Below is a picture of a ~$15 bottle of wine that Arwin, Jane, and Ravi all enjoyed. It wasn’t super special (in Ravi’s opinion), but was very drinkable and we’d all have it again.
Ravi and I brought a bottle of wine to our friend’s, Carlyn’s, birthday party about a year ago now (Friday, March 12, 2010). It was a 2008 Winemaker’s Blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot called Apothic Red. It cost $9.99 from our then new favorite wine store, Lincoln Fine Wines.
I had told the knowledgeable staff that I enjoy fruit forward, full-bodied wines that are neither spicy nor smoky. Their recommendation of the Apothic Red was spot on! Ravi, Carlyn, and I all enjoyed it and we decided we would definitely buy it again. It had good flavors, with dark red fruit and the taste of vanilla. Yum! (The label also claimed that one could detect mocha in the wine, but I did not.)
The reason I noted in my last post that the Cakebread Cellars and the Bodega Norton bottles were both “produced and bottled by” their respective vineyards was due to an interview on National Public Radio in November of 2009. NPR had a short interview with Keith Wallace who founded the Wine School of Philadelphia and who had written an article entitled “How Wine Became Like Fast Food.” During the interview, Michele Norris asked Wallace how wine is produced in the States. He revealed that 80 to 90% of all wine sold in the US is not coming from actual wineries but from large factories.
If it is made by an actual winery, the words “produced and bottled by” will be written on the label: “…If it says produced and bottled by in tiny – it’ll be tiny lettering, that wine is actually made by a real winery. But if it says something like vinted and bottled by or cellared and bottled by, that is not made by the winery on the label.”
We had a few of Ravi’s friends and colleagues from USC over last night for dinner and we shared two bottles of red wine – one Melbec and one Pinot Noir. The Melbec was a 2006 bottle from the Bodega Norton Reserva located in Mendoza, Argentina. It was a great deal at only $10. I really enjoyed it; full and fruit forward.
The second bottle, from the Anderson Valley in California, was a gift from our friend Scott. It was a Cakebread Cellars 2007 Pinot Noir, which sells for $50. It was wonderful! Fruit forward, good flavor, a bit of spice. The label on the bottle suggests it: “offers fragrant black cherry and rose petal aromas, with lush black cherry, red plum and blueberry flavors bolstered by ripe tannins, fresh acidity and subtle oak tones.”
Both bottles were “produced and bottled by” their respective vineyards.