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Aug 14

A White Wine (and a Brew) Review

By: Cresta

Pomelo Sauv BlancCresta | My Wine Education
Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc

I prefer a Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand (think Kim Crawford, Nobilo, Brancott Estates). But I really enjoyed the Pomelo 2013 California Sauvignon Blanc. Honestly, I was in a hurry the day I bought this, so I really didn’t think much about it. But it turns out the taste was great and the price was perfect at about $8.

So, the Pomelo is a giant citrus fruit native to Malaysia and thought to be an ancestor of the grapefruit…

And this wine smells exactly like grapefruit. It’s light and citrusy, but not overly sweet; somewhat tart but not bitter. I could absolutely taste the grapefruit, as well as some lemon, lime and citrus fruits. I think it’s a very refreshing wine with crisp acidity.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

I am always willing to try a new beer. Last weekend I was looking for something different to enjoy outdoors. I discovered Sierra Nevada Summerfest (5% ABV), a crisp lager that really is refreshing.

I was pleasantly surprised at this beer’s fairly light-bodied wheat and mild citrus taste. It reminded me a lot of 312, although it’s a tad sweeter.  Although a pretty hoppy beer, the finish was not super bitter.

Try this one soon. It is a seasonal brew so it probably won’t be around much longer. In fact, some of the Fall beers are already on shelves.

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Posted by Cresta at 2:25 pm in Beer, Wine Misc, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 08

Tempranillo from Spain

Actea Tempranillo 2012 was in our very last shipment from Vino Volo. Yes, we chose to give up the wine club for several reasons…at least for now.

Actea Tempranillo is a Vino Volo private label wine produced by the Jorge Ordonez Winery in Spain. According to Vino Volo, Ordonez imports the largest portfolio of Spanish wines to the U.S. This wine comes from central Spain’s historical La Mancha. Tempranillo is, of course, the country’s signature red.

Aromas of cherry and blackberry blend with earthy notes. This medium-bodied selection has bright red fruit flavors, along with a bit of cocoa and hints of herbs. It is mild and smooth with medium tannins and moderate acidity.

Not amazing, but a decent, drinkable wine.

Actea TempranilloCresta | My Wine Education
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Posted by Cresta at 8:59 am in Wine Misc, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 06

What I’ve Tried Lately: Nice Red Wines

By: Cresta

William Hill Estate Merlot Napa Valley 2009 is a smooth, enjoyable Merlot.

This is a full-bodied wine with nice structure and a velvety finish. Tastes of plum and cherry blend well with the smoke and spice flavors of this wine. Now is the time to drink!

Average price: $25

Alamos Red Blend 2012, Medoza-Argentina

This is a nice red blend, especially at the price of around $13.

This earthy and spicy full-bodied wine offers ripe blackberry and cherry in front of a flavor that’s full of vanilla oak and hints of chocolate. A bit light and sweet at first, it has a smooth taste, lush tannins and a nice, somewhat dry finish.

The grapes in the Alamos Red Blend include Malbec, Tempranillo, Syrah, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot.

I give both of these reds a

Pink hapy

Cresta | My Wine Education
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Posted by Cresta at 10:26 am in Wine Misc, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()
Mar 14

New Reds: Quick Review

By: Cresta

A couple of new reds I’ve tried recently…

Robert Reynolds Merlot “Rocky’s Block” Lodi 2007

I tried this wine at a recent event and I was pleasantly surprised. Not outstanding but well above average. It is a subtle, medium-bodied Merlot from the Lodi region in California; slightly oaky with berry and vanilla flavors, very low tannins and a smooth but super sweet finish for a Merlot. I would consider having this one on hand at home as it was easy to drink.

My rating:

Pink hapy





2010 Bodegas Sierra Norte Bobal Temperamento

This was a wine club pick, and it was just OK for me. The club tries very hard to select unique wines that you can’t find everywhere.  I don’t think I’ve been a fan of the Spanish selections they’ve sent over the last couple years.

This wine comes from the Bobal grape, which is a dark-skinned red grape native to the Utiel-Requena region in Valencia, Spain. It had an intense fruity aroma, a soft oak flavor with hints of black licorice (probably why this was not one of my faves). The structured tannins and long finish made it a little hard for me to drink.

I have not had a white wine in a long while! I am definitely ready for Spring so I at least have a (better) excuse to try some whites.

Any suggestions?

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Posted by Cresta at 8:44 am in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)
Feb 13

Last-Minute Valentine Gifts for Your Wine-Lover Lover

By: Cresta

Flowers, candy and jewelry are the traditional biggies on Valentine’s Day. But if you want to stray from the norm or just don’t know what to get your sweetie, perhaps these ideas will help. I know I always enjoy getting wine-related gifts, no matter what the occasion.



Cork Pops wine opener

You can never have too many cool wine accessories. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money. One of my favorites is the electric wine opener. It makes opening a bottle of wine a breeze. Mine is a re-chargeable Waring wine opener with a foil cutter and charging base. My husband recently found an opener at Cork N Bottle called Cork Pops. It has a long needle that you insert into the cork and a pressurized button at the top releases it. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s supposed to open more than 50 bottles of wine.

Wine stoppers are great as well. There are a lot of fun ones out there. I prefer the dripless pourers with stoppers; that way red wine doesn’t get on my (very impractical, very white) countertop, and I can easily seal it back it up. If that special someone regularly drinks red wine, an aerator is an ideal gift. I use mine a lot! I have a Vinturi aerator with stand. I’ve seen some great wine gadgets at Pier One, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Williams-Sonoma. 

Bags & Totes

31 Tote

Thermal Tote from Thirty-One

For those that take wine to parties or transport it while traveling, totes can come in handy. They also make a great accompaniment when giving wine as a gift. You can buy bags made out of canvas and leather; tote bags shaped like boxes; even purse-style totes. I have a personalized thermal tote from Thirty One. It has a Velcro closure and handle and is quite durable. I also like my Bevs-to-Go Bottle Bag from Pampered Chef that is perfect for chilling white wine in a hurry. Place the bottle in the bag along with cold water and ice and voila…your wine is chilled in about 20 minutes.


People that like drinking wine probably like reading about it too. I can’t tell you how many wine-themed books are out there. There are books for the novice and the advanced; books about the history of wine; those with food pairings and recipes; books about vineyards and wineries. I recommend visiting your local bookstore to see what options they have.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Yes, the wine club. A monthly wine club is the perfect gift for any wine lover. This website, Wine Club Reviews, seems to have a lot of great information and helpful reviews to help you select the club that is right for you. The site categorizes the clubs by wine type and region, and they even break it down by which clubs ship to which states. Because of wine shipping laws, remember to make sure the club you choose will ship to your state.

Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Posted by Cresta at 2:02 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)

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