Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trigeminal Stimulation???

I may not be a Cono Sur but, I know when my nose hurts. Whew! Thankfully, the chemical I got from this baby—that burns the nose (and the retro nasal areas for you connoisseurs out there) blows off with a little time, leaving behind the lovely peach, melon, spice and honey notes I like to find in Viognier.

      All nose surprises aside, Cono Sur 2009, a "Wine of Chile" from Winemaker Adolfo Hurtado, is a really nice find for $11.99 at Wine 101 in Wake Forest, N.C. Its vanilla label (no photo needed here) picturing a simple bicycle to indicate the winemaker's "greenness" and because visitors will find this simple transportation everywhere, drew my attention because of its cute name. What I found inside the bottle was a lot more interesting: light straw color and brilliant clarity, honey, lemon, and peach flavors punctuated with spicy white pepper, crisp-tart acids, and a lively, lingering finish. I'd agree with the Hurtado that this wine would pair beautifully with spicy Asian foods. I’ll ride home again with this in my basket...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bug Juice, Rinaldi Vini s.a.s. Ricaldone, Italy (2009)

Bug Juice? Definitely. This stuff is so sweet; you'll have every fly within a five-mile radius crashing your party. The little pink honeybees and the shiny gold leaf on the label should have been a warning to me. Alas, no...

The grape is Muscat, specifically, Moscato D'Asti, (remember those Asti Spumanti commercials? Same territory, less sparkle.) Moscato, as the Italians call it, is becoming a wildly popular juice, high in lovely orange blossom, peach, and honey aromas, citrus-honey flavors, and punctuated with tiny bubbles and low alcohol, just 6%. The "frizzante" or fizzy style helps balance the syrupy sweetness and adds to the fun. Serve this ice cold as an aperitif (we call it porch wine here in the South) or gently chilled with dessert.

If Mom or Grammy is coming to visit, you’ll want to stock up on this one. I found it at Total Wine, Raleigh, N.C. for $17.99.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2 Cocky Sisters, Clautiere Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA

Oil Painting by Francisco Mora, Label on 2 Cocky Sisers
No grapes, no vineyards, no vistas. It’s wine art but the dark, sinister kind. Two happy witches (or maybe two men dressed in drag?) dance across the label in Mardi Gras fright masks celebrating the cocktail and inviting unlucky passersby to come and play. Their chunky bodies dressed in black swimsuits and stilettos, heavily muscled arms and perky breasts, stand in daring provocation while smaller demons indicate what’s really going on here.

Buyer beware, this is no sipping wine. At 16% alcohol, you’d better prepare for a bumpy ride. It attacks the nose, overwhelming its fine aromas of black cherry, caramel, and vanilla. If you let it sit a few moments and blow off its cocky alcohol, you’ll discover a good value juice behind the amazing label. Medium bodied with a good balance of fruit (black cherries and berries followed by cedar notes) and acids in this rich red blend. I found the sisters for $12.99 at Wine 101 in Wake Forest, N.C.

I love this label for its clever name, obviously, but it’s the art that captures the attention. There are so many bizarre details here that you may find yourself staring at it in wonder and forgetting the wine in your glass. Party too long with these sisters and you’ll wake up later, discarded in some alley, the victim of an evening’s Satanic ritual.

2 Cocky Sisters’ back label describes the wine as “Devine wild pleasure. Pure adult fun.” Don’t plan to drive, or walk for that matter, if you’ve had more than a glass of this one.

Scheryl McDavid