Yo, I’m Making Shrubs!

IMG_0461Inspired by an article in The Washington Post and my own love of Pok-Pok drinking vinegar, I’ve started a batch of shrubs.

I’ve got two batches going, a cherry-tarragon (cherry-terry) and a cherry mint.

Each jar pictured contains a cup of fresh cherries, pits included, plus a half cup of sugar. After a few days I’m going to add a cup of white wine vinegar to each, strain and bottle.

Then I’ll be making shrubby cocktails and mixing with my soda water. SHRUB SUMMER!

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2011 Reyneke Syrah

reynekeSmokin’ good syrah for the money here.

I bought this from winelibrary.com, which is fast becoming my go-to wine shop. I feel bad for my local brick and mortar shops, and I do still pop into them, but the big online guys continue to offer some unbeatable value, even when you sometimes have to pay shipping.

Anyway, this is a biodynamic, no new oak syrah from South Africa. It was tight upon popping, but still revealed a lot of meat and blueberry. Very savory. Fruity but not at all sweet. Perfect with grilled grass-fed skirt steak.

Two days later, preserved in a 375 ml bottle in the fridge, we were still going strong, but the savoriness had given way to bigger, rounder fruit. Beautiful bottle for the $15 I paid for it. I would have guessed a $40 cooler climate California bottling if tasted blind.

Absolutely none of the tar-rubber funk that sometimes mars cheaper South African bottles.

Also, because I give almost every bottle an “A-“, let’s try effing points.

91 points! Buy it!

 

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2012 Cercius Blanc

cerciusI saw various retailers declaring this blend from the South of France as the white wine value of the year. Hard to say, but for $12 or so, it’s an exceptional value that one should go out of their way to buy.

This is a 70/30 Grenache Blanc/Sauvignon blend. It’s rich, peachy and honeyed but not fat or flabby. A great food wine but fine to sip by itself.

Noticeably delicious.

A-.

 

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2011 Red Newt Lahoma Vineyards Riesling

newtFinger Lakes rieslings are probably the best value in North American white wine, and this bottle of Red Newt adds more evidence to the case.

A step up from the their “circle label” bottling, this off-dry bottle is rich and full, but with enough acid and minerality to never seem cloying. It tastes like granny smith apples and pineapple and rocks. I can’t imagine anyone drinking this and not liking it.

I paid $15 for it and drank it with pork tacos. Stupendous bargain.

Rating: A-

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2008 LeVois Zinfandel

photo (11)I may not know much about wine, but I know a ton about sniffing out wine deals. I found this small production gem from a now-defunct winery at World Market, and while I wasn’t even remotely curious at full price, I decided to give it a spin at the clearance price of $8.50.

Shazam! This is real-deal Dry Creek Valley Zin, brambles and berry and earth and a really healthy acidic streak despite its years in the bottle.

It’s drinking perfectly right now but with years ahead of it. I’d be tempted by the winery price of $35 or so. At the closeout price, I’m buying everything I see.

Buy it if you find it.

Wine: A-
Value: A+

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2010 Jemrose Cardiac Cuvee Red

cardiacI was previously a fan of the Jemrose wines, and picked a few of these up on Last Bottle’s anniversary sale. I wish I had bought more.

At the Last Bottle price of $15, this is in the conversation for the best $15 I have spent on a California wine ever and definitely the best thing I have gotten from Last Bottle. Tastes like high-end, restrained peppery syrah. There is some Grenache and Viognier in there, as well. An ideal match for pulled pork.

Verrrry classy and very delicious. And only 13.2% alcohol!

I’m not sure where this is available at this point, but if you like syrah this is a top-notch bottling.

A-.

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2012 Sandler Bien Nacido Pinot Noir

ImageThis was a special Berserker Day purchase, and at $25 represents a fine bargain.

Transparent ruby, tastes of strawberries and probably what nerds would call sandalwood. Verrrrry fun to drink. A fine wine, indeed.

This was my first Sandler, but won’t be my last.

A-. 

 

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