Fortnightly Wine Romp Number Two
So, what’s this scale appearing here, some number of glasses 🍷out of 5. What does mean in real life? Don’t other scales use 100 points? This isn’t Robert Parker, or Wine Spectator. This Wine Romp is about real people drinking wine in actual life, specifically a husband and wife in Brooklyn, sorting out what wines to definitely get again, what wines might be okay again, and what wines to avoid. A rough and ready to the good, the bad and the indifferent, with “Wow” and “Hideous” as end pieces. So, we’ll start with the middle, number 3 🍷 and work up and then down from there. A 3 🍷 denotes a wine that simply matches what’s on the label: the varietal, the AOC, DOC—the style of wine. It does the job; might be called “Good” with out being very good nor does it have anything particularly wrong with it. Not something to go out of the way for, but neither something to turn nose up at.
So then, what’s a 3.5 🍷: it’s a better example of that style, has something a little something special or attractive. A wine to spend a another minute or two trying to find it in a shop should it pop up in mind. Might even go on a mental list of wines to keep an eye out for. Especially good for bring to a party if it will get some attention. “Solid” is a work one might use for it.
A 4🍷? Means it’s good bottle of wine. A 4🍷bottle has something special going on, something extra. Those are wines to know whence they were found, and might warrant a short detour to snag a bottle. This shows off more of what a style can really be and can be shown off—to an appreciative crowd. I.e. not people who prefer sangria. Might elicit spontaneous compliments sort of sip.
A 4.5 🍷 denotes a really special bottle. One to remember and hunt for, even if it means a longer drive/subway trip and could well mean paying a bit more to get. This excels at showing off what the style could be. A wine to show off to the right crowd. Not usually an everyday wine: likely price prohibitive—more of a special wine.
The 5🍷 means WOW. A wine that exemplifies everything to like in that style. It’s really that damned good. Probably more expensive. Probably only going to have once in a while. For special occasions, even if that is only a particularly good meal with close friends or lovers.
The other direction are disappointments in varying degrees of seriousness. The 2.5 🍷is something off for the style. Just doesn’t cut it. Nothing specifically wrong, or obvious flaws, just not right. A weak example of a style. “Feh” is the right word. A bottle to pass on in the store unless there is nothing better: that is if it’s even remembered at all.
A 2 🍷though, there’s something obviously wrong, and probably something specific: out of balance, lacking acidity or tannins, or fruit—the label does not reveal what’s really in the bottle, unless it’s one of these new clever marketing labels, which tend to indicate something styled after a cola vs a wine. A wine to remember and avoid. Or bring to a party you don’t care about: the obligation bottle to the indifferent party. Not actually gross, but not good.
The 1.5 🍷is a seriously flawed wine: the completely out of balance “boozy Kool Aide” style now so popular, many blushes and white Zins. Or it’s cooked. Oxidized. Well past it’s prime and probably beyond being acceptable for cooking. One to avoid. And remember to avoid. ††disclaimer: I dislike sweet wines EXCEPT for dessert wines, which I love—Pedro Ximenez Sherries, Tawny Ports, Cadillacs, Banyuls, a Vin Santo, bring ‘hem on. The semi-sweet or sweet wines so popular in the Soviet Union, or blush, or Kool Aide style wines—Blech. Depending on what’s wrong, might work for cooking. Or not.
A 1 🍷means Hideous: undrinkable. Plonk, junk, going down the drain—could be corked, burned, aged to the point it’s next step is vinegar. Less likely to be a style problem than a storage or age problem. Could be corked. Maybe it’s only this bottle; maybe a whole lot; maybe just whatever this store has. If it’s this bad, some stores will replace it or refund it.
So with those scores in mind, it’s off to this fortnightly’s wines. All of them drank in the normal course of living and eating in Brooklyn by me and my wife.
Sharp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, as expected. Very pale parchment—nearly clear, Long distinct, slow legs, and fairly viscous. Bright citrusy nose, with some plump fruit on the backend. Classic Marlborough grapefruit notes—from the attack to the end, mostly white, with a touch of pith.
Kris Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2017 Very light, practically clear with a touch of parchment—mostly sheeting with some occasional legs, low viscosity. Light, bright nose with a bit of citrus and pinch of custard late. The attack follows bright some firm acidity, light body—fresh with floral and almond notes and a citrus-lime finish—a touch of honey late in the finish. Solid wine without being wow. Likes its food well. 3.5 of 5 🍷#whitewine #pinotgrigio #dellevenezie #italianwine 🇮🇹
Mussel Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017: A slick, lean Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Very pale parchment—nearly Lear with a hit of parchment tan. Numerous legs around the glass. Low viscosity. Green apple and grapefruit pith on the notes. Very bright. The attack follows with grapefruit and zippy acidity, tip to tail. The fruitiness helps balance the acidity and light bitterness. The Acidity lingers into
Korbel California Sparkling Wine: A pleasant, lively sparkler from California. Pale, but distinct parchment in color, with a firm head and steady bead—many long, slow legs around the glass. Bright bubbles, with white fruit tart (noticeable crust notes). Round, yet prickly bubbles/effervescence with baked crust, subtle pear, green apple moving into a long, bright finish with a drizzle of honey, and a prickly sensation that lasts several minutes. 3 of 5 🥂#whitewine#sparkling#california
The Pinot Project Rosé Unexpectedly pleasant wine from Italy. Very pale salmon—mostly sheeting, with a few legs, and moderate viscosity. Delicate red raspberry note, with perhaps a touch of rose scent. A mild attack, medium-full body—mouth coating—with red berries (including strawberries) over firm acidity, lasting into the long, dry finish. Reminiscent of a sweet-tart. Loves food. 3.5 of 5🍷#RoseWine #pinotnoir #Veneto #Italy🇮🇹
Loosen Brother’s Mosel Riesling 2016: A lean Mosel Riesling. Very pale parchment, a fair number of low, long legs and moderately viscous. Nose has a bit of machine oil and minerals. A dry wine that nonetheless gives an impression of sweetness over a firm backbone of acidity with a bit of unctuousness—after a gush of fruitiness, the tartness takes over, and both balance late into the long finish. 3.5 of 5 🍷#whitewine #mosel Riesling 🇩🇪
La Forêt Pay D’Oc Pinot Noir 2016: Better than expected Pay D’Oc Pinot Noir: Lighter plumb with a touch of browning on the meniscus—a few long, branching legs, and somewhat viscous. Slightly hot nose, with a bit of forest floor w/brambly berries. A hint of barnyard. It has an acidic attack that opens up into earthy notes and dark berry fruit, moving into fine tannins and an umami yum, lasting into the long, saliva extracting finish. Medium body. As much as it