Saturday, April 23, 2011

2009 Papio Cabernet Sauvignon (by Joel)

If you haven’t read any of my previous wine reviews, all you need to know beforehand is that I focus on the value of the wine based on what I paid.  I am not only looking for a good tasting wine, but I’m looking for a great wine at a great price.  If you want more detail on how I define a good value, see my first wine review.  So now to the review…
Papio is a California wine that I picked up for $3.99 at Grocery Outlet. GO claims that regular retail price for a bottle is $12.99 but I couldn’t verify that anywhere.  For $4, it is a good California wine.  It is a deep red with a smooth taste. I usually like wine more a day or two after I’ve opened it but this wine was consistent from the first sip to the last drop.  There is nothing that stood out but nothing really negative that I noticed.  Overall, it was simply a good dinner wine.
Wine rating: 6 out of 10
Value Rating: Medium

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2009 12 Apostles Cabernet Sauvignon Review (by Joel)

If you haven’t read any of my previous wine reviews, all you need to know beforehand is that I focus on the value of the wine based on what I paid.  I am not only looking for a good tasting wine, but I’m looking for a great wine at a great price.  If you want more detail on how I define a good value, see my first wine review.  So now to the review…
The bottle is a 2009 12 Apostles Cabernet Sauvignon from Aussie Vineyards. We bought this at Grocery Outlet for $2.99. Aussie Vineyards lists Grocery Outlet as the only US distributor so I ignore the regular price of $12.99 that Grocery Outlet claims the wine sells for elsewhere.  In my previous review of a 2009 Buckley’s Cove cabernet, I suspected that the 12 Apostles cabernet and the Buckley’s Cove cabernet were in fact the same wine under two different brandings by Aussie Vineyards.  After trying both, I no longer think that it is the same wine.  The Buckley’s Cove was a terrible wine, getting a low value rating and an overall score of 2 out of 10.  I’m happy to report the 12 Apostles is a little better.
The wine itself has a dark appearance that glows more purple than red. Like the other south Australian cabernet’s I’ve had, 12 Apostles was too dry for my taste.  It had a sweet plum and berry flavor. It’s mild flavor left it feeling underaged. For the price I paid, I was content enough to finish the bottle but I won’t be buying again unless my options were pretty limited.  If you’ve pulled this review up on your phone while standing in the wine aisle, my recommendation would be to try the wine for yourself if you get it at $3 but pass at any higher price.
Wine rating: 4 out of 10
Value Rating: Medium

wishing I was here.

sorry for the lag in posting…life has been busy and I’m longing for a vacation or at least a weekend with hints that spring is coming…nice blue sky, warm weather

I just discovered….what a cool site!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2009 Buckley’s Cove Cabernet Sauvignon Review (by Joel)

Time for another wine review! Katy and I loaded up on the recent Grocery Outlet 20% Off Sale, buying almost 20 bottles of wine.  Most of the wines were cabernets, my favorite along with malbecs.  After a big purchase like this, I have a lot of wines to choose from when starting a new bottle. I have a tendency to drink the ones I am least interested first, working my way towards my favorites.
For my first bottle from the batch, I chose a cabernet sauvignon from south eastern Australia. The wine is a 2009 cab branded as Buckley’s Cove.  The reason I was least interested in this particular wine is because its labeling leads me to believe that it is branded under several different labels sold at Grocery Outlet, most likely all the same wine. With so many wines out there, I rarely like to drink the same wine twice. Suspecting that this wine was bottled under several different labels that I purchased made me feel a little cheated.  However, the bottle was only $2.99 before the 20% discount, so I can’t gripe too much.  Grocery Outlet claims the bottle sells for $12.99 elsewhere, which I find funny since the distributor lists Grocery Outlet as the only US seller.  In other words, this is regularly a $3 bottle of wine.  So at $3, is it a good value?
2 4
I chose to use an aerator on the freshly opened bottle. If you have never used an aerator, I assure you it is not a myth that it instantly changes the taste of a wine. The difference is always noticeable, but it doesn’t always improve the flavor. On some wines, I like the changed taste, others not so much.  On the Buckley’s, my first glass was underwhelming.  The taste was overly sweet with a tart aftertaste. It tasted like berries that were not ripe yet, which is not an appealing flavor.  I gave this wine another shot without the aerator.  It was still too tart and had a strange sparkling water-like zing. I may have trouble even finishing this bottle. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this wine a 2 with the aerator, 3 without it.
I try to give all wines an equal chance, keeping in mind that price inherently can impact perception.  With an open mind, this still tastes like a wine that should be priced at $3.
Wine rating: 2 out of 10
Value Rating: Low

Friday, April 8, 2011

Guest Post: 2005 Le Chanceux Cabernet Sauvignon Review (by Joel)

This blog is typically not about wine, partly because Katy doesn't drink wine very often.  However, she really likes it when I guest blog so I decided to use her blog for a wine review. I'll begin with my credentials; I have none.  I drink a lot of wine but don't think I qualify as a wineo.  Most of the wine I drink comes from Grocery Outlet, a "bargain market" that sells deeply discounted items acquired from overstocked distributors or liquidating businesses.  I typically pay less than $10 a bottle, often less than $5. Like everything I buy, I look for value.  If I buy a bottle of wine for $15 that is usually priced at $100, that is a good deal. But if that same wine tastes the same as a $5 bottle of wine, it was not a good value.  I find that Grocery Outlet typically offers good value for wine. All the wine aficionados probably stopped reading at $5, so for the rest of us, here is my review.

My latest Grocery Outlet treasure is a 2005 Le Chanceux Cabernet Sauvignon.  This vintage is from Belle Filles Vineyard of Napa Valley.  The pricetag (if you believe it) said the normal price is $50, but Grocery Outlet sold it to me for $10.  I googled the label and found that the bottle actually does sell for around $50 at other retailers so it was a good deal, but was it a good value?
The first thing I noticed was like most of the 5+ year old vintages I have had, this cabernet has developed a fair amount of sediment in the bottle. I like to call it the "pulp".  You can avoid getting much of the pulp if you are careful to not agitate the bottle too much when pouring, but it doesn't bother me either way.  On first taste, I noticed a pretty deep oak taste and tobacco. There is very little sweetness to this wine and it is very smooth. I don't know all the wine terminology but I would say the taste is quite bold or rich. It has a deep, lasting aroma like a malbec. Overall, I would give it a 9.5 out of 10.  For a $10 price tag, that is the value I am looking for in a wine.  If you happen to find this for a similar price, grab a few bottles!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina! (Part 4)

For some reason Windows Live Writer didn’t like it when I had parts 2-3 combined into one post…or parts 3-4 in one post.  I’m REALLY not trying to drag out this series!
The devils throat.
The devils nostrils?
Two miniature otolaryngologists in the devil's throat.
More route 68.
In this photo: Little foot. The Great Valley.
Red rock.
More red rock.
Even more red rock!
The GOL smiles for one last photograph before getting broken into at a mall parking lot in Salta. No more cameras = no more pictures.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sunday Project

Joel decided to make some good use of his time on Sunday and build a drawer organizer for our silverware drawer.
Planning the design:
The builder:
a couple hours of work and an awesome new silverware drawer:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lowes Coupon!

If you are anything like me you are ALWAYS looking for a good deal and often make multiple trips to HomeDepot or Lowes in any given weekend.
Here is a coupon for $10 off your next $50 purchase (and I always seem to get up to $50 pretty quickly…)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina! (Part 3)

Another lesson learned. I take pictures of people. Joel takes pictures of scenery. Since my pictures got stolen we ended up with primarily pictures of scenery. I swear we were both on this trip…and had good intentions of getting lots of pictures with both of us in it…I was even taking a series of pictures of joel taking pictures. it was going to be awesome…maybe next trip

Get your kicks on route 68.
And that killer cacti!
These next pictures are not from Alcova. Again, that's for the Wyoming peeps.
Route 68 between Salta and Cafayate, Argentina.
The water looked like tomato soup but tasted like dirt.
Yet another child star fallen on hard times, Wishbone now roams the lonely canyons of Northern Argentina looking for food.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Grocery Outlet Wine Shopping

This weekend the Grocery Outlet is having a wine sale - 20% off all wine purchases.  In case you didn’t know – the Grocery Outlet’s wine is already REALLY discounted ($12 wine for $4) and they have a pretty good selection too!
I’ll post pictures/details of our purchase, but for now:
Joel was pretty excited about our wine shopping excursion!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina! (part 2)

Again – Joel gets the credit for the photo commentary…Joel also gets all of the credit for the photos since he was the smart one and downloaded pictures throughout the trip….when our bags got stolen so did my cameras and a week’s worth of my pictures. Lesson learned. 
Cabra Corral
Argentine Chef Boyaredee. This stuff was amazing!
A happy girl!
A bridge
Yellow rock