Five Hills Blue Merlot

Five Hills Blue Merlot, 2004, from organically grown grapes – a wine we recently purchased from Trader Joes and recently opened. The only problem is that it wasn’t recent enough to remember details about it, other then it was tasty, smooth, and we liked it. I can’t say that I think the organic grapes TASTED much different from non-organically grown wine, but organic grapes tend to leave a better taste in your mind at least. 😉 (I think it also still had sulfites in it, which many ‘organically grown grape’ wines do, but not all.) But if you want to try a wine made from organically raised grapes, this is a decent place to start.

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Kendall-Jackson 2005 Special Reserve Zinfandel

I happened to catch Narsai David on the radio the other day on the way to the grocery store, and he was recommending a bottle of wine from Kendall-Jackson. Their 2005 Special Reserve Zinfandel. And I was actually able to find it in the store, so we bought it! And even if this story doesn’t have much in the way of drama, it does have a happy ending – LOL – in that we really liked the wine. Was lovely and fruity, with lots of excellently blended flavors. (I think we bought it for around $10.99.)

The weird thing about this story is that we have satellite radio for the car, which kicks in right when you turn the car on, so when I thought back, I wasn’t exactly sure WHEN I heard Narsai David as he’s on the local AM radio. Finally, I figured it out. When we were getting gas, we were under the little roof over the gas pumps so we weren’t getting satellite radio, and in the few seconds (less than a minute) before I turned the car back on and drove away and the satellite radio came on, I must have heard this review. That’s the kind of thing where there was such a small window to be able to hear this information that I have to believe it was divine intervention from the wine gods. Heh.
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New Wine Lover Designs

Now that we’re finally starting to get a feel for the kinds of wines we prefer, and what a lot of all the names MEAN (lots to go yet of course), we’ve decided to create some designs for specific kinds of wines. “Quick! Merlot Me!” is the design for Merlot lovers – 14 other varieties are also available: Cabernet, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Champagne, Chianti, Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux, Chablis, Burgundy, Chenin Blanc, and even Port. They come on many varieties and colors of t-shirts, long sleeved tshirts, sweatshirts, bags, hats, and even teddy bears. Check out the entire line of Wine Lover Gifts today. And if you want even MORE wine designs to choose from, check out our Wine Lovers section of our Food Follies Gift Shop which includes our own designs plus those of other creative designers.

It’s Friday – what kind of wine are you going to try this weekend?
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Wine & Champagne for the Old & New Year

First, for the old year! Late December we decided to branch out in our white wine consumption and purchased a Riesling – J. LOHR 2005 Bay Mist Monterey County White Riesling to be exact. (I have no explanation for why we hadn’t had a Riesling in so long, since it’s one of my favorite whites!) It was fabulous – light and fruity with just enough flavorful punch to it! Will be getting this one again, for sure.

And now for the New Year! Okay, technically we drank this on New Year’s Eve, but it was already 2007 in most of the world when we opened the bottle, so it counts. I’d never really had a ‘good’ champagne before so we made sure that we tried it in the store before we bought it. (There was a champagne tasting going on in the store, otherwise I probably would have skipped it. My first champagne experience was a cheap brut extra extra dry that had been sitting outside during a hot summer day, but luckily I wasn’t scarred for life.) This was Chandon’s Riche Sparkling Wine – not very dry at all, which is what we were looking for. It was nicely sweet and bubbly but not excessive, with just enough crispness to give it an edge. I’m pretty certain that sparkling wines pack more of a wallop than an equal amount of non-sparkling wines though – either that or the timewarp of flipping to a new year caused some unanticipated havoc with my brain cells. Perhaps more experimentation is in order. In any case, we declare the Chandon Riche a success as well.
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Time for Wines

Over the last few months we’ve tried a number of wines that we’ve been meaning to write up, but just haven’t gotten around to it. So, in an attempt to put SOMETHING in writing, here’s a brief summary just to get something posted!

Elena 2005 Sauvignon Blanc – Very flavorful – fruity but crisp, and easy on the throat.

Kenwood 2004 Pinot Noir – I’d like to try a few more Pinot Noirs to have a little more to compare this to, but overall it was a thumbs up.

Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) Coastal Estates 2005 Sauvignon Blanc – we’re of two minds about this one. I thought it was a little rough on the edges, but John thought it was more bold than rough. Or maybe it’s just our vocabulary that needs better judgment – heh.

Yellow Tail 2005 Cabernet Merlot – Interesting wine – 70% Cabernet and 30% Merlot, but not really tasting like either. Goes down a little smoother after the first glass. Flavorful, almost a hint of sour, in a wine sort of way.

Well, it’s not poetry, but at least it’s online!
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Organic Wine Company

We just heard about the Organic Wine Company… “All of the wines are Earth-friendly, made in partnership with nature from certified organically grown grapes. They are free of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers and other synthetic chemicals, and essential natural preservatives like sulfur dioxide are kept to a minimum. In the cellar, modern and traditional techniques are combined, producing the best possible wines with the fewest detrimental effects on the environment. Grapes are often picked by hand and the wine made gently, with minimal handling and filtration.” I don’t know that I’ve ever had organic wine, but this looks like a good site to click around in for a while and look around – just thought I’d pass it along!
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2004 Blackstone Chardonnay

Wanted to post this quick review before we forgot! The 2004 Blackstone Chardonnay (Monterey County) was an excellent, and rich wine. Rather velvety and strong, but went well with the hard-ish Portugese cheese and crackers that we conveniently had on hand. We might have been a little less ‘affected’ had we had the wine with a full meal (which we’d had much earlier), but as it was, the evening went quite well anyway – LOL.

I’d recommend it for hearty chicken meals, and maybe pastas with heavy cream sauce, and garlic bread too – something on that order.
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Powered By Wine (well, “Vino”, actually)

Powered By WineRecently we started a new enterprise called Powered By Tshirts, which has all kinds of ‘powered by…’ designs, including a number (and expanding rapidly) of specific food designs. Some of these food designs, such as the one to the left, we are also selling in our little Food Follies shop! It’s “Powered By Vino” (Wine) and it’s full of grapey and winey colors – makes you want to dash off to a wine tasting party as soon as possible (or gobble some grapes – your call). So, there you go, feel free to click on the image to see all the products with this design, or drop by our new Powered By Tshirts shop and see the latest food-related designs there too (like lasagna, jelly beans etc….)

Wine and Fish Crackers

John was making a homemade tomato sauce a few days ago and decided to open a bottle of zinfandel to add a bit of wine to the sauce. The sauce came out excellent, and tonight we decided to actually try the wine directly, with a few ‘sea creature’ cheesy crackers. Tres classy, no? The wine: Ravenswood Vintners Blend, 2002 California Zinfandel. It certainly lives up to the saying on the label, “No wimpy wines” – no kidding! It’s really potent and ‘throaty’ if you can glean our meaning. The kind of wine that warms your fingers and toes before you finish half of the first glass. The taste itself is pleasant and tangy, but disappears quickly, leaving you with more of a powerful aftereffect than with a taste on your tongue. (And the tri-raven Celtic logo on the front is a plus too.)