I have been such a drub. It’s not that I haven’t had any wine to drink, au contraire, I’ve been drinking wine daily and have been writing it down, I just haven’t had the computer time to get my scribbles into legible thoughts and text. For some really strange reason my employer expects me to actually work on the job, company work not my stuff. Narrow minded folks.
But I have been drinking a lot of blends, mainly because I was so pleasantly surprised by the blend I wrote about on January 26th that I have been making a more concerted effort to buy more blends. The latest blend I tasted was a Christmas gift from my son and daughter-in-law. It was called Fancy Pants, a red blend from California, 2011, in Helena, California. You can find them at http://www.fancypantswines.com. Nowhere on the bottle or website could I find what grapes went in the vat together to make the blend, so I had no preconceived expectation of what the wine might taste like. I have to admit that I was skeptical about tasting it; you know cutesy name and label had to make up for a gross wine and believe me I’ve fallen for the name and the label of a wine before and was horribly disappointed.
But this was not the case with wine. I was very surprised by the wine. It had a berry fruit taste, very fresh tasting. The wine had a medium finish but not harsh at all. I could taste the hint of raspberry. I had fixed a pot of Beef Roma and it went along nicely with it. It is definitely one that I can say was a nice wine to drink and not just a pretty label.
I have the best friends in the world. They know that I’ve started a wine blog and in order for me to have something to write about, they bring me all kinds of different interesting wines to drink. They are my enablers.
It’s a perfect relationship, I cook dinner and they bring wine. I fixed spaghetti and meatballs, and for dessert, a turtle cheesecake. To go along with the Italian fare and give me something to write about, they brought over a Spanish Tempranillo to start the evening off and for the main event, an Italian wine.
The Tempranillo was a Reserva 2009 by Vina Eguia. It was very reasonably priced at $9.50. It was a dark reddish color with a hint of amber in the glass. The wine had a smoky peppery taste, almost like a syrah. It was salty and dry with a hint of tobacco. It was okay, not a bad wine, one I would drink again if someone offered it, but not one I would buy.
The surprise came from the second bottle. None of us had any idea of what to expect, but we figured, “How bad could it be?” It was a red blend, but not your usual blend. The wine, Casamatta, which translates to Crazy House, is a wine made in the solera-style. Solera-style is a blending system of casks of older wines with younger wines. This produces high quality wines that share a portion of the oldest vintage. Casamatta by Bibi Graetz bottled in Fiesole, Italy, was very tasty and also a bargain at $12.50. You can find their website at http://www.bibigraetz.com. It was a darker red, closer to purple color in the glass than the Tempranillo and had a dry smooth taste. It was dry and soft, with dark fruit flavors. This is a wine I would buy again.
As usual, we ate too much, laughed a lot especially when we tease Mitch (he takes it so well) and drank some different interesting wines. Too bad my waistline can’t take it or I would have them over every night.
I last wrote about tasting a red blend, Besieged, so continuing on the same theme I tried another bottle. This time we opened a bottle of Sterling Vintner’s Collection, Meritage 2011. It is a red blend of Merlot 44%, Cabernet Sauvignon 41%, Malbec 7%, Petit Verdot 5% and Cabernet Franc 3%. The wine is a California Central Coast wine with an alcohol content of 13.5%. You can find them at http://www.sterlingvineyards.com.
The wine had a berry aroma and dark fruit taste. It was dry but not too dry and full bodied with a nice finish. It went very well with the pot roast I had fixed in the crockpot. This was one of the bottles we had received in the Christmas basket from a friend. I have been holding on to the bottles and not opening each one like a little kid, but I am glad I tasted it. I have to say that so far, every bottle we have opened from the gift basket has been very tasty. I am impressed with Sterling Vineyards and their wines. I have already bought a replacement bottle of Zinfandel that we had opened earlier. I will be replacing the Meritage also.
Now I am on the hunt for more blends to try. If anyone has had a great blend that they’ve tasted and want to share, please let me know which ones so I can get them and try them too. I am always interested in trying new wines.