Since I have become quite the connoisseur of inexpensive fine wines lately I have decided to try keeping a wine diary my findings.
I love picking out wines… when ever I go buy a bottle, I feel like a little kid in a candy shop or ice cream parlor and it can sometimes take a very long time to settle on my flavor. When I knew nothing about wine, beyond the fact that I liked it and it could get you drunk, I would always buy wines based on their label. If the label was pretty and creative or had an animal on it…it was bound to be a great wine!
Now knowing a little bit about wine, the time I spend in the wine aisle is a little more academic and even reverent, because I fully understand the process and sheer amount of work it took to get that particular bottle of fermented grapes on a shelf in front of me.
I feel like each wine is a story waiting to be tasted…from the vintage, varietal and brand you kinda know what genre the story will be, but you will never truly experience the story until you pop the cork and taste it! While I know some truly epic wine tales come in very expensive bottles, I am discovering that with a tiny bit of knowledge and an adventuresome pallet, you can really find some great little stories in very inexpensive bottles! Or at least Hagen Daz for blue bonnet prices…
So since most evenings fine me pretending I am wine snob and swirling, sniffing, dissecting my new four dollar bottle of wine…I am going to write down my findings for future reference, because sometimes you never want to forget a good story and you might never want to experience that horrible one again!
* Disclaimer: Trader Joe’s has made this blog possible. ** And not all these bottles of vino were consumed in one week, I’m quite mature these days and a bottle can last me several days.
On the Emily Wine Scale of Perfection (1-10) I would rate this one about a 5. Noting particularly wonderful or offensive. Nice fruity bouquet (smell!) and it hits the tongue nice and bright with a burst of berries…it doesn’t have a super long finish. A nice food wine…and for $3.99 at TJ’s it is really a steal, this wine I would stock up for parties for sure! Wine Snob Facts: Primitivo is the same grape as a zinfandel, except the vines grew in different dirt, itialian dirt to be exact. Zinfandel grapes grow in good ole’ american dirt! Since this wine does not have a date on it, it probably means its really fresh…like grapes from 2012, but it could also mean 2012 grapes mixed in with some left over 2011 wine.
This is a fantastic Chardonnay! It deserves a solid 8 on the Emily Scale of Fine Wines! I have already revisited this nice little story…Super bright and clean and fruity! Tastes like a crisper version of Naked Winery’s Foreplay…great summer sipping wine , and for I think 3.99 its an outrageous bargain! If you read the bottle carefully this wine has been specially labeled for TJ’s, and how this works is when a winery has bumper crop of grapes which makes a ton of that wine and if they do not want to drop the price on their consistent product to move inventory, the winery will sometimes throw the wine away…or sell it for next to nothing to some place like costco or TJ’s. And when this winery happens to be a place that produces great wine…you win, because what you think is 2.99 two buck chuck, could actually be a 90 dollar bottle of Lonnetti Merlot!
Wine Snob Facts: The trendy buzzword flying around the wine world is un-oaked chardonnays. A traditional California Chardonnay is really Oakey and Buttery, which just means those chard grapes sat on new american oak for a long time…and also went through full malolactic fermentation (I’ll explain this one later), but I think to many now cougars and wanna be wine snob ladies overdosed on traditional chardonnays, and chardonnays lost its popular drinking appeal. But lately chardonnays are making their return to the pallets of the trendy wine wannabes…and you will hear people saying they just love an ‘unoaked’ . This just means the grapes were stored in a steel cask rather, than a traditional oak barrel…and so you really just get a brighter, fruitier, sometimes sweeter wine. This lovely Santa Barbara Chardonnay tastes like an ‘unoaked’.
This post is too be continued….old ladies bedtime!