Thursday, May 19, 2011

A new fave, and it's "Hot to Trot"!

No horsing around: 14 Hands "Hot to Trot" blend is a winner! I picked some up at Sam's Club last week and found it to be a yummy, fruit-forward blend. What a great deal I thought for just over $10!

THEN I saw an old flyer from Bullock's and it's only $8.97 per bottle! Time to stock up a bit! Click HERE for a data sheet from the vineyard and click HERE to find Bullock's (Sandy Plains in East Cobb and off Barrett Parkway, east of I-75. This is a perfect BBQ wine (yes, I actually recommended something OTHER than a ZIN!) and will be great for your Summer parties. ENJOY!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Snob or Sale?

I get accused of being a wine snob. Au contraire, mon frere! While I do love wine, my perception of a wine snob would be someone who would turn their nose up at the inexpensive beauties that I tend to recommend. Sure, I'd love to drink something like Orin Swift's "The Prisoner" all the time, but I can't drop over $30 per bottle of wine. Even a "deal" like an email I received for a Mollydooker wine for around $20 doesn't help--that's just too high for my wallet these days. So am I a wine snob? Hardly! I do like yummy wines though; I just tend to buy more bargains--it's like 'hunting"--I love to find a great wine at an inexpensive price! So let's go shopping!

As noted before I love blends. I received a flyer from Bullocks (East Cobb/Woodstock) and found Apothic Red to be $7.97! Other winners include Monte Antico Rosso (a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet) is $8.97 (the 2006 was rated at 90 points per Wine Spectator), La Crema Pinot Noir is $15.97 (yep, that's 'high' but it's touch and go finding a 'cheap' Pinot out there that's as solid as La Crema). Finally, Ravenswood Vintner's Blend is a low $6.27. I know many other top retailers like Tower and Total Wine have similar pricing; get out there and shop!

But that's all red wine, and it's hot out there! You can also find a good value on Estancia Chardonnay at Bullocks ($7.97) and Brancott Sauvignon Blanc for $6.97 (look for any Sauv. Blanc from "Marlborough" in New Zealand and you can't go wrong). Pinot Grigio is a nice, crisp option as well and "Kris" Pinot Grigio is under $10 there too. Why not try something different? Other wines that beg to be left in the ice bucket can be found from Spain (Albarino) Viognier (Rhone or Central Coast/CA), and Argentina's Torrantes, as mentioned in Gil Kuler's most recent AJC article.

One quickie about wine glasses--yes, I can be a wine glass snob; check my previous posts about Riedel. Suffice it to say that I hate going to restaurants that have crappy glasses. One thing that can hurt you more than a cheap glass is a smelly glass! I've talked about this before--I have several types of glasses, from stems I bought for $5 at Cost Plus World Market (excellent!) to the same 'style' (e.g. for the same varietal of wine) that was given to me (Riedel's "Sommelier Series" that retails for almost $100 per glass!)--all the glasses are in a glass-front cabinet in the kitchen. EVERY time I pull out a glass, if I don't rinse the glass, it smells like the cabinet! If it wasn't rinsed well, it may also smell like soap. All I'm saying is that the glass should be clean, dry and not have residual odors. As over half of your wine experience is based on what you smell (yep, even over the taste itself!) you really need to do this before serving your wine! Give it a shot-take 2 glasses, rinse/clean one and try the wine out of both--you may be surprised at the difference between the two!