Monthly Archives: December 2013

Wine Cube Pinot Noir (2 out of 5)

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This was my newest idea- to buy small boxes of wine. The one above gives you 3 glasses. I think that might be enough. Some of us should have stopped after one glass. The Wine Cube is sold at Target. The smallest one- this one above- goes for $4.99. Considering I recently had a glass that cost me that, well, I would say this is a deal. I wish I could say it’s a great wine, but I would have to give it the old average rating. 

Trinchero Farms are whom markets The Wine Cube for Target. I have had their Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend, and that is out of this world. The pinot is just average. On the white side of the wine glass, I’ve had their Sauvignon Blanc, and that’s also out of this world. So if you’re going with the Wine Cube, for red your best bet is the Malbec on its own or the Cab Sauvignon/Shiraz; for white, stick with the Sauvignon Blanc. 

There isn’t much fragrance; not sure if that’s because it’s in a box as opposed to the usual bottle, or if this vintage simply doesn’t pack much of a floral wallop or otherwise. The wine itself? There are berry and cherry flavors, although this is nowhere near as jammy as other pinot noirs I’ve had(Estancia). You are promised a soft, silky finish, but it doesn’t deliver much in the way of a finish. It’s just there. You drink it, you absorb some of the subtle flavors, but it’s a dull thud of a finish. Somewhat disappointing after the other Wine Cube varietals I have tried that did live up to the promises on the bottle. 

Overall, this isn’t too bad if you’re looking for a quick, cheap drink. However, if you have their other varietals in the same aisle, you might want to leave this one standing at the altar and dash off with another from the wedding(wine?) party. Definitely not the best wine in this line, and not in the top 5 pinot noirs I’ve had in my time. I paired it with shrimp tostadas, and that probably didn’t help. I would drink a wine like this with a spicy jalapeno burger or pork roast. 

 

 

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2011 Mirassou Sunset Red (5 out of 5)

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I haven’t had a drink of wine in over three weeks. My local Dominick’s is going out of business, and all spirits were 30% off. I spotted this bottle and since I have had Mirassou’s excellent Pinot Noir, I figured this would be equally resplendent. I was not disappointed in the least. 

From the minute I opened the bottle to let it breathe, it was right in my face. As if someone had opened a bottle of glorious chianti. The fragrance reminded me a lot of chianti, which is a hell of a lot darker in hue and stronger in taste. It does have a 13.5% alcohol ratio, so you’re getting a potent bottle of wine here. The blend itself? Pinot Noir, Zinfadel, and Merlot. I really do like this blend of varietals. 

Taste overall was heavy on the raspberry flavors. There are slight tastes of cinnamon, cherries, and some smokiness (I don’t think it’s pepper, but some other mystery spice. Perhaps a little bit of cardomon). It is incredibly smooth, a beautiful darker color, and a pleasing aroma even after it’s been exposed to air for over a hour. I let my glass sit for a hour and half while I was writing, and it was still as delicious. I had this with peppercorn tilapia and brown rice. I would not pair it with that again. I think this would work better with a roast of some sort, or maybe even some pulled pork or chicken would bring out the subtle flavors of the wine.

It retails normally for between $10-$12 a bottle. This year in particular, is not easy to find, and as far as I have been able to deduce, may not be reproduced. If they go with a new blend, I hope it loses nothing of the excellent flavor in the transition. Completely worth the price of admission. 

Lost Cellar Red Wine (1 out of 5 stars)

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Well, I gave Aldi wine another shot. I got this bottle Saturday night when I returned home rather late from the abysmal soul-sucking factory known as Small Business Saturday. Love the idea, don’t love how people act as if we need to wipe their asses because they frequent our establishment to get some Amex perks. Sorry. The point was, I rarely, if at all, drink these days, so the wine blogs haven’t been here as often, but when you do see them, I promise I will do my best to be fair. I wish this wine had eased some of my discontent, instead of adding a glass to it. 

This mixture is part Cabernet Sauvignon, Part Cabernet Franc. And therein lies my inexperience with wine. I have never had a Cabernet Franc, and after this, well, I’m not busting speed records on a horse to my nearest liquor store to try one. I think this is just wrong place, wrong time, wine. The color of this wine is the darkest hue of magenta. I really thought I was in for a strong wine- in fact, the 13.% label promised that as well. It was strong, but in an offal way. It did not have much of a flavor to it overall. I got some sense of vinegar in there, and what could be guessed as possibly black currant overtones, but overall, it tastes to me like animal fat in the form of a varietal. Not pretty. Very dry and very strong, but awful. Crisco in Cabernet form. Blech!

The label is pretty, but this goes far in Dylan’s estimation of “you can’t judge a wine by its label”. That is definitely the case with this wine. I had a glass and didn’t even bother with a second glass. In fact, after a hour and despite multiple glasses of water after the fact, I could NOT get the nasty taste out of my mouth. It’s drier than a 1000 year old virgin, and overall, suck city. Aldi retails this for $6.99, but they had it on sale because of “Small Business Saturday”. So ironic that the same exact thing that I was going to buy a bottle about, and that’s why it’s on sale. I hope they showcase a better wine, and I hope to never see this one again. It should be lost in a cellar.