May 31 2012

I Heart CA (California, Non-Vintage)

Category: BlendMike @ 9:07 pm
This wine is a red table wine blend form California.  We picked it up for a Fresh & Easy Twitter Tasting event.
$5 from Fresh & Easy
Three Trophies
  • Aromas of earth underneath scents of prune
  • Undercurrent of vanilla
  • Not overly fruity in the aromas
  • Scent and taste does not change with decanting…even after 45 minutes
  • Over-ripe plums in the taste
  • A bit harsh on the finish
  • fairly one dimensional but not bad tasting
  • A blend that is a combination from all over California.  Flavors and aromas do not change over time much like a comfortable pair of jeans… You may not want to wear them out in public but they are fine for laying around the house.

May 11 2012

La Parra Loca (Spain, 2010)

Category: GarnachaMike @ 9:20 pm
This wine is a Garnacha from spain that is sold by Fresh & Easy.   We reviewed an earlier 2006 vintage years ago that we didn’t love, but this one was much more favorable.
$6 from Fresh & Easy
Three and a Half Trophies
  • Smells of  sweet fruit and ripe berries
  • Taste is nice and dry with a light to medium body
  • Good mouth feel with the tannins mellowed out after a good decant
  • Not too sweet with strawberry and cherry flavors.
  • This wine is like going to a modest cozy neighborhood Spanish restaurant and getting an honest meal that hits the spot just right.

Apr 10 2012

Doon Buggy Red (California, 2009)

Category: BlendEddie @ 11:28 pm
This is a new wine at Fresh & Easy and we first had it at the TasteLive event that Fresh & Easy hosted on twitter.  We liked it then and decided to officially review it later, so we had it with some turkey chipotle meatballs and spagetti.
$10 from Fresh & Easy
Four Trophies
  • Peppery smells with deep rich purple color
  • Strawberry tastes with creamy buttery mouth feel
  • Masculine with leathers and vanilla flavors
  • Great food wine with finishes of pipe tobacco and spice in the background
  • This wine is smooth.  Like a well groomed, smooth talking, knows all the right moves and exactly what to say kind of smooth.  Overall a great wine for the price.

Nov 10 2011

Zingari Toscana (Italy, 2008)

Category: ToscanaEddie @ 6:00 pm
This is a wine that we picked up from Costco based purely on the inviting description that the display had.  We enjoyed this with some friends and some good food.
$9 from Costco
Three and a Half Trophies
  • Ripened fruit smells with blackberry tastes
  • Smooth mouth feel with an anise finish
  • Great food wine, with a shorter finish after decanting
  • This wine was like a 4th of July fireworks extravaganza… except it was one that started off really well but ended disappointingly with no finale whatsoever.

Sep 24 2011

Benefactor Cellars (Australia, 2010)

Category: Cabernet SauvignonEddie @ 8:15 pm
This wine had a huge special display at Traders Joe’s so we grabbed it as we walked by. It had a really cool label and we figured that with the price being so good and the label being so cool we would give it a shot.  The wine is very harsh out of the bottle so we decanted it in order to see if we noticed any difference.
$5 from Trader Joe’s
Two and a Half Trophies
  • Harsh aromas of alcohol to the point that it burns your nose
  • Very acidic at first
  • A slight tart aroma similar to green apple
  • Decanting opens up the aromas and we are getting hints of berries
  • A bit of prune and strawberry on the finish
  • High tannins and MUST BE DECANTED!!!!!!
  • Harsh and cruel like death at a young age… just like the age of this wine.  You would be better off hoping that your benefactor left you a six pack!

Aug 31 2011

Rare Red (California)

Category: BlendEddie @ 10:05 pm
Picked this wine up at Sprouts because it was in the wine rack but did not have a price.  The bottle was super heavy and I considered purchasing it .  Since I could not find a price I decided on another wine.  Then a Spouts employee came out and I could not resist the draw of this bottle.  I asked him for a price check and it came with a very favorable $6.50.  I could not resist so I put it in my shopping cart.  We would have liked to have a vintage on the bottle, that was one of our few complaints about it.  It was a bit sweet for us and we were wondering if it would age well.  The bottle was very heavy and seemed to be built for aging.
$7 from Sprouts
Two and a Half Trophies
  • Aromas of vanilla, and butterscotch
  • a bit of moist Earth as well in the smell
  • A bit of maple syrup on the tip of your tongue
  • Some blueberry on the finish
  • A bit fruit heavy and tannic
  • Really great at first.  Creamy and sweet… a bit much after a while like going out to eat and having a dessert that is really good until about half way through when your stomach starts to hurt.

Apr 30 2011

WineWrights Pinot Noir (California, 2009)

Category: Pinot NoirMike @ 11:14 pm
Picked up this wine from Fresh & Easy and had with corned beef, potatoes, soda bread and our favorite brussels sprouts with bacon.
$11 from Fresh & Easy
Three and a Half Trophies
  • This wine has herbal smells from the opening.
  • Fruity hints of strawberry and strawberry tastes.
  • Smooth and easy, nice mouth feel with low tannins
  • Blackberry tastes at the end.
  • This wine is a little like the lower end contract player that is signed for a low to mid range dollar amount and does what expected by filling a role that is needed, but does not exceed any performance expectations.  It would be nice if they performed above their contract level, but they don’t so that’s what you get!  Still a great bargain that does what it needs to.

Mar 30 2011

Barbed Wire (California, 2009) Blend

Category: Blend,Bordeaux,Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot,Red WineEddie @ 11:36 pm
This wine was purchased to kick off the weekend with burgers on a charcoal Weber grill.  The burgers were made with garlic, onion, smoked gouda, and worcestershire sauce.  It was a relaxed evening of conversation, dinner, homemade brownies and ice cream for dessert while the kids ran wild.  A perfect way to celebrate the 80 degree weather in Phoenix.  This wine is a great food wine that is bold enough to stand up to strong flavors yet it is also easily enjoyed on it’s own.  I would be interested in having this again with some hard cheeses such as Parmesan and Romano.
$12 from Target
Four Trophies
  • Rich and deep aromas of cedar, and a hint of vanilla at first.
  • Earthy flavors of moss followed by fruity plum at the finish.
  • Touch of red apple on the tip of the tongue.
  • Really opens up the flavors after decanting but is still slightly tannic.
  • Bold, strong and aggressive yet contains a soft side that fits into every situation.  This wine is comfortable at a hockey game as well as a night spend listening to the opera.  Versatile and hip it is a wine for just about any occasion.

Feb 25 2011

Francis Ford Coppola Rosso Blend (California, 2009)

Category: BlendEddie @ 10:42 pm
This is a wine that we’ve reviewed previously in the 2008 vintage, but we were disappointed with the 2009 compared to the previous year.
$16 from Fry’s
Two and a Half Trophies
  • Aromas of over ripe raspberry and a slight hint of black pepper
  • Very tannic out of the bottle
  • Long finish with flavors of dark cherry
  • A bit plain at first and the finish is where all the flavor is at
  • Hints of rosemary
  • Kind of like going to a Black Angus or a Red Lobster…a recognizable name that you are satisfied with but not overwhelmed.  Buy it if it is on sale obut do not go out of your way to pick it up at full price.

Jan 31 2011

Monrosso Chianti (Italy, 2007)

Category: ChiantiMike @ 8:07 pm
This is a Chianti that we picked up from Costco and enjoyed with our delicious chipotle beef tacos on a quiet Monday night.  Chianti’s are often such a great choice when choosing a wine to go with your meal because the Italians have designed them to be built for food.  They can go very well with a wide variety of foods.
$10 from Costco
Three and a Half Trophies
  • Smells of bright vanilla and strawberry shortcake.
  • Peppery with a sweet hint of cherry.
  • Medium finish and smooth mouth feel.
  • This wine was great with our meal as was expected from a Chianti, but after our food was done it seemed to fall flat a bit… like a great basketball player who is traded to a different team and never reaches the same level of productivity without their star point guard by their side setting them up for easy points game after game.

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