Sweet Pea Apple Wine

Total Wine and More, $3.99

Teri: This bottle is a great alternative for your non-wine drinking friends who normally partake in fruity cocktails. This apple wine carries a light nose of green apple (of course) with citrus. The taste is crisp and refreshing with hints of pear and very slight oak. A wonderful drink for a warm summer’s day or add to tropical mixed drinks. 88 points

Aaron:  Anyone who has read more than one of these posts can probably anticipate my review …
Regardless of my points and though I’m a traditionalist who likes bold, red wines I can honestly say this is an excellent (and very affordable) substitute for non-wine drinkers.  If you have a sweet tooth or are looking for something unique, this is a great option.  83 points


Cline Pinot Noir 2009

Total Wine & More, $12.99

Aaron:  Teri had me blind taste this pinot – probably because she knows I generally don’t like pinots and she wanted to see if she could trick me into giving it a super high rating!  The only thing I sensed on the nose (though I’ve never had the best sense of flavors when it comes to that) was oaky bark.  I was somewhat confused by the flavor because I consistently tasted passionfruit.  After I let it sit on my palate, I got a broad, nutty velvet taste that isn’t as fruity as I prefer and had more citrus than I expect (hence the passionfruit label).  I admit that I kind of liked it but most of my points are due to its uniqueness.  87 points

Teri: If I had to describe this bottle in one word it would be strawberry. It contained a standard fruity nose and was full of strawberry in the taste. The finish was long and semi-smooth with medium tannins. This bottle would be enjoyed by individuals who normally like medium bodied fruit forward red wines. 88 point

Cocobon Red Wine 2010

Trader Joes: $6.99

Aaron:  Wow … I was so impressed with this blend from start to finish!  A lot of people may criticize blends – and honestly I’m not normally a fan – but this was fantastic.  The nose was sharp but sublte with only the faintest hint of berries.  As I’ve come to find, my nose generally has nothing to do with my palate and it was never more true than at the first sip of this Cocobon.  The soft, mild tannins were completely overpowered by the luscious flavors of vanilla and chocolate.  This powerful combination then melted into a blueberry finish with just a hint of bite to help the flavor linger on in the mouth.  If I had to put one word to this blend: drinkable.   94 points

Teri: This is an amazing buy from Trader Joes. This red wine carries a complexity to please most wine drinkers with a price that will fit almost any budget. The smell carries dark raspberries with vanilla and the flavor is even better. At first you taste a rich full flavor of red fruits then it moves to rich vanilla and smooth coco flavors with a smooth finish. Share it with friends of enjoy it yourself. This bottle should please a majority of wine drinkers.  92 points

Oak Grove Viognier 2010 Reserve

Total Wine and More: $5.99

Teri: This is a very nice crisp but full bodied white. It carries a pleasant nose of pear, apple and honey with a taste that is long and flavorful containing apple, peach, citrus and a small amount of oak. The abundance of flavor from this Viognier will stand up and pair well with a variety of dishes. Because of its great flavor it is also quite enjoyable alone. 89 points

Aaron: I sensed a lot of the white grape flavor on the nose of this viognier, however I also got a sense of green apple and oak.  The smooth velvet on the palate was very appealing and there was just the right amount of sweetness.  I definitely tasted citrusry, write fruit and what I interpret to be apricot.  89 points

Valley of the Moon Pinot Noir 2009

Introduced to this bottle by good friends. Can be found at most wine retailers. Price range $13-19

Aaron:  This is one of my new favorite pinot noirs … and I’m not a pinot guy.  The nose was very light and gentle however as soon as I took a sip I experienced a nice, medium bodied, relatively complex wine with mild tannins.  I enjoyed the red fruits and a unique flavor that I felt mirrored a pear or green apple.  The finish was slightly acidic but it complemented the flavor due to the mild sweetness. 85 points

Teri: Beautiful pinot noir from the carneros valley. Medium bodied with smooth tannins. The flavor is light then bursts with strawberry, raspberry and a light vanilla and oak finish. This wine pairs well with pork and sweet or savory dishes. 92 points


Wine Help for the Everyday Person