Aug 28 2014

2012 Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc

2012 Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc

Varietal:  100% Sauvignon Blanc
Region:  Sonoma County, California – USA
Cost:  $14 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes:  Bright aromas of lime and citrus are at the core of this Sauvignon Blanc, with layers of white flower nectar, peach, and tropical melon. The palate of the wine is fresh and alive with clean fruit flavors and a perfectly balanced fruit.

My Review:  One of the things that I’ve had to learn over the years of writing this blog is to distinguish between what’s a bad wine and what just isn’t to my taste. A sweeter Moscato may be a technically well made and consumable wine, but my palate doesn’t like those types of wines, and so while I do tend to avoid them, when samples arrive I know to approach them through the lens of how the wine is made and not necessarily how it compares to what I like.

So it comes that I find myself writing about the 2012 Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve made little secret that my wife and I enjoy Sauvignon Blanc as one of our go-to white wines, particularly in the summer months, and I was excited at the prospect of getting to try this wine, always in the market for another good Sauvivnon Blanc to add to our approved list.

In this case, the wine makes the list, but of wines to keep in mind for parties when versatility is needed.

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Aug 19 2014

2013 Manikay Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Manikay Cabernet Sauvignon

Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Region:  Coonawarra, Australia
Cost:  ~$13

Winemaker’s Notes:  The marriage of Coonawarra’s unique limestone and deep red terra rossa soils gives birth to a magical Cabernet Sauvignon with the exquisite cassis character typical of the Coonawarra region. Velvety tannins balance the textured sweetness of the fruit.

My Review:  I’ll be the first to admit that better than half the reason this bottle was purchased was because of the label. My wife is a Forensic DNA Analyst, and a wine label designed to look like a finger print was definitely appealing and amusing to us. Fortunately, there happened to be some pretty good wine in there too.

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Aug 13 2014

2013 Arrogant Frog Red Wines

2013 Arrogant Frog Reds

So since this post is waaaaaay overdue, I’m just going to go ahead and jump in and share my thoughts on the wines. If you want to read my thoughts about the tasting in general, and find a link to a video about it, check out my post about the Arrogant Frog White Wines.

Ok, here we go.

2013 Arrogant Frog Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot
Varietal:  55% Cabernet Sauvignon; 45% Merlot
Region:  Languedoc, France

Winemaker’s Notes:  Intense ruby color. Elegant and complex nose with aromas of ripe black fruits, black currant leaf combined with spicy notes such as liquorice and vanilla. A well-balanced wine with smooth tannins and a long finish. Best served with red meat, cheeses, and barbecue.

My Review:  I liked this wine. Like, a lot. I’ll admit to shying away from some Cabernet from time to time since I’ve been caught by fruit-bombs way too often to not by a little gun shy. That being said, this wine had none of those problems. Sure, there was fruit, but there was also spice, and a nice long finish that kept me coming back for more. Continue Reading »

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Jul 31 2014

Avalon Bay 12 Bottle Wine Cooler

Published by under Wine Products

Avalon Bay 12 Bottle Cooler

A good part of enjoying wine is enjoying it at the correct temperature. Often this means keeping your whites in your refrigerator and your reds tucked away in a spot out of the sun. If you’re lucky to have a room that’s devoted to housing your wine and the money to invest in creating the correct temperature to maintain those wines, good for you.

For most of us, however, a small wine cooler is our best option between finding space around our other groceries and spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars converting a room of our home into a wine cellar. There are a number of wine coolers on the market, and I’ve had a few in my home. They were affordable, typically held 8 bottles of wine, and the motors burned out on them within a month.

Fortunately, the 12 Bottle Wine Cooler from Avalon Bay has held up amazingly, and looks to be the solution to my wine cooling needs.

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Jul 29 2014

2013 Arrogant Frog White Wines

2013 Arrogant Frog Whites

So a few weeks ago I made an error and sorta double booked myself. On the one hand I had a virtual tasting featuring four wines from Arrogant Frog and winemaker Jean-Claude Mas, on the other I had a vacation I had booked that involved a cruise and a decided lack of internet connection.

As I’m sure you can guess, the vacation happened. Fortunately, the virtual tasting was done via UStream, so I, and you as well, can check out the tasting and Jean-Claude’s thoughts (

While I didn’t get to do the tasting with everybody else, I have made a point of trying the whites and wanted to share my thoughts on those first, with the reds to come (hopefully) later this week. Catching up from vacation is hard.

2013 Arrogant Frog Sauvignon Blanc

Varietal:  100% Sauvignon Blanc
Region:  Languedoc, France

Winemaker’s Notes:  Bright lemon color with hints of green. Complex nose with notes of grapefruit, gooseberry and
herbaceous aromas with some slightly smoky notes. Fruity with a well-balanced acidity. Best-served with shell-fish, poached or grilled seafood, cold lemon dressing salads and asparagus dishes.

My Review:  It’s no secret that my wife and I enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, predominantly that from South America. We have, however, been trying to expand into more French Wines, with the reds finding their way into our home most often. Fortunately, tastings like this one give me the opportunity to expand my experience. Continue Reading »

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Jul 28 2014

2012 Gnarly Head Pinot Noir

2012 Gnarly Head Pinot Noir

Varietal: Pinot Noir
Region: Californica
Cost: $14 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes: Gnarly Head 2012 Pinot Noir takes “the heartbreak grape” for a walk on the wild side. This powerful pinot touts voluptuous aromas of red cherry, vanilla, earth, and spice, followed by a rush of black cherry and plum with hints of toasted hazelnut, tobacco, and cigar box on the palate. Supple, sleek tannins and lush fruit make this wine a perfect pair for salami and arugula pizza, slow roasted pork loin, or dry brined chicken stuffed with sausage and peppers.

My Review: It should by this point be no surprise that I’m a big fan of Pinot Noir, especially budget wines that I can enjoy regularly without having to worry about the hit to my wallet. Gnarly Head is one of those wines that I see on the shelf regularly, thank to the wide range of wines that they make, but admittedly don’t often reach for, not because I don’t think they make good wines, but because I know they’re always going to be there and making consistently good wines, which means I always have time to circle back.

This time, at least, I didn’t have to circle back since the wines were sent to me.

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