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Today’s Wine Review

Last week I was gently reminded that I now live in Washington, the second largest wine producer in the United States, so why am I still writing about California wines. I had to agree I had fallen into a habit of buying and tasting wines from regions I was familiar with. I needed to shake things up and go shopping, wine shopping, not that shoe shopping isn’t also just as important, but for now I’m doing okay on shoes. It is wine, Washington wine I need, and that’s what I did, went wine shopping. Mitch stood there and watched as I filled my cart with bottle after bottle.

He said, “I didn’t think we were out of wine.”

I said, “We’re not, but it won’t go bad, right? It never hurts to have a bottle or two around.” A case later he just shook his head and carried the box to the car.

Tonight I fixed pork chops for dinner and to go with them I opened a red blend from Columbia Valley, Washington. See, a Washington wine. The wine, Wild Haven, Blazing Red vintage 2013 had an alcohol content of 12.8% and very fruit forward. The wine was a very dark red color in the glass and smelled a bit of smoke, maybe a little like pipe tobacco. It was dry but not super dry, fruit forward almost jammie and had a nice finish that tasted like plums and currants.

This was definitely a wine I will buy again, super tasty.

I am working harder at trying more blends. Blends have always been a bit of a mystery to me. Single variety wines are easier, because you have a preconceived idea of what it should taste like, but with a blend, all bets are off. I never know what I’m going to taste when I open a bottle.

One thing I’ve found when I search online for Washington wineries or vineyards is that they are hard to find, not like California wineries. California vineyards and wineries have websites everywhere and are super easy to locate, but not Washington wineries. It’s like they are hiding and I have to go on a scavenger hunt to search the wineries out. Oh well if Washington wants to make it a bit of a quest for me find their wines, I will just have to work a bit harder. I do love a challenge.

Today’s Wine Review

Today was a beautiful fall day, sunny and in the fifties, but as the sun got lower in the sky the air cooled down very quickly. That made it a perfect night for leftover roast beef. This time to go with the roast I paired it up with a bottle of Zinfandel from Lodi, California. The wine, Mad Duck, vintage 2013 had 13.5% alcohol and strangely enough also bottled in McFarland, California. A bottle cost me under $15, which makes it a good bargain wine.

We started off with a tossed salad topped with bleu cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. The wine balanced the two tastes perfectly, the bite of the bleu cheese and the sweet vinaigrette. The leftover roast beef had gotten a wee bit hotter after sitting in the refrigerator for two days. I think adding the extra shakes of crushed red pepper helped. The blackberry tastes from the wine helped tone down the extra red pepper in the meat. At least I think so since Mitch didn’t complain, just poured a second glass, a good sign.

The wine was a dark red color in the glass, more transparent than the heavier opaque Zinfandels I’ve had in the past. This one had a slight alcohol smell with a bit of wood. The first sip had a spicy bite then the blackberries filled my mouth. The wine was somewhere between sweet and dry, a nice balance between the two spectrums and had a medium finish.

Though this wine is not the great big jammy Zinfandel of my dreams, it is still a very good Zinfandel. This one is a slightly lighter version of the big heavy Zins, I’ve had in the past. This wine would be a really good red wine in the summer when it’s hot, almost too hot for a red, just chill if a bit and drink away.

Today’s Wine Review

Ahh, on vacation finally. With our work schedules, Mitch on nights and me on days, sit down dinners with wine are limited to twice a week. So a week of vacation together means some quality time catching up on snuggle time, sightseeing and exploring our new home state, and most of all dinner and wine together every night. Tonight it was a spicy Mexican roast, salad and baked potato and for the wine it was a bottle of Radius Eclipse, Radius Eclipse is a red blend from McFarland, California vintage 2014. I paid under $15 and it was worth every penny.

It had 13% alcohol content, but didn’t have that hot alcohol taste that comes with some wines. It smooth with dark berry fruit notes. It was dry but not harsh or astringent, there was no bite at the end, just a soft smooth finish that complemented the spicy meat. I think the heat and spiciness from the meat made the wine’s berry and cherry flavors come out more.

Radius Eclipse is definitely a wine I will buy many bottles of, this is a really great blend, dark red in the glass and calling, begging you to drink it. And I was more than willing to oblige.

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