May 31, 2010
Before we all head out to the beach or the block party or the family picnic, let us remember why most of us are not at work today. Let us honor the men and women who valiantly serve and have served to protect us, our children and the United States of America.
I don't know about you, but I like to do most of my honoring and remembering with a fine glass of something in my hand. Now, thanks to the passion and perseverance of two fine marines, you can enjoy a fantastic California red and show your support at the same time.
With Jarhead Red, we aim to give back while honoring the men and women who defend our nation. Each bottle of Jarhead Red supports the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which provides educational assistance to children of U.S. Marines, with special consideration given to families of fallen Marines.
While Jarhead Red is made by Marines, for Marines, it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a robust red wine crafted in an approachable style.
2008 JARHEAD RED
The Rhône varietal components of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault were harvested from the Firestone family's estate vineyards and aged in individual lots of French oak barrels, 25 percent of which featured new oak. These lots contributed depth and complexity to the final blend, while a larger lot of Merlot from other local vineyards brought a supple roundness to the texture. The 2008 opens with deep aromas of plum, coffee and vanilla. Rich, rounded flavors of black cherry, cassis and cedar unfold into a long, spicy finish. This wine is a perfect match for classic American fare, such as peppered steak, barbecued chicken and grilled sausage. True to its name, Jarhead Red boasts a robust character and a finish that doesn't quit. This is the 10th vintage of Jarhead Red since the inaugural vintage of 1999. $13
2009 JARHEAD CHARD
The 2009 Jarhead Chard comes from select vineyards in Santa Barbara County, where the long, moderate growing season is ideal for achieving optimal ripeness and balance in the Chardonnay grape. The wine was fermented in a combination of stainless steel and French oak to maintain natural fruit freshness while bringing a toasty roundness to the palate. The 2009 Chardonnay begins with aromas of tropical fruit with hints of vanilla and citrus. Flavors of pear, pineapple and butterscotch finish with clean, mineral accents. This finely balanced Chardonnay is an excellent match for grilled seafood, roast lemon chicken and creamy pastas. $13
2006 JARHEAD RESERVE
Only the finest lots of the vintage are selected for the limited-edition bottling of Jarhead Red Reserve. These lots are aged separately for a minimum of 16 months in premium French oak barrels. The 2006 vintage is a complex, full-bodied blend that opens with smoky aromas of black cherry, plum, mocha and juniper. The palate unfolds with deep, integrated layers of briary black fruit with hints of spicy vanilla. $24
The 2008 vintage is a powerful blend of Cabernet Franc (75%), Merlot (13%) and Syrah (12%) and will be released in September of 2010. Stay tuned for details.
Images and copy via Jarhead http://www.jarheadred.com/
Noël Wallace Permalink
May 27, 2010
I can't tell you how many times I've had to do the fast chill on a bottle of white and the chilling karma was just not in my favor... Soggy and drippy from the ice/water technique or worse, leaking and almost frozen, forgotten in the freezer. I've stopped buying pre-chilled wines altogether--they've often been sitting upright in the cooler for months and after struggling to remove the cemented cork, I discover that said bottle has been robbed of all its flavor. This little wet suit for wine seems to be a good solution:
Fast and fashionable wine chilling! It's a cold fact: this neoprene jacket not only chills wine in 5 minutes and keeps it cool for 3 hours, it does it in style with eye-catching colors and design! Place in freezer till non-toxic gel inside becomes icy cold, then wrap snugly around bottle with Velcro� closure. The black jacket is $14.95 and the blue is on sale for $12.95. Both ship free if you order 2 or more. (via Wine Enthusiast)
Add fun bottle of white or rose and it makes a great gift for your memorial day host/hostess. Keep one for yourself and take it to the beach or concerts in the park all summer.
Noël Wallace Permalink
May 26, 2010
The summer season is almost upon us and if you live anywhere that is even remotely temperate this time of year, my guess is you're gearing up for the season's first big barbeque. Whether you're planning a massive backyard bash or an intimate gathering, we have your vino covered.
For the seriously budget minded, we suggest a red and a white that are crowd pleasers and can be easily found for a mere $9.99:
Boro Hills Sauvignon Blanc
Meticulously selected fruits from our vineyards in Rapaura Road and Renwick, results in a wine with an abundant spectrum of tropical and herbal aromas. Intense flavours of passionfruit and gooseberry are balanced by an overlay of limes and lemons. A succulent wine with depth and texture and a lingering finish of lime. (from Highfield Estate)
Colores del Sol Malbec
Colores del Sol meaning "Colors of the Sun." is a Malbec that captured the exciting, alluring qualities of the Malbec grape in a wine which utilized modern, high-quality winemaking. The vineyards in Mendoza are among highest in the world - therefore, closest to the sun where the sun's light is most pure. That pure light reflects from grapes and vines like a starburst, revealing all the colors of the sun. The grapes are watered with pure melted snow channeled from the Andes, using a centuries-old irrigation system inherited from the native settlers, the Huarpes Indians. (from Colores del Sol)
If you want to impress your guests and still stay in the $12-$17 range, here are a few picks that truly wowed us:
Six Prong Chardonnay
Not your typical Northwest Chardonnay. Reminiscent of the Chablis style, and perfectly food-friendly. Lean, but zingy with a big sliver of chalky wet basalt slicing through bright gooseberry & kiwi flavors, finishing crisp & clean with nuances of white pepper and the slightest hint of vanilla oak. Very refreshing. (from Six Prong)
Aromas of blackberry syrup, plum and black cherry are tinged with caramel and hints of vanilla and smoke. The entry on the palate is juicy, adding flavors of pomegranate and ripe raspberry. The tannins are smooth and round and the expansive mid-palate leads to a firm and persistent finish. The balance of this quintessential Zinfandel allows great versatility with food, and its deceptive heartiness will reward experiments with exotic pairings. (from Vintage Point Cellars)
Brothers in Arms, No. 6 Shiraz Cabernet
Deep maroon, crimson and magenta hues. A lifted spice and herb aroma displaying a rosemary fragrance mixed with plum and dark red fruits. Juicy berries up front greet explosive fruits coupled with talc and fine drying tannins which carry the fruit across the palate uninterrupted. Highly approachable now but will cellar for 6 to 8 years. 85% shiraz, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. (from Vintage Point Cellars)
Or if you want someone else to do the choosing, My Wines Direct is offering three great packs that offer a little something for everyone:
Serve up refreshment with these six sunny selections. From Australia, California and Italy, we've brought you the best whites for the summer season. Sit back, sip and save....you'll save $9 when you choose all of these wines together. Elegant and refreshing, what's better on a warm summer day than a cool glass of white wine? Italian Pinot Grigio has long been a summer favorite. But the Aussie's won't be out done. They've vinted the best of the down under sunshine with the Richland Chardonnay. California is no stranger to sunny favorites - enjoy a classic Chardonnay or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Cheers to the grillin' master! Everyone will toast the chef as they enjoy these rich and bold reds, ranging from an Argentine Cabernet and Malbec to a French Côtes du Rhône and a Pinot Noir from California. A premium addition to this pack - the award-winning Merlot from Hall vineyards, which normally retails for $50. Fire up the grill and open a few bottles, to make your BBQ the best of the season. From meat and chicken to salmon and veggies, you'll find the perfect pairing with one of these top red picks.
It's the warm weather season for fun with family and friends. Get the party started with a tempting mix of 6 wines from California, Argentina and Spain. Pair with your favorite foods and savor the delicious flavor combinations. Serve the California Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay with sautéed fish, grilled chicken and summer salads. If you enjoy a meal around the grill, pour a few glasses of the Argentine Cabernet or the premium Hall Merlot. And for an international cheese plate or a decadent chocolate dessert, try the Spanish Crianza or California Pinot Noir.
Wine pack copy and images from My Wines Direct.
Noël Wallace Permalink
May 13, 2010
VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
REGION: North Coast, California
I have a dear cousin named Josh. Growing up he was more like brother to me and though it seems a bit silly to associate a wine with a human personality, I could not help thinking of my Josh while enjoying this one. There must be something about the name. This seemingly unassuming and straightforward cab has something of a hidden personality, a surprising richness of character and interest that draws you in and makes you feel at home. But this cab is beyond smooth. It is quite the charmer. Bold cassis and sweet tobacco notes add layers of intrigue to the warmth and familiarity of ripe and dried berry fruit essences. The Josh Cellars is a lovely $20-$30 cabernet--except that it is not. This is truly a stunner for only $15... a thoroughly enjoyable drink-on-its-own gem. But if you must, please enjoy responsibly with a neatly seared filet mignon, perhaps finished with a pat of thyme butter.
Image from Joseph Car Wine
Noël Wallace Permalink
May 11, 2010
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
This is surely going to be a go-to wine for me this summer. The very pale golden color is somewhat misleading. Though it looks more like a pinot grigio, I can assure you this wine has a lot going on for a mere $10. It is lovely and aromatic with layers of juicy stone fruit and citrus blossom. Bright and crisp yet soft and round, this sipper stimulates all of your senses at once. An array ripe summer fruit will linger on your palate, but this sauv blanc finishes clean. I'm thinking seared scallops and a salad of mache dressed with a simple vinaigrette.
Image from Mason Cellars
Noël Wallace Permalink
May 5, 2010
I typically mock all of the retailers who make a holiday out of everything, Grandparents Day, Administrative Professionals and the like. Secretly though, I love the deals. I am cheap, but a special sort of cheap. I won't buy something just because it is cheap. I like to find real values... things that look and feel and taste like the cost more than they do. So if you're sort-of snickering at the idea of Cinco de Mayo wine--that's right, I said wine for Cinco de Mayo--reserve your mockery for after you check out this fantastic pack of truly interesting wine picks:
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
4 Reds & 2 Whites $69.95
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we are celebrating with a fiesta of wine and savings! For a limited time, take $33 off this premium collection of wines from around the world. Perfect for entertaining with friends and family!
Enjoy the Argentine Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with traditional Mexican meals or heartier fare. Or try the unique Californian Petit Verdot and Meritage which pair perfectly with red meats, poultry, and bold cheeses. The "Double T" Chardonnay from the award winning Trefethen vineyards, is a smooth, medium-bodied wine with a spicy finish, great with any dish.
Noël Wallace Permalink