While I have finally learned to embrace certain white wines, nine times out of ten, I’ll be buying a red. Before we reach peak white/rose season, I’ve been experimenting with reds that fall all across the board. From fruity to peppery, I’ve sipped a lot in order to make a little dent in my wine collection. Still, if I want to start off this post honestly, I have to say that I buy about three bottles for every one I consume, so I didn’t make that much of a dent.
First up, the Old Vine Red- Lot Number 60 from Marietta Cellars. Made up mostly of Zinfandel with a touch of Petite Sirah, this non-vintage was a gift that I decided to open up one crisp day toward the end of March. Deep ruby in color with hints of violet, the wine was peppery on the nose with spice and red fruit coming through on the palate. It was teetering on the brink of being past its prime, and while I was able to enjoy this one, I think we would have had a better time if I had opened this baby up a year ago. Of course, I didn’t have it a year ago, but if I had a TARDIS, I’d probably open it up the day it was gifted to me. As it was, this was a dependable, medium-body, smooth choice that set the person who purchased it back about $11.99. Not a bottle that knocked it out of the park, but a drinkable deal nonetheless.
Trying to mix it up a bit, I purchased a Chapelle-St-Arnoux 2011 Chateauneuf- du-Pape. I know this is supposed to be awesome and life changing and just a general wine star, as most things along the Southern Rhone are, but I wasn’t absolutely blow away by it. Garnet in color with ripe berries and slight spice flavors, this was balanced yet a bit dull. I certainly enjoyed the wine and would pick it up again with the $22 price tag, but it wasn’t one that I’ll be dreaming about months from now. I will not be writing any odes, nor will I be cursing myself for purchasing it in the first place. Instead, I’m deciding to graciously accept what it is- a middle of the road wine. It’s kind of like my grandma’s dog, something I have to put up with at times, but also something that I don’t mind hanging around with every so often (and by that, I mean two times a year around the holidays when I’m feeling friendly).
As the saying goes, the third wine’s the charm. The 2012 Petite Petit from Michael David Winery was one of the yummiest wines I’ve ever had. However, I bought this for its label. It was cute, and I know that goes against every factor that should go into picking out a wine, but I couldn’t help it! On their website, you can find this gem for $18, though I believe I paid around $20 for it. Worth every penny, this was a wine where the inside mirrored the image on the outside. Depicting circus animals doing their circus thing, this fun, lively wine was deep plum in color, tasted like dark berries diving into the earth, and offered a nice amount of depth. Made up of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot, it was the perfect wine to enjoy on my day off of work. I went back and bought two more because sometimes, every once in a blue moon, a wine can be adorable and delicious. Who knew?
Although I don’t believe I’ll be completely abandoning my beloved reds during the summer, I anticipate seeking out more light, fun, vibrant wines with a nice punch of acidity. One thing’s for certain though- I will be drinking wine, and lots of it.