Brrr….Pass Me a Red Wine, Please!

Brrr….Pass Me a Red Wine, Please!

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!

Cline Viognier 2010 and Salmon Sausages

Cline Viognier 2010 and Salmon Sausages

Yes, you read that right. Salmon sausages. I’m lucky enough to live in a small town that has a butcher and a fish monger. In the same building.

So when their email came out yesterday, and I saw they had salmon sausages for $5+ a pound, I gave a head’s up to the hubby. We’d both been kinda hankering for sausages – especially on the July 4th weekend – so the salmon seemed like a great compromise. Light in calories (comparatively speaking) and healthy to boot.

When hubby went in to pick some up, he was told they’d been flying out of the stores, to OceanFresh’s gratification. It seems we weren’t the only ones who thought the idea a wonderful one.

The sausages were delicious – like eating salmon filet without the worry of how to cook it. (I barbecued – oh SO yummy!) A roasted mix of veggies added just enough substance to the meal without making it heavy.

But what about the wine? After all, it IS wine Friday!

Cline Viognier North Coast 2010 Sonoma, California $14.99 a bottle but on special for $9.99 at Vons. Alcohol 14% by volume.

On the Label: “Family owned and operated since 1982. Viognier is most famous for producing the rich and exotically perfumed white wines of the northern Rhone’s Condrieu and Chateau-Grillet appellations. A variety characterized by low yields and small planted acreage, Viognier is one of the world’s most rare and treasured wines.

Cline’s Viognier is loaded with pineapple, peach and apricot flavors accented by floral and citrus notes. Perfect as an aperitif with Gruyere or Camembert, this wine also pairs exceptionally well with curried shrimp or Asian fusion cuisine. Serve lightly chilled.”

This was almost the perfect summer wine. Fragrant, with just a hint of sweetness, it paired with the salmon sausages and roasted veggies beautifully. It’s a terrific sipping wine, too and does go well with cheese (I had to taste test, you know!).

The meal itself would have been fun to serve at a dinner party, the sausages so delightfully different and the wine an awesome pick. A blood orange sorbet was the perfect ending to the meal.

My rating: ~Stay Away! This is my wine, you slut!~

Grab a few bottles for summer, take it to share with friends – you’ll be set! Remember – your taste buds may vary. Over the July 4th weekend, and always, please Drink Responsibly!

~   ~   ~

Have you read DEMON SOUL yet? You can find it at Crescent Moon Press or Happy Reading!