Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shoofly - Shiraz

Price: $9.99
Region: Australia
Year: 2005

This was not a typical take-out and wine Friday evening. Every so often we take the kids to my sister's for the weekend, so they can spend some time with their cousin, and Aunt and Uncle. We were planning on a night out with some friends on Saturday, so it seemed like a good weekend for that. On the way home from dropping them off, I stop at my favorite wine store with the knowledge that I was picking up sushi for dinner. Without a doubt, it is hard to top sushi and wine in my book. Usually I would buy a more expensive bottle to enjoy during a quiet dinner like this, but I wanted to stick with my original plan, which was a review a week for a bottle under $15. Therefore, I went to the aisle that usually never lets me down, and that was the Shiraz aisle. I had this wine on my list to try for quite a while, so I thought there was no time like the present.

After getting home, and setting out our sushi dinner, I poured a glass, and my first impression was wow! I do not think it could be any deeper, or darker red. It looks just like the bottle in this picture, almost black. The wine just looked smooth from the get go. When I brought the wine up to take a sniff, I was almost equally impressed. Now, I will always admit I love the smell of Shiraz to begin with, smooth with a hint of spiciness, and this one did not disappoint. At this point, I was very much looking forward to taking a sip, but was just hoping it was even close to the expectation I had now set based on the sight, and smell. I did this all while still knowing I only paid ten dollars for this bottle of wine. So, when I took a sip, I knew I had found a very good wine. it was smooth, with an excellent flavor, and great length. It hung around just enough to entice another sip. I usually don't use this next word because it is part of what I have always found confusing, but one word that did come to mind was structure. This wine, from the beginning to end, was just well structured, and very much worth the price. I will definitely add this one to the list.

Rating: 3.75 Corks (A $10 gem)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Avalon - Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $9.99
Region: California
Year: 2006

I'm a bit behind, so I have a couple of weeks of reviews to catch-up on. Sometimes life gets in the way. Not unlike many weekends, I was picking up take-out at one of the two Italian eateries we frequent on Friday evenings. This particular one has a wine and beer store right next store. It isn't my favorite place, but it isn't too bad, and is very convenient. Anyway, I wasn't looking for anything in particular this week, just something I hadn't tried before. I actually walked around for longer then normal because I just couldn't make up my mind. After a couple of times around, I finally decided to try a Cabernet I have never seen before, but at $10, wasn't too much of a gamble.

On Fridays in Lent, I usually try to remember not to eat meat, so I actually ordered an eggplant parmigiana sandwich, and stole a piece of two on my son's pizza. Again, not necessarily what I would buy a Cabernet Sauvignon for, but that's just how it played out. So, I poured a glass, and sat down ready to eat dinner. My first impression was that there was a hint of "clearness" to the wine. It wasn't as deep dark red as I would usually picture a Cabernet, but still had a nice color to it. When I went to have a smell, again, it was a little on the soft side. It wasn't bold at all, but not unpleasant. So, when I went to take my first sip, it was generally well balanced with no bite or aftertaste, but just a little thin. All the way around, the wine was pretty good, just didn't stand out liek many Cabernets tend to do. I will say though, as I ate my dinner, and pured another glass, it grew on me a bit. This is the case of the 2nd glass pull up the score just a touch.

Rating: 2.75 Corks (Nothing great, but a solid buy)