Tag Archives: Red wine of the week

Made by G

Cost: Average price $20

Where buy now: France 44 or Sunfish Cellars (call ahead as they may be sold out)

Grapes: Gamay

Region: France

Vintage: N/V (Non-vintage)

Made by G

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: never underestimate the power of Red.

When doing some Thursday sipping at Sunfish Cellars, the manager, Erica, suggested I try a “fun wine” called Made by G. While I’m always up for “fun wine”, I’m not a huge fan of Gamay (also known as Beaujolais) so originally, I passed. To my taste, Gamays tend to be a bit light and, well, dull, mostly because they lack the depth and flavor red wine gains from the aging process.

After gorging myself on a lovely flatbread pizza of garlic sauce, spicy salami, tomatoes, pepperoncini and mozzarella followed by a red wine flight, I wanted something sparkly to clear the pallet of spice and heavy red wine. I decided not to be so obtuse and ordered a glass- what did I really have to lose, right? To my delight, it was just what I was looking for. What’s more, I believe it’s what several of you are looking for in a New Year’s Eve wine.

Made by G is bright red with a celebratory effervescence. It’s both fruity and tart, reminding me of sour cherry balls. Alas, it has some structure and made my lips pucker, so it wasn’t too sweet and fruity (looking at you Bartles & Jaymes). The bubbles cheered me up, the tart cherry made me think of childhood delights. It then dawned on me: I needed to be ringing in 2013 with this wine.

I chatted with a couple Sunfish regulars, telling them about how pleasantly surprised I was with this Gamay and how I think they’d dig it, too. The gals decided to share a glass. Not only did they enjoy it, they went next door to the wine shop and each bought two bottles! How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

Trust me on this: if you’re not going with [my tried and true] Prosecco on New Year’s Eve, stand out from the New Year’s crowd with this red, sparkling number. Drink it chilled as this wine will be enjoyed by both white and red drinkers alike. Heads will turn and you’ll be the hit of the party! This bottle is priced at my “Snob wine of the month” category but this is NYE and I figured we are worth the splurge this week!

Made by G is a sparkling Gamay sure to titillate your senses & pucker those kissable lips!

Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois 2010 La Bastide

Cost: Average price $14

Where buy now: Solo Vino, Stinson Wines & Spirits, North Loop Wines & Spirits

Grapes: Carignan, Grenache and a smidge of Syrah

Region: France

Vintage: 2010

Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois 2010 La Bastide

Admittedly, I’ve been on a hiatus. This time by choice. I’ve been drinking a lot- a lot of mediocre juice. “Yeah, I get it Lush, woe is you. Wait, isn’t that your job?”

Touché, my friend. However, if something doesn’t inspire me to write an article, it’s not worth my time. Therefore, I don’t deem it worthy of yours.

So, when I opened this bottle on Friday night, the instant aromas spoke to me. My senses perked up like some dog’s ears who just heard the magical phrase “Want a treat?” I’m not all pedantic and bookish, folks [shocker!].

I can definitely tell you, with the initial smells and sips, you will taste this vino’s origin. It will help explain the term “terroir”. “Terroir” is a French term that loosely translates as “sense of place”, and is often batted around to describe wine that is indicative of it’s geographic origin. Here’s a great blog that best describes this: http://bit.ly/Se3adj/What is Terroir?

The sum of environmental effects, such as climate, geography and history, can impart crucial elements to a wine’s flavor profile. But really, it’s so much more! It’s the true essence and soul of a wine. When you taste or smell something and it transports you to a different place, that is downright bitchin’.

Though I’ve never been to France, this wine evokes terroir in my senses, particularly the French Countryside.I t could be due to the earthy, herbal tones; it could be the raw, fresh flavors of spicy cherry and barnyard funk.

This wine is a product of husband/wife team: Francoise & Pascal Frissant. The wife, Francoise, is the principal winemaker. This couple very much respects and feels connected to the vineyards and land that surrounds them. They do not make a whole bunch of wine, but harvest low-yield grapes, and allow the environment to shape and mold the flavors.

I envision their farmhands, along with Francoise and Pascal, sitting back, enjoying this blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah with their lunch. In this French daydream, there are freely wandering goats and sheep. A rustic picnic table is set with a crusty loaf of French bread, brie, olives, pickles, salted cured meats, pates, dijon mustard and figs. OH, and everyone must be wearing a beret. [Admittedly, my only frames of reference are the 80’s classics “Better Off Dead” and “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” with some “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown” mixed in.]

As we enter our Godforsaken Winter season, you’re going to need to be transported physically and/or emotionally. If you don’t have a couple grand to get out of Dodge for a scenic, temperate holiday, you can find this lovely wine in many local stores, usually between $13-$15. Open it up and really think about what you’re drinking, how it makes you feel. I bet it’ll be tough not to imagine what it was like on that French Countryside, picking grapes then breaking for an unrushed lunch. Perhaps make a fun, French-themed afternoon out of it. Anything “French” you can think of: “French fries. . . French dressing. . .French bread” .

When #TasteMyTweet turns into #TweetMyDebautchery- a Twittelating tale…

Cost: Average price $12

Where buy now: Costco – $10

Grapes: Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot

Region: Australia

Vintage: 2009

A delayed post once again, but perhaps indicative of the recovery required from last week’s episode of #TasteMyTweet. So, what is this? “#TasteMyTweet” was originated by a few Twitter folks (“Tweeps” in Twitter world speech): Amanda: @sweetnsnazzy, Zipp’s Liquors’ Jeff: @zippswine & Wine Geek TV, and a second Jeff: @WineGeekTV. A wine theme is chosen, everyone brings bottles and tastes each wine then tweets our on-the-spot reviews.

Seems fairly simple, right? Well, with a mixed bag of leg wrestling, bees, several more bottles of wine, more bees, electrocution and dumpsters, it may devolve into #TweetMyDebautchery.

Let me explain.

The White One
Clancy’s Shiraz Cabernet Merlot
Wine Geek TV Jeff #2
Yalumba Grenache
Zipps Jeff & SweetnSnazzy
Heartland Stickleback Red’
Taint Misbehavin’

Last week, the plan for “#TMT” was to taste wines from Australia. There were no rules about price point, nor red/white preferences, just the wonderful instruction to “bring something you want to try and/or something you’re excited about”. Sounds wonderful- innocent, even.

We began with an Aussie white wine called, “The White One” it was 84% Arneis and 16% Chardonnay. This $12 gem was purchased from Pairings in Eden Prairie, and was quite pleasant to drink alone. We also agreed that it tasted great with the Montamore cheese made by Sartori. It was medium bodied, yet crisp. Thought it would compliment roasted or grilled chicken with herbs such as rosemary & thyme.

The second wine wasn’t even from Australia so I’ll skip over it. [Fail.]

The third wine was Clancy’s, a Shiraz/Cabernet/Merlot blend I found for $9.99 at Costco. This wine was a juicy, jammy number that we rather liked. It had that dark purplish hue and medium body to it. It was dry, yet fruit forward with tastes of plum, dark cherry and smoky wood. With the $10 price tag on this buy now/drink now Aussie, I’ll buy this again in a heartbeat, and was a highlight for Jeff #2 (sorry for the unfortunate nickname, Jeff).

This was the part of the evening when things began to go awry. I say this because, well, if I hadn’t taken pictures of the wines, this blog entry would have to end here with a series of “Scene Missing” signs. What I do recall is that this was about when bees first entered the picture. You see, we were outside of Zipp’s, somewhat near the dumpsters. We were in a basically odorless patio but the bees found their way to our nectar. Thank goodness Jeff #1 [from Zipp’s], had this tennis racket thingy that electrocutes bees. This is how we started swatting.

Next on the list was Yalumba Grenache from Barossa Valley. Urrrr, ummm, it was… good. Yep, that’s all I got.

Before long, the leg wrestling began. Jeff #1 and Amanda [aka “@SweetnSnazzy”] were on the ground, battling.

If that wasn’t enough, somehow when they returned to the table, Jeff #1 managed to knick the tennis racket and electrocute himself. It appeared almost as painful, as it did hilarious for the rest of us. Unlike Jeff #2, Jeff #1 likes stanky-ass cheese so we opened the one that he brought. Amanda likened the taste to “a woman who’s been constantly tanning/smoking Virginia Slims for 50+ years”. Ringing endorsement. Following this interestingly detailed and bizarre description, sheer curiosity consumed me. I went in. Oh, I shouldn’t have. Ewww. Even after copious wine slurping, this was even too stank funky for a James Brown groove.

Okay (*breath*, refers to yourself in the third person), Savvy hits the next bottle. This one was the Heartland Stickleback Red, or so says the photo. Honestly, I… I got nothing. Like Mr. Reagan once testified, I don’t recall. I’m going to say I liked it because I don’t remember thinking that I didn’t like it. How’s that for reason and logic?

Near the end of the Tweet session, a Zipp’s employee came out to the patio, and more leg wrestling ensued.

All in all, the night was fun as hell. Again, this is my rendition of the evening, based on tweets and photos I re-assembled the next day. Perhaps Zipp’s Jeff #1, Amanda or WineGeekTV Jeff #2 would put a different spin on the evening, but, we all agreed we can’t wait for the next one. Hope I’m not involved in the electrocution.