Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weeks #40, 41 & 42

Bad blogger.  I could make a list of all the excuses that have kept me from blogging, but that would be pretty lame.  So, here's the list:
1.  I have an iPhone4 - thus I have little desire to use my laptop.
2.  Once it was a sunny day after weeks of rain and I just wanted a Mike's Hard Lemonade.
3.  Babies with strep throat prevent you from doing pretty much anything.

So, today I make up for it by blogging about four wines (which, you'll notice, is actually one MORE than I owe myself- penance and all that.)  It is quite a mish-mash of Shiraz, and I hope I haven't deterred too many readers from checking in.

Homemade Shiraz-Cabernet
A few weeks ago, a friend gifted me a bottle of her dad's homemade Shiraz-Cabernet.  Normally, I try to avoid homemade wines, although there have been some I've enjoyed.  People often ask me why I don't make my own wine since I drink a lot, but I have zero interest.  I'd prefer to go to the store, pick out something with an interesting label and call it a day.  I don't need to be involved in the fermentation process.  Plus, what happens if you make a "batch" drink the first glass and declare it disgusting.  Then what?
I enjoyed a glass of this gifted wine with supper.  It was tasty enough.  And, it wasn't acidic or anything.  I found it to be much more Cabernet than Shiraz, but it was good (and free!).

Hardy's Shiraz-Cabernet-Sauvignon (Australia, 2010)
I had friends coming over for wine last night - one had bought me a bottle in the States (PS: Thanks! I'm loving all the gifted bottles.  Others take note).  But, we were having pasta for dinner and I wanted to have some Shiraz to go with, so I ran (figuratively) to the liquor store and found the cutest little plastic bottle of Shiraz-Cabernet-Sauvignon.  Like, seriously, look at it!  Isn't it sweet?

This little darling set me back $4.99 and is equal to about 2 glasses of wine.  When you twist the plastic covering, it turns into a classy plastic wine glass!  See?
I didn't drink out of it, but it would be great for camping or people who don't own dishwashers (or have helpful husbands).  The size would also be perfect for someone who is the lone wine-drinker in their home and can't polish off an entire bottle before it "turns" (I'm not friends with any people like that, but you never know who is reading).  Plus, I found it to be quite enjoyable.  I've reviewed a Hardy's wine before, but it was their more expensive label, Oomoo, and I just thought it was "okay" considering the price.  This blend was a better value for sure.  Of course, it didn't have any strong Shiraz characteristics, but it was a solid choice nonetheless.  And, with 14% alc./vol. I found my glass with dinner to pack a little punch!

Kanga Reserve (Australia, ????) 13% alc./vol.
How nice is it to have friends who, when they travel, seek out new and exciting Shiraz to donate to my worthy cause?  It's pretty nice.  Especially now that I'm down to the wire and the un-reviewed choices on the local liquor store shelves are dwindling. 
A word from the wine:
"Legend has it that explorers to Australia asked an Aborigine about the strange hopping animals they had seen.  He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question, but thinking that was the animal's name, "kangaroo" came to be.
Legend has it that wine makers are obsessed with legends, animals and Aboriginal words. 

This was a drinkable wine.  It didn't really have any strong flavors, it's body was medium and it wasn't acidic.  The most I can say is that it was average.  Inoffensive, but nothing to write home (or on a blog) about.  But, when you consider the price of $3.99 (no, I didn't forget the 1) you can't really go wrong.  I will now draw your attention to the fact that I spent $4.99 on a tiny plastic bottle of wine in New Brunswick, while my friend spent a dollar less on an entire bottle in the States.  Seriously.  WTF?
Guest Tester #1: "It's nothing special"
Guest Tester #2: "It's like drinking grape juice, and it costs about the same too."

Billyrock Station (Australia, ????) 13.5% alc./vol.
My friend brought this interesting Shiraz to our girls' wine fest evening, and I'm glad she did - because the other bottle she brought was Banrock Station!  And she calls herself a devoted reader of this blog! (Maybe it was me that called her that).  But, really, I'm thinking this Billyrock Station must be the younger, hipper, cannier brother of the Banrock since the names are so similar.  I know you've all heard of wine in a box, but have you delved into the world of wine in a can?  If not, you're in for a special treat.  Check these puppies out:
A word from the wine:
"Billy says...'You will love the feel and smooth taste of this wine, with its lovely, deep rich red colour, it oozes opulence and style.  The wine is at its best served cool accompanying roast duck or chicken dishes.  It is also a good partner with strong, hard cheeses.'  Share with friends - but whatever."
Yes, style.  I can just see pulling out the cans of wine to accompany the roast duck at your next dinner party.

I have to admit, it was quite weird to crack open a can of wine.  I don't think wine should make that sound.  I did take two sips out of the can, but I just couldn't palate it that way.  It just seemed like something out of a can should be sweet and fizzy - of which this wine is neither (thankfully).  It was merely  psychological barrier, because once I poured it into a proper glass (and yes, it is a nice dark red!) it was actually very good.  I have to say it shocked me, but I really enjoyed this wine.  It was smooth and had just an edge of spice on the finish, but it wasn't overpowering or harsh.  Plus, it would travel well to pool parties.  Bonus.

Whoa.  Did anyone read all that mindless drivel?

1 comment:

  1. We thought you had gone teetotal or something!

    Thanks for the updates - we are still waiting for you to try the Peter Lehmann of the Barosso (sp?). But be warned!

    We bottle our wine all the time and the shiraz is quite good - even trunk-aged it has a nice full-bodied but smooth taste. If I knew there would still be some in our wine rack when we see you in August I'd say I'd bring a bottle to N. Ont., but as I don't like to make promises I can't keep....