Monday, November 29, 2010

Top Ten - Other Wines

So like I had mentioned before, this is an unusual list of everything out of the ordinary.  Bubbly, pink, and so many more; they'll all be here and in a sweet fashion.
One or two I can expect to probably never see again and some, even though my favorites, I might not pick up again just because of its availability or price.
So here we go!

#10 - Gekkeikan Sake
A very inexpensive and easy to find Sake, Gekkeikan is to Japan what I believe Bud Light is to the United States.  You really can find it everywhere and it won't bust your wallet open when you do.  Just to note, one of my favorite ways to drink is in a Sake Bomb!  It's simple and fun but you do need a few friends to help you drink it.  First, pour a glass of beer (preferably an Asian brew like Tsingtao) and place two chopsticks across the top of the glass.  Put a small shot glass of heated Sake on top of the chop sticks and have everyone bang on the table while building up for the bomb, "Three..... Two.... One.... SAKE!!!!"  Drink as quick as you can and the infusion of hot and cold, mild and strong will completely blow your mind in more ways than one.

#9 - Aveleda Casal Garcia Rose Vinho Verde
Vinho Verde, for those unfamiliar with it, is a slightly sweet and sparkling white wine from Portugal.  Most people know about one in particular called Famega.  Aveleda is known strictly for their Vinho Verde's and the Rose was one of their first I was able to try.  I was more than pleased by it too!  Very powerful pops of strawberry and peppermint really make this wine into a nice Aperitif as opposed to a table wine or dessert wine.  Pretty cool little beverage if you're still making that transition from Amateur Alcoholic to Enlightened Drunk.

#8 - Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry
Growing up I thought that Harvey's was a one of a kind wine and no one else made anything like it.   I was wrong.  But to this day, I still find Harvey's a crowd pleaser when it comes to Sherries.  Some will claim other sherries are too dry and others too sweet but ever though this little number is about a sugary as a diabetic coma,  it still maintains that proper balance of smooth and savory.  Not necessarily one of my favorites to drink, but more than so to serve.

#7 - Babcock Identity Crisis Shiraz
A weird one of the wine world.  I usually don't dive into Shiraz nor blush wines when I look for a dry summer drink but somehow this caught the best of both world's by making a truly unique wine.  People have panicked before exclaiming in confusion, "OMG!  A White Syrah?!"  Yes and no.  Unlike a usually "white" red wine, this is bone dry and lacking fruit, making it drink like a white wine, but sustaining some serious red body.  If you are at all familiar with the Champagne process of Blanc de Noir, it produces a similar flavor and color, but without the bubbles.  A seriously good find but extremely rare.

#6 - Taylor Sparkling Burgundy
Now before you freak out on me, I have nothing against inexpensive alcohols even though I occasionally pick on Pabst Blue Ribbon.  This is a holiday favorite of mine because it is one of the only true sparkling red wines that I know about.  I think Arbor Mist has one but then again that shit really isn't wine.  Back on topic!  Taylor Sparkling burgundy is such a smooth refined beverage that it really makes you reminisce of a deep blood colored Ruby Port.  Heavy flavors of black cherries and raspberries come alive but smoother hints of plum and grape come about too.  The sparkling effect in it is really just a plus.  Another good wine for beginning drinkers who aren't ready for the heavy stuff yet.

#5 - Homemade Strawberry Wine
Okay, this one is kinda cheating but then again why should I have to narrow down every single review to a label or vineyard or brand?  Some of the best wine I've tasted was made in some local backyards (and sheds).  I'm not one to brag on myself but two things I make right in this world are Gumbo and Strawberry Wine.  The taste is phenomenal and there is more than one flavor present in the wine.  Depending on what grade of yeast and how much sugar you decide to add if any, you can get a wide variety of flavors spanning from lemon zest to coriander to slate and even some heavy bites of hops!  If anyone wants a recipe along with some instruction on how to make this wonderful beverage, I'd be more than glad to do so!

#4 - Florio Dry Marsala
This is a pretty common item at my bar namely because of its versatility with food.  pretty much anything Italian can pair well with it except for...... Chicken or Veal Marsala!  The one thing that may seem obvious is a definite no-no.  Two much sweet with too much sweet; you should really use a Sangiovese or something along that line.  But Florio's Dry Marsala is a nice little blend of butterscotch, Toffee, and almond flavors that are really a pleasant surprise in a dessert wine.  Not too overbearing with alcohol or acidity, it makes great as an aperitif as well.

#3 - 2003 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port
This is one of those premium wines I'm always crying that I can't afford.  Even though it's about $23 per 375ml bottle, it's still a bit too much for a dessert wine.  I guess it would be equivalent to paying about $12 for a slice of cheesecake.  But what I truly love about it, is that you can taste every little note in the bottle, as if every grape shoved into this bad boy had its own unique taste.  Unlike the LBV Ports to come out of Portugal, this one is a little easier to come across.  Truly one of the finest wines in its category, the 2003 vintage received an astounding 98 points by Robert Parker.  Other wines with this rating are easily priced upward into the $300-400 range for a 750ml bottle.

#2 - Beringer and Sutter Home White Zin
Honestly can't stand either one, but during the summer they keep me in business.

#1 - Ménage à Trois Rosé
This might have been a little more than obvious on my part.  but it's not made like you would think.  Most people assume since Folie à Deux is famous for their Zinfandel used in the red blend, that they use the same method for making White Zinfandel, but this is far from the truth.  The Rosé is actually a summation of Merlot,  Syrah, and Gewurztraminer.  The Merloy and Syrah get a 24 hour soak in cold water to allow some of the red to seep into the juice and all three are blended into this wonderful little concoction.  Not a bad drink considering they sell it everywhere and it pairs well with everything from Burgers to Asian food.

Well I hope you enjoyed my list of oddities in the wine world.  And if you are really interested in the homemade wine thing, I can easily make an update this week with all the knowledge you need to be making some serious brew in your back yard.

Bon Boire!


  1. The Aussies like sparkling Shiraz. Chilled on a hot summer day they're a great starter.

  2. Only one of these I've tried is Gekkeikan,but it has been a few years.
    Downing an entire bottle and then venturing through Portland with my sister. Good Times

  3. never really got into wines. always 2 much to choose from. i'll have to look for these next time

  4. that homemade strawberry wine sounds delicious! Got to try some soon :)

  5. These are good to know, even if it is just to act like I know about wine around people.

  6. I'll try to keep some of this in mind, to sound super clever on wine! Great post, cheers!

  7. Send me a bottle of your best strawberry wine! I shall be the judge of it's awesomeness =P Great post btw!

  8. Good to know, really. Thanks for this post, very informative :)

  9. To be honest, any wine that will get me drunk is fine with me :D

  10. "Harvey's Bristol Cream " ? Seriously ?

    I haven't heard that name in YEARS !

  11. I don't think I've ever had strawberry wine... not I have something to try!!!

  12. Isn't there a song about strawberry wine? I'm not too big on wines. The last wine I drank was Sake actually.

  13. I don't really drink wine, but thanks a lot for the info :)

  14. wish i could try everything you post here, man; but i'm on money shortage lately :/

  15. Never could get drunk on wine.. It's for enjoying, not binging :p

    Great list!

  16. Sake always tastes like Rolling Rock to me. Warm or cold, doesn't matter.

  17. This is my first time to your blog and...well it looks great. Too bad I have the pallet of a frog and my taste buds are just my weakest sense.

  18. So are you going to share them with us? hehe

  19. Great list, love it. I definitely need to try the Saki bomb.

  20. As usual. Nice work I'm try some-love sake ;)

  21. Excellent stuff. I like how your personify the drinks.

  22. I've only had a few of those, and I liked them. The Gekkeikan Sake is always a good go-to sake when at restaurants, but I'm honestly getting tired of it!