Merlot I’ve Missed You

I’ve been focusing on white wines and Rosés this summer and neglecting red wines. Tends to happen to me as the weather creeps up in temperature!  Now, I’m not sure how I should disclose about this wine…it’s not really a sample since it came in the conference bag of a conference I paid to attend…hear that all you naysayers? I PAID money out of my own pocket to attend the Wine Blogger Conference, including flight, hotel room, rental car, and conference fee. Excuse the divergence in topic there. Anyway, in my conference bag was this 375mL bottle of 2005 Pedroncelli Bench Vineyards Merlot.  A full 750mL bottle retails for $14, it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I got blackberry, black cherry, plum, spice, herbs, and chocolate.  In the mouth, dark fruit dominated with blackberry, black plum, black cherry, anise, pepper, and spices.  Overall, I’d describe this as plush and soft, and easy to drink.

As Promised

We (or rather I) drank the Pedroncelli 2005 Zinfandel Rose with the pizza I made on Tuesday. Decided to make a Hawaiian pizza since we had pinapple and ham hanging around, and it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. I think I’ve finally got this pizza making thing down pat.

As for the wine, it’s 13% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure and I believe cost around $10 when we picked it up at the vineyard. Sometimes I’m not too sure on the prices of the wines as I lost track of several receipts along the way. Happens when your vacation spans two countires and 4 different cities/towns.

More with the strawberries! I seem to have theme weeks at times. A few weeks ago it was citrus, this week it’s strawberries. On the nose of the wine there is the scent of strawberries in the sun. Kind of like if you’ve ever spent the day picking strawberries in the field as the hot sun beats down on them. Also, a whiff of vanilla. In the mouth, the wine is dry and fruity (sounds incongruous, huh?), but with a slight sweet note that seems a touch off to me. A little peppery kick, which I can only attribute to the Zinfandel grape. A pleasant and easy to drink wine, but not a great match for my pizza. The pinapple killed the flavors of the wine and made it unpleasant to me. I enjoyed it more after dinner, as did Matt when he finally gave in and joined me in a glass. Serve it very chilled.

Great color on the wine though, quite pink! I’ll post a picture later. No wine last night, I was too busy making cookies, so we grabbed a quick bite at Chili’s where I (gasp) had a beer!

Strawberry Fields Forever

Apparently we have a theme going for this week: wines that have distincly strawberry flavors. And, I haven’t yet put away my longing for summer, much boosted by the very unseasonal 72 degrees we hit here today. (So how’s that global warming working for you?) Thus, tonight was a bottle of Preston of Dry Creek 2005 Vin Gris, which is a rose table wine. This wine is 13.5 % alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure and ran us $17 minus a case discount when we bought it at Preston. Sadly, this bottle of Preston is also sold out. It seems most all Preston had to offer this year is sold out, which is making me rethink the decision not to join their club, as I’m not sure we can get their wines otherwise….

Back to the wine. What a great wine. Fun to drink, light, yet creamy and perfect for a summer afternoon (or a winter day masquerading as summer, or really, any day you want!). As I said, the texture is creamy, which I find surprising in a rose. The color looks like a melted watermelon Jolly Rancher, and it follows though with a solidly watermelon and strawberry taste (though not in the sickeningly sweet way I would imagine a melted Jolly Rancher to taste, which really, can’t be all that pleasent to drink!).

I paired this with our leftover “Christmas” dinner. So honey baked ham, cheesy mashed potatoes and candied carrots. It was a pretty tasty match. I think a rose is great with a ham, and we have a bottle of Pedroncelli 2005 Rose (or 3) hanging around that I might pair with our ham and cheese pizza that I’m making of the leftovers for dinner tomorrow. Stay tuned (if anyone actually reads this!) :)

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