Thursday, June 25, 2009


When I first started writing this post, I was convinced that it was the lead runner and ultimate winner of the Brown Bag v. Paso night. Looking back over my notes, however, the Eos 2007 Sauvignon Blanc came in 3rd. Yet another example of the Brown Bag Bias against white wines - something which will be challenged in the July Brown Bag v. Whites Night.

This wine with flavors of peaches, pears, and other sauvignon blanc flavors like hint of mushrooms, jasmine, soft lemon rind, and wet grass( I still asure you that these are actual notes and not figments of my imagination) was still a crowd pleaser. It has a fruit back tendency with a soft, lingering finish.

All around, this wine is a good bargain in the sweet-spot range of 7 to 10 bucks. It came in with an MSRP of $9.99.

Think of this wine as something that would go awesome with fish tacos or skillet fried corn( with a little bit of squeezed lime) or even a turkey club sandwich with some bacon and avocado.

Eos is a strong performer for what it is.

And come to think of it, it would be a good wine to revisit when the brown baggers take on white wines. How would it compare with a field of other white wines?

I give this a strong Brown Bag recommend - look for it on sale at BevMo.

RATING: 2.75 Screwcaps
GRAPE: Sauvignon Blanc
PRICE: $9.99

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Brownbagger Mike B does not like fruit forward jammy wines which is funny since he brought a bottle of just-that to the Brown Bag v. Paso Robles event.

This 2007 Foxglove Zinfandel that he picked up from Silverlake Wines was jam central with flavors of dried cranberries, black cherries, preserved fruit. Someone even detected a hint of Eucalyptus( I swear I am not making this up).

Honestly, I thought this was a great wine if you are into strong, full fruit flavors like that. It was not overpowering jammy as the fruit still had a nice balance to it with soft tannins.

As we went around the table discussing what kind of food would pair well with this wine, we decided first upon game. Meat with complex flavors like wild boar or venison or even marinated lamb would go very well with Foxglove.

Brown Bagger Aaron suggested getting some short-rib tacos from the now wildly famous Kogi taco truck( which for those of you who don't know is a taco truck that puts Korean barbecue style meats and also tofu on corn tortillas. They evidently have kimchi quesadillas which sell out as soon as the truck pulls up. People find the truck's location( I think there are two of them now)via their Twitter feed).

We might have to send a scout out and get a whole bunch of Kogi specialties in the future to see what wine pairings we can come up with.

As for Brown Bagger Mike B, I know you don't like wines like this Foxglove but I am glad you brought it - cause I sure liked it.

RATING: 3.5 Screwcaps
LABEL: Foxglove
GRAPE: Zinfandel
PRICE: $12.99

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ROBERT HALL'06 Rhone de Robles

So, the last weekend in May, the Brown Bag Sommeliers took on the promising Paso Roble wine region. Basically half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Paso offers rolling hills, beautiful live oak trees and some delicious wines at great prices.

To the East of the 101 Freeway there are countless acres under cultivation that produce powerful, full fruit reds. They get pounded by that strong California sun all Summer long setting up big sugar content resulting in high alcohol but still flavorful wines.

Now West of the 101, the carefully cultivated hillsides still get a lot of sun, but they also benefit from the cooling breezes coming off of the Pacific Ocean. This area has become home to vintners making Rhone style wines attracting such winemakers as the Perrin Brothers who are famous for Chateuneuf du Pape du Beaucastel who make great Rhone wines at Tablas Creek.

The area West of the 101 is a great area to go winetasting, so it was only fitting that we started off our Paso Robles night with a Rhone Style wine.

The first wine up was this delicious Robert Hall 2006 Rhone de Robles. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut, and Counoise grapes, this wine was peppery with hints of tobacco and dark stone fruits. Because of the California growing conditions, this wine is slightly more fruit forward than a French Rhone will be. But it has a great balance with firm but silky tannins.

This is a wine that would age nicely. We all agreed that a great food pairing would be a hamburger topped with a crumbly blue like Humboldt fog( which I initially thought was a weed reference - this is California and Humboldt is Humboldt - anyway I was quickly corrected that this was not a pot smoking joke but a sincere food pairing suggestion).

This wine is a winner. Unfortunately, not for the Brown Bag Sommeliers. It was brought by my Rebel-Without-A-Cork - brownbagger Aaron who claimed he just wanted to celebrate his victorious football club - they'd just won a good match.

Just because the price disqualifies it for Brown Baggery doesn't mean I don't want to drink this wine again. It was a huge hit.

So, thank you Rebel-Without-A-Cork( I'll need an acronym for that one) for sharing a delicious wine.

RATING: Would have been high but is out of price range
LABEL: Robert Hall '06 Rhone de Robles Central Coast
GRAPE: blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut, Counoise
PRICE: 27 dollars

(Although, I just saw that BevMo is having an on-line sale for this for 14.99 - check it out - seems like the same wine and it would be a steal at this price)