Because of my newly started monthly wine club and a general increase in alcohol consumption, I decided a couple months back that I needed a wine fridge. I was torn between getting a dual-zone fridge, two single-zone fridges, or just one single-zone fridge. I finally decided that keeping reds and whites at different temperatures wasn’t worth the added expense, and settled on one single-zone fridge: the NewAir 28-Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler.
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Man, I didn’t mean to do a Bordeaux blend 2 weeks in a row, but thems the breaks. We served lightly chilled with a pasta dinner.
The appearance was dark ruby and very leggy. The aroma was blackberries and vanilla. It was full-bodied, with a complex evolution of oak and earth, and a long finish.
Overall, it was better than last week’s Bordeaux, though I still only give it 3/5 stars.
This Pinot Noir is from the Barossa Valley in South Australia. We served it room temperature and paired with a grilled rack of lamb (recipe from the Barbecue! Bible).
The appearance was garnet. The aroma was raspberry and flowers. It was light and soft, with a refreshing acidity.
I give it 3/5 stars and would drink again.
We’ve recently started a monthly wine club with a few of our friends. We’re working through the suggested tastings in Great Wine Made Simple: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier. I’m just going to be giving a quick run-down of this month’s wines.
The San Lucas Malbec from Mendoza is a great example of Argentina’s signature grape. We served at room temperature after dinner.
The appearance was burgundy and leggy. The aroma was flowers and plums. The attack was full and firm, with the mouthfilling tannins you expect from a Malbec. There were subtle hints of blackberry and a long finish.
In all, very good; better than the Ascencion 2010 I reviewed in April. I give it a 4/5 and would definitely drink again.
This “Super Tuscan” red is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot from the Maremma coastal region in Italy. The Italian government recognizes four broad protected designations of origin for wine, though only three are widely used:
- Indicazione geografica tipica (IGT) – typical geographic indication
- Denominazioni di origine controllata (DOC) – controlled designation of origin
- Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) – controlled designation of origin guaranteed
The IGT classification (to which this wine belongs) was created in 1992 to recognize the high quality of “Super Tuscan” wines which do not meet the requirements of DOC or DOCG, which are generally intended to protect traditional wine formulations such as Chianti or Barolo.
This wine was made to be paired with Italian food, and since we were having a busy weekend we served at room temperature alongside an authentic New York style pizza from 360 Pizza here in Austin.
The appearance was dark ruby with an aroma of plum. The taste was firm and very full-bodied with an easy evolution of cherries and raspberries. The finish was nearly nonexistent. I felt a little guilty about the pizza pairing, but it turned out alright. If I had it to do over, I might serve with a New York strip instead.
Despite the short finish, I liked this wine’s accessibility and full flavor. I give it 3.5/5 stars and would definitely drink it again.
Il Pino is a Pinot Grigio from Giuseppe Secchi’s vineyard in Venezie. This region in northern Italy is known for large day-to-night temperature fluctuations which balance fruit flavor and acidity, also making this a popular area for Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco.
We served it well chilled and paired with boiled snow crab legs and a mixed green salad.
The appearance was light gold and leggy. The aroma, citrus and apricot. On attack, a light balance of dry and sweet. Our guests described it as soft and refreshing. In evolution, there were gentle notes of apples and peaches. Finally, a mild stony finish. The crab legs were a good pairing, though frankly this wine would have gone well with most anything.
I really liked the muted symmetry of this wine, though my wife and guests preferred the explosive flavor of the Kora Sauvignon Blanc we also served. I give it 4/5 stars and will be ordering additional bottles.
The Kora Sauvignon Blanc hails from the capital of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. The Rose family estate is situated in the Wairau River Valley, where the rocky soil encourages the vine to concentrate flavors in lower yields. Combined with the cool nights, this makes for an intense stony crispness.
We served it chilled and paired with barbecued gulf shrimp and a side of serrano-shallot pico de gallo (both from the Barbecue! Bible).
The appearance was light gold, no legs. The aroma, kiwi and citrus. On first impression, there was an immediate refreshing acidity; very dry and light. This evolved to vibrant lime and notes of gooseberry, with a cool mineral-driven finish. The shrimp was a great pairing, though if I had it to do over I would not combine with the spicy pico de gallo. The bottle lasted right through to our dessert of various cheeses (another great pairing).
In summary, a perfect example of the tangy crispness of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. I give it 3/5 stars and would definitely drink again.
Ascención is a Malbec from Salta, Argentina. The Malbec originated in Cahors, France but was introduced to Argentina in 1868. It’s now Argentina’s flagship red. The ample sunshine and high altitudes make for a more mature and less-tannic varity than the French.
This particular Malbec came in my quarterly Laithwaites wine shipment. We paired it with barbecued lamb kebabs (recipe from this amazing book) and served at room temperature.
The appearance was deep red, with an aroma of cherries and oak. It was full bodied and much bolder than I was expecting; next time I might try decanting it. Behind the tannins, there were notes of cherries and vanilla. The lamb was a great pairing and really brought out the flavors.
In all, not bad; I give it 3.5/5 stars and would definitely drink it again (which is good, because I have another bottle).