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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2011: Great structure. Nice tannins. Medium-bodied wine with rich flavors of dark fruit, including black cherry and blackberry, with subtle hints of vanilla and mocha on the finish. Somewhat bold but smooth. $18-$20.
Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin, Vintage 2011: If you want something a little spicier than the Cab, this Zinfandel is delicious. I have not had a Zin in a long time, but this is probably one of the best I’ve tried. The dark berry flavors combine perfectly with the spicy, peppery taste and little bit of oak. This wine was just as good a couple of days later after it had been opened. Gnarly Head is from the Lodi region, which is part of the larger Central Valley Wine Region of California. Around $10.
Hello, Wine Lovers!
I am so sorry! I took an unintended and unplanned hiatus. But I hope to be back now on a regular basis.
I will start by sharing with you a wine that I recently discovered. Well, I should really give the credit to my husband. One of the owners of the liquor store we frequent recommended this wine to him based on our consistent purchases of Apothic Red.
Southern Belle Red Wine 2011. A very flavorful wine from Jumilla, a town in Southeastern Spain. Its richness and dark fruitiness remind me a lot of Apothic. It is full-bodied, smooth and easy to drink. And I love the bottle’s artwork. Cost is $18-$20.
I could not find many details about this wine, but it sounds like it’s produced by Chris Ringland and is a “new” version of his previous Shiraz-based Southern Belle. I also saw a reference or two that the wine is aged in old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels, which is cool.
The liquor store owner told me that the winemaker only makes this blend about every three years so when it’s gone, it’s gone. I’m not sure how much truth there is to that. The Party Source website says they have this wine in stock, so it might be time to stock up.
Have you tried Southern Belle? Do you know much about it? Do tell.
The 2010 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon from California is an OK wine. It’s one of those wines that didn’t really excite me, but didn’t completely disappoint either.
For starters, this vino is much lighter than a classic Cab. Not really robust but not totally flat. Nothing really stood out to me in terms of a specific taste. It seemed like a generic Cab.
It has an overall smooth taste and not a bad finish, but it’s not full enough for me. And frankly, it’s kinda bland.
It is a bargain at under $10, but there are many other Cabs out there that I’d rather spend my money on.
I think I’m somewhere in between the frown and the flat, indifferent face.
What are some of your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon wines?
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