Thursday, September 17, 2015

Winey Tasting Notes: New Favorite Alert - Eos Estate Zinfandel

So after a busy summer, The Winey Nest is empty once again. The Winey Daughter is safely ensconced in her second year at college. The Winey Son has some new digs in Texas. It's just me, The Winey Hubby and The Winey Dog (more on the dog in the future :)

Eos Estate Zinfandel wine labelI was talking with a friend the other day. She is one year away from her own Empty Nest. And she mentioned that she was pretty unsure about the whole thing. I told her, "It's much worse dreading and anticipating the empty nest than the actual reality of the empty nest." And it's true. The Empty Nest does not stink. Sure, we miss the kids and their friends. And I especially miss our family time. But we have our four-way texting sessions and phone calls and the odd Face Time session. And I just MAY be stalking a few Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Hey, every new picture is proof of life, right?

There are a few advantages even. I can finish all the laundry in two loads: Darks. Whites. OK, I'm not including towels and bed linens here, but they're so easy I don't count them. Nor do I need to do them as often, because it takes so much longer to get a full load with only two people in the house. We can park our cars in the garage again. Both cars, one garage. Not that I have ever backed out of the garage and into The Winey Hubby's car parked in the driveway, twice, but this is nice, especially when it rains. We can eat in front of the television if we want to. (Breaking a cardinal rule of family dinnertime.)  This means we've been able to see more of the Cleveland Indians' games. Although at times, this is definitely not an advantage. But that is nothing new. The DVR is ours again. All ours.

And so in honor of looking for the sunny side of the nest, I have found a new favorite wine, courtesy of The California Wine Club. (Full disclosure: I get two bottles of their wine every month to review for my work with Moms Who Need Wine. And I normally don't mix my reviews between there and here, but then I realized that when I find an amazing wine from the CWC, I should share it on The Winey Mom, too.) So this post is a bit of a re-write of one of my reviews from there, but I loved the wine so much I just had to.

This wine I speak of is Eos Estate Zinfandel (2012, 14.5%, CA) from Eos Estate Winery in Paso Robles, CA. Eos is very dark red with a nose of chocolate covered cherries. One of my favorite scents of all time.  Every time I sip a Zinfandel like this, the whole varietal moves up higher and higher in my winey esteem.  You'll taste  cherry, dark mocha and a line of sweet chocolate when you sip it. There’s also that Zinfandel spice thing going on – dark green spices and herbs that give it a little extra zing.

Eos Zinfandel is full of everything you want in a Zin – fruit forwards and toasty and ending up with zingy tannins. It's pretty balanced too, for a 14.5% ABV. There's just a hint of warmth at the end of a sip. 


I received this wine for review purposes. The opinions are all my own. The idea for this post was originally written by me and published under my name on Moms Who Need Wine. So I'm kind of just copying myself here because I really liked this wine so much and wanted my Winey Friends to hear about it.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Winey Tasting Notes: Two Canadian Unoaked Chardonnays, Eh?

Our view looking south.
OK I couldn't resist the "eh" in the title of this review. And it's meant with absolutely no disrespect at all to our neighbors up north. The Winey Family loves Canada. We have spent many, many happy times up there and this year was no exception.

The Winey Hubby and his family have been going to a small beach in Ontario for a LONG time. Before the Winey Hubby was born, actually. It's that kind of a family institution for them, and this year, we did the math and figured out that the family has owned this little patch of heaven for 95 years. We're gearing up for a big bash for the centennial in 2020, by the way.

Winey Daughter and Dog with our
houses in the background. 
The beach town is called Ipperwash. I don't know why. It just is. And when anyone around here says "the beach" we know just what they are talking about. (This is sort of like when I say "the shore"and everyone knows I am referring to my beloved Jersey shore.) It's located on sands of Lake Huron. Our little compound consists of three buildings that between them, can house 6 families. Or as we like to say, "the cousins," because over the years, as children marry and families grow, we have just started calling each other cousins. One of said cousins can actually figure out all the first, seconds, thirds and removeds.....but my mind can't handle that.
Our view looking north. 

The fact that the beach is in Canada has opened up a whole new world of wines for me over the years, and I decided that it was high time I started to write about some of them. So here we go.

It was so nice and hot up at the beach this year that I decided to sip on some lovely white wines. I love unoaked Chardonnays, and I picked two of them to try first. Boy, were they different.

20 Bees Unoaked Chardonnay (2014, Ontario, 12%) had a cute label. No judging, it was the beach after all. And a very good price, which was $9.95 Canadian, which at the time, translated to about $6.95 American. I would like to add here that such conversion only works on currency. I had a birthday while we were at the beach, and trying to convert my age to Canadian only got me laughed at. Back to the wine: 20 Bees comes from the Diamond Estate Winery over in Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of our all time favorite places to visit, by the way. This wine is best served very, very cold, because 1) It was hot and 2) the flavors really came out the more it chilled. The nose is of faint pear and yellow apples. The flavors were pear, and some very mellow, gold apple. It ended slightly tart green apples and nutmeg. These bees felt round and full in the mouth, too. This was a great unoaked Chardonnay! The grapes really shone on this one, no wood barrels needed here. And yes, you still got that little bite of warm nutmeg spice at the end of it. Well done, bees, well done.

Moving on, also from the Diamond Estates Winery, I tried the $13.95 (Canadian) EastDell Unoaked Chardonnay (2013, Niagara Peninsula, 12.5%). The nose on this wine was ripe pears and some vanilla pudding. The flavors were pear, red apple, nutmeg and it finished off with some sour apple. Would I compare it to 20 Bees? Nope. Because while 20 Bees felt round and full in mouth, EastDell just felt thick and flabby. No sharpness to the taste all....and it was too "cloying" for my taste buds to enjoy.

So while these were two unoaked Chards, they were very very different in taste. The grapes for 20 Bees were from all over Ontario, while the EastDell grapes were from Niagara. The tasting notes for the wines said that the 20 Bees were fermented in stainless steel for 12 days...but the EastDell spent 8 months fermenting. So I can assume that the vineyard location and the length of fermentation both made a big difference to my taste buds here. While one was lively and tasty, the other was just thick and flabby.

I really don't mind when I get a wine I don't least once I get past the whole bummed out thing...because with each wine I don't like, I learn so much more about the ones I do.

If you get the chance, and you are in Ontario, go with the 20 Bees. If you can't visit, learn from my experience that not all unoaked Chardonnays will be to your taste. If you're in a restaurant, ask for a little taste first. If you are in a wine store, check with The Winey Mom first to see if I've tried it (shameless little plug) and if not, talk to the folks who work there. It'll help you choose a zesty unoaked Chard instead of a dud.


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