a Princess of Value- Rayun Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Chile

Summer. Crack. Juice.

Yes, I said it!  It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means summer is pretty much here. Actually it was here in April for a minute, but I’m pretty sure it’s here for good now.  Which means- yes, we need to find some Crack Juice. Crack Juice is a technical term used to describe a wine that is equal parts addictive and thirst-quenching.  I feel like I’m repeating myself here, as I’m pretty big on thirst-quenching wine.  But get used to it, for the summer is long, hot and oppressive, and I’ve only just begun to brush the surface of all the wines that are refreshing and thirst-quenching.  And in this one’s case- inexpensive!  therefore she has been deemed a Princess of Value!!

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meet your new summer date.

When I tell you she costs a mere $9, I know it will get your attention.  $9 is a perfect amount of money to spend on a bottle of Crack Juice.  Why?  That’s sort of a no-brainer, but Crack Juice, as it’s name implies, is addictive.  Therefore, it’s extremely convenient when you find one that’s inexpensive.  $20 a bottle Crack Juice wouldn’t be fun for terribly long.  Although I suppose that would be the true definition of crack.  But let’s be serious- we’re really talking about wine.  So $9 is good.

Here’s another reason why it’s awesome that it costs $9- not to sound like a hater, but for my money, this wine kicks the ever-loving-doo-doo out of it’s New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc competitors.  If this wine were from New Zealand, it would easily cost at least $12, but based on my observation, NZ Sauv Blancs are averaging between $14 and $18 nowadays.  I don’t see the point in paying that.  Not that they’re not good.  But at the end of the day, I’d rather have two bottles of this than one bottle of ANY given NZ Sauv Blanc.  I don’t think I’m remiss in thinking that the average person would agree.  If you’re like me, you think about almost every dollar you spend pretty carefully, and this is the kind of wine that really drives home the value pretty swiftly.

Ohh, would you look at that.  My glass seems to be empty now that we’ve gotten to the taste and smell portion of the day.  We can’t have that.  I’ll have to get some more!

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this is what it looks like, all frosty in it’s glass.

So. This wine is super vibrant, fresh and tart.  High acidity make it sharp and racy.  Gooseberry makes you pucker just a bit, but also offering that much needed refreshment.  Lean notes of green apple, honeydew, and a tiny bit of fresh-cut grass and straw make for an interesting and fun palate.  While not the most complex wine I’ve ever had- for it’s price, the one note it does hit is right on time.  That’s all I really ask for in an inexpensive wine- just do the thing you set out to do, and do it well.  Tart, fresh, and fun.  That’s all I need for $9.  And that’s all you should need, too.  There’s always going to be a place for a wine like this on your shelf or in your fridge, that’s fo’ sho’.

And guess what?  this wine is available as part of our $90 Mystery Case this week!  Check out other available selections and ordering instructions here.  A case of wine for under $100?  That’s a bit fat DUH.  Plus, they can usually be ready fairly quickly, which means you can be jetting off to the lake with a case of wine in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.  How d’ya like them apples?  YOU LOVE THEM.  Have a great holiday!

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Some white wines for Royal Wedding day!

So, I’ve been up since 4 relishing every detail of the Royal Wedding…

aaaahahahaha!  No I haven’t.  Not at all.  I get the fascination and I’m not a hater, but it’s not my thing.  Although I will admit to browsing Tom & Lorenzo for a few pictures of the dress.  Interestingly, I was enamored of the Maid of Honor’s dress rather than the sea of lace and fabric worn by the bride.  But good choice with McQueen, and it was a pretty amazing piece of craftsmanship.  That’s enough of that!  Let’s move on to things I REALLY like…

WHITE. WINE.  I can’t get enough white wine.  I’ve been trying to write this post for about two weeks.  I started with just picking the Chono Sauvignon Blanc.  Then we got the Anne Amie Muller-Thurgau in and I fell madly in love, so I was going to have it be a dual post.  Then the 2010 Kung Fu Girl came in.  Then just this week, two more favorites arrived.  So, this is a big fat post dedicated to perrenial favorites and new obsessions.

First is my original blog pick, the Chono Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Chile.  Those of you who read me often know I’ve been in a Chile phase for months now, and I think THIS wine might be the root cause of it all.  So deep is my love of this wine.  I love this wine and I love its price ($11).  This is definitely one of those wines that reminds you that is IS possible to drink delicious wine and not pay a lot for it.  It is effortless in its tangy, thirst-quenching, fruity-with-a-hint-of-herbs palate.  Perfect acidity on the finish really make this one refreshing.  There is just enough grapefruit present to make it enjoyable, yet not have the ONLY thing you can think about be the taste of grapefruit, as is the occasional case with New Zealand Sauv Blancs.  Love it.

Next in the procession comes the Anne Amie Muller-Thurgau, 2010 Oregon.  ($16).  I just call it MULL-er for short.  This is one of my favorite weird grapes.  I thought it might have been a fluke when I fell hard for the Colterenzio Muller-Thurgau last year.  But no.  The Anne Amie is representin’ and I’m into it.  There’s lots more wine-nerdy info on Muller in the Colterezio post, so for today we’ll keep it simple and say that Muller is sort of like a cross between an off-dry Riesling and an old world Gewurztraminer.  Aromas of fresh white flowers, melon, yellow apples and light citrus permeate- and then the finish offers a little zing! of spice and minerality.    Yum.  ‘Nuff said.

So to wrap things up for today, here’s a few things that just came in.  The 2010 vintage of the Kung Fu Girl Riesling is here!  and it’s awesome.  The ’10 is probably better than the ’09 by just a hair- read this post of the ’09 and than just take it up a notch on the wow scale.  And it still maintains its nice price of $14.  Lioco Chardonnay, 2009 Sonoma is here, too!  This is a gorgeous Cali Chard that will leave you speechless.  If you’ve EVER uttered the words “I don’t like Chardonnay,” the Lioco will laugh in your face.  And then change your mind.  It’s one of the cool kids.  Lush and fruit-forward with aromas of lemon curd and pears, followed by a really gorgeous, silky mouthfeel.  None of that over-oaked over-buttered Cali Chard business.  Which has its place, but not here.  $19 gets you this bottle.  Last is a literal party-in-a-bottle, the Xarmant Txakolina, 2009 Spain for $15.50.  Never had Chak-oh-lee-na?  It’s awesome.  It’s sort of like Vinho Verde’s step-sibling, as it has a teeny fizz when you open it and it’s lean, tart and focused.  Tons of green apple and notes of lemon thyme and other herbs.  Yet another awesome pool or porch sipping wine.

Hopefully one of these spoke to you!  Actually, ALL of these wines are by the glass at Cellar right now, so you’re welcome to try a taste the next time you’re around to see what you think!  Ciao for today!

Estampa Viognier-Chardonnay, 2009 Chile

Yes, I know.  I just wrote about a Chilean wine.  But I warned you that I’m in a Chile phase, so I’m back at it this week!  And this one is WORLDS different than the last Chilean wine I wrote about.  Most notably that it is white, and the last one was red.  However, it is equally delicious and I am equally obsessed with it!  It’s especially fun to say- es-STAM-pa!  You will start to feel South American just by saying it. 

As you can see, I dipped into this bottle just a wee bit last night- just last night.  Not right now.  Definitely not right now, it’s only 2:30!   I would never do that.  Sure, there’s a glass of it sitting next to me here at the desk, but I’m just using it to remind myself of how it smells.  So let’s get to that, shall we?  Pretty notes of jasmine, fresh flowers and perfume are predominant, as this wine is mostly Viognier (85%).  The Viognier shows off nice hints of apricots and peaches as well- then the Chard kicks in a perfect punch of citrus to give it that pnice acidic quench.   Which is what I always search for in a summer white- you want your thirst to be quenched and to feel refreshed.  While at the same time achieving your optimal level of pleasant afternoon-in-the-sunshine buzz.  When this wine is very cold (which is how you will probably want it once July rolls around) it’s more of a lean-mean-heat-kickin’-machine, but if you let it come to just under room temperature (which is how a lot of hardcore white wine fans like thier wine) it shows off more of it’s round viscosity and hints of nice residual sugar.  It’s a true double personality- but that’s just what makes it more versatile! 

Check out Estampa’s website  for further evidence of why I MUST.GO.TO.CHILE. 

 

Oh, I almost forgot!  You’re going to love me for this one- this wine’s ONLY $11!  No way?  WAY!  If you don’t believe me, stop in to Cellar this Saturday, March 26th from 12-2 for our next Giant Wine Sale & Tasting and give it a try! 

Well that’s all the wine-nerding I have time for this afternoon, but here’s another little fun nugget for you:  my fellow ginger and Columbia wine nerd, James Alford, has just started a wine blog of his own!  He’s got a shite-ton of information crammed in that little brain of his, so be sure to check it out!   Fun reading.  If you don’t understand all the words he uses, you’re not alone.  That’s why Google was invented.  Just don’t dare play him in Words with Friends, or you might not like him anymore.  Just kidding, J.  Good luck in the blogosphere!

Oscar Edition 2011… Veramonte Primus

Okay, so last year I was enamored with Jennifer Lopez’s Oscar dress and wrote a blog comparing it to a delicious, pretty, feminine rose.  I suffered through watched the Oscars again this year because I really loved many of the nominees and looked forward to seeing the winners… anyway, what a snorefest.  Anne Hathaway, you are completely adorable and I loved five out of your seven dresses throughout the evening, and you were the only interesting thing about the awards this year.  James Franco is just too squirrelly.  You’re beautiful and bubbly and did not seem one bit nervous, which was awesome.  There were some great dresses this year, too- I loved Mila Kunis, though I don’t particularly adore the color lavender.  I loved Jennifer Hudson (even though there was clear evidence that her breasts maybe had makeup on??  wtf?) and  there were lots of other pretty dresses on rich people.  Of course. 

But really, who notices what the guys wear?  A tux is a tux is a tux, most of the time.  Like Jerry Seinfeld once said, “a tuxedo was clearly invented by a woman, who thought- ‘well, they’re all the same, we might as well dress them all the same.'”  So this year I decided to give the fellas a thorough examination.  Who was my winner?  Well, he’s a lovely mix of sex appeal and bad boy:

Jeremy Renner!  What a fine specimen he is.  And a damn good actor.  Even if you don’t find him attractive in the classic sense, you must admit that he’s chock full of sexy.  And he is rocking the heck out of this YSL tux.  Now I’m really no fashionista, but the navy detail on the jacket just takes it over the top.  Here he is in his badass role in The Town, rocking the “I’m-sort-of-an-asshole-but-doesn’t-that-make-you-want-me?” look:

Now, where to go from here?  Ah!  the wine.  What wine is classic, yet sultry and edgy?  A traditional blend of grapes that has been successfully modernized, looks clean and polished, and also offers some serious bang for your buck?  Well, since you read the title of this post, you already know.  So enough with the guessing games- Veramonte Primus, 2007 Colchagua Valley Chile!   I absolutely adore this blend of Cab, Syrah, Merlot & Carmenere.  I’m also going through a love affair with Chilean wines in general.  This wine is just FUN to drink.  It’s smoky, spicy, tangy, racy, has deep gorgeous color, and a bountiful nose of herbs, licorice, tar (yes, tar- and it’s not gross), and no shortage of ripe bursting-at-the-seams fruit!  It pulls off all this exotic-ness with such finesse that it’s almost shocking.   Oh and PS- Colchagua = Col-CHA-gwa.

So what does this wine have to do with Jeremy Renner?  Well, nothing technically– but this is what makes wine FUN!  Thinking of ways to draw your everyday life into learning about and tasting wine.  So while you’re google-ing (googling just doesn’t look right) pictures of attractive men and also drinking wine, it gives you an excuse to label it “productive.” 

So I made the mistake of sitting down to write while hungry… which has led me to fantasize about what to eat with this wine.  Just a thought:

When I go to heaven and meet baby Jesus, I want to be surrounded by nothing but cured meats, fresh grilled bread, cheese, olives, cornichons, mustards and any other little accompaniment I can think of.  HEAVEN in and of itself.  I require nothing more.  Except an endless supply of wine.   So we’ve covered almost all my vices in today’s post- sexy guys, good wine, good food, and good movies.  What have I forgotten?  Ah!  we have this wine in stock at Cellar on Greene for $16!  A bargain.  Happy drinking, eating and watching!