Thursday, November 13, 2008

Witches' Brew Golden Ale it's been a while. It was marching season, and school started up, so I've been super busy. But now marching season is over and I'm back with a vengeance!

Name: Witches' Brew Golden Ale

Price: $11.99

Store: World Market

"Witches’ Brew is a bottle conditioned blond triple living ale. It is available in only 750 ML bottles with a natural champagne style cork. It has an alcohol content of a whopping 9.3%. So be warned: It will put a spell on you!"~

I was spending Halloween alone, and thought this would help get me in the mood. Almost 2 weeks later, the hubs and I finally popped it open. I am not typically a beer kind of gal. I'd much rather have wine or hard liquor any day. I actually really love this beer. It has a little bit, and then a little bit of a sweetness to it. It's very smooth and easy going down. The color is also most definitely a beautiful gold as the name of it suggests. It only comes in 750ml bottles, so make sure you are ready to drink or have someone to share it with. I highly recommend this beer.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, August 23, 2008

You like me, You really like me!

Or at least one person does....My friend over at nominated me for this swell award. Here's the only problem: I am very bad at reading other people's blogs. I started this blog at my particularly busy time of the year, and I barely have time to write in mine, let alone read others. So thanks, Shep, for the nomination, but I don't have many/any other blogs to nominate. I'm such a slacker. I promise after Novemeber, I will make a conscientous effort to read more blogs on a regular basis so I have people I can pass this along to. I promise.

Duplin Pink Magnolia

Wine: Duplin Pink Magnolia
Price: $8.99
Store: Local mart at Holden Beach, NC, although I have found it in Farm Fresh and Food Lion for less than I spent 15 miles from the winery.

"Duplin Winery's Pink Magnolia is a select blend of Magnolia and Noble grapes. The flowery, lightly sweet blush is the perfect compliment to any spicy dish that requires a gentle finish. With a sweetness level similar to White Zinfindel, Duplin Winery's Pink Magnolia is described as the blush with a 'southern flare.'"~

We bought this as another souvenir of our "travels" this summer. We really wanted to tour the winery and do a tasting, but there just wasn't enough time. Maybe next summer.'s a nice crisp wine. Definitely similiar to a white zin, but has a bit more of a bit to it. It is very smooth going down. This time of wine is great both with a meal as welll as alone.

Rating: 4 Stars

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Incanto Rose

Wine: Incanto Rose Vino Frizzante
Price: $5.99
Store: Trader Joe's

"Robaso is a grape variety typically produced in Veneto, the growing area surrounding the town of Venice. Our winemakers produce this Raboso in a modern, pleasant style, vinifying it as a Rosato in a frizzante effervescence that greatly embraces the appreciate of its fruity aromas. Serve well chilled as an apertif or a refreshing summer drink." ~Back of the Bottle

There is a slight fuity aroma scent to this wine, but there is very little of a fruity taste. This is a very dry wine, and I was excited about the effervescent quality of it. It was actually overpowering and I think the wine would have been better whithout it. The hubs really seemed to enjoy this wine, but it's not my cup of tea.

Rating: 1 Star...Might be nice if you prefer really dry wines, though.

Seokryuju Pomegranate Wine

Name: Seokryuju Pomegranate Wine
Price: $8.99
Store: I don't know...The hubs purchased it at a random Asian Foods Store

I have a recent obsession with pomegranate lately. I looooooove PAMA pomegranate Liquor (which deserves a post a little later on), and since the hubs loves me, he saw this when he was in the store the other night and picked some up for me. This wine tastes like straight up pomegranate juice with a kick. It's definitey more on the tart side rather than the sweet. There is not a lot of scent to it-what scent there is none other than pomegranate (imagine that!). This is more of an after dinner drink than a dinner wine.

Rating: 2 Stars. Glad I tried it, but it does not fulfill the wine need in me.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Twin Vines Vinho Verde

Wine: Twin Vines Vinho Verde
Cost: $6.96
Purchased: Farm Fresh

"Twin Vines is a refreshing white from the vinho verde region in the northern part of Portugal. This versatile crisp wine pairs well with chicken, light pasta entrees, seafood, and summer salads. Serve well chilled." ~back of the bottle

I realized the other day that grocery stores tend to be regional, not national, but most of these wines you could purchase anywhere. The only wines you may have difficulty finding are those from Trader Joe's. I tend to like a lot of their wines sold exclusively in their stores.

This may very well be my new favorite wine. This wine has a very soft, almost floral scent, with a very slight hint of citrus acidity. The scents are a very clear indicator of what you're going to taste. It's a very soft tasting wine. The best part about this wine is although it is not sparkling, it has a bit of effervescence to it. Definitely dresses up the wine, and makes it feel much more high class and expensive than it really is.

There is one's a screw top. I still love the wine, but I feel like that does cheapen it a little bit.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Friday, August 8, 2008

Michelob Ultra Tuscan Orange Grapefruit

Name: Michelob Ultra Tuscan Orange Grapefruit Beer
Price: $5.69/six pack (I think...)
Store: Farm Fresh, also have purchased it at Total Wine.

" pilsner with fresh juicy orange notes and a slight pink-grapefruit finish." ~

Last summer, I was at the illustrious Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and we decided to enroll in "Beer School." It's a tasting of beers by Anheuser Busch in the theme park. (I really wonder what is going to happen with all those jobs now that Anheuser Busch has been sold. It could be quite detrimental to the economy here.) I tried the Michelob Ultra Pomegranete Raspberry Beer and really enjoyed it. Last night I picked up the Tuscan Orange Grapefruit flavor for something different.

Let me preface this by saying I am a very picky beer drinker and tend to like lighter beers. Both flavors I have tried from this brand are very good. The fruit flavors are very, very light and provide a nice after taste. It's not a particularly sweet beer, making it easy to enjoy without being over powering. It's a great summer evening beer, but if you really enjoy dark ales, this is definitely not the beer for you.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Farm Fresh Wine Tasting

Farm Fresh is a local grocery store. It has come a long ways over the last 5 years or so...It is now a pretty high class store. There is one about 15 minutes from us that has these huuuuuuuuuge wine tasting galas about 3 or 4 times a year. We just returned from one. There were at least 10 tables with 3 or 4 wines at each one. A few had beers, too. It was phenomonal. It sounds a bit trashy to get free wine at a grocery store, but it's a nice event. I even ran into my high school calculus teacher there. Sadly, it was quite busy, and I didn't get to write down everything I liked to take a lot of notes on why I liked them.

Here are some notables:

Ghost Pines Merlot and Cabernet Sauvingon: Both very smooth going. Excellent wines for novice red drinkers. I believe it was $16.88.

Twin Vines Vinho Verde: Great white wine, has a bit of effervescence to it that almost seems sparkling. $6.96
Penasol Sangria: Very good Sangria in a Bottle (which just recently became legal to sell in Virginia). On sale, 2 for $10.
Chimay: Nice smooth Belgian Beer. About $11 for a liter bottle or so. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Anniversary Ale: I really liked the pale ale (I'm not much of a beer drinker), and I really enjoyed the Pale Ale. The Hubs and our friend really liked the Anniversary Ale. It's intended to be a fall beer, and has a little bit of a bite to it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Honey Moon Viogner

Name: Honey Moon Viogner
Purchased: Trader Joe's
Price: $4.99

"Viogner is a rare stylish grap with golden hues and amazing floral scents. Our Honey Moon Viogner is named after the June full moon, which signifies the moment when the sweet scent of the flowers turn into young grapes, creating this lush, full bodied wine with peach, apricot, and honeysuckle aromas followed by luscious honey, mango and nectarine finish." ~back of the bottle.

In my opinion, this is a great summer evening wine. I'd love to enjoy this with some strawberries and chocolate. (Who am I kidding? I love strawberries and chocolate period.) It's a bit sweet, with definite fruity overtones. It's also very acidic in nature. I would agree with the bottle's description of a full bodied wine, althouh it doesn't feel very heavy going down. The scent is very fruit, with a vague hint of spice. This would be one of my favorite sweet wines.

Rating: 4 Stars

Margaritaville Flavored Tequilas

This is a bittersweet entry for me. Last April, we were in Orlando with a couple other teachers. The bartender at the hotel bar had some Passion Fruit Margaritaville Tequila (of Jimmy Buffett fame) behind the bar, and inquired what he thought of it. Instead of giving us an opinion, he poured us teach a small glass on the rocks. I loved it. I am also a general fan of tequila. This kept with the tequila feel, but was sweet and fruity at the same time. Earlier this summer, I found Last Mango Margaritaville Tequila. It was equally good, and mixed great with Orange, Peach, Mango Juice ffrom Trader Joe's.

To my dismay, these flavored tequilas are no longer being carried in Virginia. I am almost embarassed to think about how many ABC stores I have checked looking for these tequilas. I also have checked a few in North Carolina to no success. A store clerk told me they were no longer being made, but the lovely bartender at Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach, SC, said they were still being made. I'm confused and befuddled by this, but ultimately, I'm just sad I can't find it to purchase. If you have a chance, check out your local liquor store and report back whether or not they sell it.

On a side note, if you use margarita mix to make your margaritas, I must recommend Margaritaville mixes. I've used the traditional lime flavored one as well as the mango mix, and it's the best margarita mix I've ever tried. The hubs is a huge Jimmy Buffett fan, so he got me on the Margaritaville kick, but it really is good. Same goes for the tequila, particularly the silver tequila. Very smooth going down.

Oh, and either this fall or early next year, Margaritaville will debut a line of flavored rums. I'm excited to taste those, too.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ménage à Trois Rosé

Name: Ménage à Trois Rosé , 2006 California Rose Table Wine
Purchased: Food Lion
Price: $10.99

"Good rosé is like a carnival in your mouth—and not one of your low rent carnivals. We’re talking about your really classy, country faire kind of carnival. Our Ménage à Trois Rosé is the epitome of a good rosè. No pretension, no pretense, just a fruit-laden roller coaster ride of raspberries, strawberries, lychee nuts and flowers." ~

I know, I know...I have two blush entries in a row. I promise, I enjoy whites and reds as well, it just happens that we've been drinking blushes recently.

I'll also admit, I like this wine because of the name. So does the hubs...mainly because it's the only kind of ménage à trois he'll get.
According to the bottle, this wine is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Gewurztraminer. Right away, my first thought was it was much more like a traditional red than a rosé. There is strong acidity to the wine, with a slight hint of fruitiness. There is a little bit of a spicy, peppery kick to this wine, but is very smooth going down. Aromatically speaking, it's a very light wine. There are some citrus and apple hints, but overall there is not a very strong scent to it. I would recommend this wine to people who enjoy reds, but need something a little lighter to drink throughout the evening or without food.
Rating: 3 stars

Childress Classic Blush

Wine: Childress Classic Table Blush
Purchased: Native Vine Cellars and Tasting Room, Nags Head, NC
Price: $10.99

Edit: I found this wine for $8.99 at our local Food Lion. Figures that it would be cheaper here!

"Classic Blush The off-dry blend boasts plenty of tropical fruit aromas set off by notes of strawberry and apple. The mouthfeel is intense and powerful and finishes with well-defined balance and acidity. Served chilled as an aperitif or as a refreshing summer drink. " ~

When my husband and I go on vacation, we tend to pick a local wine or two as a momento of our trip. Recently, we visted the illustrious Outer Banks of North Carolina. We stumbled upon an interesting wine shop at Jockey's Ridge Crossing Shops. We toyed with the idea of doing a wine tasting ($6 for 5 wines and a souvenir wine glass, I believe), but we opted for a bottle of local wine. (In retrospect, I wish we had done both. Oh well.) The hubs has an afinity for NASCAR, so we went for wine from the Childress Winery, the reputable NASCAR owner.

The wine had a refreshing, light taste. It's also more on the dry side, rather than sweet. Not a very complex wine…"Fruity, yet one dimensional with a smooth finish," as observed by the boy. The scent has a very light floral scent that is easy to miss if you don't pay close attention. Overall, it's a nice basic wine, particularly for novice tasters.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

The Beginning

At the ripe old age of 22, I saw the movie Sideways. I had previously not experienced wine, but the movie inspired me to buy a bottle of Pinot Grigio. (As I recall, that was the favorite wine in the film.) I hated it. It was the most horrible thing I had ever tasted.

Since then, my tastes have grown and matured. I am now a wine fanatic. I love wine, but there is a certain mystery about it. I know there are certains wines I like, some I don't, and some I just don't remember. This blog is a teaching and memory tool for me. I am hoping to grow in my ability to articulate what I do and don't like about certain wines, as well as remember which wines I prefer. I also must admit that I buy cheap wine. I have trouble bringing myself to spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine, and it's rare that I spend that much or more. Maybe as my tastes become more sophisticated, I'll be more comfortable investing in a bottle of wine. I'm also not an elitist, and occassionally will enjoy a beer or a mixed drink. Rest assured, anything unusual or interesting drinks I try I will share here.

So bare with me as I embark on this adventure....And if you have any wine suggestions, please share them with me!