Belle Ambiance Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

by J.T.

Happy Friday, lovelies. 

Care for a young Red (wine, not head) suggestion today?


Tasting Notes

Belle Ambience made a pretty good Cabernet Sauvignon in 2014. I can't quite place the nose—it's more than earthy, it smells a bit green, like fresh oregano. Oddly enough, it's super plummy palate, like blackberry jam, an intriguing combination. It's got a luscious body, nice and thick, medium-lowish alcohol, and glowing tannins that are long on the finish. It's young and bright, and mellows a bit if you let it open up for about 30 minutes or so.


Price Point

We can all agree with this one. I believe I got mine at my local wine merchant for about $9.99. Check out the vinter's website to see where you can find it.


Pairing Suggestions

Bright, acidic tomato flavors would go nicely with this young red: something along the lines of spaghetti with fresh marinara sauce, a caprese salad with lots of fresh basil, or paella would be scrumptious. 

Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Red Blend 2013

by Amy

When it comes to birthdays, it seems like when it rains, it pours. 

In my life, I've got two birthday seasons I've noticed: March – May and  October – November. Which, if you think nine months backward, makes sense.

And since we've just entered March, it's Birthday Season #1 around these parts. And you know what that means? 

I'm on a quest to find wines that pair excellently with cake!

I know, I know—it is a hard life I lead.

First up in Birthday Season is Boyfriend, the resident dark-chocoholic and red wine addict. Thing is, Boyfriend isn't a fan of sweet, cloying wines, so I knew we couldn't go the way of dessert wine. 

A great solution: this Coppola Red Blend, which paired excellently with the dark chocolate cake we served.

A medium-bodied, fruit-forward wine, the Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Red Blend 2013 contains Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot—and you can taste the complexity of flavors at work. Fairly plummy, with notes of cherry and blackberry, it was a lovely wine to serve with dessert—without making everything over-the-top sweet.

You can grab a bottle here for $18.99 (though my local wine merchant sold it for $16.99).


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McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2013

by J.T.

I love good wine. Especially good wine with a great value.

Which is why I've been a fan of McWilliam's Shiraz for years. Dry and fruit-forward, with raspberry, black cherry, plums, vanilla, and a touch of oak, this wine is a flavor powerhouse at a great value. Pair this with a nice gluten-free pizza from Publix (a discovery that has transformed my weekends... and maybe a few weeknights), and you've got a delicious Friday night ahead of you!

Pick up a bottle for only $7.99, and you'll see what I mean. If you've got a hankering for a meat-lovers pizza, this would pair just divinely.

 

Tell your pizza-loving friends about this Shiraz.

Killibinbin Sneaky Shiraz 2013

by Amy

Who doesn't love a Femme Fatale? 


Can I tell you a secret? I've always wanted to be one—just to see what it was like to wreak havoc in my wake, and look like a beauty while doing it. 

Hey, I've never done it. Just ask my boyfriend.

(. . . on second thought, maybe we'll just keep this conversation to ourselves . . . )

Ahem.

Femme Fatale aspirations not withstanding, the Killibinbin Sneaky Shiraz does have some hidden bite—but in the best way possible.


The 2013 vintage is a beautiful, deep garnet color, with loads of dark berries on the nose. It's got a light mouthfeel, with tannins and spice that sneak up on you (they do!) and play nicely with the young, plummy flavors of the wine. This vintage is meant to be consumed soon, folks, so snag a bottle and drink up before 2018.

And as for pairings, I used this in (and alongside) a bolognese with excellent results.

Imported by American Estates Wine, you can find this Shiraz for about $15.99. (and here you can find it for only $11.75!)

 

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