Wine Wednesday – 2011 Bridlewood Blend 175

Hello, hello!

Sorry I wasn’t around for Tasty Tuesday yesterday.

Thing 2 had a major party in her mouth at the oral surgeon’s office and I played “mommy” to my baby who isn’t so little any more.

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If only she were old enough to drink, she could totally take part in Wine Wednesday!

Alas, she isn’t and, if she were, she shouldn’t be drinking wine anyway while she’s on her pain meds. So, I’ll drink some in her honor. 🙂

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Anyhoo, we went to a party this past Saturday and swung by the grocery store to grab a bottle to take.

I found this super interesting sounding blend from Bridlewood Estate Winery and you KNOW how I feel about blends! ❤

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It’s a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel and rings in surprisingly low on the alcohol scale at 12.5%.

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The home of the party hostess is old (like super early 1900s), absolutely beautiful – probably should have taken some pictures, huh? – and superbly decorated.

The cabinet and those glasses made me feel like I should have been drinking a super expensive French wine. But, unfortunately, she didn’t have any. 😉

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This wine was beautiful and definitely an excellent choice for this party.

It was potluck (I brought my triple chocolate avocado brownies – YUM!) so there were quite a variety of dishes.

I should add that this party was with all my CrossFit peeps so … there was lots of meat and bacon, etc. #winning

The wine paired fabulously with everything!

It was jammy but soft, oaky with some toasty spice, and smooth. Bridlewood uses the word “graceful” in its description and I would have to agree.

Some wines like to pack a punch or be super jammy and chewy or be extra “hot” (high alcohol content) – this one is like going to a club/bar/wedding/party/etc and the older married couple takes the dance floor and waltzes every wannabe dancer into submission. 🙂

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The low alcohol content (which means less residual sugar from the skins) kept the wine from being too big and tannic and made it quite lovely to enjoy.

Actually, if you’ve never tried a blend, this would be an excellent first choice because it is so soft and muted and flavorful.

Cheers!

Talk to me: What do you  normally bring to potlucks? Do you have a “signature dish” that you rely on?

– jennifer

Wine Wednesday – Rare Red (or as I liked to call it – “Guess the grapes”)

Hello, hello!

Guess what day it is?!?!

I ❤ Wine Wednesdays!

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And, you’re in luck! I remembered to get the pictures off my camera!

Usually I take them with my phone but for some reason, I decided to be all fancy and use my regular camera.

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Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.

Anyway, this is another wine I found at my local wine market.

The Rare Red 4 Grape Blend.

Mike knows I like blends so he wanted me to give it a try.

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I can’t remember exactly how much the bottle cost and I’ve since thrown my receipt away but I’m pretty positive this was one of my less than $10 bottles.

I bought 6 bottles that day (1/2 case discount, thankyouverymuch) and only spent around $60 total. After tax. #winning

As with all blends, I flipped the bottle around to read the breakdown of the grapes.

And discovered that they didn’t say ANYWHERE on the label what ANY of the 4 grapes are!

Oh, ho, ho, it’s a guessing game now, is it?

challenge accepted

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The first thing I noticed when I poured the wine was the dark ruby color.

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When I swirled and took the first sniff, I was treated to lovely earthy aromas, some black pepper, and dark fruit. I also thought I smelled a little chocolate which, honestly, I’ve only smelled in a Port so I wasn’t really sure.

I was pretty positive I knew one of the grapes just from the color and the aromas, maybe two, but you know I had to taste it. I mean, c’mon, it was practically inviting me in!

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My first sip was luscious and smooth, all fruit and earth and yumminess. There was a bit of spice/pepper on the back of my throat but not too much. The tannins, for a wine that’s 13.5% alcohol, were really mild which surprised me. Especially since I knew at that point that I definitely knew what 2 of the 4 grapes were.

I said with certainty that the wine was a blend of Syrah (hello fruit!) and Zinfandel (hello earth & pepper/spice).

And those wines can be quite tannic and big. Like maybe 14% alchohol or more!

(If you don’t know, tannins come the skins, seeds, and stems of the grapes. Red wines are more tannic than white because the skins are left in the juice longer. That also helps to add color and depth to the wine. Tannins are what makes a wine taste “dry” – like you want to pucker a little and not because it’s sour like a green apple. High tannins are also known to cause massive headaches in people that drink too of the much wine. Wine hangovers can really suck. #justsayin)

Anyway, I swished and swirled and sniffed and tasted my way through that glass in the hopes that I would come up with the other 2 grapes used in the blend.

I never did figure it out but I can say with definite certainty that the Rare Red 4 Grape Blend is a very delicious wine!

And, because it’s so smooth, you can pair it with a variety of foods. Pasta, burgers, pizza, grilled chicken, grilled salmon or tuna (I think a white/lighter fish might not be a good choice), chili, stews, hot dogs, sausages (that’s what we had!), etc, etc, etc.

The other two grapes? I had to look them up. Barbera and Sangiovese.

I never would have gotten that.

I can’t remember the last time I drank a Sangiovese and it’s been a few years since I had a Barbera.

Guess it’s time for me to grab some of those and refresh my taste buds’ memories! 🙂

Talk to me: Do you like challenges? Can you pick out different aromas and tastes in a glass of wine/beer/whiskey/bourbon/etc?

Wine Wednesday – 2012 Drops of Jupiter

Hello, hello!

It’s Wednesday! Whoop, whoop!! 🙂

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So, my selection is a little different this week in that I did not get this bottle at my local grocery store.

I found it at the little wine market in my town.

Mike (the owner) even had a bottle open and I got to taste it first!

I love when I go in there – he has some really awesome wine (and he sells craft and random beer) and he usually has 2-3 bottles open that we can taste. I’ve also nabbed some really excellent chocolate there and some other fun snacks. 🙂

If you have a wine market (I mean, even Total Wine or a World Market would work) in your town and you haven’t checked it out yet, you definitely should. You’ll probably fall in love and never shop anywhere else! (unless, of course, you’re me and you want to do a weekly blog post about easy to find wines……but, you can’t be me because I’m already me so go be you and maybe shop at your local wine market!)

Anyway, this wine comes from the Save Me, San Franciso Wine Co. which was founded by the band Train.

Yes, that Train.

And they cleverly named it Drops of Jupiter! (all of their wine is named after their songs)

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 Proceeds from the sale of their wines helps support Family House. Family House is a non-profit that helps provide temporary housing to family members of seriously ill children being treated at the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital.

I can totally get behind supporting organizations like that – I’ve done running fundraisers for Fisher House (same type of organization for military families) and have fundraised and have volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House. The bonus with this is you get a really nice bottle of wine in the process. Of course, if you’re in the San Francisco area and can physically volunteer, you should check this out for different volunteer opportunities.

This wine is available from their Web site for $12.00 – I think I spent about that much at my wine market.  So, it still meets my requirements!

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The wine is a petite-sirah based blend (I did some research to see if I could find out the blend but was unsuccessful. Sneaky.) which gives it that beautiful dark color.

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Take a big whiff and you get a noseful of delicious fruit and spicy pepper. Achoo! Just kidding, it’s not that peppery. 🙂

When you take your first sip, the berry flavor is full and bright in your mouth and the peppery goodness tickles the back of your throat. Petite sirahs can sometimes lack flavor on the back end (that’s basically when you’re swallowing) but this one doesn’t. It’s good from sip to swallow.

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Enjoy with or without food, on your back or front porch, or in your dining room. Hell, open a bottle and drink a glass in bed, if you want. 🙂  It will pair excellently with many foods – we tend to prefer grilled meat and veggies. They suggest eggplant lasagna or chocolate cake. If you have chocolate cake, you could share. 😉

Cheers!

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Talk to me: What’s your favorite Train song?

These opinions are totally my own. Neither Train nor anyone from Save Me, San Francisco or Family House asked me to review their wine or talk about their mission/cause. I just like wine.

– jennifer