Wine of the Week: Cirque Du Vin

A $12 bottle marked as a 91 point wine sparked my interest and was chosen as my wine of the week.

Cirque Du Vin has an interesting label. A juggler who resembles a jester sits on a barrel balancing two glass bottles on top of his pointer finger. A vineyard of wines outline the picture. The label on the back tempts me with the words “Discover the magic. Unravel the mystery.”

This bottle is made up of different berries; 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Zinfadel, 16% Petite Sirah, 16% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec.

At first sip, I was hit with a licorice taste and a very strong dark taste. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other wine that I have drank. Continuing to take in the flavor I realize that it’s different but that shouldn’t make it less to my liking so I give the wine another sip and start to enjoy the dark taste.

Overall, would I buy this bottle again? I am unsure at the moment. I am enjoying the flavors of licorice and spice but I can’t seem to think of this wine other than a harsher wine compared to the wines I have seemed to have a liking too.

Recommend this bottle? Yes. Try it. It might be what your taste buds have been waiting for. The dark side.


Hold the tequila, add the wine

Enjoying a wine margarita in Manteca, California. Photo cred: Melanie Fleming

A Mexican restaurant in Manteca, California served wine in their margaritas.

I took a trip to California in December of 2010 to attend a friend’s wedding. I was staying in Manteca and in this town, there were many Mexican restaurants. My friend whose wedding it was had a pre-wedding dinner with all the bridesmaids and family members. I was a bridesmaid and attended this dinner.

Having been in a Mexican restaurant, I decided to try a margarita. I asked the waitress what kind of alcohol was inside and the response I got wasn’t what I was expecting. She told me that the restaurant had no hard liqueurs and they put wine inside their drinks.

Hearing that they had no hard liqueurs was what shocked me more than the wine. I wasn’t use to hearing a Mexican restaurant not having tequila yet still serving drinks in which tequila would usually be used as the alcohol content.

After realizing that the margarita I was about to drink contained wine,  I was eager to taste it.

Being a wine drinker, I also enjoy drinking other types of alcohol. If a restaurant where I am a patron at serves margaritas, I will always order one. I tend to order the strawberry margaritas but getting the house margarita is a safe bet.

Margaritas can be served either on the rocks or frozen. A frozen margarita is my favorite but beware of the after effects. A brain freeze will occur if you don’t control your urges to gulp instead of sipping.

All in all, after drinking the wine margarita I was more than satisfied. I experienced multiple brain freeze accounts and didn’t regret it. I am eager to now find what wine they used and if any restaurant in Hawaii serves wine margaritas.

Wine of the week: Wild Horse

Walking the red wine section of Tamura’s, I decided to let my boyfriend choose the wine of the week. He is not a wine drinker but is familiar with my blogs. I thought of this as a great opportunity to see what he has learned and how he will apply it to choosing a wine.

He eyed out the cheaper sections of wine and picked the best label out of those. When I encouraged him to try again, he began to look for a wine that had a higher rating while being reasonably priced. His pick of the week was a 91 point rated bottle of pinot noir, labeled Wild horse.

photo cred: Melanie Fleming

The bottle sold for $17 and was worth it. It had a smooth finish and I felt that it was easy to drink, too easy. I’m certain it was the aroma and smoothness that encouraged me to drink two glasses and I felt incredibly bubbly.

I am new to pairing and still experimenting but I now know for sure, don’t eat the tako jalapeno poke while sipping this wine. The jalapeno ruined the smooth berry taste and made it sour instead.

My first wine tasting

Here are some pointers

Wine scores effect a consumer’s choice of the wine bottle they will purchase.

Wines can be ranked using different scales but the scale I will be talking about is the 100 point scale made famous by Robert Parker.

When I became a regular customer at wine shops, I noticed that next to some price tags there was another tag that had numbers on it. These numbers were usually high and above 80. Under the numbers would be an explanation of why the number was there.

The number was ranked based off of Parker’s 100 point scale and the explanation was usually from a consumer who had attended a wine tasting at the store. The numbers are given so that a novice can easily choose a bottle of wine without knowing much about the brand. The higher the points, the better the wine.

Point rating can help a consumer choose a bottle of wine but can also give reason to the wine market to mark up the price. By making the market aware of which brands the consumers enjoy and feel are higher ranking can raise the price value on the wine bottle.

I like to take in consideration of what my friends are drinking but with no recommendations, choosing wine is made easier by using the point scale made available by other consumers.