Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Black Box - Shiraz

Price: $17.99
Region: California
Year: 2006

I wanted to sit down and write this last week, but just didn't get around to it. This was an odd week for a couple of reasons. The main reason was that my wife was traveling to a conference in Texas, so I knew my schedule would be a touch out of whack. Since she was away from Tues - Sunday, I was thinking I might not make it to the wine store on Friday night, so I needed somethign that would last. Plus, I was thinking there might be a day or two where a glass of wine to end the night wouldn't be such as bad thing. My usual mode of operation is to only drink on the weekends, but again, this wasn't a normal week. Anyway, I decided a box of wine might not be a bad idea. Whenever I think of box wine, I almost always go right to Black Box Merlot, and as you can see from my top 5 list, there is a reason why. Since my goal is to try somethign different each week, I decided to try a different variety, which I hadn't before this week. Now that I think about it, it is kind of surprising because of how much I like the Black Box Merlot, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Not surprising I'm sure, is the fact I went right to the Black Box Shiraz. One, I had never tried it, and two, for the equivalent of 3 bottles of wine, who can beat $18. For those that are math challenged, that's only $6 a bottle. Pretty impressive. Anyway, when I pushed the little valve, and poured my first glass, it was exactly as I expected, a deep dark red, almost purple. A very nice, deep color. Them when i took a smell, I knew this was going to be a good purchase. Nothing out of the ordinary, but very bold aroma, which is exactly what I love about a good Shriaz. So, when I swirled the glass, and took my first sip, I was again thoroughly impressed. This wine had a very smooth taste, with great length, but no aftertaste. it was just a very enjoyable galss of wine. And the best thing about it is that it last for a good long while. After a couple of glasses, I just put it in the basement, and the next time I poured a glass, it was the same quality as the first glass. i do not want to over emphasize this wine, as it is still a $6 bottle of wine, but for the price, I find it very hard to complain. This is the second Black Box wine that I have tasted, and while I still like the Merlot a little better (which is ood for me to say), this still a very good wine for the price.

Rating: 3.75 corks (A tie for a top 5, but just misses the list - Great buy)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gabbiano - Chianti

Price: $9.99
Region: Italy
Year: 2006

I have a couple of wines to review from this past weekend, but I'm going to start with the first one I tried. Nothing too special about this Friday evening, just grabbing my wife's new favorite pizza from a relatively new Italian restaurant nearby. This particular pizza has chicken, spinach, and artichoke. Definitely a good pizza, so I decided it needed an Italian wine to go along. The store I was close to has a much smaller selection, and much higher prices then my usual store, so I was just looking for something I hadn't tried before that was around $10. Low and behold, I saw a Chianti that fit the bill, so I decided to give it a try.

I have not had a whole of of Italian wines. I have the one I usually get that is n my list of default wines, and I have also had a couple of more expensive wines around the holidays, but as you can see from what has been reviewed so far over the past 6-7 months, wines from Italy are not that common. That being said, I'm more then aware you can find many good Italian wines at a good price. I was hoping this would be the case here. My first impression when taking a look at my glass of wine, was that it had a very nice ruby red color. Definitely not a dark Cabernet, or Shiraz, but very vibrant. When I lifted the glass up to take a smell, I could tell it was going to stand out. It was very fruity, but definitely not overpowering. Just a really pleasant, fruity smell. So far so good. Now, for the important part. I took a sip, and was a touch disappointed. It was definitely not bad, but there was something about the taste that just didn't make it stand out. I was thinking based on the great smell, that the taste would be equally as good, but it was just OK. I hate to say middle of the road, because I just don't have a whole lot of Italian wines to compare it too, but definitely not on par with my Italian defaut wine. Definitely not a bad "pizza on a Friday night wine", but nothing to write home about either..

Rating: 2.75 Corks ( Pretty good)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Red Diamond - Merlot

Price: $9.99
Region: Washington
Year: 2005

OK, I'm trying something a little different this week. Usually I have some wine over the weekend, take some notes, and then sit down later in the week to write the review. Well, it just so happens I have a little free time now, so I decided to write the review at the same time I am trying the wine. I have a glass of Red Diamond Merlot sitting here at my desk, so here goes.

First impression based on the color is pretty good. A nice deep red color, but also a little soft, which I would expect for a Merlot. Now, just gave the glass a few twirls, and gave it a sniff, and again very nice. I'm admittedly not the best a pinpointing specific smells, but it is very appealing, and definitely not too strong, and not too weak. I would say it almost has a floral aroma. Another point to make here before giving my impression of the taste, and overall rating, is that often times I come back to my notes to make a slight adjustment a glass or two later. Obviously that won't be the case here, so this is just my first impression, which will end up driving the overall review. In addition, Merlot is not usually my wine of choice. I have a couple that I really enjoy like Bogle, Blackstone, and Columbia Crest (one of which might finally be #5 on my default list), but generally I stray towards Cabs, and Shiraz. Anyway, the taste of this wine is very good. Definitely not too weak, so it holds up well, with a nice finish, but no aftertaste. Again, hard for me to rate many Merlots really high just because of personal preference, but it definitely stands up with the others that I mentioned above.

Rating: 3.0 Better the avgerage, and definitely worth a try