As usual, I’m here tasting cheap wines so you don’t have to. I’ve got a couple of winners below – white wine drinkers, rejoice!
With a broken leg, I treated myself and the family to more salmon sausages for dinner. Pre-dinner, however, the hubby and I needed a booster shot – and we decided to sip a wine we hadn’t heard of before.
Ironstone Obsession – Symphony 2010 Ironstone Vineyards, American Canyon – Napa Valley, California. Alcohol 12.5% by volume. $11.99 regular price, $6.99 on sale at Vons – they’re pimping it on an end cap.
On The Label: “For four generations, sustainable viticulture and farming have been our way of life. Our family invites you to share a glass of this seductively aromatic, refreshing Obsession Symphony wine. Symphony is a modern grape variety which began development in 1948, in California. It is a cross between a Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris. The first wines made from this grape were declared they showed “a symphony of aromas and flavors,” which is evident with the first taste.
“This delightful wine is at its best when served fresh and youthful. We like to have a glass on its own, but it is an incredible accompaniment to any spicy dish or summer salads.”
Since the label mentioned Muscat, I decided this would be a good before-dinner drink – and am not disappointed. The flavor of Muscat is strong and lovely, a nicely grapey taste that I don’t often get in a white wine. Better? It’s very faintly sweet – reminiscent of a true Muscat wine, but not overpoweringly, gaggingly sweet. Which makes it a perfect summer sipper, in my book. It is also, very faintly, effervescent. Not a sparkling wine, but it has a lively zing to it that would, I expect, go very well with Thai or Chinese foods, or crisp salads. Perfect for ladies and gents who lunch under a summer umbrella, shading them from the heat of the sun.
Unfortunately, since I’d just brought the wine home, it wasn’t chilled. So I poured it in a short glass over a few ice cubes – and it was lovely. Run, don’t walk, and get a couple of bottles of this for pure summer enjoyment.
The hubby likes it, too, and has approved purchase of this wine to take camping with us. Huzzah!
My Rating: ~ Very, Very Drinkable!~ I have yet to find a white that inspires the slut in me. But this came extremely close!
Regarding Salmon Sausages…
While I was there today, walking awkwardly in my boot, I talked to the lovely owner of OceanFresh (who I recognize by sight but, alas, always manage to forget his name), and told him of my pimping out his salmon sausages in my blog a few weeks back. He told me he’d been getting calls from all over, wanting him to send the delectable items. I believe he’s working on that. I do know that they were such a hit that first weekend, they are a staple now at the fish counter – YAY! PLUS, they’re still $5.99 a pound. Folks, what a deal – sausage that’s GOOD for you! Plus it’s one of the tastiest ways to cook salmon – in the casing, it stays nice and moist.
Recipe for Salmon Sausage: 1 per person. With a fork, poke the sausages three times on one side, then three times on the other. Put all the salmon sausages in a frying pan large enough to hold them all (or two pans). Add 2 tlb water per two sausages, squeeze half a lemon over all if you wish; put heat on medium low, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, watching pan every now and then. After 5 minutes, take the cover off and continue to cook, allowing the water to cook off. Brown sausages until desired color.
Remove, and eat. Yum! I pair this with smashed potatoes and green beans, plus the wine highlighted below.
My Rating: ~Stay away! These are MY salmon sausages, you slut!~ Seriously. If you live in Simi Valley, or the San Fernando Valley, and you HAVEN’T come out and tried these, you’re a fool. Those of you who live more than an hour away are exempted from this pronouncement.
Kenwood Chardonnay 2009 Sonoma County 13.5% alcohol by volume. Regularly $13.99, but cut to $8.99 for fast sale (?!!) at Vons.
On the label: “This Chardonnay is made with fruit grown in select cool climate vineyards. The wine was partially barrel-fermented in small oak barrels and aged on its lees, giving it an appealing balance of fruit and oak.”
From the website, more informative than the label: “Combining grapes from the cool climate regions of southern Sonoma Valley and the Russian River Valley, Kenwood’s Sonoma County Chardonnay nicely balances the classic fruit flavors of this varietal with subtle notes of French oak aging. Fruit aromas of Pippin apples and Meyer lemon combine with gingerbread and vanilla notes, lush and viscous mouth feel with a crisp mineral quality to the finish.”
First off, I must confess I love Kenwood. That’s all wrapped up with the 1980’s and the guys I worked with (see My Wine Credentials, to the right), plus going to Sonoma and visiting the winery way back when. So I am predisposed to LOVE Kenwood wines.
So…it’s all there. The fruit. The Meyer lemon. (For my money, there is no other lemon. Meyer is king.) Okay, maybe the gingerbread is missing, lol…but the subtle oak is there. Is this a huge Chardonnay? No. Is it deep, fruity, with oak and a nice finish? Absolutely. The French oak is the perfect touch. THIS is the under $10 bottle of Chardonnay I’ve been looking for – and Von’s is dumping it? WTH? Okay. So I go back tomorrow and pick up a couple more bottles. I can handle that. Summer, after all, is half over.
My Rating: ~Very, Very Drinkable!~ Again, it’s not a heart-tugger. It doesn’t convert me to slut status. But it’s close!
Remember, these are my opinions based upon the phases of the moon, which bone is currently broken, and whether my cat is by my side or not. Your taste buds will undoubtedly vary. Please drink responsibly!
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Have you read DEMON SOUL yet? You can find it at Crescent Moon Press or Amazon.com. Happy Reading!
Love your blog! I know nothing about wines, but I do know I prefer white. (Don’t shudder at my naivete.) Your descriptions of the flavors are great. I’m intrigued now. I’ll be trying some of your recommendations.
Brinda, thanks so much for stopping by! I prefer reds myself, but love a good white wine, especially when it’s hot outside. My husband also prefers whites, so I try to be even-handed with my wines of the week. Please let me know if something you try doesn’t live up to my recommendation.
Aww, now the secret is out. My friend introduced me to the Obsession a while back. A great ‘kick back’ wine. Even her husband (a bold red wine guy) said it was, “Interesting.” 😉
I agree, Dianna – it’s an awesome, tasty ‘kick back’ wine. Perfect for camping. We’ll just stick a bottle in the icy stream, and half an hour later it’ll be just the right temp to drink!
I’m not big on whites, but I may have to try the Ironstone Obsession. Sounds lovely!
I was happily surprised. And I’m totally a red wine freak.
I am dying to try the salmon sausages. I am not a fish fan, but I do like sausage. I’m going to ask the butcher next time I go to the grocery store if he has anything like them. Usually we buy Johsonville Brats.
You might have to try a fish monger. Or, you can call OceanFresh and see if they’ve got their shipping/distribution company set up yet. Of course that’ll be more expensive…Tell you what, Catie. Next time you’re in the Los Angeles area, you’ll have to come over for dinner, okay?
Will definitely try the Ironstone Obsession, even though I’m not big on whites. One of my favorites is a South African Chenin Blanc. Wish I could remember the brand.
In order to find Chenin Blanc, I have to hit up wine shops because Vons doesn’t carry more than one brand. Which totally sucks. If you remember the winery, Isis, please let me know!
Salmon sausages and wine! What a treat. Can’t wait for OceanFresh to make them available via mail order. Cheers.
Keep bugging them, Ashley! The more calls they get, the faster it’ll happen, lol!
“This delightful wine is at its best when served fresh and youthful. We like to have a glass on its own,”
Well, now, this sounds right up my alley. I love fresh and youthful, and any time I have a recommendation for a glass “on its own” I’m in!
Will have to try the salmon sausages, will fight you for them.
pfft to those who discount white wine and its drinkers. Our breath smells better than yours! But I digress….
Lynne – as I have matured, I’ve really come to appreciate a good bottle of white wine. I would never discount white wine drinkers – especially since my hubby is one! Cheers dear, and thanks for stopping by!
I am normally a devotee to the delectable and delicioso Cabernet Sauvignon. On the other hand, this summer I’ve been craving something different and the Ironstone Obsession from the “Symphony” grapes sounds like just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks for the review Christine and the information on the sale at Vons. I know where I’ll be heading tomorrow!
Maria, if you don’t love it, I’ll be very surprised! Thanks so much for dropping by…hugs!