berry · Chambourcin · red wine · sweet · under $20

2011 Three Ships To the Wind

Friends and I picked up this beauty on a trip to Gettysburg shortly before the Christmas holidays.  The Adams County Winery store in Gettysburg graciously offered FREE wine tasting on our choice of three bottles.  I purchased two of the Three Ships to the Wind red wine.  Personally I enjoy a dry wine but my husband favors the sweet stuff a little more.  One bottle was uncorked Christmas Day and was inhaled within 10 seconds by our guests.  I didn’t even get a glass!!!  No worries though; I bought two!  Cracked the second one open for a solo glass the other night.  I ended up nursing it for an hour or so as it is really sweet which is not my favorite.  However, my husband loves it and our guests at Christmas couldn’t stop raving about it.

The wine is a very sweet and fruity and when chilled is crisp and refreshing (probably better for a summer day than the middle of winter!).  It leaves zero after taste and is perfect for those wine drinkers who “like” wine but don’t really LIKE wine if you know what I mean.  It’s a light weight red; Chambourcin blend.  Kudos to The Adams County Winery for this sweet bottle of red.  We’ll keep a bottle on hand for our guests that say they’d like to try a red but say they don’t like heavy or dry wine.  Just this evening I paired it with our steak dinner; worked out quite well.  I would have preferred a Shiraz with my steak but all in all it was a good experience.

Oh BTW they are changing their label and put up this promo picture on their Facebook page.  I like the new label!

bad wine · berry · Cabernet Sauvignon · plum · red wine · under $10

2005 Papio Cabernet Sauvignon

Boasting luscious plum and ripe berry flavors this wine does not hold up to its label.  It’s almost as if this after taste happens at the beginning; BEFORE I even taste the wine.  My sense of smell picks up the rancid bite and I make a face even before I try the wine.  It’s terrible at the beginning and then mellows off.  I can’t pick up on any of the flavors becuase of acidity of the wine.  I wouldn’t go as far to say the wine had gone bad but with a 2005 date it could be on it’s last legs.  This wine was brought to a dinner party and the person who brought it forgot to take of the DISCOUNT sticker on the wine (it cost $5).  After researching more recent years 2008 and 2009 it appears they are all priced around $5.  I had to to cut the wine with some Ginger Ale.  The sweetness from the Ginger Ale made the wine tolerable enough to drink (hate wasting it).  I do think the rest of the bottle will need to down the drain. Maybe I’ll pick up a “newer” bottle of Papio some time in the future but I’m going to need awhile to get over this experience.

bittersweet · chocolate · dark cherry · red wine · Spain · Tempranillo · under $10

Lucky Duck Tempranillo Spain

So I’m checking out the bottle to see where it says what type of wine it is; you know Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz etc.  I looked the bottle over thoroughly and found that I needed to actually Google Tempranillo.  Turns out it is a type of Spanish grape that ripens earlier than others.  The label Tempranillo wine actually refers to the type of Spanish grape used.  It is sometimes mixed with other red wines but with Lucky Duck it is purely Tempranillo. I always like trying new things!

The wine itself is very dark in color.  Digging the dark cherry flavors along with the bite of the bittersweet dark chocolate.  Leaves a bit of a spice after taste and even 5-10 minutes after swallowing a sip I can still taste the flavors on my pallet.  I tried the wine with olives as suggested on the back of the bottle and the combination was so delicious!  I don’t care too much for olives by themselves as they are usually too salty but the bittersweet in the wine complimented the saltiness of the olives perfectly.  Moved on from olives to pasta with vegetable garden sauce and the combination with the wine was satisfactory.  You really need to try it with some salty foods like cheese or olives to get the full affect.  I’d serve this at a dinner party with appetizers.  It’s a bit to bitter for me to enjoy on its own in large quantities (half a glass tops when drinking it solo).  Great wine for the price (~$5).

blackberry · Cabernet Sauvignon · cherry · currant · red wine · under $10

2008 Snap Dragon

A flavorful California red (2008).  Winery notes: 

“Cherry, blackberry and spice with a hint of currant and smooth tannins.”

I never taste a wine for the first time and try to pair it with food.  Unless I’m out at a restaurant or at a wine tasting I try and have a solo glass after the evening meal so I can focus just on the flavors.  My first impression of this wine was YUM!  No rancid after taste (great job with the tannin)!  It left heart burn at home (a problem I usually have with red wines) which made this wine a very smooth choice.  I easily picked up on the blackberry notes and found the aroma to be delicious!  Subsequently my husband and I enjoyed two more glasses a piece!  This would go well with a nice steak and we’ll be sure to have this as a regular choice off our wine rack.  Priced under $10/bottle it’s really an easy purchase to make.

Absolutely love the background story the vineyard created for this wine. Directly off the bottle…. 
“Legend has it… long ago, a farmer befriended a dragon using the creature to guard his crops from raiding poachers.  Flying overhead, the dragon would snap its jaws causing thieves to flee empty handed.  Upon the dragon’s demise, the farmer planted a vine over its majestic body, which in time grew into a vineyard.  Each harvest, the spirit of the dragon lives on inspiring the creation of these delicious wines!”