New Year, Big Changes

You may have noticed that Wannabe Wino slowed down considerably in the past 10 months. I never offered an explanation for that beyond the fact that life was hectic. And it was and will continue to be, though I expect things to pick up around ye ol’ wine blog in 2011.

Mr. Wannabe Wino and I welcomed our first child into our family on Dec. 28. Please meet the newest member of the Wannabe Wino household, our daughter Bridget:

So there, in a nutshell, is why things slowed so dramatically around here. When you haven’t been drinking for 10 months, it’s hard to keep up a wine blog.  But I’m back in the groove, ringing in the New Year with a 2003 Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Brut that we picked up just days before finding out I was expecting.

See you in 2011! Happy New Year!


Happy Christmas!

I hope that all my readers celebrating today have wonderful days full of family, friends, good food, and cheer!

Fancy Decanting

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful….a night that cried out for a Zinfandel, one of my favorite winter red wines.  We dug into our own stash for this wine, looking for something that would warm us to our bones. I pulled out the 2006 Bella Big River Ranch Zinfandel.  I can’t recall what it cost, though I would guess in the $35 range with my club discount, it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume. A word to the wise on this one: leave it in your cellar for a while longer. It’s still a baby and needs a few more years of age to really reach its prime. We stuck our Soiree wine decanter on the bottle and ran it though that, which helped, but it still needed time in the glass to really open up.

On the nose I found raspberry, fresh blackberry, clove, baking spice, pepper, spice, dark fruit, and earthy notes. After a run through the Soiree and some time in the glass, the wine had a great nose that you could get lost in…or could stick your nose so far into that you end up with a red tipped nose! In the mouth I got the same raspberry, blackberry, and dark fruits as I found on the nose, spice, pepper, and charred meat.  I found the palate to be quite spicy and peppery and redder than the nose, and definitely thought it deserved some more bottle age.

Spring Time Wine

I bought this wine quite some time ago. I went to a Pinot and Pinot tasting at a local wine shop (Unwined) back in the spring of 2009.  I picked up a couple of different bottles, including this 2008 Sineann Pinot Gris from Oregon. Then somehow (can’t imagine how…unless you’ve seen my basement recently) it got shuffled behind other things and I lost track of it. We decided to pop it open the other night. It had a glass closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and I see it for about $11 online, though I think I paid closer to $15.

On the nose I found lemongrass, freshly mowed grass, lemon, pear, honey, and honeysuckle. It smelled like a fresh spring day to me.  In the mouth I got lemon, pear, green apple, honey, and honeysuckle.  This wine made for an easy sipper with light and lively flavors. At an $11 price tag it would make a great wine for a garden party…in the spring of course!




A Tuesday Sparkler

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

We’re nearing the end of 2010 in case you hadn’t noticed. Almost hard for me to believe. It seems years go by faster as you get older. At least for me it does. You might recall that one of my goals this year (wine-related anyway) was to drink more sparkling wine.  I wanted to open sparkling wine just for the heck of it, on a Tuesday night. Most people I know save bubbles for a special occasion, but there’s really no reason for that. Sparkling wines are extremely versatile food-wise (I’ve yet to find something that doesn’t go well, from French Fries to Oysters) and being generally lower in alcohol content are a great mid-week wine choice. Tonight we went with the 1882 Bargrationi NV Brut. The wine hails from Georgia (the country), clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, had a typical Champagne style cork closure, and retails for about $13. Perfect price for a mid-week sparkler.

On the nose I found lemon, sweet flowers, and pear. In the mouth, more lemon and pear, green apple, and sourdough bread. It had nice tight bubbles with great acidity. I found it to be spritzy and refreshing and the perfect pick-me-up for an otherwise rather dull weeknight. Try something a little different yourself tonight…it doesn’t get much different than sparkling wine from Georgia!


Loving on the Chard

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Jordan Winery

If I’m going for a white in the winter, I often reach straight for a Chardonnay. As much as I love my light and sprightly whites, I do enjoy something with a little more oomph and weight for the winter months. So when I went to root around in the cellar the other night, the 2008 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay seemed to fit the bill perfectly.  The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $24.

On the nose I got pineapple, pear, apple, caramel notes, spice, the slightest oak undertone, and peach. In the mouth I found pear, apple, lemon, peach, apple, and more pear.  The pear dominated in the mouth for me, with apples coming in a close second. Overall, the wine had great structure with crisp fruit and the oak treatment lending the wine the perfect weight for the roast chicken I made to go with it.