November Wine Saturday, November 17th, 2007

KenJackSyrah I like long legs. You know, those legs that start down at your attention, and inch all the way up to your imagination. Perhaps that is why I maintain a strict red penchant. Medium to full bodied, with long sultry legs, and a heady, strong libido; there is no liquid voice that compares to a sumptuous red wine. And even though it is no secret that a Cabernet is my defacto wine partner of choice (being the most sophisticated, virile, and satisfying of varietals) I simply must make room in my palette for the splendid Syrah and it is equally inviting descendant, the Petite Syrah (Durif).

Known as Syrah in France, Argentina, Chile and most of the United States , in South Africa, Australia, and Canada it is known as Shiraz. Its history reads like a torrid love affair filled with incestuous and violent undertones of Rhone (Francois), Rome, and the Crusaders. While the petite version holds great favor with my palette (a particularly exceptional example is Bogle Petite Syrah), I have, of late, been sampling the California Syrah. As such, this month I would like to share with you the impetuous 2005 Kendall-Jackson Syrah ($12).

I say impetuous for its bold and hasty black current splash that has no sense of modesty upon first taste. Aged in both French and American oak, its backbone is slightly elusive yet intense, an unforgettable one night stand, yet not willing to give out all its secrets. Spicy and tart, paired extremely well with big flavors, like cheddar, a big fat steak in a mushroom demi-glaze, or a roasted rack of lamb. This bold and bodacious redhead welcomes savory competition and has very few inhibitions. You might even enjoy it with a juicy, messy, Paris Hilton hamburger. Or Perhaps with Paris herself.

Kiss Kiss,

dawngrrl

Dawngrrl Gametart

Wine Review - The Big Red Monster Saturday, October 27th, 2007

imageThere is nothing like the spirit of Halloween, except perhaps spirits to celebrate the spirit of Halloween.  Hallow wine

So it should come as no surprise that I would pay homage to the years greatest holiday by selecting a boo-dacious varietal like The Big Red Monster to review this month. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Store:  Albertsons
Price: $11.50
Maker: Big Red Productions, Rutherford, California
Alcohol: 14.8% (wow!)
Dawngrrl’s rating: 6 out of 10 plus 1 for the label

 

 

The Big Red monster is a wine you would most likely find on the dinner table on the set of a Quentin Tarentino movie (No coincidence that I happen to be watching Death Proof at the moment!)  Entirely labeled in theme of a 50’s horror show, down to the chipped edges on the label and cinematic quotes like “The Red Beast strikes!!” and “This will haunt you forever!”   Even the viner is referred to as “A Big Red Production”, and listed below is the line “Directed by Bob Pepi and Jeff Booth”.  How can you argue with fun like that!

 

This simple wine is not going to knock the knickers off experienced wine palettes, but you certainly can serve it at this years Boo party and it will most definitely put out.  Heavy on the alcohol content, but so easy going down, it will impress even non wine drinkers with its smooth swallow, though if your a “red” head like me you’ll find yourself aching for a little more blood in it’s bite.  Closer to a party girl then a lady; you might not want to dress her up and take her out, but she’ll be a freak in sheets! 

 

 

Kiss Kiss,

dawnsmile1

Dawngrrl Gametart

MARQ - Pinot Noir Monday, August 20th, 2007

Marq Pinot Noir When I veer from my 3 major red’s (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Shiraz) it’s because of my deep and heady secret love for the Petite Syrah.  However, termed the “heartbreak grape” for a reason, albeit someone else’s, I have to nod towards the Pinot Noir at least by way of occasional acknowledgement.  This serves by way of a disclaimer to explain that my disappointment in the first sip is not the wine itself, it is simply that it does not have the aggressive characteristics of the other grapes that I would call “heart breakers”. 

 

True is, the Pinot Noir is a wonderfully fragrant wine, almost worthy of a dab behind the ears, or at least cleavage caliber.   2004 Marq Vineyards Pinot Noir The Mossed Grove can certainly claim the same.  The nose is lovely, new world - but heavy on the cranberry, its characteristically light and spunky and for the red only connoisseur, it would pair nicely with a tuna, salmon or game fowl.  For myself, of course, breaker of all known pairing rules, I would serve this light summery red with a grilled chicken salad on the patio with feta and flatbread.  All in all if you like Pinot Noir, and want an inexpensive option ($12 high) then the Marq is all heart, minus the break. 

 

Kiss Kiss,

dawnsmile1

Dawngrrl Gametart

Wine Whine Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Geographical irony not withstanding, I have never found a St Chapelle wine that I would consider “drinkable”.  The Special Harvest Riesling is a local favorite, no doubt, and you’d be lucky to find yourself at any wine serving social event that wasn’t proudly touting it on the wine bar, but as you know I am a loyal red drinker.  Wine shopping for myself and my close wine loving friends typically includes selections such as J.Lohr, Chateau St Jean, La Crema, Coppola, Bogle, etc.  However, my vino snobbery takes the backseat when I am wine shopping for a BBQ or party.  The 15 to 20 range gets painful when there dozens of consumers, hence my bar drops to the 8 to 12 dollar range.  My point to this random drivel is the St Chapelle 2005 Chuck Devlin Winemaker Series Cabernet.  It ended up in my collection for the last SummerQ at la casa.  Sporting an $8 price tag from a less than dawngrrl par viner, I was surprised enough to partake in a second glass.  Even more surprising, I bought a second bottle, which you see there in the photo in front my little wine guy.  It’s

 

Aficionado or casual wino, this inexpensive Idahoan can hold it’s own well enough to be served at your dinner soirees.  Wining the best in class  at the Riverside International Wine Competition, Devlin delivers a garnet delight with mature enough tannins to offer rich berry flavor with deep chest appeal.  It wont compete too far above its price range, but it’s nice that my next door vineyard produced something I’d be proud to pair at parties without raping my pocketbook. 

 

Kiss Kiss

Dawngrrl Gametart