I’ve never tasted a wine that had the prominent taste of root beer before. This one was a definite first.
Most of us have heard of “Old Vine” Zins, but I had never heard of an “Ancient Vine” Zin until a wine-loving co-worker brought this to my attention. Ancient Vine Zins come from vines that are 80+ years old while Old Vines are 50 – 79 years old. These Ancient Vine varieties have a richer flavor than other Zinfandels. While they still have strong fruits, they’re not as ‘fruity’ if that makes sense.
Back to this wine – I immediately smelled dark berries and what I thought was chocolate and anise. Jason thought he smelled vanilla and cherry. When I took a sip, root beer came into play. So much so that I had to look up the ingredients in root beer to understand what taste combo created that familiar flavor. It turns out anise, cherries, chocolate, licorice root, and vanilla are some of the ingredients that can be used to make root beer-flavored anything. That explained why I smelled what I did and Jason smelled something a little different. For the first time EVER, we were BOTH right!
This is a wine I will actually seek out going forward – it is THAT good. And the price isn’t too shabby either. The only challenge will be finding it. I’ve only seen it at World Market so far.
After a couple days working in Florida I drove a couple hours to visit my parents for a long weekend. I arrived after a 9 hour workday and a 2.5 hour drive; needless to say I was beat. Mom had this wine open in the fridge so I just grabbed it our of convenience.
I’ve seen this wine in the grocery store at a very low price. This paired with not being a big white wine fan, I didn’t have very high expectations but was pleasantly surprised. Grapefruits and other citrus fruits were prominent in the smell. It also didn’t smell sickening sweet so I was hopeful. The taste was crisp and didn’t have that ‘wang’ that stronger whites have – which was also a bonus. I tasted grapefruit more than any other fruit but it wasn’t overwhelming. Overall, this is a nice and inexpensive white wine that would be a nice choice as the weather warms up (eventually…hopefully!).
Recommend: Yes if you like crisp whites (not fruity ones)
Jaqk Cellars was a recent find when buying a bottle for a friend’s birthday. On a date night, Jason found this wine also made by this unique winery.
22 Black is a GREAT cab! It is a great balance of dry and bold. Earthiness and dark berries are prominent in both the smell and taste. As you have read by now I do like a little tobacco hints in my cabs and this one delivered that after given the chance to open up.
We paired this wine with an anti-pasta plate and it was a perfect match. From the milky mozzarella to the savory prosciutto, this wine went well with everything.
Recommend: Absolutely – I’ve already gone back to this wine.
Price: $30+ at Spagio Cellar, Grandview, OH
We enjoyed Valentine’s dinner at home this year in order to avoid the crazy-busy restaurant scene. A perfectly grilled steak with blue cheese paired perfectly with this wonderful, full-bodied Cab.
Dark berries, earthiness, light wood and medium tannins are consistent in the smell and flavor. This wine, like most bold reds, drinks smoother when it’s given a chance to open up a while. What I really enjoy about this wine is that it’s only in the $15 range but drinks like a wine twice its price.
If you’re looking for a great Cab at a steal of a price, this is one for you.
Price: $15 – 17
Love wine like me? If you’ve been reading my blog, I’m sure you wouldn’t be opposed to winning an all-expense paid trip to a GREAT wine destination.
There are four destinations to choose from:
* Rioja, Span * Danube, Austria * Stellenbosch, South Africa * Monterey County, CA
Once you choose your destination, there are several ways to earn entries – Yes, mentioning the contest on a blog is one way!
To get to the main contest page, click on the link below:
I registered for the Rioja, Spain trip – Here is an article about this great region:
Finally, if you are curious about Rioja wines, you can find more information here:
Jason’s birthday gave us a great reason to pop this magnificent Napa Valley Cab that he received as a gift several years ago. Since somehow we ended up with a private room at Hyde Park our waiter allowed us to enjoy this at dinner with friends.
We decanted this wine since it had been sitting around in our wine fridge a while. Once it opened up it was VERY smooth and well-balanced. There were hints of spice and dark cherries in the smell. The taste, besides being absolutely amazing, was also rich with these flavors. There was also some chocolate in the taste. Everyone at the table enjoyed this wine with their steaks. Since I was the “DD”, I held off on my one and only glass and drank it with my flour-less chocolate torte. It was the right decision; it paired perfectly with this dessert.
Price: $200 (avg. price listed online)
Even though my resolution is over I am still seeking out new wines every time I have a chance. If nothing else my behaviors have changed when it comes to wine – I am more adventurous and branch out a little more. That’s the whole point of a resolution right..to change a behavior??
While in the Phoenix area a couple of weeks ago a co-worker recommended a wine bar in Scottsdale called Kazimierz. WOW – what a place. It’s an old speak-easy with no windows, a door in an alley, dim lighting and a very eclectic mix of music playing in the back ground. I absolutely loved this place!
The bartender – Ryan – was awesome. With over 2,500 wines on the menu ranging from $30 – $2000 per bottle, my colleague and I needed some help choosing the right wine. He liked lighter reds and, as you know, I like the opposite. Ryan chose a nice Syrah blend for him and I got a Nadia Cab.
This cab was perfect. It was dark in color, had the aromas of dark berries and some sweet spice. The taste was bold and smooth. There were some tannins but it wasn’t that dry. The flavors that stood out to me were chocolate, dark berries and there was some oakiness in the background. The bottle says I should have tasted creme brulee, cedar, spice and mocha. I kinda get that, but cedar is not one that stood out – not that I going around tasting cedar on a regular basis either.
Overall, I loved this wine. I tried to do another variety, but after having something so bold I just couldn’t do it. I kept with Nadia when our cheese plate came out. The Manchego and black truffle cheeses paired very nicely. I’m sure a sharp cheddar would also go nice with this wine.
Recommend: Heck yes!
Price: Avg. $25/bottle online
WOW – The final week in the year and my final wine in my resolution!
I wanted a sparkling wine to celebrate – I started this year with a ‘bubbly’ and wanted to finish with one as well. My mom picked this wine out since we were in FL celebrating Christmas this year. On a side note – those of us thinking a “white Christmas” is the way to go…I disagree. Give me 75 degrees, sunshine and lighted palm trees and I can celebrate the crap out of Christmas… in shorts and a t-shirt!
Anyway, back to the wine – As one would expect for a Pinot Grigio, this was a sweeter variety of sparkling wine. The aromas were citrus and peach. The bottle says I should smell kiwi and honeysuckle – but unless kiwi and honeysuckle together take the form of citrus and peach, I didn’t get it.
Fortunately for me, since this was a carbonated wine, the overwhelming sweetness was tempered a little in the taste by the carbonation. The flavors were true to the smell – citrus with a hint of peach. I honestly wouldn’t be able to drink more than a glass of this because it was so sweet. The good news is, this wine didn’t go to waste. We had some freshly squeezed orange juice from the trees in the back yard and made one mean mimosa with this wine.
Recommend: If you like sweet bubbly.
Price: $8 ish
Happy New Year All!!!
Recommended by a friend, this smooth Cab is one that needs to breathe to be fully appreciated. When it was first poured into the glass it was unremarkable. Oak was the prominent smell while dark berries were in the background. I also thought there was a little licorice in the smell but it took some swirling to get it there.
The first words that came to mind after the first sip were “smooth and subtle”. There was no one flavor that jumped out. After about 10 minutes in the glass however, some oakiness and fruits came forward. The bottle said I should be tasting cherries and currants – I maybe got a hint of cherry but I thought dark berries were more potent. Also, the longer this Cab sat the better it tasted. Based on this, I would recommend pouring it into a decanter prior to serving if you don’t have the patience to let it aerate in your glass.
Recommend: Yes – after it is decanted.
This red blend was an impulse buy at the grocery store. I was looking for a nice blend to go with dinner and having Zinfandel as the majority grape I decided to give it a try. Plus it was a 2009 and it seems most of the reds I’ve tried from 2009 have been rather tasty.
The three grapes in this wine are Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Old Vine Mourvedre. I haven’t heard of Mourvedre so I did a little research Mourvedre is also called Monastrell or Mataro. These grapes are known to bring high tannins and earthiness to the wine. It fulfilled its job in this wine as well.
The first whiff was filled with dark berries, currants, and earthiness. After it opened up I thought there was some sweetness like vanilla or caramel. The taste was pretty true-to-smell. The tannins were not shy and it was a little dry. Vanilla was evident in the finish. Overall this was a nice red even though it was a little over-priced based on some of the other reds I’ve tried this year.
Recommend: Yes. This would make a nice gift for red drinkers
Price: $20 (reg. $25).