2014 Neethingshof Estate Pinotage

2014 Neethingshof Estate Pinotage

So, I know I haven’t been writing this blog for a few months now, but I swear I was using my time wisely (not)! In the interim, I moved back to socal from Napa and while I am loving being a part of the skateboard scene here again, I do miss wakeskating in northern California a whole lot. I got a new job in the beverage industry and all is going well. Fortunately, my new job exposes me to all sorts of excellent wines from around the world, so here is one of my latest jaunts!

Up for review is a Pinotage from Neethingshof Estate in South Africa! Pinotage is a cross breed of two grapes, Pinot Noir and Cinsaut and is almost exclusively found in South Africa. This was the first South African wine or Pinotage I had ever tasted before and I felt up to a little adventure.

This wine was a little different than the wines I had before. It had a dark, rich color but it was a little more medium bodied rather than heavy. Now this could have been the power of suggestion (the tasting notes said this) but the aroma seemed to smell slightly of bananas, something I had never experienced before coming from wine. Though it did remind me of bananas, I thought the aroma was very nice. I couldn’t really put a finger on what it tasted like as it was unlike anything I had before. I found the wine well balanced and quite pleasant. For the $14.99 price tag, I thought it was worth the money.

South African wine!

South African wine!

From my understanding, Pinotage can be a hit or miss for winemakers so it might be the same for tasters too. While I wouldn’t say the wine was outstanding, I would say the wine was interesting and unique. It’ll be a curveball to throw your guests this holiday season for sure. :D

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel!

A great Zin!

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel.
Price: $9.99 at Raleys.
Hello Internet world! I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve written, but I was busy getting smacked around by my wine classes (3 As and one B! woohooo!). Most of my classes had me taste between 6 and 18 wines on every Tuesday through Thursday (and even occasionally on Mondays, oh no!). I can’t believe that I wasn’t burnt out on tasting a whole lot XD.

But enough about me, on to the wine! This week I had the privilege of reviewing a Lodi old vine Zinfandel from Gnarly Head. I had tried some old vine Zinfandels and some wines from Lodi during my classes and was very impressed, so I was excited to taste this one from Delicato Family Vineyards.

This old vine Zinfandel was delicious to say the least. It had a deep, slightly clear magenta color and had a very pleasant aroma. The flavor was spicy with a mild but firm tannin structure. It was a little lighter to me than other Zins I have tried, but it had great flavor and structure (I would say it was almost velvety in texture). I found this wine to be great for either stand-up entertaining or as a table wine. Overall, I found this to be an all around excellent wine. If Lodi is putting out more wines like this, I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for wines from there!

Would I recommend it? Yep!

Would I buy another bottle? Absolutely!

Overall quality for the price? Excellent!

Chocolate time! Wine accessory!

Hello all! I know it’s been a little while since my last blog post, but I have something here to get rid of the Monday blues on this allergy-inducing-but-lovely spring day in northern California. It isn’t wine, but it is a, shall we say, wine accessory :D.

In the not-so-distant past, when I worked in a wine tasting room, I would often be so tired by lunchtime I would be in a funk for the rest of the day. I even had to use energy drinks to keep the smile on my face while handling the huge volume of tasting room visitors. Fortunately for me (and my internal organs I’m sure), I was saved from energy drinks by Equal Exchange’s chocolate bars. Their delicious, fairly traded chocolate brought me some much-needed optimism in my busy day :) and I no longer had to rely on overly-caffinated beverages.

Equal Exchange has been putting out my favorite chocolate bars and they have many flavors ranging from milk chocolate to caramel crunch to mint and beyond. Today however I have a delectable “very dark” chocolate bar, one that would go excellent with a very nice Cabernet Sauvignon or a Port (sorry my mouth just started watering). The bar is 71% cacao and the sugar and cacao are both fairly traded-something I have never seen from another chocolate producer. Equal Exchange even prints the story of some of the worker co-ops they work with on the inside of their packaging. I am a big fan of the fair trade movement and this chocolate bar is perhaps one of the best examples I can give of how the fair trade movement is putting out great products. Equal Exchange also deals in coffee, tea and a myriad of other products, so be sure to check them out!

Have a fantastic Monday everyone!