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Canyon Road Merlot 2014

6 Jul

IMG_1804My mom and I recently went to a bunco fundraiser where we played bunco for the first time (it’s not as exciting as you think) but also won a sweet raffle prize. The basket we won included a bottle of wine, two wine glasses, and gift certificate to Pinot’s Palette. The wine was a bottle of 2014 Canyon Road California Merlot. Free wine is always the best wine and this one wasn’t awful. I’m learning Merlot is probably my least favorite wine but this one was pretty smooth. This is going to sound really weird but when I took a long sniff of it, I totally got notes of rosemary and Play-Doh. I mean, along with the normal cherry fruity smells you get from a Merlot. But the taste isn’t awful and goes down smooth, but it isn’t something I would seek out to buy again.


Chianti Riserva Gaetano D’Aquino 2012

25 May

My mother and I recently went to a movie night fundraiser to watch Mother’s Day. We entered a few raffles and won this sweet bottle of wine that IMG_9309came in a purse specifically for carrying and insulating bottles of wine. So this bottle of Chianti Riserva Gaetano D’Aquino 2012 vintage looks super fancy and super expensive, right? Well it fooled me, too. I learned from Google that it’s like $6 at Trader Joe’s. But jokes on them because it’s actually really frickin’ good wine. This is definitely the best tasting cheapest bottle of wine, especially if you consider it being free since I won it. It has 12.5% ABV and was very complex in flavor, bold but smooth, overall very interesting and enjoyable. I would even recommend this to a beginning wine drinker.

Truly Spiked & Sparkling

24 May

IMG_1528Some of the perks of being a journalist include having free alcohol sent to your office for you to taste test. We received two boxes last week, each included one bottle of each flavor of new product Truly Spiked & Sparkling. I had never heard of them before and after tasting them I will definitely be buying them. At first glance it looks no different than a Mike’s Hard Lemonade-type drink; think super sweet and syrupy. But the label says it is a spiked sparkling water with natural flavors. On the back ingredients list, you learn the 5% ABV comes from beer made from sugarcane, which I didn’t realize was possible. It’s actually really good, and not sweet and syrupy at all. It doesn’t taste like beer either. It literally tastes like sparkling water, which is kind of dangerous. Think alcoholic Perrier; that carbonated almost bitter refreshing fizz. It comes in three flavors: Colima Lime, Grapefruit & Pomelo, and Pomegranate, which was my least favorite as it almost tasted slightly beer-y mixed with water. Currently the product is only available in CO, CT, IA, IL, KS, MA, MD, ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI and VT. I have no idea when they plan on launching it in Florida as I haven’t seen the press release that came with the box yet, but I will update this post as soon as I find out. I would definitely recommend trying this, especially to my non-beer loving friends.

Cooper’s Hawk Winter Red Spiced Wine

28 Apr

Opened my birthday bottle of Cooper’s Hawk Winter Red Spiced Wine for Passover last Friday. I’ve never had a bottle of wine before that gave you the IMG_9160option to warm it on the stove, but after you taste it everything makes sense. It’s basically the pumpkin spice latte of wine. At 13.5% ABV it’s a grape wine with mulling spices added like spiced apple, cherry, mandarin orange and baking spices. It smelled and tasted like cloves, pepper and fall. It was much sweeter than I was expecting. It’s not bold like a Merlot, but not as sweet as Manischewitz. It paired much better with the charoset than it did with the lamb. I could definitely see drinking this a little warm bundled up with some pie in the fall, which is basically winter here. Online it looks like a bottle goes for about $14 and I would recommend picking one up when it’s cooler outside.

Lakeridge Winery Sunblush Premium Rose Wine

3 Apr

IMG_9157I haven’t been to Lakeridge Winery in Clermont since college, but my mom said she found a bottle of their Sunblush Premium Rose Wine when she was at Publix. It couldn’t have cost more than $15 or she wouldn’t have bought it. It’s made from muscadine grapes done in a rose style, and the end result isn’t bad. It’s 11% ABV and smells light, orange-y,IMG_9158 like clean cotton or rain. It tastes nice and light without too much tannin like sweet grape peels with orange juice. I think it’s a good introductory wine for beginner wine drinkers, or for something light when you’re outside on a hot day. Definitely serve chilled.

Tehama Oaks Winery Red Rock Red Wild West Blend 2011

10 Jan

IMG_0454I finally opened the last bottle of wine my aunt brought me from California. The bottle alone gave me the feeling that this was a small, local winery whose wine I wouldn’t be able to find around here, which made me excited. From Tehama Oaks Winery its label read: Red Rock Red, Wild West Blend, 2011 California Red Wine. On it’s website I found out it’s a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah and 5% Petite Syrah. It was named for the famous pro-rodeo bucking bull Red Rock, who is pictured on the label. At 12.46% ABV it cost $24, and I would absolutely pay that for it. While I don’t have specific tasting notes as I brought the bottle to a party and didn’t bother to analyze it closely, I can confidently say it is one of the best wines i’ve had in a long time. Very bold but smooth. It was a delicious blend. If I ever get a chance to visit my aunt I will definitely be checking out the winery and bringing a few bottles home.

Wine By Joe 2010 Pinot Gris

26 Nov

image (3) I’m not sure how but my notes have been deleted on my Ipod touch, which is where I take all my wine notes, so I don’t remember exactly what I thought when I tried this wine last Friday. This 2010 Wine By Joe Pinot Gris from Oregon was a gift from my grandfather, whose name is also Joe. It looks like it cost about $14 depending on where you find it, and I believe it was around 13% ABV. I think it smelled much better than it tasted. It was light with notes of pineapple and I can’t remember what else; it smelled sweet. It tasted pretty tart with a sharp finish, but also like it was watered down. It is a few years old so it might be past it’s prime. It was okay, but then again white wine isn’t my favorite.