2011 Amarone Della Valpolicella (5 out of 5)

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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!

 

DMH Primitivo Wine (1 out of 5)

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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.

Cupcake Vineyard- Black Forest Wine (4 out of 5)

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D gave this bottle to me for Thanksgiving. He felt I could use a new wine. New inspiration, a new blog post. Thanksgiving, friends. That was a month ago! I haven’t posted on the blog since October. That was the Honey Bourbon that I was enamored with. So almost two and a half months since I posted here. To my followers who have emailed me (I love you all) about why I wasn’t on here, full disclosure- a bad depression period between October and November. and then the holidays. I know, it doesn’t fully start until December for most of you, but I work RETAIL. And that starts in October. So.. I’ve been busy…and I’ve also been drinking less. But in the spirit (of spirits), I have begun drinking here and there again, in moderation. So you will see more posts here and there. This is a new Cupcake Vineyard entry. I saw black forest, and thought of cake. So good job, Dylan- you know me well! It wasn’t as wonderous as a big honkin’ piece of cake would be, but I will not complain, because it’s magically delicious.

This is a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfadel, Petite Sirah, and Petite Verdot. It’s quite a blend. It’s a heady blend, on the heartier side. The nose is also quite pungent when you uncork it. After aerating it, still packs quite a wallop a hour and half later. This wine is a beautiful purple hue that speaks widely of berries, spice, and hints of chocolate. 13.5% alcohol content guarantees a punch, and it delivers in spades. This is definitely a wine that is best paired with a steak, prime rib, or some spicy tenderloin. I would highly recommend it for the wine lover/carnivore who demands an elegant, full-bodied wine to match their nightly meal.

Jim Beam Honey Bourbon (4 out of 5)

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I LOVE this shit. I like bourbon, whiskey, and scotch. But this? This is stellar bourbon. This was one of the primary ingredients in the infamous Pumpkin Bourbon Milkshakes of last Sunday. Those were, in fact, quite delicious. I’ve been having a little bit of this the past few nights- and I do, really, mean a little bit. Like a shot worth. Not sure why it took me so long to try this; likely because I didn’t know it existed until D brought it over… and then left the bottle here. You should NEVER leave the bottle at my house, friends…for if I’m bored or having a bad day (try the past two weeks!), this is a great balm for my pissy, anarchist soul.

This bourbon has a nice ping to it, no aftertaste or aftershocks with this one. They had to have done something different, because other Jim Beam products are brewing with acidity and vavoom! This is seriously smooth bourbon with some nice honey flavor to it. You can mix it (tonight’s concoction was bourbon and hot apple cider. I pronounce it awesome), or you can drink it alone. Either way? You’ve got a winner on your hands here. A great amber colored liquor that has a burst of pepper flavor mid-through, and then it fizzles out quite nicely. The only thing that completely kills it for me is the sweetness factor. I’m not a big fan of syrupy liquor, and this one, if you drink enough, could certainly qualify for that category. That’s it. Otherwise, this is some good shiznit. Definitely not the best bourbon I’ve ever had, but it’s the best one I’ve had in a while.

2013 Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills (H3) Cabernet Sauvignon (3 out of 5)

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This is a beautiful label. I went a couple of go-rounds with Columbia Crest years ago- if memory serves me correct, it was the 2007-2009 era. My friend Matt N. was a HUGE fan. I daresay it was one of his favorites. I think. It may have been the Columbia Merlot. One of them- the Merlot or the Cab- did NOT agree with me at all. It must have been the Merlot, because here I am sipping this to try it out and I’m not projectile vomiting. That’s not to accuse the fine folks at Columbia Crest of any wrongdoing; my body has some very weird reactions to certain wines and spirits. I get violently ill with ANY chardonnay or rum. Sadly. I used to be able to drink tequila, but it also did a number on me for many years. Happily, that’s no longer the case, so Mr. Cuervo has been hanging out with me every once in a while. Reds usually don’t produce a reaction, but Columbia Crest Merlot (as I recall) made me sicker than a dog on more than one occasion. So no more of that. This wine, the cabernet sauvignon, is great. Very hearty flavors throughout. Right off the bat, you can taste overpowering black cherries and blueberries. Not so much that it overpowers the wine and its palette, but it is very quickly established that this is no cab to be fucked with. Real wine collectors and drinkers will love this one. In fact, Wine Spectator awarded it 92 points. Wine Spectator? Highly respected. If they like a wine, you’re fine. I am also fine, but it’s too much for me. I guess I’m a light cab girl after all! After it’s been aired out for awhile, you can taste currant, vanilla, and some very strong oak… and other indefinable notes that I can’t get a handle on. It’s a rich purple color and it smells absolutely out of this world when first uncorked. As I said, the flavor is magnificent and incredibly rich with flavor. However, if you’re a big wine wuss like me, this one might be a bit much to take. Especially if red wine gives you a headache, you may want to proceed with caution. Try their other fine wines. Columbia Crest is well known for their award winning wines. You can see why. Their marketing, their labels, and their product- speaks for itself. If not, there’s people like you and I to speak for them as well, and try to get people more interested in the wine. 14.5% on the alcohol content front, if you are wondering. This fine cab usually retails for $15.00 and is readily available in your standard grocery or neighborhood liquor store. Enjoy!

Crispin Cider: Pacific Pear (5 out of 5)

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Well, day one of Social Media Blackout 2015 was Sunday. Mourning the loss of the Bears and still trying to figure out why people like David Tennant more than Matt Smith, I decided to go get groceries (multi-vitamins with more punch for Dad, as well) with D. That’s when we found the Chariot Gypsy red blend I reviewed last night. We hit Target for a few items that TJ’s didn’t have, and walked past the cooler. Something about the packaging for this cider caught his eye. I had heard about this from my friend Vega Nova, who is always, like D, on the lookout for gluten-free drinking options for me (Thank you both, as always!). Here it was! Maybe my Target has had it for awhile, but I wouldn’t know- it’s all the way on the top shelf of the refrigerated beers and wines, so I normally don’t go that high up! (Laugh, bitches, I’m 4’10”!). I told him Vega had given it good reviews, so we picked it up. I finally had one tonight when I got home from more HR stuff for a potential new job, and it is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

First thing first, this is gluten-free. Drink up, celiacs and gluten intolerant homies! I also like it a hell of a lot more than the Angry Orchard Ginger Apple cider that I was drinking for about three months straight last year. It has more distinctive flavor and it’s a lot less bitter. The Angry Orchard has some bitterness to it that I didn’t care for; not the case with Crispin. I will definitely be checking out more of their ciders when I can find them. This one has a 4.5% alcohol content, so don’t expect to be robbing old ladies of their marble ryes after having a few. The 4 pack was around $8.99..totally worth it. There’s a natural pear taste here, and that’s likely due to the fact that Crispin naturally ferments their cider with 100% pear juice and not some gloppy concentrate. You can taste the difference! This cider has a whole lot of nothing – no colorings, no preservatives, no additives, and did I mention no gluten? NO GLUTEN! It’s light, refreshing, and crisp, and not at all bitter in aftertaste. It’s there and it’s gone, light and airy. Really, a great compliment to any salad or light seafood meal. I think it would go great with a piece of lemon or lime meringue pie, so you could try it. And let me know how it works out. Or what you think. Because it’s divine!

Chariot Gypsy Red Wine (3 out of 5)

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This one was a find at Trader Joe’s. Not quite a “find” because they seem to have it often, but a find in that I hadn’t tried it before and they had a huge fucking display of it waiting for me and D when we went Sunday to pick up a few things. It retails for $4.99 and is a blend; something I normally love to try. Coming off of the unbelievably fabulous Candle Light wine, though, this one paled in comparison. Not so much that I’ll not drink the rest, but I’ll leisurely sip it. The Candle Light wine? No sipping there.

It’s a nice cherry red color, but not so dark that you can’t see through the wine to the other side of the glass. This has notes of maraschino cherry, strawberry, spice, some pepper, blueberry, and some floral notes that I can’t identify (dandelion? Dandelion wine??). It’s a great tasting red blend, but it’s not overpowering, nor super flavorful. The lovely taste wears off pretty quick and you’re left with a long finish. This is a hearty wine AFTER the fact- meaning you’re toward the end of the glass and Whoop! There it is! After sipping the wine for a few hours while reading, I went to finish the glass and I got walloped. There’s some mild acidity, but a lot of sweet flavor, but not so much that you’re putting this into a category with rose and lambrusco. Not the case. Just a nice flavorful wine. Sort of like a pinot with a good dose of cabernet sauvignon. It’s a good blend, clocking in at 12.0% alcohol content, so not too much of a punch, but still, a decent flavored blend for five bucks- NOT easy to find these days!