Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wine Wednesday: 2011 Hedgeline Pinot Gris

This Wine Wednesday features a Washington Pinot Gris called Hedgeline.  I've never heard of this vineyard before, but then I am not as familiar with Washington wines as I am with Oregon wines.  This is quite a fragrant and fruity Pinot Gris, with a tart apple flavor as well as a some sweetness.   It was a pretty enjoyable wine.

Wine:  Hedgeline Pinot Gris
Year: 2011
Region: Washington
Purchased From: Fry's
 Price: $10
Verdict: 4/5

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wine Wednesday: Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon

What!?!  Two red wines in a row???  I know, right?  It just happened that way, don't get excited.  Who knows how long it will be before I feature a red wine again.  I picked this up because I was making this Jacques Pepin Beef Stew, and because the stew contains an entire bottle of red wine, I thought the only appropriate drink to go with it was another bottle of red wine.   Also, I thought the bottle was pretty cool.

This is a Chilean wine called Root:1.  -  apparently Chile is one of the only places that has grapes growing on original root stocks.  A disease of the grape called phylloxera (do NOT google that, so gross) wiped out most of the grape vines in the world and so to fight the disease, most growers started grafting cuttings onto disease resistant stocks.  I'm not sure if this makes the grapes better or worse, but I just thought you might enjoy a mini history lesson with your Wine Wednesday.

This is a nice, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon.  I would go so far as to call it velvety.  K recommends that you let it breathe, and advises that it opens up nicely.  Also, did I mention the bottle is pretty cool?

Aren't my pumpkins cute?  I picked them up at Pier 1 Imports.

Wine:  Root:1 Cabernet Sauvingnon
Year: 2011
Region: Chile
Purchased From: World Market
 Price: $10
Verdict: 4/5
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wine Wednesday: Red Diamond Pinot Noir

That's right, I have a red for you this week!  I know it doesn't happen very often.  But watch out, because I'm on a roll - I have another one for you next week.  K and I picked up this one while we were taking advantage of Fry's wine sale - buy six bottles, get 30% off, in addition to sale prices!  This means that I got this bottle of wine that is regularly sold at $10.99 for only $5.59. That is crazy talk!  In case you didn't know, Fry's is owned by Kroger, so it is a sister store, sort of, to our beloved Fred Meyer.  Well, more like step-sister store.  But we take what we can get.  If you have a Kroger affiliate where you live, you can probably take advantage of a similar sale.

We bought this wine because we knew we had some grilled steaks in our future.  And we pretty much only drink red wine when we are eating steak.  It turns out that this wine might not have been the top choice to go with steak, although it was pretty great.  It was a very smooth wine, soft and mellow.  Not at all what I am used to with Pinot Noirs.  I actually said this when I first tasted it - "It's like drinking a fuzzy blanket!"  and it was.  In a good way.  I would recommend this wine if you want a nice, drinkable Pinot Noir.

Wine:  Red Diamond Pinot Noir
Year: 2011
Region: California
Purchased From: Fry's
 Price: $5.59 (Reg 10.99)
Verdict: 4/5
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wine Wednesday: King Estate Luminous Pinot Gris

When K and I were on our trip to the Northwest a few weeks ago, we did a little bit of wine tasting.  Of course I couldn't miss my favorite winery in the world, King Estate.  We decided to pick up a bottle of this limited edition Luminous Pinot Gris.  Don't be fooled by the pink color, this is not a rosé!  I am not a fan of the rosé, so I was surprised that I actually liked this wine.  That's because unlike a rosé , which is traditionally made from red grapes that are separated from their skins,  this is made from Pinot Gris grapes and is allowed to soak with the skins for 72 hours.  Traditionally Pinot Gris is separated from its skins before fermentation, because the Pinot Gris grape is actually purplish grey.

Anyway, this is a really nice crisp, dry wine.  It isn't at all sweet, but it isn't too tart.  It's nicely balanced.  The skins added tannins, which give it a tiny bit of astringency.  I realize that doesn't sound like something you would want to find in your wine, but it worked here and was not at all unpleasant.  This wine was great with spicy foods, but also it cuts sweetness nicely.  I served it with some easy happy hour foods, a  few kinds of bruschetta and also some figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.

Because this is such a great summer wine, and figs are such a great summer fruit, I decided these two had to be on the same table.  I made my favorite fig and goat cheese bruschetta, along with pesto and sopressata bruschetta, and a new one with brie, figs and prosciutto.  

I had some figs left over, so I quartered them lengthwise, almost but not quite to the bottom.  Then I stuffed them with goat cheese, wrapped them in prosciutto and topped them with freshly cracked pepper and a little drizzle of honey.  Then I baked them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Wine:  King Estate Luminous Pinot Gris
Year: 2011
Region: Oregon
Purchased From: King Estate Winery
 Price: $18
Verdict: 5/5
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wine Wednesday: Flip Flop Pinot Grigio

Hey there, Wine Wednesday!  This week, we are featuring a wine that I have long avoided.  Flip Flop Pinot Grigio.  To be honest, the only reason I avoided this wine was because it was called Flip Flop.  I don't know why, it just rubbed me the wrong way.  But K suggested we try it, and I decided to put aside my name snobbery so that I could bring you all a new review.  Do you see the sacrifices I make for you readers?  And by "readers", I mean my mom and my cousin.  Oh hey, Mom!

Anyway, after purchasing this bottle, I realized that part of the reason this wine is called Flip Flop is because the proceeds benefit Soles 4 Souls, which is a shoe and clothing charity.  So, sort of like when you buy a pair of Toms, your purchase helps provide shoes to someone in need.  Ok, Flip Flop.  Bonus points for charity.  Now I feel bad about judging you for your name before.

Anyway, back to the task at hand, which is the wine.  To be honest, this wine was exactly what I expected.  It wasn't a bad bottle of wine, but it was pretty much exactly what you would expect to get for seven dollars.  It was light and refreshing, with balanced flavors.  Nothing really stood out to me about this wine.  Although it was fine, I don't think it will be replacing my fallback cheap wines anytime soon.

Wine:  Flip Flop Pinot Grigio
Year: 2012
Region: California
Purchased From: Sprouts
 Price: $7
Verdict: 3/5
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wine Wednesday: Gruner Veltliner Laurenz und Sophie 2011

Wine Wednesday, where have you been?  I've been on a blogging hiatus recently.  I'll blame the fact that I finally got a job and have less free time.  But it is really just because I've been lazy.  Don't worry, though, I didn't forget to celebrate Wine Wednesday all this time, I just neglected to blog about it.

I'll launch this Wine Wednesday with a clearance find from Target.  The great thing about buying marked down wine is that it feels like you are taking less of a risk.  So the random wine you bought was horrible?  At least you didn't pay full price for it.  This was the logic behind grabbing a few random bottles we found on a clearance endcap on a recent jaunt to Target.  Until recently, I had never heard of Gruner Veltliner.  But I was looking for a new wine to order at our favorite (also the only nearby) wine bar.  I spotted the Gruner Veltliner, and had to google it to A.) learn how to pronounce it and B.) decide if I wanted to try it.  After teaching myself how to pronounce it at least somewhat correctly (Grooner Velt-Lean-Er), and learning that this is a white wine grown in Austria, I decided to go ahead and order it.  And although nothing can replace my beloved Pinot Gris, I did enjoy it.  And so, all of this lead to me throwing a few bottles of Gruner into my shopping basket.

This particular wine was veeerrrryyyy dry.  And it oddly reminded me of champagne without the bubbles.  Which makes sense because I later learned that this type of a grape is often turned into a sparkling wine.  This wine was not sweet AT ALL, and not really fruity.  If you love chardonnay, you may like this wine - although this doesn't have any oaky taste to it as many chardonnays do.  I normally prefer a frutier, slightly sweeter wine, but I did enjoy this wine.  I think we also got a fabulous deal on it, because my online research seems to indicate that it runs around $15, and we only paid $5.74 for it. Clearance win!

Wine:  Laurenz und Sophie Gruner Veltliner
Year: 2011
Region: Austria
Purchased From: Target
 Price: $5.74
Verdict: 3.5/5
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wine Wednesday: Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

Happy Wine Wednesday!  Today I decided to change things up a bit with a Sauvignon Blanc.  This is a New Zealand wine, specifically from the famous Marlborough region.

I recently read a funny article about the weird words that people use to describe wine.  In fact, a study was done surveying people who regularly drink wine about how helpful those descriptive words actually are.  Ridiculous descriptions such as "old bones", "nervy" and "tongue spanking" (!!!) were found, unsurprisingly,  to not be very helpful in describing how the wine actually tastes.  More common words, such as "zesty", "fresh" and "peachy" were found to be the most helpful. Now, I have been known to use the term "fresh", and I might have even used "zesty" once or twice.  But I did think that the word peachy sounded pretty generic. Who would use that word?"  Well, me.  Now.  This wine was totally peachy.  And not like the 1950's slang word for totally cool.  All I could think about when I was drinking it was how it tasted like peaches.  It is quite aromatic and somewhat floral as well.  The label describes this as a zesty and zingy wine.  I guess that it is, but I didn't notice that until I read it on the bottle.

Apparently the Marlbourough region is known for producing Sauvignon Blancs with unique flavors.  Although it is different than what I am used to, it was really an enjoyable wine, and the price is great.

Wine:  Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Year: 2012
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Purchased From: Costco
 Price: $8
Verdict: 3/5
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