Friday, August 31, 2007


Neither Sue nor I have posted here much in the past couple months. But not to worry—we did get most of the assignments done. Unfortunately, like Mrs. Big Dubya, we drank a couple bottles of wine on vacation and didn’t take the best notes. Here’s what we remember.

The wine we purchased specifically for the extra-credit blend assignment was an Italian Sangiovese and Merlot blend from Luna di Luna. We don’t remember the year or price, but it couldn’t have been that old and the price was well within the guidelines here. This brand is famous for its blends in colorful bottles. We’ve tried the brand before (I think we’ve had the Merlot/Cabernet blend in the red bottle, and the Chardonnay/Sauvignon in the green), but we weren’t very impressed with this one. It was a little too acidic and fruity for our tastes.

Another wine we tried on vacation was in a bottle that Sue picked up based on the name and label (and we've all seen how that usually works out). It was a 2005 Mommy’s Time Out and given that name (and the quality of the website which I just found) we didn’t expect anything. But this one was a good surprise. It’s from Primitivo grapes in the Puglia region of Italy, which, I’ve just learned, have been found to be genetically identical to California Zinfandel grapes. The wine was smooth, a little oakey, and had a great balance of fruity flavors. It was also well under our price guideline. How can you beat that? Only by giving the wine a better name and marketing.

September's Assignment

Have fun with it!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Not Really Wild About Wild Horse

The Big Dubya and I decided to try a bottle that was already on our wine rack -- Wild Horse Winery's 2005 Pinot Noir. I'm honestly not sure where this bottle came from -- it may have been a gift, I may have just picked it up based on it's pretty label (it's been known to happen) -- but, based on this site, it runs about $13.49.

The label describes it as follows:

Our 2005 Pinot Noir is a blend of fruit sourced from some of the most highly acclaimed vineyards in the Central Coast. Exceptional fruit, combined with traditional winemaking techniques helped to create this elegant wine, rich with varietal character. Aromas of black cherry, rosewater and cinnamon are followed by a silky, smooth mouthfeel. Enjoy with salmon, duck and mushroom risotto.

The website describes it as:

The name Wild Horse is nearly synonymous with incredible Pinot Noirs. Offering up vibrant aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate, cola, and Oriental spices, our Pinot Noirs are consistently praised for their complexity and good value. They are, without a doubt, the most food-friendly red wines we produce. Our flagship wine!

I did get the fruit flavors...... maybe the cinnamon and perhaps the Oriental spices... not really sure though. The flavor was kind of flat, shallow and a little bit bitter. We didn't pair it with anything -- just an after dinner glass, so maybe if paired with the right meal we would have enjoyed it more -- but I had half a glass and dumped the rest. The Big Dubya agreed that this wouldn't make our buy again list.

Bottom line -- it won't take Wild Horses to keep us away from this one.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Miscellaneous Business

Long time no post.... I know, I know.....

In my defense, I was in CA and didn't forget about my Whinery responsibilities..... I thought of you all when I enjoyed a delicious Pinot Noir at my cousin's rehearsal dinner -- it was so delicious in fact that I decided to review it for the blog's August assignment. I even went so far as to have Aunt P take a photo of the bottle so that I wouldn't forget the name (she's in Key West this week, so I still don't have the photo).

If you must know, it was so delicious that I drank a lot of it..... too much of it..... so much of it that hubby took the kids back to the hotel and I went dancing with Aunt P, the bride and her friends..... let's be clear -- I don't dance.

This wine was so delicious, that I ordered shots..... and drank shots ordered for me. Yes friends, this wine took me down a dark path. Random men bought us drinks, and we drank them -- we had no shame.

This wine was so delicious that I was junk the entire next day..... and I don't remember a single thing about it.... nope, not the taste, the flavor, not the bold colors or even the label. I suck!

Anyway, the Big Dubya and I are enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir right now -- one of us will be reviewing it for you all tonight or tomorrow.

In other news, you may have noticed we have a new member. Please join me in welcoming Paige (from The Avery Lane Experience) to our prestigious (cough, cough) club.

Lastly, for the next three days is offering 1 cent shipping for orders of $99 or more just use the code 1cent99.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Blonde Italian

How did it get to be the last week of August?! Seriously, I can't believe we waited this long to get to our assignment (although I did run right out and purchase the wine when assigned).

I went to a different liquor store (packys if you're in MA, bevvys for VT) this time (since the one we had been frequenting had just been busted for selling to underage minors. Oops. Plus their selection wasn't the greatest.) So on the recommendation of the nice man who helped me out, we tried a 2006 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio. It cost approximately $13 - $15 - I just told the nice man my price range and this is what he recommended. What can I say, I'm easy.

This was a nice, crisp, refreshing white wine. It had been chilled for a while, waiting for us to decide to open it for the penultimate weekend of "unoffical" summer. The bottle doesn't have a description of the vineyard, or wine, but it does have the handy dandy website of the winery. The winery is located in South Tyrol, which is close to the Swiss Alps, and there's a castle! The vines grow on the south facing slopes of the castle.

According to the website, the wine is described as "light yellow to sandy coloured in appearance, with an unobtrusive bouquet, hints of pears and candied fruit". We didn't get that at all. It was a nice white, not too fruity, and kind of "oak-y", but nothing that stood out at all.

For that price, I think I'd try something different next time. Nothing against this wine, I just think there might be better out there for the same price (or less).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wine May Curb Cavities

Researchers at the University of Pavia in Italy, have released a study that shows white and red wine have cavity fighting power. Both types of wine (alcohol removed) killed off strains of streptococcal bacteria. Read more about it here as you lift your class of vino to the Italians once again. I know I will.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pinot What?

Interesting assignment this month -- anything that begins with Pinot! How to choose?

I found this Sidewise Pinot Noir (ours was a 2005) (not to be confused with the whole Pinot Noir discussion in Sideways) at our favorite local wine store for $9.99.

Mr. PunditMom couldn't believe I had found a Pinot Noir for the assignment that was under $15 and was somewhat suspect about whether this would be drinkable or not!

Surprisingly, it was pretty tasty. Lots of berry flavors that went well with our "gourmet" Trader Joe's gnocchi and ripe tomato and avocado salad. (I love you, Trader Joe's, but that's another post!)

Just having gotten home from vacation in France, I worried that we would be spoiled from drinking so much wonderful, inexpensive wine that whatever we tried would be a disappointment. But we were pleasantly surprised and I'll definitely keep it in mind for when the Mark West isn't on sale!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sweet Afton Vin de Baies Glacees

Leave it to me, CPA Mom, to do the extra credit first. Tonight, my husband "HP" and I tried a new dessert wine: a 2005 Monticello Table Wine ("made from grapes frozen after harvest"). In the interest of "keeping it real" I made a delicious Blueberry Streusel Cobbler to accompany the dessert wine. Just for research purposes, of course (Karla, this dessert is "to-die for" good. Heaven on a plate. Thanks for the recipe).

A little research about dessert wines for those who have not indulged: (IWG) Any wine greater than 17% and less than 24% alcohol content is classified as a dessert wine in the USA. This would also be a fortified wine. Dessert wines can vary from dry to very sweet as well as be fortified. In a general context, the term dessert wines is also used to describe a sweet or very sweet wine of any alcohol level that is served at the end of a meal.

We had purchased the wine (2005 Sweet Afton Monticello (Muscat of Alexandria, Gewurztraminer) 375ml, $20.00) at our last local wine festival. I consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur of dessert wines as invariably, Riesling wine is the driest wine I will typically imbibe in.

This wine, failed to live up the the sweet expectations set by the blueberry dessert. We both thought the wine had a bitter taste to it - I swear I tasted licorice. It was thicker than your normal white wine, tending towards the Late Harvest varieties that I love, but it was still less than satisfying. I doubt we would buy it again. But if you are a person who dislikes intensely sweet dessert wines, this would be a good one for you to try.

Pinot for Puppy?

Sorry, it's a poor pun, but..... I tried.

Came across this on Mir's site and just had to bring it to your attention...

The Barkundy is described as:

Your canine will enjoy Bark Vineyards Barkundy. A gourmet treat experience awaits the canine who receives a bottle of the Bark Vineyards' 2006 varietals. Pour evenly over a meal, step back as your beloved furry friend savors the delicious bouquet and unique flavors. As with many fine wines, sediment may collect in the bottom of the bottle. Buy a case for your best friend, or share with your many canine friends.

And can be yours for a mere $179.88, that's a $60 savings.
In addition to the Barkundy, it also comes in Pinot Leasheo, Meowlot and Sauvignon Bark

Can somebody please tell me, what is wrong with people?