Tuesday, July 31, 2007

August Assignment

Happy Summer!

I know not everyone has completed the July assignments...... the Big Dubya & I have done the easy part ( the drinking part), but have yet to post our reviews.

As tomorrow begins August -- I thought I'd put the new assignments up.

Additionally, I'd like to welcome a new member to the fold-- and invite anyone else interested in joining to get in touch.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Never Too Late to Finish an Assignment!

OK, I know we're late with this one, but I figured better late than never!

Mr. PunditMom and I actually managed to have a two-day adult escape to the Virginia wine country at the end of June and visited the Barboursville Vineyards.

We chose this one to visit because we learned that there's something a little different about this one -- the winemakers are all Italian and they make wines in the Italian style, like Barbera and Sangiovese.

Obviously, we did the wine tasting and wanted to mention this little number -- the Viognier Reserve. It's more expensive than the general price range The Whinery usually adheres to, but at $21.99, we thought this was pretty tasty, with some great spicy flavors. We've discovered that Virginia is actually a pretty good place to make Viognier.

Some Virginia wines fall short, but this light white wine was a definite winner. We definitely liked it better than the Chardonnay from this vineyard, which does come in under $15, which didn't have a lot of flavor.

The reds from this vineyard were outstanding, as well, especially the highlight of their collection, Octagon, which is a blend of several different grape varieties. We picked up a couple bottles of that to stow away for a cold winter night!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Hopefully summer is treating you all well.

I came across this guy's site recently and I'm really enjoying it -- so, I thought I'd share (I've also added him to our list of wine friends over there on the right).
Anyway, Dr Vino recently posted these tips about serving wine in the summer heat, and given the recent heatwaves we've had in the northeast, I thought it might be worth mentioning even though I'm in cold, damp, rainy Ireland right now.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I had a farm in Africa

Being the eager winos that we are, we jumped right on July's assignment. The liquor store we went to didn't have a huge selection, but this bottle's label was cool, and the price was right ($8.99!) so we went with this - a Cabernet Pinotage from Sebeka Wines.

The pinotage originated in 1925 as a cross between the Pinot Noir and Cinsault. South Africa seems to provide the ideal enviroment for growing this type of grape and most Pinotage/Pinotage wines are from this area. According to the website, it produces complex and fruity wines with age but that are also very approachable and enjoyable without long aging.

D and I both enjoyed this wine. It had a berry flavor without being too Bartles and James'y. Heavier than a traditional Pinot Noir (one of our faves!) but still a good choice with the french bread and cheese we paired it with.

Definitely one we'd try again - especially at that price!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Off the Wall

Ok - this has nothing to do with July's assignments. And, it's not like I/we haven't been drinking either. I've just been experimenting with some microbrews and getting reacquainted with some old favorites (I had forgotten how good Magic Hat #9 actually is). Anyway, when I was at the packie a few weeks back looking for a South African selection, I stumbled on something that only people in the five New England states (and Connecticut) might enjoy/appreciate.

CaberKnuckle. That's right. CaberKnuckle. And there, on the label, Tim Wakefield. I thought it was pretty cool - Wake's got his own vintage. Sweet. Then I see the unmistakable visage of Manny on another label. Manny being Merlot. And there's Schill - Schilling Schardonnay. Ha, such clever word play all around. Ok, ok I'll admit it - I am a fanboy. Sue me.

What's that? Of course I bought a bottle. The wines are distributed under the Longball Vineyards label through Charity Wines (VinLozano Importers). The sales proceeds benefit each player's selected charity: Charlee Homes for Children, Curt's Pitch for ALS and Pitching in for Kids.

Like I said, I picked up the CaberKnuckle and brought it home to try that night with Mrs. Big Dubya. She's not that big a fan of Cabs and only had one glass. I finished the bottle - surprise, surprise. It was okay. I'd love to be able to throw in some knuckle-ball metaphors here, but I think I'll let them go for now. It wasn't an impressive bottle - not one that made me say, Wow or anything. I picked it up for its novelty factor, not because it was a rare vintage and I was hoping to collect it. It was, by far, better than the vitamin water we had at the end of June. It was smooth, light on the tannins (a huge plus for me) and subtly fruity. Not one that I'd call a Bold or Big red, but mild.

However, it didn't stop Mrs. Big Dubya from picking up the Manny Being Merlot. Hopefully it's big and bold and not lackadaisical and aloof.