Sunday, November 25, 2007

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé

le beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!

Man, I haven't posted a wine tasting on this blog in forever. I suck!

My apologies to any remaining readers or curious scragglers. I've just been pumping my time and attention into other things. Like video games and dreams about world leaders.

This year's Beaujolais Nouveau — my first — surprised me with its acidic tendencies. I guess I was expected a fruity, jammy juice of a wine that had no complexity to it. Instead, I got a smoky and fairly flavorful red with a juicier nose than taste.

There is something almost like cheap candy or licorice in the taste of this wine. It's hard to put my finger on it.

It's a quaffable wine, for sure, but not something I'm terribly crazy about.

Still, I'll probably seek it out year after year to see how each crop compares to the last.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fifty lashes with a wet noodle

I've been not only a terrible wineblogger lately, but also a terrible wine-drinker. Oh, I've been drinking wine off and on these past few weeks, but I've not paid much attention to what I was quaffing. This is an injustice I will work to correct this week.

Kimbrough is having a white sale on 2004 vintages, and, against my better judgment, I dropped $60 on several cheap bottles of Riesling this afternoon (I don't have the money for such a splurge, but, well, I can't return them now, can I?). My intention is to sample various vintages and vintners' offerings this coming week. I don't know if there is a term for tasting lots of wines from the same grape. It's not technically a horizontal tasting, since I jumped outside 2004 for at least one bottle. Anyway, I really like Riesling, so I'm excited to see how the grape's expression will vary from region to region — I've got a Southeastern Australia Riesling, two German Rieslings (one medium sweet and one medium dry), and an Alsatian Riesling lined up. All were purchased for around $10 (this is the unofficial theme of this blog, in case you haven't noticed; I don't venture upwards of $15 ... ever).

Tonight I cracked open the medium dry Riesling, hoping like hell it wouldn't be like the dismal Louis Guntrum dry Riesling experience that nearly put me off Riesling altogether. Blech. That crap was terrible. It still makes me think I was sipping liquefied latex gloves.

Thankfully, this Polka Dot German Riesling is vastly less offensive than the Guntrum. In fact, I dare say this Polka Dot stuff is tasty. Still pretty sweet to be medium-dry (which I interpret, perhaps incorrectly — so say so in the comments — as meaning somewhere between sweet and dry), but much more pleasant as an aperitif than some other Rieslings I've experienced. I have to say, though, the Polka Dot seems to be in keeping with its label aesthetic; it seems frivolous and fun, perfect for swilling at girly get-togethers and never to be taken too seriously. It almost tastes like California Pinot Grigio to me — lots of fruity notes (apple, apricot, etc.) with some honey, but enough acidity to balance it out quite nicely.

And it's super cheap. I'm not sure which I prefer — the medium-dry or the medium-sweet. Stay tuned and maybe I'll be able to suss it out this week. Also to come: My first entanglement with a true Alsatian Riesling.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm not dead — just drunk and lazy

So, I'm still sampling my way through the cheapest wines in Memphis, but I've not kept tasting notes. A shame, for sure. I'll get back on the wagon (ha) soon enough. I beg patience!


Friday, March 30, 2007

Facing My Fears: Vol. 2

The second installment in the Facing My Fears series is that grassy old coot sauvignon blanc. The first sauv blanc I had was from New Zealand, and boy did it taste like a mouthful of weeds.

At the time, I knew nothing about the grassy, herbal qualities of sauvignon blanc. I just knew that it had the word "sauvignon" in the title, which reminded me a lot of cabernet sauvignon, which I knew I liked. So I figured, what the hell, they must be as related as a red and white grape can be.

And then I felt like a cow chewing cud when I took a sip. I'm not sure that I even finished that bottle. I may have poured it out — shocking, I know!

So for my trip back into the land of sauv blanc, I decided to steer away from the bolder New Zealand offerings and instead settle on something French — 2005 Bordeaux Trocard Sauvignon Blanc.

To be fair, it's a blend — 80 percent sauvignon blanc and 20 percent semillon.

But the sauv blanc grape carries the flavor. It's got a grassy, minerally backbone, but it's kind of underwhelming. I expected my nostrils to flare and my salivary glands to squirt in defense. Not so. It's actually a quite balanced wine, a little on the timid side, and very, very dry. So much so that on my first sip, I actually said aloud, "Well, THAT's interesting."

And it is. I can see how this would pair well with food — particularly chicken, I think. I have had such trouble finding a good wine for grilled or roasted chicken. Everything I think would be good turns out to overshadow the food a little too much. This wine seems content with whispering its charms.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Facing my fears — Vol. 1

So, in my short year (yes, year!) of wining, I've developed a loose set of guidelines upon which I base all of my wine purchases. Things like "don't pay more than $15 a bottle if you're just going to be drinking alone" and "skip the chardonnay." Mingling with those guidelines is my "blech" list — a mental collection of wines I've had bad experiences with and don't care to try again.

So, I'm granting myself some do-overs, specifically with shiraz/syrah, sauvignon blanc, and zinfandel — three varietals I've had icky experiences with.

An unfortunate run-in with a goopy Chilean shiraz put shiraz/syrah on my blech list last summer. The cheap wine was nothing but alcohol and grainy sediment; the pessimist in me assumed that maybe all shiraz was created like that. But I know that's not the case; I've just been reluctant to strike back out and try something different.

Which brings us to tonight's tasting: 2004 Domaine des Blagueurs Syrah.

Obviously, the first thing you notice about this wine is the wicked Ralph Steadman design on the label. But there's much more to it than that.

It's a hefty wine for its price; its nose is, at first — especially when warm — deeply alcoholic, giving way to dark, plummy fruit scents. A swig of it reveals a smoky thickness, one woven with tobacco and tannin, and black cherries. It's actually quite yummy and smooth — no sediment to be found crunching between my teeth.

If I can tackle the rest of my fears with such ease, I will enter a whole other realm of wine-drinking.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007


Man, this cheese's smell makes me feel yucky.

What wines pair with a fairly pungent cheese and downplay its ripeness?

I'm only able to recommend gouda with medium-bodied reds and muenster with sweet or off-dry whites.

What the hell can pair with a pungent esrom?


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bummer squared

1. The blue-law shakeup bill was shot down in committee yesterday. This means still no liquor on Sunday and still no wine in the grocery store.

2. I'm detoxing this week. Mostly because I'm buh-roke, but also because it's good to every now and give the liver a break. So no tasting notes this week (I haven't done them in a while anyway). We'll see how long I can last.

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