March 29, 2009

Sunday Surf - Spring Break Summary and Wine Review

Does it really count as a Spring Break if you don't go anywhere and you end up catching up on client appointments? I thought not. Oh well, it's probably a good thing that I saved my money...except for that $110 I ended up paying to the City of Denver for a speeding ticket from the week before Spring Break. I will not go into detail other than to say I was speeding, although not as fast as the officer said and only for a minute when I was trying to get out of the way of a potential accident that turned out to be the officer pointing her radar gun at everyone in the line of traffic I was following. See not too much detail...heh.

So in the past month (or maybe less than that) I've tried several bottles of wine. Four reds and one white. I'll start with the last one I had...which I just finished this evening with my dinner of Ravioli (okay, it was that canned stuff from childhood was on had a coupon dang it...heh). But hey, the wine was fun as you can see by the label!

This a 2007 French Maid Pinot Noir is from the Pays d'Oc region of France. Since I was on a bit of a wine buying spree last month, I'm not sure, but I think I picked this one up at 3S Liquors (they have a lot of wines with cool labels) for about $9.00. It was a medium full bodied pinot noir with light tannins and very little alcohol burn on the finish. It also had good fruit flavors, but it wasn't sweet. Obviously it went well with the ravioli. I also had it with pizza and a leftover burger (well half a burger) and 4 leftover tater tots (yes, I also added a salad of baby spinach and cherry tomatoes with Good Season's Italian Dressing).

Staying in Europe and with the Pinot...but going Grigio...I tried this 2007 one from Italy. It's from the producer Mezzacorona. The region is called Vigneti delle Dolomiti (actually I think "Vigneti delle" probably means "wine of"...hopefully the Gentleman will pop by and let us know since she lives in Italy). Anyway, as I recall, this was a good crisp Pinot Grigio and that I picked up for around $7.00. I definitely will revisit it this summer. Here's a quote I found from Wine Enthusiast:

This is a pristine albeit easy wine with clean and compact aromas of stone fruit, yellow flower and zesty citrus. Genuine and aromatic, this is textbook Pinot Grigio with pleasing creaminess on the palate. Pair with pasta salad, grilled white meats and finger foods. Score: 87. —Monica Larner, November 15, 2007.

Awhile back I reviewed Jacob's Creek Shiraz which I found quite tasty. I tried the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon a couple weeks ago with a steak and various other meals. It was quite good as well. Jacob's Creek is located in South Eastern Australia (like most decent wines from Australia). I found it just as tasty as the Shiraz, but of course, less big fruit flavors and a tad more tannins. The vineyard has been growing grapes since 1947 and describes this cabernet as a "full bodied wine" that "exhibits an aroma of mint and blackcurrent (sic) with a palate rich in berry fruit flavors and well integrated tannins (yeah, what I said...heh). Try it, you'll like it for under $10.00.

I don't think I've mentioned one of my favorite cheap wines...kind of the wines that got me started on my quest. Walnut Crest is a vineyard in Rapel Valley, Chile. Back in 1996 they were awarded Consumer Reports' highest rating for red wine as compared by trained wine tasters to some French wines. Anyway, I really love the Cabernet Sauvignon which I pick up at Applejack Wine and Liquors anytime I'm there and it's on sale for $4.00. Recently I discovered this Shiraz. How about that!?! This is new to their collection I think. Or at least Applejack hasn't been carrying it that long. I found it quite good for the price. On their website I found the following information:

Color: Deep cherry red with tinges of purple.
Bouquet: Hints of plum, jam and spice.
Taste: Spicy black berry, plum and pepper.

I have to agree. I also agree with their recommendation to try it with "spicy-sauced" pastas. Of course, I love spicy, so I might be a tad biased about that suggestion...heh.

The last wine I tried was one I grew up seeing in the kitchen: Gallo Hearty Burgundy. Basically, this is a red blend screw top jug wine. I saw it on the shelf at 3S Liquors and couldn't resist the chance to taste what was a regular guest at the dining room table. My mother used to buy two gallon jugs of this, one of Chablis and one of Rose. They would last a month or two. Nowadays, it comes in 1.5 litre bottles for about $8.00 or so. And they did away with the screw top. Too bad about that, since they tend to last longer than when you remove a cork.

Anyway, as red blends go, this was really good! When I told my mother I really enjoyed it, she said it was a wine before it's time...heh. I actually bought a second bottle a couple weeks later and finished it up during this past week. It tastes like a cabernet sauvignon mixed with a shiraz actually. Along with Walnut Crest, I can see Gallo being a regular guest at my dining room living room coffee table (or should I call it my wine table...hmmm). Gallo has branded this wine as one of their Twin Valley wines. This is what they said about it:

Our Twin Valley Hearty Burgundy combines mouth-watering richness with flavors ranging from dark berry to red plum. Well-balanced and approachable, its fruit is complemented by hints of oak and spice. Our Hearty Burgundy stands up well to almost any boldly flavored dish. It's fantastic with red meat and heavier foods such as chili and Italian dishes.



LostInColor said...

another ticket? wait the last one was from last year... ok so this is your first this year...carry on. :)

TheWeyrd1 said...

Yeah, both were from driving to work. I seem to forget the speed when I'm commuting and when I'm driving to Texas...

Anonymous said...

I like both Jacob's Creek and Walnut Crest wines - decent wines for not a lot of money.

(ahem.. slow down! That's about a dozen bottlees of wine you had to pay for with that ticket!)

TheWeyrd1 said...

citizen...sure now you have to bum me out further... All I was thinking was how that ticket prevented me from taking a short trip to Texas...sigh.

Jdancer8 said...

tsk tsk---speeding is no good....but im not sure how putting the speeding in with the wine flows well---but after that ticket i might drink couple drinks myself...thanks for the pinot ;o)

TheWeyrd1 said...

LOL...J...if you try the pinot, let me know what you think!

The Gentleman said...

As the resident Italian native I've got to say that the reagion name it's actually Trentino Alto Adige, a lovely, predominantly mountainous region in the north of Italy.
BTW "Vigneti" means vineyards in Italian ;))

TheWeyrd1 said...

Gentleman...thanks for the info. Of course the label says Nice to know that Vigneti means vineyards like I was thinking...maybe I should take Italian!