for the budget conscious wine buyer, the folks a little penguin offer up an array of different wines. their merlot, which sells for about $6 or 7 a bottle, is a nice drinkable wine. when i first started drinking wine on a fairly regular basis, merlot was my wine of choice. i liked the bolder flavored merlots. this is not your big, bold merlot. much more of a fruity variety that would go with barbeque or burgers. the nose was blueberry and cherry and a little rubbing alcohol-like aroma. the palate was black raspberry, dark cherry, chocolate. sweet with very soft tannins. the finish was a little weak, but not bad. on a budget, then go for this, especially if you like a sweeter, fruitier wine. if you are looking for a serious merlot, look elsewhere. (i believe i blogged about one some time back called bocage, which is excellent)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
this was one of the wines served at our thanksgiving dinner. the nose was strawberry, cherry and peppery spice. there was also a great deal of heat. alcohol level was 15.9%, which for many wines can be a problem. in this case, it didn't seem to take away from the flavor. the palate was blackberry, leather, and pepper. there was a spicy heat from the alcohol level that didn't detract from the fruity flavors of the wine. this worked very well with the spicy flavors of the turkey and dressing. all for the very nice price of about $13-14. well worth another visit. and this would easily lay down for a few years.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
i know this post is a bit late for those who might want wine advice for thanksgiving, but here goes. zinfandel as a red wine option. what you have to do is think of the spicing that you are using for the meal. all the different flavors need something that will stand up to that and zin will work. also syrah or shiraz has the spiciness that works well. white wines? try sauvignon blanc or try a chardonnay. this year, we are trying a viognier with some of the different spiced items we will be serving. what ever you serve, enjoy! i wish everyone the best on this day of families gathering.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
for all you bargain hunters out there, here is a nice little wine to try. box wines are starting to get a little more respect, as i have seen them mentioned in both wine enthusiast and wine spectator magazines. the nose was ripe fruit. plums and red berries. got a little spicy pepper note as well. the taste was very fruit forward, a bit thin, but still not bad. cherry and blackberry flavors followed by chocolate. this one would be nice to keep around for those every day meals, like burgers or italian fare. bota box shiraz sells for about $16 a box, which is four bottles of wine. that's about $4 a bottle.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
i haven't explored the german wines much so i had to do a bit of research to figure out what kind of grape this was. turns out that spatburgunder is pinot noir! and that would make sense after i poured a glass, as the aromas of familiar, earthy, floral pinot noir was evident. it was different than the oregon and california pinots in that the floral notes were much stronger. there was also an earthy, stone-like aroma present as well. but i was very pleasantly surprised with the aromas. strawberry, lavender, earthy. very nice nose. the taste was more floral than fruit, but the strawberry favor did come through. there was also a warming quality to the wine, not from alcohol, which was 13%. this was like the warmth of a hot pepper. but just a slight heat. i also got the subtle taste of bell pepper in the back notes of the taste. the wine was very interesting, and makes me want to try more of these pinot noirs from germany. sells for about $15, so it is worth a try.
Friday, November 21, 2008
i am listing this as a malbec, it is 60% malbec. but there is 20% bonarda and 20% syrah in here as well. the bonarda grape is very useful blending grape, adding a full, juicy quality. it shows well in this tasty argentine blend. the nose is ripe red fruits like raspberries and cherries. there is also some chocolate aromas and earth. the taste was ripe raspberries, spice and hints of dark chocolate. i also got some licorice notes toward the back. the syrah no doubt added some of the more earthy qualities. a very nice, medium bodied wine that sells for about $15 and will go well with burgers and other grilled meats.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
this white italian is made for seafood. unfortunately, i'm drinking it with no food. the nose is floral. i also got hints of bell pepper and a slight cucumber aroma. on the palate, a crisp pear and apple combination, followed by a little white pepper and mineral note. the finish was very nice, clean and long. a very drinkable white wine. sells for about $15. i would like to try this again with some shrimp or other shell fish.
keeping in the cheaper category, this offering from a mass producer in france. the nose was strawberry, vanilla, floral-jasmine quality and a little cedar. the palate was black cherry right away, followed by a little strawberry at mid palate and finished with anise. medium tannins and a little drier than normal. all for the price of about $8. had this with a really nice braised beef and mashed potato meal that worked well together. this was not a great merlot, but very nice for the price. worth it for those on a tight budget.
Monday, November 17, 2008
this blog page was inspired by this port. i tasted it for the first time at a wine festival in march and purchased a bottle several months later. this is one of the best ports i have tasted because of the complexity and super long finish. the nose is complex with aromas of almonds, vanilla, caramel, and candied fruits. the warmth of the alcohol is also present. i could sit and smell this for an hour before tasting. each time a different aroma comes out. cherry cordial, red licorice, a little anise. the palate is is soft and smooth with flavors of candied fruits, raisin, walnuts, and a slightly burnt sugar, caramel or toffee flavor. the finish is warm and goes on for a long, long time. this is a perfect cold weather after dinner drink. exceptional much as i remembered it in march. and it is a bit pricey, ranging from $60 to 80. well worth the price if you like a really good port. there are cheaper ports available on the market and they can be a great place to start if you want to try a port. if you have a special occasion approaching and feel the urge to spend a little more for something really nice, this is a worth while investment.
thanks to our friends blondie and UC, the comely brunette and i were able to enjoy some dinner and wine. they pulled this one from their rack to serve with the meal and it was quite nice. nose was dark berries and chocolate, leather and spice. the palate was black cherry and plum. firm tannins that softened as the wine opened up. i got hints of leather and a little earthy quality as well. good solid wine that sells in the $20 range.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
with the baldwinegeek household on a limited budget, it is time to look for "value" wines. wine that can be purchased for around $10 or less. this zinfandel fits the bill, coming in at $5.99. and quite frankly it was not a bad zinfandel. there were a couple other minor grapes contributing to the wine, 5% sangiovese and 14% petite sirah, but the flavor and aroma was all zinfandel. the nose was strawberry and spice. the palate was cherry, chocolate and spice, with a little leather at the end. took the wine a little time to open up, but was quite nice once it did. we enjoyed this with some roast and garlic mashed potatoes.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
this australian cab is an interesting wine that i got as a gift recently. and i am probably going to get another bottle to lay down because the potential is there. the nose was blackberry, tar and a coffee note. on the palate, slightly under ripe strawberry, a leather flavor, like animal hide, spice of cloves, and as the wine opened up, dark chocolate came through. the wine being an 07 vintage was young and a bit thin without a big finish befitting a cab, but it got better as it got more air. like i said, the potential was there and at a price of about $8-10, is worth another visit. get a bottle or two, try one now and lay the other bottle for a year and see how much better it is. very drinkable now but it will be much better in a year or more. and yes, the label is upside down. those aussies are funny people.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
sorry for the long delay between posts, blog fans, but sometimes the liver can use a break. who am i kidding, it was actually due to the poor economy, as it hit the baldwinegeek household. we are currently looking for work for the comely brunette in the flavor industry, preferably in the cincinnati area, but we are willing to move. if you can send us a lead, please do so. now on with the tasting. this cotes du rhone is a blend of 60% grenache, 30% mourvedre, and 10% syrah. the nose is plum, black cherry and spice. i also detected a little something that reminded me of leather or maybe shoe polish. very big nose. the palate was full, with lots of blueberries and earthy flavors of leather and spice. the wine was a bit tannic when it was first opened, but softened considerably as it got more air. this also changed the nose, as it became more earthy. grenache is one of my favorites, and it showed well here. this wine could easily lay for a few years. sells for about $15, so well worth the price.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
i've mentioned burnet ridge before. winemaker chip emmerich has been making his wines for 15 years and does a really great job blending grapes he gets from california. his purple trillium always seems to get rave reviews. it is a bordeaux style blend of 54% cab, 41% merlot and 5% petit verdot. the nose is raspberries, violets, and rose petals. the taste is red currants, cedar, earthy tones of forest floor and spice. the tannins are medium, the finish, long and elegant. this is a really nice blend that will lay for some time or is drinkable now. just a reminder, if you do have a bottle, decant it or pour a glass and walk away and let it breathe for an hour. you'll be glad you did. sells for about $25, and well worth the price if you like bold, complex, bordeaux style wines.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
seghesio vineyards are noted for their zinfandels. this is one of the lowered priced offerings at about $25. i will be visiting another of their more expensive zins in the near future. as for the sonoma county zin, the nose was dark fruits, black pepper and a little alcohol burn on the nose. the alcohol in zins is usually higher than in other varietals. this one is no exception with an alcohol content of 15.2%. the flavor was of black raspberry, black pepper, and a little anise. the tannins were not overwhelming and the finish was long, somewhat sweet, and satisfying. this would pair well with a nice filet.
it's a special and historic week for me and for our country. time to break out some bottles that i have been holding onto for a while. some are more expensive, but you only turn 50 once. meeker winery, known best for their handprint merlot, is also rather good at producing some other wines. their petite sirah is no exception. the nose is plum, earthy mushroom and wet forest floor, spice of pepper. really begs you to taste it right away, but be patient and just take in the aromas of this wine. let it breathe a bit. you won't be disappointed. the palate is blackberry, oak and a bit of leather thrown in. a fairly big wine that defies the word petite in its name. medium tannins and a nice long, smooth finish round this wine out. a sheer joy. sells for about $24-28, depending on where you buy your wines.
Monday, November 3, 2008
i first discovered this one by accident a few years ago. i was interested in trying a barolo that i had tasted at a wine festival. then i found out how much a barolo was, and had someone point me in the direction of this wine. same grape, cheaper price. i took some time with this one to let it open up, decanting it for at least an hour. nose of blackberry, spicy cinnamon and a minty herbal note, like rosemary. i also picked up a hint of chocolate after the wine sat for a while. on the palate, somewhat sour cherries, tea, bold tannins, and some cranberry notes toward the finish, which was not as long as i would hope. i seem to remember this wine being a whole lot more interesting the first time i tried it, which is why i decided to get another bottle and write about it here. i can't say i was really disappointed, it was an interesting wine. but it was almost a bit too tannic for me. it did soften as it sat and opened up, so maybe a good couple of hours decanting is what is required for this wine. sells for about $17, so considerably cheaper than a $50+ bottle of barolo.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
this cab from chile was a recent purchase at my local wine merchant. it was recommended by one of the employees there, which i will use to illustrate a point that it pays to get to know the folks where you buy your wine. they can often point you in the direction of new and interesting wines that you would otherwise overlook. such is the case with this cabernet. the nose was black currant, spice and tobacco notes. the palate was blackberry, cedar, and tobacco. fruit forward and then leathery. the tannins were medium and the finish was long. i was impressed with how the wine evolved as it opened up. i could have easily left this lay for several years. it sells for about $14, which means i will make a trip back to get another bottle or two to lay down for the future.