p-2048-1536-fd47996e-db7b-4af7-af20-dd2059314360.jpegPlace: France
Price: $11.99
Lemons, Citrus Peel
Very Short
Flavors Detected:
Pear, Lemon Jolly Rancher

I got this Riesling because I decided to make a food & wine pairing tonight – shrimp and bok choy stir-fry.  The recipe recommended a citrusy, off-dry Riesling from New Zealand.  The wine store had zero Rieslings from New Zealand and only sweet ones from Australia, so I ended up with this French Riesling.  The food was good, but the pairing didn’t really work.  Andy said he would have preferred something more minerally.  He called the recipe dry and plain and said something with a little sweetness would have also worked out better.

The recipe was very healthy and the crushed red peppers were probably too old to bring a lot of spice to the table.  I think the recipe is quite good as a healthy meal, but it probably isn’t something that should be paired with wine.

The nose is very light with not a lot going on.  The scents we do detect are a very basic citrus.  No pear or apple like a lot of Rieslings.  The pear does come through in the taste with a big, juicy punch. I actually like it a lot as far as Rieslings go because it is on the dryer side.  Andy thinks too simple and tart.


Baxter votes 8basie_6

This wasn’t as terrible as I expected

monteotonPlace: Spain
Price: $7.49
Plum, Spice, Cinnamon
Light to Medium Body
Flavors Detected:
Prune, Dark Cherry, Fig

I picked up this bottle during a run to the liquor store to get some beer to steam king crab legs in.  I wasn’t planning on buying any wine, but this bottle hit the wine store trifecta.  It was cheap, it was in the recommended area, and it had a snazzy, eye-catching label.

The nose of this wine is overloaded with spice and a hint of sweetness.  While the fruit does not come through in the nose, it shines in the taste.  There are hints of figs, cherries & prunes.  The body of this wine is interesting and tastes like two separate layers. The first layer is full of flavor and sitting on top of that is a layer of light juice.

Overall this is a great wine at a terrific price.  A great start to the new year!

Baxter votes 8Basie votes 8

Place: Australia
Price: $23.99
Very Floral, Pasture
Flavors Detected:
Black Fruit, Olive Juice

This bottle is definitely eye catching.  I noticed it a few times at the local wine store.  It has a very unique and different taste, maybe due to the mataro grape.  I don’t believe either of us have ever had mataro in any sort of blend before.  Scratch that!  Due to the power of google we figured out Mataro is just another name for Mouverde.  Nevertheless, the taste is still very unique and different.  It might appeal to some people, but this blend of 86% Shiraz, 12% Mataro and 2% Grenache just isn’t for us.  I could see how some people might love it though, so I’m not saying don’t try it.

Andy insists that there is a play-doh finish on the end.  He also said it reminds him of a chocolate Easter bunny that appears solid and delicious but ends up being hollow inside.

Baxter votes 8Basie votes 8

Place: France
Price: $11.99
Aroma: Flowery, Violet, Rose, Strawberry
Taste: Medium Body, Balanced
Flavors Detected: Rose Petal, Violet, Leather, Dark Chocolate, Earthy

I don’t know what it is, but I’m always drawn to the blended wines at the store.  This one in particular is 69% Cabernet Franc, 28% Syrah, and 12% Merlot.  I haven’t been buying many French wines, so I purposefully browsed the France section and this one caught my eye with its simple label, affordable price and recommended tag.  I think it was reviewed at 87 points.

From the first sniff, this was a very aromatic wine.  Andy found it very flowery with notes of violets, roses and rose blossoms.  I personally don’t know what the difference in smell is between a rose and a rose blossom.  Do you?  Maybe if I got more bouquets of flowers, I’d be better at picking out the different floral scents.  In addition to the flowery notes, there was also a hint of strawberry and for me a sugary sweetness.

With tasting the wine, we found a well balanced wine with some interesting flavors.  However, those flavors don’t really linger and they don’t hit the back of the tongue.  It is a nice dry red bottle, but one without that cotton mouth feel.  There was a little alcohol heat burn that hit my chest on the first sip, but it mellowed after that.

This is a good bottle of wine, but not super, fabulous, awesome or anything.  It was a good one time purchase.

Baxter votes 8Basie votes 8

kungfugirl_rieslingPlace: Washington
Price: $13.99
Aroma: Pineapple, peach, melon, lemon peel, grass
Taste: Short Body
Flavors Detected: Grassy, melon skins, lemony

This was another wine chosen purely on the label.  I was browsing the Riesling area when this bottle caught my eye.  Fun label?  Check!  Fun name?  Check!  It also had a little recommended tag and was pretty affordable.

The nose is pretty typical for a Riesling, but the taste has an extra acidic bite before the quick, clean finish.  I like this Riesling and it has a great balance between the dry and the sweet.  However, it doesn’t compare to the Dr. Frank!  It could be a re-buy in the future since it is $8 less.

Baxter votes 8Basie votes 8

gsmPlace: Australia
Price: $26.99
Aroma: Musty, Raspberry, Spice, Leather, Black Currant, Bitter Dark Chocolate, Cedar Bark
Taste: Medium Body, Medium Tannins
Flavors Detected: Oak, Subtle Black Fruit, Cherry

This was picked up from a random, seedy liquor store after an exhaustive day of shopping.  I really wanted a decent bottle of wine, but I didn’t have the energy to make it down to one of the finer wine stores.  I found this dusty bottle among a cramped sea of sub $10 bottles.  After wiping the dust off the mouth of the bottle, we popped the cork and it turned out to be in good shape.  High five!

G S M is made of 63% of Grenache (one of my favorites), 28% Syrah (another great varietal), and 9% Mourvedre (don’t really know much about this grape yet).  This bottle had a lot going on in the nose – fruit, wood, leather, dark chocolate, and spice.  The wood was really the stand out.  After being aged for 18 months in American oak the wood components took center stage in both the scent and the taste.  The random description for the day is “It smelled like openly a cedar dresser drawer made of freshly milled lumber.”  While the scent leaned more towards bark and cedar, the taste was pure oak.  The second random description from Andy was, “It’s like I took a bite out of a piece of oak while eating an old fruit rollup.”  The fruit flavors were very mellow compared to the oak.

Overall this was a pretty decent wine, but definitely not a repurchase or anything too special.

Baxter votes 8Basie votes 8

tisdale_shirazPlace: California
Price: $4.99
Aroma: Very Berry
Taste: Mild, Underwhelming
Flavors Detected: Berry, Pez

At $4.99 this wine was decent and smelled pretty terrific.  It was a berry explosion in our noses – a delicious mixed berry tart.  Unforunately, it smelled better than it tasted.  The bottle also does not indicate any sort of vintage, but I guess at under five dollars that’s not a luxury I should expect.  It’s a good bottle of wine for staying in and watching tv, but we won’t be buying it again.  There are other cheap wines out there to try.

Baxter votes 5basie_6

dynamite_cab_sauvPlace: California
Price: $15.99
Aroma: Damp Soil, Musty, Pruney
Taste: Light
Flavors Detected: Plum, Blackberry

The aroma of this Cab was very interesting but the taste didn’t match up.  It was damp, musty, pruney, and barrelly in odor, but the flavors were very basic.  Even though it is a 2005, it tasted very young.  This wine is very light and a little on the sour side.  Andy is giving it a 7 even though he said he’s not crazy about it.  Not sure what that’s about.  Myself, I liked it, but wasn’t wowed or amazed.

Baxter votes 7basie_7

zombiezinPlace: California
Price: $10.99
Aroma: Smokey, Tobacco
Taste: Medium Tannins
Flavors Detected: Tobacco, Jam

I will be completely honest and admit this was the second bottle of the night.  My notes are sparse but the one highlight describes the aroma as a barn filled with hanging dried tobacco.  Now, I don’t really know how tobacco is dried and I don’t think Andy does either, but that was his comment on this zin.  This is another wine I purchased because of its label.  If you really stare at the zombie you’ll see it looks more like a punk rock skeleton than a zombie, but it was eye catching nonetheless.  We don’t have any ratings written down, but I don’t remember it being a stand out wine or a terrible wine.  It was a decent selection with a cute seasonal name.

About this blog

Wine picked up at random and reviewed. Reviews without preconceived notions.

" Zebras are pretty."

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