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

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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!

San Felice

San Felice

Il Grigio

Chianti Classico Riserva

Tuscany, Italy

2016 / $18 / 13.5%

Those who have heard me talk about wine before, and know me well, know my feelings on Chianti.  At times, I have described it as a “peasant wine.”  Yes, I am the son of a family of peasants, but my wine palate is a bit fancy ya’ll!  I get it, some people may really enjoy Chianti, but that shit is just basic ass wine!  In my eyes it’s for beginners and those who saw Silence of the Lamb and want to have their fava beans with Chianti.  Hold the human liver…

So why did I buy this wine?  I bought it with the hope of having my mind changed on Chianti.  Considering this bottle is under $20, I figured why not give it a spin…. Well guess what?  This mo fos mind wasn’t changed one bit.  That shit’s still basic ass wine.  There’s so much better wine out there – not only at this price but in general.  I’m sure there are a few Italians with jugs of it at their dinner table who would love to throw insults at me and disagree, but they don’t have a blog.  So, they can go eff themselves!

You cannot have this wine without food.  It was honestly painful to drink before eating.  Ok, maybe not painful but it’s just not good enough to hold its own.  This wine happened to be paired with Alison Roman’s caramelized shallot pasta.  And it you’re reading this Alison, I am single, and yes, I love you.  Kidding aside, the wine was completely overshadowed by Alison’s knock out dish.  If you’re reading this and you don’t know about Alison Roman, do yourself a favor and look her up.  Just like my blog, her recipes will leave you satisfied, and maybe even slightly in the mood…. I’d be remiss not to shoot my shot here since this will be going on the interwebs…. Alison you bring the food and I’ll bring the wine, and both of us will leave satisfied.

I digress.  Don’t buy a Chianti, just don’t.  The only time it’s acceptable to drink Chianti is if you’re in Tuscany, surrounded by a table of Italians and the wine is in a jug.  That’s it.  Plain and simple.

Taste – 7

Smell – 6

Recommend – 4

Price – 9

Complexity – 6

Overall – 32 out of 50

P.S. Ya mans has a new guilty terrible pleasure TV show maybe being reviewed soon! Tune into Netflix for some Love is Blind people!

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Survivor

Survivor

Pinotage

2017 / $20 / 14.5%

Swartland, South Africa

I discovered Pinotage while on what the The Crusher so politely describes as another “failed online relationship.”  While the date did not go as well as hoped, I was extremely pleased to find out about South Africa’s signature grape.  I’d at least call that part a success!  Pinotage was created by combining the Hermitage and Pinot Noir grapes, resulting in what I found to be a lovely glass of wine.

With this newly discovered grape, I decided to go out and purchase a bottle to review.  That’s what brings us to Survivor.  I’m going to try my best to describe this wine, but I truly had difficulty putting my tasting experience to paper.  Not because I was too far in the cups but rather because this wine really is just completely different that other wines I’ve had before.  Something different… but fantastic.  During my tasting I kept trying to determine a wine to compare it to and couldn’t quite place it.  I finally landed on Grenache as the closest but there are so many wonderful differences that make the Pinotage grape special.

This wine is one of the darkest, most beautiful wines I’ve seen in the glass.  The color though, is misleading!  I was expecting this wine’s taste to be deep, full-bodied, but it wasn’t at all.  It was light with an almost crisp/aerated follow through.  While that description might be difficult to comprehend, it truly does have this characteristic and was quite lovely to experience.  This wine seemed so fresh, crisp and just asked to be consumed.

The flavor profile was something I’ve never experienced either, and I couldn’t be happier to have discovered this grape.  It’s not very fruity, it’s dry but not overbearing, and it’s bold but doesn’t give you that long follow through.  It works very well!  Readers should be warned that this is definitely a wine with a higher than average alcohol percentage, and it can be something you don’t really realize it until it’s too late.

Ideally this wine needs to be paired with a salty meal.  Don’t drink it without food.  I’d recommend you pair this wine with a heavy meal and allow it to cut through the grease and salt.  Definitely do not eat with a light meal.  This wine really has a different feel and texture to it.  And I highly recommend you purchase a bottle to experience it for yourself.  And at this price point, I’d say it’s a win win.

I’ll have to taste more Pinotage to see if these characteristics run through the grape or if it’s just this specific producer that throws out quality wines.  But I thoroughly look forward to finding that out!

Taste – 8

Smell – 7

Recommend – 10 (not easy to throw out a 10 but I really really recommend you taste this grape)

Price – 9

Complexity – 7

Overall – 41 out of 50

Vistamar

Vistamar

Brisa Carmenère

2018 / $7 / 13%

Central Valley, Chile

I received this bottle as a gift over the Christmas break, and though I am certainly not the type of guy to turn down free wine, I admit I have a strong opinion on this particular bottle that was gifted to me.  While I no doubt appreciate the gift and sentiment behind it, I unfortunately am going to have to be a snob when it comes to this particular vino.  Sorry I’m not sorry!  Though I love you all, just know that if you’re going to gift the Wine Guy a bottle, I’m going to review it… and that review may or may not reflect on you….

This bottle of wine is fairly comparable to a show that is currently on Netflix.  And that show is… You.  If you haven’t watched the show and plan too, now is your time to turn away.  You may ask yourself why am I watching this show?  And that’s because I have been told a few times recently by different people that the main character reminds them of me, so intrigued, I tuned in.  Having seen a few episodes of it, I’m HORRIFIED!  Turns out, the main character is a manipulative, stalking, murdering monster!  Makes it hard to like or trust someone who’s named Joe from now on.  But I see how we share some similar mannerisms.

The wine!  How could I forget about the wine?  It’s not great and it’s not bad, pretty much like the show.  However, you can’t stop drinking the wine just like you can’t stop watching the show!  The more you watch the show the more you find yourself rooting for Joseph and forgetting all the horrible things he’s done.  The more you drink Vistamar the more you like it, forgetting how bad it is upon opening.  With the wine you have a reason for liking it the more you drink it, however with the show, it’s your own fault you’re in this far.

By no means is this a terrible wine, it is what it is for a bottle under $10.  It’s perfect for when you and the ladies are getting together to binge the second season of You.  You’ll forget all about the lack of texture, complexity, and the high acidity of Vistamar as you find yourself coming to like the murdering protagonist that is Joseph Goldberg.

Don’t worry, I won’t always be this judgy about bottles; especially one gifted to me.  There was just a lot of You going on at the time of my drinking of this bottle.  And it all fit too perfectly, kind of like Beck’s gut feeling.  Who knows, maybe we’ll get more wine and TV show combined reviews moving forward!

FYI – Season two of You is a real doozy!

Taste – 6

Recommend – 5

Price – 10

Smell – 6

Complexity – 5

Overall – 32 out of 50

If you find it somewhere, it’s your own fault you’re drinking it…

The Crusher

*This is the first installment of “Tuesday’s with Winey,” a series of candid interviews Second Bottle is conducting with prominent wines.  We recently sat down with The Crusher, a California pinot noir you can pick up for $12.  The transcript has been edited slightly for clarity and to remove excess profanity.  The view expressed by the Crusher are not necessarily those of Second Bottle or our parent company, The Everyday Wine Guy LLC.

The Everyday Wine Guy:  Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

The Crusher:  What is this, some kind of interrogation?  Why don’t you tell me about yourself, a**hole.  Second Bottle?  Eff that noise.  The only way I would ever be a second bottle is if I was also her first bottle and she couldn’t get enough, knamean?  If I follow some other bottle it’s like that other bottle never existed, and I just become the first bottle.  Call me back when you write a blog called “Only Bottle.”

TWG:  Sir, you arranged for this interview.  I just want to know how you describe yourself.  Flavor, highlights, fruit, alcohol, etc.

TC:  Bro.  I am the Crusher.  THE.  CRUSHER.  What else do you need to know?  I crush.  Pour me in your mouth.  Palette?  Crushed.  Sh*t, I just crushed your unborn daughter’s palette.  Want to know her first word?  Crusher.  What kind of glass should you pour me in?  Trick question.  No glasses.  They’re already crushed.  I’m like a Jewish wedding in a bottle.  L’ f*cking chaim.  I crush life.  Flavor profile?  Big, round tannins and distinct flavors.  Or, if you are not some douche bag wine blogHER (where are the emails?) — the taste of a good crush.  I’m like if wine came in all caps.  I’m like if an elephant came through your window.  Start drinking.  Or swim.

TWG:  Why so much oak in your aging process?

TC:  This guy.  Are you serious bro?  That’s like asking why there are so many inches in my c**k.

TWG:  Excuse me?

TC:  Yeah, inches in my cork.  I have a long neck.  Sue me.  That French oak is what drives the ladies crazy, for sure.  No one has ever said “that wine has too much oak.”  Or “that oak is too French.”  Too French.  Get a load of this dweeb. 

Here’s a fun fact about Sir Crushenstein.  I was named after a pro wrestler, The Crusher.  The Pride of Milwaukee.  His tag team partner? Dick the Bruiser.  Can’t say I haven’t been told that myself a few times, ya feel me?  What did Dick the Bruiser die of.  Internal bleeding.  Of course.  If the shoe fits, bro.  My namesake really fits me too.  Milwaukee is known for its blue collar wrestlers and top notch wine.  Crush’s kind of town.

TWG:  You were #31 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 best buys for 2018.

TC:  Doy.  F*cking.  Hickey.  Little known fact — the list started at 31 that year.  There was no 1-30.  It’s actually been a problem for ole’ Crusho.  I wasn’t on this year’s list because I was totally sold out.  Luckily, I’m so delicious I am still drinkable on the way out.  So I am also #1 on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 most recycled wines of, um, INFINITY.  Sh*t, there’s your second bottle.  Drink me, go to the bathroom, re-serve me.  The Crusher crushes on the way in and on the way out.

TWG:  You retail at $12 a bottle.  That’s a pretty good deal.  How do you pull it off?

TC:  You mean, hey Crush, how is it you are so delicious and affordable at the same time?  Moi?  I’ll tell you if you promise not to tell anyone else.

TWG:  Um, this interview is being recorded and will shortly be put up on my website.

TC:  [laughs uncontrollably for 3 minutes]  Yeah so for sure no one is reading this sh*t.  Maybe your mom and your next failed online relationship.  Let me know when you stop getting targeted ads for gout treatment and tape worms.  Let’s just say that I am able to stay so cheap because there are a couple of growers in Clarksburg who would be awfully sad if something bad happened to their happy little vineyards, smell me?  Ole’ Crushy swings by every couple of years, maybe some barrels go missing, some bird nets get cut during the harvest, a day laborer or two gets a green card, and BOOM.  Free pinot grapes for a little while.  HEY – don’t look at me in that tone of voice.  The Crushster gotta make a living, brosef.  Twelve bucks is low enough that you can drink me every night and not feel guilty, but no so low that Uncle Sam starts sniffing around the old ledger.  Haven’t shown a profit in years!

So, here’s another fun fact about Captain Crush.  You can only buy me in cases in Westchester.  No single bottles.  Marketing genius.  You get 12 of me, which means 4 nights of drinking if you consume me in the recommended amount, the “menage a Crush.”  Plus, every fifth case we churn out has a dummy bottle in it.  Sometimes the bottle is just water, sometimes vinegar, sometimes it is full to the brim with live ants.  I call it the “Wild Card/Wild Crush.”  Lordy, I crush myself sometimes.

TWG:  You have a lot of mass-market competition at your price point.  How do you differentiate?

TC:  I am a pinot noir, from California.  Ever been there?  The Golden State.  Where the f*cking magic happens.  Uncle Crushapatomous thrives on early morning fog off the beach, cool evenings, and fake t*ts.  Plus, show me another pinot noir from California.

TWG: There are literally tho…..

TC:  Precisely.  Not a single one.  So, I’m a novelty.  And I don’t come in a box (unless we’ve been on a few dates, amirite?).  And I have this big ass masculine C on my label crushing my name, which is “The Crusher.”  Top it off with some lying about my alcohol content (that sh*t is at least 17%), and you are made in the f*cking shade.  Grape + terroir + clever marketing + booze + sex appeal = El Crushitan flying off the shelves. 

I’m a pop and pour.  The competition is just poor, pops.  Any other questions?  Thought not.  Go back to looking like the failed abortion of Harry Potter and Cyrano de Bergerac.  Expelliarmus, loser.

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Chancellerie de Chevaliers

Chancellerie de Chevaliers de l’ Arquebuse

Beaune-Marconnets

2015 / $40 / 14%

Beaune, France

Pardon my French but this shit is legit.  This bad boy is a showstopper.  This is Dan’s kind of wine; super smooth, with plenty of structure and has a lovely kick to it.  It is well balanced and leaves you wanting more when the bottle is finished.  If you like a smooth, dry, low acidic red that changes taste throughout the experience, this is for you!  I could drink this all day every day.

The experience comes with a price tag though.  This is not a cheap wine.  However, that’s to be expected when you’re drinking wines from Burgundy, France.  Burgundy is known worldwide for producing out of this world Pinot Noirs.  And if you’re a fan of Pinot like myself, this is a region of the world you add to your travel list.

If you’re someone with a joy for wine but prefer not to have to break the bank, you splurge on this bottle only every once in a while.  $40 may not be expensive for many but for my humble drinking fix, this isn’t something I’m doing weekly, and certainly not buying it just for myself.  This wine deserves to be enjoyed with others as this particular bottle was.

Just for fun I thought I’d share what makes Burgundy the center of the Pinot world.  Burgundy is known for having the ideal “terroir” (environmental factors that affect a crops yield.  Terroir is only used when describing the environmental factors for crop production) for growing the Pinot Noir grape.  The reason the Willamette Valley in Oregon is becoming well-known, is because the valley’s terroir is similar to that of Burgundy. I’m adding this link if you’d like to read up on what Burgundy has to offer!

With all that being said, find this bottle, buy it and save it for a special occasion.  You can get by holding it for a few years, but don’t just open it for any casual night.  Find a good reason to pop this bad boy open and you will not be disappointed! And if you’re having trouble finding this particular bottle, go to any Burgundy section of a wine store and look for Grand Cru’s or Premier Cru’s and you’ll be very satisfied!

Taste – 9

Recommend – 7

Price – 5

Smell – 8

Complexity – 8

Overall – 37 out of 50

Patricia Green Cellars

Patricia Green Cellars

Reserve

Pinot Noir

2017 / 13.7% / $28

Willamette, Oregon

Yes, we’re back in Oregon again, but so what?  Dan don’t care!  I drink, and I know things… and I know where good wine comes from!  To frequent readers, it may seem like all I drink is Oregon Pinots, but that isn’t the case.  My palate experiences many a grape from around the world.  However, the Oregon Pinots just do it for me.  From now on, I’ll try my best only to review Willamette Pinots when they’re a showstopper.  I’d like to help broaden readers’ knowledge of all the possibilities out there.

Back to the wine.  This is another solid Pinot out of the state of Oregon.  It’s superbly rounded with plenty of structure throughout the tasting.  Structure – the major elements that can be assessed, such as acidity, sweetness, body, alcohol, and tannins – is one thing I’ve come to love about Pinot’s from Willamette.  Often, the structure of these Pinots changes while you drink, which is welcomed and enjoyed.  While there is some fruitiness to the wine, it’s not overbearing and doesn’t take away from the well balanced after taste.

One interesting thing I’ve discovered while drinking Pinots from Oregon is the big difference there is between a bottle under $20 and a bottle over $20.  Now don’t get me wrong, I understand a bottle of wine over $20 is not an everyday occurrence and not for everyone but it’s just food (grape) for thought.  It’s worth noting that many Oregon Pinot’s under $20 end up being super fruit forward without much structure to them.  The lasting flavor you get from them is their fruitiness.  I’ve come to realize that with bottles priced above $20, their structure and balance is much more present, which is something I prefer (the higher you go the more velvety texture and smoothness there is in the wine).  Again, I know that’s not for everyone but that’s just my preference.

Now to my lovely readers!  I hope you all had a fabulous holiday with whatever it is you celebrate and a wonderful New Year!  And I want to say thank you for continuing on this journey with me.  It’s one of my passions and I’m happy to share it with those of you who take time out of your day to read my humble little blog. And keep an eye out for our first ever 8 Point Properties LLC presents The Everyday Wine Guys Wine and Trees soirée!

Taste – 7

Smell – 7

Recommend – 8

Price – 8

Complexity – 8

Overall – 38 out of 50

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