Tag Archives: wine questions

Toast from JaM Cellars Bubbly Review

Toast Sparkling Brut

Hello my wine lovers!! Have you noticed something new??!!? That’s right, check that web address. www.yourwinegirltx.com   I am now a full blown official website!!  Yourwinegirl is now easier to remember, and easier to enjoy! 🙂

Now onto the wine of this hot (didn’t it hit like 105°F yesterday?) summer hour! This wine comes from the same family as the Butter chardonnay, and I can definitely taste the family resemblance.  🙂

Toast Sparkling Brut

Toast BRUT Sparkling

Non Vintage Toast California BRUT Sparkling

Watch the WINE REVIEW video i made about this Sparkling BRUT

Okay, so JaM cellars is seriously starting to become my favorite winery (still love you too Gruet)! First Butter, and now Toast, I swear it’s like this winery can do no wrong!

Bright and beautifully bubbled, this lightly golden wine has wonderful aromas of white peach, melon and buttery yeast from the first swirl in your glass. (Remember the best way to fully enjoy a glass of bubbly is to drink from a white wine or tulip glass. Yes, it does look like a tulip…it’s honestly better because it’s not quite as open as your white wine glass, so it preserves the bubbles better while still opening up the bubbly to it’s full potential! Mmmm).

Lingering you in, the white peach continues and meets with sweet pineapple and creamy nectarine as you take your first sip, and ends with a slight toastiness and a long, lingering sweet nutty finish. 

Absolutely amazing, this sparkling is unlike any bubbly I have tasted! I mean, I was absolutely blown away! Sweet here, creamy there, nutty there! But like many of you are probably thinking, how can this be a Brut???!?!? Brut means Brutally Dry.. yep, you heard me, it means even more dry than Extra Dry, which is what this bottle of Toast tastes more like, and what I know many of you freak out over when it comes to picking a bottle for making Sunday mimosas. (Hint: extra dry is slightly sweeter, so it’s better in general for making mimosas).

So how does JaM do it?! Turns out, they add a little touch at the end of their wine process.  🙂

I know you’re dying to find out how bubbly is made, so here is a fun little summary!

Toast is made in the sparkling wine process called Méthode Champenoise

Also called the Traditional Method, and best method to make sparkling wine, this is how wine in Champagne, France is made. In a nutshell, when you make sparkling wine, there are four different methods as to how you ferment the wine. This can tell you the quality of the wine.

The traditional method is when the wine goes through a secondary fermentation in the same bottle. The secondary fermentation is how the bubbles are made… which is by adding another dose of sugar and yeast, also known as liqueur de triage, (remember sugar+yeast=alcohol) to the already made bottled wine and capping it (It’s almost like a bottle cap. No corks are used yet).. so that it can start another(secondary) fermentation process. When this happens carbon dioxide (bubbles) are trapped in the bottle, along with the yeast, that is now trapped and basically dies at the bottom of the bottle. (Ever heard of the term Sur Lie? It means aging on the yeast. It’s when winemakers leave the wine to age on this dead yeast to further influence the flavor of the wine to how they want it to taste. Which means, they can have a huge yeast impact, very little or any amount they prefer depending on how long they age it! Pretty cool actually. It can age like this for years!)

Entering the Remuage phase, while the wine ages on this yeast, in order to better help remove it eventually from the bottle (because well, not a lot of people like to drink dead yeast from their bottle of wine. And it could also impact the flavor later on in the wine if it did stay in the bottle, though there are some left with the yeast in it), the bottle is turned slowly via riddling. A person, or rumuer, will actually turn the bottle (riddle), which is neck down in a riddling rack (think of a coffee table with holes that hold the bottles by the neck at about a 30-45°angle) slightly every day so that the bottle is not agitated (remember all that carbonation is still in the bottle!) and the yeast makes its way to the top of the bottle.

Finally, after the yeast has sat for at least several months (usually a minimum requirement for sparklings) aging the wine, and is now at the top of the bottle, it is time to let it out in what is called the dégorgement phase. The cap is removed and the yeast sediment is blown out of the bottle from all the natural carbonation that has built up behind it!

Here is what makes Toast taste so sweet and different: right after all the sediment comes out from dégorgement, and before the official corking of the bottle, they add Muscat to the wine! (That sweet grape that Moscato is made from!) in what is called the Dosage phase. This is the final topping of the bottle as a liquid sweetener, liqueur d’expédition, and in this case, Muscat, is added and the cork is finally ending the process. Ta-da!

I know. Exciting stuff right?

So what are you waiting for?! You know it’s gonna be good. You know how it’s made. Grab some friends, make up a celebratory occasion, or have a legitimate reason, and pop a bottle open! 🙂

Perfect to Pair With: Cheese plates, chicken and pasta, seafood risotto, fresh strawberries and fruit, or just plainly chilled by itself!

Average Price: $24.99  (This has been my highest priced recommendation, and I am sticking to it! A great price for a sparkling wine in itself, you will love this bottle!) – Available at jamcellars.com, total wine, and other wine specialty shops. Or ask to have it brought it at your favorite wine retail location! 🙂

Cheers my wine lovers!

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Also, if you are looking for more don’t forget to watch the WINE LESSON video I made!

Food and Wine Time! Chinese Food and Butter Chardonnay Tasting Review!

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Welcome back my wine lovers!! It’s starting to get crazy out here in our Texas weather, so how about a wonderful wine and food pairing review?!?
So I have been wanting to try this wine for a very long time. Everyone talks about it, everyone wants it (hello, look at the catchy label!!), and well, I finally caved on my birthday, (yep, in case you missed it, I turned the big 3-0!) got a bottle, and had it with some awesome authentic Chinese food at Monkey King Noodle Company in Deep Ellum (awesome hand made noodles!! YUM!) with the hubs. So totally worth every bite, and probably the best meal and wine pairing I’ve had in a long time!

 

Butter Chardonnay is from JaM cellars, a winery business started by John and Michele Truchard (get it?! JaM!) that has produced some amazing wines, which some of you are probably familiar with. Their very first wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, looks like this:
Another catchy label right? Well, I have not tried JaM Cabernet yet, so no offense, but this Butter is freaking awesome! Yeah, I said it.
Beautifully golden in color, the aromas you get right off the nose are lovely! Creamy butter and yeast (okay, so when I say yeast, since a lot of you are probably like eww, I mean the smell of bread dough about to be put in the oven, where that smell of yeast is so prominent. I swear, smell that dough the next time you’re about to bake it. I mean, yeast is one of the basics you need to make wine, so smelling it in white wine especially is not that uncommon), you can smell in the first swirl of the wine, then it opens up with vanilla and toast (Remember, these two descriptors are our big hint in the  wine world to tell us that this juice has been aged in oak barrels. Oak aging will almost always give you that toastiness and vanilla aroma), and a little bit of pineapple! I know, it sounds ridiculously awesome right? Heck yea!
But the best part is taking that first swig of this lovely white!
It slides down like pure creaminess. The perfect amount of creamy butter and vanilla and that tiny bit of toast and lemon all come together like a great lemon sandwich cookie (just not quite as sweet)!
I know, I just made your mouth water. So what’s stopping you from buying this awesome bright yellow goodness? Don’t know what to have it with? Problem solved.
Have a glass with some real Chinese food. No, not that instant ramen, but authentic Asian goodness. I had this for the first time with Monkey King’s DanDan Noodles (ground pork and fresh noodle soup), as they were out of the hot spicy beef noodle soup, and it was the best decision ever! The perfect amount of spiciness, the ease of the ground pork (pork is just about always good with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. It’s a win-win!), and the chicken broth just complemented the wine so well, I cleaned my entire bowl, and finished two glasses! Yep, simply a delicious birthday dinner.
So what are you waiting for? The Texas weather to get better? That might be a while. So go grab a bottle and some noodles!
Perfect to Pair With: Chinese noodle soup, pork dumplings, chicken alfredo, shrimp scampi, salads, or by itself on a nice patio!
Average Price: $16.99 -(a little high, but totally worth it!) – Available at Whole Foods, Market Street, Central Market, Total Wine, and some Safeway locations!
Cheers my wine lovers!
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Popcorn and a Glass of Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk!

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Hello again my wine lovers!! Hope you are keeping up the drinking, as it is a civic duty of a wine lover. 🙂 Now grab some popcorn, (I really do enjoy a bag of the Skinny Girl Popcorn. My husband got it for me and it’s so delicious!) and then hit the store for a bottle of today’s wine tasting!

 Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk

 
Okay, so yes, I will admit, I read the book when it first came out, and went to see the movie Valentine’s weekend. My two cents: book definitely better, but the movie did a pretty good job too! And yes, I went to Alamo Drafthouse and had a glass of this white blend while watching the movie too. Don’t judge me. I like wine and I am sticking to it!
Now when I found out about the Fifty Shades of Grey wine a while back, I was surprised that a white blend (well now that I think about it, Grey does drink a lot of white in the movie and I believe in the book too…) would be made (there is also a red blend, called Red Silk, which I will hopefully be trying soon!). However, I think this blend hits it just right!
A blend of Gewürztraminer (as I mentioned in Rose Wine tasting, the one that usually has a defined Lychee taste) and Sauvignon Blanc, this crisp white blend is light and full of flavor!
Clear with a light golden hue, this white opens up with lychee on the nose, a little pear and crisp honeysuckle; but blows your mouth with even more lychee (it’s like you just bit down on one! Mmmm), grapefruit and a slight creamy butterscotch!
So what are you waiting for??! Grab that popcorn and a bottle and enjoy all for under $15!
Perfect to Pair With: Popcorn, light pizza, fruit and cheese plates, white fish, and of course, just by itself!
Average Price:$12.99- Available at Albertsons, CVS (yep, the drugstore!), Total Wine, World Market and other wine retail locations!
Cheers my Wine Lovers!!

It’s Wine Time! How About a Cold Glass of Cameron Hughes CAM Collection Chardonnay?

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Welcome back my wine lovers! Hope you all are keeping warm in this icy Texas weather. If not, just grab a bottle of wine and start chugging! Well, only if you are stuck inside like most of us. 🙂
So on to the featured wine! Now as some of you may know, I used to have many jobs. (I used to have five jobs at one point. All I can say is, there was $$$ coming in.) One of these jobs, that really got my fascination with wine going, was working for a wine negociant, Cameron Hughes Wine as a Wine Contractor. Many of you might recognize the name from Costco and Sam’s Club, (That’s where I actually started. Doing dry tastings at Costco. I worked every weekend for months, to the point that I became dubbed “The Wine Girl.” Most of the people did not even know my name. Just wine girl. Hence, I am now yourwinegirl,…. you know, just in case you were wondering how I got the name,) when they were in the Lot Series (The ones with Lot # that were like super inexpensive. We’re talking mostly $10 and under. I believe this is where my $10 and under obsession began)…. and yep, I was one of those people who would talk to you about the wines and offer you a taste as well. Ah the days.
Jump to the present, and Cameron Hughes now has his own line, the CAM collection
 
I am loving this wine! I do not think I have ever liked a Chardonnay so much as this one. 🙂
Born in the sunny Monterey County in California, this wine is just lovely. 100% Chardonnay grapes, the golden color lights up your glass as honeysuckle, mango and vanilla fill your nose. My favorite part is when it hits the lips and it tastes like creamy, lingering pineapple mango all the way down! (I am a huge fan of Mangos! Some might even call me that. Right Pineapple? ;-p)
Perfect to Pair With: Creamy pasta dishes, salmon, white fish, white or margherita pizza, or just by itself!
Average Price: $15.99- Available at Tom Thumb, World Market, Kroger and other wine retail locations!
Cheers my Wine Lovers! Enjoy your snow (ice) day!

Wine and Big Bang Theory?! Don’t Mind If I Do!

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Hello again my wine lovers!!! I know my posts are becoming more few and far between, but I am here for you! Ever have a question or curiosity, just email me (yourwinegirl [at] gmail dotcom), Facebook me (Facebook.com/yourwinegirl),  or leave comments on my video tastings (youtube.com/yourwinegirl)!!

Now who’s a fan of the comedy show, The Big Bang Theory? Well, just in case you were unaware, I am a big fan. Not like a fanatic, or overly obsessed, but I do enjoy smart comedies (hello, Frazier was totally awesome too!) Now, if you have been watching recently, you will notice that they usually all drink wine through out the episode. The fun part for me, being a wino and all, is to watch what they drink (weird I know, but it’s fun, and well, I am a nerd), and I am sure I am not the only one who will occasionally notice what the label is.

Presenting, the winners of last night’s episode, “The Prom Equivalency” (<–watch the episode):








Bota Box Chardonnay

Visible on Penny’s counter in the beginning of the show, this inexpensive, medium bodied white with aromas of vanilla and green apple, is part of the box wine trend that is blowing up all over the world! (You’ll notice if you watched Shark Tank recently. BeatBox wine is available at Spec’s Liquor now!) I mean, it’s the most economical way to go right now. How you may ask? Well:

A: Bota Box is made from recycled material. Now who’s against saving mother earth?
B: The wine inside the box is actually inside a huge plastic bag (another recyclable!) with a spout on the end, that you pull out of the box (There’s an outline on the side of the box where it comes through).
The great thing is that the vacuum like action of the spout keeps the oxygen from interacting with the wine in the bag (oxygen + open wine = spoiled wine. You’ll start to get that different, funky taste), making the wine last up to a month after you open it! Woo-hoo!
C: 3 Liters worth of wine. That equals 4, yes I said 4, bottles of wine. How many glasses is that you may ask? Well, it adds up to 16 glasses. Yep, looking better by the minute right?
D: Party in a box. It is very inexpensive, good eco friendly wine that you can take anywhere (hello hiking, camping, tailgating. Anywhere that prohibits glass, this baby can go!) and can sit in your fridge for a month.
E: All of the above only add up when you figure in the price. Most of these boxes you will find on sale for under $20!!

Perfect To Pair With: Salmon, Creamy Alfredo Pasta, Greek Salad, or your favorite cheese and fruit plate!

Average Price: $19.99 – Available at Tom Thumb, Market Street, Kroger and other wine retail locations!

Now don’t judge Penny and the others so fast. We are in a wine loving economy 🙂 Right after you see the Bota Box on the counter, Penny actually pours three glasses of red wine. It’s a quite Noble wine:

Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon

From the soils of Lodi, California (great grape growing rocky, free draining, sandy soil area), this wine is one of my absolute favorites for under $12! 
Called Noble Vines for the long growing history and traditions in Lodi (long history, long roots, good wine!), this is a nice medium bodied red with blackberry, cherry and coffee filling your nose, it goes down like silk with the slight toast and tannins, and leaves your mouth filled with deep cherry, blackberry and slight pepper. Mmmm. Oh yes, Penny has good taste and a great budget!

Perfect To Pair With: Stuffed Pork Loin, Ribs, Grilled Hamburgers, Chocolate, Pepperoni Pizza, or just great by itself!

Average Price: $10.99 – though you can find it on sale for $9.99! Available at Tom Thumb, Market Street, Kroger and other wine retail locations!

Cheers to Big Bang and Wine! 🙂 What a lovely combination! 

“The Secret to enjoying wine: 1. Open the bottle and allow it to breathe. 2: When it does not breathe give it mouth-to-mouth.”

What Kind Of Wine Are You?

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Time to share your feedback my wine lovers!!

IF YOU WERE A WINE, YOU WOULD BE……

A Merlot! Because I’m Fruity!
 
A Cabernet! Because I’m Big And Bold!
 
A Riesling! Because I’m Light and Sweet! 
 
A Malbec! Because I’m full of spices and love!
 
A Pinot Grigio! Because I’m Zesty and Tangy!
 
A Shiraz! Because I’m spicy and berry licious!
 
A Chardonnay! Because I’m rounded and buttered up!
 
You can be more than one wine, but share why! This is meant to be fun and shared with all wine lovers!!! Please leave your answers and even other wine suggestions!!
Cheers!!!

“Being in Love is Like Sipping A Glass of Good Cabernet.”

New Age Red Tasting

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Welcome back my wonderful wine lovers!! Cheers to a wonderful weekend and a loving hug to all my winos!  Sorry for the very long delay in this post, but all is well, and now time to get down to the bottle!!!

New Age Red
Non Vintage
San Rafael, Mendoza




Served Chilled, and this will probably be the last chilled bottle you can have this year before the cold front really comes in (Am I right Texans?!), this Argentinian wine is a wine spritzer’s dream come true! It’s literally like a red wine spritzer in a bottle! 
A blend of two popular Argentinian red grapes, this wine was specially made in a way that the floral aromas of rose and violets (yep, FLORAL is a common description that you will soon see popping all over labels. Yes, wine can definitely have a floral smell. Think about it the next time you smell some fresh cut flowers, and if you’ve ever smelled them anywhere else. Say, maybe some Honeysuckle in a Chardonnay??)  catch your nose when the glass reaches the lips, folding into flavors of cherries, and raspberry that stick to your tongue like a juice cocktail blend with an oh so slightly sweet sparkling “sprite” touch to refresh your palate. 

Enjoy this wine simply by itself as a dessert, with some spicy dishes (it will definitely take that little extra spicy Zzzing off), or sweet dishes. Personally, it tastes good no matter which way you have it. Have it with chocolate, Kung Pao Chicken, in a glass with a splash of lime (makes it a little more exotic and brings out a little more of the flavors), or while watching the next Cowboys game with a bowl of hot wings (yes, WINE can go with football party favors. In my opinion, usually better than beer!). 

So sit back, reel in the last days of warm weather, and enjoy a glass while watching the sunset. 

Average Price: $8.99  – You can also find it on sale as low as $7.99. Widely available at grocery stores, liquor stores and whole sale in the “Argentina” wine section, or in the “Red Blends” section. 

Happy Friday my Wine Lovers! Cheers!! 

“The wine cup is the little silver well, where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell”

More Wine Please

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Hello My Lovely Wine Lovers!! I have missed you so! The wine tasting is to follow this week, but just wanted to share some wine info with you guys to increase some of that wine knowledge I hope I’m installing in you! 😀
I Saw this on my local news, and just had to share it with you!

Glass Shape, Color Can Influence How Much Wine You Drink

There’s always a reason to over pour your wine one night, especially after a crappy work day, but also when it comes to one of those over-sized fancy wine glasses too. (You know what I mean, who can resist the awesome huge wine glasses?!?) Just remember my wine lovers, a standard glass of wine is 5 ounces! How much is that you ask? A little over half a cup. Yeah, that’s right, HALF A CUP. Check out that measuring cup of yours; yeah, it’s not that much. But that doesn’t mean you can’t slowly sip that glass or hey, even have more than one glass! It’s just a little way to help you regulate (you can do it!) and remind you that when you go out for a drink, that half a cup is your way standard size; so enjoy and savor it, or buy a bottle (it could be cheaper!).
By the way wine lovers check out my Thoughts on How to tell if wine is bad on your way out

“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.”

Red Diamond Merlot Wine Tasting!!

Welcome back my wine lovers! I so apologize for the delay in tastings, but as promised, here is wine tasting #1 of 2 this week!! Now, let’s get down to the bottle! In honor of the awesome video that my friend, Jillian posted on my page, today’s selection is the Red Diamond 2010 Merlot!  Now just in case you have no idea what video I’m talking about, please enjoy it below.

Now, after watching this, who would say no to Merlot?! Actually, at first, I did debate it, because honestly, and hopefully you’ll still think so awesomely of me, I am not a big fan of Merlot. I never really have. They’re usually either too much or too little for me. But, being the wine lover and always wanting to share and expand my knowledge with you guys, I decided to suck it up and do it! Now, I must say, that my boyfriend did have a hand in this selection. I asked him to pick one at the store, (I was there looking at bottles of Merlot as well) and this is what he picked, and I am happy to say that my boyfriend can pick some awesome wine!!! 

Red Diamond 
2010 Merlot
Washington State

“Our Merlot is of Washington’s best varietal – a polished wine with softly-spiced black cherry, berry and plum flavors. Reveal your Red Side with Red Diamond Merlot.”

Rated as one of America’s Top 10 Restaurant Merlots by Wine and Spirits Magazine (it’s an American magazine that rates wines and spirits on the 100 point scale. A little bit easier and more fun to read in my opinion than some others), you can definitely see why after the first sip. 

Now I must say that when you do first pour this raspberry red wine in your glass and breathe in the aromas, you will more than likely be overwhelmed with alcohol. Granted, it’s not higher in alcohol than the other wines previously reviewed (it’s only 13.5%), but it does knock you off your rocker there at first. However, you will also get a nice whiff of cherry as well, that intrigues you to take a sip. This is where I was blown away. Intense and succulent red and black fruit take over your lips and slide down your tongue, as you can taste the black cherry, raspberry, plum, and some slight toast and vanilla. From here, my mouth exploded with even more delight as this:
incredibly smooth (it’s definitely not rough or unbalanced), 
dry (wine is either dry, off-dry or sweet. It’s not sweet sweet, not quite sweet enough to be off-dry, so it’s classified as dry, BUT not horribly dry), 
medium bodied (wines are classified as either light, medium or heavy body. It’s not light as a feather, or heavy like a thick smoothie, but just right in the middle like a juice thickness), 
medium alcohol (can be classified as light, medium or high alcohol. The alcohol is not barely there, or always there in your face intense, it’s medium to where it’s balanced and enjoyable)
and long lingering finish (put as either short, medium or long finish, it’s not short in that the tastes go away very quickly, or medium to where the tastes linger for a little bit at the back of your throat, but as long, as the wonderful berries and oak and any other tastes you pick up definitely last to the end and linger at the back of your tongue before completely going away) wine just really changed my mind about Merlot. 🙂 

Enjoy this Merlot with beef, pork or even portobello tacos (yes, it really does go great with any of these kinds of tacos, just as long as they’re “meaty”), chocolate cake or brownies (it’s good with dark chocolate but in honesty, probably a little better with milk chocolate), or almond toffee (oh yeah, it’s good)! I personally had it with some small brownie bites and almond toffee, and then the next day, with meat trio pizza where it was absolutely divine!! 

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the full moon with a glass or two (yes, the bottle was 2/3rds gone for me and my man, as well as my co-worker when he enjoyed his own bottle)!

Average Price: $11.99 – Though you can find this on sale majority of the time for $9.99 at grocery stores like Kroger and Tom Thumb.

Happy Tuesday Wine Lovers!! Stay Tuned for Tasting #2 This Week!! 

“If your heart is warm with happiness, you’ll need a glass – if sorrow chills your heart, have two!” 

Sweet Red Wine Tasting!

Sweet Red

Hello my wine lovers! Glad to see you again! Now let’s get down to the good juice!  This week’s wine selection is Llano Sweet Redfrom none other than, TEXAS! The newest state to join the wine industry, and becoming increasingly popular, Texas is making a huge impact, as more and more wine drinkers are discovering the wonderful wines to come from yes, my home state. 🙂

Non Vintage 
Llano Estacado
Sweet Red

“Llano Sweet Red is medium sweet with a smooth finish and aromas of blackberries and cherries. We recommend this unique wine be served slightly chilled or at room temperature with spicy Texas foods, Southwest cuisine and oriental dishes.”

(Just a little fun information for you guys!) Classified in probably the first wine category to put Texas on the Wine Country map, Texas Sweet Reds, have kind of become the staple, at least, of the lone star state. I mean, you couldn’t go wrong with a sweet delicate red that was easy, very affordable, and showing your local support! Of course, since these wines became popular, other awesome wines have surfaced and become vineyard favorites.

One of the first vineyards to gain this popularity, Llano, has always been one of my favorites. Never a disappointing wine, this vineyard is wonderful, supportive and affordable as can be!

A nice light cherry colored wine, the aromas fill your nose within the first swirl of your glass. Raspberries, blackberries, cherry, and a light effervescence take over and create an intoxicating atmosphere as you breathe it in, bringing your mouth joy as you take a lovely sip of an off dry (meaning, it’s sweet, but not intense dessert sweet), light bodied red wine, that awakens your palate (tastes) of blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and for me, some sprite/spritzer (let me know if you taste this too!). Ending with a smooth (it’s not rough) medium finish (the tastes linger for a little while after taking a sip), this wine is sure to please your taste buds and cleanse your mind of the day.

Enjoy with spicy foods, asian dishes, as your dessert, or, as me and my family did, with portabella mushroom tacos and salad! The slight jalapeno in the tacos really complemented the sweetness in the wine. 🙂

So sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekend with a great bottle of Texas Sweet Red! 🙂 
Average Price: $ 7.95 – I got mine for $6.99 at Kroger. Widely available at grocery stores, and liquor stores! 
Happy Friday Wine Lovers!
“Love is like wine. To sip is fine. To empty a bottle is a headache.”