Posts by: Lea

Lea is the mama of two ridiculously energetic (and adorable) toddlers and the founder of Hot and Healthy Mom. She manages to blog about fitness, fashion, food and, of course, wine when she isn’t too busy wrangling her kids into place. You can follow her at http://www.hotandhealthymom.com or follow her on twitter @hothealthymom1

Sunday Morning Sommelier: Blackstone Pinot Noir

Alcohol content: 13.5%

Price: $8.99

Description per label: Our Blackstone Pinot Noir is sourced throughout California’s finest grape growing regions. This elegant wine exhibits ripe aromas of black cherry, vanilla, and hints of spice followed by cherry jammy berry and black tea-infused flavors.

Review:
It was two years ago today that I returned from a pricey one-week jaunt to Paris. The trip was precipitated by a rather exhausting argument with my spouse that lead to an unfortunate exchange of unpleasantries and a corked bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux (1999) being rifled into the fireplace. When the Bordeaux hit the bricks, I booked the trip. It was time for some punishing foreign retail therapy. Later that evening, I found myself at an airport Applebee’s bar awaiting my flight. I asked the barkeep for their best pinot noir. He shrugged and offered me a glass of Blackstone. I don’t really like to fly internationally sober so I drank my usual five glasses.  Sufficiently lubricated, I boarded the plane for my Parisian excursion leaving the memories of my spousal spat and this Blackstone blend behind.

Read More

0 Likes

Sunday Morning Sommelier: ONEHOPE Chardonnay

Alcohol content: 13.5%

Price: $18.99

Description per label: ONEHOPE partnered with Rob Mondavi Jr. to handcraft this chardonnay from select vineyards throughout Napa, Sonoma, and the Central Coast of California.

Review:
It is widely known among numerous Sommelier circles that my enthusiasm for wine is matched only by my charitable nature. I have been known to share my rare varietals with people I associate with on just a casual basis. For instance, I once offered a glass of French Bordeaux to my grounds keeper after he had done a particularly fine job pruning my hedges. I have even uncorked a bottle of Dolce with the au pair only after she had bathed and tucked the children in bed, of course. To date, my most charitable work has been through the formation of the local AA chapter. At Alcohol Aficionados we focus on enlightening the masses about the complexities of wine by holding monthly tastings that are open to the public.

Read More

0 Likes

Sunday Morning Sommelier: Mark West Pinot Noir (2008)

Alcohol content: 13.8%

Price: $9.99

Description per label: Mark West Winery specializes in Pinot Noir- Sourced primarily from coastal appellations, these vineyards provide grapes of aromatics and flavors…blah, blah, blah… rich in texture with a lingering finish and versatile enough to compliment about any cuisine (food).

Review:
To me, the name Mark West conjures up images of the silly Batman of the sixties portrayed by the great Adam West. I find the portrayal of a middle-aged, ambiguously gay bat enthusiast who is heroically bound to the younger, more flamboyant costumed crime fighter worthy of a chuckle from time to time. In seemingly every episode, the dynamic duo would slide down a fire station pole, hop in an oddly modified muscle car and pursue slap fights with heavily made-up oddities. Although the two West’s are probably not related, Mark West is a competent vintner of Pinot Noir nonetheless.

Read More

0 Likes

Sunday Morning Sommelier: Middle Sister ‘Rebel Red’

Alcohol content:  12.5%

Price:  $12.99 

Description per label: A sassy blend of our three favorite red varieties perfect for sipping before, during and after our favorite family meals.
 
Review:
Growing up, I loved being the middle child.  I never felt ignored or the need to compete for my parents’ attention with my siblings. I was the rebel but no one noticed because they were too busy dealing with either the spoiled antics of my younger sister or applying ridiculous athletic pressure to my older brother.  As the middle child, I got away with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g and took full advantage!  So, when I came upon the Middle Sister ‘Rebel Red’ label I was instantly giddy and had high aspirations for this wine.  After all, it was made for me, right?
The taste did not live up to my expectations.  To be fair, this is a table wine and by its very nature should be simple and crowd pleasing.  This California red blends zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon for a taste that is sweet without being too overwhelming. The aroma is mild with subtle hints of dry fruits and cherry through the finish.  In my expert opinion, Rebel Red drinks like an $8 wine with a $5 surcharge courtesy of the fun label.   

Read More

0 Likes

The Sunday Morning Sommelier: Ménage à Trois Rosé

Alcohol content: 13.5%

Category: other reds (Rosé)

Description per label: Think pink! Who says three’s a crowd? Some love our Red, some love our White, everyone loves our Pink.

Price: $10.99

Review:

Labor Day weekend of 1999 I found myself closing out the summer in Bridgehampton. It was there that I was last confronted with the act of debauchery that is this wine’s name. I was at a share house with six other wild alcohol enthusiasts when, after an all-day wine sampling marathon and polo match, my date and one of my floozy roommates thought this act may be a good idea. My response was to smack him in the face and ‘accidently’ spilled red wine all over her white dress.

Read More

0 Likes

The Sunday Morning Sommelier: DELTA Sauvignon Blanc

Alcohol content: 13%

Price:  $12.99

Description per label:  The Delta Wine Company is a partnership… blah, blah, blah. It’s pungent and gooseberryish on the nose with dry nettley fruit on the palate and an intense lingering finish on the palate. It is like…blah, blah, blah.


Review:
This yarn begins years ago after a long and intense sampling session.  I was being challenged by a rather belligerent fellow sommelier.  I would say ‘black cherry’ he would counter ‘chokeberry’.   I would say ‘hints of pear’ he would argue ‘notes of peach’— and so it went.  When the conversation degraded to the wines of New Zealand, I calmly removed his spectacles and crushed them. We exchanged unpleasantries and I ended this four-hour dispute by pulling his Mr. Roger’s cardigan over his head and kicking him in the grapes. The net result being, I was banned from my favorite wine market for two months.

Read More

0 Likes

The Sunday Morning Sommelier: Bitch Grenache

Alcohol content:  A flammable 15.5%

Price: $9.99

Description per label:  Bitch 42x (seriously).
 
Review:
I’d been having quite a week when I stumbled upon this sweet treat at my local wine mart. Between the stifling heat of a Florida summer, the devastating news that school starts a week later than anticipated, and the fact that my roster of babysitters were all headed off to college within days, I was in need of a wine that matched my mood. This Bitch beckoned and I answered by grabbing a bottle, okay, two and headed to the checkout with an extra spring in my step.

Read More

0 Likes

The Sunday Morning Sommelier: Mommy’s Time Out Pinot Grigio

Alcohol content: 11.5%

Price: $6.99

Description per label: We all know that being a Mommy is a difficult job. A Mommy’s Time Out is a well-deserved break. This wine is delicate and fruity.

Review:  
Any time a wine implicitly or explicitly encourages the shirking of parental duties my sommelier senses draw me in like a zombie to brains. By now I’m sure you’ve noticed the eerie similarity between the two.  Case in point?  The toddler-toting mom’s gait and the night of the living dead shuffle.  Or how about that thousand mile stare and disheveled appearance of any new parent? When I dragged across this Italian blend, packing my own dual toddlers, I was sold by the name alone. Upon sampling, my expectations of mediocrity were confirmed. The aroma was sweet and fruity and the taste watered down. The finish of this varietal, although lasting, was acidic and lackluster. Always bear in mind that with all gimmicky products at low prices you should never set the bar too high.  This axiom also applies to most celebrity vinted blends. My primary knock is that the alcohol content is an impotent 11.5%.

Read More

0 Likes

Sunday Morning Sommelier: LA CREMA 2008 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)

Alcohol content: 13.9%

Price: $24.99

Description per label: 2008 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast cool climate vineyards, Artisan Winemaking. Classic Pinot Noir.

Review:

Due to the various complexities attributed to a good pinot noir, tasting is no easy task. However, drinking an entire bottle of this heavenly liquid is. For less than $25 you are delivered one of the finest varietals in the mid-range Pinot Noir universe. The sophisticated and elegant Sonoma Coast red blesses the palate with numerous pleasing tastes and smells. I find downing copious amounts of La Crema Pinot Noir with breakfast, lunch and dinner perfectly acceptable.

Read More

0 Likes
 Scroll to top