Wine Review: 2014 California Pinot Noir, Prophecy

2014 Prophecy NoirThis bottle was from a trip to Total Wine towards the end of our days in Frederick (circa November 2017)

Life gets hectic when times of transition grow near, especially moves across the country. Days are filled with finding answers to important questions like how to get all of this stuff from point A to point B?, and of course the all important where we will live upon arrival?

There are other important details like what to pack and what not to pack. Deciding what day will be the last day at work and when to say goodbye to all our friends.

As the big day grows closer, the apartment grows more sparse. The U-Box was packed and sent ahead, leaving us to eat on paper plates while sitting on the floor and, after the bed that wasn’t going to make the trip was hauled away, Xavier and I spent the last night in Frederick huddled together on a sleeping bag.

A slumber party with sleeping bags on the floor is fun when you’re eight, sleepless and not as fun when you’re forty-two. In the morning we packed the cars and hit the road to our new life in New Mexico.

So, about the wine…

The picture on the label is the zero card from a Tarot deck, The Fool.

Card 0, The Fool. Radient Rider-Waite Tarot.

Symbolizing new beginnings, freedom, a clean slate, and fearlessness, The Fool sets off on a fresh adventure with all the elements he needs in his pack. Little dogs run along beside him, nipping at his heels as a reminder that a clean slate is only clean momentarily because every decision shapes the road ahead. “Watch your step and choose carefully”, sayeth the dogs.

I have enjoyed every bottle of Prophecy wine that I’ve tried.

They always have cool labels, which is important because, you know, first impressions and all.

This Pinot Noir is medium bodied and has a beautiful ruby red color. It smells and tastes like cherry (but in a good way, not like cough syrup) and oak – gotta love the oak –  with a velvety smooth finish.

13.8% alcohol, pairs well with clearing the way for what lies ahead.

An excellent wine for closing one door and opening another.

 

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Wine Review: 2015 Red Blend, Prophecy

2015 Prophecy Red Blend

Always listen to first impressions.

The picture on the label of Prophecy Red Blend is an artist’s interpretation of Tarot card number VI – The Lovers.

VI - The Lovers. Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot

When The Lovers card appears, it means there are decisions to be made. The Fool has set off on his journey, making progress on the path of his choosing when he comes to an unexpected fork in the road. He (or she, of course) has encountered something or someone that they have fallen in love with. In the most literal sense, it may be a person, or it could also be a brilliant idea or inspiration. In any case, there is a sense that the wheel in the sky has just turned and that this new love must be had.

The question though, is at what cost?

This new love presents a divergence from a previously chosen path. Like re-routing the inertia of any river, the ability to follow this new path does not come for free. There is risk and conflict involved but also the possibility to follow one’s destiny when a once in lifetime opportunity comes along.

The Fool could be paralyzed with loss aversion, too afraid to risk what he has to chase what he wants. Standing at the station while the bus pulls away, walking home to a predictable life but with regret in his heart. Or he could risk it all to pursue his love. It may not work out but at least he wouldn’t spend the rest of his life asking the worst question of all; “what if?”.

In the end, only the Fool knows if it was worth it.

Xavier and I have a love story just like this. If you feel so inclined, you can read about it here, here, here, and here. All stories from the time before this blog was about wine.

And about the wine…

Featuring grapes from Washington and California, Prophecy Red Blend is a rich and full wine, full of dark cherry and chocolatey goodness, a bit of oak and a smooth finish. Delicious on a chilly evening.

13.8% alcohol, pairs nicely with a roll of the dice.

Wine Review: California Sweet Red, Sutter Home

 

Sutter Home California Sweet Red WineIn going through my photos and wine tasting notes, I recently found two bottles of Sutter Home wine that I photographed and made notes about but that never made it to this blog. This is the second one.

I think Sutter Home may get a bad rap but I generally find their wines to be drinkable despite the bottom shelf price. Personally, I am a fan the screw top, easy to open and easy to close.

Sutter Home Sweet Red is, well.., sweet. I’m not a huge fan of sweet wine but this one is pleasant, smoky sweet with a smooth finish and a touch of oak. In my opinion, dessert wines are not intended to be consumed at the same pace as dinner wines. One glass is plenty, more than that and the sweetness becomes overwhelming. Plus, don’t forget that sugar plus alcohol = headache.

One glass after dinner is great but don’t go guzzling the whole bottle, no one likes a Kool-Aid wino.

 

Wine Review: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sutter Home

Sutter Home Cabernet SauvignonIf you’re out at a restaurant and see on the wine list that a glass of Sutter Home wine is $5.99, just keep in mind that you could stop on the way home and buy a whole bottle of pretty much any Sutter Home wine for the same price. I’m just sayin’… spend the extra money on dessert.

Coming from a place of expectation management, this Cabernet Sauvignon is not bad. It’s probably not the best Cab you’ll ever have but it’s certainly not the worst.

I found this wine to be very drinkable with lots of toasty oak & vanilla with a smooth finish. Pairs nicely with steak or pasta and red sauce.

13.5% alcohol, no headache after two glasses.

 

Wine Review: 2015 Bin 55 Rich Red Blend, Dr. Henry John Lindeman’s

2016 Bin 55 rich Red Blend Lindeman's

60% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alcohol.

On sale for $5.99 at Walgreens ($10 at Albertson’s), this is a very nice red blend from South Eastern Australia.

Bin 55 Rich Red Blend

As always, I’m a fan of the screw cap, especially when the contents are this good. Vanilla, dark fruit, smooth finish with a touch of smoke. A great deal at full price and an even better deal at half price! Pairs great with dry rub BBQ pork chops and steamed vegetables. Also acceptable curled up in a blanket on the couch with a bag of chips. No matter how you pair it, one thing is for certain, Lindeman’s Red Blend turns down the volume on the lingering stress memories from the day.

Stress less, wine more.

 

 

 

Wine Review: 2016 Cab-Zin, St. Clair Vineyard

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After an underwhelming first sample from St. Clair Vinyard, I decided to give them a second chance. St. Clair is in New Mexico after all and I wanted to like their wines.

A Cab-Zin blend is pretty basic, how could they screw it up?

Well…..where there’s a will, there’s a way.

This Cab-Zin is medium-light bodied at best leading with bright notes of cherry that are too bright. Xavier said it tasted sour. Completely devoid of any of the deep dark, chocolatey goodness that one would expect from this type of blend. It doesn’t really even look dark in the glass but on the plus side it did get a little better after being open for about an hour and there was no extra charge for the headache I woke up with this morning.

You know you’ve chosen poorly when the conversation at the dinner table sounds like, “If you hate it, we still have that box of Franzia.” It’s like staying at a hotel and laminating that it’s not as nice as Motel 6.

If you’re looking for a good New Mexico wine this, my friends, is not it.

 

Wine Review: 2016 Pinot Noir, Fisheye

Fisheye Pinot Noir

 

Of all the budget-priced wines in the $5 – $6 range, Fisheye from south eastern Australia is by far my favorite (and I’m cheap, so I’ve tried most of them). Every Fisheye wine that I have sampled is smooth and tasty and this 2016 Pinot Noir is no different.

It truly makes me happy to spend only $5 on a bottle of wine and not regret it in the morning.

This Pinot Noir is just a touch spicy with a hint of cinnamon over a smooth base of medium red fruit and a bit of oak. Check out the beautiful ruby red hue!

Fisheye Pinot Noir

Other pertinent facts: 13.5% alcohol, pairs well with pepper-jack cheese and Club crackers, no headache. Did I mention $5?