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 otherwise noted.
I’ve got two rich red wines to discuss today – one Pinot Noir from a vintner I’ve never heard of, and a red wine blend from an old friend. Settle back and enjoy!
On the Label: “Ranches once dominated the cool regions of California’s expansive coastlines, built by settlers in pursuit of the American Dream. Today many of these heritage ranches are surrounded by the finest wine vineyards, each quietly paying tribute to the early settlers by continuing the very dream they once established.
“This stylish Pinot Noir excites with bright red cherry and earthy aromas. Elegant and complex flavors of newly picked raspberry, ripe strawberry and hints of locally grown mushrooms complete this showcase of a classic fine wine.”
My Take: I liked this wine. It has a warmth to it, a big – yet not too big – mouth, and is a come-sit-down-relax-and-sip wine. It’s a, you’ve-had-a-hard-day wine. Undemanding, yet full of flavor and just the right bite of spice (not too heavy, I swear), it’s another go-to pinot noir for me. From what I read online at Fresh & Easy Wine Reviews, it’s an exclusive to their stores so don’t go looking for it elsewhere. I’m not a fan of the label, though – I just had fresh strawberries and raspberries for lunch – the best strawberries I’ve had all year, too – and I didn’t taste either of those flavors in the wine. Please, wineries, don’t tell me what I SHOULD be tasting! Let me figure it out for myself.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ But don’t look for it in your local grocery store!
On the Label: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Inspired by Bordeaux style wines, Summation blends classic red varietals into a beautifully layered, complex whole. Smoother than Cabernet Sauvignon, richer than Merlot, more balanced than Zinfandel, this red wine blend offers intriguing flavors and aromas; roasted coffee, dark chocolate, pomegranate and black cherry intertwine to offer a multi-layered mouthfeel and sumptuous texture.” –Founder, Jess S. Jackson
My Take: I liked this wine. Not as much as the Barrel Ranch Pinot, but it was a nice wine, complex and yet balanced. Maybe deeper in flavor than the Pinot. It went very well with grilled hamburgers (a rare treat now at our house) and smashed potatoes. This is another far too chatty label, telling me what I should taste in the wine. So I do loathe labels like this one. However, it doesn’t stop me from liking the wine!
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~
Next week, I’ll post some terrific recipes (in advance of Thanksgiving) for mulled wine. Stay tuned!
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! ~
One more thing…
DEMON SOUL was nominated for an award! Go check it out!