Monday, April 27, 2009

Why Wine: Joeshico Wine Review; Vina Real Rioja 2005

I promised in my last post (Why?) that I would do a Joeshico wine review this week, but I am finding it a bit difficult to do since I have been emptying my rack of all my expensive wines. Don't worry, I will keep the promise. (last paragraph, short to the point, don't miss it)

I just came to the realization that for the past 35 years, I mismanaged my wine rack. I always kept a few really good (well, maybe not good, but expensive) wines in the rack for special occasions, like parties, friends over for dinner or I just need a nice Barolo tonight. I don't store wine. I did once, but after a few years, I gave into temptation and that ended any plans for a wine storage facility in my home. But, I continued to always buy one or two expensive wines when I shopped. That eventually lead to a minor problem. At some point my rack had very little everyday wines and I was not planning on too many special occasions. When I would look for a nice 'cheap' wine to have with a salami sandwich or to just sip on the patio, there was none. That's because I always hated to open a good wine for no reason.

Now I am going to attempt a new method. I have a 30 bottle rack and it will no longer contain any wine over $20 US. Well, maybe a few slightly over. Special occasions are not spur of the moment events. When planning one is the time I will buy the special wine. Hold on a sec.
I could probably serve most of my friends grape juice with a little alcohol in it and get away with that. Only a few are wine savy. I can see now I will save money. It's beginning to sound better and better. I shall keep all my readers updated (unless I fail). I shall begin as soon as my Banfi Cum Laude is empty. Wait, there's graduations, Mothers Day and my wifes birthday in May, and in June, my daughters birthday, our wedding anniversary and a New York City vacation.
I will begin in July(unless something comes up)

Now the joeshico wine review!!!

One of the few less expensive wines I had left was a Vina Real Rioja Crianza 2005.

Vina Real was developed by Cune in the 1940's. Sixty years later, Cune took the decision to finally give Vina Real its real home, where not only is the wine produced but also aged and bottled. Vina Real is located on the "Cerro de la Mesa" hill, Rioja Alavesa.
The Vina Real wines are modern in structure, balance and elegance, with a potential for very long aging in bottle, this last being the main characteristic of the Rioja Alavesa province.

Full, morello cherry, ruby red, good intensity. Ripe autumn red and purple fruit, raspberries, damsons and sloes over a fine toasty vanilla complexity. Rich, deep and balanced. Well structured on the palate with plenty of fine, lingering rich fruit and a lively note of tannin. The finish is elegant and long with good balancing acidity.

I find sort of a mixed berry aroma, not very intense and nothing more. How some can sniff and immediately give a list of a gazillion aromas beats me. On the palate it is fruity and the finish is
long and balanced. This is a great wine to have for just about any type pairing or just to lay back and sip while listening to Frank or Ella(that's Sinatra and Fitzgerald for you younger readers), as I did tonight. Easily found at $14 - $16. Nice wine to always have on hand.
Take it from a novice; Great Buy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am sitting here feeling bad because I missed adding a new post last week. Had a lot to do, kept busy but did check in on my favorite bloggers. Really some good stuff to read on wine, the upcoming Tour de France and life in general. It did start me thinking about 'why do I blog' or more so 'why do I enjoy blogging so much?'
It all started as a means to promote my affiliate marketing website, which, except for the Christmas season is not really doing that well. Hopefully a new platform and change in template theme will help. Let's hope, that is my retirement venture. I don't want to be a greeter at the local Wal-Mart for supplemental income. Thanks to Wall Street though, retirement is now another year or two away so I have some time to work the kinks out.
So anyway, back to my original question 'why do I blog' and why am I feeling a tad bad just because I missed a post. Well, I really can't answer that but I can name a few things that happened since I've started this.
First, I have been enjoying wine for over 36 years and I learned more about wine in the past 10 months than I had in the first 35 years. I actually started tasting wine and smelling aromas and feeling tannins and acidity on the tongue. Geez, it was always there. I did know what I liked and what I did not like, but I did not appreciate wine. I very seldom strayed from what I liked, and now I realize how much I missed. I'll never be a Parker or a Vaynerchuk, but I don't want to be.
Hell, I seen them spit good wine into a bucket. If it's good just swallow it. How can you rate a wine or tell others how good it is if you just swish and spit. I know I can't.
Here's another fact I learned. They actually make wine in places like Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Virginia and just about every State. I use to think all US wine came from California or New York. Boy, was I wrong, and I use to live in Maryland and Virginia. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and until I did a tour at Chaddsford in 2005, I didn't think grapes could grow in PA let alone make good wine. Now I want to visit many of these US wineries in the very near future.
Lastly, I think what keeps me interested are the people I meet on the web. Many of them do this for a living and many of them are just good writers with a knowledge of wine and a willingness to share. Me, I do it because it gives me something to do and have fun doing it.
I try to check my blogs everyday and I like to comment on the articles I like or articles that make me think on my favorite blogs. If not for many of them, I may have given up on doing this long ago. Thanks much to;

Joe, the 1winedude, best of Philly blogs. Knowledgeable of the industry, well written, opinionated and fun to read.

Richard, the wineconnoisseur, nice short reviews, off the wall topics, fun videos and down to earth guy.

Shelly, winetofive, throws in excellent wine reviews into a personal blog about the daily joys of motherhood and more.

George, thegoodwineguru, honest reviews of Virginia wines.

Sue, ladies with bottle, a passion for French wines with well written articles that makes you very frustrated that there is no French wines in your rack.

And Randy, thewinewhore, On his way to becoming one of the, if not the #1 wine blog on the net. Great reviews, very well written and enjoyable reading.

Thanks to all of you! Look for another joeshico wine review next week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WHY WINE: Joeshico Wine Review; Damiani vino rosso NV

“Finger Lakes wineries now number nearly 100, and one of the newest and most interesting is the tiny Damiani Wine Cellars (tel. 607/546-5557), in Hector on the east side of Seneca Lake. The family-owned winery produced its first vintage in 2004, and the cabernet franc and meritage are quite notable for its young age. This is one to watch. Or drink.”
Frommer's Finds Damiani

Yesterday I got fooled when I visited one of my favorite shops to discuss wine tasting events
to be held at my son's Lounge. While there, I picked up two bottles of wine in what was his Italian wine selection area. One bottle was labeled Damiani vino rosso (good Italian name). I like Italian table wines so I picked one up and brought home. When I got home I noticed a clear corked bottle with the words Finger Lakes on the label (drats). Although I love the Fingerlakes whites I have never got use to the reds. Actually, I avoid them. At dinner, I decided that I might as well open the Damiani, take a taste and dump it. However, this is not like any other Fingerlakes red I ever had. So, off to research Damiani Wine Cellars. This is one of the newest wineries in the region and winemaker Lou Damiani and grape grower Phil Davis are forging a reputation within the Finger Lakes, marking it as a region capable of producing full-bodied vinifera red... The vino rosso red table wine has made a believer out of me.

The vino rosso is non vintage and it is described by Damiani as: Nicely balanced with ripe cherry fruit upfront and on the nose. In this table red, a light body and soft mouthfeel unite to create a pleasurable wine. 20% Pinot Noir blended with the hybrids Rougeon, Vincent and Leon Millet (0.8% RS) I don't know anything about the hybrids, that's all new to me (good day today - learned something)

Their description is right on the button. I found it very light and very soft, well balanced, maybe a little short on the finish. Doing my Seneca Trail tour in June and Damiani will be first on my list. Until then I will stock up on the vino rosso.

At $12, take it from a novice "Great Buy"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WHY WINE: Joeshico Wine Review; La Corte Salice Salentino 2006

I just sat down and opened a wine that I have not had in quite some time. Salice Salentino
The town, Salice Salentino that gave the name to this wine is in the Salento Peninsula in Puglia in the heel of Italy. The dominant grape is the Negroamaro which has been planted in the region for centuries.
While wine shopping last week at my favorite "Mom and Pop" shop, the shop's owner let me know of the sale he was having on La Corte Salice Salentino 2006. Hadn't really enjoyed this wine in the past, so I had to take his advice and buy one bottle of La Corte. At $9, the price was right. I usually always listen to shop owners for advice and this wine is why. If not for him, I would not be enjoying the wonderful wine or writing this article. It's Fabulous!
The wine is a blend of 80% - 85% Negroamaro and 15% - 20% Malvasia Nero.
The color is a very dark ruby red. The aromas are mixed berry, some tobaco and earth. A little peppery or spicey on the tongue but finishes well, dry and smooth.
I'm not going to rate this wine, as I really don't think I'm qualified to do so. After all, I am still a novice when it comes to wine and I have too much to learn before starting to sound like the snobs and experts we all follow. Also I like the system used by The Wine Whore when rating wines and it will take me a little while to get used to it.
But I can still say, take it from a novice "Great Wine" - " Great Buy"