast work of their Triamanette that they brought over. I would definitely buy this wine again and would serve it a backyard barbeque.

Apricocious-by Lynfred Winery for $35 for 375 ml or for $20 if you are in the Premium Club

This wine is 18% alcohol and is a premium Apricot dessert wine. This wine tastes like an Apricot brandy or like the Apricot wine with some serious kick. I find these brandy or port-style wines a little strong, and I usually can only do a 2oz pour at a time. This wine went very well with chocolate and is definitely a later in the evening wine. I really like the Apricot wine, so I did like the Apricocious, but it is just best in small doses due to the amount of alcohol.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2007 Ergo Temparanillo Rioja by Martin Co'dax for about $13 at Vintages

This wine is very tannic and dry. We definitely bought this wine after we had more than a few tasters. This wine paired very nicely with chicken ravioli with a marinara sauce and garlic bread. This wine is definitely a food wine, I tried drinking the last half of a glass on its own, and I could not do it, I paired it with a piece of dark chocolate and it was ok.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Montmorency Cherry Wine for $13 at Lynfred Winery

This wine is made of 100% Montmorency cherries, does anyone know where Montmorency is? This wine is a lot less tart than a lot of cherries wines I have tried in the past, and this wine paired perfectly with turkey. Troy and I finished this off with dinner. We did not have cranberry, but the cherry wine was a perfect match. The cherry flavor is superb with just enough tartness and sweetness to make the perfect balance. This wine did not have the viscosity that you find with some fruit wines, but I still think this wine could be spritzed for a great summer fun drink. I will definitely be picking up this wine for Thanksgiving.

Winter Spirit Hill by Vetro Winery for around $12

This wine has won an award and is a combination of Cranberry, Strawberry and special grapes. This wine simply tastes like a Strawberry/Cranberry wine to me. I think the strawberry wine balances the tartness of the Cranberry wine to make a nice balance of a semi-sweet wine. I really like this wine, think it is a great summer wine, could be spritzed or used in a punch if a person is feeling especially creative. I like this wine on its own, a perfect semi-sweet fruit wine.

Friday, May 14, 2010

2007 Lucky Star Petite Syrah for around $15 at Wine Styles

I love Petite Syrah. This Petite Syrah was slightly drier and more tannic on the finish than I prefer, but still very good. This wine is a great every day wine and it went perfectly with cheese quesadilla for dinner. I like the Lucky Star Chardonnay also, so I am thinking this is a reasonable price for a good Petite Syrah that goes well with food and is still fruit forward enough to be drank on its own.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Framboise by Owl Creek Winery 375ml for $14 at Vintages

This wine is a combination of Raspberry wine and grape spirits and tops out at about 17% alcohol. This wine which tastes like liquid raspberries is delicious. This wine paired perfectly with dark chocolate. I needed to make an effort to save some of this wine for my better half. This wine is the kind that you put in a chocolate cup and eat that way. I found this wine much better than a Raspberry port. I would definitely get this wine again, it is a great dessert wine, could be poured over cheesecake.

Coopershawk Chenin Blanc/Pinot Gris for $16.99

This wine is the May wine of the month at Cooperhawk. The wine is 55% Chenin Blanc and 45% Pinot Gris. This wine is very good. The wine is light, crisp, semi-dry with just enough sweetness to balance the acidity. The bottle never even made it out of the restaurant. We paired this wine with lobster stuffed potato skins and it was perfect. I find this wine as versatile as the Unoaked Chardonnay and almost as good. Hopefully, there will still be some of this wine left in 1 month when it is available to the members. I would pair this wine with chicken or fish, but best of all it would be great on its own to drink as a daily white wine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vetro Bianco for around $10 by the Vetro Winery in Wisconsin

This wine is made in a dessert style with Moscato grapes. This wine is sweet, but not overly so, with some viscosity that you would find in a late harvest/dessert wine. I find this wine to a little too sweet and a little too thick for my palate, but it is a big hit with my better half. This wine is best in small doses to me with some cheese after a meal. I am not able to drink this wine by the glass, and it will remain in the refridgerator for a little time before we finish it.

Olde English Blackberry Wine by Vetro Winery for around $10.00

This winery makes a lot of their fruit wines in a semi-dry style, and this is no different. This winery as I have said previously is totally cute and this wine is no different. The wine is actually dedicated to their pet, an English Setter who is pictured on the back of the label. I found this wine to be a nice change to a typical blackberry wine, the wine is lighter, not syrupy or overly sweet like others. This wine is pure blackberry with 9lbs of fruit going into every bottle without the flavor being too sweet and not too tart. I paired this wine with chicken and the wine is too fruity for chicken, best on its own or with dark chocolate, with a milk chocolate not good wine is not sweet enough.

2008 Maryhill Columbia Valley Riesling for $9.99 at Vintages

This wine comes from the winery that was named 2009 Washington Winery of the Year, and in addition, all the wines from this winery are around the $9.99 price point. We really liked this wine, we paired this wine with lunch and finished the bottle at lunch. This wine is semi-sweet, with good fruit, super easy drinking, with a great price to make it a staple over the summer in my refridgerator.

Cranberry Blush by Cedar Creek Winery for $12 at the winery in Wisconsin

I tried this wine after drinking before hand, and I think I did not get the true tartness and acidity of this wine. This wine is grape wine with cranberry juice. We drank this wine at the Bed and Breakfast that we stayed at for their happy hour of wine and cheese. This wine is very good with cheese and crackers as it balances out the tartness and acidity that I generally find unpleasant in wine. The couple that joined us on the overnight really like this wine, however they really like dry wine and this would fall in the category of a crisp, semi-dry fruit type wine.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Strawberry wine for around $11 by the Vetro winery in Concord, Wi

We went to Cedarburg, Wi for 2 days and drove to next nearest winery in Concord-I am not kidding, WI to check out some more wines since we were out that way. This winery is very quaint, and very cute. The owner did the wine tastings and let you try the entire menu for free-donations for her grandson were appreciated. The wines were around $10-$12, and she had majority fruit wines. Her fruit wines have a reported 9lbs of fruit per bottle, which is 2x what I have heard from Cooperhawk and Lynfred wineries. In addition, her fruit wines are not sweet, they are generally semi-sweet to dry. The blueberry which we did not purchase, was a dry wine. This Strawberry wine, which smells and tastes of pure strawberries is semi-sweet. The wine was not sweet enought for white chocolate to pair with it, and honestly I liked it best on its own. I think it would pair nice with a Caesar salad, or some other type of fruity salad, but stay away from dessert with this wine, the wine is just not sweet enought for a dessert.

Frontenac Rose' for $17 from August Hill Winery

This wine is a very nice Rose' fruity, however there is no sweetness in this wine. This wine is the perfect watermelon color and the bubbles, as usual with August Hill, are just perfect. This wine was paired with pizza and with lobster ravioli-not good. I am thinking that this wine would have gone better with a salad with some sweetness, or a sweeter chicken dish. I like the Mardi Gras and Almond Infusion, and was hoping to try the Raspberry Infusion that last time we were up to August Hill, but no luck. I like too many of their other bubblys to try this one again, but if you like a sparkling rose', this wine would be the one I would buy.

Kishwaukee Blue Spakling wine for around $12 from Prairie State Winery

The Kishwaukee Blue wine was combine with a sparkling stone to add some effervescence to their most popular seller. I love sparkling wine, and I really like the Kishwaukee Blue wine so we were like what the heck. The wine tastes just like the Kishwaukee Blue with a little fizz. The wine is semi-sweet, very light, refreshing, and just a perfect summer wine. I could drink this wine all the time, only the wine drinkers who hate sweetness to the utmost would find fault with this wine. This wine has great fruit flavors orange, peach, without the acidity to give you the need to grab a glass of water. I could drink this wine all the time, year around, and if I make it to the wine festival in September I will buy some more of this wine.

Elderberry Wine for around $11 at Prairie State Winery

I have no idea what an elderberry is, and I am pretty sure I have never eaten an elderberry, but it makes a great wine. This wine is very fruity, made from the juice, and is very good on its own, chilled. The wine is its own fruit flavor, with its own tartness, but not overly tart like a Cranberry wine, and not cloying sweet at times like a Blueberry wine. If you like fruit wines, then this wine is a must try, the wine is semi-sweet, perfect for the upcoming summer weather.

1996 Cabernet Sauvignon for $35 at Lynfred Winery

This wine is a definite special occasion wine. I only bought this wine at the urging of my supervisor since the wine is made with Quintessa grapes which she says make $100 bottles of wine at Binnys. This wine is great. It is so mellow, with very little tannin. The worst part of this wine is trying to get the cork out. We don't even like Cabernet Sauvignon, but this is different. This wine is totally elegant, with smoke and other flavors that blend into flavor that makes you wish you could afford this type of wine all the time. If I win the lottery, I am going to buy the rest of this wine at Lynfred.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sparkling Seyval Blanc Brut by Galena Cellars for under $15

My better half tried this wine at the winery and thought it was good so we bought it. However, this wine appears to be made in Champagne style and is rather dry. It says Brut on the bottle and I normally would have assumed that meant a dry wine, which it was and would have avoided buying it, but none the less it mixed well with cranberry juice and orange juice so add a bit of sweetness and fruit to the yeasty, dry sparkler.

Z 52's 2006 Lodi Zinfandel for under $15 at Vintages in Arlington Heights

I tried too many wines when I decided I needed to have this wine. This wine needs to be paired with food. The wine is definitely on the drier side, and has some fruit flavors of cherry and oak, but the tannins were a bit overwhelming for my palate.

Apple Wine-Prairie State Winery in Illinois for around $10

I love Apple wines. I love the sparkling Apple Wine at Galena Cellars, I like apple cider, apple juice, and this is a great example of why I love Apple wine. The Apple wine has been sold out at Lynfred for months, and this is the second apple wine that I have tried in the last few days. This wine tastes like liquid apple pie, we drank this entire bottle while playing Trivia Pursuit. This wine is golden yellow, sweeter than the apple wines by Lynfred and Vetro winery but not cloyingly sweet by any means. If we did not have so much wine around the house, I would buy a lot more bottles of this wine, but I am not buying wine for the month of May due to the enormous amount of wine bought in April. This wine goes great on a beautiful summer picnic or barbeque, very versatile, ideal with cheese or on its own.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Whoo's Blush by Owl Creek Winery in Illinois for $14.99

Whoo's Blush is described a semi-sweet wine and is little more like a semi-dry wine. My better half blended this wine with a late harvest Riesling to blend the wine to a sweet level he liked. I thought this wine was better with food, cheddar cheese was excellent as well as chips and salsa matched prefectly with this wine. I am not a huge fan of Rose'/Blush because generally they are too dry, however pairing this wine with summer foods, barbeques, and chips seemed to be a nice match.

Lucky Star 2008 Chardonnay for under $15 from Vintages in Arlington Heights

This Chardonnay is only oaked for 3months and thank god because my only type of Chardonnay I like is an unoaked Chardonnay. I bought this wine at the Grand Re-opening tasting of Vintages at their new location, and was worried since we tasted many wines before that I would not like the wine after we brought it home. I really liked this wine, it went great with Lobster Ravioli and good on its own. Again, I found this wine not be the buttery type of Chardonnay that I can't drink, but a very floral and fruity white wine that shows a lot of character. I think this Chardonnay is cheaper than my Unoaked Chardonnay from Coopershawk so I think I will be switching out from the Unoaked Chardonnay after I finish the 3 bottles I have in the fridge.

Late Harvest Riesling by Galena Cellars for under $20

This wine is very, very sweet. This wine tastes like liquid peaches and apricot. I could not handle more than 1 glass and my better half is mixing it with a off-dry blush wine. This wine smells and tastes of liquid peaches-almost like the Gerber baby food peaches to me. I like Peach Wine, but this wine is just to sweet for me. I think this wine may make a great mixed drink, a Bellini maybe, but on its own, I just find it a little too sweet for me.

Strawberry Rhubarb Wine by Lynfred Winery for $13.00

This wine came out this month from Lynfred Winery and it has immediately became one of our favorite fruit wines. This wine is less sweet then the Strawberry wine since it is combined with Rhubarb wine, but is really mellow and sweet without being overly so. I would drink this wine chilled on its own, it could be added to some seltzer or some sparkling wine for a Strawberry-Rhubarb bubbly, or with some vodka for a Strawberry Rhubarb Martini. I really like this fruit wine and will give a bottle to my better half's parents since they like sweet wines, and are big fans of Strawberry Rhubarb pie. I will be buying this wine in the future, and happy to know of the last 3 new fruit wines, this one really stood out to me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bald Knob from Owl Creek Winery in Illinois for $14.99 from Vintages

Vintages had their grand re-opening sale this last Saturday and a representative from Owl Creek Winery was on hand. I bought this wine, the Whoo's Blush, and the Framboise. This wine is off-dry and was served with italian sausage, barbecue chips, and beans and weenies-can you tell I have a child? This wine was definitely better with food than on its own, it is made from the Chambourcin grape which is generally very dry which accounts for why this paired much better with food. I thought the wine was ok on its own, just a lot better with the food. I don't think I would buy it again, but would definitely hit this winery if I ever get down to the Southern Illinois Wine Trail.

Natural Peach Wine by Galena Cellars for $10

I really like peach wine, I like the peach sparkling wine and the peach wine from Lynfred Winery, I like the peach wine from Coopershawk Winery, and I think if the Village Vintner made a peach wine, I liked that one also. I liked this peach wine, too. I ate this wine with fruit and it was good, and I drank this wine on its own, and it was good. You could use this wine to mix with liquor for a fruity drink, make some sort of bellini out of it, any way you slice it, keep this wine with you over the summer, it is totally versatile. I would definitely buy it again and at this price it is a steal.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lux Meritage by Coopershawk for $40 at the winery, but was free for joining the wine club

This wine is not sweet and does not fall in the price range. This wine is definitely a food wine, with lots of complexity, but with some tannins that need to be balanced against food. I really like this wine, but my better half does not, so this will be the last and only time we have a bottle of this wine in my house.

Bubbling Blanc by Galena Wine Cellars for under $15 at the winery

I just lost this blog. I really liked this sparkling wine. This wine appears to be very versatile, very crisp without any dry aftertaste. This wine would go great with mimosas and would do well blended with other fruit juices to make a great summer drink. I love Blanc to Blanc and will keeping a bottle in my house regularly as a staple.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

American Riesling by Galena Cellars around $12

This wine tastes and smells like your typical semi-sweet Riesling. This wine is very easy drinking and pairs well with chicken, but is very good on its own. I like Riesling in general, and would definitely buy this one again. Nothing really stood out about this wine, but it was a good Riesling, good fruit flavors.

Late Harvest American Gewurtztraminer by Galena Cellars 375ml under $20

We tasted this wine at the winery, my better half loved it and we bought two bottles. This wine is described as having spiciness and sweetness. The wine definitely has sweetness, but smells and tastes like lilacs and roses. The nose on this wine is totally floral and the taste is totally floral, I could only have a small glass of it. This wine may be one of the weirdest wines I have ever tried, I have never had a wine that so predominately floral. My better half really likes this wine, but I will have to take a pass on it.

Gruet Demi-Sec for $12.00 at Gibbys Wine Den

This sparkling wine was dry. This sparkling wine was made in Champagne-style, and I am not a big fan of Champagne due to the dryness and this wine despite saying Demi-Sec was really dry. If I had orange juice, I would have used it for mimosas, but I would never buy this wine again. This wine was no Demi-Sec more Brut than anything.

2006 Banguls M. Chapotatier $19.99 at Gibbys Wine Den in Geneva

This wine has braille on the label which I have never seen before on a wine bottle. This red dessert wine is made in France. This wine tastes like port, and a very good Port. I would almost compare it to the Amore by the Village Vintner. The wine was 15% alcohol, but very mellow with good fruit. I would definitely buy this again if the price was a touch less, but at this price this is a special occasion wine, and not the daily drinking wine by better half would like to make it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2007 Rancho Zabaco Reserve Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel around $18 at Vintages

We used this wine to make a crock-pot roast beef and then drank the rest with spaghetti and meatballs. I really liked this Zinfandel as did my better half who did not think this wine was dry ass. I thought this wine had a lot of fruit flavors-cherry and blackberry. I would definitely consider this wine one of my favorite Zinfandels and if would consider making it a house red with food dishes. I don't think this is much of a good wine on its own, but with food it was very good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rhubarb Wine by Galena Wine Cellars for around $10

Among the wineries in Illinois that make Rhubarb wine that I have tried this one is my least favorite. The wine, a beautiful pink color, is a little too tart for my tastes with a touch of sweetness. The Rhubarbs by Lynfred, Coopershawk, and the Village Vintner are a lot sweeter which is preferable for me and my better half. If you like Rhubarb wine, I would definitely encourage trying a bottle, but myself I like too many other wines here to buy this one again.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Country Rose' by Galena Wine Cellars for under $15

This wine is made from the Catawba grape and is classified as a semi-sweet wine. The confusion may be that the alternative to the semi-sweet is dry, but this wine is not dry at all, it is tart which makes it only semi-sweet. Catawba is used a lot in Illinois wines and from previously blogs you will note that generally it is made into a sweet wine versus a semi-sweet. I find this wine best on the first day you open it and more tart after it sat in the refrigerator for 2 days. I think this was my fault not the wines, I could have pumped it, but I thought with the screw top, which I love, it would be fine. I thought it was more tart 2 days later, but still very light and fun. I think this is a great summer wine, and very good wine for Easter that is coming up this weekend. This wine is also a great brunch wine, and I would definitely buy it again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

American Frizzante di Muscat Canelli by Galena Cellars under $15 in Geneva, Il

I love the wines made by Galena Cellars and when we went to Geneva we obviously needed to go to Galena Cellars. We did not need to join their case club, but they have a lot of great wine and I was getting very low on wine. This wine is less sweet than a Moscato d'Asti, but still has that touch of sweetness that keeps it from the dry Champagne class or Brut class. This wine would be considered more of demi-sec, and I liked the sparkling Muscat Canelli a lot better then the non-sparkling Muscat Canelli. You can't beat the selection and the prices on the wines at this winery. I will be blogging on them a lot in the future, I just bought a case of their wine, so I have to recommend if you are in the area head up to Galena Wine Cellars in Geneva.

2009 Innocent Bystander Moscato out of Austrailia 375 ml for $10 at Gibby's Wine Den

This wine came in a half bottle with a bottle top that made it look like a large bottle of pop. According to my better half, this was a pink Moscato d'Asti out of Austrailia. I thought it was good, just a little too sweet for me, but my better half made quick work of the pop bottle of sweet bubbly. We picked up this wine at Gibby's Wine Den in Geneva when we decided this last Saturday to taste wine for the day. A very cute store, with a lot of different wines, however, some is quite pricey compared to a Binnys or a Costco, but the offered a tasting of about 4 wines, were extremely friendly and had some unique wines that only are available at their store. They have some wine tastings for $10 that we may check out in the future also.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Brazilio under $10 at Vintages

I brought this wine for dinner with friends at an Italian Restaurant, and it was fantastic. This wine is a blend of grapes from Brazil that were just bursting with fruit flavors with no tannic aftertaste. My friends are more about drinking than talking about the wine, but this wine was really a crowd pleaser for me. My better half that it was dry, I just did not taste any dryness. I will definitely be buying this wine again, and would consider making this wine one of my house reds, since it seemed to be so versatile.

LuLu Island Late Harvest Merlot $21 at the winery in Vancouver 375ml

This wine totally smells of cranberry, but is much sweeter than a cranberry wine. My better half told me that this county is the largest producer of cranberries in the world so we are wondering if the soil was previously used for cranberries. This wine is sweet and good, but at this price tag, I would not be buying it on a regular basis. However, this is the only late harvest Merlot I have ever tasted and I like it just not enough for this price tag.

Line 39 2007 North Coast Petite Sirah for under $10 at Binnys

This wine was your typical Petite Sirah fruity with some tannins on the finish. This wine was a little too dry for my palate, and not enough fruit on the initial sip. This wine is best with food preferably with pizza or red meat. I just found this wine to be very unmemorable. I would not buy it again, one of my least favorite Petite Sirahs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

2007 Conundrum 375ml for $7 at Binnys

This wine was a half bottle on sale in the dessert section of Binnys so I wrongly assumed this was a desert wine. No such luck, this wine is a white table wine like it says on the bottle. The wine tastes like a Viognier full of orange, peach, pineapple flavors without much acidity. I thought the wine was good overall, however, my better half thought it tasted better the second day because the first day he thought it was awful. Honestly, I think it was his mood that was awful, not the wine. Well, I think this wine would go well with a chicken or fish dish as long as the preparation did not surround butter and was more of a fruit flavor, like Orange Chicken. Overall, I am glad we only bought the half bottle because this is a relatively expensive wine and we would not make this our first choice.

2007 Debortoli Austrailian Petite Syrah at Binnys for under $10

This Petite Syrah was the wine I know and love, versus the Petite Syrah that I just had and hated. This wine has very little oak, ripe, jammy fruits. This wine went well on its own and would go with any type of red meat or pasta dish. Again, this Petite Syrah was a very good every day red that I could drink without any problems on weekly basis. The wine has good fruit is very versatile with mild tannins and an inexpensive price tag.

2006 Chateau Suau Sauternes for $20 at Costco

For our love of sweet wines, you would think that we would have tried a Sauternes before now, but generally they are really pricey and I am not a big fan of French wines. However, a full bottle versus the half bottle of a sweet wine for $20 is a good price all around and so we picked it up with some reservations. This wine is totally smooth with flavors of apricot and honey. The wine could have probably aged longer, but our curiosity won out, and we were not disappointed. The wine is golden in color with some legs, but is not sickenly sweet as people may think about Sauternes. I would definitely buy this wine again it is a fantastic desser wine that would go great with flan or any type of custard dish. Of course, on its own it was a joy also.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2007 Petite Syrah by Concannon Conservancy for under $10 at Binnys

This wine had a bad topper on it when I closed the refrigerator door, so most of this wine found its way to the floor. I was not disappointed, this wine was one of the worst Petite Syrahs of all time if not the worst. The wine had no fruit flavors and a extremely bitter aftertaste that would remind me of tar. I lauged at the back of the bottle that said it was smooth and silky finish, this wine was terrible, enough said.

2008 Gewertz-I am abbreviating because I have misspelled it previously of the LuLu Winery in Vancouver, Canada for around $18

My boyfriend picked this wine up while he was in Vancouver for work over the Winter Olympics. I found it to be ok, I am not a huge fan of the lychee flavor of the Gewertz. I found the wine to be very smooth without the acidity I generally relate to a Gewertz, and my better half really enjoyed the wine. I thought this would pair well with spicy food and was ok on its own with its fruit and lychee flavors. Also, this wine did not have the spiciness I also associate with a Gewertz. At this price, the wine would have to needed to be exceptional, but if you like Gewertz I believe you would like this wine.

2008 Cellar Masters Columbia Winery Riesling from Columbia Valley in Washington for under $10 at Binnys

This wine was a great value and a very good wine. This wine had a light sweetness and some good peach and apricot flavors. I found this to be a great sipping wine, not requiring food, just some lazy day time for relaxation. This wine would be classified as a Spatlese if made in Germany and is overall a very good wine for the money. This wine does not have exceptional depth or character, but great summer fruit flavors with some pineapple and very little acidity and some sweetness to make this a very quick bottle of wine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

2007 Covey Run Riesling from Columbia Valley for about $10

Well, we got lucky with the first 2 Rieslings that we bought without tasting, but not this one. This one is made in an off-dry style and is too dry for me. There flavors of nectarines and peaches are on the aroma and some of the initial flavor, but the aftertaste is dry and a little flat to me. My better half did not like it either as the wine being more dry than off dry. We drank this with fried chicken which it did not pair well with, I think a sweeter more citrusy dish, but I won't be buying it again.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2007 Lot 205 Petite Syrah out of California for $8 at Binnys

A very typical Petite Syrah with big fruit up front and some slight tannins on the back. A lot of cherry notes and some tobacco qualities. This wine is a great every day red, I paired it with Italian sausage, cheese, and chocolate. The wine did not pair very well with chocolate, much better with the Italian sausage. At this price, this wine is not a hard sell, if you like Petite Syrah, need an every day house red this would be a good choice.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2009 Fess Parker Santa Barbara County Riesling around $10 at Binnys

After the last 2 bottles of white wine, I was nervous about trying this wine. I bought the wine because Fess Parker has gotten such good reviews in the past. I thought this wine was delicious, a touch of sweetness, but not too sweet, I am not a fan of a Riesling that lacks some of the effervescence. This wine has the flavors of orange and pineapple without any acidity. This wine was great on its own, I am definitely going to buy this wine again, it is a great summer wine and would go great with barbeque. I only saved a swallow for my better half since he was out of town, but I am sure he will be pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2008 Cline Viognier for $8.49 from Binnys

I bought this wine because I liked the Cline Zinfandel, and I made a mistake. This wine required food. This wine is extremely dry and acidic. Generally, Viognier has great aroma with orange, and honeysuckle, this wine did not have much of an aroma. I found the wine too acidic to taste the fruit flavors. I am very picky about Viognier because generally I like a fruiter style that is not crisp which is synonomous with acidic. So I have learned a lesson this last weekend, grapes and blends were I generally like the exception versus the rule I need to taste first.

2006 Ne-go-ciant a White Wine Blend from Napa Valley

This wine was reduced from $16 to $6 at Binnys and was proclaimed to be a combination of select barrels. I thought this wine was going to be good, but I was dead wrong. This wine required food and being that pizza was on the order for the day it did not go well. I could not taste the flavors of this wine described on the back of the bottle. The wine was extremely acidic, dry, without any fruit flavors. This wine seemed to have a heavy dose of chardonnay, and overall was nothing I would ever buy again. My better half states that I am not allowed to buy any more white blends without trying them first. I also have to stop thinking that a reduction in price is always a good thing.

2005 Ashland Park Cabernet Sauvignon for $10 at Binnys

This wine retailed for $25 so when it was reduced to $10, I decided to try it. We used this wine to make a crock pot recipe with beef from a magazine. The beef was delicious and the meal paired with this wine was perfect. The wine on its own was very tannic and dry, but with the tender beef the cherry and smoky flavors of the wine came through without the harsh tannins. I would drink this wine again with food, not without and preferably with a heavy, saucier type beef dish like the one we had that evening.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2007 Red Tree Petite Syrah out of California for under $10 at Binnys

My better half was out of town and my wine stock was down to 3 bottles so I headed to Binnys with my 15% off and bought a case of my favorite grapes. This wine is very smooth, bursting on the first sip with cherry flavors almost reminiscent of a Pinot Noir. I thought this wine was very fruity and had only a touch of black pepper on the finish. The wine went better with cheese than with chocolate, but was very good on its own which is how I like my wine most of the time. I would definitely buy this again, bring it to dinner party, it was light enough for a summer barbeque. This wine was very versatile and at this price point really an unbelievable value.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fresavino for $20 in the Dessert Wine Club at Lynfred or it is $35

We have never bought this wine before because before we were in the Dessert/Sparkling wine club it was $35, but since we are in this wine club we get if for $20. This wine is a Strawberry wine fortified with grape spirits to bring it to around 20% alcohol. The first taste is pure strawberry and I really like Lynfred's strawberry wine, however this wine is very strong to me one the aftertaste. I have a hard time with some of these foritified wines because they taste soo strong to me. I am going to try this wine with a chocolate covered strawberry in an attempt to cut some of alcohol taste from the wine. We will see, if you like a strawberry flavored port style wine this wine is perfect for you. I just find the wine a little strong for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2006 David Bruce Petite Syrah for $16 at Costco

I love Petite Syrah, but most wineries do not make it, and when wineries do, generally they are expensive. I would love to try Stags Leap Petite Syrah, but at over $30 it is just too much. This wine is very jammy with red fruits and very little tannin. My boyfriend thought this wine is very smooth, I thought this wine was bursting with fruit cherry, raspberry, and blackberry. The wine went wonderfully with cheese, but I liked it on its own. I am going this weekend with my 15% off coupon to Binnys to get many bottles of Petite Syrah. I am running out of wine, down to 5 bottles.

Martini and Rossi Asti for $10 at Costco

I think everyone has had this wine before. I have found this Moscoto di Asti at most large chain retailers-Jewel, Costco, WalMart. This wine was used as a spritzer with the Black Raspberry wine from Lynfred Winery. We then drank it alone and it is ok. It is sweet, but not overly so, and would make a great wine for mimosas. There is no distinct fruit flavors or aromas to this sparkler which is why I think of it as the common Moscato di Asti, can't find anything wrong with it, but it really is nothing special. Don't get me wrong for $10 a bottle for a party in the summer at 7.5% alcohol this is a fun wine that won't break the bank and can be used as a mixer in other summer drinks also. If I have a summer barbeque, this wine would make the list.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Leelanau Cellars of Northern Michigan Winter White for around $10 at Meijers

This wine was very good. This wine is semi-sweet with pineapple and pear flavors. This wine was great on its own, with very little acidity. I found this wine a little heavy with some legs, not a light wine. It is called a winter white, but this wine can definitely be drank year around. I truly enjoyed this wine and would buy this wine again. I wonder if this winery has other similar type wines and will do some research on this in the future.

Blue Fish 2007 Estate Bottled Sweet Riesling for around $10 at Meijers

This wine was not the sweet riesling that it claimed to be. It was more off an off dry Riesling that went much better with spicy orange chicken than on its own. The wine has flavors of orange and only a touch of sweetness and some acidity. I thought the wine needed to be paired and a spicy dish was the way to go. This wine was really nothing special and I would not buy it again, it was relatively cheap but you can a cheap Riesling that is just so-so anywhere.

Monday, February 22, 2010

River White by the Illinois River Winery for $16 dollars in Utica, Illinois

This wine is a blend of Riesling, Vignoles, Cayuga, and Edelweiss. This wine is semi-sweet white wine that we paired with crab cakes and buffalo wings to celebrate our 1 yr engagement anniversary. I really liked this wine it is sweet, but not too sweet, however this wine has some legs and I would not desribe this wine as a light type of wine. I moves towards a dessert style, but fits good with a light lunch or dinner faire. I really liked this wine and if I did not like variety like I do this could be one of the house whites. I just like variety too much and constantly looking for the perfect wine.

2009 Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz at a local wine shop in Utica, Illinois for $10.00

Mardi Gras at August Hill Winery for about $17

We picked up this Sparkling Pink Catawba wine during the Winter Wine Walk in Utica, Illinois. If you like Catawba wine, you will definitely like this wine. This festive pink bubbly is sweet, but not as sweet as the straight Catawba wine. I really like this wine and at 9% alcohol, I could have more than a glass or two. My better half thought the sparkling Catawba was better than the straight Catawba, and I find the straight Catawba too sweet to drink too much at one time. I would definitely buy this wine again, it is just pricey to buy a lot of at one time. I was a club member at one time and even at 20% discount the case is well over $150 dollars which is just too much for us at this time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

2001 Kracher No 8. Auslese from Binnys for $20

This wine was on sale for $20 at Binnys from originally $50. This wine is a very dark yellow color, almost like liquid carmel. I found the wine to be very sweet with lots of honey flavor with some orange blossom. This wine is your ideal dessert wine, where a little bit goes a long way. This wine was great on its own, but you could also pair it with some lighter desserts, this wine is too thick with legs to have an extremely heavy dessert paired with it. I should have bought more of these style of wines when they were on sale because this is the last bottle of the group and it will be a long time before they have that sale again.

2008 Le Cigare Blanc from Bonny Doon Vineyard for around $20

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nero Misto by Elise Winery in California for $20 at Binnys

This wine is from the first winery that I ever visited in Napa Valley. I loved a white wine they made, but their red wines are just too dry for me. This wine is made with some lesser known Italian grapes, the wine bottle does not do the specifics for particular grapes, but this has to be a food wine for me. We have only had tacos this week in terms of red meat, and we tried pairing this with chocolate and it is too dry. I think this wine would be best paired with pasta versus any other dish. I don't think I did this wine justice, and my review not being favorable may be a result of poor pairing and not the wine itself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Coopers Hawk's White Zinfandel for $13.99 in South Barrington

We tried this wine at the February tasting at Cooper Hawk in South Barrington. This wine actually replaced the fruit wine they normally taste. This wine is a great summer wine, with some sweetness and some acidity I can see drinking this by a pool or at a barbecue all summer long. The wine is a beautiful orange/pink color that went with a chocolate covered orange cream perfectly. This wine is great wine for drinking on its own, I am sure you could pair it with some spicy dishes, but I did not like it with steak tacos, maybe some type of fish dish with a citrus sauce. Either way, I would definitely buy this wine again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Chook-Sparkling Shiraz-$18 at Binnys

I love Sparkling Shiraz, I just don't love the price tag. This wine is very cherry and raspberry with great bubbles. I drank this all day on Valentines Day and it was wonderful. I paired this with some chocolate, but that did not seem to pair well with the ones I chose. My better half thought this wine was too dry. I thought this wine is great just too pricey to drink on a regular basis. I wish this was about $10 a bottle and then I would drink it more often.

Valentines Day Tastings from Lynfred and the Patis/Graham household

The Lynfred Winery's Chocolate and Wine Pairing was on Thursday before February 14th.

1. Reserve Semillion wtih dark chocolate carmel dusted with salt-the best pairing
2. Sparkling Berry with cayenne/cinnamon truffle-the worst pairing
3. Cabernet Reserve 1999 with white chocolate carrot cake truffle-ok
4. Fresavino Strawberry Port with the raspberry truffle-ok
5. Merlot 2006 with Merlot walnut carmel-good
6. Carbernet Shiraz 2004 with currant truffle-very good
7. Late Harvest Riesling-bananas foster truffle-ok
8. Ice Wine 2002-Chai Tea truffle-ok

Graham/Patis Chocolate and Wine Pairing on Valentine's Day
1. Sparkling Shiraz-currant truffle-ok
2. Dry Italian Blend by Elise winery-raspberry truffle-not good, truffle not sweet enough, with carmel cream-not good together,
3. White Zinfandel-bananas foster truffle-good with the orange cream chocolate-the best pairing
4. Bluemoon- straight chocolate-not good-cherry cordial chocolate-better
5. Port-chai tea truffle-very good
6. Red Ice Wine -cayenne/cinnamon truffle-not good, the truffle is just way too spicy

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Coopers Hawk Cabernets for just slight under $20 at the Cooperhawk Restaurant in South Barrington

This wine is the wine of the month at Coopershawk. The name is cute, Cabernets, as it is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Cabernet Franc, you could not swap out for a different wine as this was part of the promotion in December when you bought $100 gift card. This wine is very dry, strong tannins, and I can't even think of having it without food. With a strong cheese it is ok, but the fruits are pretty dark and I think this wine needs red meat or lamb. My guess is this wine could have been aged some, but since we have 2 wines that we are aging that is enough until I can afford to buy a bigger wine fridge.

Twin Fin 2007 Merlot at Jewel for $5.00

This wine is a very good bottle of red wine for $5.00. I paired this wine with pizza, smoked gouda, garlic cheese, and spinach dip and it faired pretty well. Jewel must not be selling this wine anymore because all the various varietals were on clearance for Twin Fin, I have blogged on the Cabernet Sauvignon earlier. I found this wine to have some tannin, but not too much where you could not have a sip on its own. It has some cherry and smokier flavors, but overall just a very average Merlot at a very good price. I am not a huge fan of Merlot, so I probably don't do this wine justice, but I would not buy it again unless it was at this price.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pheasant Hollow Winery's Merry Christmas Crackling Cranberry for $18 at Cattails in Utica

We tried this wine at the wine walk in Utica this last weekend. I am not crazy about cranberry wine because generally it is very tart. This wine was not tart and was the perfect afternoon bubbly at 10% alcohol. My better half and I both enjoyed this wine before the Superbowl. I would definitely buy this wine again if it were at a lower price. If you are looking for a great Cranberry wine this would be the wine that I chose.

Lynfred's Black Raspberry fruit wine for $10 in the fruit wine club at Lynfred

I was totally excited about this wine when the lady at Lynfred said that the Black Raspberry is the new fruit wine that came out and I bought 2 bottles. This wine is thick with some legs. I was expecting a sweet fruit wine, and this wine is not sweet, it is tart. Not extremely tart but more tart than sweet. The wine tastes like black fruits more than raspberry to me. I love Lynfred's Red Raspberry wine and think it is a great dessert wine. This wine I think would benefit from a spritz, and if you open the bottle I recommend drinking it that day. This wine does not keep well even after pumping because the wine had the faint smell of vinegar and aftertaste of vinegar. This wine overpowers white chocolate and would probably best paired with dark chocolate.

2007 Dolcetto Ca'del Sol o Estate Monterey County for $18.00 for Bonny Doon Club Mbrs

Unfortunately, this may be the worst wine that I have ever paid over $15. This wine was extremely dry with almost no fruit flavors. I thought this wine was going to be a very fruity wine, but no such luck. I tried aerating this wine, and it did not improve. I just think that the only thing that could have improved this wine is age.

Side note-I am no longer going to keep track of days because I had computer difficulties yesterday and posted the same blog 4x in January. I will just have the name of the wines as the title versus the day since I think the day is all of whack.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 242-Obsession 2007 Califonia Symphony from Ironstone Vineyards for $7 at Jewel

This wine was on clearance at Jewel for $7 and is a blend of Muscat and Grenache Gris which I thought could be good, so what the heck. The wine is tasty with fruit flavors of orange and peach with a touch of sweetness. Unfortunately, the wine is extremely acidic and gave me heartburn that night and my better half could not even make it to a half of a glass. I tried it the next day thinking maybe it was a different wine or just the food I ate that day, but no, the heartburn started again. Needless to say, I will not buy this wine again, and would tell people prone to heartburn to stay away from this wine.

Day 241-Ballatore Rosso for $12.00 at Binnys

This red spumante is made in California and is the perfect Valentine's Day wine. This wine with its pretty red/pink color and little bubbles is just a great bottle of wine to pop with your honey or by yourself if that is the case. This wine has a touch of sweetness and I would put this sparkler, in termes of sweetness between a Moscato d'Asti and an Extra Dry Sparkler. I found this to be a perfect fit for me, not too sweet not too dry with the flavors of strawberry and cherry. I would definitely buy this wine on a regular basis as I think it has a good balance of sweetness and crispness to please most palates.

Day 240-Ca' del Solo Estate Vineyard 2006 Nebbiolo-November's Dewn Wine of the Month from Bonnydoon Vineyard for $18.00 plus shipping

This wine was recommended for aging 10-15 yrs, but we just don't have the space or the money to buy wine and then not drink it. This wine is definitely a food wine. We drank this wine with chicken and pasta with a red sauce, which cut some of the tannins and the dryness of the wine. the wine has some dark fruit flavors of plum mixed with some tobacco and spice flavors. This wine is just not for the daily drinking let's open up a bottle of wine. This wine needs to be aged and then paired with a good beef dish or lamb dish. This may be a good bottle of wine, it is just not our style of wine.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 239-Amore' by the Village Vintner 500ml for under $20

This wine is pure heaven, and next to the Glogg my favorite wine of the Village Vintner in Carpentersville, Il. This wine tastes like a chocolate covered raspberry. The vintner says it tastes of blackberry, and maybe a little, but it is a chocolate covered raspberry. I have some chocolate infused wines and this wine tastes more of chocolate than any of these wines. I can't wait to buy another bottle and to buy one for a friend who loves Port. This is their ruby Port style wine and compared to the other ruby Ports I have tried, this is the best hands down.

Day 238-Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 White Wine Washington State 2007

Another $5 wine from Jewel, and again thank god it was only $5. This wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillion. I don't like any of these grapes, so I know the price reeled me into buying this wine. I paired this wine with chicken and white cheese and overall it was ok. However, on its own, it was only ok. I would not buy it again, but it was not a complete waste of money. It was fruit forward, with a pretty aroma of flowers and some apply, but it was too acidic and not fruit forward enough for me to ever try it again. If you like these grapes it might be an ok blend for you and at $5 you really can't beat it.

Day 237-Lindemann's 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon South Africa at Jewel for $5.00

Thank god I bought this wine for only $5 bucks because I am not a huge Cab fan, and thought that since it was from South Africa perhaps it was more fruit forward. I was wrong. This wine tastes like it was made Bordeaux style with lots of earthy flavors and smells with the black pepper taste that I just can't stand. I had to choke this down by myself while my better half and peanut were out of town which is just as well because he would have thought this wine needed to be flushed or would have made a large steak to balance out the earthy and pepper flavors. This wine desperately requires red meat which does not include the hot dog I had to pair with this wine.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day236-Essencia by Quadyvineyard 2006 Orange Muscat for $6 at Binnys

This wine was another steal from Binnys during the warehouse sale. This wine also has some serious legs and has a similar viscosity to cough syrup. The wine is orange in color and smells of tobacco, tea, and orange blossoms. This wine tastes like orange flavored tea to me. I was telling my better half about how overwhelming the tea taste was, and once I told him, he also felt like he was drinking a glass of tea a little on the thicker side, but definitely a tea flavor. I am not sure if I liked the wine or not, but I like Orange Tea, a weird flavor for wine, but unique none the less. My better half drinks a lot of sweet tea so I was surprised that he did not like it as much. Again, a very interesting wine for an extremely reasonable price.

Da 235-2004 Robert Pecota Moscato d'Andrea Napa Valley Muscat Canelli 375ml from Binnys for $6

Another wine bought at the warehouse sale at Binnys for half price. The Wineauxs also blogged on this wine and gave it a good review. This wine has a lot more legs than the Muscat Canelli that we have tried before from Trader Joe's and the Allegro from Binnys. This wine has 16% residual sugar and is 11% alcohol by volume. The wine tastes of orange blossom and honey, with some bite of acidity which tells me this wine probably could have aged a little more to mellow out the wine. My better half loved this very sweet wine, of course, and drank the half bottle in no time at all. At this price, I should have stocked up, but they were almost gone when I picked this one up, and 1 week later they were all gone. If you like a late harvest wine or an Ice wine, this is a very good choice.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 240-Mionetto Moscato Dolce $12.00 at Binnys

My computer is acting up so I am going to try to blog on this wine for the 3rd time. This wine is the perfect brunch wine and can be used for mimosas also. This Moscato d'Asti just has a touch of sweetness, not the over the top sweetness that you find with some Moscato d' Asti that makes you think the wine tastes more like pop than wine. I really like this sparkling and would make this wine my house sparkling at this price that most people would like, unless you are a die hard dry wine drinker.

Day 240-Mionetto Moscato Dolce $12.00 at Binnys

My computer is acting up so I am going to try to blog on this wine for the 3rd time. This wine is the perfect brunch wine and can be used for mimosas also. This Moscato d'Asti just has a touch of sweetness, not the over the top sweetness that you find with some Moscato d' Asti that makes you think the wine tastes more like pop than wine. I really like this sparkling and would make this wine my house sparkling at this price that most people would like, unless you are a die hard dry wine drinker.

Day 240-Mionetto Moscato Dolce $12.00 at Binnys

This wine is a slightly sweet Moscato that we picked up at the Sparking wine tasting at Binnys in January. This wine is a very versatile sparkling that would be perfect for brunch and for mimosas. However, this wine could be drank all day long without putting you in the bag. I really liked this wine, as did my better half, and at this price we could definitely make this wine our house sparkling.

Day 240-Mionetto Moscato Dolce $12.00 at Binnys

We tried this wine at the sparkling wine tasting at Binnys. This wine is a good Moscato which is slightly sweet, not over the top like some Moscato d'Asti wines can be. I find this wine to be very versatile bubbly that can be drank all day long. This wine would be great for brunch or mimosas without putting you in the bag early. I think that this could be a house sparkling and I would definitely buy this again.

Day 234-Rosemount 2005 Cabernet Merlot from South Eastern Austrailia for $5 at Jewel

Another wine that was found for half price at Jewel. This wine is pure blueberry, very smooth, with almost no tannin. I found this wine to be a great blend with large fruit flavors and very little dryness or bitter aftertaste. My better half did not like it at first, liked it better with chocolate, my sister liked it as did I. I would definitely buy this wine again, but only at this price.

Day 237-Gainey Vineyard Riesling 2006 Santa Ynez Valley for $6 at Binnys

This wine was on sale for $6 at Binnys, it was a Riesling, I picked it up. This Riesling is much better than the Oceana Riesling for the same price in California. This wine is not sweet, but has a lot of the fruit flavors associated with a Riesling. My sister does not think it was very good, but I think it is ok. My better half thought is was ok, but I would not buy it again. It is a 2006 and I think that is why the wine was on sale. This wine has definitely past its peak. But as a wine while just watching the game, it was good enough.

Day 236-Ravenswood 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel for $7.99 at Jewel

This wine was another one of Jewel's closeouts with it being 50% off. I generally like Zinfandel because it has a lot of fruit, but this wine definitely needs to be aerated and let sit for a while unless you are a favorite of the pull the enamel off the teeth tannin of wine. This wine was much better on the second day aerated where you could pull some of the fruit flavors from the tannin. I then could taste the plum and the other cherry flavors. I can tell you this was a 3 day wine because I was not eating red meat and did not have any chocolate to pair this extremely tannic wine. I would definitely not buy this wine again, and I am glad I got this wine at a discount.

Day 235-Oak Grove 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for $12.99 at Vintages

This wine was a Robert's favorite at the last tasting at Vintages. This wine was loved by both myself and my sister so we each picked up a bottle. These wine has very mile tannins and lots of fruit flavor. I was able to drink this on its own and did not require any type of food to improve on its flavor. The vintner says you can age, but why? This wine is total crowd pleaser. I would buy this wine by the case if I was the type of person who like to drink the same type of wine all the time, but I actually liked to have a variety. For a dinner party, or any type of party this is a great wine to bring and actually won't break your pocket book.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 234-Oceana 2007 California Riesling at Binnys on sale for $6

This wine was a half price at Binnys so I snatched it up without trying it previously. I would never buy this again. The wine had no fruit flavors, was not good on its own, and needed to be paired in order just to be choked down. Well maybe it did not need to be choked down, but it was far from good. The wine had no sweetness, and I honestly would not have been able to tell this was a Riesling. I think this wine might be old most Rieslings should be drank within 1 yr of bottling, but who knows, California is not known for their Rieslings and now we know why.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 233-Night Harvest 2006 California Cabernet Sauvignon for $5.00 at Jewel

This wine was on clearance on Jewel, and even though I am not a Cab drinker, I picked up a bottle. The vintner states the grapes are pulled for this wine at night to get the crisp acidity and fruit flavors. This wine is better aerated. It is a touch dry for our tastes, but does pair well with chocolate and pasta. The wine has dark cherry and dark berry flavors with some tannins. It is good everyday Cab, nothing extraordinary, but nothing horrible either. At a party, where no one cares about the wine bring a bottle of this wine, however at full price it is $10, but still pretty reasonable overall.

Day 232-Domaine Pichot Vouvray 2008 at Vintages for under $15

This wine was tasted at the Robert's favorites wine tasting this last weekend. This wine is 100% Chenin Blanc and is described by the vintner Jean-Claude Pichot as slightly dry, pure, and intense. I generally don't buy French wines as a rule due to the inability of the French to tell you the type of grape in the wine and their style of wine is generally best with food versus on its own, and I am wine on its own kind of girl, I have a 2 yr old, I can't enjoy wine with dinner, which generally lasts about 5 minutes. I liked this wine on its own, I found it to be very fruity and crisp without the grassy taste of a Sauvignon Blanc, with just a touch of sweetness to keep the balance in the wine. My sister also liked this wine, but she did not buy it this time. My better half thought this was one of the best French wines we ever had because it had more fruit flavors versus earthy flavors.

Day 231-Francis Tannahill 2006 Dragonfly Washington Gewurtztraminer for $9.99 at Binnys

This wine was reduced to $9.99 from $21.99 and so being that I liked Gewurtztraminer I bought thinking I was getting a great value and I was. This wine was the smoothest Gewurtz that I have ever had without all the acidity and heartburn that I usually associate with this type of wine. This wine had great fruit and tasted very much of orange to me. This wine stood up great on its own and did not require spicy food that one usually has with this type of wine to cut the sweetness and acidity. I would definitely buy this wine again at this price point, obviously they had sold out by the time I returned the next week, but I will look for this vintner again, because I was very pleased with the wine after all.

Day 230-Coopershawk Peach Sparking Wine for $13.99 in South Barrington

I love fruit sparkling wines, Raspberry, Peach, Cherry, Berry, and ,of course, Peach. Lynfred Winery also makes a Peach Sparkling which I also liked a lot. I think this is the Blanc to Blanc Sparkling wine of Cooperhawk infused with Peach juice or extract. My better half thought it was dry and peachy, and I found it very peachy and effervescent. This wine is not a sweet sparkling wine per say, just a peach sparkling wine that tastes like peach bubbles. I think this a great brunch wine or baby shower wine, so light and so tasty. If you don't like peaches, this is probably not the wine for you, but if you do like peaches then pick up a bottle, it is cheaper at Cooperhawk than at Lynfred, though my preference does go to Lynfred's Peach Sparkling wine.

Day 229-Hirshback and Sohne Piersporter Michelsberg Riesling Spatlese 2008 at Vintages for under $15.00

I think that I have bought this wine in the Auslese version, but I can't remember. The Spatlese is a nice balance of sweetness and acidity versus the Kabinett which tends to be on the drier, more acidic side and the Auslese which is on the sweeter side. This wine was crisp with lots of fruit on the nose and the palate, this is a very easy drinking wine at 8.5% alcohol that we drank while watching the domination of the Vikings over the Cowboys. I paired it with cheese and cherries and it went very well, but I believe most Rieslings, including this one, are great on their own. I would buy this one again, I don't think it is so much better than other Rieslings, but is a good price and I already know it is good.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 228-Santa Julia Brut Rose' $12.99 at Vintages in Arlington Heights

My sister and I tasted this wine today at Vintages for the wine tasting of Robert's favorites, the owner at the store, and of course most of wines were very reasonably priced and very good. This sparkling wine is 100% Pinot Noir and was not as sweet when I opened it at home as when I tried it at the wine shop. I drank this sparkler as I watched the New Orleans Saints absolutely destroy the Cardinals. My sister also liked this wine and she is not even a fan of the sparklers. I find this wine a little too dry after all and maybe would pair this wine with the some cheese or fruit to cut some of the dryness. I would not buy this one again, I would actually for the same price point go with the Bitch Bubbly instead.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 227-Sandeman Ruby Port for unk amount from unk place

This port was a birthday gift to the parents of my son Tyler at his 2 yr old birthday party. My friend Katie and her sister Maggie bought this for me. Katie states she never has any idea what type of wine I drink and was told this wine was a definite winner by the shop owner. I like port somewhat, and this wine is pretty good overall, I can't really drink more than 1 glass at a time, so it has been opened in the refrigerator for at least a wk maybe closer to 2 wks. The wine is really smooth, with some legs. The wine tastes of dark cherry and dark plum and is a beautiful deep purple color. My better half, who likes port more than I do, has not really been drinking this wine, I am not sure why though. He does not like to drink alone, and port is really something you sip on after dinner when he has already generally stopped drinking. So I think the port may last a few more days, as I always say, more for me then.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 226-Montevina Terra d'Oro Moscato California 2006 $3.99 at Binny's

Again, this wine was bought at the warehouse sale at Binnys. This wine was a the 750 ml bottle that did not have the sweetness that we would normally attach to a Moscato. This wine does have a touch of sweetness, that comes out in the honey flavors of the wine. I did not care for this wine at all, it had a touch of sweetness, but it had no fruit aromas or flavors that I normally associate with a Moscato, no peach, no melon, no citrus flavors. However, for $4 and my better half on a mission to finish 3 bottles of wine in one evening, it worked. I would never buy this wine again despite the price, it just was not good, but we have many more bottles to come from the Binnys warehouse blow out.

Day 225-Elysium 2006 by Quadywinery for $6 at Binnys

Binny's emailed me they were having a warehouse sale, so I headed there after work and picked up this beauty for half price. This wine is a California Black Muscat 15% alcohol that the winemakers say to pair with dessert cheeses, custards, fruit, or chocolate. We loved this wine. We paired it with chocolate, but it needed nothing. It tasted of blackberry and plum and the entire 375 ml lasted about 30min. We think this wine tastes very similar to the Cabernet Blush at $35 for a half bottle, so we are obviously thinking about heading back to Binnys to get a lot more of these bottles. If you like dessert wines that are not over the top sweet, then this is a great wine for you. I was very pleasantly surprised by this wine, and better half sent himself on a real buzz after finishing off this wine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 224-Cooper's Hawk Unoaked Chardonnay at $16.99

This Chardonnay is the January wine of the month at Cooper's Hawk Winery. This wine tastes nothing like Chardonnay. This wine could be swapped out for a Viognier and I don't think anyone would know the difference. The wine is totally fruity and tropical with aromas and flavors that you would never associate with a Chardonnay. I had to pop it open to pair with fish, however the wine did not require any pairing, it was truly delicious on its own. I would buy this wine all the time if it was a little cheaper, but at this price it will only be bought if I can get a good discount. This wine is too pricey to bring to a party where people don't care about the wine, but a nice dinner party where people do care, I think this wine would be a challenge for most to guess the grape.

Day 223-Twin Fin 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon for $5.00 at Jewel/Osco

This wine was half price at Jewel/Osco, as were all the varietals for Twin Fin. I could not resist so even though I am not a huge fan of Cab I bought the bottle. And for $5 bucks, this wine is a good deal. This wine tastes of deep plum, dark cherry, and dark chocolate. I found this wine to pair well with food and to be ok on its own, which I generally don't find with Cabs. My better half thought this wine is ok and he generally hates dry wines. He thought the deal for $5 was unbeatable also and had no trouble having a glass or two. At this price, I should stock up, and I may if there is any left at Jewel/Osco next week.

Day 222-St Christopher 2008 Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett $7.50 at Binnys

I have tried St Christopher Rieslings before and have really like this wine. I find this German Riesling to be drier than some of the other Rieslings, partly because it is a Kabinett versus a Spatlese. How every this wine was very crisp and fruity. This wine is a crowd pleaser, and I think you could have it at any party and it would be a big hit without costing a lot. I like Rieslings, I find them very versatile with food, and not requiring food at all too. This is great wine year around and I can't see anyone who like Rieslings finding fault with this wine. I would definitely buy this wine again and would recommend it as a good white wine for all occasions.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 221-Cooperhawk's Cranberry/Pomegranate Wine for under $15 at Cooperhawk in South Barrington

This wine was just released the month of December. This wine is a combo of the Cranberry 75%, which at 100% in their Cranberry wine is just too much tart, and their Pomegranate 25% wine which is just too sweet to me. This wine was still very tart and my better half said that the wine made him very thirsty. We paired the wine with turkey and gravy and it cut the tartness of the wine and it actually tasted like you were putting cranberry on your turkey. I would not buy this wine again for every day drinking, but around Thanksgiving I would definitely think about picking up a bottle of this wine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 220-Starling Castle Riesling Medoc at $7.50 at Costco

This is a German Riesling that we popped for the first 2 playoff games of football. We drank the wine with pizza and wings and it went pretty good. The bottle of this wine is very cool with a picture of the mansion in the back of the bottle. The wine had a touch of sweetness and is very fruity with only a hint of acidity on the finish. I find German Rieslings to be great versatile wines for people the may not have the same palate. Rieslings can be drank by both dry wine drinkers as well as sweeter wine drinkers. My sister thought the wine was ok, but I thought the wine was pretty good for this price. I believe that if you find a bottle of wine under $10.00 that you enjoy, and others enjoy also, the wine is a winner. I do find that a person can find numerous Rieslings in this price range if you look hard enough and are willing to get a few bad bottles, also.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 219-Risata- Moscato d'Asti for under $15.00 at Costco

I bought this wine at Costco just on a whim because my better half loves Moscato d'Asti, however, it winds up that this is the wine that his parents wanted for the last 2 years that they no longer carry at Binnys. Obviously, I had no idea when he was asking when he opened the bottle why I did not buy more of them since it was his parents favorite. I was actually presently surprised by how good the wine was, very light, only slightly sweet, with some effervescence. I would buy this wine again, no problem if it is $12 a bottle, and having it at all the parties.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 218-Bricco Riella Moscato d'Asti 2008 from Vintages in Arlington Heights for $12.99

This wine was opened on New Years Eve with our friends who don't really drink wine, but like Moscato d'Asti. My better half and my friends loved the wine, I found it way too sweet. It smells of peach and some floral. I find this wine to be a sweeter Moscato d'Asti with more of a golden color versus the pale yellow you generally find with Moscato d'Asti. This bottle was polished off on New Years Eve and would be bought in the future if the better half desired, but generally if he wants a Moscato d' Asti he would prefer to go with a Sorocco and the price is slightly less for Sorocco.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 217-Guenoc Lake County Petite Syrah 2006 Culinary Reserve Selection around $16.99

This wine was also a Christmas present from my sister who knows I love Petite Syrah. This wine is typical Petite Syrah very fruit forward and has no spice that a person associates with a Syrah or a Zinfandel. This wine is very jammy with dark fruits, blackberry and cherry, with very little tannin that you find with Cabernet. Of all the big red wines, Cabernet, Syrah, and Zinfandel the Petite Syrah is the most fruit forward of the wines. I don't like a very dry red wine with heavy tannin in a Cabernet and the spicy finish of Syrahs or Zinfandels generally, so I find a Petite Syrah the best red wine for my tastes.

Day 216-Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 for $7.50 at Costco

This wine made out of the Lodi Valley of California appears to be the most popular Zinfandel because I see it advertised everywhere and I consider it the Zinfandel you can find anywhere ranging from $7.50 to $12.00. I liked the Zinfandel, but I think it was much better with food then on its own. My better half also liked it, but I did send the wine through the aerater in order to take off the edge. I found this wine to have a bit of spice, not over the top, but not too much black pepper that made it difficult to drink. Overall, for the price, the wine is a reasonable Zinfandel, if you brought this to a party it would need to paired with food unless someone liked Zinfandel on its own. I would buy this wine again for a friend who liked Zinfandel or for a party, but myself I would always prefer a Petite Syrah.

Day 215-Kung Fu 2008 Riesling for around $15.00 at Tuscan Wine Market in Arlington Heights

This wine was a Christmas gift from my sister. She was very proud of this Riesling and we checked out the web site on the New Years Day. This wine is one of Charles Smith's wines in Washington State-Columbia Valley in Evergreen Vineyard. I find this to be a good Riesling that paired well with Buffalo wings, shrimp salad, and chicken salad. My sister also liked this wine. I find the wine had a nice balance of sweetness and acidity with only a slight acidic aftertaste. The wine is very fruity with flavors of orange, lemon, and some apple. I would not say this wine was sweet, in fact I would describe this Riesling as a traditional style with very little sweetness. I love Riesling and think it is a good alternative to Chardonnay. I would think this is more of a spring, summer, and fall wine, but for pairing with food, I would definitely open it in the winter, which I obviously did since I opened up this today.