Tag Archive for 'red wine'

Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

Liberty Creek Cabernet SauvignonLiberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
(no vintage) California $8.00 for 1.5 L
(Red Wine)

I’ve tried to think of something great to say about Liberty Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon.But, I just can’t.

It’s not horrible; it’s just not that good.For a Cabernet, this wine is missing some umph.

It’s higher in acidity than a lot of Cabernet and rather thin-bodied.It tastes like the wine has been watered down a bit, and the tannins left a lot to be desired as well.In fact, I had trouble locating them.

The overall flavor of this Cabernet was a bit one-dimensional and I was left feeling like someone forgot to put half of the wine’s flavor into the bottle.Does that make sense?

Bottom line, Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is not a repulsive wine and for the price, some might want to at least give it a try. But, if you are desiring a layered and full-flavored experience, don’t take a dip in Liberty Creek.

Website: Update: At the time this review was written, no website could be found.  A reader has since informed me that one now exists.  It is LibertyCreekWine.com

Marcus James Merlot

Marcus James MerlotMarcus James Merlot

2005 Mendoza Argentina. $4.25 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Normally, I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot. I just like that extra bite that Cabernet offers. But in this case, I preferred the Marcus James 2005 Merlot to my earlier tasting of the Marcus James Cabernet Sauvignon 2006.

How so? Well, as my previous review mentions, the Cabernet version had an underlying acetic acid flavor that rendered the experience unpleasant. Not the case with this Merlot. It was smooth, a tiny bit tangy (in a good way) and full of round, plumy flavors. I was quite surprised to discover how much I liked it.

Bottom line? The 2005 Marcus James Merlot is a bargain. For the price, I challenge you to find a better tasting Merlot. Actually, I hope you do. And if so, I hope you tell me about it. After all, anti-wine-snobs need to stick together….

wine’s website: couldn’t find

Hardys Shiraz

Hardys ShirazHardys Shiraz

2006. Southeastern Australia $5.95 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

I soooo wanted to give the Hardys Shiraz a positive review.

Aside from its affordable price, Hardys Shiraz puts itself into boxed wine and bottles with screw caps.  I mean, how much more defiantly underdog can a wine get?

Lest you take me the wrong way, antiwinesnob does not disparage the use of screw caps or of boxed wine.  Rather, it applauds Hardys for doing this.

The fact of the matter is, both methods (boxed wine and screw-cap bottles) have been shown to actually preserve wine better than traditional corks or synthetic ones.  The problem is, there’s still a lot of snobbery out there regarding wines marketed in screw-cap bottles or in boxes.  It takes a certain level of gumption (and common sense) to market one’s wines this way and antiwinesnob is a fervent supporter of gumption and common sense.  And of underdogs.  I even had hopes of the Hardys Shiraz becoming the antiwinesnob mascot….

Alas, the search shall continue as one sip of the Hardys Shiraz revealed the lurking evil that is acetic acid (“AcAc”).  While the rich, berry flavors were all there, the sickeningly sour/sweet flavor of AcAc sabotaged any redeeming qualities along with my taste buds.

In an effort to be fair, I employed the same technique I tried with the Marcus James Cab: I sipped it with my dinner of turkey breast and steamed veggies with melted cheddar cheese in the hopes that the proteins in my food might masquerade the nasty AcAc flavor. This time, the trick did not work.  Instead, my dinner just tasted bad, too. Or maybe it was actually my cooking….

Bottom line?  Pass on the 2006 Hardys Shiraz.  But darn it, I’m still not ready to give up on them, so you might see another review in the future on a different Hardys wine.

wine’s website: www.hardys.com

Fish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon

Fish Eye Cabernet SauvignonFish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon

2004 Ripon, California. $7.70 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

This Cabernet reminded me very much of the Coastal Ridge Cab I’ve reviewed earlier.

Except this time, alas, I did not smell any lavender. (Which I kind of liked about the Coastal Ridge Cab.) And, this time, it wasn’t so much an oxidized smell/flavor that bothered me as it was the hint of rotting vegetable undertones.

Suffice it to say that the Fish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon had some nice, round, berry-smooth flavors and was milder on the tannins than a lot of Cabernet. While it was a pleasant wine to sip, the vegetable flavors did interfere with an otherwise pleasing quaff.

Bottom Line? Pass it up for a better quality Cab sans vegetables at a comparable price.

wine’s website: www.fisheyewines.com

Marcus James Cabernet Sauvignon

Marcus James Cabernet SauvignonMarcus James Cabernet Sauvignon

2006. Mendoza, Argentina $4.25 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

I’ve had the Marcus James Cabernet Sauvignon before and thought it was a good deal. A gal would be hard pressed to find a better tasting wine for the price. Plus, it’s fun to drink something from Argentina.

“Inexpensive is great,” you may say, “but what about the taste?”

Yes, well, this is where I get a bit confused. I truly remember this wine being pretty tasty on another occasion. And this time, I still thought it had a nice flavor with a good balance of tannins and acidity. But I also found it had a disagreeable sweet/sour twang to it that I suspect is acetic acid. This flavor really distracted me from the other more pleasing layers to a point where I did not enjoy it on its own.

Now, I hate dismissing inexpensive wine so easily. It seems downright undemocratic. So, I tried it again the next day, thinking maybe the flavors would be different now that the bottle had been opened and recorked. While a sip confirmed that the acetic acid flavor was still there, to my surprise, I found that the unpleasant flavor more or less disappeared when I sipped it along with my dinner. In its place was a full, blackcurrant flavor with a pleasant bite of acidity-but not of the acetic acid variety. See? The sacrifices I make to give a thorough and fair review sometimes pay off!

Bottom line? While it wouldn’t be listed as one of my favorites, for the price, it’s definitely worth a try. And if you do decide to try it, make sure you’ve got some rich food to go along with it.

Camelot Pinot Noir

Camelot Pinot NoirCamelot Pinot Noir

2005, Vin de Pays D’Oc, $7.50 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

I was so enamored with Camelot’s Merlot, that I thought I’d give their Pinot Noir a try. But this time, I did a little research first.

The bottle of Camelot Pinot Noir indicates that the wine is from Vin de Pays D’Oc. On the back label, it is explained that the grapes are actually imported from France and bottled in California.

I googled Vin de Pays D’Oc and discovered that this region is located in Southern France, near the Mediterranean Sea. It is said to be the largest vineyard in the world and, unlike many other regions in France, wines from Vin de Pays actually label the wine by its grape variety. How nice of them. I wonder if they provide free tours of their vineyards as well….

But enough of import/export. What did the Camelot Pinot Noir taste like? I found it to be smooth, mild in tannins (which is to be expected in a Pinot) and–here’s what surprised me–mild in acid, too. Normally, I’ve found other Pinot Noir to be rather acidic and the other flavors a bit too weak or fragile for my taste. But this Pinot Noir tasted more like a Merlot to me than a Pinot. It was much mellower and round flavored than I expected.

Bottom Line? I liked it and the soft, round flavors surprised me. It was very smooth and quite different than other Pinot Noir I’ve sampled. But, out of the two Camelot wine’s I’ve tried, I prefer the Merlot.

wine’s website: www.camelotwines.com

Fat Croc Shiraz

fat croc shirazFat Croc Shiraz
South Eastern Australia, 2004, $6.15 for 750 ml

(Red Wine)

What more can I say? You’ve got a satiated, prehistoric reptilian creature on a bottle of wine.

Well, I might be able to push myself into verboseness.

The Fat Croc Shiraz from South Eastern Australia has got an impressive deep, red-purple color. With all that hue and a thicker viscosity going on, I was surprised to find that the smell was not that striking or singular. In fact, it smelled pretty mild and without much zing.

I took a sip and at first, it seemed juicy—like grape juice—and without much structure. My second and third sips, however, gave me more bang for the buck. I noticed a zingy-ness that kept the juicy flavors from falling flat and just enough tannin in it to give the wine some grip, but not so much as to make it imposing.

Overall, I’d describe this wine as juicy, smooth and pretty good. In fact, it might be too smooth: you might forget you’re drinking wine (it’s got 14 percent alcohol). So be careful—that croc’s fat for a reason!

Camelot 2003 Merlot

Camelot Merlot WineCamelot Merlot
2003 Santa Rosa, California $7.05 for 750 ml (Red Wine)

This Merlot’s got sass. And … something that rhymes with it.

Meaning, this Merlot’s no wallflower just wanting to be casually enjoyed. Nope. This Merlot’s got a lot going on. And, it’s gonna slap your face if you don’t pay it some respect. Rightfully so.

When I first poured the Camelot Merlot and gave it the sniff test, I thought it smelled mellow and slightly sweet.

When I tasted it, those famous round, smooth, lighter-on-the-acid Merlot flavors came flowing through. But the tannins gave a nice grip to it so that an otherwise easy-going wine became a bit more attention getting. Also—and this is what I found most interesting–it had a pleasant, spicy kick that was a bit unusual. I even checked the bottle’s label to make sure it was a Merlot. I really did.

My friend who tasted this wine with me thought there were milk-chocolaty undertones to this beverage as well, but, to be honest, I didn’t quite get that. Nonetheless, to pay homage to my friend’s sacrificing an evening to taste test with me, I thought I would put those notes in there. Who knows? You might find those chocolaty flavors, too. And if you do, I envy you. After all, what’s better than combining chocolate with red wine? (No dirty thoughts allowed.)

Bottom line, I thought this was a righteous drink. I enjoyed it and would get it again.

wine’s website: www.camelotwines.com

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot¿Free Range?

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot

Monterey County, California (no vintage) $7.55 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

For such a long-winded and whimsical name, I expected something … interesting, I guess.

It wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong: this wine is not bad, but, for lack of a better word, I’d call it a bit boring.

Which I don’t like to do; I usually find something interesting in almost everything. But the flavor tasted kind of bland and it really didn’t have much personality to it. It wasn’t unpleasant; in fact, I’m sure a lot of people might enjoy sipping on this while they socialize or watch a movie or something. I mean, it wouldn’t be bad for that kind of thing as the flavors would certainly not be demanding or distracting.

My general impression of this wine surprised me as it appears to have won many awards from 2003 and 2004 (no mention on their website of more recent awards). I don’t know; maybe I was having an off taste bud day or something, because the website mentions the wine’s “good seam of acidity” and a “decidedly spicy nose of cherry, cassis and cedar”…???

Maybe so, but I didn’t quit get that. In fact, this wine seemed anything but spicy to me. It seemed pretty low on the acidity, too, which is one thing I noticed immediately and thought might help perk it up a bit.

Cassis? I was completely befuddled by this description as I had no idea what it meant. Thanks to www.m-w.online, however, I discovered that it is simply a French word for black currant. Oh. Well in that case, I did notice a general dark berry/fruit flavor so I’ll go along with this description.

And cedar? Well, I don’t know how to respond to that.

Bottom line, I just found this Merlot a bit flat. Not nasty or disgusting, but not good. It was just okay.

I’m sorry, ¿free range? rooster. At least you have a happy life….

wine’s website: www.rexgoliath.com

Montevina Zinfandel

Montevina ZinfandelMontevina Zinfandel

2002 Sierra Foothills, California. $9.50 for 750 ml (Red Wine)

California is known for its Zinfandels: both red and white. After all, this is where “White Zinfandel” was born back in the 1970’s. And do you know why White Zinfandel was created? According to what I’ve read, back in the age of earth-tone polyester and tight bell-bottom pants, no one wanted to drink red Zin. So, one California winemaker used the juice of the Zinfandel with just a bit of the skin’s pigments bled off to create White Zinfandel. It became a hit and today, both White Zinfandel and (red) Zinfandel are fabulously famous.

While the White Zinfandels are a tasty and refreshing drink, I prefer the red Zinfandel– (which is simply called “Zinfandel”)–overall. So off to the store I went to fetch a bottle of Zin.

The Zinfandel I chose is a bit higher in price than I would like, but at least in my store, there were no options for $7.00 or $8.00 dollar versions of Zinfandel. Ergo, $9.50 for the Montevina Zinfandel was the best I could do. I asked the woman who was helping me if the Montevina Zin was any good. “I don’t know,” she said, “but lots of people buy this one.”

Hmm. That sounds promising, I thought, so I plunked down the casheroo, brought it home and sat down with my husband. “This better be good,” I told him, “I almost went over my $10.00 rule.”

And you know what? It was good. It was what I expected a Zinfandel to be: spicy, fruity and with a medium acid twinge to it that seemed to zap through the pleasant thickness of the juice.

We both rolled this wine around in our mouths a while, trying our best to come up with some specific fruit or other flavor descriptions. But we really couldn’t name specific flavors. It just tasted fruity to me, as in a mix of black or dark berries and cherries with a nice tingle of peppery spiciness. The best description we could come up with was that it reminded us of a berry fruit-roll-up: it had a compact, zingy flavor balanced by a sweet, fruity chewiness. It also had quite a bit of alcohol in it at 14.2 percent!

Bottom line, the Montevina Zinfandel was quite good. And sneaky. That innocent, fun, fruit-roll-up sensation distracted me from the fact that I was drinking a pretty alcohol-laden wine. In fact, I might call this wine downright diabolical.

But what else should you expect from a wine that’s called “Zin”?

wine’s website: www.montevina.com

Coastal Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

Coastal Ridge Cabernet SauvignonCoastal Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

2004. California. $12.00 for 1.5L
(Red Wine)

You know how I said I haven’t met many Cabernet Sauvignons that I didn’t like?  Well, I think I just did. Or maybe, almost just did. I mean, it’s a pretty close call….

For some reason, I expected this wine to taste similar to a Barefoot Cabernet. As it turns out, not so much.

The color is a dark, thick red to almost brownish-purple and the smell is of dark berries and something … vegetably? At first, I also thought it smelled a tiny bit like lavender, which really impressed me. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled a hint of lavender before, but I honestly thought I detected it here. It was nice and it made me happy.

Anyway, the vegetably smell continued to bother me, so I took a sip.

Makes sense, right?

At first, the taste was okay, but as I had a few more sips, that vegetable flavor really started to come through and overtake the fruity, lavendery pleasantness. The vegetable taste was like rotting green veggies…. Yep, that’s what I tasted.

Also—and this might be tied in to the vegetable flavor—it tasted like it had been accidentally oxidized. As in, it tasted like the wine had been left open for a few days before someone decided to seal it with a cork. When I realized this, I had one of those surreal, creative-fiction experiences where in my mind, I saw this poor bottle of wine sitting in the bottom of a vintner’s cellar somewhere in Napa California, uncorked and shivering in a dark corner one Monday morning. Along comes the minimum wage employee* who had left work early the Friday before and sees the neglected bottle of wine. “Crud!” says the employee (or something akin to such language), “I totally forgot to seal that one.” Looking around and confirming no witnesses are present, the employee stealthily pops a cork in the wine, seals it with foil and scoots it into the appropriate bin. For him, all is well with the world.

Well, that bottle of wine made it to my living room where I sat on the couch, mouthful of vegetable with hints of lavender, and witnessed this injustice in my mind’s eye. Employee person in Napa, hear this: Karma.

The reason why I can’t say I just hated this wine is because I did enjoy the other fruity, lavender-like flavors. And I have to be fair: twelve bucks for a 1.5 liter of wine is a good deal and you can’t expect Cabernet nirvana. However, the vegetable/oxidized sensation bothered me to a point where I think it actually turned my stomach a little, but this is the thing: I was tasting the Coastal Ridge Cabernet with another person who didn’t seem to detect this less-than-pleasing nuance. He said he thought it tasted pretty good.

I looked him over closely and determined that he didn’t appear to be suffering from a cold, so I have to pay his sense of taste and smell at least some semblance of respect.

Bottom line: I didn’t really care for this wine. However, seeing the Napa employee was kind of fun, so if you’re bored …

*Disclaimer: Referring to a “minimum wage employee” is not snobbery on antiwinesnob’s part; creators of antiwinesnob have themselves spent the majority of their working lives as minimum wage employees and so can relate this vision as a testament to their own experiences while within that paradigm. Furthermore, aniwinesnob has no actual knowledge of the goings-on at any wineries located in Napa and has related their creative vision for entertainment purposes only.

Bolla Valpolicella

Bolla ValpolicellaBolla Valpolicella

2005 Veneto Region Italy, $6.99 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Near the fair city of Verona, grows a grape called Corvina. And like many other grapes in this region, it doesn’t even get credit for its wine on the label. Sigh.

In particular, the Corvina makes a red wine called Valpolicella, and while there are a number of variations on Valpolicella–such as Valpolicella Ripasso or Amarone di Valpolicella–I bought a bottle of plain old Valpolicella.

The color of this wine is a bright, cheerful red and the smell and taste pretty much echo that theme. The taste was bright, fruity and crisp and I actually could distinguish cherry–and a little raisin—flavor. The Bolla Valpolicella struck me as higher in acidity and with less of a body than a Cabernet or Shiraz. I’d probably call it a medium body, high acid/dry wine. It went really well with my pasta and red sauce and I enjoyed it with some cheddar as well.

The overall texture and flavor is not as round or smooth as other red wines due to the sharp, crispness of it. I think this is a great wine to eat with your classic spaghetti and red sauce or pizza. If you want something just to sip on its own, I might go for something a little mellower and round.

Bottom line: Good pasta-with-red-sauce-dinner kind of drink.

Wine’s website: www.bolla.com

Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet SauvignonWoodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 California. $12.00 for 1.5 Liters (Red Wine)

I feel I must disclose that I haven’t found very many Cabernet Sauvignons that I didn’t like.

I know; I spread myself too thin.

Emotional issues aside, I have to say that one of the things I like most about Cabernet Sauvignon is that its got a wonderful tannin presence that really grips your tongue and makes you notice it. You can’t just casually sip most Cabernet Sauvignons and gaze vaguely at the bottle, wondering what exactly it is you’re drinking. No. A good Cabernet Sauvignon makes you pause after the first sip and give it a little consideration.

Now, I need to be honest: I tried this Cabernet a few weeks ago with no food at all and found that I had to give it too much consideration as the flavors and tannins were a bit overpowering. At that time, I made a note that this might be the case because I did not have any food to go along with it.

Not one to be deterred, I tried the Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon again, but this time, with some cold cuts and cheese.

Before taking a sip, I gave it a good sniff to see if I could distinguish any particular aromas. I was hoping I could impose an impressive soliloquy on its nose of smelt rubber and hints of durian or something. Alas, all I could really distinguish was a dark, fruity aroma wafting from the glass, along with a slight burn of alcohol.

I took a sip. The taste was thick in tannins and deep. Maybe just a little peppery and with a zing of mild to medium acidity. I also noticed a general flavor of black currants.

Overall, this time, I thought the Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon was pleasantly layered and complex and went very well with my tasty snacks. It had a presence to it that one generally encounters in a bit pricier wines, I think. And, it didn’t have that vegetable smell and flavor that I’ve unfortunately encountered in other similarly priced Cabs.

It was dark and bold and … firm.

Bottom line? The Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely a great wine to go along with meats and cheeses, but I wouldn’t recommend it for sipping without any accompaniments. The rich flavors and tannins need something to cling to and might otherwise overpower your tongue if it’s all by it’s lonesome self.

So, give it some company!

wine’s website: www.woodbridgewines.com

Papio Cabernet Sauvignon

Papio Cabernet SauvignonPapio Cabernet Sauvignon

California. $10.83 for 1.5 Liters
(Red Wine)

If you want some inexpensive wine for a party and don’t want to make your friends run gagging into the streets, this is a good find. In fact, I think a party is where this wine belongs as I would probably describe it as a sociable drink.

The Papio Cabernet Sauvignon is kind of like a polite guest: pleasant and enjoyable and without any extreme, attention-seeking qualities. It’s rounder, sweeter and gentler than most Cabernet Sauvignon and actually, much more like a Merlot. It has a nice mellow cherry flavor, but nothing too demanding. No striking tannins or acidity here.

See what I mean? Good party drink.

wine’s website: www.papiowines.com

Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon

Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon[yellow tail] Cabernet Sauvignon

Southeast Australia. $7.00 for 750 ml (Red Wine)

I really like the Yellow Tail Cab.

It has a thick, round, blackcurrant flavor that is also (at least to me) slightly smoky … in a good way. I thought the tannin flavor and feel was well balanced; the wine has a smooth, deep flavor but with enough zing and grip in it to keep things interesting.

And, best of all, this wine is versatile. It’s very pleasant to sip all on its own, or to be paired with your favorite tapas.

Bottom line? This is a tasty and friendly Cabernet at a great price.

wine’s website: www.yellowtailwine.com

3 Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon

3 Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon

California (Woodbridge) $8.89 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Some people call me cheap, but I prefer, frugal and unpretentious. So, for me, almost 9 bucks for a 750 ml bottle of wine was on the steeper end of things. Shut up and don’t laugh at me. I’m being serious.

My personal scruples being set aside, I thought the price of 3 Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon still reasonable enough to be included on this website. And, its got a cool name.

So how was it?

Well, I thought it smelled very strong of alcohol with an almost peppery scent. That said, the smell was pleasant and strong.

The taste was tannin-laden with what I can only describe as a sour black currant flavor. Now, I know I keep using black currant in my descriptions for (mostly) Cabernets, but the truth is, it really does taste like black currants. To me, much more so than other berry or fruit flavors. In 3 Blind Moose’s case however, it tasted like sour black currants; as in, slightly sour or bitter or unripe.

The website’s tasting notes describe the wine as having “flavors of dark berry, plum, chocolate, clove and spice”.

I don’t think I caught many of these unless, by dark berries, they mean black currants. In that case, yes, I scored a point. And maybe I sensed some plum and spice (I did detect a peppery smell at first).

Unfortunately, I really didn’t catch a hint of chocolate or clove.

Oh well.

The tasting notes also described the wine as being “medium-bodied, soft palate”. Now, I know what a soft palate is and, on a personal level, I’m familiar with my own. But I’m not sure what is meant when a wine is said to be “soft palate”. The notes don’t say that the wine will flow gently on my soft palate. No. Instead, the notes say the wine itself is soft palate.

This perplexes me.

Do they really mean that the wine itself is a mouth with a soft, fleshy area located near the oropharynx? I’m thinking probably not.

Do they mean that the wine rolls softly on my soft palate? I hope it does. I don’t want something hard on my soft palate, that would just be confusing.

Do they mean that the wine is gentle and smooth in one’s mouth and general-palate-area? I’m thinking probably. But in that case, they should say the wine is soft on one’s palate. Not that the wine is soft palate….

Still, I’m left scratching my head, poking my palate and wondering about the meaning of it all. More on this later, but for now, I’ll say that soft palates aside, 3 Blind Moose Cab did have a nice full flavor that I enjoyed. But for the price, next time, I’ll probably save almost 2 bucks and opt for a more inexpensive wine that I like better.

wine’s website: www.3blindmoose.com

Yellow Tail Shiraz

Yellow Tail Shiraz wine[yellow tail] Shiraz

2006. Southeast Australia. $7.00 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Here’s something that you might have wondered for a while: Syrah (originally from France) and Shiraz (from Australia) are the same grape. Shiraz is also the most widely grown variety in Australia (smart folks, those Aussies are!).

Lots of other places like California and Washington make Syrah/Shiraz, too, and depending on whether or not the wine will have a more Aussie-angle or a more Franco-flair will decide the spelling of the grape. Kind of fun, right?

The Australian style has often been described as “plump”, “dense” or “juicy” while the Franco version seems to be defined as more restrained and peppery. While I would agree that the Australian Shiraz is plump, dense, juicy and then some, I’ve really no idea if the French style Syrah description is accurate as I’ve never had much opportunity to really sample these. While I’ve no doubt the Syrah are delicious, I have to say, I’ve grown quite fond of the Australian style!

The Yellow Tail Shiraz seems to be very popular red wine, so I thought I would give it an audition on my taste buds. Maybe it was the expectation after hearing so much about the Yellow Tail Shiraz, but, while I did think it was a good wine, I like the Yellow Tail Cabernet better.
I think this is why: The smell isn’t super strong but a sip of it is. I think it’s more of a high tannin and alcohol flavor than anything else. Those flavors overpowered the cherry and blackcurrant, slightly sweet flavor behind it and left me feeling a bit confused. It seemed a bit tongue-drying to a point where I felt like I couldn’t taste anything else.

Now, this description sounds very negative, so I’d like to have a little disclaimer here. I still think this is a good wine and it’s also a great price. Others really really seem to like it, so it’s certainly worth a try to see what you think. Also, like all wine, what one eats (or doesn’t eat) while drinking it changes the whole experience. Because of that tanniny, alcoholy flavor, I might have had a very different experience if I’d had a rich meal with my wine to help balance things out. In fact, I think I’ll have to try it again, only this time, with some sharp cheddar cheese or a bit of steak.

Bottom line? It’s certainly worth a try but I would recommend having it with foods.

wine’s website: www.yellowtailwine.com

Mattie’s Perch

Matties Perch Cabernet/ShirazMattie’s Perch. Cabernet-Shiraz

Australia. On sale for $3.99 for 750 ml (normally$6.99)
(Red Wine)

Australia is famous for its good, inexpensive red wines; particularly, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. While many folks turn their nose up at the low-end prices and dismiss these wines as just “big red juiciness”, I say phooey on them. It is true that the land of Auz has put out tons of red wine for people like me to drink. And for that, I thank the good vintners from down under.

Now, I’ve read some good and bad things about this particular wine, so I thought I should explore it on my own. Here’s what I thought:

Mattie’s Perch Cabernet-Shiraz from Australia smells sweet and fruity. Tastes pretty much the same: a lot like drinking grape juice, but with alcohol and just a tiny bit of acid to twang your tongue. It’s a little softer than a lot of other reds and doesn’t have the strong flavors that a lot of folks acquire a taste for. For the price, it’s not a bad wine if you’re just looking for something casual to sip on.

But, if you like the complex feel and layered texture that a lot of Cabernet Sauvignons or Shiraz offer, you might not like this one as much. It’s a little less complicated, I think, and just plain friendly. Not recommended for wine snobs.

wine’s website: www.mattiesperch.com

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