Aug 02

A great Zin at a great price at Costco

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I stopped at the Costco liquor store recently. One of the wines I picked up was a 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel by Bogle Vineyards. According to the fact sheet published by the winery, this wine is made from grapes sourced from Lodi and Amador counties in California. The vines are between 60 and 80 years old.

This wine has some good fruit, followed by some nice spice with oak on the finish. It’s a very good, complex Zinfandel. There’s good structure from the tannins. It’s a fairly dry wine, but still has some good fruit. If you like red Zinfandel, I recommend this wine.

I bought this wine at a Costco liquor store for $8.59. (If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I recently bought several items there. Also, thank you for reading my blog.) A quick search reveals a local wine shop selling this wine for $12.99. I think this is a good wine for $12.99, and a great wine if you can get it for $8.59 at your Costco. I’m giving this a “Very Good” rating.

Permanent link to this article:

Aug 02

$7 Côtes du Rhône Villages?

Yes, this is another review from over a year ago.


I haven’t tasted many Côtes du Rhône wines, so I’m not going to do a long review here. I like to have some reference for a wine when I write a review.

However, I will say that this is a very delicious wine. According to Wikipedia (which I’m hoping is reasonably accurate here), any Côtes du Rhône Villages wine must be at least 50% Grenache, with Syrah and Mourvèdre making up at least 20%. No more than 20% of the wine can be other varieties. I’m not that familiar with Grenache, so it’s a bit unusual to me. It’s a fairly dry wine, as is typical of the “old world” French wines, but it’s not overly tannic. Overall, a very tasty wine. I’m going to give this a Very Good rating, as it has good flavor and complexity without any obvious flaws, and it is very drinkable.

If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you may have already guessed that I bought this wine at Costco. This is the 2011 Kirkland Signature Côtes du Rhône Villages wine which sells for $6.99 at my nearest Costco liquor store. This is an AOC wine (Appellation Côtes du Rhône Villages Contrôlée), and was made by Patrick Lesec. Additionally, the bottle states, “Grapes 100% Certified Sustainable Agriculture”. (Due to the use of sulfites in winemaking, it is difficult to produce a wine that meets organic standards.)

In general, I have found that Kirkland Signature wines are fairly good wines, especially for the price. While they may not be the best wines out there, I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value for the quality. I highly recommend checking out wines at Costco if you have one nearby that sells wine.

Permanent link to this article:

Aug 02

La Forge Estate 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Unfiltered

Another post from a while back.


When I see the “La Forge” name on wine, I immediately think of Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. (I’ve also seen Picard wines.) This has nothing to do with the wine.

I really like Cabernet Sauvignon, so it’s pretty much a given that I like this one. This wine needed a bit of time to open up. There’s some fruit, but not too much. Plenty of spice with a nice rich oak finish. If you like Cabs, I think you’ll like this one. It’s very well balanced, and it has a lot of depth. I’m giving this a “Very Good” rating.


Permanent link to this article:

Aug 02

Laforêt Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2011

I’m looking through my unpublished posts, and this is one that looks complete enough to publish. If I find a photo (or if someone wants to send me a good photo), I’ll add it later.


I recently received this wine as a review sample. This wine was produced by Joseph Drouhin in the Bourgogne (Burgundy) region of France. It is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. According to the information I received, the grapes are sourced from Côte Chalonnaise and north of the Côte de Nuits.

I get some light red fruits on the nose (cherry and strawberry) along with what I’d describe as a bit of an earthy smell. Similar flavors on the palate, along with a hint of spice. There’s very little oak influence. Good acidity balances the wine.

This paired very nicely with a pork tenderloin.

I’m giving this a “Very Good” rating.

Disclaimer: I received a bottle of this wine as a free media sample. Please see my Sample Policy for more information.



Permanent link to this article:

Aug 02

Bargain wines?

A recent discussion I had on Facebook got me thinking about this. What are some good wines that are really cheap? By “really cheap,” I don’t mean $15 a bottle, or even $10 a bottle. I’m looking for something decent that’s around $5 per 750 ml.

Often, you need to buy a larger quantity to get something decent at that price point, but that may be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re hosting a party, and most of the attendees aren’t really “into” wine, then something cheap but drinkable is all you need. It might also be good to have on reserve if you need more wine after the good stuff is gone because the guests are less likely to notice that’s it’s cheap wine at that point. ;)

Box wines come to mind, of course, but there are a few other options. The “Magnum” bottle, holding 1.5 liters, or two standard bottles, can give you the economy of a larger size while still having the appeal of a bottle.

If you have a Costco near you, you’ll want to keep reading. (I think most states require them to sell you alcohol even without a membership, but that may not be true for all states. Here in Minnesota, it is.)

I’m a big fan of Cabernet Sauvignon, so I had to get the Kirkland Signature California Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the 2013 vintage, so it is a very young wine. Even still, it has the typical Cab flavors. Good blackcurrant and blackberry with a bit of green pepper mid-palate. There’s not a lot of oak, but there’s some, with a bit of vanilla showing up on the finish. Some structure from the tannins on the finish.

Since this is a young wine, decanting or aerating will definitely help it. If you don’t have the tools for that, just let it sit in your glass for a little while.

I’m not saying this is an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s very drinkable. I wouldn’t plan on aging this, as it seems like it’s been made to drink now, and it doesn’t have the acidity or tannins that would suggest a wine that is suitable for aging. Still, it’s a great bargain for a drinkable wine. For a 1.5 L magnum, I paid $7.99 plus tax. That’s just under $4 per 750 ml. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a bargain-priced red wine.


Permanent link to this article:

Aug 02

Software update

I just updated WordPress and some of the plugins, so please let me know if anything doesn’t seem to be working now.



Permanent link to this article:

Feb 02

Quick update

Hi everyone! (Well, everyone who’s still here, at least.) I thought I’d give you a quick update. First, I just updated WordPress and some of the add-ons, so please let me know if anything looks wrong. Usually, these updates go smoothly, but you never know.

Also, I wanted to let you know that I have a few reviews that I need to finish up and post, as well as a couple of reviews that I’m working on. How anxious are you to see these? Comments on this post may encourage me to get the reviews posted sooner. ;-)



Permanent link to this article:

Jun 10

2010 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon labelI recently received this wine as a review sample.

This wine is produced from a specific clone of Cabernet Sauvignon simply known as 337. This is a French clone, but this wine is produced from vines grown in Lodi, California.

This wine has a very fruity, full nose. There’s some spice there, too. The wine starts with some good fruit with some spice mid-palate. There’s some subtle oak on the finish. Nothing seems overpowering.

This is a very fruity, juicy wine. It’s very well balanced, with extremely smooth tannins. This is a very good and very drinkable wine. It has a lot of what I consider to be “typical” flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon, but it doesn’t have the harshness that usually goes along with it. My wife, Maggie, is enjoying this wine, and she typically does not care for Cabernet Sauvignon. I guess I have to share this bottle. ;-)

Although this wine is 14.5% ABV, I’m not detecting any heat from the alcohol at all.

This wine has a suggested retail of $14.99. I’d expect to pay a bit more for a wine like this. I’m giving this an “Excellent” rating.

Disclaimer: I received two bottles of this wine as a free media sample. Please see my Sample Policy for more information.

Permanent link to this article:

May 04

Comment System

I just changed to Disqus for comments on this blog. I’ve used the Disqus system on other blogs, and I think it works well. You can log in with credentials from common social media sites, and I’m hoping this cuts down on comment spam (which you don’t see, but I do) by requiring some level of accountability for the comments.

The existing comments will be imported into Disqus, so they will reappear. This may take a few days, though.

Permanent link to this article:

Apr 28

Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc

This is an older review that I never published at the time. I don’t have a photo, but I think there’s still enough information to be useful.

Maggie and I are currently enjoying a bottle of Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc. This is produced in the Marlborough region of New Zealand., an area that is known for Sauvignon Blanc.

This wine is quite typical of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with gooseberry, grapefruit, and some tropical fruit. It’s a very crisp, refreshing wine. We’re enjoying it by itself, but it has enough acidity and flavor to hold up well to food, too.

This producer, Monkey Bay, apparently only makes Sauvignon Blanc, or at least under this label. They are are part of Constellation Brands, which includes a wide variety of familiar brands, including other Marlborough producers.

We bought this wine on sale for $9.34. The regular price at the store was $10.99. Even at the regular price, I think this is an excellent value!


Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «