All posts by SavvyWebmaster

The Savvy Lush User’s Guide

Here are some definitions to help you make the most of The Savvy Lush:

Red of the Week

A great bottle of red OR rosé under $15 found in or around the Twin Cities. Expect a new wine to be revealed each Thursday(ish), depending on inspiration and sobriety.

White of the Week

Same idea as the red, only a great bottle of white OR bubbly under $15 found in or around the Twin Cities.

Skank of the Month

How can I explain? Say you’re at a bar and they’re trying to pawn off some “Mystery Shot”: it could be some kick-ass, delicious whiskey; it could be some yicky sweet kamikaze slosh. This is that kind of mixed bag, only The Savvy Lush rolls the dice so you won’t have to. It may be a great, ultra-cheap budget wine that becomes your new dirty little secret, or it may be some stank-ass, crappy “wine” whose true home is in a brown paper bag lying next to a urine puddle in a dark alley.

Snob of the Month

Any bottle that is over $15, but is sooooo wickedly sexy you want to make sweet, sweet love to it, take it out for breakfast, and shout it’s praises from every roof top! Let’s face it: some splurges are just plain worth it.

Bright Shiny Things

Are you a visual learner? Simply click on a photo and watch it grow. Perfect for all your mobile thing-a-ma-jigs. Click to expand, show the store clerk and voila – the wine is in your hands!

Talk to me!

Have you tried a wine based on the Savvy Lush’s review? Is there a certain wine or geographical wine region you’d like to get to know without playing trial and error? Is there a Twin Cities wine shoppe you want to put on the Savvy Lush’s radar? Gimme your thoughts, pose your questions and make your demands. I’m all ears.

Are you ready? Jump in and start searching for the bottle you didn’t know you were looking for.

Ching ching!

Brag Section aka PRESS

Check out The Wine Company of Minnesota’s celebration of National Potato Chip Day with Grower Champagne. I took the Pepsi Challenge:

Check out Wine Geek TV for “The Jeff’s” as they bring you better than average pairings and other hullabaloo such as our Christmas edition with yours truly!

Check out Jason Kallsen’s article about me on Twin Cities Wine! Cities Wine

Parducci Sustainable Red

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Parducci Sustainable Red
Parducci Sustainable Red

I’m no hippy. The circular dancing, patchouli stink, and ultra-expensive patchwork clothing (did you know you can make hemp out of rope, man?!?!) have never appealed to me. That said, I truly care about where food, wine, clothing and other consumer products come from.

I worked in the natural and organic industry for a few years and even loved some of the companies I worked with. When I learn how great a company or organization is to their employees and the land, I’m simply more apt to buy their products. That isn’t to say that some companies don’t just slap an “eco-friendly, we love everyone” kinda label on their item, because a whole lotta them do. Later, you come to find out that A) the item is gross, on a par with the gustatory sensations found in dirt or sawdust. B) the whole earth-muffin thing is hog-wash (in aroma if nothing else) and it was all a marketing scam C) Tom’s of Maine or D) all of the above.

Strike a balance between quality products and ethical practice? That is applaudable, I say. Such is the case with Parducci Vineyards. Parducci is family owned and operated, running on 100% green power.Their grapes come from local family farms and were the first U.S. carbon-neutral winery utilizing solar & wind power in addition to conserving water. Check it out:

Enough of the warm fuzzies, let’s get up in this bottle! I love how Sustainable Red is a blend that contains 6% “miscellaneous”. WTF? What’s clear is that this is a well-crafted mix (not a ‘they’re cooking our garbage’ blend of entrails)- a tried and true Cali table wine. It has the usual red berry fruit flavor due to the Merlot, Syrah, and Petite Sirah influences, yet the Zinfandel adds some deep color and spice to the mix. Nothing unsavory, but with a balanced smack resulting in a charming daily sipping wine.

Drink it throughout the week, either alone, maybe with pasta and spicy arrabiata sauce, or even grilled pork chops sprinkled with bleu cheese. This red is smooth with a soft finish.

Smooth wines can enable indifferent people or those who are just starting to enjoy wine to start enjoying wines more, dig? There comes a time, and I assure you, there will come a time for you, when a smooth velvety wine may not do the trick. You know, like when you are new to having sex with someone: it’s euphoric; you nearly cannot stop it’s so pleasing. Then, after some time, it becomes a little monotonous. You wonder if it’s time to start experimenting with fuzzy animal costumes or salted, cured meats.

I think I’ve said too much.  Let’s get back to the wine. If a smooth wine is what you crave, but one with a little more character, check out the Sustainable Red. Drinking this is not only good for you but it’s great for the environment. And after all kids, don’t you get more pleasure out of something when it’s giving you a buzz? Maybe I do have more in common with hippies than I thought.

Bota Box RedVolution

Cost: Average price $20

Where buy now: Costco – $14.99

Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah

Region: California

Vintage: 2010

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Bota Box RedVolution
Bota Box RedVolution

Yep, I’m going there: boxed wine. Mind you, this is not your parent’s Franzia White Zin – just pure economical goodness in a box, that’s recyclable to boot! Merely drinking it is good for the environment.

Enter RedVolution by Bota Box. I was at Costco and asked the aloof, young cashier, “What do you know about this boxed wine?” He insightfully retorted, “Ummm. Lots of people requested it.”

That raving review left me no choice. I had to pick up a box. Two, actually.

The directions were simple, and it was fun to pull the spout out and prep the box; not unlike tapping a keg. Initially, the pour comes out with brute force. It desperately wants out, and to get up in your glass. But was this just a cool party trick?

The taste was surprisingly, umm, acceptable! Make no mistake, this is a mild wine suitable for everyday drinking. This California blend of Merlot, Cab, Zin, Syrah and Petite Sirah, makes it go with just about everything. My husband and I drink it throughout the week, or, at least that was the plan. I think it was gone in a couple days. The drawback of spout-pouring wine – it goes fast!

If you need wine for dinner with the in-laws, bring this along. They’ll love you for it and you’ll have plenty to drink to get you through the evening.

The RedVolution is available at Costco for $14.99 + tax which comes to $16 and change all for a box of wine equivalent to 4 bottles. So – let’s break this down, that is about $4/bottle and therefore I deem RedVolution as the Savvy Lush “Savvy bottle, er, box of the month.”