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Cliffside, Central Coast Chardonnay, 2012

by Jason Lightner April 23rd, 2014| White Wine, Wine

California, Chardonnay, 2012


Once again, we're sampling a wine from the Cliffside gift basket. This time we've got our mitts on a Chardonnay, so we've chilled it to a cool 50 degrees fahrenheit, and are about ready to enjoy. Although it's never been my style to play by the rules of service temperature when it comes to wine, I decided to give it a go this one time to see what happens. Oftentimes I find wine enthusiasts to be a bit on the windy side, as much of the pomp and circumstance surrounding wine culture comes with a large
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Sediment in Wine

by Joe Shotkus April 17th, 2014| Ask the Bartender
bottles-181224_640Upon finishing a bottle of wine, I noticed a good amount of sediment in the bottom of the decanter.  Should I strain wine into the decanter to avoid finding any in my glass? Does sediment adversely affect the flavor of the wine?

Should you strain it? No. I mean, if it bothers you, drink as you please but it will not adversely effect the flavor of your wine. A lot of producers send their wine through rather strenuous straining procedures to make the wine as palatable as possible, making sure it fits the color, complexion and flavor of the style.
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Gnarly Head, Authentic White, 2011

by Jason Lightner April 9th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
white wineGnarly Head

California, Winemaker's White Blend, 2011


As we touched on previously, whites have never quite been my thing, but as I sample more and more great wine, I find my tastes becoming ever more varied. This is the sort of thing all wine fans should hope to achieve on the road from the days of simply enjoying wine, to the eventual time when one might be considered a connoisseur. It's a long ways off, my friends, but we're getting there, and I'm excited to have you along for the ride.

Gnarly Head has been producing a plethora of wines for
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Once Upon A Vine, The Fairest Chardonnay, 2011

by Jason Lightner April 2nd, 2014| Wine
ouavOnce Upon A Vine

California, Chardonnay, 2011


Far be it from me to limit my enjoyment of incredible wine to a single subset of varietals based simply upon the color of the grapes involved in the process. That, my friends, is what they call a folly, and I see no need for follies here today. It's an equal-opportunity world of drinking and merriment, you see, and with the weather breaking, it's high time we started enjoying the dry and refreshing taste of a beautiful white wine. As a beverage like something out of the storybooks, Once Upon A Vine's The Fairest
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Cliffside, Monterey Merlot, 2011

by Jason Lightner March 26th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
wineglass on glassCliffside

California, Merlot, 2011


While my taste for red wine continues to evolve, I am always drawn more to the drier, earthier flavors, than I am to the tart, jammy notes produced by some varietals. Undoubtedly, there's always a time and a place for such flavors, and finding the appropriate setting can be nearly as much of an enjoyable task as enjoying the wine. It's become somewhat of a game for me to keep my options open, and to enjoy a variety of experiences, both good and bad, in order to achieve balance. Before I get too terribly zen on our
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Dead Bolt, Winemaker’s Red Blend, 2011

by Jason Lightner March 19th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
shadowineDead Bolt

California, Winemaker's Red Blend, 2011


Long has it been my practice to stay away from blends. As a creature of habit, I prefer the comfort of knowing, generally, what I'm getting into well ahead of time. I run to the Napa Valley Cabernet for its dry oakiness, and I turn toward Chilean Merlots for their powerful and earthy flavor. I know these flavors well, and I know that, even when stumbling upon a batch which one might consider sub par, the flavors are generally in the correct vicinity. That filet mignon, so expertly and painstakingly prepared, shan't be
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Carnivor, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011

by Jason Lightner March 12th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
cab sauv


After over three years on the job, I am stepping aside as Parched No More's spirits expert and leaving the task to Joe Shotkus, a close friend and confidant, who also happens to be doing our Cocktails and Ask the Bartender pieces. After reviewing more than 150 different spirits, the time for fresh eyes is now. As luck would have it, I've been enjoying more and more wine lately, and thus will be doing our wine reviews from this point forward. Although Brendan most definitely left big shoes to fill, I

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The Usual Suspect Cabernet Sauvignon

by Joe Shotkus March 5th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
bhus boxThere were many joys of my time in North Carolina -- the trees, pulled pork, its well rounded seasons -- and then there was Franzia. There were only a few economy box wines when I was in my early twenties, but between the green movement and people like me and the culture in which I was spawned, the want for quality box wine has sky rocketed. The First I had was called Bandit, we would pull out the bag and drink them on the way to shows. The market is growing, and now some really nice boxes are hitting
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Tribunal Sonoma County Red 2010

by Jane Wangersky February 26th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
sonomaTribunal Sonoma County Red is apparently a Trader Joe's exclusive in the U.S., where it sells for $9.99 a bottle. In my part of Canada, it's $19.99, and in some other provinces it runs closer to $30. (I didn't check the unofficial Trader Joe's reseller downtown, but I don't think they're taking the "unauthorized" thing far enough to sell wine without a license.) But our bottle was a gift, so I'm not letting the appalling markup affect my view of the wine. The price in its country of origin makes it clear Tribunal doesn't pretend to be anything but
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Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

by Jane Wangersky February 19th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
Nobilo RC SB Screwcap NV (Standard_Final_JPG) [CA-ECM2018074 Revision-4]It's summer in New Zealand. I kept thinking of this last night as I sat drinking Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in a much more wintry corner of the Commonwealth. It's definitely a summery wine.

Nobilo is the name of a winemaking family of Croatians who immigrated to New Zealand in 1936; Marlborough is where they settled, now one of the world's great wine growing regions. Nikola Nobilo helped develop the Marlborough wine industry, while also successfully lobbying for legal serving of wine with restaurant meals.

Sauvignon Blanc, as I find from reading the more experienced reviewers here on Parched No More,
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Folonari Pinot Grigio

by Brendan G February 12th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
wines in windowI recently was at an event where guests were given an option. At every table there was a bottle of red and a bottle of white. The red was a fairly nondescript bottle of Italian Chianti, with which I was not familiar. The white was a bottle of Pinot Grigio with a famous, albeit maligned name. I decided to sample each. While the no name red left me unimpressed, I was somewhat surprised by the Pinot Grigio. Having worked on the retail side, in a liquor store (many years ago), I was familiar with the reputation of this brand:
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Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling (2012)

by Brendan G February 5th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
kfg etcThat time of year has come and gone again. The time that every football fan loves and hates. Loves, because the Super Bowl is upon us, and hates, because it's the last game of the year. Everyone has a different level of interest in the game. If either team happens to be the team you root for, then you will likely be glued to the television. If you're just a fan, you'll be interested, but more so for the final outcome, that may result in you winning a bet or the office pool. Then there's the casual fans, who
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