Not One But…


Two Oceans from South Africa is likely one of many wines I gloss over at my nearby wine shoppes and never think to purchase.   Actually I know it is because I can’t recall ever having any of their wines. This is not meant as a negative.  It’s just the reality of things.  There is so much wine in the world that there will never be enough time to consume it all.  I can come close but what would be the fun in that?  It’s something about a journey.


Just like last week I’m following these newly created wine celebration days, and intend to honor these days just like they were the big holidays of the year.  Ok, maybe not that overly sentimental and dopey, but I think you know what I’m saying.  With that being said, National Sauvignon Blanc Day took place (as of this posting) two days ago, on the 24th.


I have some friends, men and women, close to me who find Sauvignon Blanc to be their favorite wine and drink it exclusively.  Well I don’t know how believable that is but I’ll take them at their word.  It’s not one of my favorites but I’ve had some varietals that were pleasing to the palate, easy to drink, and went down smoothly.  I basically used the similar terms in three different fashions.  Yeah.


So the 2015 Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc can be classified as one of those aforementioned descriptions.   It started off slow mainly because I wanted to sip immediately.  That’s me being a little too excited.  I had the company of a friend who reminded me to let it breathe.  For the initial first few sips gave me a headache.  And that’s not how you want to judge a wine, especially for such a monumental occasion.

After a few minutes things did open up nicely.   My friend agreed that the wine went down easy, and this was without having any food to pair with.   I would say this leans more towards the medium bodied Blancs that may require some finger foods or a meal.


Well the suggestions the bottle reads were unavailable to us but thankfully we had some hummus and carrots to help ease our appetite.  It wasn’t the warmest or sunniest of days but as the weather improves the lighter and healthier choices will hopefully take precedent.  Easier said that done, maybe.   But this wine, with a little conversation and good times, got better after each sip and after each glass.


One of the joys of sharing wine with someone is it takes on a life of its own.  After a while the setting becomes just as, if not more important than the wine itself.  And if the time is enjoyable than the wine itself becomes the same.  And sometimes a wine tastes that much better than it has any reason to be.  I’m not sure how to categorize this one other than it was a grower.   And at $10 or less in most shoppes, it’s a good value and an easy-drinking wine that can he had immediately and for any occasion.


It’s not the best I’ve ever had but it did its job nevertheless.  And the images on the label do remind one of the warmer weather months.  And that’s always a good thing.

If it wasn’t for wine I wouldn’t know what Gooseberry is.  I may or may not have had it in other whites but the taste has been hard to detect for me.   Tropical fruits and a smooth finish make this wine what it is.  I would love to try similar wines with similar fruits and berries to see if certain ones stand out.    With the weather getting brighter this is a strong possibility.

So far I think this is a good starting point.

For more on Two Oceans Wines click here.  And here is their contact information.

When presented the opportunity I would be delighted to sample more of their wines and hope I get to do just that.

I hope you had a Happy Sauvignon Blanc Day, which like any other wine day, doesn’t need a specific day to celebrate.  But I think it does add to the fun.

More fun days to come.






So Much To Celebrate


I had the great honor of once again being invited to a dear friends’ house for an Easter lunch/dinner that was also home to one of a few Thanksgiving Feasts (post is here) I’m grateful to have been invited to.  It’s the holidays once again.  But not those holidays. They’ll be here before you know it.

Yet; Easter, Passover, Spring, and anything else going on in this time frame is a part of that routine of life that I enjoy.  More friends will be wanting to do fun things, inside and out.  That means more wine and delicious food to enjoy, and to appreciate.

Another day (which I wrote about last year, link is here) of celebration is Malbec Day or Malbec World Day.  These are real days ladies and gentlemen.  Since the computer says so I have to believe it. But seriously, links can be found for Malbec World Day and other wine days for more information.


After what I wrote about last year, it was going to be hard to top.  But that doesn’t mean the wine can’t be good, great, or even exceptional.  But the 2015 Pardrillos from Ernesto Catena Vineyards was missing something.  And when I mean missing something, I mean missing a few things.  I wanted to like this wine like any wine I purchase.

And look at the horses on the label. How can you not be drawn to that?  And the brightness of those colors.  I feel it’s one of the any great interpretations and reflections of the season.  I didn’t look too hard to find a wine and I feel as if it was just waiting for me.


It was ok on the nose.  And with any wine I want to give it a few minutes to breathe if at all possible.  Who knows what flavors will develop and enhance after uncorking.   However, this is a wine to drink now, so there’s no need to wait too long.   You might be able to tell by my writing that I’m going to struggle to find many positives about this wine.  And that would be the case.


When I say something is just there, in any context, it’s a disheartening feeling.  It comes off as apathetic and lacking any real attachment or emotion to a wine.   There’s really nothing to this wine.


I got some darker berries and fruits, slight tannins, and nowhere near as jammy as other reviewers have interpreted. It was enough to drink but it was one of those wines I was waiting to finish so I didn’t have to drink anymore.  Perhaps in a different context, or after a couple of glasses of another wine, I may enjoy this.

But I don’t know how better of a setting I could be in.  I was with some amazing people, including the hosts, on a beautiful Spring day, with a food spread for the ages.  And I mean ages.


We had all the essentials; turkey, ham, greens, deviled eggs, salads, and all kinds of incredible appetizers.  The food was gold, I just wish the wine was at or at least approaching that level.  I feel disappointed in myself but thankfully other folks brought some amazing wines and beverages (along with that stellar food) that is for sharing.


And that’s what this and any holiday is all about.  I just wish my wine could have a memorable part of the celebration.

I could see someone spending under $10 for this, but at $13, which is what I paid, I don’t see the justification. Yes it’s only a few dollars difference but it’s the principle.  This is a everyday table wine and nothing more, and nothing less.   I think other people will enjoy it, and some of my pals at the party did, but I wasn’t moved.

It’s not a label I’ve seen to frequently in stores and their site isn’t helpful in our search.

What’s most important is the environment I was in.  We were welcomed into someone’s home that went above-and-beyond to host a holiday party, and that’s the most important thing to remember.  I look forward to many more fun times with genuine and kind people to come.  Some will be written about and some will be kept internal.

All I can do is supply the best wine(s) possible and hope I’ve done my part in this.

I hope you truly enjoyed your holiday and wait in anticipation of all the fun Spring is going to bring all of us.

By the way, there’s a reason for the horses.  More to come…




Celebrating the Cherry Blossoms


And honestly the celebration of the the actual cherry blossoms is the main positive I’m going to take from this.  Because the wine, the 2014 Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir is not much to celebrate.


It pains me to say this.  At only $4, ($5 in Virginia where I purchased this) this wine exclusive to Trader Joe’s didn’t start off promising and never gained any ground or momentum.

I had purchased this wine for several obvious reasons.  First, the price was so cheap and that’s what I love about Trader Joe’s.    You can try new wines with little financial risk and the rewards can sometimes be phenomenal.   I’ve had wines from their that I’d pay $20 for that cost me less than $5.  This was not one of them.

Secondly, the label is so inviting and fits the mood of the time of year.  If this were in the winter or summer I may bypass this wine for others that would hopefully have been more enjoyable.

Finally, as I just stated, it’s Cherry Blossom season in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. And it may just be beginning or ending in your neck of the woods or your side of the world.

The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC is something I always looked forward to attend with family and friends when I lived closer to the area and when I was younger. For reasons due to large crowds, other priorities, or life in general I haven’t attended in quite some time but hope to do so again, either before this festival ends (this weekend as of this posting) or hopefully next year.

This wine was hopefully going to raise my enthusiasm level but it didn’t come close. Upon opening the nose gave an ominous sign of things to come.  It smelled rancid and turned for the worst.

My friends wanted to give it a few minutes to breathe and I was all for it.  We were already outside enjoying ourselves and another few minutes would go by quickly.   There wasn’t a rush.  A few minutes might have turned into 30.  I honestly don’t recall.  And at the time and in hindsight it didn’t matter.


Not even the aerator could save this one.


This synopsis by Trader Joe’s themselves is incorrect in my opinion.  I tasted no berries, no mocha, no toasted oak, or anything period.  I’m not even sure oak would have been able to save this thing.   That would be best used for a wine with robust flavors that would only be enhanced by oak.    This wasn’t fruit-forward by any means.  If I were to make a generic joke, I would actually call this fruit-backward.


Even after a glass a piece, my friends and I had half the bottle left and we couldn’t do any more.  It was requested I take this back home with me but I didn’t.  Where that bottle is now I couldn’t tell you.

I’d keep the bottle just for the label but couldn’t drink that wine any longer or ever again.

Here is my written history of Trader Joe’s exclusive wines.


As for the website listed, it redirects to something else.  Think of that what you will.


I do have another positive.  This is the first time the silicon wine glasses were broken out. These were a gift from me to my friends, and they were happy to use them on this day. And the day was gorgeous.  The glasses themselves made for a beautiful visual even though our wine was unsatisfactory.


These glasses will be broken out again and as a matter of fact they were.  But I will save that post for down the line.

This was not the inspiring wine I was hoping for.  When it comes to honoring and celebrating the cherry blossoms, no motivation is really necessary, other than to get out of the house.   I was hoping this wine would add a little boost to that, but that didn’t happen.

I hope you all have been having an amazing Spring and if you’ve been to see the Cherry Blossoms I envy you, and I hope to do the same soon.  If you haven’t gotten the chance, at least in Washington, DC, this weekend might be it.

That’s the fun of the the beautiful weather months.  All kinds of awesome festivals and events will be happening and I hope to celebrate some of those with an equally awesome wine to commemorate those special days.

I look forward to it.



Earth Hour 2.0



Helping this universe in any way, shape, or form shouldn’t be a one or two time thing. This is a two-post thing but I wish it could be longer.  But it wasn’t supposed to be.  Earth Hour is a beautiful event.

After last weeks intro, it’s only fitting that I finish with a wine that is not necessarily the most sentimental to me, but one is definitely one that has always tasted the same, tasted great and tasted like any good wine should.

The 2015 Charles Thomas Cotes du Rhone Rouge is a wine I’ve had for several vintages and seen it at many a wine shop, seen in on many a wine list at the bar, and found it to be all around accessible and approachable.  That’s what you want from a wine like this, especially the latter.   Oh and of course the price. $10, give or take is the norm but I would pay a little bit more for this.  The 2015 especially.


This is even better than I remember ever it ever tasting.   This not meant to be an insult, but only a compliment, but for some reason it actually sipped better than it had any reason to.   I hope that makes sense.  It’s not supposed to be this good.   $10 wines are good but not always this good.   I also hope you sense the facetiousness.

It’s heavy on the fruits.  Yes it’s that fruit forward term you may have heard about.  The berry fruits take over and for the occasion this was perfect.  And with the hearty meal of meats, veggies, and pastas, this was even more the perfect wine to pair with this meal.


It’s a lot lighter than many Rhone Rouge’s I’ve had, and even with this breakdown (50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre), it’s a wine even exclusively sweet wine drinkers can appreciate.

Yet this is a wine you can have with anything.  I also thing that after the first bottle, this was even better and more refreshing than I remember.

What also helps is I wasn’t alone in my sentiments.   This wine never had a chance.  I think I was lucky to half one full glass.   It was being drawn to like a magnet.  Or maybe it was the ratatouille you see pictured.   A perfect French dish served with an equally awesome French wine makes me happy.  Whenever you can pair a wine with a meal this in syncopation it feels validating, it feels good, and it feels victorious.

The other victory was getting a few last second photos before it was Earth Hour.

I’ll admit and admit it some more, I’m so terrible with my cell phone obsession.  It would be safe to say I’m not alone in this feeling.  For a fleeting moment I started to feel weird that I would have my cell phone turned off for an hour and be without any communication.  But that feeling was gone immediately.   The hosts went above-and-beyond in putting together a stellar feast that my words will never be able to give its proper due.

And being able to remember fondly before and during Earth Hour is better than any staring aimlessly at my mobile phone every few seconds for no good reason.   I shouldn’t have even get to this point.  I and we should embrace life without having to take a break to habitually push a few buttons and tap on the screen, and then go back to embracing life.  That’s not a healthy way to be.

I wished I hung around longer.  About 90 minutes in I didn’t see anyone need or want to use any technology.


There was enough food, drink, excellent company, and natural light that nothing else was necessary.  This should be the rule and not the exception.  It’s unfortunate that I’ve got to this point.  It’s not even something I should claim ownership on, but it’s something that can be remedied immediately.  Wow.  This is a wine blog I know, not cell phone addicts anonymous.  I rather be addicted to one over than the other.

The moral to all of this is life is good.  Wine is good.  Food is good.  People are good.  And life is good.   Hey, I just said that but it is.

For more on this wine and the distributor, click here.   But like I said, it’s easy to find. I’ve seen it at many nearby wine shops and I’m willing to bet you will find this at a wine shop near you.

And even more importantly, here is more on Earth Hour.

Stay healthy,