The Wine Log

I'm on the hunt for some favorite wines.  Tim is a Chianti man, which works beautifully with filling dinners but isn't the sort of wine that works well as a present when you are invited over... too heavy for many people. (I'm not a wine person. It's going to take a while to use more appropriate adjectives than "heavy")

So for a lack of a better place, I'm adding on this page to the blog to help me keep track of what I've tried. And what I like. And what I don't.

Last week at Costco I bought 3 different wines.  They were all said to have scored in the high 80's to 90 on the 100 point scale and they were all around $15.00 a bottle.  I don't mind writing that because no one I'd give them to is likely to read my blog. Right Thomas?  Right.

So the first one: A to Z 2011 Oregon Pinot Noir
Tim tasted Cherries I tasted citrus.  Both of us found it thin, although I've been told that after Chianti I'll think everything is thin.  To me it seemed under fermented, it hit the top of my mouth in an astringent way (not sure if astringent is the right word there.)  Neither Tim nor I felt we'd be comfortable serving this wine to guests or offering it as a host gift.  Bummer.  I've had Oregon wine in the past and loved it.

Oregon Pinot Noir, my verdict: skip it

We tried a Catena Malbec
Still thinner than what I am used to, but it was pleasant.  While not as smooth as I might prefer, it still seemed smooth and I enjoyed the glass. I'm going to say it "passes" but just that. It passes.  I've been told Malbecs are a popular wine, as this is not a wine I'm familiar with I cannot compare this Malbec to others.

Barboursville Vinyards, Virginia Merlot
I like this wine.  Tim thought it was mild, which I think was him saying it was boring.  But I liked it.  Not heavy and yes mild, but mild like it would compliment a light dinner and would do well with cocktail foods (some of the wines Tim chooses are strong and need a heavy meal to compete with them)  I found it a nice balance between sweet and dry with a little fruit flavor - but not sweet and fruity. I'm not sophisticated enough to tell you what kind of fruit.  I don't think we bought this one, I think it was a hostess gift.  So I'm going to need to research the price tag. But I would be comfortable serving it to guests or gifting it myself. (looks like it is frequently found under $20. not bad.)

So a white makes the list - yeah I know. We are red wine people, but I was at a party where they were serving a Chardonnay by Trump Winery and the caterer had an open bottle they sent home with me. I rather like this wine. I looked it up and it can be bought on the website for $16. I don't know if it is carried in local stores (it is a Virginia Wine so surely it is...)

trump winery, monticello, chardonnay, white wine, virginia wine

September 2015: I have found a lovely service "Bright Cellars" how? somebody tweeted a link, to a 50% off coupon and a survey. The survey is to help choose wines - and it was cute and funny. What kind of chocolate do I like? what kind of juice? and so on. So I gave it a try and a box arrived and I'm blogging about all that on the normal page however I have tried a white:

I believe this is the Cambridge Cellars Limitied Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Bright Cellars offered it at $15 (plus all the discounts)
It has a nice "clear taste." I don't know how else to describe it. Crisp? I think people say wine is crisp- and clear. It was a nice white. I think it would be a good choice as a hostess gift for a white wine drinker. Would I buy it for myself again? Maybe not - I'd like to try another. 
Want that link for 50% off? try this and if you use it I get a free bottle
A find from Bright Cellars: Piccolino Rosso Sangiovese 2014 I rated it a 4 star out of 5. Wine Ends ( says "TASTING NOTES: Notes of strawberry and rose characterize this Sangiovese. This wine has a lush body, with a nice lingering finish." Rather enjoyed it. It is sold out, but listed as $13 bottle. I'd buy more for me, and for my friends. I know nothing about Sangiovese - is that a kind of wine? Wikipedia answeres: Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove" Whatevs, I like it.

April 2016: Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Not my favorite. Not sure I'd buy it as a hostess gift - I'll defer to a white wine drinker on that.

July 2016: I love, love, love this wine! 
So this is a gorgeous merlot. I have no idea where it came from. Maybe a hostess gift at some time? I tasted the blackberries and wondered, is that just suggestive from the label? But no, you taste blackberries, not sickly sweet berries, but black berries in a lovely warm, full, not sweet sort of way. Gorgeous. Best part, it is available online for under $10.00 a bottle. No lie. For example try here:

merlot, wine, wine log, blackstone
Blackstone Merlot, my new favorite wine.
Sept 2016:  Another one to try from Bright Cellars: This Chancelles Rose 2015. Light and Fruity. Nice if you are looking for something of that nature. I do not tend towards fruity wines and this one is a bit sweet for me. But I'd say worth a try.

sweet rose wine, fruity, rose, chancelles, 2015, bright cellars

Nov 2016:
Images to come
a pick via Bright Cellars
(interesting aside: a search on Acopio brings up a trademark registered to, this was a surprise, Bright Cellars Inc. Wait what? So is this their wine?)
Anyway - this is a nice little wine. I find it subtle, easy to drink, perhaps a bit thin. I'm sure someone will mention somewhere cherries or berries, I'm not sure. Little bit of acid on the tongue at the end. I feel I'm getting cheeky in my writing now. Time for bed.

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