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atw – answer the question

23/10/2009

For my first entry into my ‘around the world in every wine’ series, I decided to go with a California wine. Not just any California wine, but a complete California mystery wine. Think of it like the game Mystery Date … only with wine instead of, um, boys or whoever. And yes, that is south park in the background.

This wine is a non-vintage California red from Oreana Winery with no specific varietals and no name – it’s only known by the giant orange question mark on the front of the bottle. This wine is specifically promoted as being a complete accident. According to the winemaker, this wine was due to an accidental hose incident that combined two different batches together, which they then decided was good enough to sell for $4.99 at Trader Joe’s. I bought this wine under the complete impression that it was going to be horrible.
Well, I wasn’t entirely wrong … but I wasn’t entirely right, either.
The nose has hints of sweetness with a touch of caramel, chocolate and rich berry fruit. The color is a deep red/burgundy with rather thick legs (remember, the lines running down the sides of the glass?). It actually smells rather nice.
It tastes young and, though not exceptional, definitely not terrible. It tastes like a combo of Pinot Noir, Cabernet and maybe a little Syrah. I can’t say what the exact grapes are though because there are absolutely no indications of what they could be. The finish is more on the acidic side with a touch of tannin. I enjoy the start of the wine more than the finish. The first note of the wine has a hint of caramel, plum and blackberry fruit. The lingering flavor, however, has a little too much vegetable, as well as a hint of balsamic. Not the way I particularly enjoy remembering my wines.
I don’t suppose I should assume it’s a compliment that I didn’t consider this wine a complete disaster – but I’m going to, so you can take that as you will. Though I don’t plan on finishing the bottle, I do plan on making a rather delectable red wine tomato sauce with it tonight. Pasta, anyone?
On to the next adventure!

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