Monthly Archives: August 2015

Yellow Tail Shiraz-Cabernet (1 out of 5)

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Look at that bottle closely. Remember it. And run in the other direction if you see it on sale, or worse yet, on clearance in the liquor bin. My friend F got me a bottle of this, because CVS had a HUGE wine sale going on. Well, F, I think I know why. This stuff is NOT good. The only thing it had going for it is that the bottle is very distinguishable, and the aroma of the wine once you uncork it, is pretty promising. Then you let the fucker aerate for a hour and drink a glass, and then, and then….

It gets ugly, friends. Yellow Tail and I are not real close friends anyway. Everytime I have tried a wine by them, I end up getting either violently ill or the headache of death. This time? I got the headache of death, and I only had one glass. I could not stomach a second glass. My friend had a glass with me and had the same opinion. My friend John has his own damn wine cellar and knows his wine. I originally asked him to write a guest post for this, but he doesn’t like writing pieces of any kind, so here I am… giving this a huge thumbs down. So far, the only Yellow Tail that I have enjoyed majorly was the Pinot Noir and The Big, Bold Red which I have a hard time finding (regrettably, because those two save Yellow Tail for me). After a hour of airing out, you’re treated to what smells like rubbing alcohol. It did NOT smell that way when first uncorked; at that time, it smelled promising, strongly of ripe fruits like blackberry and black currant. After a hour, I swear you could find that smell in my bathroom medicine cabinet! Not good. The first pour I encountered brought a very, very sweet taste of berry, spice, and what tasted like oak notes. Not abnormal in a wine at all, but the overpowering smell of the wine, coupled with the fact that it was ridiculously sweet, killed a lot of my enthusiasm for it. I could taste a little bit of what also seemed like sour, tart apples. No thanks, I’ll take a pass. There is a super dry finish to this wine. I went through half a gallon of water after ONE GLASS. That’s kind of extreme. I would expect that from whiskey or scotch, not wine. You’re promised a hint of mint (give me a Tic Tac!), plum, cassis, etc. I didn’t taste those flavors as much as the black currant and the berries, although I kept having flashbacks of The Seven Tales (Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for those unaware) while drinking it. Nothing could save this wine. 14.0% can’t save it. “Pair with a good pasta and conversation”. Well, John’s a good conversationalist, so that works. There was pasta, but it didn’t taste good with rubbing alcohol. I would advise you to steer clear from this one. EEK.

2011 Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon (5 out of 5)

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Heidi, my best friend, gave me this one on Friday. The law firm she works for gave her a bottle as a gift, and since she doesn’t drink, she bequeathed it to me. Thank you, Heidi! I told her right away that this was not some cheap ass bottle of wine you buy at Aldi or even clearance at your neighborhood liquor dive. Louis M. Martini has a great reputation for fine wines, and this is no exception.

A beautiful burgundy color, this wine wastes no time in making its flavor fully aware to the drinker. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah and Petite Verdot, it establishes a heartier fare with lingering notes of black cherry,blackberry, and cedar and oak notes on the finish. There is no finer wine to pair with a steak. In this case, a small sirloin with garlic mashed potatoes paired beautifully. This is a multi-player wine. Meaning that you can also pair it well with dark chocolate covered strawberries or fruit of your choice, and to hell with the main course. It boasts a 14.4% ABV, which means it’s a take-no-prisoners wine. Indeed. Not a lot of foreplay before the main event begins with this wine. If you’re a fan of fruiter reds, you may want to shop a different vintage and blend. This is a hearty, somewhat dry, and slightly bitter at the finish, so it’s not a wine that you would enjoy if you normally dig rose’ or pinot noir. Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t typically a wine that I would categorize as “means business”, but there are the few that can and do really knock you on your ass if you’re not ready for it. This is one of those wines. Retail value? Normally around $35, for those who keep track of such things. Overall, not a lot of anything bad to report on this one. No doubt that it’s now got a top 5 standing in my cabernet sauvignon rankings. Which reminds me- coming up by the end of the week- my top 10 Cabernet Sauvignons. This is firmly in place in the top 5. Definitely worth the price of admission.

Seagram’s Extra Smooth Vodka (2 out of 5)

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I tried this over a month ago, and I just now got around to posting. My level of enthusiasm wasn’t overwhelming trying this product. I like to mix my vodka, but I also love to have a brand that I can drink straight. This one is a vodka that is best mixed with other things- drinking it by itself left a very bitter aftertaste. Smooth going down? Yes. Extra smooth? Yes. Extra bitter, not advertised? Yes.

This 750ml bottle retails for $9.99. It is still better than Gordon’s or Smirnoff, by waves and bounds. It boasts an ABV of 40%. This particular brand of vodka is five-times distilled, with beginning notes of citrus that quickly turn into a peppery flavor, which is a shock and not altogether pleasant. It’s a grain-based vodka, and is carried in many places, so it’s not a vodka you’ll have a hard time locating. I’ve had Seagram’s whiskey, and I have to say I did like that much more than their vodka products. And yes, their wine coolers. Go ahead and make fun of me. I’m an 80’s stereotype who likes to drink wine coolers if I find them. Go ahead. Make fun. I’m just not a huge fan of this vodka. I would recommend trying it as a Bloody Mary, a Cosmopolitan, or a Russian Minx (email me for THAT recipe!). I would not recommend trying it alone. It didn’t leave a pleasant aftertaste. Some better ones: SKYY, UV, and Stoli (you can never go wrong with those three). As a $9.99 vodka, I’ve had worse. I’ve also had better.