Fruit of the Sea

Or “Mer” as the case is with this bottle. My French isn’t fabulous, as in, not very good at all, but I do know that word…close enough to the Spanish “Mar,” a language I speak well enough, for me to recognize it!

I bought this wine for $6.99 on my second trip ever to Total Wine. The wine is Cler’ Blanc “Special Fruits de Mer” Vine de Table Francais. Besides that, it says “Sauvion-Le Cleray-Vallet L.A. France, was 11.5% alcohol by volume and had a plastic cork.

On the nose I found pear, melon, and lemon. It was a very light wine, with a bit of minerally undertone. In the mouth there were flavors of pear and peach with good minerality. Overall, the wine was crisp and dry, I would probably serve it as an apertif were I to get it again.

I served the wine with cedar-planked salmon, broccoli, and wild rice, but I prefer my previous recommendation of Pinot Noir with Salmon. The pairing just works better for me. Alas, as I know from personal experience, and confirmed by a recent Pinot Noir round-up over on Good Wine Under $20, the cost of Pinot Noir is certainly not making it’s way into budget friendly territory any time soon.

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And again

You’d be drinking Sauvignon Blanc like it was going out of style too if you were living in 99+ degree weather with 100% humidity. It’s rough to sleep, even with AC going full blast because it’s still hot, so don’t deny me my Sauvignon Blanc…if I can’t sleep well, I might as well enjoy a glass of wine!

The wine was a 2006 Anakena Sauvignon Blanc from the Central Coast of Chile. It was 13% alcohol and cost me $6.50 at Total Wine. I’ve been digging the Sauvignon Blancs from Chile lately, but sadly, this was not my favorite bottle so far. I was a bit disappointed as a fellow shopper told me it was fabulous, and the store recommended it as a top pick. I think my expectations were too high!

The nose displayed tropical fruit and green apples. It smelled tart. In the mouth there were lemons and white grapefruit. It had racing, mouth-puckering acidity and was very refreshing. However, the acidity was too much for me! I love the tart wines, but I don’t want to feel like I’ve been eating a bag of sour candy for an hour after I’ve had a glass of wine.

I am perdictable

If for nothing else, you can count on me to keep it coming with the Sauvignon Blancs this summer. We have had the hottest week I ever remember in DC this week and I was very thankful I had made a trip to Total Wine for cheap and cheerful Sauvignon Blanc!

The bottle was a 2006 Santa Maria Sauvignon Blanc. The wine hails from the Central Valley of Chile (perhaps beginning to replace New Zealand as my favorite place for inexpensive and delicious Sauvignon Blanc), clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume and cost me $7.99 at Total Wine.

On the nose I found tropical fruit, hay and the gooseberry I usually expect to find in New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. It also had a slightly herbal note on the nose. The wine was heavier in the mouth than I had expected based on the nose, with grapefruit and tangy citrus. It could also be described as herbaceous in the mouth. Overall the wine was crisp and refreshing and definitely one of my favorite inexpensive Sauvignon Blancs to date.

Sing Life?

The wine is a 2006 Cantavida Sauvignon Blanc. Cantavida? Literally I think that means “sing life.” Cantar is a verb that means “to sing” and “canta” is a conjugated form of the verb, meaning “he, she, or it sings.” So “Life Sings” or “Sing Life?” I guess it can also mean to gossip in Chile, so that could be it too, since this is a Chilean wine….who knows, enough Spanish Lesson for today!

I picked this bottle up at Total Wine for $6.99, it hails from the Central Coast of Chile, it had a plastic cork closure, and was 13.5% alcohol by volume.

The wine was very aromatic. This was one of my favorite bargains at Total Wine and will be finding its way into my rotation of everyday wines. On the nose there were lemons, limes, passionfruits and other tropical fruits. A fruit salad in a glass! Not to mention the grapefruit. In the mouth, the wine was crisp with excellent acidity. The flavors showed lemons, so much grapefruit and green apples. I would certainly call this wine a refreshing palate cleanser and a pick-me-up for the hot, humid, VA summers.

Fat Ladies Sauvignon Blanc

You didn’t believe me about the deluge of Sauvignon Blanc I would be drinking, did you? If you were living in mid-to-high 90s weather with 100% humidty, you would be downing Sauvignon Blanc like it was going out of style as well!

We drank this 2006 Fat Ladies Sauvignon Blanc from the Western Cape of South Africa while sitting around the other night. (See, I can break out of the box…South Africa instead of Marlborough!) It had a screw-cap, cost me $7.99 at Total Wine, and was 12.5% alcohol by volume.

On those nose I found grapefruit, tropical fruits and lemons. The wine was very aromatic, I definitely didn’t need to get my nose wet to smell this one. (Come on, I know you’ve done it too, stuck your nose so far into the glass that you actually get wine on your nose? No? It’s just me? Well, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time I’ve admitted to being an odd duck.)

In the mouth I found more grapefruit, tangerines, lemons and oddly enough, what I can only describe as orange creamsicles. It almost made me want an orange creamsicle, until I realized I’d prefer to have the wine.

Overall, I’d describe the wine as displaying very good citrus flavors while not going over the edge into overally acidic or tart. With the creamsicle flavor, I’d say the wine was smooth and it had a creamy character to the mouth that I don’t find in the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs I’ve been drinking. Another great value for everyday drinking from Total Wine.

Total Wine and More = Total Sensory Overload

I finally got around to visiting Total Wine and More this weekend. Nate from Vinvenio has been urging me to check it out for a few weeks now, but it’s sort of out of the way and actually kind of difficult to get to, so I’d been hemming and hawing about it. However, I wouldn’t be a very good wino if I didn’t eventually go to this behemoth of a wine shop. And besides, a coupon arrived in my welcome wagon mailer for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. I’m a sucker for coupons.

Upon arriving at Total Wine and More in Alexandria, I thought my eyes would pop out of my head. I have literally never seen that many bottles of wine in one place before. I think they claim to have 8,000 different wines. I was overwhelmed. I was even more overwhelmed when I realized that there was an entire aisle of just Cabernet Sauvignon, my main reason for this outing was to procure a bottle for this month’s WBW with the theme of Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon. It took me nearly an hour to just get through the Cabernet aisle so I didn’t have much time to closely examine everything else as we were drywalling yesterday and Matt needed me to hold stuff.

The good: Lots of wine in all different price ranges. Lots of wine accessories. They also sell all kinds of beer, so this would be a great stop if you were throwing a big party.

The bad: Very few sales staff. And no one I talked to seemed to know wine at all.

The ugly: I am all for finding cool things hiding in wine shops. However, those wine shops usually do not have 8,000 wines that need to be looked through to find that gem. And that was the problem here. I’m sure there must have been some really good stuff in the Cabernet aisle. But it was IMPOSSIBLE to find anything as there was no rhyme or reason to the organization. A $3.99 bottle sat next to a $54 bottle. Australia, then CA, then Uruguay, then CA again and so on. Finding the very few bottles from Washington State took me forever!

The results: 1 bottle of Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon. 2 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, 2 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. (I’m on a huge Sauvignon Blanc kick as it is hot and humid and sticky here.)

The total: 6 bottles of wine for $54. $44 after my $10 off coupon. Possibly the best deal ever.

Would I return? Yes, for the purpose of gathering many inexpensive bottles for either everyday drinking or if we ever get around to having a housewarming party. If I were looking for a very specific bottle or even for another WBW bottle, I doubt I would return. Without knowledgeable staff it was very difficult to find what I was looking for and the lack of any organizational system made it that much harder. A good place for a mixed case of everyday wine or a cheap case for a pary.