2009 flipflop Pinot Noir – California

*Disclaimer – Prior to trying this wine, I already really wanted to like it because of the adorable flip flops on the label, and also because for each bottle purchase they donate a pair of shoes to someone in need!*

Should I be trying this wine while wearing flip flops?   Well, I pretty much live in flip flops so why not?   Spicy cranberry-cherry nose, smells light and juicy.   And juicy it was, from start to finish.   Not sweet and processed like Hi-C, yet also not healthy-tasting like the Simply juices or POM.   More like… Minute Maid.   Cranberry-Cherry Minute Maid!   This is an easy drinking, fruity wine lover’s dream.   If you have a friend who finds tannin in their wine to be too harsh for their taste, just put this in a juice box and tell them it is Cran-Cherry juice.   After a few glasses, they may just start to wonder why they are feeling a little tipsy  ;-)

Not very complex, just bunches of fruit but at $6.99 a bottle this is a great buy for gifts and parties.   Or to just keep around the house!   Some wines at $6.99 with a cute label are undrinkable but definitely not the case with this deliciously juicy Pinot Noir!



2009 Reserve Grand Veneur Cotes Du Rhone

I went to Prima, a wine shop right on my walk home from the train and asked for a decadent, rich wine under $15.   And this wine definitely fit the bill.   Ripe raspberries practically pop out of the glass, and I smell some baking spices too.   This wine is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault.  Grenache tends to have lots of acidity, and this wine is no different – definite tart fruit on the midpalate and finish.   This wine is from France, but is made in a New World style…  Fruit forward and juicy!



2008 Miraflores Muscat Canelli – El Dorado

Miraflores Winery is a bit off the beaten path – all the way out near Lake Tahoe.   They have a beautiful tasting room and produce a large variety of wines.   My favorite was the Muscat Canelli, and at only $15 I could not resist picking up a bottle.   Those of you who think muscat is too sweet may want to try this one.   Fresh cut flowers and lychee on the nose, some ripe pear on the midpalate and surprisingly nice acidity on the finish.  Some muscat can be too sweet with not enough acidity, but not a problem here… this wine would be amazing with Thai, Indian or any kind of spicy cuisine.   It can sometimes be tough to find a wine that has that ripeness on the attack and nice acidic back end so put this on your list for spicy food!


Home run

2008 Fontanafredda Barbera Piemonte “Briccotondo”

Barbera is a grape that is usually grown in Piemonte, and is well known for it’s acidic bite.   I’ve tried quite a few, and tend to go towards the ones that are made in a fruit forward style with not as much of the bite.   This one has a big berry and herbal aroma, and the initial attack tastes like black cherry juice.   I’m very impressed with the power I get on the nose – whoa.   This wine does have lots of acidity on the back end but it is not as harsh as some other Barbera’s I’ve consumed.   I would still classify it as a food wine and recommend it with lighter pasta dishes or some Italian cheeses.   I would also serve it slightly chilled to help soften it a bit more.

On sale for $6.99/bottle at K&L Wine Merchants