Wine Review: 2014 Red Velvet, Cupcake Vineyards

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Oak and alcohol.

N’uff said.

Yes. It is smooth like buttah, or velvet, as the case may be.

No. It does not taste like cake, not even a little bit.

I like this wine quite a bit though I don’t really agree with Cupcake’s description of it. Perhaps I have unsophisticated taste buds but anyone who thinks this wine tastes like coconut is probably high on something else besides wine.

Red Velvet is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Petite Sirah. They ferment each varietal before blending and then add a whole lot of oak. This is actually my 2nd bottle of Red Velvet and both bottles were pretty consistent; strong on the oak and more subtle with the fruit. It has a nice, smooth finish and is positively outstanding with chips and salsa. Blue corn tortilla chips with organic black bean and corn salsa from Aldi, to be specific.

Some people like to pair wine with chocolate but I like to pair it with salsa. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.

Cupcake Red Velvet is a tasty, easy drinking wine. I plan to enjoy more of it.

Other pertinent facts.

13.5% alcohol

Around $10.

NO headache ūüôā

Wine Review: 2016 Dark Red, 19 Crimes

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Xavier bought me a fantastic wine decanter and that is the best part of this review.

A wine decanter helps the wine to open up faster by exposing more of the surface area to oxygen. Aside from that, it looks cool.

Of course you then have to hurry up and drink it before it gets too oxidized, grows bacteria, and turns into an unsavory science project.

The Banished is 19 Crimes’ Dark Red Blend. Once again, no info on the bottle and I can’t get the website to work because, for some inexplicable reason, my computer will not allow me to check the box certifying that I am of legal drinking age. ¬†No checky box, no loady website.

In any case, I can tell you that 19 Crimes is located in south eastern Australia and the wine in this bottle was indeed dark red.

I think it tasted alright but I kinda don’t remember because it gave me a red wine headache that lasted for two days.

Two. Days.

If you’re prone to red wine headaches, I recommend skipping this one.

Wine Review: 2016 Red Wine Blend, 19 Crimes

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The label is curiously devoid of any words to describe the contents and the website won’t load so your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what’s in the bottle.

It’s definitely wine and it’s definitely red.

So there you have it.

19 Crimes is from Australia, home of Shiraz, and so far as I can tell Shiraz seems to be the main ingredient in this blend. I’m guessing the other ingredient to be Cabernet Sauvignon but that is purely a guess.

According to Xavier it, “smells like a whole lotta wood in there”, and it does indeed.

Despite the lack of information, I really liked this wine. It had a unique flavor that I had not tasted before; jammy but not heavy with the oak falling in exactly the right part of the flavor spectrum. Additionally, it tastes exactly the way it smells so the sipping experience is a harmonious and happy one.

I would absolutely buy it again.

Wine Review: 2014 Retriever Red, Linganore Winecellars

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Many moons ago, Xavier took a field trip to Linganore Winecellars in Mt. Airy for a wine tasting.  My favorite dry red was the Chambourcin.

In the meantime, we’ve gotten pretty hooked on the various Red Blends that are out there, especially the ones claiming to be “soft”.

Linganore Winecellars has an excellent soft red blend called Retriever Red featuring none other than my favorite Chambourcin mixed with Cab.

I could drink this wine all night (and I did)  The Chambourin influence is very noticeable with the whole fruity, vanilla, woody oak, smooth finish thang coming through loud and clear.

Retriever Red is a terrific wine to pair up with pretty much anything or just put a straw in the bottle and call it a night.

No nasty revenge headache and I would be confident to serve this at a party or to send a bottle to my mom as a gift.

Very enjoyable!

 

Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Casillero del Diablo

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Straight from the Devil’s locker.

The direct translation of Casillero is “pigeon hole” or “locker”.

From their website, I would guess that they are making reference to the Devil’s personal collection but let’s not get caught up on semantics.

It’s no secret that Xavier and I eat at ¬†Cacique¬†a lot. I mean a lot.

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I’ve had this Cabernet Sauvignon twice at Cacique and still liked it enough to get a bottle of my very own.

Caserillo del Diablo doesn’t mess around. ¬†This is the best Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve had. It’s got just the right amount of everything: right amount of oak, right amount of fruit, right amount of smooth finish, and generally the right amount of awesome.

I often find Cab to be a little full bodied, too bold, too much upper cut to the upper palate, but Caserillo del Diablo is not like that at all. ¬†It’s silky smooth and seriously dangerous. The bottle disappears very easily.

Other pertinent facts: NO red wine headache.

This is the first wine from Chile that I’ve had and I have to say that maybe Kricket is onto something. ¬†Chile tastes good. ¬†

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Wine Review: 2013 Syrah, Blackstone

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This is both the first wine from Blackstone and the first Syrah I have tried.

Blackstone wine is not particularly pricey but it is very good.  I think this bottle was about $9.00.

First impressions, I don’t know if all Syrah is this way but¬†the one from Blackstone¬†is a very soft red wine.¬† It opens with a little kick but mellows quickly with a long, smooth finish. Think dark fruit and smooth coffee.

Blackstone Syrah is an easy drinking wine that causes the bottom of the bottle to appear all too quickly.

You may have noticed that I review a lot of red blends of which Syrah is often a key ingredient.  In the blends it can be difficult to isolate the individual varietals but tasting the Syrah by itself I can now recognize it as the predominate flavor in many of the blends that I really like.

Incidentally, Syrah is made from the exact same grape as Shiraz.  I reviewed a Shiraz awhile back and, if my memory serves, Xavier said it was crass (the wine, not my review).  I see now that crass is an accurate description. Shiraz wears sunglasses indoors and swears in front of children. Syrah speaks in complete sentences and reads books that have more words than pictures.

I don’t know why Syrah isn’t more popular. In fact, Blackstone is the only option for Syrah at my neighborhood store, and maybe that says more about the store than the varietal, but I would love to see more options nonetheless.

If you know of any good ones, please leave your recommendations in the comments section below.

Wine Review: Red Blend, 7 Moons

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Seemingly out of nowhere, this wine just appeared in the feature sale bin at my neighborhood liquor store. It also showed up at the one gas station in our local area that is allowed to sell wine.

The label was cool so naturally we bought it.

This seems to be the only wine available from 7 Moons.

www.7moonswine.com

7 moon swine

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With regard to flavor, this is one of my all time favorites.  It’s so good, I want to pour it in a Big Gulp cup and take it with me to work.

It is entirely possible that 7 Moons may have sold their soul to the devil for this wine recipe. Smooth with luscious cherries, chocolate, vanilla and a nice amount of oak. If I had known that red wine could be this good I would’ve started drinking it years ago.

I don’t know how to score wine but if I did, I would give it a D for devilishly good.

This deliciousness comes at price though, and it’s more than $11.99.

The trade off is that, even after only one glass, I woke up with a truly horrific red wine headache… three times.

It tastes so good that I almost don’t care but if red wine gives you headaches, this is not your huckleberry.