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 unless noted otherwise.
It’s winter – bring on the reds!
Unruly Red 2011 – California Red Wine Alcohol 13.5% by Volume; $14.99 per bottle, bought on a 5cent Sale at BevMo!
On the Label: “Unruly Red has massive red fruit aromas with colossal flavors of plum, black cherry, and blackberry.
“Not just for the weekend warrior, relish during the week with a juicy ostrich burger, zesty buffalo back ribs, venison steaks or wild boar sausage.”
My Take: Well, the label is at least a brief attempt at being humorous. Either that, or they put the Australian label on the American release – not sure which. At any rate, it is much as advertised – a relatively big wine that is on the lighter alcohol content side of things. It would go well with chili. Spicy curry. Any food that needs cutting through with alcohol. Because while this is a fairly big wine, it’s not an easily classified wine – my tongue can’t pick out the dominant grape (okay, not that I’m that good because I’m not but still…) and it’s what I would classify as a fairly good all-around red blend on the hearty side. Not a good wine with delicate foods.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ but not one I’ll likely buy again, at least not at full price.
[yellow tail] Shiraz Cabernet Casella Wines – Product of Australia
13% Alcohol by Volume $7.99 at Vons
On the Label: “Flavors: plum, blackcurrant & raspberries. Enjoy: with your favorite pasta dish & good conversation.
“For 3 generations the Casella family has been making wine at their winery in the small town of Yenda, situated in South Eastern Australia. It is here that [yellow tail] is created with a simple purpose in mind: to make great wine that everyone can enjoy.
“[yellow tail] is everything a great wine should be. It’s approachable, fresh, flavorsome and has a personality all its own.”
My Take: I am coming to really enjoy Shirazzy wines. If you like the Shiraz style, it’s my bet you will like this wine. Went great with steak.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ especially for the price.
Layer Cake One Hundred Percent Pure Pinot Noir Vintage 2011 Central Coast ~ California Alcohol 13.5% by Volume $14.99 at my butcher shop/fish monger, Green Acres.
On the Label: “My old grandfather made and enjoyed wine for 80 years. He told me the soil in which the vines lived were a layer cake. He said the wine, if properly made, was like a great layer cake, fruit, mocha and chocolate, hints of spine and rich, always rich. “Never pass up a layer cake,” he would say. I have always loved those words.” A. Orlando Tribute to Jayson Woodbridge’s Grandfather.”
“Caution: This wine may cause Pinot envy. Winemaking by Jayson Woodbridge Bottled by One True Wine, American Canyon, Napa County, CA”
My Take: I’ve been wanting to try Layer Cake. When I was in the fishmonger part of Green Acres last night, picking up my two pounds of Ocean Fresh, freshly made clam chowder, I checked around for a wine to go with the steak we were also having. I saw this and, even though a bit out of my normal price range, decided to splurge. I am SO glad I did. The wine had a beautiful Pinot nose on it and the flavor was delicious. It definitely passed the Smoking Loon Pinot Noir test by miles. (Is this wine better than the $5.99 bottle of Smoking Loon Pinot Noir?)
My Rating: ~ Very Very Drinkable ~ I’m looking forward to trying more Layer Cake wines.
Today I’m also over at Kate Evangelista’s blog, talking about my five favorite Christmas songs – feel free to hop on over, and join in the giveaway! Hope to see you there!
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.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?
My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
I’m having our Hanukah dinner tonight and expect to consume some great wines.
I like a Shirazzy wine too. You’ve talked me into trying the Yellow Tail Shiraz/Cab!
Christine, love, love Layer Cake wines! Their Primitivo is fabulous, but in the Midwest, the only place I can find it is Trader Joe’s and it’s sketchy there. I’ve never tried their Pinot, although I’m a Pinot pushover–I love Pinot Noir! I’m heading to TJ’s to see if they have any.
Yum. I am going to go and find the layer cake pinot. It sounds perfect for Christmas.
Hey Christine–I just had that Layer Cake Malbec and it was very drinkable too–I’ll have to check out the pinot!