2004 KENWOOD RED TABLE WINE




Friday, 7/27, Little Rock, AR
We uncorked today's reviewed wine, a 2004 Kenwood Red Table Wine, soon after arriving home after a long week at the office. This is one of the three I picked up from the Heights store and it was by far the most affordable at $8.99/bottle. I'm not sure how easy it would be to find this as it is a 2004 and at the price I picked it up at, I'm guessing it was a close-out deal. After uncorking and giving it a moment to breathe, I poured a glass for myself and #1. On the nose nothing too complex, just hints of oak and cherry. After pouring I noted a medium, ruby red color with more of the oak and cherry on the tongue, as well as cinnamon? and traces of strawberry. Just a hint of tannin with no after bite whatsoever. At the price I paid I had to give it 4 Corkscrews based on its excellent flavor and great affordability. Another wine that I may go back and stock up on while it's still available. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

2006 PARKER STATION PINOT NOIR





Wed-Thur., 7/25-26, Little Rock, AR
Still working on the rap up of the Illinois trip and promise to finish this weekend. I did have a wine the last couple of days that I wanted to write a quick review of. The 2006 Parker Station Pinot Noir. Now, I know this label says 2005, but evidently the 2006 is so new that there are no jpegs online of the label but the only change is the year. I bought this one at Heights Fine Wine & Spirits in the older part of Little Rock. I came to know this store when we lived right around the corner from it in the mid-90's. I'm still somewhat nostalgic about it and try and stop by once a month, or so, but their prices are almost over the top. I've had a hard time finding the affordable wines I'm looking for there, and even their off-brand Australians are getting pricey. But I digress. This pinot exhibited lots of cherry and plum on the nose. After pouring in the stem, I noticed that it appeared light-to-medium bodied, which is the way I like my pinot noirs. On the palate I picked up flavors of strawberry, a little clove and oak, and just a touch of the plums I noted on the nose. Very nice, balanced finish made this one very drinkable. I easily gave this one 4 Corkscrews for its excellent characteristics and value at $12.99/bottle. This is the kind of pinot you can afford to drink on a regular basis with the flavor to make you want to. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

JUST WINE TALK: A COUPLE OF NEAT LITTLE WINE VIDEOS

Tues, 7/24, Little Rock, AR
A reader from Canada sent links to a couple of videos he produced regarding wine. The first shows how to get a cork out of a bottle when you're without a corkscrew. A great idea at that!
The second explains how to get red wine stains out. Another great little video with a good idea. I'll finish up my posts about the Geneva, Illinois portion of our trip tomorrow then its back to reviews. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine and Toast Sorin Mihailovici for his excellent, entertaining videos!

Open A Bottle Of Wine Without Corkscrew - The best home videos are here

How To Remove Red Wine Stains - More amazing videos are a click away

2005 THE FRENCHHOUSE SAUVINGON BLANC & JENICA PEAK PINOT GRIGIO



Friday, 7/20, Little Rock, AR
After finally catching up on a ton of paperwork at the office, I was able to sit down and jot a few lines about our recent trip to Chicago and Geneva, Illinois. Next week I plan on sourcing some new wine and getting back to posting reviews.
Sat/Sun, 7/7-8, Chicago, IL
The first wine we had a chance to try during our trip was on Saturday and it was a 2005 The Frenchhouse Sauvingon Blanc from the south of France. A very fresh nose on this one with a dry, fruitful flavor and a nice, balanced finish. A very good summer wine that I gave 3 Corkscrews to for taste and good value at $9.00/bottle. Saturday also brought the discovery of Eno on Michigan Avenue in the Intercontinental Hotel. A great wine/cheese bar that we spent a delightful hour and a half in. We ordered a couple of wine flights with my favorite being a 2006 Eola Hills Pinot Noir out of Oregon, while #1 had an excellent Chenin Blanc from South Africa, name unrecalled unfortunately. We also had a couple of cheese tasting flights that included three of the best cheeses I've had anywhere! Included were a Delice de Bourgogne from Burgandy, France; an Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. Hudson Valley Camembert from Old Cotham, N.Y.; and a Brillat-Savarin from Normandy, France. We of course had both kids with us and our 8 year old decided she likes fancy cheese as much as her parents! She has been going to fine dining establishments since she was a month old so I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Check Eno out if you're ever in Chicago and I understand they are planning to open other locations throughout the U.S.
Sunday brought a trip to the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building (see photo). We had a 2005 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc that was decent enough and which I would probably order again. We also had another excellent cheese tray which our daughter actually let us have a little of. I recommend a trip to the top of the Hancock with one caveat. Skip the expensive observation tower tour and head straight to The Signature Room. No charge, better views!



Mon-Tue, 7/9-10, Chicago, IL
A couple of days doing the tourist thing, i.e., The Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, left us wanting to return to our room at the Homewood Suites on Grand. Great hotel, great staff, excellent location, free breakfast and free happy hour with full buffet, makes this one easy to recommend. Although we took advantage of the free happy hour wine, we did try a 2006 Jenica Peak Pinot Grigio back in our room that was undrinkable. It was like drinking a bottle of sweet, Boone's Farm and tasted unlike any other Pinot Grigio I've ever had. 1 Corkscrew rating and over half a bottle down the sink! Tomorrow we head to Geneva, Illinois. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

JUST WINE TALK: WINDY CITY, HERE WE COME

Friday, 7/6, Little Rock, AR & Chicago, IL
After having some really top notch wines of late, two of which I gave 5 Corkscrews, I'm excited about possibly finding some more 5 Corkscrew contenders during our trip to Chicago. A family outing to our old home town commenced this morning as we rousted both kids, got them fed then it was off to Little Rock National Airport. I'm not sure who named it a "National" airport but it is somewhat false advertising. You can hardly fly anywhere direct and I don't think you can fly direct to any other country. Oh well. Our flight today was direct, on my favorite airline Southwest, and we landed in Chicago a few minutes early which is par for the course with Southwest. We got to our hotel, and after grabbing a quick lunch, we checked in to our room. I promptly went down to a store a block and a half from our hotel, just off Michigan Avenue, and grabbed four bottles of wine, three white and one red. I picked up a 2005 Rubeus of Lore Pinot Noir, a 2006 The Frenchhouse Sauvignon Blanc, a 2006 Jenica Peak Pinot Grigio and a 2005 Hogue Fume' Blanc, all at very reasonable prices compared to what I normally pay for wine in Arkansas. I've not seen any of these wines in Arkansas, hence my choosing them. I'll post a full report on these, any other wines we try while in the Windy City, and a complete recap with photos of our trip. Until then. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

2005 COPPOLA DIAMOND CLARET




Monday, 7/2, Little Rock, AR
An unexpected chance for babysitting left #1 and I anguishing over where we wanted to go out to dinner. We jumped in the car and headed for a restaurant not too far from the house that we had both enjoyed and meant to go to more often. To our surprise a large rainstorm greeted us and our destination had no covered parking. Of course, all of our umbrellas were back at the house and not in our car. We decided to head to The Peabody Hotel and Capriccio Grill. We've eaten there several times before and had always had good meals. This time was no exception but I did notice that their prices seemed considerably higher than I recalled. Even their "value" dishes, my word, were anything but. No entrees appeared on the menu for less than $17 and upwards from there. This will have to become our "special" occasion place! I did have a great glass of wine that I wanted to talk about. I first came across the Coppola Diamond Series Claret about 9 years ago when #1 and I toured the winery. I liked it then and in 9 years I have never been disappointed with this wine. Lots of cherry and spice on the nose with huge fruit on the palate and a wonderful finish. Every drop of this wine is enjoyable and I highly, highly recommend it. I easily gave this one 5 Corkscrews and this is a value up to a $25/bottle price point. And check out the winery if ever in Napa as it is a really great winery to visit. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Coppola Claret!

2000 SILVER FOX ESTATE BOTTLED CABERNET SAUVIGNON






Sunday, 7/1, Little Rock, AR
I bought today's reviewed wine, the 2000 Silver Fox Vineyards Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, more as a souvenir than anything else. I had never heard of this vineyard and saw this in the huge store in Yosemite Park, California. I paid about $13.00/bottle and brought it back to Arkansas with me to try at some future date. Well today was that future date. #1 pulled it out of the cellar so that it could warm a little bit on Saturday and we ended up uncorking it Sunday night. I poured a glass through my Vinturi and then proceeded to check out the nose. Wow! Tons of cherry and plum with a little bit of oak coming through. After that start I was anxious to give it a taste and was not disappointed at all. More of the cherry, plums and strawberry with a perfect blend of spiced oak. My first glass went much too quickly and my second glass was every bit as good as the first, if not better! I easily gave this one the much sought after and coveted 5Corkscrews. Incredible taste and aroma and at $13.00/bottle a steal for this Cabernet. I only hope I can find some around here but I'm not going to get my hopes up. Find some of this and buy it as soon as you can before they run out. Only 416 cases produced. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Silver Fox Cabernet!

2005 COPPERIDGE CHARDONNAY





Thursday, 6/28, Old Town Alexandria, VA
I started my day off with an excellent, made-to-order, omelette with a side of honey dew melon. I hopped on the Metro, the only way to travel around D.C., embarking on an all day, extremely productive, meeting. I know that's an oxymoron but this one actually accomplished something. I returned to my hotel around 4:30 p.m., or so, and promptly got out of my suit and into some shorts. As free happy hour arrived, I headed to the lobby and had a couple of glasses of the 2005 Copperidge Chardonnay by E & J Gallo. Very light yellow in color with nothing noteworthy on the nose. On the palate, a little citrus and vanilla with an "easy" finish. 3Corkscrews for this one based strictly on taste as the value, free, is always good! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!
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