2015 Cabernet Franc Carmenere, (oops)

img_1130If by “oops”, they mean “oops, I drank the whole bottle” then, yes, this wine is an “oops”.

Actually, the reason it’s called (oops) is the same reason why Merlot from Chile doesn’t taste like Merlot from anywhere else: it’s not Merlot. As it turns out, some lucky Carmenere grapes escaped France during the great wine blight of the 1860’s. The refugee grapes made their way to Chile but were mistaken for Merlot and were packaged and sold as such until one sunny day in 1994 when astute viticulturist, Jean-Michel Boursiquit, finally figured out why the Merlot tasted a lot like Carmenere. So, you know, …oops.

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I could say that this was one of my favorite wines from Chile but, to be honest, I’ve never met a Chilean wine that I didn’t like.

(oops) Cabernet Franc Carmenere is rich with chocolate, coffee, plum and pepper. Bold with a nice finish, reasonably priced at $10.99 and topped with a convenient screw cap which, by the way, I’ve come to appreciate because the only thing better than having a super fancy cork screw is not having to use it.

P.S. 14% alcohol.

Wine Review: 2014 Shiraz Cabernet, Jacob’s Creek

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After seeing much praise for Jacob’s Creek on the Twitters, I decided to conduct my own taste test.

Aptly named, this Shiraz Cabernet from south eastern Australia is 66% Shiraz, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13.9% alcohol. The bottle also features a clever wine-glass shaped QR code.

Peppery plums and cedary oak, smooth finish, pleasantly soothing after a long day of work.

I would claim that Staples customers drive me to drink but the truth is that they just give me something to rant about while I’m drinking – which I would do anyway because wine is delicious.

That being said, Staples customers are doing a great job of compelling me to quit Staples, which will be happening soon enough.

Anyhoo, Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet is a fine example of Australian Wine and, with recent events in California likely to adversely affect wine supply in the coming years, now seems like a good time to explore wine from other regions.

Wine Review: 2015 Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon, Menage A Trois

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If there’s one winemaker who can be relied upon to get something right, it’s Menage A Trois. Consistently excellent, every bottle, every varietal.

I picked up this bottle of 2015 Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon for Xavier because Menage A Trois is his favorite. That being said, I think I drank most of it. There are two kinds of wine drinkers in our house: the quick and the thirsty.

As always, Menage A Trois delivers an exceptionally luscious and smooth Cabernet that is blueberry and chocolate all night long except it won’t last that long – at least not if I’m around.  The wine is exactly the same color as the foil at the top of the bottle and the bottle made it through three episodes of Stranger Things.

No red wine headache and smooth like silk, this bottle was $13.99 and, for the price, it is certainly at the top of it’s class. Highly recommended!

Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Merlot, Black Opal

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With wildfires raging through California Wine Country as we speak, I think it’s a good thing that Australia and Chile produce some excellent California-alternatives.

This Black Opal Cabernet Merlot is from South Eastern Australia and it’s mighty fine.

Purchased to celebrate two special occasions, Black Opal does not disappoint.

Special Occasion #1: October 9th is the day that Xavier and I began our relationship, which was approximately 24 hours after meeting in person for the first time at a Tai Chi retreat in Oracle, Arizona. We’re so adorable it’s not even funny.img_0520_c

That was three years ago, now we’re an old married couple (well, he’s older – but not too old- and I keep telling myself that I look the same) in the process of buying a house, which is a thing that married people do. Still adorable though.

Special Occasion #2: I earned my first professional I.T. Certification on Sunday (which was October 8th – but close enough)

Since then, I have come down with a dreadful cold which raises the question: Can you mix wine with DayQuil? Is WineQuil a thing?

Joking, obviously.

Anyway, about the Black Opal. It’s $9.99, has a convenient (because I’m lazy) screw cap, and weighs in at 13.5% alcohol. It didn’t give me a headache but Xavier said it gave him a mild one.

Given a few minutes to breathe, this wine is blueberries and chocolate all night long; a smooth drinker that is all too easy to keep on drinking. Which reminds me, whenever the clerk at the liquor store asks if I want a receipt, I always reply, “Not unless you give free refills.” Needless to say, I never take the receipt and there is one less piece of trash on the floor of my car.

Xavier said it was good paired with chocolate and vanilla ice cream waffle cone. I gave it a whirl and thought the wine was better by itself. Prior to breaking out the ice cream, we had paired it with turkey chili, which was very nice.

I believe this is the second review in a row where the winemaker’s description reads “…and a touch of mint.” Clearly someone needs to spit out their gum cuz there ain’t no mint.

Not minty, but better because of it. Mighty fine adult grape juice.

Wine Review: 2014 Hot To Trot Red Blend, 14 Hands Winery

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Craziest thing, I could swear I already wrote this review – like three weeks ago- but, seeing as how I can’t find it anywhere in my drafts or on this blog, I guess I just made that part up.

Wine consumption may or may not affect my memory and cognitive skills.

Hot To Trot is supposed to be their (14 Hands) smooth red blend. And it is, and it’s good, except this one part. There is something about all of their reds, a subtle quality that I can’t tell if it’s a smell or a taste, but it’s a little sumptin’ sumptin’ that is off-putting. I don’t know how else to describe it or if anyone else even experiences it. Maybe it’s just me and my funky wine genome.

Hot To Trot would otherwise be an excellent red blend were it not for this mysteriously subtle flavor of…. ashes from Mt. Saint Helens, fish head fertilizer, the pH of the soil… Heck, I have no idea what it could be but the first time I noticed it, I thought it was probably a fluke. Here it is again though so probably not a fluke.

Maybe it’s just the way the Columbia Valley tastes.

13.5% alcohol and better if you let it sit for a while.

Still funky though.

Wine Review: 2012 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, [yellow tail] Reserve

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[ yellow tail ] Reserve Cabernet Sauvigon.

By “Reserve” they mean it cost $8.99 instead of $7.99 so, you know, high rollers only.

While I’m not convinced that the extra dollar isn’t just spent on the fancy-pants label, this Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t bad. It’s definitely full-bodied with some upper-cut to the upper palate, gets ya with ole one-two if you know what I mean.

[ yellow tail ] reds are typically in your face, lacking volume control and the finesse of an indoor voice. It doesn’t make them bad, it just makes them bold.

Very woody with loud dark fruit. The label reads “… and a hint of mint”.  Apparently someone’s been chewing some super funky gum if they think this wine possesses a hint of mint which, clearly, it does not. But even if it did, “I like this wine because it’s refreshingly minty”, said no one ever.

14% alcohol and a touch of red wine headache.

Certainly not for sissies. Proceed with caution.