I know, I know – my homework sounds awful doesn’t it? Sitting around drinking wine and wondering how I’ll write up my next evaluation? Sometimes it takes more than one glass to get the descriptions rolling but once they do – look out!
This weekend, I visited a local bottle shop in Bloomington – MGM Wine & Spirts, located on Old Shakopee road and (almost) the corner of France Ave. First off, the store – a nice, clean atmosphere with helpful folks looking to help you out with questions or recommendations. While I didn’t take the help offered, I appreciated someone asking – funny concept in retail these days – it was actually very nice.
After my first spin around the store, I picked up a box and went to it filling up a case of travelling weekend goodies. I was sure not to spend more than $20 a bottle and grabbed only wines that either looked interesting re: bottle image or sounded interesting re: shelf talking description. Without digging too deep or expending too much time, I basically had put together a box that might look good from an average wine drinker’s perspective. Good for the money and maybe looked or sounded intriguing.
Now – I haven’t gotten through my entire box of goodies just yet, but I did have three that I wanted to offer up some tasting notes on, just in case you see them yourself on the retail shelf throughout the Twin Cities retail wine shops.
#1: Volver Tempranillo – La Mancha, Spain – Price: $14.99 My notes: Upon opening, smelled of dark chocolate and cherries, after one half hour of being opened the wine smelled of burnt pie crust and over toasted dirty oak. The palate was dark and tannic but not in a good way. With an artificial hershey’s chocolate coating the mouth feel felt over saturated with a thick cherry jolly rancher bite. Not at all pleasing, tasting very ‘manufactured’ and definitely not worth the $14.99 I paid for it – but could be worth the money if it was $4.99.
#2: 2007 ‘Old Vines’ Atteca Garnacha – Calatayud, Spain Price: $14.99 My notes: Aromatic notes of a freshly rained on strawberry field. You know that smell, after a hard rain in the mid western summer, strawberry beds have a juicy, red fruit smell that draws your fingers to want to pick every last berry off the vine. The wine was nice, soft and alluring on the nose. The palate was similar. It was tasty through and through. The wine did not change much from its first glass to its last. The mouth feel was soft, juicy and had a hint of a freshly baked raspberry/rhubarb pie straight from the oven. Supple. I liked it and I thought of it as a nice way to entertain a wide array of folks in the backyard. Not to heavy and not too wimpy. The Garnacha grape (Grenache) is one of those grapes though, soft and easy drinking. It, generally, will never turn anyone off. Worth the money? I’d be happier if it were roughly $11-$12, that’s where my mouth rated it.
#3: 2006 Independent Producers Merlot – Columbia Valley, WA Price: $10.99 This might be the best one buck for buck – on the money, valued wine I had this weekend. Now, I was attracted to the bottle because it looked a little Frenchy. You could tell some artisan producers got together to produce something ‘inexpensive’ because it had that ‘creative’ look to it. And, well because I’m a Pacific NW kind of girl I’m always looking to pick up something new from my old stompin’ grounds.
This wine was surprising pretty drippin’ juicy – I’d almost (almost) put it into an off-dry category. I would have preferred something a wee bit drier, but I gotta tell you, it was worth the money. Plus, I had mine for dessert with some chocolate, so the pairing – couldn’t have been better. The nose was very ripe red raspberry and full of cassis. Hints of thin mint chocolate and spearmint coated parts of it, but the palate had a nice, easy to drink finish. Again, I wasn’t expecting too much and I think because I didn’t, I liked it. Worth every bit of the $10.99 I paid for it, but would really recommend that you put it into a dessert, last drop drinkin’ category or pair it with rich, sticky sweet cherry smoked ribs – that may do the trick. Either way, a good wine.
Homework, wow! such a drag, huh? Yeah, not so much. Not a bad way to spend your Sunday. Drinkin’ and writin’ – not a bad way to make a living is what I say. Salut!