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Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – Central Coast, CA

What do Warlock Charlie Sheen, and Wine Have in Common?

Malibu, California

I know you’re waiting for some great punch line, aren’t you? I’ll leave that to the Warlock himself. He’s much better at them. The thing that Charlie Sheen and wine have in common is Emilio Estevez, of course!

It seems that more and more celebrities are getting into making their own wine and Emilio Estevez is the latest one that I’ve heard about. Apparently one day he decided that he wanted to grow more grapes and started tearing up his front and back lawn (much to the astonishment of his neighbors…or otherwise known as his dad, Martin Sheen, who lives down the block) in order to plant more vines. True story!

Although everyone thought he was weird for doing that it is starting to pay off for him and his wife. They now bottle the wine (made with the grapes from his yard in Malibu, CA and others that he has growing on other properties) under the name Casa Dumetz and apparently he’s getting pretty good at it too. The wine sells in the range of $30 to $40 dollars and the only indication that he’s the owner of the winery is the name Don Emilio that appears on the bottle.

Just to be clear though there’s no indication that Emilio or the wine is made with the same Adonus DNA or Tiger Blood as the Warlock. Just figured I would put that out there. 🙂

If any of you have tried this Casa Dumetz I would love to hear your review of it and also where you got it. It’s currently a short production wine (only a few hundred cases a year made and I think it’s only sold locally as well).

For more information on Casa Dumetz you can got to the wine’s website: http://www.casadumetzwines.com/Home.html

Sebastiani Merlot 2006 – Sonoma County, CA

From the back label: ‘Our Sonoma County wines are multi-vineyard blends sourced from premium wine growing sites throughout the county. 2006, with its long, mild fall, heightened Merlot aromas and flavors of blueberry, black cherry, and black tea. Aging in both American and French Oak barrels for eight months gave this wine its silky texture and nuances of mocha and vanilla. Enjoy with roasted meats and savory stews.’

Price: $12.99

I have to be completely honest with you. I didn’t really like this wine at all. It was too harsh for my taste. It was very spicy, oaky and….well, just too harsh.

I’ve heard that the best wines come from wineries that grow, produce and bottle their wine on site and this wine may be the wine that puts legs under my table of belief in that subject. The reason being that the last couple of wines that I really like were indeed grown, produced, and bottled on site at a family vineyard. Is this a coincidence or reality? I don’t really know but I now have my interest piqued on this subject and you can be sure that I’ll be watching to see if it is indeed true or not.

So my overall feeling on this wine is that it’s not my cup of tea. Maybe 2006 was a bad year for Merlots for this vineyard or maybe the multi-vineyard sourcing isn’t working for Sebastiani. I don’t know. It’s possible that it’s not really suited for pure drinking meaning that maybe it needs to be had with a hearty meat dish or at least with something bold. I drank this wine by itself without any food influencing its aroma and taste.

Overall I give this wine a rating of 75.

Frei Brothers Reserve – Chardonnay 2008 – Sonoma, CA

From the back label: Russian River Valley, Sonoma’s premier Chardonnay appellation, is the source of our Chardonnay grapes. With a soft mouthfeel and long crisp finish, this medium-bodied wine has bright aromas and flavors of citrus, pear, peach, and a hint of vanilla and spice.’

Price: $16.99

This clear pale yellow Chardonnay may have just changed my opinion of myself. I have always considered myself a red wine drinker and I still do for the most part but this wine was a very nice surprise for me because I really enjoyed it.

In the past I would never buy a white wine for myself to drink. My past experiences have had me deem all white wines as heartburn makers. However in the interest of learning about wines I have been forcing myself to pick out white wines as well as reds. So when I saw this wine on sale at my local Publix grocery store with the words ‘Reserve’ on the bottle I felt it was worth a try and am I glad I took that leap of faith.

The bouquet of this wine is very lemony and citrusy and the taste was subtle, smooth and mellow. I would deem it a light to medium bodied wine although the label says it’s medium I would say it’s slightly lighter than that. It’s very fruity with a crisp, quick finish and very enjoyable.

I served this wine with a vegetarian chicken scallopini and I used a bit of this wine in the making of it as well. The chicken scallopini was accompanied by beautiful steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes. This wine perfectly complimented this meal and I would totally recommend this wine for light chicken, pasta, or risotto dishes especially if they have a lemony and light character to them.

My overall feeling on this wine was that I really liked it. I will definitely buy it again and have it as a regular wine in my wine rack. I am finding it really interesting that now that I am experimenting and learning about wines three of the wines that I gave a score of 90 and above are white wines. I never in a million years would have thought that that would happen.

I guess the lesson in this is to never say you’re a ‘red wine drinker’ or a ‘white wine drinker’. You need to experience many different types, brands, and vintages in order to really find out what suits you. All these years I thought I didn’t like white wine all that much and now I am realizing that when it comes to whites I just need to find the ones that I do like.

So the bottom line is I highly recommend this wine. I give this wine a score of 95 and will definitely have it again especially when my menu calls for a nice white to compliment it.

Here’s a nice recipe for chicken scallopini from AllRecipes.com if you’re a vegetarian like I am you can easily substitute the chicken in the recipe with any vegetarian chicken alternative. I used Gardein brand ‘Lightly Seasoned Chick’n Scallopini’ and then used the recipe on the back of the bag which is very close to this one from AllRecipes.com. It came out fantastic!

Interesting Wine Facts: Fact #1 – Serve at Room Temperature

Here I would like to introduce you to a new series of posts called ‘Interesting Wine Facts’. This is where I will share a few interesting facts that I’ve learned about wines recently. So without further ado here’s fact #1.

FACT #1: Red wine should be served at a temperature of 65 degrees.

Most people have heard that red wine should be served at room temperature and never put in the fridge. The fact is that in the old days in European wine country that was indeed true and for the most part is still true however, ‘room temperature’ there is different then say here in Florida. If I serve my red wine at room temperature you’re going to get a nice hot wine most of the time.

The fact is that it is best to serve wines at their suggested temperature rather than some arbitrary, nondescript instruction of ‘serve at room temperature’. The actual  serving temperature for most red wines is 65 degrees F. If you are in a cooler  climate you probably can achieve that by leaving the wine at ‘room temperature’ but if you’re in a warmer climate it’s perfectly okay to put the bottle in the refrigerator for an hour or so, use a bucket of ice to chill it for 15 to 20 minutes, or any other method to get it to reach its optimal temperature. No one is going to take your head off for doing that especially if they really know their wines.

Stone Cellars by Beringer – Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – Napa, California

Last night I sampled this Napa Cabernet Sauvignon by Stone Cellars (Beringer). I found the color and clarity to be dark burgundy and clear.

When I inhaled its bouquet I could have sworn I smelled brown sugar. Is that possible? (I’ve really got to get to that wine course next week 🙂 ). I also detected dark berries and almost what seemed like damp leaves. Not too appetizing probably but that’s what I was smelling.

The taste was very spicy as well as gave me the impression of overripe grapes. I sat there for awhile trying to come up with a better description of what I was tasting but it just came back to a vision I was having of overripe fruit/grapes. I don’t know if this is actually the case with this wine but it’s what I was tasting and visualizing every time I took a sip.

This Cabernet had a long smooth finish though.

My overall feeling for this Cabernet Sauvignon was that it could have been a really ‘Wow’ wine had it not been for the overripe fruit that I was tasting. Now I’ve heard that sometimes this is a desirable thing in wines and that it pushes the limits of the grapes and proves for a more mature tasting wine and maybe that’s the case with this wine. I really don’t know what the intention was for this wine when they made it. I just know that I must prefer a more youthful wine. I generally like fruits and veggies when they are in their prime not when they are starting their demise. I feel like this wine was starting it’s demise before it was even made. Again, that’s just my opinion folks and it’s really more of a theory at this point.

I do know that I’ve recently read in magazines such as Wine Spectator that 2008 was a very trying year for most Napa wines. The growing season was less than ideal and many of the crops and therefore the wines were affected by that. I think that it may be possible that that’s the case with this wine. It is a 2008 vintage and it would really make sense that that is what happened here.

Overall I found this wine to be okay. It was drinkable but I wasn’t thrilled by it. I’ve heard that Napa is known for it’s Cabernet Sauvignon so I won’t let this turn me off at all. Like I said it was drinkable but it just didn’t ‘wow’ me. I’ll try other Napa Cabs and see how they rate (I’ll make sure it’s not a 2008 though).

Buzz factor: 5, it gives a bit of a buzz but not much.

Overall likability: 7, I give it this high of a score because I really can see the potential of this wine. It’s smooth and I want to really like it but something is just off to me.

Price: $9.99

Frey Natural Red Organic Wine – California

In my quest to check out organic wines and find something that my other half can drink I found this nice bottle of biodynamic red table wine.

The color was bright, clear red/garnet and it swear I smelled cherries.

I found the flavor to be well balanced, mellow and light bodied with a slight taste of cherries, chocolate and could that be licorice? I don’t even like licorice but I swear I tasted it a bit and I didn’t mind. 🙂 This wine also had a slightly dry and long lasting finish.

Overall I found it to be a really nice, pleasant wine that would go with just about any meal particularly a vegetarian one.

We had this wine on New Year’s Eve with a few wonderful recipes that I found. We started off the evening with a Hot Spinach Red Pepper Dip from Allrecipes.com. The main course was a nice polenta dish called Polenta and Vegetable Bake from Eatingwell.com and later we followed it up with a desert that allowed me use some of the pumpkin flesh that I got by sacrificing my Thanksgiving pumpkin. It was a tasty Pumpkin Parfait from Cooks.com though if I were to make it again I would make it a little sweeter (not much but a little bit).

Buzz factor: I would give it a 4. It didn’t have that much of a kick but it was nice and mellow.

Likability factor: I gave it an 8. It’s a nice wine that didn’t give my other half a headache and it tasted really nice. We will probably get this wine from time to time.

Price: $9.59

So that’s it for today. Stay tuned for Wednesday’s post on something I am sure will be really informative and change your life so don’t miss it…okay, I don’t know if it will REALLY change your life but it might, who knows? See you then.