In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10.
My friend and fellow writer, Kathy Bennett, asked about Rieslings a few posts ago. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know I’m not a sweet wine fan. But being the dedicated Wine Blogger that I am, I forged ahead into uncharted waters and tasted some Rieslings this past weekend. So here you go, Kathy…hope you find a few in here that you like! (I know I did…)
Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling, 2010 Monterey County, California 100% Jackson Estates Grown. Alcohol 13.0% by volume; regularly $14.99, on sale at Albertson’s for $9.99.
On the Label: “The less we handle the fruit, the better the quality. The combination of climate, soil and hillside vineyards delivers a superior-flavored grape. Our Jackson Estates Grown Riesling is no exception. Stone-fruit flavors of apricot and peach deliciously mingle with hints of Anjou pear and bursts of jasmine. This wine’s distinctive taste is a result of the coastal vineyards in Monterey County, from where it was harvested.” –Founder, Jess S. Jackson
My Take: I really liked this wine, to my vast surprise. It has a faint flowery scent and a touch of the sweetness – just perfect for a spring meal (Easter, perhaps). The hubby wasn’t as enamored as I was, due to the slightly steely aftertaste and not enough sweetness in the foretaste.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ I’ll definitely keep it in mind now for those spring/summer warm to hot days.
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling, 2009 California Alcohol, 12.5% by volume Regular price, $11.99 – on sale for $6.99 at Albertsons
On the Label: “Through timeless winemaking innovation, an uncompromising eye for quality and unshakable faith in California’s vineyards, Robert Mondavi was a pioneer in producing wines that rival the world’s finest. The enticing floral and spice notes of our Riesling weave through the crisp fruit flavors.”
My Take: This wine smells like honey in a glass, and also has a lovely aftertaste of honey – light, crisp, sweet but not too sweet. My hubby said “This is a Riesling!” For me, this particular wine isn’t one I’d reach for on a daily basis, but for all of that it sits pleasantly on the palate and begs for a picnic at a scenic spot with someone special. Some sharp cheese, maybe salami, and this wine – you’ve got a winner.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Plus it’s a fantastic price!
Chateau St. Michelle Riesling 2010 Columbia Valley, Washington State Alcohol 11.0% by volume Regularly $9.99, on sale for $7.99 at Albertsons.
On the Label: “Enjoy classic Washington state Riesling in this fresh, crisp and balanced style. Delicious flavors of ripe peach and juicy pear are underscored with racy acidity.”
My Take: Admittedly, I had this wine under unusual circumstances. 1. I’d already had two glasses of Pinot Noir. 2. The wine wasn’t properly chilled. 3. I wasn’t really looking to have more wine. However, this blog called…and the wine answered. To my surprise, it was my favorite of all three. The sweetness is balanced between the Kendall Jackson and the Mondavi; the alcohol content is lower than both; and there’s no steely aftertaste. The scent is fresh and floral, but not overwhelming. Perfect for a picnic, or a before dinner drink.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ It doesn’t get a higher rating because, frankly, it’s not a red. But to my taste buds, it’s the best of the three. Hubby preferred the Mondavi – and we’d both still drink the Kendall Jackson. And to my surprise, I’m now a Riesling fan!
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ. And hey – if you’ve got a varietal out there you want me to taste, let me know! You know where to find me…
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet?
My rating system: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
Today was the perfect gardening day. We headed out about 3pm, a bag of 65 bulbs in hand and trowels at the ready. Within 3 minutes, we realized we had a bigger problem – weeds.
Weeds, and the I-can’t-believe-I-planted-it-because-it-takes-over-the-whole-yard morning glory. The twice-damned vine was EVERYWHERE. In the apple tree. Twining around the berry bushes. Hiding behind the tomato pots in the weeds, and making plans for taking over the center of the yard. (Some of my tomato plants have wintered over…I ate a cherry tomato yesterday, fresh from the vine and bursting with flavor. Yum!)
Anyway – back to the weeds. Being the enterprising couple that we are, we roused our boys from their hermit-like hiding in their rooms, and put them to work. We have two “official” garden cans, and two cans we use to put the leftovers that we can’t stuff into the official cans. The boys (young men?) pitched in and filled both sets of cans while weeding out empty planting beds, and taking care of the weeds trying to hide the artichoke plants. (We’re up to six on artichoke plants, if anyone is keeping track.)
While waiting for the opportunity to plant, and to stay out of the guys’ way, I got the big clippers out and de-branched the christmas tree. The trunk now waits for one of the kids to saw it up, and the branches await the fireplace. Plus, the yard is a little bit cleaner.
Once the weeds were taken care of, we could plant. Out of the 65 bulbs, hubby planted probably 35. Don’t ask me what they were – I know he planted 10 purple Echinacea, but I don’t remember the other two…and of course, two of the three weren’t bulbs, they were rhizomes. The third was definitely a bulb, however. So all of the rhizomes got planted – but we’ve got 30 of the bulbs to still scatter. I’ll do my best to get them in the ground in the front this coming week…
The air was crisp, cool but not cold. The sky was impossibly blue, and the sun gentle on my face. Doing the work – weeding, planting, getting my fingers deep into the soil (which I did!) – was somehow life-affirming. Rejuvenating. Not to mention, damned good exercise. I didn’t get the writing done that I had wanted, but the time outside in the sunshine was very well spent.
SPEAKING OF WINE…(weren’t we?)
The other thing I did this weekend was to taste some Rieslings. I’ve got one more to go, but to my surprise I’m enjoying them. I thought they would be too sweet for me – but for sipping wine, they are spot on. I look forward to the discussion on them this week!
Another wine note – a winery contacted me and asked me if I’d like to taste and review a bottle of wine they’re just putting out – a new blend. After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I answered back but of course! And they have sent me a bottle of the wine, without me paying a dime. Very cool, what? Unfortunately I haven’t had time to taste it, what with this weekend being dedicated to tasting Riesling (thanks to Kathy Bennett, lol). However, I got to taste another wine on Friday that will go well review-wise with the donated bottle, so I look forward to bringing those thoughts to you.
Now, its almost time for dinner. The NY and San Francisco game is 17 to 17 with 30 seconds left in the game. JoePa has died. Hubby is gearing up for another week on Christian Slater’s new show, BREAKING IN, which also stars Megan Mullaly.
May your coming week hold love and laughter, and – as a dear friend of mine always says – “seek joy, y’all”. Seek joy, indeed!
~ Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet? ~
I’ve been so busy writing and working that I’ve got nothing for the blog today (hangs head in shame). So I’m riffing on wine below, while in a complete brain stupor from too much learning of Quick Books at work and too much editing at home. Enjoy!
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Wine. It’s been used as a vehicle for poison – remember all those scenes with the wine glasses switching places? It’s been used as a way to impress (“I’ll have the Chateau LaFitte Rothschild ’64, my man”) and as a way to get a young, lissome teenager easily drunk (Boone’s Farm, anyone?).
When I was younger, red wine, red meat and garlic bread would ease my monthly cramps and put me in a happy place. (Actually, now that I think about it, those three ALWAYS put me in my happy place, lol.) When it’s cold outside, I love a big bottle of red wine to warm me up. Mulled wine is not out of place when it’s snowing or sleeting or even raining outside, no matter where you are in relation to sea level. But … moving on.
As you know, I’m all for the inexpensive, yet tasty, bottle of wine. So what do I do when a respected and revered person gives me a bottle that easily costs – oh, say, six to ten bottles that I normally buy? And is sincerely interested in my opinion?
One genuflects, of course, and with all appreciation. The bottle is resting in my tiny wine cellar *koff koff* and I shall enjoy it this Saturday night, with an appropriate meal around it. Word has it on the internet that it benefits from an hour’s worth of aging. I think I can bring myself to allow it to age that long…but maybe not before taking a tiny sip.
Hopefully I can wrench myself away from editing on Sunday and can find the time to spill the beans on this wine. I’m really looking forward to it – I hope I love it!
Now, the weather is cooling down but the politics are heating up. What to drink while you’re avoiding all the debates, caucuses, rants and missteps leading up to the next election? Why, the 7 Deadly Zins, of course! (Whosoever amongst you be without sin, throw the first stone…man, I so wish ALL our politicians were compelled to follow that! I’m just so tired of rhetoric. What to watch on TV is another post, entirely!)
(By the way, did you get it? Zins? Sins? Politicians? Sorry…I crack myself up…) Anyway, I couldn’t let this post go without at least one wine mention. This unfortunately ISN’T under $10 – according to the sites I checked online, it’s running about $16 – but it’s a good, solid Zinfandel that will go well with any big, hearty meal you’re planning – especially as the weather turns again and grows cooler. And let’s face it – when politics heats up, we all need a little something special to keep our ears deaf to the noise. I truly believe 7 Deadly Zins is that special wine.
However, since I don’t have it in front of me and cannot in good conscience give it any sort of rating, I’ll merely say here that I’ve bought it in the past and I’ve enjoyed it.
And now my ducks, I must get my beauty sleep. Morning and rehab come all too quickly for my taste – but hopefully, in the afternoon, I’ll get the pesky boot off (remember it? No? Here’s a picture…) and I can start, slowly, reminding my body what it’s like to walk evenly on two feet. I was so hoping to just jump back into
getting into shape – ah, not so. There’s this whole “getting your body used to having two good legs” thingie that my therapist is also helping me with, bless her heart.
Hopefully the change of topic so often didn’t give you whiplash…so, onward. Go forth and drink the fermented grapes, and let me know what you’ve discovered!
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet? Go buy it now, lol!