I didn’t think last winter’s discovery of the Pinnacle Peppermint Bark vodka could be outdone. HA! It has been… and by a former enemy. I had one too many rounds with the porcelain gods after Smirnoff binges in my younger years (the 30’s were rougher than the 20’s!). So I swore it off after the Riverside Romeo and I were through and I had one too many dances with the Smirnoff through the years. So when Dylan mentioned he had found this, I was a little hesitant. However, my friend and trust liquor advisor told me that it was fantastic. He has rarely led me astray. So he gave me a bottle for a birthday gift. Late Christmas gift. Happy New Year, You Haven’t Ended up Killing Your Employees yet. Any of those would be appropriate. So…onto this.
I thought this was the balls, the penis, and the cat’s stained pajamas. I barely had opened the bottle and was overcome by sheer, minty bliss. The bottle- very distinctive. And also, I’m afraid, a seasonal offering only? (Not sure on that, but it’s a hunch). Refrigerated? This stuff is baller, kids. Seriously good. No aftertaste, no overly pungent alcoholic tinges, just a pleasant kick with a shit ton of flavor. 30% alcohol, so no fucking around here. One glass is enough to make one feel very, very relaxed. It would be VERY easy to drink more than one of these. It’s ridiculous how good this vodka is. I would highly recommend it. The web tells me it retails for $10 and up, so it’s an affordable nicety. So get out there and try it while you still can!
The Heart song “I Didn’t Want To Need You” kept going through my mind. Except I changed it to “I Didn’t Want To Like You”. I felt I was being unfaithful to the original Menage a’ Trois because this was a soft red, which is not my usual fare. I am happy to report I have been unfaithful. But it should be okay, because I stayed in the same family. Right? Right??!!!
Anyway, this one got opened last night and I had one glass while listening to David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” album, in honor of his passing. It was very late, I was very tired, and very sad. Then I was taken over the side of something resembling happiness. Sweet, semi-dry happiness. That was due to this splendid wine. I had a boring veggie burger with some vegetables, but this did nicely. It also kept me away from the gluten-free dark chocolate toffee that my friend got me for my birthday. Bad, G, Bad (diet going on one week and I already want to cheat. I had pizza Sunday, that was my cheat day). So I really took my time drinking this and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t extremely hearty nor super dry. It was just right. I am glad it wasn’t super sweet, which I feared with the words “Soft Red Blend” on the label. No need to worry!
This one is 13.5%, so not super industrial strength grapes at work, but enough that it makes you feel VERY relaxed after one glass. Not to the point of balloon rape or anything fatalistic, but still very good in the chill zone. The soft red blend is comprised of Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Petite Sirah. It has a lovely fragrance once uncorked, and after a hour, still pretty fragrant. Not in a stinky, vinegar way. A pleasant smell of fruits and some floral notes, and a heaping of promise. Geez, that sounds like a margarine commercial gone wrong. The tasting notes are chocolate, cherry, and raspberries. There is a strong taste of chocolate with this one. I haven’t tasted that much of a chocolate note in wine in a long time, friends. That probably helped me stay away from that alluring mistress Dark Chocolate Toffee. There’s some taste of charred something or other (oak, cedar) in the finish of this wine, and it’s splendid. Again, not very sweet, nor very dry. It’s just right. And it’s lovely. I would highly recommend this one to someone who wants a nice, balanced glass of red, but not so virulent that you’ve got a migraine the next morning from one glass (I could write a blog on those!). So- highly recommended. I think it’s a newer wine from the Menage folks, and I can’t wait to see what they cork up next.
Rebounding from the last wine I reviewed, this is another bottle I got for Christmas. D did very well on this one. I hadn’t had a valpolicella in years, and I was LONG overdue! This is a great, great wine. Incredibly smooth, incredibly fragrant, long on tasting notes, and a long finish. Unlike my exes.
This Valpolicella packs a punch at 15%. I had one glass and I saw things I hadn’t seen since my imaginary Woodstock days! It paired very well with the grilled chicken and vegetables I had a few nights ago. I think it would pair well with anything, honestly. Your tasting notes are fragrant and no question that it’s a mouthwatering inhalation of black currant, vanilla, and berries. You can actually TASTE those notes, unlike my last wine, which alluded to but smacked mightily of disgusting vinegar notes instead. THIS is the sublime taste. It’s a semi-dry wine, so make sure you pair it with something juicy so that it compliments your dish. The wine is a fine dark ruby coloring, and the fragrance coming out of the bottle is nothing short of heavenly.
Pricewise? Nothing to sneeze at. Most of the wine vendors online price it between $28.99-$34.99. Completely worth the price of admission!
This wine, sadly, was not the least bit remarkable. I had the bottle for a while, but had a glass on Christmas night to try it. For every one hundred bottles D gets me, there’s one stinker in the bunch. This one was it. I have no idea where he got it (he couldn’t remember, but thought Trader Joe’s). Regardless, not a lot to write home about on this one.
If you google this, it gives you a ballpark estimate of $11 a bottle. Some websites had it at $17. Don’t do it, friends. It was a very dark purple wine, very pungent on the nose, and once it had been uncorked and aerated, it seemed to become more strong, instead of softening up the palette somewhat. The label says dark cherries, chocolate, and spice. I got a lot of what tasted like black currant and vinegar. Not very good. D tried a glass to see and he was also not impressed by it, although he tasted more of the cherry notes that are supposedly present. I was not at all wowed or zowed by this wine. I would encourage you to give another wine a shot and pass this by. Keep on walking. Keep on walking.