Saturday, December 30, 2006

Millington's finest

For Christmas, Ashley gave me a bottle of Old Millington Winery's Crying Angel red table wine. I cracked it open a couple of days ago and have been quite impressed with it since.

The most striking thing about this wine, to me, is its color. Most wines I drink tend to stay within ruby red tones or dark chocolate colors. The Crying Angel looks a bit dirtier than ruby red; it's clear enough to see through but there are browns and yellows that catch the light and give the wine an aged, almost burned look.

The wine itself is full-bodied and robust, with deep spices and a strongly fermented feel to it. The nose is almost leathery with a strong scent of alcohol (stronger, even, than the taste of alcohol). But it's not overwhelming. It's just a hint of machismo, as if the wine is saying "hell yeah, I'll get you drunk!"

(Quite a contrast when you consider the label design.)

This wine won a silver medal in the Cynthiana category at the 2004 Wines of the South Competition, and I can't see a reason why such an award wasn't deserved.

An all-purpose, locally grown wine. Fabulous.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

DIY ... or not

Tuesday I caught some DIY show on HGTV, and the topic was creating things with old wine bottles. A pretty useful topic, I thought, considering I've got dozens of bottles (I've never thrown one away) collecting dust on the my top bookshelf.

But then I saw that the things the host made (a table — Relax Riesling bottles as legs — and a candelabrum made of wine and beer bottles) were awfully tacky, and I got a little discouraged.

About the only thing I can think to do is smash them up and use the glass to make mosaic tiles on something. But I'd kind of like to keep the labels intact and incorporate them into something too.

So, what do you do with old wine bottles?

Another good Pinot Noir for the books

Gala Rouge is French but you wouldn't know it by looking at the label. It looks like your run-of-the-mill pop-art inspired red wine label, shipped straight out of California into your local package store. A nice surprise indeed to find out that this wine has traveled a long way and still tastes great.

Gala Rouge is sweeter than it is spicy, which is interesting for a Pinot Noir. It's light and crisp, with a fruity nose and a polite finish (it doesn't overstay its welcome but it's not too quick either). There are hints of deep red cherries and a bit of woodiness. But it's so light it's almost not there.

A great, great wine for drinking unaccompanied by food.