Dec 20

Domaine Roger Perrin Rouge 2008 from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

By Louise | 2008 , Chateauneuf-du-Pape , France , Red Wine , Wines I Like

I had this wine at DB Bistro Moderne (Daniel Boulud’s restaurant in Midtown New York) a couple of nights ago. It was a delicious red with a very strong fruity (and slightly oaky) smell that reminded me of berries. In the mouth, it was slightly oaky with a hint of spices and very little tannin. What I really enjoyed about this wine was how nothing jumped out at me. I think some people classify that as a bad thing in a wine, but I like my red wines to be smooth and easy to drink. I tend to dislike wines that are described as “big!” The other people at dinner with me also enjoyed the wine (and they generally drink a lot more reds than I do!). The wine didn’t pair so well with the hanger steak that I got as my main course, but it did go amazingly well with Olivier’s Alsatian Tarte Flambee that I got for my appetizer. I would highly recommend trying those together if you get a chance to eat there.

If you just want the wine by itself, I see it sold on many websites for around $30 per bottle. I think the label on most bottles look slightly different from the picture I have up, but it’s the same wine. If you’re in NYC, it looks like K&D Wines and Spirits on Madison Ave. has it for $28.99. If you want to buy online, I think Discount Wine Buys has it for $28.94. At DB Bistro Moderne, the bottle was $75.

Dec 18

Chateau les Tuileries 2009 from Bordeaux, France

By Louise | 2009 , Bordeaux , France , Red Wine , Wines I Like

This was another wine in my box of 12 from Barclay’s Wines. This bordeaux was light and fruity on the nose and slightly oaky and spicy on the tongue. I definitely felt some tingling on my tongue due to the spiciness. I’m generally not a big fan of red wines because they either have too much oak taste or too much tannin. This wine, however, was a good balance of both. The tannin wasn’t so high that my mouth was filled with grittiness, and the oak taste was very subtle and not overpowering. All in all, a very enjoyable bordeaux.

According to barclayswine.com, this 2009 vintage won a gold award at the Bordeaux Wine Awards (Concours de Bordeaux). I don’t generally place much stock in awards like this one (which is apparently an award recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture in France) because my tastes may vary from their judges, but I have to admit that this wine is good enough in my view to win something! Barclay’s Wine seems to agree as they call it a “classic Bordeaux done to perfection, certainly deserving of its gold medal.”

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this wine sold anywhere other than on Barclay’s Wine’s own website (barclayswine.com), but it’s pretty cheap at $14.95 per bottle.

Dec 13

In├ęs de Moncl├║s White 2009 from Andalusia, Spain

By Louise | 2009 , Spain , White Blend , White Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

I got this interesting white wine in a box of 12 wines from Barclay’s Wine online. The managers at the store at selected the 12 wines, and so it was quite fun opening the box to discover what had come! This wine is made from 50% chardonnay and 50% old vines macabeo, a white grape varietal grown mostly in Rioja, Spain. Macabeo (also known as viura) is often the main grape in white Riojas and is also used in many other white blends. On to the wine itself….

I detected a slightly floral and fruity nose (maybe some pineapples and oranges). In the mouth, it felt rather acidic and slightly bitter, although you could detect a grapefruit acidity/bitterness aspect to it. After you swallow, a slight tingling is left on your tongue and throat. I believe this wine is supposed to be a table wine in Spain, so it should go well with food (especially seafood apparently).

To purchase this bottle of wine individually, you can find it at barclayswine.com for $12.95 a bottle (shipping is extra).

Dec 10

Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Riesling 2009 from Columbia Valley, Washington State

By Louise | 2009 , Riesling , United States , Washington State , White Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

I tried this wine a few nights ago at Casellula Cheese and Wine Caf├ę on 52nd and 9th Ave (in NYC). It was an interesting place with a decent selection of wines and cheeses (although very few wines by the glass). My eyes naturally wandered down the wine list to their one riesling.

What did I like about the wine? Hmm, the name was cool…and the bottle label made it look like a sake rather than a wine bottle. I had trouble smelling the wine, although I detected a slight metallic whiff. Then, the first taste was at fairly pleasant – slightly sweet and fruity. I was briefly reminded of grapefruits during that sip. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more in favor of the wine. A mildly bitter aftertaste developed in my mouth, and the wine became more bitter with every sip.

I was told that I didn’t like the wine because it lacked “complexity.” My understanding is that a complex wine will have a variety of different flavors with distinct aftertastes. Complex wines will keep being interesting to you every time you drink it as you discover more flavors and more smells. I would agree that this wasn’t a complex wine. Nothing new came to me as I drank it, except for it becoming more and more bitter, which wasn’t very interesting or good tasting! All in all, it was fine to drink once, but probably not a repeat buy.

Price? I found it online for $12.99 or $14.99 a bottle for the 2008 vintage and as cheap as $10 a bottle for the 2009 vintage. At Casellula Cheese and Wine Caf├ę, it was $10 for a glass.

Dec 02

Four Vines ÔÇťOld Vine CuveeÔÇŁ Zinfandel 2007 from California

By Louise | 2007 , California , Red Wine , Wines I Like , Zinfandel

Sorry, I have no pictures of this wine bottle. I got a glass of it at Del Frisco’s in midtown New York for around $11, and I never got to see the bottle. This wine had a very strong raspberry smell to it. If smells were visual, then I’d describe this as a vibrant bright clash of reds and yellows. Maybe I’m crazy to think about it in colors, but there you go. I would definitely give this wine the thumbs up, not only because of its great aroma but also because it was slightly sweet and fruity on the tongue with relatively little bitter tannin taste (although there was a slight red wine grittiness left in my mouth after I swallowed). In some ways, it almost felt like drinking an alcoholic berry juice, although don’t worry, it was nowhere as sweet as juice! The only downside to the wine was that it didn’t go too well with my steak. A bitter taste emerged when I tried it with my steak, and there was even a slight spicy tinge to it. Sadly, none of that bitterness or spiciness added to the my steak, which was nonetheless delicious.

Where else can you buy this? I think this is a pretty common wine that you can find a lot of places – I’ve found on BevMo’s website for $9.99.

Nov 29

Private Preserve Wine Preserver (Wine Gas)

By Louise | Uncategorized , Wine Accessories

Even though wine is delicious, I’m generally not able to drink a whole bottle in one night! And I know I’m not the only one who wishes that I could still enjoy a bottle a few days after opening it. It occurred to me that restaurants must have this problem all the time, and that led me to this solution:


Click Here to Buy from Amazon!

To keep my wine fresh and tasty, I put a bit of this wine preserver gas into it. Imagine no longer having to throw out expensive or great tasting wines just because you couldn’t finish them all in one night! This can contains over 120 separate uses and costs only $9.59 on Amazon.com (with free shipping). I’ve been using my can for several months now, and it’s still not empty. Here’s how it works:

The canister contains several inert gases (nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and argon), which are all safe, non-flammable, and tasteless. It comes with a little plastic tube that you stick into the nozzle (as shown in the photo at the bottom of this post). The instructions then say to “spray one long (1 sec.) and 4 short bursts into 750ml bottle. Larger bottles require additional spraysÔÇöadd one long spray for each larger size.” You then put the cork back on, and, voila, you’re good to go! The gas keeps oxygen from reaching and spoiling your yummy wine so that you can keep drinking it the next day and the next day and the next day (if you drink really really slowly!). Don’t be fooled by products claiming to create a vacuum in your wine bottle (they don’t work). Products like this one are the way that professionals and restaurants keep their wine fresh.

Amazon is the cheapest place I’ve found this product, and you can buy it by clicking here or on the picture below.

Nov 28

Domaine Parent Pinot Noir 2005 from Burgundy, France

By Louise | 2005 , Burgundy , France , Pinot Noir , Red Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

Initially, a dark and intense cherry smell greeted my nose. This was followed by the mouthwatering smell of blackberries mixed with a tinge of oak. It was definitely a burst of fruitiness. Upon tasting the wine, the oak taste became very prominent, and I could detect a slightly smoky quality to the oak. At the end, just before I swallowed, I felt a spicy kick emerge to finish the wine off. The aftertaste was slightly bitter and slight sour. Not a bad wine, although perhaps not my wine of choice.

This wine has quite a bit of history to it. The wine producer, Domaine Parent, dates back to the mid 17th century and boasts Thomas Jefferson as one of its earliest customers. It’s a wine from Burgundy (known as Bourgogne in French, which is what you see written on the bottle label), which is where Pinot Noir grapes are traditional grown. Indeed, Burgundy is thoroughly famous for its Pinot Noirs. The Pinot Noir grapes that are used to make this wine comes from 30-year old vines, which are grown in clay/limestone soils. The grapes are harvested by hand, and after fermentation, they are matured for 12 months in oak barrels. I’ve read suggestions that this bottle can be aged for 3-5 years. Some Pinot Noirs only reach their peak after aging for 15-20 years.

You can purchase this wine at PJ Wine in New York for $14.99 a bottle for the 2007 vintage. I saw the 2005 vintage sold online for $27.95 a bottle. I’m not sure what difference there is between these 2 vintages so I can’t tell you why the prices vary.

Nov 28

Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from Marlborough, New Zealand

By Louise | 2007 , New Zealand , Sauvignon Blanc , White Wine , Wines I Dislike

The smell of this wine took me back to New Zealand – grassy and minerally. I could almost picture myself standing on the side of a green grassy hill in the midst of ten thousand grazing sheep breathing in that fresh NZ air! It was probably the perfect smell for a NZ wine. Unfortunately, the taste did not compliment the smell. My first thought upon tasting the wine was SOUR! I guess it was akin to biting into an unripe apple. Luckily the sour taste wasn’t strong and didn’t linger in the mouth. I’m sure some people might enjoy the taste of this wine, but not me. In fact, the 2007 vintage score 91 points on Wine Enthusiast (a wine magazine that rates wines out of 100 points) so some people must like it! Cost and where to buy: $12.99 for the 2009 vintage at PJ Wines. I think I had bought the 2007 vintage a while back, and so they only have the 2009 vintage in stock now.

Here’s a brief bit of background on Sauvignon Blancs. Sauvignon Blanc is a grape variety traditionally grown in Bordeaux, France. In the 1990s, Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand (especially from the Marlborough region) started to dominate the international wine market, and for a while, they were hailed as the world’s best Sauvignon Blancs. Many critics loved the intense new flavors that were created by planting Old World (i.e. European) vines in the New World (anywhere outside of Europe). Unfortunately, I’m not such a fan!

Nov 26

Weingut D├╝rnberg “Falkensteiner Rieden” Gr├╝ner Veltliner from Austria

By Louise | Austria , Gr├╝ner Veltliner , No vintage , White Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

This is a cheap wine I picked up in Astor when it was on sale for $8.96 (although its original price was only $10.99 actually). For a cheap white, it wasn’t too bad. It had a slightly citrusy smell to it. I’d maybe describe it as a faint aroma of grapefruit tinged with apple. The first thought that came to mind when I tasted the wine was that it was acidic (and if you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that I really dislike sour tasting wines). But this was a good acidic. It was very refreshing in a sparkling juice kinda way. But, don’t worry, it’s not a sweet wine! In fact, I’d call it decidedly dry! After a sip, the taste dies off very quickly – definitely no lingering sour taste in your mouth, which I also liked.

Gr├╝ner Veltliner is a grape varietal grown mostly in Austria and the Czech Republic. It’s known to be a very light refreshing wine, fairly close in taste to an off-dry riesling (although I definitely still prefer the more fruity riesling), and it’s supposed to pair well with food. I had this wine at a byob restaurant and thought that it went reasonably well with some of the lighter sushi rolls, as long as you don’t put any soy sauce on it! Overall, it was a very easy to drink wine that could go well perhaps with fish or just by itself.

Nov 25

Gerstacker Nurnberger Markt Gl├╝hwein from Bavaria, Germany

By Louise | Germany , Red Wine , Sweet , Wines I Like

I’ve been secretly enjoying my sumptuous bottle of Gl├╝hwein for the past few days without telling you! Gl├╝hwein is the German version of what the English call “mulled wine.” It’s basically a spiced red wine served warm (usually spiced with ingredients such as cinnamon, sugar, cloves, vanilla, and lemon peel). This type of wine seems to be popular throughout Europe and is known by a different name in every country! For example, it’s called “vin fiert” in Romania (yes, I got that off Wikipedia so please don’t quote me!). This is really just the perfect drink for this season as it helps to keep you nice and toasty on the inside and rosy on the outside. Imagine yourself in southern Germany walking through a beautiful Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkts), holding a steaming cup of this wine in your hands as you peruse the market’s wares. If you have trouble picturing this, try squinting at the label on this wine bottle (see the bottom of this post) – it shows one of these traditional markets.

Let me tell you about this particular wine. It comes in a large, 1-liter, brown bottle, and it’s best served warm (although they say that it can also be drunk cold). Honestly, a warm glass of this on a blustery winter day will melt all your troubles away! And for me, it really does just take one glass! Don’t let that 10% alcohol label fool you, because I’m pretty sure the hot vapors or something in this wine gets you drunk real fast! As for how to heat it, I think the traditional way is to do it in a saucepan, but I’m lazy and will just put it in the microwave. I usually put around 3 or 4 shots worth into a small microwavable juice glass and heat it for 15 seconds. Just make sure you don’t boil it!

What does it taste like? A bit like warm sangria actually. You can definitely taste the citrus in this as well as that generous splash of cinnamon. It’s also nice and sweet, although I don’t think it’s sickeningly sweet. However, it is definitely a drink to sip slowly and enjoy. Maybe drink the bottle with friends after a night out in the cold or just save it for yourself to drink over several days. I’ll write a review about how I keep my wine fresh in a few days so you can do the same.

Price: dirt cheap at $7.99 for a 1-liter bottle! Where to buy? You guessed it – Astor Wine and Spirits. I honestly do not work for them!