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: 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: 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.

Wine Review: 2014 Riesling, 14 Hands Winery

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It had been a long time since we tried a Riesling so I decided give 14 Hands another shot.¬†What can I say? I’m a sucker for wine that has horses on the label.

Interesting factoid: a “hand” is a unit measurement equal to 4 inches and this is how we measure the height of horses. Measuring from the ground to the top of the withers, we say that a horse is x number of hands tall. What is special about the measurement of 14 hands is that it is the diving line between a horse and a pony. Under 14 hands is a pony and over 14 hands is a horse.

Another interesting factoid is that 14 Hands Winery is located in Washington State. I can’t help but wonder if my friend, Kricket, who does not like the taste of California, would favor the taste of Washington?

So anyway, back to the wine.

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I read somewhere that the taste of wine, Riesling in particular, will change in accordance to the music that is being played. The blogger conducting the experiment was using classical music and concluded that, while everyone else in the room thought she was crazy, her Riesling really did taste better when she listened to Mozart.

Well, I dunno about that so I decided to conduct my own experiment.

First up, enjoying my Riesling with Pearl Jam Unplugged.

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First impressions: this Riesling is pretty good, very crisp with lots of apple flavor.

When Xavier and I first started buying wine, I was totally clueless, but he said that he liked Riesling so that’s what we got. It was one of the segues that lead to our new hobby.

Wine is fine with Pearl Jam.

But…

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How would it be with Gillian Welch?

My honest opinion is that it was better with Gillian Welch. It is also no secret that I favor Gillian Welch over Pearl Jam in personal preference.

As for why this is, well, the science is subjective at best but I have some theories.

Ever heard of Masaru Emoto?

He conducted experiments on how water reacts to various types of stimuli like praying to it, saying nice or mean things to it, and even playing music for it. He would then freeze the water and photograph the ice crystals.

Sure enough, water from the same source would produce distinctly different crystals in accordance to the stimuli that it was exposed to.

Please check out the link above to see how the water was affected by different types of music.

Now, before you go assuming that Pearl Jam is just a lot of hard rock music so of course it would cause the water to be in a state of disarray, I would also like to point out that Gillian Welch will never write the feel good song of the summer. Most of her stuff is pretty dark in it’s own way.

In any case, wine is mostly water and so are you and I. It makes sense that one of the reasons why we would like a certain type of music or a particular artist is because of a harmonious connection between our dominant state and the vibration of the music. If the wine was also moving and grooving in a harmonious vibration it only seems natural that we interpret it as tasting better.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

Wine Review: 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 Hands Winery

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On a Sunday afternoon, Xavier and I went to lunch at a local restaurant called La Paz. It’s right up the street from our all time fave, Cacique, and we thought it would be fun to try a new place.

We thought wrong.

La Paz is why restaurants outside of New Mexico should not serve food they don’t understand. ¬†Additionally, the service was terrible. It took an hour to get our food and the food we finally got was mediocre at best.

Speaking of mediocre, the wine list was also laughable. Featuring such fine selections as Sutter Home White Zinfandel and Bare Foot Pinot Noir, I seriously considered just ordering an iced tea but then I saw one choice that looked promising: 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon.

I had never tried it but I knew that 14 Hands wine usually cost more than $6 at the store so it was the creme de la creme so to speak.

This glass of wine was quite delightful and, were it not for it’s presence, we probably would have left when the waiter came to apologize for the 45 minute wait, explaining that the kitchen had sent our food to the wrong table, and promising that our lunch would be delivered eventually.

Despite the underwhelming nature of the restaurant, I really did enjoy the wine so I decided to get a bottle of my very own.

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I wish this story got better but, well, it kinda doesn’t.

There was something amiss about the bottle I bought. While it generally tasted alright, it smelled weird.

Perhaps I should rephrase. I thought it smelled weird. ¬†Xavier said, “That’s what Cabernet Sauvignon smells like.”

He thought it smelled fine.

Oddly enough, I thought it tasted alright just as long as I didn’t sniff the top of the bottle. Overall though, I liked the wine I had in the restaurant better than¬†the bottle I brought home.

The restaurant wine was dark and smooth, very full bodied and pleasantly woody with a good amount of oak.

Maybe I got a dud bottle. I’m sure it happens from time to time.