Tag Archives: pinot grigio

Mini-reviews 54: Beaujolais Nouveau, Cousino-Macul, McManis, 14 Hands


Reviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 ($8, purchased, 12%): Much better this vintage — less banana and more oomph, including acidity that hasn’t been there for several years. It’s still not as grapey as it should be, but decent enough cheap wine. Good to see that this annual tradition is worth buying again.

Cousiño-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Antiguas Reservas 2010 ($17, sample, 14%). Chilean red has more in common with California Central Coast style, meaning lots of juicy black fruit and a little herbal aroma, than  it does with many Chilean wines.

McManis Viognier 2012 ($12, purchased, 13.5%): Oily, very fruity (peaches?), and a little bitter on the back — decent enough, but not near the quality of the rest of McManis’ wines. California and viognier continue to be a difficult combination.

14 Hands Hot to Trot White 2010 ($10, purchased, 13%): Nowhere near the quality of the 14 Hands red blend, this Washington state effort has an unpleasant finish and is uneven and disjointed, with an odd fruitiness. Very disappointing.


What’s new with pinot grigo?

What's new with pinot grigo?

It’s simple in taste and cheap in price; hence the American love of pinot grigio.

Quite a lot actually, as a story I wrote for the Beverage Media trade magazine explains. This is not to say that pinot grigio itself has changed much. It remains a cheap, simple white wine preferred by women of a certain age, and the mostly Italian imports that dominate the category sell millions and millions of cases without much of an effort.

Rather, there is an on-going campaign by producers and importers to get Americans to look differently at pinot grigio, whether it’s Oregon and California pinot gris such as J, which a little more expensive and has more fruit, or Italian wines in the $12 to $15 range like Bollini and Alois Lageder.

The story’s highlights, after the jump:

Fourth of July wine 2013

Fourth of July wine 2013

I’m drinking a less alcoholic, less tannic red wine because it’s hot out. But I can’t show my face, because that’s not a manly wine choice.

It’s hot. It’s sticky. So how many of you will drink the biggest, most tannic, most alcoholic red wine possible to celebrate July 4?

Which, of course, is fine with the Wine Curmudgeon, since I believe that everyone should drink what they want, and rules be damned. But, if you don’t mind a suggestion, live dangerously. Try something lighter and, dare I say, more pleasurable – a porch wine, even. Because the only thing I ask is that wine drinkers be willing to try something different.

Which leads to these suggestion, after the jump:

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