Wishing You

A safe and happy new year’s eve! See you on the other side!


365 Days, 365+ Posts

Last year around the end of January I looked at the blog and realized I had put up at least one post every day since December 29.  I thought to myself that perhaps I could see how long I could go making at least one post a day.  I made it through a couple months and thought, hmm, this isn’t so bad.  Then I thought, maybe I can make it until the Wine Blogger Conference last July and then I’ll give myself a break.  However, I got to the end of July and the Conference and thought, I’m so close to a year, let’s see if I can make it entire year posting every day.

So I did.  Yesterday marked that day.  I expect things will slow down just a little around here in the new year as I don’t think I can do it again this year what with a new job on the horizon and other things in life slowing me down just a bit.  I must admit it’s a little odd to have set a silent goal in my head, but I don’t generally do very well with goals I announce to the world!

Many thanks to all who have read through my year of posting!  I’m giving myself a gold star 🙂

Aussie Riesling

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the importer for Jacob’s Creek.

I’ve been drinking plenty of German Rieslings lately, so I thought it would be interesting to pull a Riesling from a different region from the basement. Just my luck, a box of Rieslings from Jacob’s Creek in Australia arrived recently. I chose one of the Rieslings from Jacob’s Creek’s higher priced line, the 2006 Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling. It clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and retails for around $28.

On the nose I found lemon, chalk, wet stone, coconut, tropical fruit, lime, and a hint of toast. In the mouth I got tropical fruit, pineapple, lime, citrus, and an orange aftertaste. I found the fruit to be fairly lush in the mid-palate, which transformed to a dry finish by the end.

Let’s Rock!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Rodney Strong Vineyards.

Ah the Rockaway. A mailing list only allocated wine from Rodney Strong. This year Rodney Strong is producing two wines under the Rockaway label, this one and a single vineyard designate that I have yet to taste, but am looking forward to trying soon.  My parents visited the other day to celebrate my dad’s birthday a little early and I decided to open the 2006 Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon with the herb-crusted rack of lamb I made for the birthday dinner. Heaven. What a match….the melt in your mouth tender lamb chops and the tannins in the Rockaway competing for attention yet melding together…..yum.  The Rockaway had a real cork closure, clocked in at 15.4% alcohol by volume, and retails for $75.

On the nose I got black currants, blackberries, black cherry, espresso, chocolate, pepper, and smoke.  I would have kept smelling this nose but Matt and my dad were quickly downing their glasses and I could see them eying the remainder of the bottle! In the mouth I got crushed flowers, black cherry, coffee, caramel, chocolate, blackberry, cranberry, tart red berries, sour cherry, espresso, and herbs. This is a young wine. Get your bottle and forget about it for 5 years or else give this some serious time (maybe even overnight….) to sit in a decanter. It’s simply a baby.

Visiting Alsace

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Helfrich.

Continuing on wines not from California, I dug into a box of samples from Alsace this week. With all the heavy food around I felt like wines that were light and crisp and would contrast entirely with gobs of mashed potatoes and pounds of cookies. In the vein, I pulled out a bottle of 2007 Helfrich Pinot Gris.  The wine had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and retails for $9.99.

On the nose I found honey, lemon, white pepper, and flowers. In the mouth I got lemon, yellow apple, honey, honeysuckle, and apricot.  The wine had a round mouthfeel which surprised me a bit, as I was kind of expecting it to be crisp, but the round mouthfeel made it very nice on its own.

Now for Something Different

I don’t drink a ton of Port. It’s not really my thing. I often find that it feels as if they singe my nose when I drink them. I know that Port is supposed to be quite high in alcohol given that it is fortified, however, I just usually can’t tolerate it and the raisiny taste I usually find overwhelms me! However, my dad is a Port man and always tries to get me to drink Port whenever we visit or they come visit us. On this last trip (an early Christmas and Birthday visit) he brought with him Claustru’s Porto Ruby.

On the nose I found strawberry, perfume, spice, earth, exotic spices, and currants. In the mouth, chocolate, currants, and strawberries dominated. I found it to be very smooth and I surprised myself by requesting a second glass. A first for me for sure! So perhaps it’s possible to turn me into a Port drinker after all…only time will tell!

Happy Christmas!

To all who are celebrating today, I hope your Christmas is wonderful!

The Wannabe Winos must have been good this year….Santa came!


Winter turns my mind to dessert wines. Often very sweet and heavy, I don’t tend to drink them at all in the summer/warmer months. Thus, they start to pile up in the basement. We probably have a good 20 or so bottles of dessert wine hanging around, ranging from port-style wines to Ice wines.  Also, with just the two of us, a bottle would hang around for a little while as they are just a bit too sweet for me to enjoy more than a cordial glass or so at a time.  Matt really likes them though! Since my parents were visiting, it seemed like a great excuse to break out a dessert wine and we chose the 2007 Bella Late Harvest Zinfandel. We purchased this at the winery, though I can’t recall now what we paid for it.

On the nose I found blueberry, blackberry, blue fruit, spice, bittersweet chocolate, and blueberry pie filling.  In the mouth I got blueberry pie, spice, blackberry, and a slight hint of chocolate.  While sweet, it wasn’t too sweet for my tastes and I enjoyed the long finish. Everyone loved this bottle and it wasn’t long before it was only a memory.

A Tour of the States

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Macari Vineyards.

I drink a lot of California wine. It’s just a simple fact. I really cut my wine teeth on California wine and as such, I tend to drink more of it than anything else.  However, this past week you wouldn’t be able to tell….we had ORegon on Sunday, North Carolina on Monday, and today we have New York. I do love trying wines from lots of different places, so hitting a streak with a variety of wines is always a fun time. Today we tried the NV Macari Sette, a 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Long Island. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $16.99.

On the nose I found strawberries, earth, herbs, plum, spice, leather, raspberry, and just a slightly green characteristic that I actually really love about Cab Francs (it’s a pleasant green thing, I promise!). In the mouth I got red berries, strawberries, plum, earth, dirt, raspberries, cranberries, black cherry, and herbs. The wine had great acidity and at $16.99 seemed to be a great bargain. I also really enjoyed the Macari Rosé I had earlier this year, they seem to be making some wines at a good price point with real character.

Tis the Season

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Biltmore Estate.

For Bubbles! I see more bubbly being consumed at this time of year than any other time. I do it too, no worries, though I have tried to make a little effort to drink more bubbles throughout the year…bubbles are good with anything!  It’s not often that I get bubbles sent to my door, so I was surprised to see this bottle of Biltmore Estate Blank de Blancs arrive. The wine had a traditional Champagne closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and retails for $25.

On the nose I found lemon, wax, apple, and slight yeast. The nose was reserved. In the mouth I got tart green apple, lemon, lots of lemon, more lemon, and fresh lemons. The wine had a long finished and showed dry and crisp.  I believe this is the first wine from North Carolina I’ve ever reviewed (though not the first I’ve tasted)! I’m fairly impressed by the effort, especially since you don’t see a lot of sparkling wine made in the south. However, the price tag is just a little steep.