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Oak Leaf Chardonnay

Date: Tue, Aug 12, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $3 Maker: Oak Leaf Vineyards, Ripon, California Varietal: Chardonnay Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork Alcohol: 12.5% Our Rating: 8.3 out of 10 Oak Leaf Chardonnay is another ultra-inexpensive wine designed to take on Two Buck Chuck. Surprisingly, perhaps, it’s quite drinkable, even if undistinguished. The nose is mild, with sliced green apples and oak. [...]

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Folie à Deux Ménage à Trois Red 2006

Date: Wed, Aug 6, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $10 Maker: Folie à Deux Winery, St. Helena, Napa County, California Varietal: Blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: Bottle, natural cork Alcohol: 13.5% Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Folie à Deux Ménage à Trois Red 2006 is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon that most heavily favors the Zin side of its heritage. It [...]

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Italy To Allow Boxed Wines

Date: Tue, Aug 5, 2008 Wine Tasting

The New York Times quotes Bloomberg News in Italy Joins the Boxed Wine Rebellion by Mike Nizza: Italy’s Agriculture Ministry said that some fine Italian wines that receive government quality guarantees will be allowed to be sold in boxes. I find this encouraging, if a bit odd. When I was last in Italy, there [...]

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Cavit Merlot Trentino 2005

Date: Fri, Aug 1, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $10 Maker: Cavit S.C., Trento, Italy Varietal: Merlot Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork Alcohol: 12.5 % Our Rating: 8.6 out of 10 Cavit Merlot Trentino 2005 starts with a mild berry and licorice nose. Its flavor is very juicy, with strawberry and cherry notes. The finish is a bit astringent. According to the Cavit Collection website, In Trentino, this [...]

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Blue Nun Riesling

Date: Tue, Jul 29, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $19 Maker: F.W. Langguth Erben GmbH & Co. KG Varietal: Riesling Packaging: 3-liter box, push-button spigot Alcohol: 10.5% Our Rating: 8.2 out of 10 It’s taken us quite a while to get around to tasting Blue Nun Riesling, a non-vintage German wine that has been marketed in the U.S. for decades. This was in part because I tend to [...]

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Why You Should Serve Cheap Wine

Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 Wine Tasting

Post at Neuromarketing: Please Your Guests by Fooling Them. A study shows that in blind taste tests, average wine drinkers rate the cheap stuff higher than more expensive wine. Here’s a chart from the post that suggests you can maximize the enjoyment of your guests by serving them cheap wine they think [...]

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Alexander Valley dry Rosé of Sangiovese 2007

Date: Sat, Jul 26, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $12 Maker: Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sonoma County, Healdsburg, California Varietal: Sangiovese Packaging: 750 ml bottle, screw cap Alcohol: 13.5% Our Rating: 8.8 out of 10 Alexander Valley dry Rosé of Sangiovese 2007 has enticing aroma of melon and flowers, and is a crystal-clear dark pink color. It’s flavor is an interesting mix of watermelon and berries, with a crisp [...]

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Concannon Limited Release Petite Sirah 2005

Date: Wed, Jul 23, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $14 Maker: Concannon Vineyard, Livermore & San Luis Obispo, California Varietal: Petite Syrah Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork Alcohol: 13.5% Our Rating: 8.9 out of 10 Concannon Limited Release Petite Sirah 2005 (Limited Release) sets high expectations by calling itself “America’s Finest Petite Syrah.” We haven’t tasted enough Petite Syrahs to confirm their assertion, but this red wine [...]

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Santa Rita 120 Merlot 2006

Date: Mon, Jul 21, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $10 Maker: Viña Santa Rita S.A., Santiago, Chile Varietal: Merlot Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork Alcohol: 14.1% Our Rating: 8.9 out of 10 Santa Rita 120 Merlot 2006 is a big, bold red, almost un-Merlot-like in its boldness and complexity. Its nose is pleasant but ordinary, with ripe raspberry and vanilla notes. On the palate, this Merlot [...]

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Killer Marketing: How to Sell Boxed Wine

Date: Sun, Jul 20, 2008 Wine Tasting

We tasted Killer Juice Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 and liked the wine. We were also impressed by Killer Juice’s use of the packaging to enhance the shelf appeal of the wine. In a typical supermarket or wine shop, the customer is presented with a staggering array of wines. Boxed wines in particular may be a [...]

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Tin Roof Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Date: Fri, Jul 18, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $10 Maker: Tin Roof Cellars, Santa Rosa, California Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork Alcohol: 13.5 % Our Rating: 8.7 out of 10 Tin Roof Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 starts with an attractive contemporary label design, which notes that “making wines at Tin Roof is a blast - especially when it’s raining!” The closure is a silver [...]

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Killer Juice Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Date: Thu, Jul 17, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $19 Maker: Killer Juice Vineyards, Ripon, California Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: 3-liter box, twist spigot Alcohol: 13.5% Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10 It’s been two years since we tried Killer Juice Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2006 vintage of this boxed Cab is a more than worthy successor. The nose was mild, with ripe berry and woody notes. [...]

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Toad Hollow Cacophony Zinfandel 2006

Date: Wed, Jul 16, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $13 Maker: Toad Hollow Cellars, Paso Robles, California Varietal: Zinfandel Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork Alcohol: 14.8% Our Rating: 9 out of 10 Toad Hollow Cellars seems to have our number dialed in. We really liked their Erik’s the Red, and Toad Hollow Cacophony Zinfandel 2006 is at least as pleasing. This Zin starts with black cherry [...]

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Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon

Date: Tue, Jul 15, 2008 Wine Tasting

Price: $3 Maker: Winking Owl Vineyards, Modesto, California Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork Alcohol: 12.0 % Our Rating: 6 out of 10 Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon is a non-vintage offering aimed at the market niche popularized by Two Buck Chuck from Charles Shaw Wines. Unfortunately, it matches the price but misses the mark on quality. [...]

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