Saturday, January 31, 2009

BoonaRoo = Blech

I couldn't pass up BoonaRoo's 2002 Shiraz Cabernet blend when I was at Safeway on Friday (it was only $3.99), but I should have.

The deep purple of the wine when I poured a glass, made me think that I might have found a gem, but on first sniff all I got was must and oak. I let it sit for a while to open up and sniffed again. With a lot of effort, I managed to detect slight notes of plum or prune, a hint of spice and a strong heat.

It tasted like licking a musty oak barrel: bland. Although, I must admit that there were also subtle flavors of prune or raisin. I couldn't even finish a glass and it still gave me a headache.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Captain's Catch 2007 Red Wine Land Locked

Most of us who gravitate toward drinkable wines on budget know that Trader Joe's is a treasure trove of these types of gems.

They sell a variety of wines under $10, including wines under their own label. This week I decided to try a wine under the Trader Joe's label: Captain's Catch 2007 California Red Wine for approximately $7.

Despite the name of this wine, it emanates some pretty strong earth tones. It smells of dirt, mushrooms, oak, alcohol and raspberries.

As for the taste, the first thing I notice is raisins. But there is also a strong sense of a dark, dewy rain forest floor covered in moss and ferns. As it opens up, I start to taste raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. I would imagine that this wine would benefit from decanting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Banrock Station Shiraz Is Hard to Put Down

I've been watching Wine Library TV over the last couple of days and I've picked up a few things about wine tasting from Gary Vaynerchuk's daily video wine blog that I tried to implement when tasting Banrock Station's 2007 Shiraz. Thanks for the education Gary!

Only $5.79 a bottle, this earth-friendly wine from South Eastern Australia was really hard for me to put down.

As Gary does, I gave it a few really good sniffs and honestly, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but it smelled like the Outback Steakhouse to me. I kid you not. More specifically it smelled warm, musty and peppery.

When I swirled it around in my mouth I noticed that this wine had a rich, soft velvety texture. The first thing I tasted was pepper, but I also got notes of cherry, alcohol, leather, smoke and raisin.

For ideas from Gary about nice wines at nice prices check out Finding Good Wines at Great Prices on Get Rich Slowly.

Do you have a favorite Shiraz that I should try and post about?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Novella Zinfandel Falls Flat

I stood in the middle of the Trader Joe's wine section holding a bottle of red in each hand reading one label and then the next when I felt someone step up beside me.

After a few seconds I looked up and a short man with a name tag that read Deano said "The Novella Zinfandel is somewhere between a fruity young zin and your earthy old vine zin."

He was right. It tasted dusty with slight hints of cherry and spice. It was drinkable, but not my favorite Novella. Like my counterpart at Budget Vino I prefer their rich blend Synergy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Red Diamond Merlot Shines

Since I live in Washington now, I figure I should try Washington wines. So when I walked by a display of Red Diamond Wines on sale for $6.99 in Fred Meyer the other day after work I decided to try the 2005 Merlot.

I love almost everything about this wine. I love the price. I love the label. I love the soft velvety mouth feel. I love the juicy taste of cherries , the jammy berry flavors and the warm spice notes.

The only thing I don't like is the cheesy attempt to play off of the word diamond in the description in the back, but I see why they did it. In fact, I couldn't help but use the technique myself in the title of this blog.

I highly recommend this wine if you're looking for a nice full bodied fruit forward wine to warm you up this winter.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Old Vine Zin for Under Ten

Old vine zin roots me to one of my favorite memories. My soon-to-be-ex-husband and I went to a summer wine tasting in Forest Grove and bought a bottle for $25 (which was a huge investment for us during the college years). Then we drank it out of plastic cups later that night with our German and Californian friends from school while playing volleyball in the sand.

I can't remember the winery of that bottle, but it was delicious. Regardless, I get the same warm and connected feeling tonight from my current favorite under $10 wine: Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin.

I love this wine. It's rich, fruity, spicy and pairs nicely with chocolate, ice cream and popcorn. (Note: my roommate makes the perfect popcorn that goes with everything or nothing.)

The zin was the perfect antidote to not smoking and the perfect reward for going to the gym. Need to treat yourself? I definitely recommend this wine and at less than $10 a bottle you won't feel guilty if you drink it out of plastic cups in the sand.