Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rosemount: Week #39

It is so fitting that this is week #39 as I am headed to a friend's birthday celebration and she only has a few days left at age 39.  This week's selection has been calling my name since the beginning of this journey to alcoholism.  I never picked it up based on the price, although I did purchase a few bottles similar or slightly higher in price, and the fact that I try to switch from the Australian Shiraz to other nationalities every once in a while. 

This wine has a very attractive and sophisticated look - the bottle goes from the usual round at the neck and transforms on the way down, gradually flattening the sides, and created a diamond shaped base.  Hence the "diamond label" branding.  It was also featured on Hell's Kitchen last season, which leads me to believe it must be reputable as Chef Ramsay seems just as unlikely to put up with bullshit in people, food or wine.  At least that is what reality TV has taught me.

So, what led me to pick it up this week?  A SALE of course!  Save $3, bringing the usual price from $17.99 down to the more reasonable $14.99.  Also, all the other Rosemount varieties had a neck-tag stating "Rosemount: Not just Shiraz!" - which, with my powerful skills of deduction, leads me to infer that they are well-known for their well-liked Shiraz.  Bonus. 

Rosemount (Australia, 2009)
13.5% alc./vol.
A word from the wine:
You know what is really interesting about this wine?  It has NO label notes.  Like, zero.  Aside from the generic "contain sulphates"  and "drink responsibly" there is no specific or personal narration, pairing suggestions or tasting notes.  I'm hoping that they believe the wine will speak for itself, or it is so good it requires no introduction.

I liked this one.  I'm not sure it is worth its full price when Wolf Blass Yellow Label sits very close by in the same price range, but it was still a very nice wine.  I think it is an approachable Shiraz for someone who is a bit shy of darker red wines, but at the same time, it has enough body and flavour to satisfy a regular red-wine lover.  Rosemount was very smooth and tasty, but it misses that hint of pepper that WB provides. 

I enjoyed two glasses of this wine at the birthday shindig, and I had several guest testers as well.  I'll only include two comments, because they are the only ones I can remember.  I did switch to "Smirgins" (Smirnoff Ice + a shot of gin) which were very tasty, but once people starting shooting tequila and B52s, I took a step back - the memory of my recent break up with Banrock Station is still too fresh a wound. 

Birthday "Girl" Guest Tester: "I'm going to taste this and then say something intelligent. *sip* Uhm.... huh.... uh... it's good?"
Guest Tester #2: "It isn't fizzy or fruity"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pelee Island Winery: Week #38

Well.  What have I been doing?  Neglecting this blog seems to have become my primary obligation. I guess when I drink away from my house on Saturday, I find it very difficult to remember the blogging portion of the project.  So, today you get BOGO – except it is better than “buy one get one” because you get both of these reviews for FREE  Please read the following two reviews to accept this limited time offer.

Tonight is the infamous Supper Club.  Last Supper Club I got into a messy relationship with Banrock Station.  It was anything but pretty.  However, this edition of the S-Club will not be an extended version as there is a playoff game tonight - which most other members are attending.  It is my turn to host, but it will be an early evening - not much time to go overboard with a bottle of Shiraz.  Instead, I will sit on my couch with my laptop and HH will sit next to me with his, and we will independently sample a bottle and then he will mumble something unintelligible for me to make fun of.  At least that's the plan.

Tonight's selection is a first for Saturday Shiraz!  A gifted bottle from someone other than my socially awkward father!  For reals.  This wine was given to me from an actual reader of this blog - isn't that nice?  I hope this thoughtful reader's act of kindness will inspire generosity in the rest of you.  Actually, in the coming week's I will have the chance to review another gifted home-made bottle - so this month's selections are really shaping up!

Pelee Island Winery - Canada, 2005

A word from the wine:
"The long and hot growing conditions of the Island have produced a dry tannic red wine, while aging for 15 months in classic oak barrels has enhanced the blackcurrant fruit flavor and the long smoky finish.  This solid red wine is best served in a large glass at 17 degrees Celsius."
Well, that was very specific.  I will adhere to the large glass advisory, but cannot guarantee the temperature. I find the claims of dryness, oak and blackcurrant to be very promising!

 Yummers.  This is a perfect Shiraz - smooth, dry and with just the right amount of zing.  It had a great scent, good body and that slight peppery taste.  Honestly, it was just TOO easy to drink.  Where can I find this dear reader??

Helpful Husband Tip: "Smooth, it's delicious.  I'm drunk.  I like bacon-wrapped scallops."

Two Oceans:Week #37

The biggest problem with procrastinating is that I forget things easily.  Like, I’m not sure which wine I ingested last week.  Luckily, I did take a picture, so that should jog my memory.  But, I didn’t write down the label notes.  I went down to the basement to search through the empties, and while I can find bottles from months ago, I can’t find last week’s.  And, every time I think I’ve found a bottle, it turns out to be a HH beer bottle.  When I signed up for this project, I didn’t really envision myself picking through my own garbage.  Contrary to popular belief, blogging is anything but glamorous. 

Last week I picked up a bottle of Two Oceans Shiraz and brought it to a friend’s house for a quiet girl’s evening after a busy day of fundraising for the bigger kid’s preschool.  It also turned out to be a sneak-craft-attack and I had to sit idly by while my friends “altered” a canvas - whatever that means! But, I had wine and a Cadbury Crème egg, so I was happy. 

Two Oceans - South Africa, 2009
13.5% alc./vol.
A word from the wine:
"The warm Indian Ocean and the cold Atlantic Ocean converge and create coll breezes that slow the ripening of the grapes and intensify the pure fruit flavors of our wine"
Now, I find this to be an interesting theory.  I like the whole "oceans converging" idea.  But, I'm not sure on intensifying the fruit flavors as those as my least favorite of the flavor families.

This wine was definitely lacking body and smoothness.  The taste was bland, tolerable, but I did find the after-taste to bit quite jarring.  It wasn’t awful – I finished my glass, but it definitely left something to be desired.  I don’t think I’ve been wooed by many wines of South African descent.  

Guest Tester #1: It smells like a permanent marker.
Guest Tester #2: It tastes like burning.