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January 27, 2013 -- "Safe Wines"
These are wines that we look to as standard wines; ones that we have enjoyed in the past or something that we always feel comfortable serving in our homes, giving to friends, or recommending to others as a wine that we consistently enjoy. This can be any varietal, any vineyard, any region, or any style; however, avoiding local wines, fruit flavored wines, or boutique wines for this theme. These are classic wines that are available to us all from the local grocery store or liquor store. Prices are around the $8-$16 range.


Chateau Ste Michelle
2011 Harvest Select Sweet Riesling
Columbia Valley, WA
Purchased at: Hy-Vee  $8.00
Brought by Ron & Diane

Our Harvest Select Riesling is made in a slightly sweeter style than our 'Columbia Valley Riesling' but still shows the elements of classic Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling. It offers beautiful crisp Washington Riesling character with rich flavors of ripe pears and peaches. The fresh fruit punch and richness is balanced with crisp acidity to keep the wine in harmony. This is a perfect patio sipping wine or would be a great match with Thai food.”


Villa Alena Moscato D’ Asti 2011 
Italy, Moscato
Brought by Kerry & Kevin
Purchased at: Trader Joe’s   $8.99

With light effervescence, low alcohol (5.5%) and a refreshingly sweet-crisp profile, Villa Alena Moscato d’Asti is the perfect bottle to break the ice, open up the taste buds or give the cook something to sip in the kitchen. Made in the preeminent sparkling wine province of Asti, in the heart of Italy’s Piedmont region, from 100% Moscato Bianco grapes, it radiates with fragrant aromas and matching flavors of ripe peaches, apples and apricots. It’s sweet - about a 7 on a 1-10 sweetness-scale.

Chateau Ste Michelle (Indian Wells)
2010 Red Blend
Columbia Valley, WA
Purchased at: Hy-Vee  $12.99
Brought by Bruce & Kate

Grapes are sourced from a collection of warm-climate vineyards that range from the Wahluke Slope to Cold Creek Vineyard, and include the namesake Indian Wells Vineyard

“This new Indian Wells Red Blend is an easy drinking, yet well structured wine from mostly warmer climate vineyards. The wine reflects the rich, round, powerful style of Washington fruit, highlighting seven varietals. It is a true example of the art of blending. The wine offers jammy boysenberry flavors from the Syrah with a luscious backbone from the Merlot. The other varieties add the “spices” that all winemakers love to work with. This would be a great match with barbecue ribs.”

Tribunal Cellars
Tribunal 2010 Red Table Wine
Sonoma, CA
Notes:  Fruit Forward w/blackberry, plum, cherry.  Dry.  Medium bodied
Brought by Mike & Nicole
Purchased at: Trader Joe’s  $10

There is no breakdown of the grapes used in the blend, but with the grapes being sourced from Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel are probably involved. The alcohol content is 15.1%.
T he color is an opaque black cherry with red highlights. The nose is cherry, leather, chocolate, vanilla and eucalyptus. Very nice mouth feel, silky smooth and lots of flavor. Loads of blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and chocolate goodness, not complex, but big, juicy and tasty. A pretty good chocolate covered blueberry finish.


Robert Mondavi, Private Selection Pinot Noir
2010 Pinot Noir, Napa Valley, CA
Purchased at: CVS Pharmacy  $10.50
Brought by Dave & Carol

Our 2011 Pinot Noir was produced primarily from grapes grown along California’s marine-influenced Central Coast. Reflecting the character of a cool vintage, which fostered the development of classic varietal aromas and flavors in our Pinot Noir grapes, this vivacious red wine’s hallmark is fresh, vibrant fruit. On the nose, lovely rose petal, strawberry, and sour cherry aromas mingle with complementary scents of smoky oak. Soft and round with good length and richness on the palate, enjoy this delectable Pinot Noir with grilled salmon, herb-roasted chicken, baked ham, or lighter pork dishes.


Yellow Tail, Shiraz
2012  Australia
Brought by Nellie & Geoff
Purchased at: Wallmart  $7.00

A rich colour and deep hue introduces your nose to a ripe and rich flavour. A cracked pepper and spice nose is blended with vanilla and fruit ripeness. The vanilla softness on the nose takes you into a ripe palate crammed with weight and soft, sweet oak length. A rich colour and deep hue introduces your nose to a ripe and rich flavour. A cracked pepper and spice nose is blended with vanilla and fruit ripeness. The vanilla softness on the nose takes you into a ripe palate crammed with weight and soft, sweet oak length. A perfect accompaniment to this wine would be Rich rare char-grilled beef and asparagus or a rich confit de canard to bring out its juicy palate.


Casillero del Diablo
2011 Carmenere, Chile
Purchased at: Hy-Vee $8.99
Brought by Amy & Nathan

A native French variety, this grape was almost wiped out completely after the great phylloxera plague. It resurfaced in Chile at the end of the 19th century where it produces wines of intense colour, soft tannins and restrained acidity. The predominant characteristic flavours are red fruits with a hint of chocolate and coffee.
Chocolate, coffee and spicy aromas combine with raspberry and blackberry flavours in this Carmenère, Chile’s very own grape.


Columbia Crest Grand Estates
Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Columbia Valley CA
Brought by Ron & Diane
Purchased at: Hy-Vee $10.00

Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon displays an impressive concentration of dark fruits, black cherry, currant and fig aromas and flavors. The ripe, sweet, okay tannins are balanced by lovely fruit complexity.

Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from vineyards located predominantly on the Horse Heaven Hills (which contributes texture and body) and the Wahluke Slope (for aromatics and complexity.)