Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wine Wednesday: The Wingman Shiraz and Viognier blend

Welcome to a new series here on PDX to PHX.  It's called Wine Wednesday.  I decided to start doing little wine reviews for people who like wine, but don't spend a ton of money on it.  And honesty, buying a cheap wine can be really risky.  You might luck out and get one that is awesome, but you have an equal chance of buying one that is on par with the vinegar in your pantry.  And how do you know?  If you are like me, you stick to the few labels that you know to be tried and true, and don't take a risk on one you are not sure about.  But then you risk missing out on some new and awesome wines!  I had a favorite Pinot Gris at Trader Joe's that was AMAZING and only $3.99.  Of course they no longer carry it, so now I am on the search again for decent and cheap wines. 

Let it be known - I love wine, but I am NOT a wine snob.  I'm not going to talk very much about the nose, or how you can taste hints of plum, cherries and vanilla - although I might mention it if I can actually taste those things.  I'm probably not going to say that a wine is "chewy".  I don't think it is necessary to drink my wine out of an expensive wine glasses in order to enjoy it.  To be honest, although I like wine, and even the culture of wine, I think that for the most part wine snobs are phoney and full of it.  So there, I said it.

This week, we will take a look at a wine that lured me in with it's pretty label (that happens often.  I am guilty of judging wine bottles by their labels) and the fact that it is a Shiraz/Viognier blend.  I have never heard of such a blend, but it turns out it really isn't that uncommon.  Apparently, many wine makers can and do blend up to 20% Viognier grapes into Shiraz, and they don't even have to label it.  The reason that it is common to blend these two particular grapes is because they both grow in the same region of France.  I learned all of this while trying to figure out if I should chill this or not.  The answer is:  Serve slightly chilled.  I'm not sure how cold slightly chilled is, but since it is still around 100 degrees here, I went with "serve as cold as possible".

Verdict:  This was very fruity and juicy.  Serving it cold actually made it very refreshing, which is something I normally don't associate with red wine.  And this was a dark red wine,  it definitely has more Shiraz than it does Viognier.  But the Viognier did seem to give it a lighter body, and took away some of the  heaviness that sometimes comes with a red.  I would definitely recommend this to serve with red meat, or anytime you feel like drinking a red wine on a hot day.  As a side note, K did not care for this wine at all, so to each her own. 

Wine: The Wingman By The Country Fair
Year: 2010
Region: California
Purchased From: Trader Joe's
Price: $6.99
Verdict: 3.5/5 
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