Is There Such A Thing As Good Wine In A Can?

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

Hi Everyone, and Happy #WineWednesday. Today, I’m tasting the 2016 Stella Wines​ Pinot Grigio in a can, which I received as a sample and has a suggested retail price of $13 for a 4-pack.  I’ve tried a number of canned wines, but as much as I love the idea, I haven’t been a fan of the ones I tasted. The big question is if this will be different?!  As a side note, though, instead of drinking the wine out of a can, I’m using the Go Vino glasses. Cheers!

Question of the Day:  Have you had this or another canned wine and what did you think of it?

Received as a sample.

Banfi’s Le Rime is Poetry in a Glass

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

Selfie on Ponte Vecchio in Florence, ItalyThursday marked the one-week return to work after spending two weeks in Italy, and, oh, do I miss Italy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do for a living, and thankfully, a year+ into my “new” job, I’m still loving it.  However, I much rather be in Rome or Florence.  So, after work on Thursday, I went for a 5-mile run to get myself back in the routine. Admittedly, the run took a lot out of me because, with the exception of a 3.5 mile run on Tuesday that was torturous, I hadn’t run for three weeks.  The holidays and vacation got in the way, and I paid for it.

After the run, Hubby made some pan-fried tilapia for dinner, and I decided that downloading pictures from our trip was the best way to deal with my sore legs and post-vacation blues.  Of course, I couldn’t tackle the over 2000 photos without some Italian vino, so I opened a Pinot Grigio.

2011 Castello Banfi "Le Rime" Pinot Grigio

2011 Castello Banfi “Le Rime” Pinot Grigio

The 2011 Castello Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio (winery) was a pale straw yellow with greenish flecks.  On the nose, there were pears and yellow grapefruits.  In the mouth, there were yellow grapefruits, pears, and white flowers.  The wine had a light body with bright acidity.

Banfi Pinot Grigio Bottle TopIs this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At an SRP of $10, this wine was a pleasant surprise.  Honestly, I don’t tend to be a Pinot Grigio fan because I find they often are all acid with little flavor.  When I drink Pinot Grigios, I usually am left wondering why I wasted the time on the wine.  Clearly, I’ve not been drinking the right ones.  Le Rime had subtle flavors that were noticeable and pleasing on their own, while not overpowering the lighter flavors of the tilapia that Hubby made.  At the same time, the acidity of the wine helped to cut the oil from pan-frying the fish, keeping the meal very light and fresh tasting, while also enhancing the wine.  The pairing was very enjoyable.  This wine doesn’t offer anything out-of-this-world, but you can do a lot worse, particularly at this price point.  All in all, it was a solid wine with an outstanding quality:price ratio.

P.S.  Please take 2 minutes to complete my reader survey.  It’s only 10 questions (9 multiple choice questions and 1 “anything else you want to tell me”).  It will help me get to know you, as well as make sure I’m writing about things you want to read.  Thanks!

Question of the Day: Are you a fan of Pinot Grigio or do you tend to gravitate towards other white wines?

Suggested Retail Price: $10
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Top 5 Memorial Day BBQ Wines

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is always the start of cookout season in the A Glass After Work household.  This year, while we’re not hosting our own BBQ, we are heading out to several, so Hubby asked me what wines I was planning on bringing.  Admittedly, I didn’t have a list put together, but his asking seemed like the perfect opportunity to go through some old posts.  Here are 5 crowd pleasers that go nicely with hot dogs and hamburgers without breaking the bank.

Reds

2005 Lolonis Zinfandel

The 2005 Lolonis Zinfandel (winery, snooth) is made with organically grown Zinfandel grapes and the winery uses ladybugs for pest control.  If you’re headed to a cookout, you can’t go wrong with a California Zinfandel, as the wines tend to be big, bold, and beautiful with high alcohol content.  The Lolonis is no exception. I gave the wine 4.5 corks and, while it was given to me as a gift, I’ve found it for $18.

2008 Big House Red

The 2008 Big House Red 3-liter Octavin Home Wine Bar (winery, snooth) is a blend of 13 different red grapes.  The wine is a solid, oaked red, so if you see it in a regular sized bottle, don’t hesitate to grab one. I’ve brought the Octavin Big House Red to several parties, and while people are sometimes hesitant to try a boxed wine, once they have a glass, they always come back for more.  I’ve never left a party where the box wasn’t empty.  I gave the wine 3 corks, and while I received it for a sample, the suggested retail price is $20 for 3 liters (which works out to be $5/bottle).

Whites

2008 Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio

The 2008 Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio (winery, snooth) is the epitome of a great BBQ wine.  It is bright, fruity, and refreshing.  It is inexpensive.  It is very food friendly.  And, it has a winery name and label that could be a fun conversation starter.   I gave the wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $9.

 

2007 Martin Codax Albariño

The 2007 Martin Codax Albariño (vineyard, snooth) is a very aromatic wine that has a nice blend of limes and flowers, with a hint of honey.  The wine is crisp and refreshing without being too acidic, which makes it easy to drink.  It would pair particularly well with both regular and pasta salads.  I gave this wine 3 corks and purchased it for $13.

Rosé

2009 Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah

The 2009 Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah (winery, snooth) was made from 100% Syrah grapes and is a perfect wine for a Memorial Day BBQ. Don’t be fooled into think that because this wine is a Rosé that it’s sweet.  This wine is what I expect from a good Rosé—nice flavor, good acidity, and a light-to-medium body that was refreshing and flirty. I gave this wine 3.5 corks and while I received this wine as a sample, the suggested retail price is $17.

***While I know it’s not quite Memorial Day, as we are about to enter into the holiday weekend,
I would like to take a moment to remember the amazing men and women who lost their lives while defending America
and send my thoughts to their families.***

 

Kicking-Off Virginia Wine Month with a VA Wine Overview (Part 3)

After a yummy lunch of cheese, bread, fruit, hummus, veggies, and chips paired with a delicious bottle of the 2007 Kluge Estate SP Blanc de Blanc ($25), the group was refreshed and ready to head off to our next round of tasting tables.  The first stop was Veritas Winery.  Veritas is a family-owned winery that opened at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in June 2002.  There were 7 wines to taste at the festival, and the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve and the Claret were my favorites, by far.

2009 Veritas Sauvignon Blanc Reserve ($25)—very light in color; gooseberries, grapefruits, and green peppers; light body and nice acid; very New Zealand-like.
4 Corks

2009 Veritas Claret ($18)—55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Petit Verdot grapes; blackberries, blackcurrant, cherries, and cooking spices; good tannins and body.
4 Corks

2009 Saddleback Chardonnay ($18)—apples and peaches with a hint of summer melons; light-to-medium body and medium acid; good, unoaked style.
3.5 Corks

2009 Veritas Cabernet Franc ($18)—blackberries, cherries, and black pepper; soft tannins and light-to-medium body.
3 Corks

2009 Veritas Merlot ($16)—raspberries and cherries with a touch of earth; soft tannins and medium body.
3 Corks

Red Star ($18)—cherries, raspberries, and strawberries; light body; ok, but not my style.
2.5 Corks

2009 Harlequin Chardonnay ($25)—apples and pears with a tough of something sweet without being a sweet wine; medium body and light acidity; lightly oaked, but missing the oaky wonderfulness.
2 Corks

After tasting the Veritas wines, we moved over one table to taste the wines from Villa Appalaccia Winery.  Villa Appalaccia is located close to the North Carolina and West Virginia borders in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.  As the name suggests, they mainly grow Italian grapes—Sangiovese, Primitivo, Pinot Grigio, and Malvasia.  What stood out about Villa Appalaccia is that they are doing something different from most of the other Virginia wines by growing Italian grapes, and they like talking about that fact, so it will be interesting to see if they can turn their unique use of grapes into something bigger.  Admittedly, though, the wines are average.

2009 Simpatico ($15)—very floral with a touch of honey; the residual sweetness is usually not my style, but I enjoyed the freshness of this wine.
3.5 Corks

2007 Toscanello ($17)—cherries and red plums with a touch of cedar and tobacco; good acidity.
3.5 Corks

2008 Villa Appalaccia Winery Pinot Grigio ($15)—apples, pears, and mangos; light body.
3 Corks

2007 Villa Appalaccia Winery Primitivo ($18)—strawberries, raspberries, and a hint of pepper.
3 Corks

2007 Villa Appalaccia Winery Sangiovese ($17)—strawberries and spices; good acidity and light body.
3 Corks

2006 Villa Appalaccia Winery Cabernet Franc ($17)—black cherries and black plums; good body.
3 Corks

As we were walking away from the Villa Appalaccia table, one of the ladies in our group ran into a friend, so we absorbed the new couple into our group before heading over to the Unicorn Winery table.  I was excited about visiting Unicorn because I wanted my friends to taste their Chambourcin, a wine that another reader turned me on to (it’s particularly nice as an alternative to Chianti).  Unfortunately, Unicorn wasn’t showing their Chambourcin, but we had a good run with 6 of their other wines.  Their best seller, the Slightly Embarrassed, was well liked among the group.  I can see where people enjoy it, particularly on hot summer days, but even after tasting so many sweet, summery wines at the festival, they just aren’t my style.

2008 Unicorn Winery Chardonnay ($16)—apples, pears, and honeydew; medium body.
3 Corks

2008 Unicorn Winery Traminette ($15)—very subtle apples and honeydew; light body.
2.5 Corks

Table Rock White ($14)—honeydew and vanilla; touch of sweetness.
2.5 Corks

Slightly Embarrassed ($14)—cherries, strawberries, and raspberries; touch of sweetness.
2.5 Corks

2005 Unicorn Winery Merlot ($20)—cherries with a touch of pomegranate; light-to-medium body.
3 Corks

2005 Unicorn Winery Cabernet Sauvignon ($22)—cherries and raspberries; medium body.
3 Corks

*See Part 1 for reviews of Rosemont Vineyards and Winery, Delfosse Vineyards and Winery, and Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard.
*See Part 2 for reviews of Tarara Winery, Davis Valley Winery, Wintergreen Winery, and Mountfair Vineyards.
*See Part 4 for reviews  of Cooper Vineyards, Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery, Paradise Springs Winery, and Château Morrisette.

Kicking-Off Virginia Wine Month with a VA Wine Overview (Part 1)

October is Virginia Wine Month, and while I’m behind in my month of blogging about Virginia wines, I’m looking forward to focusing on them over the next few weeks. Blogging about VA wines couldn’t be more timely, as Virginia is one of the largest wine producing states in the US, and the quality of VA wines has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, which means there are some yummy wines to share.  In addition, the 2011 Wine Bloggers’ Conference is going to be held in Charlottesville, VA, which means that wine bloggers will be paying a lot more attention to the Commonwealth’s wines before heading out here next summer.  With all of that in mind, blogging about the September Virginia Wine Festival seems like the perfect way to begin Virginia Wine Month.

Back in the middle of September, several friends and I met Dezel (from My Vine Spot) for a fun, relaxing afternoon of wine tasting at Bull Run Regional Park.  Three of us took the Washington Wine Academy’s shuttle from Vienna Metro station.  If you’re thinking about going to this annual wine festival next year, I highly recommend taking the shuttle.  For $25, we had a comfortable, 20-minute minibus ride to Bull Run, and five hours later, when we were ready to leave, we were given a bottle of water as we boarded the bus and were safely dropped off at the metro 20 minutes later.  Not that any of us were drunk, because we weren’t, but it was nice not to have to worry about driving after a very full day of wine tasting.

View of the VA Wine Festival Tents at Bull Run Regional Park

The three of us who took the shuttle arrived at the festival before everyone else, but we decided to dive right into the tasting.  The first stop for was Rosemont Vineyards and Winery tasting table.  Rosemont is a family-owned winery in Southern Virginia that released its first vintage in 2007.  Unfortunately, the winery doesn’t have a DC distributor, but their wines are for sale on their website.  The 2008 Cabernet Franc and the Meritage were my favorite Rosemont wines, and if you see either (or both), grab a bottle.

Rosemont 2008 Cabernet Franc ($21)—cedar, earth, molasses, vanilla, with some dark berries; medium tannins, good body.
3.5 Corks

 

Rosemont Meritage ($30)—dark berries, cedar, smoke, vanilla, & tealeaves; good tannins with a full body; would be nice with a soy sauce marinated steak.
3.5 Corks

 

2009 Rosemont Pinot Grigio ($16)—Granny smith apples & limes; good acidity.
3 Corks

2008 Rosemont Traminette ($15)—stone fruits with a hint of limes; very dry, but somewhat non-descript.
2.5 Corks

2009 Rosemont Rosé of Chambourcin ($13)—dark pink color; strawberries & something herbaceous.
2.5 Corks

Rosemont Lake Country Red ($15)­—smoke, oakiness, & dark cherries; medium body.
2.5 Corks

 

Rosemont NV Merlot ($19)—dark plums, cherries, & vanilla; medium body and tannins.
2.5 Corks

 

Rosemont Lake Country Sunset ($13)—juicy pears, flowers, & honey; very sweet with little acidity; not my style.
2 Corks

After tasting all of the wines available at the Rosemont table, we headed down a few tents to the Delfosse Vineyards and Winery table.  Delfosse is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 30 minutes from Charlottesville.  Having opened in 2000, they are relatively new VA winery.  While their wines show potential and they had one of the nicest people we met all day pouring, there weren’t any wines that I fell in love with.

2008 Delfosse Chardonnay ($18)—apples & pears with some vanilla oakiness.
3 Corks

2006 Delfosse Cuvee Laurent ($18)—blackberries & oak; good acidity.
3 Corks

2007 Delfosse Deer Rock White ($15)—pears & pineapples with some residual sweetness.
2.5 Corks

2006 Delfosse Merlot ($18)—plums, cherries, & oak.
2.5 Corks

2007 Delfosse Deer Rock Red ($15)—flowers with a vegetal hint; sweetish.
2 Corks

2007 Delfosse Grand Cru Olivier ($18)—cranberries, vanilla, & twigs.
1.5 Corks

The Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard tasting table was our next stop.  Kluge is located in Charlottesville.  They were one of the only tables that charged an additional fee in order to taste several of the wines, but since the whole purpose of the festival was to taste, we all shelled out the additional money to taste both the 2007 Kluge Estate Blanc de Blanc and the Cru aperitif.  The Blanc de Blanc was well worth the extra fee; Dezel even bought a bottle for us to drink with lunch. My surprise favorite wine, though, was the 2009 Albemarle Rosé.  I actually purchased a bottle to review separately for VA Wine Month.

2007 Kluge Estate SP Blanc de Blanc ($25)—100% Chardonnay; persistent, tiny bubbles; lemons & cream with a touch of toastiness; high acidity.
4 Corks

2009 Albemarle Rosé ($13)—cherries, strawberries, limes, & peaches; slight effervescence; bright acidity.
4 Corks

2005 Kluge Estate New World Red ($25)—blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec; blackberries & black currants; full body with good tannins.
3.5 Corks

2009 Albemarle Sauvignon Blanc ($20)—light, greenish-yellow; citrus galore; good acidity.
3 Corks

 

2004 Albemarle Simply Red ($14)—blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot; blackberries, vanilla, & smoke; medium body and tannins.
3 Corks

Cru ($25)—100% Chardonnay; strong bourbon flavor mixed with sweet peaches, pears, and vanilla; not my style.
2.5 Corks

After tasting everything at the Kluge table, we met up with a few more members of our group and decided to visit a few more tables before breaking for lunch.  The next stop was Tarara Winery.
*See Part 2 for reviews of Tarara Winery, Davis Valley Winery, Wintergreen Winery, and Mountfair Vineyards.
*See Part 3 for reviews of Veritas Vineyard and Winery, Villa Appalaccia Winery, and Unicorn Winery.
*See Part 4 for reviews  of Cooper Vineyards, Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery, Paradise Springs Winery, and Château Morrisette.