Monthly Archives: November 2012

2010 M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone

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After we had the Beaujolais Nouveau debacle we still wanted wine of course so I went back downstairs and came up with this bottle. A simple $12 CdR that probably wouldn’t blow us away but also wouldn’t leave us wondering why us.

colonelgrape: 71. Like I said previously this bottle was meant to be a filler of sorts. Not gonna wow you but not going to hurt you either. After working through the bottle I’ll say I wasn’t too pleased with it but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt after sampling such awfulness with the Beaujolais Nouveau…I’ll say it was barely average.

MobyGrape: 72. Definitely not my favorite Rhone, but I was told not to expect much from this one anyways.  I’m not sure how accurately I can assess this one, after drinking something I disliked so much, I wasn’t going to give anything a fair shake.

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2012 Beaujolais Nouveau

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It was late November and we were having a simple meal of bison meat hamburgers and tater tots  so we thought we’d sample this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau. Don’t buy it! All you’ll be doing is throwing $12 in the garbage. I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not a BN fan but this is really just awful. Remember from our previous post that it’s only aged for 6-8 weeks…and you can tell.

colonelgrape: 10. It’s a “wine” I’ll give it that much….barely. It tastes like a grape Juicy Juice box laced with alcohol. Super grape and alcohol flavors that taste completely separate and awful. Apparantly my Aunt and Cousin like it with a bit of cassis liquor but I can’t see that saving this disaster.

MobyGrape: 12.  I know I was complaining that wine never just tasted like grapes, but I never realized that wine grapes taste like ass.  One day I hope to actually try one (I may have and just can’t remember, but I understand why I would wipe that from my memory).  I seriously considered drinking some Drano as a step up.  Despite it all, I have big plans for this hot mess in a bottle.  I know of two ways that terrible wine can redeem itself.  Stay tuned, I’ll put this guy through the wringer.

2010 Ghost Pines Chardonnay

So I’ve never been wowed by chardonnay, to me it always seemed like rat piss.  But here I am, with a sophisticated palate, giving it a fair shake.  Someone told me to try a “buttery chardonnay” because they normally didn’t like rat piss either, and since I’m trying to be more open, I went into the wine store, hot on the Colonel’s heels, and after he finished discussing the finer points of some french wines with a very kind gentleman who works there, I promptly embarrassed us both by proclaiming that I wanted the butteriest chardonnay he had.  I thought that would make me sound sophisticated and knowledgeable, but as it turns out I just sounded like an ass, and now I stick to being the silent partner when we’re buying wine.  We were promptly pointed to the chardonnay area and given a couple choices, we kind of grabbed this one because it wasn’t the cheapest, but it wasn’t the most expensive, and the guy at the store seemed to promote it.  I just looked something up that said chardonnay is the favorite white wine in America.  Seriously?  I must be missing something, because no one I know likes it.  Is versatile another word for bad?  If wine is made from grapes, why can’t it taste like grapes?  No one ever says “this wine tasted like a grape”.  Why do they have to try to get a bunch of other stuff in there too?  Is someone squeezing pears and lemons and apple pie and dirt into the barrel too?  I think I actually do need to learn more about the winemaking process because this is just blowing my mind tonight.  We ate it with salmon and pasta.  I have to get out of here, my head hurts.

MobyGrape:  70.  I think I understand why the vineyard is named Ghost Pines.  There was a fruity flavor up front, and then it promptly disappeared.  The more it warmed up in the glass the more buttery it smelled and tasted, so then it was sort of like buttered fruit.  As it turns out that’s not a great flavor.  But don’t worry, it still disappears quickly and it’s like you never drank it at all.  If I had to drink chardonnay again, I’d go buttery, and I’d even have this one in a pinch.  At least it was a friendly ghost.

Colonelgrape:  61.  I’ll be first to admit I am not a Chardonnay guy but I was willing to give this a chance. I made it through 1.5 glasses before giving up. The back of the bottle claims tastes of baked apple, pear, and a sweet vanilla finish. I got the pear and then nothing followed by alcohol followed by nothing. Just an empty white grape tasting vessel of nothing. We served it cold but the warmer it got in my glass the worse it tasted. I wouldn’t say it was appalling as I did make it through a glass, but it was not good. I am willing to give Chardonnay another chance but it would have to be a well documented superior bottle. I’m at the point where I can simply say Chardonnay just isn’t for me.

2011 Gabbiano Chianti

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I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting to try a chianti, not because I particularly wanted to try the type of wine, but I so, SO wanted tobe able to say “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti” (insert creepy lip smacking noise here).  Is it cliche?  Totally.  But that doesn’t make it any less awesome.  We didn’t even have it with dinner, it was our “let’s get the guest sauced so he’ll help cook” wine.  Let’s see, what can I find out about chianti in 4.5 seconds to make this legitimate.  Looks like it used to come in a basket so it wouldn’t break and it comes from the Chianti region of Tuscany.  That’s cool, I respect a wine that accessorizes itself.  Whatever website I read that on just got too technical so I’ll let the Colonel school you on it the next time we try a bottle.  There will be another bottle because this one was ok, good enough for us to want to try a different style but probably not good enough to get again.  On to the reviews, Clarice….

colonelgrape: 75. This wine was very dry and had medium-firm tannins to go along with strong acid and spice. It was much more earthy than I was expecting from a simple quaffing chianti…I was expecting to taste more fruit flavor. I was thinking this would be a good wine to start off with due to it’s easy drinking but that wasn’t the case for me. I would definitely like to have food with this bottle if I were to have it again. That being said I don’t think it was bad, it was just different than expected. I’m not an expert in Chianti though so maybe this is just what it is, I’ll have to try a few more to get a taste for it. This rating could be subject to change.

MobyGrape:  72.  I thought it was going to be fruitier.  Really wasn’t at all, it was dry.  I was hoping to like it a whole lot more than I did, but drinking it alone wasn’t a good idea, you need food with this one.  Wait, what does quaffing mean?  That’s a great word.

2009 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

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Last night we had grilled steak tips with red potatoes and an old standby, Groth Cabernet. You can find it on sale for $40 but it typically sells between $50-$60. Moby will tell you our Groth story:

MobyGrape: 88.  Drinking this wine is like getting a hug from an old friend.  It’s inviting, it’s solid, and it leaves you wanting another.  I guess it’s tanniny?  It does leave you a bit dry after the sip, but not in a bad way.  I find it makes me want more.  I’ve been having a hard time using my grown up wine words lately and differentiating between that and acidity, but I think acid is more like a bitter assault on your mouth.  Regardless, this is one of my favorite cabs that we’ve ever tried.  We found it by eavesdropping on a couple people that seemed well off who ordered it at one of our favorite restaurants.  Then we found it on the menu and it was stupid expensive and bought it at a store for a fraction of the price.  But anyways the wine – I find it pretty smooth, not winey (even though it’s young, so I’m told), we had it with steak and certainly holds its own but I don’t have a problem drinking it by itself, either.  The longer it sits out the more tang it gets.  It’s just a great all around wine, let’s leave it at that.

colonelgrape: 92. This is a traditional “cab n’ slab” wine…it screams “eat me with steak.” Everything you’d expect from a big California Cabernet: big tannis, big fruit flavor and good structure. Find the fattiest steak you can, crack open a bottle of Groth, and you are on your way. This wine is perfect for aging, I have a bottle of 07, 08, and 09 I intend to age for at least 10 years, but it’s good enough to drink now as well.

Bonus potato recipe: I think these potatoes are a great way to mix up the standard potato: using red potatoes, peel and slice them into 1/8 inch thick bite sized pieces, make an aluminum foil pouch for them, a few chunks of butter, salt and pepper. Seal up the pouch so it can be flipped (this is important) and throw it on the grill on medium heat. We make about 5 medium sized red potatoes for the two of us and they grill for about 15-20 mins on one side and 5-10 min on the other. I usually start these on the grill about 10-15 mins before the steak. When they are done they will be soft and delicious with one side being golden brown. They stick to the foil sometimes but don’t be afraid to work them off, those are the best bites!