Two Reds To Start Us Off…

Hey, all! It’s been a long time, but Wine Fridays are back! I’m always on the lookout for wines that are tasty, easily available, and won’t break the bank. Below is my honest opinion of the wines I buy and drink; they are all available for under ten dollars, unless specified. (My rating system is at the very bottom of this post.)

belle ambianceBelle Ambiance Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Manteca, CA  Usually $9.99, on sale for $6.99 at Vons; Alcohol 13.0% by Volume

On The Label:  “Belle Ambiance is a beautiful spot nestled in one of our family vinehards.  During our 80 years of winemaking, we’ve enjoyed many perfect moments here under the shade of its ancient oak tree relaxing, watching the sun set, and basking in the moment with friends and a glass of wine.  We created this luscious, rich, indulgent Cabernet Sauvignon to share that feeling with you.” BelleAmbianceVineyards.com

MyTake: I liked that the label wasn’t too into wine-babble; it struck me as a family-friendly label, lol.  However, this was a meh wine to me. Either it hasn’t reached its peak yet (being a 2012), or it has passed its peak; it wasn’t memorable for being big and rich, nor was it past its prime. This is a new wine to me, and maybe I just need to try it again. For the price, and maybe for a second bottle at dinner, it’s fine and won’t upset anyone; but it’s nothing to brag about, either.

They’re owned by the Delicato Family Vineyards, and have a raft of wines under $10: for more on them, go here.

My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ Though there are other, more enjoyable wines out there for the same price.

Rosenblum Cellars Vintner’s Cuvee XXXV Zinfandel  Sonoma, CA Usually $13.99, on sale $6.79 StBar1_A2at Vons; Alcohol 14.5% by Volume

On the Label:  Zinfandel is our signature wine, and with rich and layered flavors, it’s an excellent introduction to the Rosenblum Cellars style of wine making.  We designate an anniversary number to each Zinfandel Cuvee blend, honoring our history with ‘America’s Heritage Grape’.  Kick back around the table and enjoy this wine’s intense and robust flavors.  Notes of blackberry, wild raspberry and cassis make it a delicious complement to hearty pasta and barbecue dishes.” rosenblumcellars.com

My Take: This was a lovely Zinfandel blend that perfectly accompanied the honey-balsamic pulled pork sliders I made last weekend. Its richness cut through the sweet-sour of the pork, and worked well with the purple cabbage Asian slaw side dish. It is most definitely a wine you want to sip with dinner, or at least with snacks, either in front of a fire (for those of you buried in snow back east) or while watching the sun set (for us west coast types). It feels young, still, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it ages. (Ha! As if I can keep a bottle that long…!)

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Especially at this price (which I’m guessing won’t be long, since it’s such an odd price point)!  As soon as my paycheck clears, I’ll be grabbing a couple more bottles of this, just in case we grill some steaks this weekend.

What are you drinking these days? Does the weather outside change what you’re drinking inside? Sound off, and let me know.

Until next time – Cheers!

)O(

My Rating System: Undrinkable; Barely Drinkable; Drinkable; Very Drinkable; and the ever-popular “Stay Away! This is MY wine, you Slut!”  All opinions are my own. You’re welcome, lol.

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6 Responses to Two Reds To Start Us Off…

  1. Yay for the return of Wine Friday! And thanks for selflessly putting yourself out there as our taster. It’s a dirty job, but…;) I will happily take your tip on Rosenblum. I ought to branch out into Zinfindels because they’re often an economical option compared to a cab.

    • Christine says:

      Zins are a great option if you’re looking for a big wine, Sam. Especially Old Vine Zinfandels (when you can find them). I find them much tastier, overall, than the less-expensive Cabernets. =)

  2. Emma says:

    I’m with Samantha, happy to see Wine Friday back.

  3. meldawn9 says:

    Now I need to buy some wine!

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