Three Thieves "Bandit", $6 - this stuff is Italian and comes in a one liter box. Um... nice try, guys. I'm not a huge fan of Italian white wines, made as they are from grapes that don't often have strong flavors, only a generally bland OK-ness... and this one wasn't really anything special. Still, for $4.50 a bottle, what the hell were you expecting? I'd heartily recommend this for picnics... it's not gonna offend anyone, and because it's a box, well, it's easy to carry.
1999 Panther Creek pinot noir, Oregon, $25. This was one of their small single vineyard bottlings, and it came as part of a K&L Wines club shipment [I was in their red wine club for about four months before realizing I'd rather spend the money on cool weird stuff I find locally.] This was OK at first, but finally got interesting after about an hour in the glass. Vaguely spicy, but ultimately just as interesting as a huge expanse of red velvet... pleasant, sure, but... yawn. I wouldn't go there again. In fact, I have yet to find an American pinot noir I've loved after that one bottle of Gary Farrell in Orlando in 2001 with Dave Cobb. Maybe it was the company?
2003 Bonny Doon Rosato di Refosco, Monterey County, $15. From BD's "get a load of this weird-ass wine, yo" club, this bottle was... well, weird-ass. Never had anything like it before. The first glass was really fascinating, and then something got strange. At the end of the bottle, the charm had gone. Think pink wine, but with a strange fat bitter edge underneath it. I wouldn't recommend it. Stick with el cheapo pink Rioja [Marques de Caceres, $6] or BD's mainstream pink [the Vin Gris de Cigare is probably really good this year, although I haven't tried it].
2003 bottle of white wine from Portugal that wasn't vinho verde, $8. This came from that groovy wine shop in Portland that I love so much. From some totally weird grape - treixadura or something? I can't remember - this was a seriously awesome bottle of wine. Yum. Wish I'd written down what it was before I threw it out.
1999 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant, $25. Definitely a one-note wonder: raspberries, nothing much more. Leaving the rest of the 6-pack alone for now, will revisit in 2007 or so to see if it's improved any. Disappointing. Maybe my tastes have changed? Used to love LCV... but that was before I was in Australia. Hm.