Barefoot Red Moscato Review

Name: Barefoot Red Moscato
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: Non-Vintage
Price: $5.99

I’m not sure how to categorize this wine. It’s a Moscato, which is supposed to be white. It’s named “Red” but due to some apparent mixing of red and white wine it has a color that I’d describe as a rose, maybe a touch darker.

It smells and tastes like cherries. It’s very light and slightly effervescent, as a Moscato ought to be. There’s a very light touch of acidity on the short finish. This is a deft addition to the Barefoot portfolio because a red Moscato is somewhat intriguing and while the flavor is sweet, it’s several shades less sweet than the Barefoot Sweet Red wine.

This is a prototypical summer wine. Good for pleasing crowds of people who aren’t wine connoisseurs, in fact, it closely resembles my memory of what a wine cooler tastes like and could easily be altered into a passable sangria. I wouldn’t bring it to a party unless I was crashing, but if you used it in the punch bowl at your own affair, none would be the wiser.

Bottle of Barefoot Red Moscato wine

Kris Pinot Grigio Review

Name: Kris Pinot Grigio
Type: White
Origin: Italy
Year: 2013
Price: $12.99

Kris is consistently one of my favorite summertime Pinot Grigios. It has gotten a bit more expensive over time but I found a great deal on this bottle at a Wegman’s market. Kris makes a more substantial Pinot Grigio than you typically find. Many wines of this type are so light and delicate that there’s barely any flavor in my opinion. It’s a wine for folks that don’t really like wine. Kris always makes theirs with more color, character and flavor and this one is no exception.

It has a light straw color with an aroma of citrus and honeysuckle. There’s a hint of vanilla when it first makes contact with your tongue and a light mouthfeel. The flavor progresses with some light acidity, a slight nuttiness and more citrus fruit. This is another great, affordable Pinot Grigio from Kris, highly recommended.

Bottle of Kris Pinot Grigio

Trying Out Trader Joe’s House Riesling

Name: Joseph Handler Pfalz Riesling
Type: White
Origin: Germany
Year: 2013
Price: $6.99

I was in Trader Joe’s the other day in Nashua, NH and they were sampling this riesling from Germany. I don’t know how they can import a wine from Germany that doesn’t taste like crap for $6.99 but here it is. I sampled it and the guy there described it as having a pleasant acidity and not at all sweet. I’ll give him the former but not the latter.

Most people wouldn’t describe this as a sweet wine, per se. But it is described right on the bottle as semi-sweet and I think that’s on target. Many people don’t know this but rieslings can run from very dry to very sweet even though most people assume they are sweet. I once had a minor argument about this because someone didn’t believe that riesling could be dry at all. I’m pretty sure they still didn’t believe me at the end, but it’s true.

This wine is a very pale yellow color and the aroma is very subdued. The flavors are not though. It has piercing citrus flavors, a jolt of acidity and a medium finish that contains the zest of all that citrus fruit. Very crisp and clean, low (10%) alcohol and overall pretty refreshing at this price point. This style of wine isn’t necessarily my thing but it has its place for sure. In my opinion that place would be beside the pool on a hot summer day.


Bottle of 2013 Joseph Handler Riesling

Santa Rita 120 Chardonnay

Name: 120 Chardonnay
Type: White
Grape: Chardonnay
Origin: Chile
Year: 2011
Producer: Santa Rita
Price: $8.99

This is another wine I got at a grocery store for half off because it was going out of business. By the time I got there, all they had left was white wine and the vast majority of it was Chardonnay. The citizens of New Hampshire must share my general disdain for Chardonnay. I did also score a couple bottles of Sauvignon Blanc thanks to the diligent searching of my wife.

The name 120 is an ode to some freedom fighters in Chile who took shelter in a wine cellar. Makes sense, in the inevitable zombie apocalypse my first refuge would definitely be a wine cellar. Anyhow, this is an interesting Chardonnay. It’s unoaked, so it looks and tastes more akin to a Sauvignon Blanc. The color has a green tinge and the aroma is full of grass and minerals. Everything about the flavor is a little unripe, the apple and citrus flavors are of fruit that was taken a little too young. It’s a smooth flavor though and the long-ish finish is where a lot of the unripe fruit manifests. I can’t recommend this wine but it’s interesting enough that if you can score it for a discount like I did it’s worth a look.

Rex-Goliath Chardonnay

Name: Rex-Goliath
Type: White
Grape: Chardonnay
Origin: South Africa
Year: NV
Producer: HRM Rex-Goliath Winery
Price: $8.99

So it’s been a while since my last post here, I’ve been busy. If you check the dates you’ll see that’s absurd, I haven’t posted in 3 years. To be fair though, my last post was when my son was 1 and now he’s 4 and my daughter is 2, so I have been busy. I tasted a non-vintage Rex-Goliath Chardonnay today. I’ve been happy with Rex-Goliath in the past but rarely with Chardonnay, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Especially since I got it from a New Hampshire grocery store that was going out of business and had everything — including wine — half off. So I actually paid less than a five spot for this bottle.

The wine is a pale yellow, straw sort of color and the aroma is oaky. It is very smooth with subtle pear and citrus notes. The medium finish has a bit of acidity. Overall this is a serviceable Chardonnay, I’m just not a huge fan of Chardonnay. I’ve clearly forgotten a good bit of the vocabulary necessary to review wine but I can still find a sweet deal on a decent bottle!

2009 Starborough Sauvignon Blanc

Name: Starborough
Type: White
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: New Zealand
Year: 2009
Producer: Starborough Vineyards
Price: $12.99

Better chilled than room temp, this Sauvignon Blanc has a potent aroma of cat piss — er, cat urine, pardon my French — that intensifies as the wine warms. That’s an aroma I associate more with Gewurtztraminer and I find it kind of distasteful in an SB which is kind of strange I guess. It’s mixed with an equally strong grapefruit scent which is more characteristic of the varietal. The flavor is crisp and acidic with citrus and grassy notes. I like SB, especially in the summer, but this one strikes me as overpriced due to the compromised nose and simple flavor.

2009 Cupcake Pinot Grigio

Name: Cupcake Pinot Grigio
Type: White
Grape: Pinot Grigio
Origin: Italy
Year: 2009
Producer: Cupcake Vineyards
Price: $9.99

It’s a good day for Pinot Grigio. The mercury hit 95 degrees here and that’s perfect weather for a cold glass of wine. It’s terrible weather for anything else, but good for cold wine. I like my Pinot Grigio right from the fridge, which is too cold for purists but you like what you like. This Cupcake version is straw colored and smells clean with citrus aromas. It’s very nice, maybe my perspective is skewed by the temperature today but it tastes crisp and refreshing with a little acidity before the short finish. Just as a Pinot Grigio should be I think. Not as complex and interesting as the one by Kris, but perfectly acceptable.

2009 Ca’Stella Pinot Grigio

Name: Ca’Stella Pinot Grigio
Type: White
Grape: Pinot Grigio
Origin: Italy
Year: 2009
Producer: Ca’Stella
Price: $9.99

This one held some promise because it’s a Pinot Grigio, which I often like, from the Friuli region of Italy, which I also often like. And the bottle has a screw top, which I always like. The color is very pale yellow, a typical hue for Pinot Grigio. It has a crisp citrus aroma, primarily of lemon. The flavor is clean and dry with tart fruit flavors and some mineral notes. Not bad and pretty refreshing on a day like today but it’s a little dull overall compared to some of my favorite Pinot Grigios like Kris.

2005 Colle dei Venti Pecorino

Name: Colle dei Venti Pecorino
Type: White
Grape: Pecorino
Origin: Italy
Year: 2005
Producer: Colle dei Venti
Price: $11.99

This is a new grape for me, I’ve never had Pecorino before. It’s a traditional Italian grape, so named because the grape cluster resembles the head of a sheep. It has very distinct characteristics, well, this one does anyway. The color is a dark yellow, not a color you see often in wine. It also has a strong aroma, mostly of honey. The flavor isn’t nearly as sweet as the aroma promises, I think I’d describe it as off-dry. A little sweetness but not much. There is some acidity and somewhat less than ripe fruit on the flavor. It’s a very interesting wine, not really complex, but interesting. Not like much else I’ve had. My only real problem with it was that it attracted flies like, well, flies. I had to dig several out of my glass at various points.

2009 Redtree Moscato

Name: Redtree Moscato
Type: White
Grape: Moscato
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2009
Producer: Cecchetti Wine Company
Price: $8.99

I’m a sucker for a sweet wine so I saw this on sale and went for it. It’s a screw top too, which never hurts (IMHO). Has the color of a Pinot Grigio, looks like it in the bottle too, if you weren’t paying attention you’d mistake it for one. The smell is all Moscato though, apricot in full. It’s a bit sweet and definitely fruity, also apricot primarily, though not as sweet as other Moscatos I’ve had. The flavor also quickly turns a bit more tart and drab towards the quick, crisp finish. It’s not a bad wine overall but it’s not the best Moscato I’ve had by quite a stretch.