Monthly Archives: September 2011

Summer’s Last Hurrah: Flip Flop Moscato

The kids have been back in school for a bit now, I’ve been enjoying several nights of roasting s’mores over the fire pit in the back yard, there’s a chill in the air in the evenings and mornings…and yet I haven’t been quite able to let go of summer as I jaunt about in my flip-flops.

So with that mindset, and the fact that several of my Corked Cowgirl followers on Facebook have mentioned a certain cheap Moscato from FlipFlop wines that I needed to try, I caved and picked up a bottle.

The first thing I noticed was the screw top cap. Back in the day, that might have made me cringe and back away, but no longer. Lots of quality wines are now found in bottles adorned with a screw cap top. I moved forward.

Next I noticed where it was from: California. No specific region, no lauded appellation; simply California. Still, I was not dissuaded. There’s a lot of decent table wine out there that isn’t from a specific AVA…especially in California.

Then I looked at the price…$4.49 with my Price Chopper grocery card. I paused. Thoughts of countless cheap Moscatos that I’ve poured, all like liquid cotton candy in a glass with little other discerning qualities came to mind. My life is enough of a circus without adding a cloying beverage to my itinerary. I set the bottle back down.

Then I thought about the Corkies who INSISTED it was a great bottle of wine at an even better price. I sighed, brought it home, and decided to try it just because I have always told them I’m open to new adventures, and wine is NEVER supposed to be a snooty thing.

As I poured it into my glass, the pale, straw colored wine almost skipped into my glass…much like the summer sun skipping along the waters of the lake I love to hang out on.

On the nose, honeysuckle, pineapple, hints of lemon, and peaches…definitely summertime smells. So far so good, but now, I braced for what inevitably would be that syrupy, sickeningly sweet taste that would stick in my throat.

Except it didn’t happen.

At first taste, it’s like biting into a ginormous honeyed peach. Mid-palate comes a refreshing zing of pineapple. The finish, is a wonderfully creamy taste of lemon curd. But the surprising thing about this wine is that it is crisp and refreshing! There is enough acidity in it to keep it balanced…it isn’t the cotton candy sugar bomb I expected.

All in a screw cap topped bottle for $4.49. Who’d a thunk it?

Excited by the prospect, I paired it up with a slightly spicy Thom Yum soup with seafood for lunch. Absolutely perfect! This little number would work well with mildly spicy dishes, pad thai, General Tso’s chicken, or just as a fun little sipper.

It definitely deserves to be in my ‘summer’ portfolio.

And with the weatherman promising 80 degree weather and sunshine tomorrow, I think I’ll find it paired up with one last cruise on the boat…in my flip flops no less.

FlipFlop Winery has also paired up with Soles4Soles and is donating a pair of shoes to those in need for every bottle of wine sold. They have several other varietals available as well, and I am certain I will be trying them in the near future…you should do the same!


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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


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A Star Has Fallen: 2009 Newman’s Own Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ll admit, Mommy’s frazzled and she needs…I mean NEEDS her ‘sippie cup’ of wine. Between marching band practice, flute lessons, and Girl Scouts, how is a woman supposed to properly study for her Certified Specialist of Wine exam that is happening in only three days?

Well, you pray a lot to God, Bacchus, your pets, anyone that might listen, you cut corners for time in any way you can think of, and you drink whatever wine you can get your hands on.

I decided to combine the last two options and asked my daughters’ father to not only grab dinner options from the grocery store around the corner from me, but asked if he would please pick me up a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to help calm my frazzled nerves. I did not think that request through, fully, as he knows wines about as well as Lady Gaga knows how to be subdued.

Along with a variety of frozen pizzas, sandwich meats, bags of pre-made salad, and Newman’s Own Ranch dressing, he also presented me with a bottle of 2009 Newman’s Own Cabernet Sauvignon.

Another ‘celebrity’ wine…just what I needed.

As I stared at the bottle, I started thinking to myself, ‘well, the pasta sauces and salad dressings are good, and Paul Newman was an absolute winner, how bad can this be?’

So I started to do my homework. $10 for the bottle; I’ve had pretty decent wines for that price, actually. Like his other products, all the profits, after taxes, are donated to charity. I love that! Looked at the winery that produced it. Rebel Winery…hmmmm…I knew nothing about them.
Turns out they’re from Napa, California. That’s always a good sign as Napa is KNOWN for their Cabernet Sauvignons. Also owned by Trinchero Estates, pretty big name in wine. I figured that was another great sign. So, I opened the bottle and poured.

The color was a bit of a purplish red…pretty in the glass…definitely looked like a young wine. As I shoved my nose into the glass to take that first perfumed whiff, I was almost overwhelmed by the smell of cherries. Once I backed off and took another sniff, I caught vanilla and oak, with a peppery smell to it. Thought it smelled a little TOO fruity to be a Cabernet, but hey, I’m stressed, maybe my nose is off.

So, the most important part finally arrived (especially after the past few days of kids, studying, and work). I took that first sip and…

…it wasn’t ‘Butch and Sundance’ quality to me.

It’s really not a bad wine. You taste exactly what you get on the nose: an overwhelming profusion of cherries, maybe a touch of blackberry, a hint of vanilla and oak, and almost TOO much black pepper at the end. OH…the end. What happened to the end? It just sort of disappeared…rode off into the sunset without so much as a word…at a full gallop, no less. There really was no finish. Just the initial wallop of cherry and pepper flavors then…’poof’…gone.

I have kept tasting it over and over, because I SO wanted this wine to be a favorite…I really did. I admit it (and I know this dates me), I wanted it to have all of the sex appeal that Paul Newman had…even at 83. I wanted this wine to cause me to melt like the gaze from Newman’s blue eyes, but sadly, it didn’t.

This wine reminds me more of a big fruit bomb Shiraz with lots of pepper thrown in an attempt to make it interesting. It doesn’t remind me of a California Cabernet at all; especially a Napa Cab.

I know, I shouldn’t have expected much from a $10 bottle of Cabernet. Except I did. And I’ve had some lovely cheap priced Cabernets. The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet immediately pops into my mind. In fact, it is still in my mind. I’m thinking I may have to go down into my mini wine-cellar (I’m a mom, not a wine collector) and grab it just to get my fix.

Like I said, this really isn’t a bad wine. It sure beats anything in a box, I’ll tell you that! But even at a $10 price, I think I can do better.

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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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