Wine Review: 2014 Artisan Collection Petite Sirah, HandCraft

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What a pleasant surprise to find this Petite Sirah from HandCraft at my neighborhood wine shop! I just recently saw it on the shelf and was immediately curious about the new wine that was only $8.99.

Though I’ve never bought a straight Petite Sirah before, the flavor is immediately recognizable as a key ingredient from many of the Red Blends that I like. For once, we didn’t kill the whole bottle in one night and Xavier said he thought it was better the second day. I thought it was good the whole time though it did benefit from having a few minutes to air out.

Composed by winemaker, Cheryl Indelicato, this Petite Sirah has a dash of Zinfandel added for extra spice. It’s also 14.5% alcohol for a bit of extra kick.

Full of dark blackberry and plum, pleasantly flavorful and smooth, an excellent buy for under $10. My store had several other selections from HandCraft and I plan to try another one this week!

Wine Review: 2015 California Shiraz, Bota Box

House buying is serious business, this box of wine didn’t stand a chance.

The week before last was nerve wracking with my work cohort being on vacation, but it’s not quite the same as watching my future hang in the balance while trying to get approved for a mortgage.

It’s been awhile since I bought a house and, when I sold it, I thought I would never want that kind of burden again. Of course that was just silly talk because I hadn’t yet spent two and a half years living in a 4th floor apartment with an over abundance of neighbors and a conspicuous lack of elevators.

Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one…. you get the point.

Murphy requires many trips to the great outdoors everyday and he loves bounding up and down the stairs.

 

As for myself, I can do it but I wouldn’t say I love it.  Incidentally, each glass of wine adds ten steps to the count. Two glasses in and I’m climbing a skyscraper. The time has come to live closer to the ground.

If you’ve ever bought a house then you know the application process requires a good bit of wine. All the hurry up and wait would drive anyone to drink.

This 2015 Shiraz from Bota Box is sassy and bold, especially for boxed wine which tends to be more on the mild side.  There’s nothing toned down about this Shiraz, it’s big and beautiful. Cherry and black pepper, orange peel and blackberry plus 13.5% alcohol to calm an anxious mind.

Yummy.

Effective.

 

Wine Review: Limited Release Double Down, Dark Horse

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It’s been one hell of a week. My counterpart at work is on vacation and it is only her presence that brings order to the madness. The minute she leaves, it’s like ordering a late night pizza and a sparkling water for the mogwai. The chaos that descends over everything as she walks out the door is not the result of anything I’m doing wrong, but rather the awakening of gremlins who have been hibernating since her last vacation.

I’m not even kidding. The random shit that goes awry when she’s not there is enough to rattle even the calmest of chains.

By Friday, I was torn between going to work or jumping off my balcony. I opted for work but only because I promised myself a bottle of Dark Horse Double Down as a reward for walking on hot coals all week.

Bring on the wine!

Double Down is a delicious Limited Release from Dark Horse; a red wine blend consisting of Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Tannet, and Teroldego. I don’t even know what the last two are but it’s really beside the point. I mean, you don’t need to be familiar with all the components in the remote control to que up the next episode of Midnight, Texas.

Speaking of which…

Last night Xavier and I killed a bottle of Double Down, paired with Chipotle (the rich man’s Taco Bell) and caught up on the last three episodes of Midnight, Texas. I love Midnight, Texas because, while they try to pretend that the show takes place in Texas, it is obviously shot in New Mexico. I watch it because it reminds me of home and because Charlaine Harris’s supernatural novels are cool.

So, about the Double Down…

Bold and full bodied. Luscious and full of toasty oak. Mellows to a pleasantly smooth finish. All too easy to keep refilling the glass, would be very dangerous if it came in a box. 14.5% alcohol. Pace yourself.

Wine Review: 2015 Limited Release Zinfandel, Dark Horse

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Like a dust devil of love notes, this Zinfandel has all the glorious taste of Friday night on the couch with a bowl of ravioli and old episodes of Bored To Death.

“Bored to death, plus expenses…”

I always had the hardest time deciphering the lyrics to the theme music so I looked them up.

“Bored to death, kanab and lonely”, that’s what it sounds like but it’s actually, “Bored to death, cut, mad and lonely.”

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The little dog and I love shows about a guy pretending to be a detective.

Ok, but for realz, this is a very nice Zinfandel from Dark Horse.

Creamy and full of oak. Jammy with dark fruit, leather and spice. Oh yes, it’s all of those things plus 14.5% alcohol. I had three glasses and gave the stinky little dog a bath before the Xavier got home from work.

No headache but, on Saturday morning, I did kinda wish that I had stopped at two glasses.

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Wine Review: 2015 Inferno, Apothic

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Now this was $15.99 well spent and, like the McRib, you better get one before they’re gone.

Inferno is a small batch, limited release, from Apothic. Aged for 60 days in whisky barrels and achieving an alcohol content of 15.9%.

“And the Lord sayeth unto thee, ‘pace thyself’.”

Not a slurper, that would be uncivilized, I recommend serving it in a brandy snifter.

Bourbon in the alto and tenor, wine in the bass.

Excellent finish of dark red fruit, maple and spice.

They don’t reveal the varietals but Apothic has surely mastered the alchemy of turning Smurfs into gold.

Trust me, you’ll want to be on the drinking-end of this one.


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Wine Review: 2014 Essential Red, Bogle Vineyards

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Supernatural: Eleven seasons of wine and demons…and Negan.

Xavier and I have been watching a lot of Supernatural lately. It’s what we do.

To celebrate Friday night I picked up this bottle of Bogle Essential Red. At $14.99, it cost a little bit more than I usually spend but it is immediately evident where that extra $4.00 went.

Essential Red tastes expensive. 

A step above what we’re used to.

Whatever they do, they do it well. This wine is fer-damn delicious.

A blend of Old Vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, extra Miracle Gro, and some kind of witchcraft, Essential Red combines the best qualities of all the varietals to create a masterpiece.

Velevet, leather, tobacco, chocolate, cedar, juniper and, you know, grapes.

Actually, it’s just grapes.  The other stuff is all in your head.

But damn, it’s fine.

The bottle survived three episodes of Supernatural and a romantic cuddle on the patio.

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Whatever wine you were planning to buy for tonight, put it down and go pickup a bottle of Bogle Essential Red instead.


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Wine Review: Old Vine Zinfandel, Bota Box

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It feels like fall in Maryland tonight and, to be honest, I’m not a fan. Summer is my season. That being said, the impending autumn brings with it significant and exciting changes. By the time the snow gets here, I’ll once again be a homeowner in New Mexico. So, you know, maybe fall isn’t so bad after all.

Admittedly, a glass of red wine is nice on a chilly evening. Or a hot evening. Or pretty much any type of evening. Hell, it’s doesn’t even have to be evening. Whenever is fine.

Anyway…

For the most part, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my explorations into the world of boxed wine. Bota Box did well with this Old Vine Zinfandel. We liked it. A lot.

Xavier has become fixated on the show, Supernatural, and since it is now in it’s 12th season of production that means there are eleven seasons available on NetFlix.

Wine disappears at an approximate rate of two boxes per season so, consumption being what it is, it will be necessary to find many more boxes to try before we get to the end of the show.

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Old Vine Zin and Iris kitty are almost the same color.

This is a dark and jammy Zinfandel. A lovely glass of plum, licorice, sage, and a whole lot of oak. I do love me some oakified wine.

Xavier, who is especially enamored with the Old Vine Zin, claims that this one has an upward inflection at the end and that drinking it is like conversing with a Valley Girl.

You know?

Because all statements end with question marks?

He’s funny like that.

I say it tastes like a whole lot of empty box because it disappeared posthaste. No red wine headache either, always an endearing quality.


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