Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt

le wine blog™

A couple of weeks ago, I was tweaking Brian Smith for actually buying (and - worse yet - drinking) Charles Shaw wine. This is of course a mistake on my part, for anyone who likes wine enough to be buying it in the first place may someday buy some and share it with me, which is most emphatically a good thing.

Anyhow, I noticed shortly thereafter that Trader Joe's was rolling out a similarly budget priced line of wines, but Chilean, not [presumably] Californian. Up here in Washington, they retail for $3.49 a bottle [Charles Shaw is $2.99 here]. This is of course cheap enough to pique Mr Smith's interest. Of course, it piqued mine too as I've rarely had a truly bad Chilean wine [the one exception was a God awful bottle of unspeakably vile red consumed near the Torres del Paine a few years ago]. Better yet, these new wines had not just chardonnay and merlot, but also faux Bordeaux [cabernet-merlot] and even carmenére-merlot. The latter really got my hopes up - if anyone's going to bother labelling a wine as carmenére, I'd like to think they bothered to grow it well.

Well, wouldn't you know it, but Trader Joe's Chilean Collection merlot-carmenére is really, really good. By that I mean it smells like good quality wine, it goes down easy, it's got subtle flavors, and DID I MENTION IT'S ONLY $3.49? The bottle even looks nice enough to drink it and not feel like a wino [Charles Shaw's labels look like they were printed in Moldova or something].

Hell, it's only $2.99 in California. I say go for it. I'm now curious about what the other wines in the series taste like.

Other recent stuff we've tasted:

2003 Bonny Doon Big House Pink: Well, it's kind of like a D cup compared to the more restrained Vin Gris de Cigare, I guess. Good stuff but nothing earth-shattering; probably the best pink wine in this price range [about $7], although a decent Rioja can be had for $7 as well. Still far from sweet White Zin, which is a very, very good thing.

2002 Andrew Rich marsanne: Mind blowingly wonderful. At $18 it had damn well better be.

1998 Rosemount Hill of Gold shiraz: This should be around $12, and frankly there are better deals out there. This was - I believe - the first bottle of wine I ever bought that cost more than $10. It languished in the cellar for years because I was afraid to drink it, but finally I did last week. It was, well, old, and tarred by an awful lot of acidity. Still, it wasn't too unpleasant, and there was a trace of the interesting funk you can get in a Mudgee shiraz. Still wouldn't recommend it though. Stick with The Wishing Tree shiraz at $9 if you want seriously good Aussie shiraz.

And wouldn't you believe, that's all I remember for now. We must have plowed through a good six bottles last week, but it's all a distant memory at this point. Ah well. Must remember to take notes next time.

  • It's July 2013.

    Remember when I wrote a lot on LiveJournal? Yeah, me neither.

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