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Aug 02

Must-Try: Mondavi Cab-Merlot

By: Cresta

I think the evenings this weekend will feel a little more Fall-like. It might be a great time to try Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet-Merlot 2010.

This California red blend consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Although considered a full-bodied wine, I would classify it as medium-bodied.

Deliciously smooth and easy to drink. It has flavors of blackberry and cherry, with hints of vanilla and some oaky spice. It’s fruity and jammy with a nice finish.

A great value at less than $15.



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Posted by Cresta at 3:31 pm in Wine Misc, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jul 24

Apothic Rose: Great Summer Wine

By: Cresta

You all know that Apothic Red is one of my favorite wines. So I thought I could not go wrong with the new (well, it was new back in the Spring when it was released) Apothic Rose Limited Release, California 2012. And I was right.

Apothic Rose is a blend of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. I read that the wine gets its vivid rose color from an ancient winemaking practice called saignée, which means “to bleed” intense color from the grape’s red skin.

It is fruity with flavors of strawberry and watermelon. I thought it had a pretty nice balance between sweet and acidic. Of course, Apothic Rose is best enjoyed chilled.

It is a limited release, but the Apothic Wine Facebook page still features it as its Seasonal Release. $11-$14.

Try it and let me know what you think.


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Posted by Cresta at 2:13 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jul 19

Impressed With Bota Box Riesling

By: Cresta


When I think of boxed wine, I think of Franzia. If I’m not mistaken, I remember my mom and aunts drinking the White Zinfandel. No offense, Mom, but not my idea of the perfect wine.

As I’m sure you know, boxed wines have come a long way and there are some very good options out there. Heck, I believe there are now Target stores in Ohio that carry certain varieties.

A while back, I tried Bota Box Riesling 2012 and was very impressed.

It was not as sugary as I thought it would be. It had bright floral aromas and flavors of pear and green apple. It is a tad sweet, but nicely balanced. Crisp and refreshing (especially on these steamy summer days) and very easy to drink. Delicious!

The 3-liter box has the same amount as four regular bottles of wine, so for $18-$20 you cannot beat it.


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Posted by Cresta at 2:29 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Jul 03

Red Roost Tavern at the Hyatt

by Kevin

As the Hyatt in downtown Cincinnati has been upgrading over the past year, one of the changes was to switch from Champs to a new restaurant in the lobby, Red Roost Tavern. They had a blogger dinner last week that I was lucky enough to join where the sous chef, Karol Osinksi, explained the courses for the evening, which were pulled from their everyday menu.

The concept is similar to a few other places around town, to use as much locally sourced items as possible. They even sourced the wood from different barns across Ohio that adds a nice roughness to the overall look. The bar has 10 taps, 5 of which feature different local beers. 6, if you count Sam Adams, which is, brewed right up the street. AS of last week the taps were: Rivertown Blueberry, Rivertown Jenneke, Rivertown Helles, Kentucky Burbon Barrel, and Mt Carmel Nut Brown.

They also have Tessora Limoncello available at the bar and they are looking at adding local wines in the near future. They have at least one ice wine on the menu as well, but this dinner was focused on beer and food.

I’ll leave the images to 5chw4r7z who is much better at photography. The food was a very nice sample of how they have decided to approach combining the need to be a hotel restaurant while still trying to pull the business crowd for lunch and the local diners for dinner.

First course was a Crab Cake, with an Asian inspired slaw. Overall, this was a very light cake with good crab flavor. The light breading helped keep the cake juicy and was a very nice start.

Second was a sweet corn soup with a smoked tomato jam. This was my favorite dish of the evening. The smoked tomato gave a extra kick to the sweetness of the corn. It also qualifies as a vegan dish as tofu and soy milk are used in the base.

The quinoa salad was very light and would be a nice light lunch in the summer. The candied walnuts and summer squash added a nice additional crunch into the quinoa.

The Red Roost fish and chips is different than what I was expecting. They offer a roasted halibut with garlic chips on the side. As I am a garlic fan, I thought that provided a nice offset to the fish. The roasting left my fish a little drier than I would normally prefer, but it was still very nice.

The pork tenderloin with a cherry reduction was served along with the Burbon Barrel Ale that helped compliment the sauce nicely. The pork was server perfectly and was one of the best courses.

Finally, we had a small amount of Organic Corn Ice Cream from Madisano’s. A very nice end to a rather impressive offering of dishes sized for a tasting event.

Overall, I really enjoyed everything about the evening, the ambiance was nice in their offset private dining area, the decor was distinctive, and the food was very tasty. I’m glad that the western side of downtown has another quality choice for dining throughout the day.


Disclosure: I received this dinner as a sample from Red Roost Tavern. The comments above are entirely my own and were not a requirement of the dinner. You can read our sample policy on our site.

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Posted by Kevin at 11:16 am in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 27

Vino Volo Welcome Addition to CVG

By: Cresta

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening of the new Vino Volo at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. I’m sure this will be a welcome addition for anyone that enjoys trying new wines or for those that just want to relax before a flight.

Vino Volo (derived from “wine flight” in Italian) is part wine lounge, part restaurant and part boutique wine shop, offering a post-security haven for air travelers. The company currently operates 26 stores in 18 U.S. and Canadian airports.

Vino Volo has a great location at CVG, in Concourse B – Center Court. The area is nice and open with lots of windows and natural light…much larger than I expected.

Vino Volo’s wine country atmosphere is stylish and sophisticated, yet relaxing and fun. It offers both the wine rookie and the wine connoisseur a variety of wines from around the world. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nice bar with plenty of seating, as well as small tables and chairs.
  • A food menu featuring locally produced artisan cheeses, dry cured meats and a signature dish of smoked salmon and crab meat crostini.
  • The ability to purchase wine by the glass, in-tasting “flights”, and wine by the bottle to take with you or have shipped home.
  • Knowledgeable staff that can help guide you through selecting a variety of wines. Nothing pretentious, just casual, down-to-earth tips and advice. Vino Volo invests heavily in training its staff.

Vino Volo also offers a Wine Passport Club for anyone who enjoys receiving hard-to-find wines in their homes monthly or quarterly. My husband and I have been members for several years and we’ve never received the same bottle of wine twice.

Next time you fly, be sure to stop by.



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Posted by Cresta at 3:09 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)

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