Sunday, October 07, 2007
Case Taste Part Two
One thing I like about the wine selection at Trader Joe's is that many of the bottles they sell have descriptions. Instead of choosing a wine because I like its name (Goats du Rhone is an especially clever bottle, though all the punniness in the world can't turn it into great wine) or the pretty colors in its logo (if the logo's pink, you know I'll buy it!), I can make my decision based on something more sensical.
Also, many of their bottles are screw caps. As a master of cork disasters (would you like a little wine with your cork?), I'm never disappointed with a screw cap. A recent Times article by Eric Asimov details the latest on the cork vs. cap question. Asimov explains that winemakers use caps to prevent cork taint, which is a result of fungi that occurs naturally in the cork tree. Apparently caps have their own problem, which is breathing-related, but whereas when a wine is "corked" it's undrinkable, when is wine is "capped," it often can be restored by decanting.
Lastly, it's hard to spend a lot of money on one bottle of wine at Trader's. While the 12 bottles I recently tasted had only a few winners and many losers, I am still most likely to keep spending around $10-$15 per bottle and hoping for the best.
And now, the second half of my great case taste:
7. Trader Joe's Moscato Paso Robles, 2005. A dessert wine. Light but gummy, a little like cough medicine, but with notes of apricot and honeysuckle. Sweetness makes it go down real easy despite the bitter aftertaste. Would like to start drinking more dessert wines, but not this one again. $5.99.
8. Josefina Syrah Rosé, Pasa Robles, CA 2006. Mostly flavorless. It didn't roll notes of strawberry and summer over my tongue like the rosé I recently had at Bar Veloce. $4.99.
9. Fetzer Vineyards Valley Oaks Chardonnay, California, 2006. Crisp, citrusy, with a mild mineral after taste, which I like. Drinkable on its own and with the salmon I ate with it one night. $6.99.
10. Echelon Pinor Noir, 2006. The bottle says "black cherries, plums, prunes, cinnamon spice, and reccomends it with wild mushroom risotto." I forgot to write down anything for this one, and the week I drank it is a wedding planning fueled blur. I think it was good not great. $11.99.
11. Dynamite Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills-Lake County, 2004. Hands down the best of the dozen. A luxurious palate pleaser. Berry, wood, and pepper. Worth the price. $17.99.
12. Gasparetto Prosecco "Vino Frizzante." I love prosecco, for the bubbles, and the celebratory and debaucherous mood that drinking something sparkling often implies. This one goes down really (sometimes too) easy. Medium bubbles. Tart, floral, soft. $6.99.
Posted by Jennifer Coleman at 10:59 PM