Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Hi all.  Yes, I am aware that this blog seems to have gone by the wayside.  I haven't been blogging for a couple reasons.  The first is, I've been pretty busy.  The second reason is I stopped writing for Drinking Made Easy so I have pretty much been drinking wines I've already blogged about (mostly the Double Dog Dare) since I didn't have a reason to buy/try anything new.  I have started sharing some of my non-wine DME articles on my recipe blog if you would like to check those out (the link is on my sidebar).  I am hoping in the next month or so to start blogging here on a regular basis so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Double Dog Dare You to Try It

Recently I was visiting a friend who is also a bargain wine lover and she told me about Double Dog Dare wines. She said she had picked some up at one of the liquor stores I usually frequent so I was immediately interested. When she told me the price, the deal was sealed. She said it retailed for around $4. Now, some people might be skeptical but she’s never steered me wrong and she insisted it was good. So, one my next trip to pick up booze, I looked for it.

Double Dog Dare has several varieties. My friend had tried a couple of the red varieties but she told me they had a chardonnay. So, I picked up the chardonnay, the merlot and the cabernet sauvignon. And like my friend said, they cost $3.99 each for a 750 ml bottle.

My husband and I tried the cabernet first. When we got home from the liquor store, I made a simple marinated flank steak for dinner and I figured the cab would be a good pairing. It had a fresh nose with hints of current and a bit of spice. Both of those carried over to the flavor. The acidity was quite low and I found it to be quite smooth. It wasn’t bold like some cabernets. It was subtler with smooth tannins and a nice, clean finish. It seemed a bit more like a pinot noir to me but I thought it was very good and it went great with the flank steak. Even Hubby approved and said he would definitely get it again.

I tried the chardonnay next. I tried it alone at first. The nose was very citrusy with a hint of apple. It tasted of apple and pear as well as a bit of lemon. It was very light for a chardonnay and I am guessing it is unoaked. It had a very pleasant finish as well. The next night, I used it in my chicken piccata and drank it along with the dish. It went beautifully together. I have to say this went to the top of my list of favorite bargain chardonnays.

The last variety I tried was the merlot. I poured my first glass as I was making a meal of spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread. Like the cabernet, the nose was fresh with a hint of cherry and a bit of currant. It was medium bodied and smooth and tasted of the cherry and currant. I had a glass with dinner as well and it went great with the meal. It would probably pair nicely with red meat too.
All of these varieties come in 1.5 liter bottles as well. At my store, they cost $7.99. They also come in boxes that cost $9.99. At the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine, that comes out to about $2.50 per bottle. Who can beat that?

Double Dog Dare also makes a sweet red wine, a moscato, a sangria, a sweet white wine, and a white zinfandel. Hubby and I will be heading back to our store this weekend to get a case of the chardonnay as well as three bottles of the cabernet and three bottles of the merlot (our wine rack holds 18 bottles). These will definitely become wine rack staples. I urge you to go and try this wine. You won’t regret it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wine Enthusiast’s Top 3 Best Buys

I see Wine Enthusiast magazine every once in a while but I have never really read it.  Wine magazines that I have looked at in the past have rarely contained wines that fit my budget parameters.  So, when someone forwarded me Wine Enthusiast’s List of Top 100 wines, I was curious.  Imagine my delight when I noticed that they also had a list of Top 100 Best Buys.  A few of the ones on the list I have already tried but when I got to the top, I noticed I had never tried any of the top 3.  So, I went out to my trusty Total Wine and picked them up to try.

I’ll start with number three which is Bogle’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc.  Now this is my favorite varietal so I am always excited to try a new one.  According to the list, this wine retails for around $9 which was spot on.  I got it for $8.99.  It had a very pleasant nose with hints of citrus zest.  It was very clean and crisp, just the way I like it, with a lovely citrus taste.  I also detected a hint of tropical fruit.  I sampled the wine alone but Bogle recommends pairing it with appetizers and light dishes like fish and shellfish as well as goat cheese and fruit salsas.  I will definitely be trying some of those pairings.

Number two on the list was a 2009 Protocolo Tempranillo by Dominio de Eguren.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find this one but luckily, Total Wine has a large selection of Spanish wines.  Again, the list was spot on with the price.  It said the wine retails for $7 and I got it for $6.99.  The nose had strong berry flavors, mainly raspberry, with an herbal hint.  It had a very fruity flavor that was pleasant on the palate.  It had a bit of spice, which I like.  I think it would go well with any spicy red meat dish.

And last but not least, the number one pick was a 2010 Riesling by Pacific Rim.  The list said this wine retails for around $10 but Total Wine had it for $8.99.  I haven’t had Riesling in quite some time so it was nice to try a new one.  It had a nose of tropical fruit and melon which I also detected in the taste.  These flavors were intertwined with a hint of spice.  It was very crisp and not too sweet which I found very pleasant since some Rieslings can be very sweet.  Recommended pairings were spicy foods, richer foods and even fish.

I had to agree that these wines were all very good and the prices couldn’t be beat.  If you are interested in seeing the rest of the list, you can find it here and you will also find links to their other top 100 lists.