My kingdom, my kingdom, for a Viognier that can convey the beauty and elegance of this often overlooked, and unappreciated grape. The more common blending partner to Chardonnay, Roussane, and others, Viognier has the power as a young grape to have the grace and balance of a ballerina, and all the floral touches of a wedding. While the most famous hails from Condrieu in France, Viognier radically grew in California along the central coast in the early 2000’s. Thanks to California’s good growing season in 2013, 2013 Honey Moon Viognier could prove quite good, if it isn’t too old after two years. How well has it aged?
When I last left this site, I had been writing in Maryland, who mercifully didn’t have a state a controlled liquor authority, but had one of the most complicated country liquor systems I’ve ever heard about. This meant that in addition to baffling changes in the availability of various beer, wine, and spirits induced by driving 15 minutes, that occasionally the bar down the street would get unlabeled kegs of beer and sell them as such (I love you Quarry House!). Moving back to Ohio, liquor is once again state controlled, if sold through agents of the states, meaning that wine is available in plenty of places including, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and Costco.
But wait, wine? At Costco?! Having seen the CNBC special on Costco, I know that their buying process is particularly refined, so having recently obtained a membership, I figured it was worth putting it to the test. At a cursory glance, the selection is fun, ranging from $5 – $10 bottles to $180 bottles of Dom. Looking for a cheap thrill, I picked up 2011 Mano a Mano Tempranillo which was rated 90 pts by Stephen Tanzer. So does warehouse pricing really deliver wine shop quality?
Ooo la la, what a bottle you have there. Made up of Merlot, Zinfandel, and Syrah, Sexy Wine Bomb Blends Have More Fun hails from California, and promises to not be in the slightest bit creepy. This isn’t typically a wine characteristic, but being blended may hide some of it’s imperfections. Can Sexy Wine Bomb Blends Have More Fun be a Sex Bomb Bombshell it was meant to be, or is just a tart?
Derby season is upon us, and this wine features horses (at least on the bottle). It’s dry (like not sweet) which is how the horses like the track, but can it quench the thirst of the stands? Let’s give the French a go in the American horse racing scene with Depréville Brut! And Dupreville is off
It seems like Coastline has become one of the more ubiquitous brands across the country. The orange bottle with the picturesque California coastline is in grocery stores and wine shops across the country. To top it off, it’s from Paso Robles, an ‘in’ region, blowing away expectations on vintage charts for the past few years. So does 2011 Coastline Zinfandel beat expectations, or is it a year to give it up? Coasting down the road
Big changes will be coming to First Pour Wine, in the mean time, we have a short survey we’d love your input on!
Zinfandel is one of the most difficult wines to predict. It can produce anything from the notorious white zinfandel to a deep, dark, jammy red. It can also be made into a Port. As a result, you don’t always know what you’re getting into. Which way does 2010 Zinsanity Zinfandel go? Light bright
Like all wine, cabernet sauvignon is influenced by the place where it grows to a great extent. For instance, a new world cabernet sauvignon from Australia may not taste the same as one from Chile. To an extent, this is due significantly to the climate of the region, and to a smaller extent the vintage. 2008 was a great year for Walla Walla in Washington, but wasn’t the best year for Argentina. Can 2008 Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon buck the trend, or is it too much weather to weather. Cool Climate Cab
Young cabernet is always something of a gamble. At its best, it can be a delightfully rich red wine that is mature beyond its years, but at the worst, a tacky red that shows little refinement. The second of the Darkhorse contenders, 2011 Darkhorse Cabernet Sauvignon is looking to race across the finish line to your table. Has it sprung forth out of the gate, or is it a stumble? Not an odds on favorite
Stuck at the store right now and can’t decide? Here’s a quick overview of the sparkling we’ve tried:
|Wine||What It’s Like||Price|
|Korbel Extra Dry||Pear, Melon, Bright, Hint Sweet||$9.95|
|Charles de Fère Reserve Brut Blanc de Blancs||Tart, Round, Baked Apple, Dried Apricot||$9.95|
|Conde de Caralt Brut Cava||Lemon, Bubbly, Peach, Hint Sweet, Minerality||$8.99|
|Casa Sant’Orsola Asti||Sweet, Very Bubbly, Honey, Nectarine, Apple Peel||$9.99|
|Freixenet Brut Cava||Dry, Smooth, Apple, Yeast||$7.45|
|Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée||Crisp, Clean, Lemon, Apple||$9.99|
|Rondel Brut Cava||Crisp, Clean, Very Fizzy, Pear, Toast||$7.99|
|You Can Do Better Tier|
|il Corigiano Extra Dry Prosecco||Apple, Stonefruit, Aggressively Bubbles||$7.99|
|Segura Viudas Brut Reserva||Rough, Aggressively Bubbly, Sharp, Tart||$6.45|
If you’re looking for a few more choices, we also have last year’s reviews up, but at a year out, the bottles may have changed a bit.
Need a quick refresher on Brut, Extra Dry, or Sweet? The sparkling sweetness guide has you covered.
Plus, a quick remind on how to open a bottle below the fold.
Show me how to pop that cork