The West Lake Wine Club
The West Lake Wine Club

A nyone who knows me also knows that I have no problem talking. The problem, they will tell you, is knowing when to stop. The West Lake Uncorked Wine Club took a chance and invited me as guest speaker to their December meeting. Either they are desperate or needed some entertainment. The club has rulebook and everything and an active membership of around 20 or so. The biggest rule? You bring a new wine to each meeting for everyone to enjoy. Joe, who I know as a regular at wine tastings, acted as pour-master, making sure everyone got a proper sample amongst 20 folks. Since I did the speaking and now doing the typing I can tell you I did a great job…. And I decided to kill two birds with one stone: review what they brought and I will also review one of my new favorites as Cheap Wine Bastard. On my recommendation they purchased this wine and seemed to like it (or they were being polite.) I gave them a list of 5 wines I like that are under $10.

I brought a bottle of Villa Ponzi ($9.99 at Wine World), a great wine from Sicily that I have to say is one of my all time favorites Especially when I want a great wine and spare no expense (up to $10 that is). They provided one of my 5, Bota Box RedVolution, my current favorite cheap wine because it contains the equivalent of 4 bottles and only costs $17.99 at Vineyard Wine Market. Everyone and their uncle carries Bota Box wines in Augusta. But only the Vineyard Wine Market carries RedVolution. They featured it at a blind tasting recently and they sold out. I think the reason no one carries it is that it’s a blend. That was one of my points during my comments that night. Too many people avoid blends because they think only varietals are worthy of drinking. I remember a quote from a wine seminar “Does the World really need another California Cab?”  I believe that people who avoid blends are missing the boat. I was impressed that everyone at the club meeting agreed and said they like blends.

Bota Box RedVolution
Bota Box RedVolution

This wine has Zinfandel as the first grape, then Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and finally Petite Sirah. I love decanting this wine (like they did at the club meeting) and see the look on their face when they find out it came out of a box. I have to admit that the club member, who will remain anonymous, first refused to buy a box wine but relented after they realized it would keep nicely for a party they were throwing the next weekend.

I guess you could call this a great jug wine but usually that moniker is tags a wine as being good enough to swig and not much more. I love the fact this full-bodied wine tastes the same on the first pour as the last days later. Plus the killer is the price comes out to $4.50 a bottle.

Here’s that their website says “Bota Box RedVolution reveals rich aromas of black cherry, plum and dark berry jam which extend into lush flavors of dark fruit and spice with hints of vanilla.  Full-bodied and smooth in texture, this wine culminates in a juicy, fruit-focused finish. Our RedVolution pairs well with a variety of dishes including grilled lamb, wild mushroom pizza, and penne pasta with fresh tomato sauce.”

The box has much more info that the website.

The rest of the evening had some really nice wines. There were 3 sparklers. Gruet Blanc de Noirs (which I bought for a recent dinner party we threw), Andre Brut Champagne (although it’s from California) and Moet Chandon Imperial. The Gruet is a great New Mexican sparkler that is not dry. A nice start for any gathering. The Andre, which I have to admit I bought for Mrs. Dan to cook with, is a traditional Brut or more accurately a typical Brut. It’s dry and then again it’s not. (Like un-sweet tea in Alabama). The Moet Chandon was excellent. A true Champagne.  I asked Colleen what she thought and she said “Did I like it? Oh yes!” (Check out their website. They started auctioning a collection of 1911 Champagne with the proceeds benefiting a local charity).

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Filling out the reds was George DuBoeuf Morgan Red Burgandy. Vickie said this was “definitely French but not heavy.” Definitely a lighter dry red.

Rossopesce Toscana Red 2008 by Castello Vicchiomaggio. A nice Sangiovese with a very artsy label. But the aromas were a bit earthy with one taster saying it had an “armpit” aroma.

Chateau Pesquie Terrasses 2010. Amelia liked this full bodied French Ventoux red.

Last but not least was The Watcher Shiraz 2008 from Fetish Wines. This wine has been featured at several tastings over the past 2 years. This Barossa Valley Shiraz, to me has some spicy pepper notes. It’s nicely fruit forward with juicy dark berry flavors.  Wine Spectator says you can drink this wine through 2018.

So, I think they liked my wine choices. Or at least the two that was there. (The rest of my Top Five choices included MontGras Carmenére Reserve, Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel and Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon). Before I forget I have to mention the nibbles. Quite the spread. The salmon on toast was fantastic.

My thanks to the West Lake Uncorked for a very enjoyable evening.


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