Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wine 13: Crow Canyon Vineyards Chardonnay


I am a lover of almost all styles of wine; reds, whites, and I'll even go for a blush when the opportunity presents itself. I would say that I am an equal opportunity wine drinker and will happily sip any variation. With this said, I did second guess my wine choice for this post, a Chardonnay, only because after the rather unfortunate white wine from my last post (Three 3 Winemakers) I wasn't sure I could take another white wine disappointment. I was planning on choosing a rich red, but that plan was derailed when my husband returned from his winter beer quest and handed me a Chardonnay, so in the name spontaneity I went with the bottle.

The bottle was a Crow Canyon Vineyards California Chardonnay, as I mentioned it was chosen by my husband, and most likely chosen because of the label art (a cool crow), purchased at the Total Wine priced at $5.99. I checked out the label and found no description, so as I poured the rich daffodil colored chardonnay into my wine glass I kept my expectations low, but as I took in the aroma I found it very agreeable.  The bottle contained a rich smell of pineapple blended with pear, along with a sweet vanilla which makes you want to dive right into the Crow Canyon Chardonnay.  After another inhale of the bouquet, I took a sip and I am glad to report that the Crow Canyon Chardonnay tasted great.  The ripe fruit, pineapple and pear, are the opening flavors followed by a dry vanilla, and this combination makes for a great Chardonnay.

I recommend bringing a bottle of Crow Canyon Chardonnay to any Thanksgiving dinners or left over pot lucks you may encounter this coming holiday week, the $5.99 price tag won't empty your wallet too much, and the great taste of the Crow Canyon Chardonnay will show off your diverse knowledge of what makes a good Chardonnay.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday Wish List: The Bottle Stopper

The bottle stopper is a wine accessory that can be functional, stylish, or both, but either way I believe the bottle stopper is a must have.  I have gone through many a bottle stopper, I have lost countless stoppers to kitchen black holes (under the fridge, behind the stove, and quite possibly the trash can), and I welcome one as a gift any time.  I researched the bottle stopper and was overwhelmed by the choices, I left my computer desk utterly unable to choose just two that I found outstanding enough to suggest, so I chose two websites that I think had good selections and fair prices.

I am a fan of my first website choice, Sur La Table, I have purchased kitchen wares from them that came in less than perfect condition, and they didn't just replace the damaged goods, they told me to keep the first shipment, and sent out a new perfect order (good on them).  Sur La Table's wine stopper collection is more on the functional side, in particular the Metrokane Wine Preserver ($19.95), this stopper is cool because all of us like a gadget that saves the flavor of our wine, looks sleek, and we actually understand how to use.  Please feel free to use this link to Sur La Table Metrokane stopper set or click on the picture below:


Metrokane Wine Preserver, photo credit: Surlatable.com

The next website I came across that offered an interesting selection of wine stoppers is, Home Wet Bar.com.  This website stood out to me particularly because the wine stoppers have personality (different themes: an owl or fire department symbol), without looking cheap or campy, and their prices are reasonable. The two that I like in particular on the Home Wet Bar website are: the Vintage Hot Rod in Ivory, priced at $10.95 and the Highborne Personalized stopper in Copper, priced at $24.95 (copper is a much more chic choice than stainless steel or acrylic). Please feel free to click on the pictures below or here: Home Wet Bar.com, to check out their selection.
Highborn, photo credit: homewetbar.com


Vintage Hot Rod, photo credit: homewetbar.com
Here you go, another great gift idea for anyone in your life that loves wine and deserves a little something, a little something that shows you know what they like and that you were thinking about them this holiday season. Until next time....

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wine 12: Three 3 Winemakers White Wine


Well my friends it is time that it happened again, I have been on a winning wine streak, and as streaks are known to do, it has come to an end.  As much as I love sharing great budget wines with you I truly hate sharing the budget bombs but an honest wine drinking mama has got to do what an honest wine drinking mama has got to do, so here it is.

The wine for this review was given to me by a friend, a great friend that supports this blog by offering me bottles of wine that fit into my choice criteria: inexpensive (ten dollars and under), available at a major retailer (supermarket or discount stores), and interesting subject matter (when possible).  The Three 3 Winemakers, Featuring White Rabbit White Wine has a groovy label and a peace sign on the foil covering, this was most likely the reason my friend made this choice, she is a little hippy dippy (in the most fantastic way).  Personally, I enjoy a wine labelled "white wine," otherwise known as a table white, the lack of pretenses of what the wine should be are out the window, leaving plenty of space to simply enjoy the wine.  Unfortunately, the Three 3 Winemakers White Wine was not one I enjoyed, while it was awfully heavy on acidic fruit flavors it was complimented with a disappointing syrupy sweetness that left me unable to finish the glass (this is an indication of a serious wine faux pas in this wine drinkers playbook).  I wish I could say that I believed it was possible the Three 3 Winemakers White Wine was just not my personal cup of tea, but passing the glass to my "I will drink almost anything" husband sealed the disappointment when he turned down the opportunity to finish it up for me.

Sorry Three 3 Winemakers your white wine is not for me and unfortunately if my readers tastes are anything close to mine I can't recommend your far out peacefully packaged wine, even with a three dollar price tag.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wine 11: California Rabbit Pinot Noir

Sometimes I find the amount of errands, as in trips to the market, I make unbelievable.  How can one small family of three be in need of something as often as we are? Although, these frequent trips put me in places that I can scope out a new bottle of wine to share with the rest of the lovely wine drinkers out there.  This week I was once again at the Big Lots, in need of Chex Mix and Angry Bird Popsicles, and was actually excited to peruse their wine aisle, where I found an interesting wine choice for this post, California Rabbit.

The California Rabbit Pinot Noir 2009 is packaged in a "Tetra Pack," now if you have read my previous post you might remember me being burned by choosing a wine because of it's sustainable packaging (you can read it here: The Bota Box), so I was hoping the California Rabbit would change my opinion on wines packaged in those small rectangular boxes.  The description printed on the box offers the suggestion of serving the California Rabbit Pinot Noir with "poultry, veal, and most cheeses," as a compliment to the wine's "sweet cherry," flavor. Well, I don't have chicken, veal, or a cheese plate so the wine will have to stand solo tonight.

I twisted off the California Rabbit Pinot Noir's tiny orange cap, poured the lovely deep red wine into my glass, and inhaled the mildly spicy aroma. My first impression of the taste was that the wine is good, I was surprised because of my past tetra box wine experience, but the California Rabbit tasted just as great as any Pinot Noir poured from a bottle. As the description mentioned, there is a slight sweet cherry flavor, but I would say the spicy (darker) flavors are more prevalent, together the mix is rather good.


Luckily, I found this California Rabbit Pinot Noir for the very nice price of $3.00, but I have seen the wine elsewhere between $8 and $9 (a bit much for this particular wine), hopefully a discount store near you will have it at the lower price.  I am going to recommend purchasing the California Rabbit Pinot Noir for a week night treat or to bring to a very Eco-conscious host at a dinner party (you will make serious points for lessening your carbon foot print), and you will look like you have great taste in wine (a win win for you).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Holiday Wish List: Wine Bottle Coaster


It is official, the race to the holidays has started, and in an attempt to help you have an answer at the ready for the ever present holiday question, "what's on your wish list," I am going to offer you some great gift ideas that you can have chambered and ready to go for yourself and for others.

My first suggestion is a very important item for us red wine drinkers: a wine coaster. Many a beautiful kitchen counter has been ruined by red wine rings caused by a careless pour dripping down the bottom of the bottle, and the wine bottle coaster is an easy fix for this.

The Vacu Vin Stainless Steel Wine Bottle Coaster is an excellent choice for the low maintenance, just want a glass a wine without having to scrub my counters later, type of wine drinker.  The Vacu Vin coaster is cool because it vacuum sucks onto the bottom of the bottle, so it stays on the bottle when you pick it up. This helps to avoid banging the bottom of the bottle all around the rim of the coaster when attempting to put it down, handy! It is priced on Amazon at $10.71, at this price you may even be able budget in a bottle of wine to go along with the coaster as a gift.  You can view this wine coaster at Amazon by clicking on the picture below:
photo credit: amazon.com
The Pottery Barn is a no-brainer when it comes to gift giving and their wine accessories are no exception.  There are three wine coasters to choose from on the Pottery Barn web site, but the one I chose to share with you is an exceptionally great gift idea. The Rhodes Bottle Coaster, priced at $24.95, is classy, classic, and will fit into almost any one's home decor.  With the loop handles on either side of the distressed white earthenware coaster, the Pottery Barn's Rhodes Bottle Coaster looks like an antique champagne bucket, adorable and fairly priced. You can check it out here: Pottery Bar Rhodes Bottle Coaster

photo credit: potterybarn.com

I hope these suggestions have inspired you, not only to start your list for the lovely people in your life, but also for yourself. Life is easier at the holidays when people tell us what they really want...so don't be afraid to put it out there and check back here for more suggestions to come.