Monthly Archives: November 2013

Chariot Gypsy Red Wine Blend (4 out of 5)

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The coffee party would not have complete without some sort of wine. It’s me, after all! There was coffee, pastries, cheese, and wine. I combined a coffee party with a wine and cheese party. And yes, Virginia, it went well. I picked any ole wine. Jen helped me. The label caught both of our attentions, so this is the one I bought. And yes, it was delicious. Not a five star wine, but it didn’t miss by much.

This beaut was obtained at my favorite place on the planet, Trader Joe’s. As I stated before, quite a label to grab the eye. The fragrance when I opened this sucker, was sublime. It had a heady bouquet, but it also had some bite to it. There wasn’t a lot of fruit in the aroma, but there was some spices detected. It was love at first taste. This red blend is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfadel, and my all-time secret mistress, Sangiovese. Anything that has Sangiovese in it is going to be a favorite of mine. However, with the exception of the Trentatre, the last few blends I got at TJ’s haven’t exactly rocked my world. This one definitely changed that.

There is a lot of jammy flavor going on, but throw in some cassis and some cocoa, and you have a win. Definitely packed a wallop with that 13.5% alcohol content, but it had some major flavor going on. No vinegar aftertaste, and it was absolutely delicious with not only the cheeses, but with the pastries we had. With coffee? Regular coffee, oh yes. With the coffee oddities that we had to try? Probably not so much. However, the guests abandoned the coffees for the wine, which means it was a hit. There was giggling, there was sarcasm, there was mundo appreciation of this wine, and with good reason.

I think if you were to want to pair this with something, it would have to be with a steak or a burger. I think it would also top off BBQ ribs, pulled pork, or meatloaf well. I would highly recommend this as a table wine for a nice meal. It retails for $4.99 at Trader Joe’s, and it tastes like a more expensive bottle of wine. Definitely worth it. 

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The Tale of Two Sweet Saturday Night Wines

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This is a great tale. Not of brave Ulysses, but of two wines duking it out for prominence. Both were light, sweet, and rose, dessert type of wines. Usually not what I am writing about. Usually not what I’m drinking. However, D and I were shopping and getting things for the ill-fated coffee party that was supposed to take place tonight, and as usual, the wine aisle was the most time spent at Trader Joe’s. We spotted one that sounded good; a cranberry wine. It’s Secco cranberry wine. I thought to myself, “well if anyone is sick of coffee, they can have a light wine with all of the dessert items we are getting.” Let’s be honest, you all know me, I thought “this sounds delicious. I think nothing of fondling cranberries, why not drink cranberry wine instead?” Not only a good idea in public, to fondle cranberries. So I got the Secco. I tried to upload an image for the blog, and this is not really what the bottle looks like, but it’s the same vineyard on the bottle. Image

This wine is fabulous. I definitely give it a 4. It makes me want to go out and try more light wines. It’s also easier on my stomach. One glass of my normal and I would be hurting, but this went down smooth. It is pleasantly fizzy, and I’m sure the palette would be delighted even more than it was had we actually drank this wine with what it should have been paired with (according to the bottle, fish, salad, etc). D and I were eating leftover Taco Bell tacos and pizza. Regardless of this grave culinary sin, we were both delighted with this fizzy pleasure. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a light wine for a light meal. I award this one 4 wineglasses!

On the other hand, our second wine that we got was not as impressive. That one is Espiral Vinho Rose’. I think I found it. I think it was the damned label that caught my eye and kept it. It’s like that one night stand that looks so good in the bar lights but the second you get him under real light you realize you’ve been flirting it up with Steven Seagal. For the record, this is the bottle.                   Image

Now do your best to avoid it. I have had much worse wine, but this is remarkably unremarkable. It’s described as “light, fruity, and fizzy and going well with shellfish.” How shellfish of them to claim this. It was fizzy for a bit, but it falls flat quickly. The taste quickly disappears as well, and if you have that combination, nothing will save that bitch. This is the case here. It’s just OK. There is nothing about this that would ever make me buy it again or recommend it to friends. I would likely recommend the Secco instead, but I have a feeling that’s a seasonal wine. That’s a shame. Too bad this sucker isn’t the seasonal wine that disappears after the holidays. I give this one 2 wineglasses. 

2012 Violescent Montepulciano (3 out of 5)

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Well, the wino hasn’t had a drink in over two weeks until this wine showed up. I had the mother of all shitty weeks, so I decided to pick up a cheap ass bottle at the mother of all cheap ass stores, Aldi. I know, with my track record with Aldi wines, I keep trying to not drink those wines…and yet here is another I tried. It wasn’t too shabby. 

I liked the label. I liked the fact that I have no fucking clue of this vintage, hadn’t heard of Montepulciano at all until I ran into it in a red wine blend that D and I got at Trader Joe’s two months back. It’s hard to tell how good or repugnant it may be when it’s part of a blend. Now, on its own, you realize just how strong of a grape it is. It is, make no mistake. 

Not a lot of fruit flavor here, this is straight up strong. I let it aerate for almost two hours, and it did not diminish the strength of the wine. Bouquet is that strong also- it’s one of those wines where you smell it and you make the old pruneface (if you have no idea what that is, think of Jessica Lange’s face nowadays). Of course, it went back into the fridge to be chilled and I tried a glass. Yikes! is the best answer I have. It is still a strong wine. 

I do taste a lot of spice, black currant, and maybe rhubarb. It is definitely overshadowed by the spice in this wine. There are a lot of pepper notes going forward in this glass. Overall, it goes down smooth and aftertaste is somewhat bitter, but not so much to ruin the wine. I had one glass Saturday night and I was giggly like a old maid chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger. So I definitely award it points for making me loopy. Although it wasn’t a pleasant flavor overall, it was still not the worst wine I’ve had from Aldi.