As many of you know, I love wine. Let me repeat. I LOVE WINE. This January I made a commitment to use 2008 as my first real foray into Wine Country, meaning THIS YEAR I would be judicious, thoughtful, and disciplined in my consumption. AKA, not just a drunk.

I started with a plan. I would select modestly priced wines – as many as I could muster – and I would drink them, paying special attention to each & every nuance, bouquet, hint of fruit and je ne sais quoi. In this new & thoughtful manner, I would MASTER the Art of Cheap Wine. And so, glass in hand, I began my quest in earnest. And although that first bottle of wine, consumed Wednesday, January 16th, was really quite awful, earning just a C rating, I was excited. B/c I knew the CHALLENGE was ON.

Since that first evening, I have sampled many, many wines. Some of them exceptionally good, as iterated in my First Quarter Summary. And a few of them inexcusably bad. There is nothing worse than going out, buying a bottle of wine, and bringing it home – or worse! presenting it to a friend – and finding you’ve been HAD.

BIG HOUSE WHITE 2006, California

This wine should be the poster-child for DON’T JUDGE A WINE BY ITS LABEL. The bottle looks truly appealing, with its cute artistic label. Don’t fall for it sucka. The wine inside merited a candid “YUCK” in my wine journal. Granted, a mix of 7 varietals could go either way, but this one is not a success. Very tart apple flavor, paired with high acidity and a distinctly unappealing aftertaste make this a wine to avoid. Even drinking it ice cold didn’t improve the lot. Thumbs down.


The bottle features a *2 GOLD MEDALS* sticker prominently, so I went into this wine thinking YUM YUM YUMM. Unfortunately, once I tasted it I went “BLEECH”. This mass-produced red is not a great wine – cheap or not. It is strongly acidic and dry, with a pronounced aftertaste. If you are looking for another inexpensive, big-bottle wine for a party, I suggest trying Nathanson Creek Merlot instead, which for the same price provides a decent, tasty wine to be enjoyed by all.


I must confess, my husband & I were divided on this wine. While I gave it a C+ for its low acidity and almost-imperceptible aftertaste, John stated that it “SMELLS LIKE A DEAD ANIMAL” and rated it an “F for FUNK.” You be the judge.

11 thoughts on “Plonk.

  1. I have a friend who was all “Chateau St. Michel is off the chain”. Chris liked it, but I was all ‘meh’. However, there was this sweet red at – of all places – OLIVE GARDEN that I actually liked.

    I don’t even like wine unless it is a sparkling white or Ice Wine. :smacks lips:

    I should let you know that I had my first (and only) Sangria at Olive Garden too and I also found that DELICIOUS.

  2. Did I mention that I don’t drink? Yes… I’m a bit boring. However, my man drinks enough for two so it’s pretty wise for one of us to be a little alert.
    My husband loves wine… all colours! :o)
    The last wine… so it only _smelled_ like a dead animal… well that’s ok isn’t it… as long as it didn’t taste of dead animals.
    Sorry for not being a very good visitor of late. I’ve just been a bit overwhelmed with home stuff! Kids, kids jobs, kids braces, kids driving, husband delegating all the rubbish jobs to me and keeping an eye, but for the most part, two eyes on the ageing parents….. I could go on but I hear you snoring…. :o)

  3. I purchased a scuppernog wine, it was double yuck! It was a local thing so you probably don’t have to worry about that one! I am not particularly fond of Yellow Tail Chardonnay either. La Terre Chardonnay is very good!
    You are doing a great community service by tasting all these wines for everyone! Thanks.

  4. Hayden, I too loooove the champagne. Bring it ON. I’d never heard the term “Ice Wine” before. Had to look it up on the Wiki. Verrry interesting. I tend to despise all sweet wine, but for your sake (and especially the adorable “lip smackin” noise) as well as for the sake of my Quest, I will have to investigate. Glad you found some wines you enjoy while out — you never know where you’re likely to encounter good stuff. I’ve had terrible wine at lovely restaurants and vice versa. It’s taught me to never trust anyone. hahah Thanks for the heads-up!

    Daff: You are NOT boring – you just have sense. Sorry to hear you’ve got so much on your plate. Maybe you SHOULD take up drinking?? PS: The wine tasted fine although in truth it did smell a bit odd. But I can get past that w/ a whole lot of things. 😉

    Connie: I have never heard of scuppernog wine! BOY the things you’re all teaching me. I looked it up and it also sounds verrry sweet, something Hayden would probably enjoy. HEY HAYDEN! Try some of that scuppernong wine and let me know, OK?? I will have to try La Terre ! Thanks for the recommendation.

    Curly, you are too sweet. Hope you’re having a better day today – even w/ the lousy weather. C’MON SUN!

  5. Mmmmm wine!

    I tend to agree with you on the Barefoot Shiraz, not so good. I will have to try the Nathanson Creek Merlot, I haven’t had that one yet 🙂

  6. HEY DAFF!! Have you gotten your necklace yet??

    Curl, I did delete a post. I wrote it first thing this morn when I was still half-asleep and slightly surly from an event yesterday. So I deleted it for everyone’s sake. You never know who is reading these things and I would rather speak in person to the individual.. Long story short, don’t blog angry. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. And if you’re still curious, I can send you a copy. 😉

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