Last Chance Rack — Really Good Wine by Joe: Pinot Noir

Upshot: An unpretentious Pinot Noir from Oregon. Made by Joe, apparently.

Joe’s 2010 Pinot Noir is great drinking, straight from the bottle. Slightly bristly on first intake, the tannins fade quickly and overall the mouthfeel becomes quite mellow. Maybe it could use a little cellering. Just think of August 2015, that dog-days outdoor soiree, this little guy will be all grown up and ready to party. Perhaps it’s not something you would bring stone cold to a fancy dinner party but one you could proudly serve under your own conditions, opened ahead of time and ready to go.

The color is a translucent cranberry or garnet, definitely a medium-light bodied wine. Bright tannins transform into a ripe raspberry that spikes the roof of the mouth. In the middle there’s a light, watery melon– or some might say “watermelon” with a lingering, juicy currant that almost disappears on the tongue.

Having design often dictate my choice in bottle, I love the simplicity of Joe’s label and there’s a sense of humor in the vineyard name that I can appreciate. 13.5% ABV ain’t too bad for a light bodied wine either. Poolside or just chilling and watching an SVU marathon, it’s a solid buy for under $15.

Best Use: Dog-Days Backyard BBQ

Soundtrack: A nostalgic dose of De La Soul.

Food Pairings: Tofu pups if you have to but I’d go for Nathan’s Ballpark Franks. No condiments.

Have you tried this wine? What do you think?


West Coast Wines Under $15 — Introducing Pinot Noir

Sideways ruined Pinot Noir for me the way Swingers ruined second-wave-swing-ska-punk or whatever THAT genre was. OK, that’s an admittedly bad analogy.  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy would never have been my “thing” regardless of the breakaway indie blockbuster. It’s that in-your-face-optimism. Color me Smiths.

Anyway, the east coast girl in me never really got behind the black pinot, partly because of its delicate flower of a back-story and partly because of the spike in price per bottle that accompanied it. Then I moved west and some things changed–like my metrics for pizza, my tolerance for cascade hops and my interest in Pinot Noir…

And that’s all a forward to my current project: West Coast Wines under $15.