This was one of those times where I was looking for a wine specifically to pair with my dinner plans. I was looking for something light and refreshing, but red. I was walking down the Pinot Noir aisle and right in my line of vision is a Pinot by Carmel Road.
So I picked up the bottle and — what’s this? Wine by Drew Barrymore? Ok ok…I know she’s making wine now — let’s face it, most celebrities are. And, for me, that could be a potential put-off: is it gimicky? is the wine going to taste as fake as Hollywood?
I’ve only ever had Carmel Road’s Unoaked Chardonnay (which is not associated with DB), and my mind was telling me what a reliable producer Carmel Road is. Besides, if their Chard is unoaked, perhaps they’ll keep the oak to a minimum in their reds. And with grapes grown in the steady climate of Monterey with its fresh ocean air and sweet sea breezes — how could this not be the cool and refreshing red wine I’m looking for?
Oh just another example of me looking for a wine to pair with my meal. Honest-to-goodness, I was looking for a total Cal-oaky Chard, but my partner in wine crime was not in the mood for a buttery indulgence. “I want an oaked wine,” he said, “but I don’t want it to taste oaky.” Sometimes in marriage, you have to compromise, right? Well we found that compromise with Alexander Valley Vineyards 2014 Estate Chardonnay.
This is just pure fun. There’s no other way to describe it. There’s nothing serious about Apothic Red and the fact that you can find it pretty much anywhere makes it even that much more enjoyable.
I’m sure there’s not a casual wine drinker out there who hasn’t at least tried one of the Apothic line-ups. And to each there own when it comes to which is best. Me, I stay true to the good old-fashioned red blend that is Apothic Red.
I’m surprised I haven’t written a post about Three Arches yet — they’re a small, local winery where I am actually a wine club member. I think the reason I haven’t mentioned them yet is because their wines pack such a punch, I find I really do have to wait and pair them with the perfect meal. This is mostly true of their reds, which includes everything from a classic Cali Cab to their signature Meritage red blend.
But every once in awhile, they release a white and — for me — this is a special treat because, unlike their super-bold, must-be-paired-with-food reds, their whites are friendly, versatile, easily enjoyed on their own or with a meal. And, somehow, they do all that while still packing that punch…
I love Markham Vineyards wine. They have some pretty schmancy stuff that can cost a good dollar (well worth it in my book, though), but then they have stuff for everyday consumers like myself. And, what I like, is that I don’t feel like they skimp on the affordable wines. When I taste a $10 dollar wine from Markham, I still feel like I’m sipping something special. And so it is with Markham’s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc.