Soter

Soter

Reserve North Valley

Willamette, Oregon

2017 / 13%

In the words of one Michael G. Scott; “I’ll be back, and I am back!”  It’s a Christmas miracle boys and girls.  The man, the myth, the legend… Everyday Wine Guy is back!  Did you miss me?  It has been a hot minute!  Quick rundown of the Wine Guys life over the past few months:

School is going about as well as one would expect.  Wine Guy has been quarantined multiple times and now his school is closed till the 4th.  Rejoice!  Luckily, I personally haven’t caught the VIDS yet, and currently can’t wait to get vaccinated – so as to turn into the first round of zombies!  I imagine I’d be one of those chill zombies that still likes to party but may eat ya brains a lil.

Pinot is loving life with dad being home; aside from the one fateful day I dropped him off at the vet where he lost two beloved body parts (despite this he remains an Ausshole).  The Wine Guy’s soccer team lost in the Sectional Finals, which brought on some heart break.  Man, it’s hard consoling crying high schoolers.  Hopefully they haven’t discovered drowning their sorrows in vino like the Wine Guy!  I kid I kid…. Aside from that, he was awarded Coach of the Year and is currently living his best WFH life.

Ok, now to the wine; I know I said no more Pinot’s from Willamette, but this is some gooooood shit.  So I had to write about it.  There is a reason I didn’t include its price though… it was a gift.  And boy, do I wish I could receive gifts like this more often.  I would welcome the opportunity to become the most boujee wine drinker there is!

This is one of those wines that just makes you feel all warm and cozy inside.  It also helped that I had a great view while enjoying it… and no I’m not talking about Pinooch.  This wine pairs exceptionally well with good company and a charcuterie board!  Please, never drink this wine alone, or any Soter for that matter.  They’re just too good to consume alone.  This is a classic Willamette Pinot, dry, velvety smooth, light, with a delicious follow through.

My company for the evening claimed to taste lots of fruits, and that you should drink this wine in the fall, while she dropped crumbs all over the floor…. Per usual.  However, what really put this tasting over the top was the hummus drizzled with Greek extra virgin olive oil that accompanied the wine.  Now, I’m not just saying that because this olive oil was definitely imported by the Mafia (please don’t break my knees) but there was something about the two of them paired together.  It was phenomenal.  Aside from that, you’re going to want to drink this wine with a light meal, appetizers, or by itself.

This is an ideal holiday wine to be shared and enjoyed with those you care about most.  Especially during COVID you may have fewer of those opportunities so take advantage of them while you can!

Unlike Mase, ya boy won’t be dropping this and bouncing for good!  He’s back to stay ladies and gents!  Enjoy the holidays and I hope all you crazy cats and kittens are safe and healthy!

Cheers ya filthy animals!

WineGuy!

“Orange Wine”

Before I get into this post, I’d just like to say I have very strong feelings on the term “Orange Wine.”  While it’s being used to describe and label certain wines these days, it’s completely wrong in my opinion.  The correct term for the wine is, “skin contact” or “skin fermented” wines.  “Orange Wine” is just a flashy way to bring a classic wine process to today’s click bait happy society.

Trending in the wine world is something called Orange Wine.  Orange Wine is white wine made using red wine techniques.  While it has found popularity today, it’s actually made with one of the oldest techniques in the wine making world.  It can be traced back centuries to certain regions of the world.

To make red wine, producers begin by macerating the juice of the grapes with their pigment-bearing skins.  This technique is used to add color, and tannins, which add to the texture and structure of the wine (the taste).  When fermentation is complete, the winemaker draws the skins away from the wine to begin the wine aging process.  Conventional white wines are made differently.  Winemakers sometimes allow the juice to soak with the skins for a few hours or a day so as to keep a pale almost pigment less color.  The juice is removed much quicker for fermentation, which leads to less color and undetectable tannins.

Now to make “Orange Wine,” this process is flipped.  The juice is allowed a prolonged time of contact with the skins of the grape.  Which adds to the orange pigment (sometimes even amber).  This process adds a whole new experience to the tasting of the wine, – introducing more character, tannins, and structure.  These wines are often unfiltered which means you will find more sediment in the wine (the wine skips the filtration process, instead allowing the yeast to naturally settle on its own).  Don’t be turned off by this, just decant it or filter it when you pour it.

This process was first crafted centuries ago in the Republic of Georgia before it made its way to Slovenia and Northern Italy.  Now it’s becoming a trendy wine across the globe.  However, the best so-called “Orange Wines” succeed because of the beautiful tasting characteristics they carry.  They express many nuances of beauty and culture in profound and distinctive ways.

The term “Orange Wine” is now trendy.  It’s similar to the hipster fashion trends that start in NYC and make their way across the globe.  The true terminology for it is “skin contact” or “skin fermented” wines.  So, what I’d suggest is you try a bottle or a couple.  I’ve only had a few bottles so far and they’ve been hit or miss.  I’ve found that the cheaper ones tend to be bad.  Well not bad, just not wines I personally enjoyed.  The ones that I’ve really enjoyed have been in the $15 to $30 range.  A couple of them have been just outstanding.  I’ll add those at the bottom. 

What I’ve found so far is that skin contact wines are much more robust than their “normal white wine” counterparts.  If you’re like me, someone who prefers red wine over white, this might be a good lead up to expanding your interests in white.  When you find the right bottle, they really do taste delicious and nothing like your “standard” white wine.  They’re refreshing, robust, crisp, dry, and just all around a fun tasting experience (excellent summer wines).  You really can taste the tannins that you’d generally find in red wines.

If you have a store that you frequent often and trust the manager or salesperson, ask them for their recommendation.  Skin contact whites are a little tricky to find so you may have to broaden your search a little more.  The two that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far are The Hermit Ram – Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Field Recordings – Skins. These two have truly been superb.

This has been a slightly different post; however, I hope you enjoyed it!  Now you can go join the trend with a little more knowledge of the history of skin fermented wines for your next conversation.

Meinklang

Meinklang

Prosa Rosé

Burgenland, Austria

2019 / $17 / 10.5%

We have a new #1!  You heard it here first!  (Because where else would you hear it?). New.  Number 1!

“No matter if you like it, here take it, sit down and write it!”  This shit is fire!  Straight fire flames!  Ya mans went on a search for the perfect summertime drink and knocked it out of the park!

When given the choice between aqua naturale or aqua con gas, ya mans always goes con gas.  I’ve gotten into some heated arguments with some folks who will remain nameless, over this particular topic.  In my opinion, there is nothing better than a cold crisp drink with some bubbles to it.  It’s refreshing, it’s delicious, gives ya a lil burp here and there, and it’s just ideal during warm months.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoy cold natural water but when given the opportunity at a restaurant my boujee ass will go con gas all day every day.

Meinklang is a frizzante Rosé and it’s just delicious.  If you’re like me and enjoy frizzy drinks, then you’re going to want to get a bottle of this!  It reminds me of an Aperol Spritz!  And boy do I love a good Aperol Spritz.  While the tastes are nothing alike, the carbonation and refreshment of this bottle are on point!  When you drink Prosa, you’ll wish you were sitting in Piazza Della Signoria, eating cured meats, smoked mozzarella, and listening to the songs of Florence!  Instead, you’re… doing quarantine stuff.  True, Meinkland is far from Italian, but that’s what Daniele is reminded of.  So, take it or leave it.

Seriously, I cannot recommend this enough.  It’s really good wine (like delicious ass tasting wine) that is really refreshing.  This is ideal for the summer.  You’re not going to drink this in the winter.  So, I suggest you buy a few bottles, throw them in your fridge and have them handy for a warm summer evening.  This wine goes perfect by itself or can easily be paired with all kinds of foods.  I actually had it with a Shake Shack burger, and it was DYNAMITE (insert good times – dynamite videos)!

This wine combines two of my favorite things…  Wine and bubbles.  I’m a full-grown, Pre-K man child.  Getting drunk is essentially you returning to your 4-year-old self anyway.  Buy it.  It’s only $17!  Drink it.  And if you don’t like it, unsubscribe. 

Taste – 9

Smell – 8

Recommend – 10

Complexity – 7

Price – 9

Overall – 43 out of 50

Find it Here!

Doesn’t show it, however for Westchester peeps you can find it at Suburban Wines and Spirits in Yorktown.

Whispering Angel

Château d’Esclans

Whispering Angel

Côtes de Provence, France

2019 / $20 / 13.5%

It pains me to write this review.  It really does.  I’ve known about Whispering Angel for quite some time.  Before quarantine life, I saw it regularly at bars and restaurants.  I always assumed it was made famous by some influencer and now every basic white betch had to have it.  Whenever I’d talk to a basic white betch about Rosé, they’d always bring up “Whispering Angel this, Whispering Angel that.”  I’d always shrug it off as another unsophisticated Rosé drinking white betch.

Well guess who’s unsophisticated know!  This guy! 

The setting was ideal for Rosé (as you can tell from the photo).  Warm, sunny, Spring afternoon.  Peruvian corn, Chilean corn salsa, roasted salmon, and rice chips.  Oh man, just writing that sentence makes my mouth water and wish for more days like that!  There was of course, a fire burning, and the ice cream man’s truck bells ringing I the background.  It was an evening that made me forget about all the shit going on this world.

I’ll admit, all I wanted to do was hate this wine.  But it is, in fact quite delicious.  It’s the kind of wine you can drink on its own or pair with a light/salty meal.  It went exceptionally well with the Peruvian corn.  If you’ve never had Quicos, I’d suggest you head on over to Whole Foods and buy yourself some.  After you romp through Whole Foods you might as well find your nearest liquor store and pick up some Whispering Angel too.

This wine is exactly what you need when attending a pool party.  You’re there for the sun, the pool, the scantily clad individuals, but more importantly to party!  While today, you may not be able to party quite like the good old days, you can still dress down and get wasted in your home thanks to some Whispering Angel!

Ah the everyday wine guy sure does miss a good pool party right now.

Taste – 8

Smell – 8

Recommend – 7

Complexity – 6

Price – 8

Overall – 37 out of 50

Find near you Here!

Delivered to your door Here!

Zestos

Zestos

Rosado

Old Vines Garnacha

2019 / 13% / $13

When it comes to wine in the Fierro family, the only one who truly knows what they’re talking about is the Matriarch.  Mrs. Diana Fierro.  If you want suggestions – where to buy, what you should buy, etc.  She’s the one to ask, especially when it comes to white and Rosé wines.  Remember the scene from 300, where King Leonidas turns to his wife to get her approval?  In the Fierro household, before you open a bottle of wine you better get that nod from Diana, who claims to only buy Rosé from the Provence region in France (peep bottle from prior review); they’re usually the best.  For this review in honor of Diana I decided to open a Rosé from Spain to see how it fared.

Turns out this is a dangerous Rosé.  This is the bottle you open when you’re trying to have a good time, but still want to drink a great wine!  I could have easily downed a second bottle of this if I had one available.  It tricks you into thinking you’re drinking delicious water, but before you know it you’re in your boxers, two brownies deep, watching old episodes of Very Cavallari (wondering how Jay could’ve messed this up!?), and the dishes won’t be washing themselves!  This wine just goes down so easily while giving you some delicious tasting notes.

Needless to say, I discovered what “too hungover for remote learning” feels like the next day.  It doesn’t feel good if you’re wondering, especially since I’m waking up to the same ole routine – which I’m getting pretty tired of!  I need to see some other people besides my family members!  Drinking this Rosé made me miss the days of playing ass goose and throwing balls with the homies.  But instead, I’m drinking Rosé solo blasting Su Lee (certified 2020 banger – pretty much summing up 2020 so far).  Su Lee is for the people!

I digress.  I’ve had a few Rosés from the Grenache grape before and have always found them to be pleasant wines.  The Grenache grape just adds a bit of weight to it and holds that characteristic through the drinking process.  I prefer a heavier grape for Rosé because often when a lighter grape is used, they come out just that; much lighter.  Don’t get me wrong I like light wines from time to time.  However, a chilled heavy Rosé is much more pleasant to drink during the summer months, in my humble opinion.

So Diana, maybe it’s time you broaden your Rosé palate and discover what it feels like to be hung over for remote learning!

Now I find out Very Cavallari has been cancelled!  Could 2020 get any worse!?

Taste – 7

Smell – 7

Recommend – 6 – Just bc this is a DRINKING Rosé

Complexity – 7

Price – 9

Overall – 36 out of 50

Find near you Here!

Delivered to your door Here!

Château de Berne

Château de Berne

Inspiration Rosé

Lorgues, France

2019 / $20 / 13%

I bought this wine solely because of how mad it made me just from looking at it.  I believe that all wine should come in a traditional wine bottle and anything that doesn’t is just pretentious.  This bottle screams pretentious A-hole from the outside.  The audacity of a vintner to put wine in a square bottle – that resembles top-shelf vodka just drove me crazy.  So, naturally I bought it… for $19.  Who’s the A-hole now?  Hook line and sunk me.

But goddamn if I’m not feelin the Berne!  These sons of bitches actually put a high-quality Rosé in that square ass, and I’m even more furious than I was before.  Berne, why you have to go and make a delicious Rosé and throw it in this stunod of a bottle!?  It’s just superb and I’m not ashamed to say it.  Call me white girl basic, but Rosé is delicious and I’m proud of that!

Rosé undeservedly gets a bad rap.  There are few smells like the aroma of a freshly de-corked cold Rosé.  I’ll rank them for you.  Number one, garlic simmering in olive oil.  Number two, wood burning fire.  Number three, freshly mowed grass.  Number four, the ocean at sunrise (yes, there is a smell).  And number five, a freshly opened bottle of cold Rosé.  Cold, crisp, and right to Dan’s heart.  You don’t agree?  Well, go kick rocks!  Doesn’t hurt that number five goes perfectly with one through four…

This wine does everything a good Rosé should do.  It’s dry but smooth, has a hint of acidity and makes me dream of warm beaches and lobster rolls.  It also went surprisingly well with tacos!  Now normally when drinking Rosé, I’m trying to live my best basic white girl life (minus the Uggs, pumpkin spice latte, and clothes from Forever 21).  And that doesn’t usually come with a $20 bottle of wine.  So, with that being said.  I’d recommend this bottle to the person who isn’t quite sold on Rosé yet.  You’re either going to realize you’ve been missing out on something fabulous or you’ll continue to be a fool and miss out on one of God’s greatest creations. 

Speaking of God.  God do I hate this square ass bottle but love this good ass wine!

Taste – 8

Smell – 9

Recommend – 8

Complexity – 6

Price – 9

Overall – 40 out of 50

Find near you Here!

Kokkinos

Kokkinos

Xinomavro

Naoussa, Greece

2013 / 14% / $17

We may not be able to fly there right now but join Daniele as he heads to Greece!  I’ve never been in person, or even experienced Greek wine (I don’t think) so this was exciting.  You’ve got to find small things to celebrate during the crazy times we’re all living through.  This may be a dark period but there is still plenty of happiness and joy out there!  And if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, now we find out Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari are getting divorced.  I’d pay good money to get Jay Cutler on the next season of Too Hot to Handle on Netflix!  Cue that up, throw him in there with Lana; the Alexa of the no bone zone and we’ll have TV magic!

Ok back to Greece.  After drinking the wine, ya boy loves Greece!  And not to mention it’s a fun wine to say.  Kokkinos!  This is a light, easy drinking wine.  It’s the kind of wine I could drink regularly and be super satisfied with.  You could drink this by itself or pair it with a light meal.  This wine does have a sort of grit to it.  It’s hard to explain but there’s a slight bite to it that kind of works; it lets you know there is just a slight hint of acidity.

I’d say this is a perfect springtime wine.  I happened to be drinking it on one of the few days of April that was in the 60’s and sunny.  The sun was setting, just a cool breeze flowing through the windows, and the birds chirping.  I haven’t put jeans on in a number of weeks and all I wanted to do was throw a pair on, grab a light hoodie, a lawn chair, and starts a campfire to drink around as the sun set behind the mountain and Fasion – Feelins playing in the background!  Simpler times!

Now, I usually shy away from getting too specific with flavors because that’s not what the everyday drinker cares about.  However, this wine just smelled and had the most wonderful hint of cranberry too it.  It was just fantastic plus it did something I’m a huge fan of when drinking wine… its tasting characteristics changed throughout the entire drinking experience.  Plus, it was still drinkable two days later which surprised the hell out of me!

Finally, reaching out to all my lovely readers!  If you find yourself drinking a wine that’s just too good to pass up; write a little guest post – I’d love to share it!

Taste – 7

Smell – 9

Recommend – 8

Complexity – 6

Price – 9

Overall – 39 out of 50

Find near you here!

Principe Pallavicini

Principe Pallavicini

Amarasco Cesanese

Lazio, Italy

2015 / 13.5 % / $20

Alright, alright my wine peoples!  I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted but let me explain!  Prior to the outbreak of ‘Rona I was in front of a computer screen for maybe 1 to 2 hours a day max.  Now with schools closed and a new-fangled work from home schedule, I’m in front of a computer for 6 to 7 hours straight.  Of course, a couple hours for videos games and my eyes are killing me from too much screen time by the time I’m ready to relax.  Turns out, the last thing I want to do when I’m done working is then sit back in front of a screen for an hour or two to write a blog post.  I’d rather just drink and relax.  I don’t think my fans would blame me for that.

I drank Principe a number of weeks ago and am mostly writing this because I first opened it when Italy was going through the worst of the pandemic.  I wanted to drink this wine and write a review about how beautiful Italy is and the amazing things that the country offers.  Then shit hit the fan here and I got sidetracked with how our lives turned upside down.  Now, I’ve settled into this new “normal” we’re all going through and wanted to swing back to this beaut of a wine!

There is no doubt that this is an Italian wine.  It’s bold, dark, dry, in your face, and hits you right in the feels.  Kind of like me.  Fair warning… once you finish a bottle of this bad boy, you’re going to be all sorts of loinsy.  Exactly all the feels you get when drinking a well-balanced Italian red wine; which is exactly what this is.  It’s no showstopper but if you’re in the mood for a solid Italian red, you won’t go wrong with this paesano.

This is a wine that has to be paired with a heavy meal.  You will not be able to drink this by itself, it’s just too Italian.  I’d recommend allowing this to breathe for at least a half hour as well.  Like many Italian wines, it’s a bit high in acidity but you can balance it off by pairing with food and letting it breathe.  The way to my heart is through a velvety, smooth, red, which this is not.  I wasn’t expecting it, but this wine is exactly the opposite of that, and it lets you know.  For the price, there are plenty of other Italian options that may be better.  But, if you’re interested in tasting your way through Italian grapes, you’d be surprised with the characteristics this wine presents.

Taste – 7

Smell – 8

Recommend – 7

Complexity – 6

Price – 9

Overall – 37 out of 50

Was having trouble finding it on wine-searcher but I bought it at Westchester Wine Warehouse for my Westchester peoples!

And it’s currently unavailable on wine.com

Cabriz

Cabriz

Colheita Selecionada

Dao, Portugal

$9 / 13%

It’s been a hot minute my wine friends!  A HOT MINUTE!  We’re in some unchartered territory with this pandemic and being on the front lines of our education system while it comes to a “halt” has put wine temporarily on the back burner for some time.  Boy have I missed you, my sweet sweet grape.  New York City Public Schools are doing about as well as you’d imagine during these unprecedented times but that’s not why Dan’s here today!  I honestly haven’t been reviewing many wines during this pandemic, because for the most part, I have just been drinking to distract myself from the everyday grind that is current life/work (don’t worry mom – not to excess!).  It’s a shame that the one bottle I decided to drink for this review turned out to be so bad!

As I drink this wine thinking of simpler times; being outside, enjoying the company of others, eating at a restaurant, I’m quickly reminded of how poor of a decision it was to purchase and open Cabriz.  I thought maybe it was just the first sip…. Maybe I needed to let it aerate a little more…. Nope!  This shit is terrible and the only reason I’m writing this review is because my Wine Peeps need to see and know this! 

Don’t get sucked into the nice marketing of this bottle and believe the hype because she stinks!  This wine claims to be the most sold wine from Dao and maybe that’s solely based on the price because the taste does not back up that claim!  I will never be purchasing this bottle again!

Look, it’s under $10, if you’re looking for something to just drink and not worry about the taste, then by all means go for it!  However, ya mans did warn you.  I will not be rating this wine; it doesn’t deserve a score.  Last thing to all my quarantined peoples – Dan missed you and hopes you’re all safe and well!  Stay home and save lives!  Then when the weather is nice and this all passes let’s get together and share a bottle and more likely multiple…

Arrivederci, bitches!