Wine Tasting: Liebfraumilch

Name: Liebfraumilch

Variety: Riesling

Region: Rheinhessen

Country: Germany

Year: 2016

Price: $11.99

Winemaker Description:

Pale in color, with a shimmer of gold, this wine offers the scent of honeysuckle in the nose. Although a touch of grapefruity citrus can be found, the aromas are more tropical – with notes of white peach and melon followed by ripe mango. On the palate, it’s juicy and delivers ripeness and concentration, while retaining elegance and freshness in the off-dry finish.

 My Review:

I decided to get this wine because I had never tried a German wine before, and I was spending time with a friend who recently returned from a year long stint in Heidelberg, Germany.  I knew I wanted to try a German Riesling and when we saw one that looked good at the store, we couldn’t resist. Also, I actually drank this wine at the proper temperature (I’m normally too lazy to chill my wine to the right point) and I think it definitely had a positive effect. The wine was a really lovely golden/yellow color and smelled like apples and honey, and it tasted like lemon, apples, and cinnamon. It was an excellent wine, especially for this time of year, and I’m excited to keep drinking it!

I drank this wine initially on its own, and it was really good! I think it could go well with something along the lines of Chicken Parmesan if I make any in the near future.

Wine Tasting: Voga Moscato

Name: Voga

Variety: 100% Moscato

Region: Pavia

Country: Italy

Year: 2016

Price: $12.29

Winemaker Description:

The key to making true Italian Moscato is to capture the natural fruity aroma and vibrant flavor of the Moscato grape. The grapes are crushed and quickly pressed. During fermentation the carbon dioxide is retained giving the wine its “frizzante” character. Close your eyes and think of fresh grapes, that’s exactly what Moscato tastes like.

 My Review:

I decided to try this wine after one of my old friends told me that this is her absolute favorite Moscato. We have similar tastes in wine, so I thought I’d give it a shot. The first thing I noticed about this wine was that its color was clear but tinted green. I thought that was a little odd because I’ve need a lot of yellow hued wines, but I hadn’t seen any green ones before. Regardless of the color, it smelled like what I have come to expect from Moscato, namely apples and pears, but it also had some lemon scent thrown in there, which was a nice surprise. The taste was not what I was expecting. Knowing my friend, I expected it to be pretty sweet, which it was, but it was also quite acidic, which cut the sweetness really nicely. The flavor of the wine is actually kind of hard to describe. I definitely tasted some honey and pineapple flavors, but there was something else in there that I couldn’t name. I still can’t put my finger on it, but it was bright and fresh and made me think of yellow, but I have no idea why. Maybe it was lemon? I’ll have to try it again to find out!

I drank this wine initially on its own, and it was pretty dang good! I think it could go well with pasta or shellfish in a white sauce though.

Tasting: Rebel Red Red Wine Blend

Name: Rebel Red

Variety: 38% Zinfandel, 34% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, 2% mixed red varietals. 100% California grapes with 42% from the Lodi appellation.

Region: Hopland, California

Country: United States

Year: NV

Price: $12.00

Wine Critique:

Smells like -…ripe red and dark berry fruits like plum, blueberry and blackberry.Sassy dash of black and white pepper with a dollop of crème de cassis.

Tastes like -…a huge mouthful of ripe summer berries. The fruit goes on and on,ending in a luxurious finish.

Yummy with -Roasts, grilled meats, pizza, pasta,salmon, burgers, burritos, soups and sandwiches.

My Review: This wine is very interesting. It smells like black pepper, coffee, and toasted oak. I didn’t get any of the fruity flavors that the reviewer did, but I guess my nose is just a little different. It honestly smelled a lot like a Merlot, but it didn’t taste like one. I very much associate Merlot wine with a heavy tobacco and spice taste, which wasn’t there. Instead it was more fruity and tasted like black cherry with a hint of plum (maybe the reviewer see eye to eye after all!). It does have a vaguely acidic after taste and the black pepper smell does pull through to the taste.

 

 

I drank this wine initially on its own, and then tried it again while eating a steak. Even though I think this is a new world wine, it was definitely better with the steak!

Tasting – White Zinfandel

Name: White Zinfandel

Variety: 100% White Zinfandel

Region: Oklahoma

Country: United States

Year: NV

Price: $12.95

Winery Description: Our all American, semi-sweet blush crowd pleaser

My Review: I really like this wine. It’s a blush wine with a really pretty golden-pink color. It smells like apples and caramel, and something else that I can’t quite name. It had a complicated taste – I had to get help to figure it all out. At first sip it’s very fruity like you would expect: apples, strawberry, and a hint of peach. But there was another taste that I had to enlist a friend to help me identify. It was a bit earthy and a bit spicy. We figured it was a spice and had to smell a couple from his kitchen to get there, but it turned out to be cinnamon! Very tasty!

 

I drank this wine initially on its own, and then tried it again while eating a pork dish. It was nice by itself but the savory food really brought out the sweetness of the wine. I think that this is a really good dinner wine, depending on what you’re eating.

Tasting – Chocolate Drop

Name: Chocolate Drop

Variety: 100% Merlot

Region: Oklahoma

Country: United States

Year: NV

Price: $15.95

Winery Description: Our award winning red blended with sweet chocolate cherry flavors give this dessert wine an unusual depth of delightful scent & taste

My Review: This wine was really interesting and I’m not completely sure how I feel about it. It was a really pretty dark red color – probably because it is a Merlot wine with added flavor, and it smelled amazing. It smelled like chocolate and strawberries and cherries, and the sweetness of the chocolate cut the normal earthly tones that I don’t like. But when I tasted it, the chocolate kind of overwhelmed a lot of other flavors. It actually tasted like chocolate with a hint of red wine instead of Merlot with a hint of chocolate like I expected. It was nice, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again.

 

I didn’t eat anything with this wine, and I honestly can’t imagine what I would want to eat with it. It is an experience all on its own.

Tasting – Dry Riesling

Name: Dry Reisling

Variety: 100% Reisling

Region: Oklahoma

Country: United States

Year: NV

Price: $19.95

Winery Description: A dry, white wine that is robust and citrusy with hints of orange peel

My Review: This wine is amazing! It costs almost double what I normally pay for a bottle, but it’s totally worth it. The color of the wine is close to clear, but has a golden hue to it. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be suprised if the winery aged this white wine in oak barrels for a little while, both because of the color and because of the fact that the wine is a tiny bit astringent, which I associate with tannins. The flavor of the wine is really nice too. It has honey, lemon, and orange flavors, which is an interesting combination with a dry wine. Since it wasn’t overpoweringly sweet, it was easier to taste the subtle fruit flavors.

 

I did have some cheese and crackers with the wine, which complimented it well. I would say that this wine could go either way. You can eat with it, if you’re eating the right things, but it’s also good enough on it’s own that it doesn’t need anything to go with it.

Tasting – Primo Amore Moscato

Name: Primo Amore Moscato

Variety: 100% Moscato Bianco

Region: Veneto

Country: Italy

Year: NV

Price: $10.99

Seller’s Review: Straw-yellow with golden reflections and a delicate mousse. Fruity and very inviting, with intense scents of peaches and exotic fruit. Fresh and pleasantly sweet with a taste that reveals its varietal characteristic.

My Review: I absolutely adore this wine! I’ve had it before but I’m tasting it for this class because I thought it’d be interesting to analyze a wine I’m familiar with. Honestly, even with this wine, I noticed a lot more things than I ever have before. I think the seller is being overly poetic, the wine is basically clear, but it smells like apples and pears, which I had never really paid attention to before. When I tasted it, I got hints of apples and pears again, which is normally where I stopped, but there was something else I couldn’t quite pick out. After consulting with my wine wheel, it hit me! Lemon and honey! Weird, because I wouldn’t expect all of that to go well together, but the wine is amazing.

 

I didn’t eat any foods with this wine, which is the way I prefer it. It’s so good it doesn’t need anything to go with it.

Tasting – Ruby Vine Red Wine

Name: Ruby Vine Red Wine

Variety: Red Blend

Region: Santa Rosa, California

Country: USA

Year: NA

Price: $9.99

Seller’s Review: With the exception of sparkling or fortified wines, non-vintage wines get a bad rap sometimes, dismissed as being lower in quality because they consist of grapes blended across different vintages. We beg to differ, and this juicy red made from California grapes is the perfect example of how NV blends can be perfectly delicious. Because we weren’t restricted by the vintage, we were able to use the best grapes we could find from each year, be more creative, and come up with a wine that’s balanced and food-friendly – the perfect house red. Ripe, full-bodied and fruit-driven, this versatile wine will pair well with everything from spicy Thai takeout to a spread of tapas. Keep a few bottles handy on your wine rack for any occasion that might arise

My Review: This wine, when you first meet it, definitely has a spicy smell. I broke out a wine wheel and I think I narrowed it down to Black Pepper and Cinnamon. I think they wine maker may have aged the wine, possibly in an oak barrel, because I noticed heavy tobacco and smokey flavors when I tasted it. Another reason I think it may have been aged is that it is very smooth. There weren’t many tannins still in the wine. Overall it was a very tasty wine, and I wish I’d had something to eat with it. It seemed to be more of an old world style, and meant to be paired with food.

 

I didn’t eat any foods with this wine, but I think it would pair well with something a little spicy.

Kon Tiki Cabernet Sauvignon

Name: Kon Tiki Cabernet Sauvignon

Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon (at least 80%)

Region: Valle Central

Country: Chile

Year: 2015

Price: $12.99

Winery Review: This wine integrates cherry, strawberry, and black currant with a hint of leather on the nose. The palate is reflective of this, with the addition of smoke, blackberry, and spice. With a smooth, lush body, this wine is easy drinking and great for food.

My Review: I liked this wine after a bit, but at first taste I didn’t think I would. It was a really nice purple-red color and smelled very fruity. However, I didn’t taste any of the fruit, and it was pretty dry with a very earthy taste. I also tasted a lot of spice and a hint of tobacco. My favorite aspect of this wine was how smooth it was. It had little to no acidity and no tannins.

 

I didn’t eat any foods with this wine, but I think it would go really well with a classic Pecorino cheese.

Cambridge & Sunset Zinfandel

Name: Cambridge & Sunset Zinfandel

Variety: Zinfandel (at least 80%)

Region: California’s Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta Region

Country: USA

Year: 2014

Price: $13.99

Winery Review: Aromas of blackberry, cherry, and plum waft from this wine, with just a hint of warm spices. On the palate, black cherry, and boysenberry emerge with a lush, velvety mouth feel to make this classic California Zinfandel great with food or on its own.

My Review: This wine was very interesting and very much not to my taste. It was probably very good, and I’m glad I tried it, but once is enough. It was an orange red, which I thought was interesting – I’ve not really seen that before. When I did the “swirl and sniff” it smelled nice and fruity, but when I tasted it all I could make out, past the major acidity and tannin level, was a very earthy flavor with a hint of strawberry. All in all the wine was much to sharp for my taste. But after watching some of the Wine IQ videos, I wonder if decanting the wine and letting it sit for a while might help with that.

 

I didn’t eat any foods with this wine, and I don’t plan to try it again unless it’s decanted.