October 28, 2009

Wednesday's WineSSSSSSS

So I know I've been away for awhile (see previous post for excuses...er...reasons). I still don't have a replacement for my personal laptop. Today being a snow day at school, but having the work laptop at home, I decided to catch up on wine reviews! Lucky you, my three remaining readers, I have seven wines to cover. Yeah, just because my laptop died didn't mean I stopped drinking wine. Though, I must admit I've rediscovered my liking for vodka tonics and beer...heh. A reminder before the reviews. All of these wines can be had for about $10.00 or less and generally (though not always) have very high ratings (mid 80's and higher) than would be expected at those price points. I get great deals on wine at both 3S Liquors and at Applejack Wine and Liquors.

Starting in my own state of Colorado, I bring you a Rose (yes, it's PINK), but Rose's are still better than White Zinfandels which are still PINK, not white. And actually, I found this Plum Creek Palisade Rose, 2008 quite tasty. For those of you trying to imagine where in Colorado any vineyards might exist, the Palisades are on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains and known for their peach trees. In other words, the Palisades are on the western edge of the state. Warm summers and cool nights make for pretty decent wine. Here's what the winemaker's at Plum Creek say about their rose in 2004 and I think it still applies to their 2008 vintage:

"Palisade Rosé is a light, semi-sweet Colorado wine made in the traditional style of great Rosé. The grapes are pressed as soon as they arrive in the cellar. The juice is left a very short time in contact with the grape skins in order to give the wine a delicate color.

Merlot grapes from our Somerset Vineyard give a fruity and lively character to this handcrafted wine. A rich viscosity enhances the wine’s silky smoothness. Luscious strawberry and cherry tones abound in the nose and on the palate."

I don't remember what I had for dinner with this wine, but I'm pretty sure I had some really spicy green chile one evening. And a rose with it's fruit forward flavors is a nice counter point to the spicy heat of green chile.

Speaking of white zinfandel's. I did manage to force one down. The label on this La Famiglia Guadagni White Zinfandel, 2007 from California might look familiar (and as Syd would say...looks like...well you know...heh) because I reviewed another wine from this vineyard awhile back. Anyway, I admit that I bought it for the label and because I liked that other wine too. While I was looking for a picture of the bottle I found this short description on the Western Importers' website:

"This bright and lively White Zinfandel comes from Lodi California, the heart of the California Zinfandel region. The nose is bright and inviting with aromas of berries, citrus blossoms, and strawberries. On the palate it is more of the same with a crisp refreshing style of wine that finishes with the heart of a Zinfandel."

I actually liked this white zinfandel, though not enough to make me like ALL white zinfandels...heh. In the past, I've found that white zinfandels go well with ham, pork and spicy dishes.

Moving on to the white wines. I actually got talked into trying this
Louis Latour Ardeche Chardonnay, 2006 when I was looking for a wine from France that was under $10.00. Just as with white zinfandel, I'm not a big fan of chardonnays. However, instead of an overly buttery feel, this one was a bit more crisp. It still had notes of oak and vanilla as with many chardonnays, but I liked it much better than most. I recommend pairing chardonnays with poultry dishes, especially a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. This will go well with any poultry dish I think. I might even be likely to buy it for this coming Thanksgiving now that I think about it...heh!

More along the lines of white wines I like is this Angeline Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2008. Nice and crisp with mellow fruit flavors. Wine Enthusiast rated it a 90. That's a big value for the price and style! This is what the winery said about their wine:

"Fresh floral, honeydew melon and bright tropical aromatics lead to crisp and lively green melon flavors. This wine finishes soft and light with a lingering touch of citrus."

They recommend pairing with shrimp or a spicy halibut. I think it went well with salmon too.

I know this is a tiny picture but, yes, that is a leopard on the label...I think. I pick this Herding Cats Merlot/Pinotage from South Africa at 3S Liquors at the suggestion of a fellow patron. She left the store with several different Herding Cats wines, so I figured, "What the heck!" I also pick up another one of their wines for a later review. In the meantime, I found this red blend pretty good for the price and you seriously can't beat the name. Also, bonus, a wine from South Africa (home to Charlize Theron I might add). Internet Wines.com provided this description:

"This wine is smooth and supple with aromas of cherry, vanilla and mocha tones. The palate is soft and velvety with a lingering aftertaste following though."

They also recommended serving this wine with spicy beef dishes. I would agree, but then I love pretty much anything spicy...heh.

Of course these days I'm rather preoccupied with many things Italian...okay a specific Italian... Anyway, why not have an Italian wine too!?! This Falesco Vitiano Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese Merlot, 2007 blend from Umbria, Italy seems vaguely familar. Oh that's right, I reviewed the 2006 vintage...heh. This red blend was dark with a mix of fruit flavors including some notable plummy flavors. I enjoyed it quite a bit...which is why I've had it two years in a row to review. Of course, I had it with spaghetti and, later, with a great steak.

The last wine for today's review is another of the Gallo Twin Valley line: Pinot Noir. I last had their Hearth Burgundy which was surprisingly really good, but apparently I forgot to post it here. Anyway, their Pinot Noir is pretty good too. I've had better and I have had worse when it comes to pinot noirs. But for under $10.00 for a 1.5 liter bottle it's a great value to have around as an everyday table wine. If you like pinot noirs and are having a big party, a few bottles of this will definitely fill the bill! Serve it with heavy o'dourves or a nice steak dinner.

Enjoy! And check back in this location in a few weeks for pictures and a review of my cruise with Sweet.


jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I'm so glad to have you back! I have had herding Cats wine and found it not too special. Not great, not even quite middling, but not as bad as some wines :)

secret agent woman said...

Welcome back! A snow day? Whoa.

I can't tolerate the blush wines, even though they are a beautiful color. I've liked South African wines I've had.

TheWeyrd1 said...

jennifer...I also have another to try. Hopefully, it won't be awful...heh.

secret agent...I'm getting used to the pink ones, but mainly the roses because they're the same grapes as the reds, they just remove the skins very early in the process...

Ariana said...

A snow day?!! And it's plus 10 and sunny all the way up here in Winnipeg! Something is not right...
So, white zin is actually rose? I think you wine-drinkers are just trying to mess with us non-wine-drinkers! I'm sure there is an entertaining story behind it... or maybe the person who named the wine had a couple of bottles before coming up with it!

Jannie Funster said...

FOUR!! Four remaining readers!

Computer problems. My laptop crapped out. Saved the hard drive tho, thankfully.

It's enough to drive a person to whine, er I mean wine.

TheWeyrd1 said...

Ariana...thanks for popping by and sorry I haven't responded sooner. Laptop issues continued longer than expected...

Jannie...I did get my laptop fixed...twice! Thanks for you loyalty!!!

Websketch said...

I don't have the time, wish I did, to catch up on a years worth of blogs and I am not an avid drinker anymore but when I was, the Sutter Home white zinfandel was a fave and not too expensive either. I have missed you Weyrd. And I am hanging around a bit, glad to see you still blogging even if infrequently, sure beats the heck out of my cob webbed web. :)

TheWeyrd1 said...

Web...thanks for popping by! I miss the chats on your website. Hope all is well with you and yours!