Wine, Spirits, Beer and any other libations we can get our hands on from around the world

Melini Borghi D’ Elsa Chianti 2005

images.jpgWow. If you really want to find good Italian wines, go to real Italian Restaurants. I’m not talking about the Olive Garden types baby, but the real mom & pop places. On a recent trip to Germany, I discovered this little sweetheart at Isola Bella Ristorante in Binsfeld. This wine is quickly becoming one of the best chiantis that I have had.

You might suspect this wine to be too young judging by it’s vintage, but such is not the case. The appearance is a clear transparent red and very reflective. The aromas are of cherries with subtle blackberry highlights and oak. Thats the way I see it Diegs. The flavors are complex and full of character. The textures are smooth and consistent throughout with a lingering finish that compels you to enjoy another sip.

1 comment May 13th, 2007 jeff

Red Truck 2004

RedtruckA bit of everything.

This wine combines a lot, despite the name, it doesn’t hit you in the face like a truck. It is well balanced and pleasant.

In the glass it is a red with dark purple. The nose is light, no hints of oak are detected. The taste of this wine is unique, complete with a lite oak. My tongue finds more of a Syrah flavor than anything else, but still detecting some slight oak and pepper. The finish is smooth to the slightest hint of bitterness.

1 comment April 16th, 2007 Derek

Jacobs Creek 2004 Shiraz Cabernet

SHiraz CabWhy did I buy this?

This is a combo of both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, 53% and 47% respectively. Perhaps they should have made up their mind and stuck with that. I’m thinking they needed to drown out a bad batch of Cabernet with some Shiraz.

The appearance is light red, very light, looking very young. The nose is flat with a slight plum. Upon tasting you realize that neither the Cabernet nor the Shiraz shine through, both are incredibly boring when combined here. The finish is entirely too mellow and weak.

Cost: $8.59

Year: 2004

Add comment April 9th, 2007 Derek

Columbia Winery Cellarmaster’s Riesling

images.jpgWant to be rich, lose weight, and look good naked? Buy this wine.

I am not much of a white wine lover, let alone dessert wines but this wine really hits the spot. It is a little young, but you would not be able to tell the difference. If you never have had a Riesling, this wine will cause you fall in love with anyone you drink it with.

6 comments April 7th, 2007 jeff

Babcock Black Label Cuvee 2002 Syrah

babcockUmmm Ummm good.

This is an exciting wine. Complex, yet “Simple and True”. It’s an inside joke within my family to call a wine “Simple and True”. I believe the story is that my Dad encountered some weird wine snob at a winery out west, who had several meaningless terms to describe a wine.

Anyway, I tried the Babcock Black Label Syrah in Chicago at a small wine shop called Que Syrah during a wine tasting. Be careful though, they have decorative plates placed throughout the store. We lightly bumped in to one, sending it shattering into little pieces.

1 comment April 2nd, 2007 Derek


Rosa Del Golfo Primitivo 2004 (Zinfandel)

Rosa Del Golfo PrimitivoI had this wine at a wine tasting in Chicago at Que Syrah Fine Wines . This is a very nice specialty wine shop with a wide variety of wonderful wines.If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend you stop by.

During the tasting the Sommelier informed our group that Primitivo is essentially the same as a Zinfandel. Upon further review online I came across this piece of information about the relationship between Primitivo and Zinfandel

“…genetic brother of Zinfandel comes from the Primitivo di Manduria DOC in southern Italy. Here limestone, clay and siliceous soils combine with the nearby Mediterranean to create a unique terroir. The vines average between 35 and 40 years in age.”.

1 comment March 26th, 2007 Derek

Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Bogle CabernetI tried this wine a couple of nights ago and each time I would leave a little left to give it a second chance the next night. It is hard to find a Bogle that I like. After hearing such good things, I am not sure if I have the right “BOGLE” wine or that I have lost my superhuman wine powers. I hear that Bogle’s old vine Zinfandel is one of their best wines. I will have to try it and give it a bad review also.

Add comment March 22nd, 2007 jeff


Funky Llama 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Image Not AvailableGive a wine a silly name, then drink.

There seems to be many wines of late with whimsical names; Fat Bastard, Roaming Goats, Kangaroo Parts, Jackaroo, and more. While these names are a bit silly I do think it’s a great way to take away much of the mystery and pompousness surrounding wine.

This was one of the wines we rated during a blind tasting during the first Friday of March 2007. We came to the consensus that this wine was just ok. Nothing about it is very memorable, if it’s a good deal in your area then pick it up, otherwise I’d pass on it.

4 comments March 19th, 2007 Derek

Bogle Merlot 2004

Bogle MerlotI was really excited to try this wine because I have heard great things. I thought the price was a little much, but in the name of science, I was willing to give it a try.

The color is a dark ruby and the legs were consistant with a 13.5% ALC Merlot. The aromas are very warm and spicy, almost as if pepper is exploding from the bottle. There is not a whole lot of forward fruit but the taste is very clean and even throughout ending with a little warm tartness. The textures are very smooth and velvet-like.

Add comment March 17th, 2007 jeff


Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Zinfandel 2004

zinfandel.jpgCould a Robert Mondavi wine disappoint? It’s quite possible, but not likely.
I was excited to try this wine since I paid $7.99, but I am sure you could find this around $6.00. Never be fooled by price my friends as it is very easy to have high expectations and then quickly end up dissapointed.

The color is deep burgundy and almost looks like Welch’s grape juice. The legs are long and inviting and the aromas are an intense mixture of black cherry and concord grapes. There is a subtle hint of forward fruit quickly overcome by rough textures and peppery notes. Don’t get me wrong, the taste is very sophisticated but may be too dry for some. The finish is clean and smooth with light after tastes .

1 comment March 13th, 2007 jeff

Black Opal Cabernet Merlot 2005

Black Opal Cabernet MerlotThe boss is really ridin me. Drink more wine he says. Work nights, weekends, and holidays; just get it done. As a professional, I will devote my efforts to the cause and provide our readers with informative meaningless opinions.

At $7.99, I thought this little gal was a little pricy to take out on the town. I have seen it at other places for around $5.99. The color is a deep red and it has slightly heavy legs. The aromas are strong with hints of strawberry that linger. I thought this wine had good subtle foward fruit, smooth velvet textures, and a clean finish.

Add comment March 13th, 2007 jeff


Lindemans 2006 Bin 99 Pinot Noir

Lindemans Pinot NoirDrinkable but boring.

Something has been lost for the 2006 year. I’ve had their 2005 and 2004, but can not remember being so disappointed afterwards. This wine shouldn’t be served with any other wine or you will feel the shame you have brought upon your dinner. Skip this wine, it may be decently priced, but it’s not worth it.

This wine was the lowest rated wine in a blind tasting we had last Friday night. 3 out of 3 drinkers agree, this wine is just OK.

Add comment March 12th, 2007 Derek

Collage Cabernet-Merlot 2003

kendall jackson collageIn this insane world we live in you can still find good wine just about anywhere. No Exuses.

On a recent trip to Oklahoma I went on a quest to find some wine; anything other than Arbor Mist anyway. I found a little liqour store that had a not so shabby wine selection. I was shocked becuase I thought that my quest would end up “fruitless” ( pardon the pun).

1 comment March 11th, 2007 jeff


Foxbrook 2005 Shiraz

FoxbrookWhaddabargin, yup it’s great and it’s dirt cheap, $3.99. You don’t even have to travel to Trader Joe’s to find this deal, but you may have to find a specialty grocer in your area. Out of 3 wines sampled in a blind tasting last Friday night, this was the stand out winner. 3 out of 3 drinkers agree, Foxbrook is great!

Foxbrook2A bright and fruit forward wine, wrapped around pepper, currants, and berry. The fruit isn’t too sweet, but is on the edge, the spice does well to curve away the sweet. Great balance of oak gives it a long mellow finish.

13 comments March 5th, 2007 Derek

Citra 2003 Merlot

images.jpg“Citra”. Might as well call it shitra! I have never drank a bottle of Listerine, but I am almost certain the experience is similar. This Italian red is so bad I can’t imagine anyone who would spend the money to import it, but it caught this fool.

The appearance is dark ruby and the weight of the wine looks “heavy” with long legs hinting of a higher alcohol content. fooled again (13%). The nose is of pine needles but don’t worry because they are short-lived. The textures are smooth but there is no forward fruit to speak of and the finish is bitter and short.

1 comment February 18th, 2007 jeff


Black Mountain Zinfandel 2004

Image Not AvailableCan you find a better wine for $5.99, I challenge you!

This wine is somewhat of a private label from Trader Joes. Supposedly Black Mountain is a relabeld wine, that costs a bit more at liquor stores, if it was known who the original winery is.

Smooth, velvety, goes down so easy with a perfect balance of spice. Wonderful texture with a subtle flavor, not overly anything, just right. Enough writing off to Trader Joes to buy some more.

Image Not Available


    1 comment September 8th, 2006 Derek

    Il Valore Italian Zinfandel 2004

    WoodbridgeThe more I drink and learn about wine, I discover a real interest in old world wines. I can’t help but notice the strong consistencies in character and smoothness throughout these wines. It would only make sense that the creators of old world wines would hold close to lasting traditions and make wines that represent all the qualities of their regions.

    At $5.99, this zinfandel has strong powerful dark cherry aromas. The textures are smooth and clear with medium forward fruit that lingers. I detected a slight spicyness that was very consistant from smell to finish. For all the zinfandels that I have tried thus far, I would be comfortable selecting this wine as my benchmark.

    Add comment August 2nd, 2006 jeff


    Chateau Nenine Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux 2002

    BordeauxI really liked this wine. I started thinking this was a 3.5 star wine and as I drank more I wanted to kick it up to 4.o. But after further review and consulting with my colleague, I reamain with my 3.5 rating.

    The aromas are light with hints of cherry and plumb. The body was very smooth with and oaky flavor and a strong metallic aftertaste. The wine had a lot of forward fruit but did seem overly dry throughout. I found this grape to be similar to a merlot without the velvety textures and this wine seemed to have more acidity.

    Add comment July 31st, 2006 jeff

    Schmitt Sohne Riesling Spatlese 2005

    Schmitt Sohne Riesling Spatlese 2005This wine is the last of the bunch from a Sunday run to find alcohol, for research purposes only. It was a fitting wine to finish up on, offering a category we have yet to review on.

    The smell of this wine is of apples and apricots, reminding me of spring. Very bright and fresh to the nose. Clear and crips apple flavors, with hints of cinnamon. The finish is quick, leaving bits of fruit as it fades away. Not overly sweet, well rounded.

    I’ve had some better Rieslings, but can’t complain. This wine is very interesting.Schmitt Sohne Riesling Spatlese 2005

    1 comment July 31st, 2006 Derek

    3 Blind Moose Chardonnay 2003

    3 Blind MooseFinally, the bottle of Oliver Winery Soft Red is finished and we can move onto something enjoyable. I was waiting in eager anticipation, watching the Soft Red get tipped over then tipped some more. Horray, it was finally over and now I can try ANYTHING else.

    3 Blind Moose is a well built Chardonnay. The smell is light with ample citrus notes. It’s taste is fresh, oaky, but with perhaps too much butter tones. Properly sour body, citrus-orange, with short highlights. It finishes off overly rounded with little crispness, that lasts long.

    ALC. 13.53 Blind Moose
    Woodbridge, California


    7 comments July 31st, 2006 Derek

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