Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wine 10: Double Dog Dare Cabernet Sauvignon

Well, it is time for another bottle of wine to be dissected by my unskilled, although wine loving, opinion. While on a trip to the Total Wine with my husband, on his yearly quest for the best pumpkin beer, I managed to find an inexpensive bottle while simultaneously keeping my five year old son from knocking over many a display of beer and wine.

The Double Dog Dare Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon called out to me for a couple different reasons, the label is pretty cute and the price was cute too, $2.99.  Once again the wine I chose has a label with absolutely no description of the wine contained within it's bottle, so I am free styling my opinion. One of my joys in choosing the wines to review is the hope of finding something great at a unbeatable price, but the only way to be sure is to pop the bottle open and give it a pour.  That is just what I did with the Double Dog Dare Cabernet, I found the color to be a lovely red, it smells like dark red grapes, and something sweeter, almost like strawberries.  I am happy to say that when I took the first sip I was surprised, after a run of disappointing wines, the Double Dog Dare Cab is delicious.  The flavor is smooth, it has a tiny bit of sweetness, and the perfect amount of spicy aftertaste, all good combinations in my book.

The Double Dog Dare Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a great buy at $2.99 and I absolutely recommend picking up a couple of bottles to have on hand to fulfill an unexpected weekday wine mood (Unexpected...who am I kidding?).  My other thought about the Double Dog Dare Cab is that the bottle is a perfect gift for a dog lover, just take a look at the label, it's got, "Oh, aren't you thoughtful," written all over it. Give the Double Dog Dare Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon a try, I think you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wine 9: Benefactor Cellars: Shiraz 2012

Good day my fellow wino's, and I use this term with the greatest affection, it's time I give the low down on my latest wine pick.  From the middle shelves of the Trader Joe's wine section (I picked up this bottle at the same time as my unfortunate disappointment from last post) I chose Benefactor Cellars Shiraz 2012.  This is a purely aesthetic decision, with our favorite holiday Halloween, closely approaching I thought the Benefactor Cellars Shiraz label would be a hauntingly beautiful addition to our table on Halloween evening.

The Benefactor Cellars label is very Dia de los Muertos,  for those of you unfamiliar with this Spanish term it means, The Day of the Dead, and the artwork is doing a fantastically spooky job at presenting itself as a macabre bottle of wine.  Although, the label is not offering any sort of description of what may be hiding in wait under that blood red twist off cork, so it is with an unsuspecting palate that I give the bottle a pour to see what it has to offer.

The Benefactor Cellars Shiraz has a great aroma of black cherries, the color is the same blood red as the label, and the taste is great.  The flavor is more currant than black cherry, it has a warm aftertaste, and I would even say it is a bit sophisticated (much more than its $4.99 price).  Here I go, this is when I say to buy or not to buy, and I say....buy a bottle of the Benefactor Cellars Shiraz, it will be five bucks well spent.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wine 8:Trader Joe's Vinas Chilenas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon

It is no secret that I was beyond disappointed in Trader Joe's when they decided to up the price on my beloved Charles Shaw wine (fifty cents more a bottle adds up when you are buying multiple bottles at a shot), but the TJ's does have a good wine selection with fair prices. Out of respect to the store that changed the way many housewives made healthy choices for their family, I made a special trip to Joe's to pick up a bottle of wine to share with you, dear readers.

The bottle of wine I chose for this post is, Trader Joe's Vinas Chilenas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, at the honorable price of $2.99 that was conveniently placed on the middle shelf, which this is not always the case with budget friendly wines. I was interested in this Vinas Chilenas particularly because of the price, fifty cents more a bottle than the Charles Shaw, that made me think that this was Joe's version of stepping up their wine game, so I was in.

Time to get to work, sipping that is, so I poured a glass and....I was not blown away, and I had such high hopes for this wine.  The Vinas Chilenas Cabernet Sauvignon has a pleasant enough aroma, which is how I would similarly describe the flavor, simply pleasant enough.  The Vinas Chilenas has an woodsy oak flavor with a touch of black licorice which causes the wine to be a little on the dry side. My overall opinion is that  Trader Joe's Vinas Chilenas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is worthy of its $2.99 price tag, but not much more than that.  The bright side is that people are "into" Trader Joe's, as to say open minded to their self labeled products, and the bottle's presentation of the Vinas Chilenas Cab looks like it's worth more than it's $2.99 price point, so I would say you could safely bring the bottle to a dinner with friends or family as a, "I thought we would try something different tonight," bottle of wine and you would look like the thoughtful guest. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wine 7: Canyon Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon

The wine I am reviewing this week was not chosen by me, it was a surprise bottle purchased by my husband during a trip to the Total Wine.  I queried into his thought process behind the choice, like many aspects of my husbands life, he stated there was neither rhyme nor reason in his choice, he saw the bottle and he bought it. So, my dear reader, my experience with said bottle will have no preconceived
notions and will be completely without expectations.

The bottle in question is Canyon Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon purchased, as I mentioned, by my husband at the Total Wine at the list price of $4.99.  Anyone with experience with the Total Wine knows it can be an overwhelming place to pick a bottle of wine, the prices range from $1.97 to the sky's the limit, but with an overabundance of choice comes the side effect of confusion.  So without having any knowledge about the Canyon Oaks Cab I looked to the label where the description toasts the wines aromas, including cassis, mint and chocolate.  That all sounds good, but really how often does the wine do the label justice?

I got my trusty cork screw and was ready for The Canyon Oak's minty-chocolate aroma, unfortunately that was not what I found, to be fair there was a hint of cassis but the aroma was not as impressive as the label description.  I went in for my first sip and was taken aback by the acidity, I knew I was in for heart burn so I grabbed an alka seltzer to pair with my glass of wine (never a great sign).  The Canyon Oaks Cab is a little rough for my taste, it is a bit too heavy and dry for my liking, although my husband thought it was "okay" (buyer be cautious: he could have been swayed by the fact it was his choice).

The Canyon Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is not for everyone, it is not a great bottle to serve to mixed company, nor would I bring it as a gift to a host.  In defense of the Canyon Oaks Cab I did drink a full glass and never wretched once (meaning it is drinkable), so if you happen to have a bottle or are served a glass at a friends house give it a shot, but for $4.99 I think you could find a more taste worthy bottle of wine.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wine 6: Kate and Cassie

After a few weeks of wines from the very very bottom of the super market shelves, this week I decided to review a blended wine from the middle shelves that I picked up at a very unexpected place, Big Lots. I like the idea that those of us who love wine can pick up a good bottle at places we HAVE to go during our daily routines. Most of us do not have the time to visit a specialized wine store or even a liquor store, not to mention what a horrible idea it is to frequent those places with small children in tow, broken bottles, strange looks from other patrons, you get the picture, so major retailers carrying a selection of fair priced wine is a little gift from heaven.

This week I purchased a bottle of Kate & Cassie Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend from a local Big Lots store for the fantastic price of $4.50. I am a fan of blended wines, some of the most flavorful user friendly bottles of wine I have tried have been blends, and the Kate & Cassie Cab Merlot blend stays true to my past experiences.  I popped out the synthetic cork to a great fresh red grape fragrance, a substantial deep purple color, and good consistency as I poured the blend into my glass.  When I sipped the Kate & Cassie Cab Merlot I was even further impressed, the wine is delicious, forget fancy descriptions the wine is fresh, has a very pleasant grape flavor with absolutely no burn after taste. This wine was so good that I actually told my husband to grab a glass so he could enjoy in my great unexpected delight and he was as impressed as I was.

I hope a Big Lots store in your area carries the Kate & Cassie Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot because for $4.50 it does not disappoint, if you come across this good looking bottle of great wine I say don't hesitate and pick up a bottle (or two, why not...you deserve it).