Archives for Wine

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Trivento, Amado Sur Malbec, 2012

by Jason Lightner September 17th, 2014| Red Wine, Wine
tagliatelle-pomodoroTrivento Amado Sur

Argentina, Malbec mix, 2012


The southern regions of Argentina continue to surprise and delight with exquisite wines made from some of the best varietals the country's earth has to offer. Malbec, Bonarda (Douce noir), and Syrah are among some of the more popular red varietals and, as we take a look at an offering from Mendoza, these particular grapes just so happen to be the name of the game. Trivento's Amado Sur Malbec combines 70% Argentinian Malbec grapes with 18% Bonarda and 12% Syrah to craft a Malbec blend which aims to be
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[yellow tail] Shiraz, 2013

by Charles Wangersky September 10th, 2014| Australian Wine, Red Wine, Wine
yellowtailCasella Wines

Australia, Shiraz, 2013

$16.39 (in Canada)

Australia is no stranger to good wines, no matter what you may have heard. Before the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century and its decimation of the grape vines, Australia won several international wine competitions, despite, in some cases, the French judges refusing to accept that such a good wine could not be French. More recently, however, Australia's wine producers have been the butt (sorry) of many jokes, most famously by Monty Python, who mocked the entire country's wine producers by listing the supposed good points of fictional brands like Chateau St. Wogga-Wogga.
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Coppola, Rosso & Bianco Pinot Grigio, 2013

by Jason Lightner September 3rd, 2014| California Wine, Wine
sunset-114666_640Francis Ford Coppola Winery

California, Pinot Grigio, 2013


The fertile plains of Sonoma County (more specifically Geyserville and Oakville, California) are home to a great many vineyards, producing a wide variety of incredible fruits. Indeed, Northern California is one of the main hot spots of American wine production, and has the great distinction of being one of my favorite sources. Famed film director and producer, Francis Ford Coppola, runs a quaint, family-friendly winery in the town of Geyserville, which features a restaurant, swimming pools, and bocce courts. Now is said to be a great time of year to visit the winery
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Smoking Loon, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Vintage

by Jason Lightner July 30th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
Loon Cab bottle 001Smoking Loon

Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012


While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -

Only this, and nothing more.'

Our visitor this evening hails from Valle Central, Chile. The Cabernet Sauvignon is known the world over as one of the most exquisitely bold varietals ever to be harvested. Its luscious ruby color and intense aromatics make it the favorite of many a wine lover. Combine this with the careful craftsmanship of the winemakers of Chile, and this
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Rex Goliath, Chardonnay

by Jason Lightner July 23rd, 2014| California Wine, Wine
rex goRex Goliath

California, Chardonnay


"It's a black fly in your Chardonnay..."

Those lyrics will forever haunt any occasion during which I am drinking an otherwise delightful glass of Chardonnay. It is perhaps well known that I am not what anyone might refer to as a drinker of white wine, although I have been known to dabble quite a bit, as one does. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and I'm not going to deny a good drink the honor of being enjoyed simply because of the beverage's hue. That would be both incredibly rude and unbecoming of a wine
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Masi, Masianco Pinot Grigio e Verduzzo, 2012

by Jason Lightner July 16th, 2014| Italian Wine, Wine

Italy, Pinot Grigio e Verduzzo, 2012


There's something special about blends. The artistry, the level of detail, the expert awareness of subtle changes based entirely upon slight variations in the recipe ... It's an incredible balance which must be struck in the pursuit of not only a drinkable wine, but an enjoyable and memorable wine. This is why I tend to avoid blends from lesser renowned wine producers — you honestly can't be sure they really give a damn about consistency and quality. When I find a reputable source, however, that's when I feel as though I've won the lottery.

From the textured, egg-shell
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Gekkeikan Sake, Traditional: A Review

by Jason Lightner July 9th, 2014| Wine

Japan, Sake, Traditional


We're going to take a short detour this week and talk about a wine product very near and dear to me; a beverage of Japanese origin — sake ("sah-keh"). Sake is an alcoholic drink made from fermented rice and, although many refer to sake as "rice wine," in all actuality the brewing process is more akin to beer, transforming starches to sugars in the fermentation process.

Sake can be had hot or cold, and there are many different brands and qualities to choose from. While Japan is the largest producer of sake, there are companies producing this unique beverage
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Robert Mondavi, Private Selection Merlot, 2011

by Jason Lightner July 2nd, 2014| California Wine, Wine

California, Merlot, 2011


You can't beat a good red. It's an opinion I've held onto for years, and one that I still find myself coming back to, over and over, and over again. While I've been busy exploring the South American continent, looking for all manner of intrigue and possibility, the folks over on the central coast of North America have been doing what they do best — relaxing and making good wine. Could I blame them? Certainly not. After all, they have their craft, and they stick with it, the same as anyone else.

As far as California
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Graffigna Centenario, Elevation Red Blend, 2012

by Jason Lightner June 11th, 2014| Wine
file0001857835112Graffigna Centenario Reserve

Argentina, Elevation Red Blend, 2012


Perusing the local state-run wine and spirits shoppe, I came across the Argentinian wine section... again. As luck would have it, they had one more bottle of Graffigna wine to offer and, being a completionist, I simply could not resist. We've sampled at least one red blend previously, and from what I can recall, it was okay. Always one to give a second chance to everyone, I'm looking to the talented winemakers of South America to get me back on board with the idea of blended wine.

From the silky, black label, pressed with silver lettering:
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Graffigna Centenario Reserve, Malbec, 2012

by Jason Lightner June 4th, 2014| Wine
SONY DSCGraffigna Centenario Reserve

Argentina, Malbec, 2012


Vintages are a special thing when it comes to wine. Having sampled many a fine spirit in my time as Parched No More's liquor savant, I've grown accustomed to the ability of respected distillers to craft batch after batch of fine spirits, and seemingly without effort, produce a drink which provides exactly the same flavor, year after year. Wine, on the other hand, is left to the mercy of Mother Nature — soil quality, amount of precipitation, and local wildlife all come into play when attempting to extract the same flavor from a grape varietal,
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Villa Maria, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2012

by Jason Lightner May 28th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
a-glass-of-wine-259858_640Villa Maria

New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012


With at least 15 distinct wine regions, New Zealand is an interesting choice for the wine enthusiast. Though the country mainly exists within a maritime climate, the grape varietals grown in New Zealand produce some incredibly exquisite wines. The Marlborough region lies on the northeast tip of the South Island, and is considered home to the genesis of modern winemaking in New Zealand, dating back to the late 1970s. And wouldn't you know it — that first wine just so happened to be Sauvignon Blanc.

From the sleek, khaki label, dutifully stamped "Private Bin":
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Septima, Malbec, 2012

by Jason Lightner May 21st, 2014| Red Wine, Wine

Argentina, Malbec, 2012


Hot on the heels of our review of a great Argentinian wine comes yet another great one. When it comes to drinking and enjoying wine, it is important to identify brands, varietals, and regions with which one has had success, and also to be mindful of those experiences in which the outcome proved to be less than desirable. And while the importance of keeping one's wits about them should not be discounted, it is also equally as important to branch out, and to try new things. Today is not that day, as we're taking
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