Ingredient Lists on Wine Labels

I just ran across this article about a small winemaker who is putting an ingredient list on his wine labels. After reading the article, I learned a lot and applaud his decision and integrity, and am now going to be looking suspiciously at every bottle I buy – DOH! Anyway, maybe this will start catching on more, at least among smaller artisan wineries. Click here to read about Ingredient Lists on Wines.

Wine Catch Up (Not Ketchup)

Over the last few months (probably about four) we’ve sampled a few bottles of wine: a 2009 Lancatay Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina), a 2008 Henry Lagarde Malbec (Argentina), and a 2008 Umbria Pinot Grigio (Italy).


Both of the Argentina reds were excellent, had tasty, bold flavor, and packed a bit of a punch alcohol-wise too. The Italian Pinot Grigio was actually a bit too mild in flavor for either of us. The bottle we had seemed a bit on the light side taste-wise.

Sorry I can’t be more specific – next time I’ll try to post about the wine within a week of having tried it, instead of months, when I can’t remember many details! In any case, we’d both recommend either or both of the Argentina wines if you’re up for some robust reds.

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Relax Riesling

Since we’ve moved to Upstate New York we’ve been trying to find some good local wine & liquor stores to browse for wines. We found this riesling at a little store who’s owners had trained their little white dog to greet customers and also bring them their change – it was very cute.

This white wine was from Germany; a pleasantly sweet riesling with such citrus and apple-ish overtones it reminded me of the hard apple cider I also like. But the finish was much dryer, which was an excellent combination. It’s easy to drink for people who aren’t sure they like wine much, and goes well with crackers and cheese. We had it with a smoked provalone and lappi, which is swiss-ish. We’re thinking about getting another one just to have on hand. Oh, and as you can see it comes in a bright blue bottle, with a cool modern label!

Price: $9.99.

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Truck Spill With A Fruity Finish

We were driving into town and got passed by an ambulance, then a police car, then two more police cars, all going in the opposite direction. They were headed into the country, towards the vineyards by us. Turns out that a wine truck overturned and lost 4800 gallons of Paso Robles wine! It drained into the dry creek bed near the road – alas! Click here for the full article.

In other news, we haven’t been doing much cooking lately because we’re moving, and all of our cooking stuff is pretty much in cardboard boxes, ready to make the move to Upstate NY, home of coneys, salt potatoes, and half-moon cookies! So, while we won’t be posting for a while, we’ll have a whole new culinary landscape to investigate once we get there, plus a new kitchen to break in, so stay tuned!
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Winey Words

We picked up a California Chardonnay (blend) the other day because I realized that we hadn’t tried one in a LONG time. So we chose one more or less at random at Trader Joes, just by reading the descriptions on the labels. (We like to live in the fast lane – LOL.) Here’s a snip of the lucious text: “Opens with the intense, signature tropical fruit and citrus aromas typical of our terroir. Flavors of pineapple, fresh peach, lemon zest, and mango are augmented by good weight and perfect acidity.” Yes, just because it’s on the label doesn’t mean it’s TRUE – we know this – at least we didn’t choose it because the logo was cool – ha! (Although it was rather nice.)

So… Well… the ACIDITY was good. But otherwise, despite our best efforts, we couldn’t make out any distinct flavors. It just tasted like a basic “Chardonnay”. No peach, or zest or this or that. Yes, it was a blend, but we’ve had blends before that were more “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” rather than a homogenous mix.

Oh, well – win some, lose some! And no, we’re not mentioning any names. 😉 We just wanted to discuss the disparity between the description and the actual taste, which we haven’t actually experienced much of until now, which is, overall, a credit to the wine industry.

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Pessagno Pinot Noir (California)

After watching the movie Sideways I decided that I had to try a Pinot Noir and see what all the fuss was about. We picked one from Pessagno Wines because it came from a local winery and they actually differentiated between the various vineyards the grapes were grown in. Ours was from the Central Avenue Vineyard, vintage 2006.

We weren’t disappointed. Now I understand why in the movie Sideways, Miles was so crazy about it. The wine was very rich with a complex taste that really challenged the tastebuds to define it. There was a subtle cherry flavor followed by a bit of pepper that left the tip of your tongue feeling slightly hot.

We had the wine with some smoked gouda and they paired very well together. At first I thought the smoky flavor of the cheese would overwhelm the wine’s flavor, but they complemented each other nicely. We’re definitely going to have to include Pinot Noirs in our regular wine rotation.

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Wine Flu?

First off, let me say that I think people are doing a good job of keeping the public informed about the spread of swine flu and steps to take care of yourself while it’s flitting about. Secondly, and a however, I also think the media has taken advantage of the situation a little to enhance the drama a SMIDGE beyond what’s necessary – heh. So this new Wine Flu t-shirt is just a funny joke about the media hysteria, not about the virus itself! Besides I can’t resist a good play on words – you should all know that by now.

Wine Flu is available on all kinds of t-shirts and sweatshirts – click the image to browse!
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Got Resveratrol?

Okay, this is just a weird little design I made up after finding the word “resveratrol” (the stuff in red wine that makes it ‘good’ for you) not only very hard to say, but rather amusing. I mean, try saying it AFTER you’ve had a few glasses of red wine. Without accidentally swallowing your tongue, I mean.

Click any of the images below to browse our entire line of “got resveratrol” products….

A “got resveratrol?” (see, I can’t even stop TYPING it) tee would be a great conversation starter at a wine tasting, or even a bar bet – LOL.
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Old Moon Zinfandel

We bought the bottle of Old Moon Zinfandel from Trader Joe’s – it was branded “Trader Moon”, so it was definitely one of their own. We poured two glasses of wine and let them sit for a number of minutes to let the flavors ready themselves to be tasted.

It was a pretty tasty zinfandel, great for the price, and went really well with the smoked gouda cheese we had with it! We also got to break in (figuratively speaking) our new wine glasses as now we have a set of four red and a set of four white wine glasses. Doing the whole ‘wine thing’ up properly now.

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Beam Me Up White Zinfandel

On his way home from work John often stops at the store for extra groceries, and sometimes shows up home with a little something extra. This time it was a bottle of “Beam Me Up” brand Zinfandel.

I know the ‘wine elite’ usually turn up their noses at white zinfandel, but 1.) sometimes you just want a mild, light wine experience and 2.) how could you NOT buy a wine with that wacky name? and 3.) look at the picture on the label! Look at it! LOL. (Those, of course, being the three things most wine professionals look for in a fine vintage.) Anyway, it was just the right wine for the evening – nice, easy, and tasty… and obviously appealing to the geeky target demographic.
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