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Tag Archives: holiday wine

Wine of the week: Pedroncelli friends.red 2012

wineofweek

Wine of the week: Pedroncelli friends.red 2012The Wine Curmudgeon, despite his crusade for wine labels that look like they belong in the 21st century, was more than wary about this wine. “friends.red”? Talk about chalk on a blackboard.

Still, the wine comes from Pedroncelli, one of my favorite producers and one that has long cared about quality cheap wine, so I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt. For which anyone who buys this will be grateful, because we’re talking $10 Hall of Fame quality.

The Friends ($10, sample, 13.9%) — sorry, I can’t type it with the dot red — is a red blend with mostly merlot and syrah, the kind of wine I wish more California producers were interested in making. That means it’s not only priced correctly, but interesting, with more than syrupy fruit flavors. It’s surprisingly rich and full,  probably from the barrel aging, and something  that rarely happens with wine at this price. Look for red berry jamminess, soft tannins, and the correct amount of acidity for this style of wine. Plus, there’s no residual sugar, which I thought I tasted in the previous vintage.

Doing a Mother’s Day barbecue? Then this fits the bill. It will pair with almost anything, and it’s soft enough for people who might not like red wine and will still please those of us who do. Highly recommended.

Winebits 320: Valentine’s Day 2014

winenews

Valentine's Day 2014Suggestions from around the Internet for The Holiday that Must Not be Named, covering a variety of contingencies. I also have a bubbly suggestion here and a more affordable one here:

Bring out the wallet: My pal Blake Gray, who is championing the five percent of Americans who buy wine that costs more than $20, should enjoy these suggestions for Valentine’s day — the $56 Moet Rose Imperial and the $119 version, which comes with the wine and two Champagne flutes. Because, for your money, you deserve something more than just quality sparkling wine. Says one expert quoted in the story: “They’re racy, they’re elegant, they got that aroma of red fruits, they strike a chord.” What more can we ask for?

Two-buck Chuck, anyone? Seriously, suggests Christy Strawser in Detroit, who has a compiled a cheapskate’s guide to the holiday. Which, frankly, made the Wine Curmudgeon shed a tear in admiration. Her favorite? The Charles Shaw merlot, available at Trader Joe’s for $3.49 or so. You’ll have to supply your own glasses, though.

Scoring? Really? When the Wine Curmudgeon was a youth, many similarly-aged young men boasted of “scoring with chicks.” This was, of course, a foreign concept to someone like me. Nerd and geek were insults then, and we didn’t get to be network television stars. So I’m at a bit of a loss about what the headline for this post means: “10 Valentine’s Day Gifts to Score With.” Does it mean pleasing someone or does it carry the other — dare I say — sexual connotation? Because, frankly, I’m not sure anyone is going to score with a chick or dude with the wines mentioned in the article. They’re Red Diamond pinot noir and merlot, $10 grocery store-style wines sold mostly in restaurants. There is certainly nothing wrong with them, but I think Blake’s 5 percenters would most decidedly turn their noses up.

Expensive wine 59: J Vintage Brut Late Disgorged 2003

winereview

Expensive wine 59: J Vintage Brut Late Disgorged 2003There won’t be a specific post for wine and Valentine’s Day this year, but I will cover the subject today, tomorrow (featuring Valentine’s Day suggestions from around the Internet), and Wednesday. I did a Valentine’s post last year because I wanted to emphasize sparkling wine, but that job is pretty well done. And I’m not a big fan of the holiday that must not be named, anyway.

I am, however, a huge fan of the J Vintage ($90, sample, 12.5%), price be damned.  Is “very yummy” too technical a wine term to describe it?

Look for layers and layers of complexity and flavor – some pear fruit, some yeastiness (but not overdone the way many French wines at this price are), and even some melon. Don’t often get that in a bubbly. In all of this, the wine is not as aggressive as J’s non-vintage wines, which means less citrus and more subtlety in the fruit flavors. But there are still lots and lots of tiny bubbles, for those of us who love that.

Is it worth nine bottles of a quality $10 Spanish cava? That all depends who you are going to share it with.

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