Tag Archives: red wine

Cecchi Sangiovese

Cost: Average price $6.99

Where buy now: Costco

Grapes: 95% Sangiovese & 5% Merlot

Region: Italy

Vintage: 2011

Cecchi Sangiovese

My Savvy “Skank” vino d’Italiano is found at Costco right now. For how long? One never knows. It’s a Sangiovese straight out of Chianti country and it’s stupid, ridiculous good. The price point? A whopping $6.99, which makes it all the more delicious. (Remember, you don’t need to be a Costco member in Minnesota to buy booze. Righteous.)

This wine is easy drinking. You’re not going to be swirling a long time, contemplating the latest NPR think piece whilst reminiscing of your adventures abroad. What you will do is pour it in your glass, give it a couple swirls and enjoy it. This is a fruit-forward style Sangiovese- I get this unique, dusty strawberry fragrance. (I say that because I recently cut into a dusty, strawberry that was about past it’s prime. That aroma is this wine’s essence. In a good way.) It’s aged in stainless steel so no strong oak, vanilla undertones nor any earthy funk. It’s a straightforward wine ripe with spiced cherry and strawberry flavors with a bit of tang. One to try if all you’ve been buying lately are big Cali red blends. This will stretch your palate but not in a way that’ll make you cringe of cat tongue. The fruit forward flavors will be reminiscent of the big domestic red blends but without all that crappy residual sugar and overripe finish. Again, it’s $7, so live on the edge. The edge of frugality(?)

Since you’ll already be there, let’s pair this Sangiovese with some Costco vittles. I made an amazing grilled cheese, comforting on a frigid Winter’s night. Take some Boudin San Fran Sourdough, butter each side. Add one slice each of Swiss, Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Colby [oh my!] from the Finlandia variety cheese pack. The only non-Costco item I used was Stonewall Kitchen’s Bourbon Molasses Mustard http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/shop/speciality-foods/mustards/120810.html/Stonewall Kitchen Bourbon Molasses Mustard which I liberally schmeared on top of the cheese. Grill golden brown, then chomp into that ooey-gooey masterpiece that marries sweet and savory. Wash it down with this Sangiovese. Repeat.

Grilled Cheese Stuffs

Not a mustard fan? Well, you’re weird and we will never be friends. That aside, I’d recommend throwing some rosemary, oregano and garlic powder on the cheese slices and grill. There, I’ve just set you up with a paired dinner all for under $10. You’re welcome.

HIP “The Bourgeoisie” Merlot by Hedges Family Estate

Cost: Average price $13

Where buy now: Solo Vino, Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: Merlot

Region: Washington

Vintage: 2011

HIP The Bourgeoisie Merlot

I’d go gay for Shane!

I know I’m late to the show The L Word, but I found myself streaming one episode after another. I stole the above line from Clementine Ford, aka “Molly Kroll” (Cybill Shephard’s both on-screen and real life daughter, FYI). She plays a straight woman who finds herself falling for Katherine Moennig, aka lesbian lothario “Shane McCutcheon.”  I was instantly drawn to this Shane character: a raven-haired, dark-eye make-up wearing yet semi-androgynous chick with a sexy deep voice. She is all lesbian but not in the stereotypical plaid adorning, rat-tail sporting, second date moving-in, softball playing, fanny pack wearing, large canine wielding kind of way. She has major commitment issues, loves to be promiscuous and has all the women swooning at her feet. I was beginning to feel helpless in the presence of her tantalizing, velvety macho powers.

Or, it could have been the bottles of HIP (House of Independent Producers) Merlot that I continuously drank throughout each episode that had me all hot and bothered.

I have enjoyed every bottle of wine I’ve had from Hedges Estate Family of vineyards. I picked up the HIP Merlot at Solo Vino, and polished it off in two episodes. I went back and bought 3 more. That should have tied me over for an entire season but alas; it just had me gayer for Shane and “out” more bottles of Merlot.

What’s so special about this wine? This wine is a product of a single Washington State vineyard, named Bacchus. It just rubs me the right way. I love the way it smells: dark and dank red berries, tobacco, earth with hints of eucalyptus.  I love the way its silky texture slides along my tongue and tickles the back of my throat before I swallow. I love the finish, lingering enough to not overstay its welcome but leave you wanting more.

I fell in love with this wine and was ready to U-haul with it the same night I tried it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t hopped the train to Lez-ville but I can see how easy it is to fall for something that tickles your fancy [parts].

Now can you see how I could become confused? Was it the wine? Or was it Shane? The Bourgeoisie or Shane’s joie de vivre? I guess I’ll settle for the wine. At least that’s attainable.


Poggio Anima Asmodeus Nero d’Avola

Cost: Average price $15

Where buy now: Sorella Wines, Zipp’s Liquors (both have sale price of $12.47)

Grapes: Nero d’Avola

Region: Sicily, Italy

Vintage: 2010

Poggio Anima Asmodeus Nero d’Avola

I’ve fallen in love with an Italian (again).

The winemakers at Poggio Anima are hitting the market with some new wines. I jumped at the chance to try them since I love, love, love their Sangiovese http://bit.ly/OIm8wx/Poggio Anima Belial Plus, they’re on sale! I heart Nero d’Avola, and I couldn’t wait to crack this bottle open. Attention Syrah drinkers: drink Nero d’Avola, thank me later [repeat].

OK, can we talk about the name of this wine and the artwork on the bottle, already?

Asmodeus is the Demon of Lust as known in the ancient Hebrew Book of Tobias. From Vine Street Imports’ website:

“It is said that when Cain killed Abel, Adam and Eve separated for 130 years. During this time, Adam was tempted by Naamah and Lillith, two demons of prostitution. Asmodeus is the offspring of the relationship between Naamah and Adam.”

The winemakers thought this made for a great description of Nero d’Avola, a rich and opulent wine. I adore the label graphics- so simple and vivid, yet uniquely pleasing. (PS- this also makes it easier to pick out of a line up!) It reminds me of a unicorn, perhaps with more of a “bloodlusty” vibe.

The wine is perfect pizza/pasta wine. It’s ruby colored with fragrances of cherries, plum and blueberry. This is a universally gratifying wine. It’s well balanced with red fruit, spice and soft tannins. It’s drinkable, it’s lapable (yes, I made up that word after watching my dog lap up her water) and it’s dangerous. I say that because not only am I going to return to buy a case of this divine juice, but also, I just don’t see it lasting long in my house. Not because I’m having a party; or, at least, not one outside of my mouth.