Friday, May 2, 2014

Winey Tasting Notes: Pennywise...Not At All Foolish!

bottle of Pennywise ChardonnayWhenever I hear the word "penny-wise" (or is it penny wise? In which case I should say words.. OK, whatever) I automatically add the phrase "and pound foolish" after it. I know that this is a very old saying, in fact, according to Miriam Webster, this phrase was first used in 1607.That may be very true, but according to my winey mind, this phrase was first uttered by my grandmother when I was a young girl. You know how there are just certain things you think of certain people saying? Well, with Grandma, it was "Don't be penny-wise and pound foolish", along with "Life is too short", "See a penny pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck" and the term of endearment "love bug". (She called us all that.)

bottle of Pennywise Cabernet Sauvignon
The saying itself, again according to good old Miriam Webster, means "wise or prudent only in dealing with small sums or matters"1, the flip side of which is that if you are only smart in dealing with the small money, you miss out on the chance to make big money. Since this is a wine blog, I'm going to illustrate it this way: You find a bottle of wine on special for a dollar, so you buy 100 bottles of it. But the wine is horrible. You were penny-wise in buying inexpensive wine, but in the end, you were pound foolish, because you spent $100 and the wine tasted like swill. 

I am happy to report that I found a wine that does not fit into the "penny-wise and pound foolish" spectrum of responsible wine buying. And yes, it is called Pennywise! I really was going somewhere with that phrase, as you can now see.

I found Pennywise on special for $10 a bottle. It usually runs around $18. So, was I penny-wise and pound foolish in buying two varietals of it? Or was I penny and pound wise?

My first bottle of Pennywise was a Chardonnay (2012, 13.5%, Napa, CA). The nose was full of heavy summer fragrances like apricot and honey. On the palate, it was a bright taste of fruit - mostly citrus, followed by cinnamon and nutmeg. It was round and mellow in the middle of the sip, and felt creamy on the finish. A great Chardonnay that blended tropical and oakey! Buy this if you like a traditional creamy Chardonnay - because even with the little kick of citrus fruit, the oak wins out. If you like your wine with some body and fullness, this will also do the trick.

Next I tried the Cabernet Sauvignon (2011, 13.5%, Napa, CA). The bouquet was pure cherry. At fist taste, you got some cranberry flavor along with a bit of fresh thyme. This all let up to an oakey flavor and some big tannins. A true Cabernet here, folks. If you like a tart fruity flavor that ends up oakey. I will caution you to finish this right away because even with my handy dandy vac-seal wine stopper, this wasn't so great on day two. So make sure you have sipping buddies when you pop the cork on this one.

Now, back to the relative value of this wine. At $10, you get so much more than you pay for! Quite the bargain. At $18...still a good wine. So no, buying these wines will not make you penny-wise and pound foolish. They will make you very happy.


1 "Penny-wise." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.

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