I like being a positive person. I don’t like saying bad things about people, but I can get riled up and curse with the best of them. But when it comes to wine, I give it to you straight. After all, who’s got the money to waste on bad wine? Not me! So here we go…some uh-oh reds.
Jenica Peak Pinot Noir 2008 Coastal Series Jenica Peak Vineyards, Graton, California Alcohol 12.5% by volume. Under $10 at Vons (sorry – don’t remember the exact amount!)
On the Label: “Expressing California’s penchant for fine ingredients and abundant flavors, Jenica Peak brings forth esteemed wines from our coastal vineyards. Harvesting in cool, Coastal conditions for optimum flavor, we produce wines of pure varietal character. Jenica Peak. Capture the essence of California in each savory sip.
“Aromas of Bing cherries and Italian plums are brought to the nose of this outstanding wine. Soft tannins provide a gentle backbone to the rich and elegant fruit. Pair this wine with roast quail and fingerling potatoes.”
My Take: Um. Roast quail? Seriously?? Do normal lower middle class people roast quail for their Sunday supper? Sheesh! Okay. You all know that I’m not one for chatty labels. Let’s just say that I’m glad I didn’t read that label in the store – I probably wouldn’t have bought the wine. (QUAIL?!! Seriously!)
That said, this was an inoffensive wine. Absolutely drinkable, and needed a bit of chilling in the fridge to be honest. To the hubby’s taste buds, it was a bland wine, and absolutely nothing to write home about, even for a 2008. I liked it more than that. And if you go to their website, it shows that this wine had won some awards. Maybe it was better a year ago? Not sure.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ but nothing to get really excited about.
Small Wonders Paso Robles Zinfandel 2010 Small Wonders Wines, Graton, California – Alcohol 13% by volume. $7.88 at Fresh & Easy
On the Label: “Industrious winemaker and esteemed connoisseur Richard Mansfield tirelessly searches all of the tiny, tucked-away niches of the world for our hand-selected small lot wines. He has expertly blended and hand picked our Small Wonders wines to provoke admiration and marvel for the appellations from which they hail. Indulge your senses while sipping Small Wonders for the best offerings come in the smallest packages.
“Aromas of brilliant dark cherry and ripe raspberry envelop subtle nuances of earthy wild mountain herb. A bright acidity is the perfect accent to lusciously rich flavors for a magnificent Zinfandel sure to please your palate. Enjoy alongside roast leg of lamb sauced with a cherry reduction and paired with roasted root vegetables.”
My Take: Well, damn. We’ve gone from quail to lamb! Sigh. But enough about the ill-advised verbiage on the label…what did the wine taste like?
I wanted to like this wine. I really, really did – inexpensive, it was a Pinot Noir (one of my faves), and it has a terrific front-of-label look – plus, hello. Paso Robles. But…it committed the worst sin of any wine. It had a thick, raisiny taste – not what you want your wine to taste like. My hubby really didn’t like this wine – he switched to beer at dinner time. And while I won’t say I hated it, I sure as heck won’t rush out to buy another bottle any time soon. I always thought the raisiny taste came from a wine on its way out – but this is a 2010, so…fairly newly released. I can’t imagine it’ll get any better, but I’ve been wrong before. We did finish the bottle, however; so it must not have been a “bad” wine.
After checking out the website, it looks like 2010 is the first vintage, which makes me feel better. I’ll be watching this company and see how they do in the future. In the meantime, maybe there’s a white that is more suited to my tastes…I’ll check it out.
My Take: ~ Drinkable – Barely ~
Our Daily Red – 2009 California Table Wine ORGANIC – No Sulfites Detected Organic since 1989 Alcohol 12.5% by volume $5.99 at Fresh & Easy
On the Label: “Vinted and bottled by Our Daily Red American Canyon, CA Certified Organic by: California Certified Organic Farmers. Vegan friendly.”
My Take: Well, the label has that famous picture of the two hands reaching out to touch each other (Sistine Chapel), only one of the hands has a glass of wine in it. I had high hopes for this wine, since it was labeled organic and had no sulfites.
However – this wine was bad. Hubby refused flat out to drink it (I opened a bottle of Smoking Loon Pinot Noir for him). As I was cooking, I didn’t mind it so much, but we barely cracked the bottle.
The next night I went to pour myself some to sip while I cooked, and low and behold – the wine was nasty. It had been properly stored; most wines will keep at least 36 hours when taken care of after opening – but this wine? Bad. Pure and simple. I poured it down the drain (and I can drink almost anything!).
My Take: ~ Undrinkable ~ Please, don’t waste your money!