Just a quick sale alert. No coupon needed. Everything in the store is 30% off.
This wine has been out of stock for ages. It is absolutely stunning (that doesn’t do it justice even) and back in stock. I have no idea for how long…usually when they bring something back, it’s just the last bit before they are completely out of inventory. We have a good supply in our cellar but I’ve never reviewed it on here because it sold out so quickly.
It’s $32 and worth at least 4x that in the “regular market”. Mocha, earthy, licorice, just the right amount of oak…simply fabulous. Perfect for the holidays!
So this is just a “grab it now” post, if you want it, because it won’t last long.
(FYI, it needs a good long decant to develop…it’s still quite young but ever so nice.)
Excellent article by the Wine Curmudgeon concerning an interview (and wine tasting) with Bo Barrett, Chateau Montelena
This is a cautionary post about buying a wine based solely on ratings. I know better but even someone who’s done this for a while can be dazzled by rhetoric, multi-thumbs or points (high or low).
Last week I featured the thumbsupwine.com site. I mentioned that I don’t always agree with the reviews but it can, at times, be a useful site. They had posted that day about the LaGranja 360 Tempranillo/Garnacha blend ($5.99) from Trader Joe’s, giving it a two thumbs up. I’m unable to locate the review though, because they change every day.
Tempranillo is one of my favorite wines so I thought I’d see how this one fared. I really should have read the Lagranja360 website first.
Lagranja360’s comment: “The zebra on the label shows her desire to change her image. She paints her pelt a brighter colour. This represents the desire of the wine to change the traditional world of wine to an innovative new concept. La Granja 360 Tempranillo Garnacha has dark and ruby colour and offers up a nose of red cherry accompanied by a whiff of incense. Sweet, ripe and tasty, this wine is it all.”
Had I read this blurb, it would have been enough to warn me off this one. I LOVE traditional Tempranillo and don’t wish for change. Dry, savory, spicy, medium-ish body…that’s what I enjoy. This wine is nothing like, and if I’d done my research, I’d have realized it never presented itself as such.
It is fruit forward. REALLY fruit forward. To be honest, I sincerely hope that they are the only ones trying to “change the traditional world of wine to an innovative new concept”. It would be sad to me to see true Spanish Tempranillo go the way of the higher alcohol, sweet fruit bombs so prevalent these days.
However, let me reiterate that I truly enjoy the traditional style of Tempranillo. That is my taste preference. If you prefer a sweeter, fruitier wine…this could be right up your alley (and a good price to make it even more tempting). Just don’t expect a true Spanish Tempranillo or Garnacha style; and by that I mean a blend that is possibly fruit forward because of the Garnacha, with Tempranillo dry, savory and spicy undertones, giving it dimension/depth/character…I obviously expected too much from a $5.99 wine. On the other hand, sometimes Trader Joe’s really surprises me with the deals they offer…so I went into it with high hopes.
Overall, this has been a good reminder for me to further research before I purchase. Tastes vary so much in wine (as with everything else) that it’s better to read the description of the wine (to get an idea of the taste profile) than go by a “thumbs up”, “thumbs down” or points related review. Points (or thumbs) really mean very little, if you don’t like the wine. I’ve seen some wines rated very low by critics that are quite nice…dimensional, layered…but not in the high alcohol, fruit forward style that particular critic favors. So do yourself a favor…if you follow blogs, wine writers or websites…read between the lines. Taste and explore for yourself…you might find that there’s a whole wine world out there that you haven’t yet visited.
I don’t always agree with their ratings but they come up with some great bargains. I don’t use the app but do check the website when I need to pick up something inexpensive and hopefully widely available. (If you don’t click on links, just google thumbsupwine.com)
Enjoyable post from another of my new favorite bloggers.
Over at the Wine Wanker’s head office we are very committed to promoting the virtues of wine, but we don’t often criticise the alternatives. This blog therefore corrects this glaring omission from our line-up of posts, and demonstrates the superiority of wine over it’s poorer cousin beer. Why beer? Well in Australia anyway (Downunder for our American friends), it is the most consumed alcoholic beverage, and as such some ground needs to be made up by the wine fraternity to correct this travesty.
We have a craft beer revolution going on here at present and it has been interesting watching beer swillers becoming refined craft beer nerds. Conrad and Neal recently went to a craft beer brewery that has sprung up in Enmore and it was hilarious watching this cultural shift. Deadset there were beer wankers everywhere. Good idea…
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Perhaps he got the idea from here?
In case I haven’t mentioned it before, my husband and his cartoons have kept me laughing for over 30 years…
When I write about wine, my intention is not to tell you “this is what you want, buy it now.” My intention is to give you as much information as I can, so that you can determine whether or not the taste, or the value, falls in line with your (taste or price point) and that then enables you (at least it is my goal in writing this) to make an educated choice regarding your purchases. I hope in that I’m successful (I’m including the G.O. Wine Blog reviews, that I write, in this comment). Palates are so diverse, wines that set me on edge, you may love (and there’s no shame in that) and vice versa.
Wine tasting can be equated to a love of music. Some are fluent in “Classic Rock” while others can direct you to a most excellent classical pianist and yet others might help you expand your knowledge or enjoyment of Reggae or Tribal music. That’s how I see wine writing…an opportunity to expand your horizons (or not, as you wish) without draining your own pocketbook in the process.
I buy all the wine that I write about. That includes my “Grocery Outlet” wine blog (written by consumers, unaffiliated with the chain) purchases (which can often include a mass of wine I wish I’d never picked up). This is intended to save the readers of that blog from purchases they wish they hadn’t made, as well as (hopefully) pointing them to purchases they might want to make but haven’t.
I was speaking with some of the other wine writers yesterday (they, also, receive no samples and are not subsidized by anyone). The consensus seems to be that we taste wine because we love it. We write because it’s a way to share the experience with others. We share the experience because we want to help others grow and learn to love it as we do.
I hope we are successful.
With that, I’d like to link another $4.99 wine that I wrote about yesterday. Exitus 2011 Red Blend (Syrah, Merlot and Cab). It is a decent wine. Is it top of the line? No. Is it a $20 value for $5? Yes. If you like this style, it is currently available at Grocery Outlet.
Also, if you have anything else that you’d like to add (something you wish you’d see from more wine writers and don’t), please feel free to comment.