After my visit to Bonny Doon’s Davenport tasting room where I got to chat one-on-one with owner and winemaker Randall Grahm — which was both fun and educational — I couldn’t help but go home with, what I thought, was the most outstanding wine of the 12 I tasted that day: 2011 Le Cigare Blanc.
True story: I was perusing the wine aisles at Costco looking for my fav generic red blend when a Costco employee stopped to ask if he could help. Turns out they didn’t have what I was looking for. “But,” he says, “if you like that, you’ll love Tractor Shed Red.”I kinda looked at him like he was crazy-go-nuts. The thing you have to know about me is that I find blends — of any kind — hard. In my experience, everyday blends found at the local shops with cute, funky labels listed at under $20 tend to be…imbalanced. Imbalanced in aroma, taste, texture, and ultimately enjoyability.
So the fact that I even had, what I’d call, a “favorite” red blend was kind of a big deal — and I was willing to deal with the fact that they did not have it in stock. But the Tractor Shed Red price was right for experimenting, so I took a bottle home. Now, every time I go to Costco, I take two.
Once again I found myself perusing the wine aisles of Trader Joe’s looking for a the perfect pairing for a mi-week meal. I can honestly say I don’t know what made me pick this bottle up. Maybe it’s because I didn’t know quite what I wanted and the prospect of these two varietals blended together sounded summer-time perfect. Plus, I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a good back-flap story synopsis (you know…the mini-story on the back of books… and…wine…).
I don’t know if it was my recent visit to the Rhone Rangers seminar and tasting or what, but lately I’ve been super into experimenting with French and French-inspired wines. I had such a great experience with Louis Jadot’s 2012 Pinot Noir and, as I was researching more about the vineyard and available wines, became quite curious about their Beaujolais.
As luck would have it, a contact from Louis Jadot was kind enough to provide me with their 2013 Beaujolais to sample and review. I must admit, I held on to this wine, wanting to make sure I enjoyed it thoroughly — with the right food and mood. And I did! Louis Jadot 2013 Beaujolais is yet another excellent example of a regularly available, affordable French wine that tastes like it came straight from the Motherland.