Handsome Devil Malbec (Argentina 2012)

Handsome DevilSeptember blazed by in a firestorm of travel and parties. October, however, sneaked in on little cat feet, delivering a cold and yet more travel.

While September is my favorite month of the year (birthday, anyone?), Rocktober is when the real fun begins. Husband has a birthday toward the end of the month, and then there’s Halloween. Or Spookapalooza, as we like to say around these parts.

You can use that one if you like. Spookapalooza is fun to say. Try it. Spookapalooza. We can all thank Scooby Doo for that one. He’s a genius.

I like to imbibe appropriately themed beverages for the annual invasion of beggar-children working overtime for a midnight sugar high. And I think I’ve found a bottle that’ll fit the bill.

No, not for the beggar-children. That would be ridiculous. This is a treat for the grown-ups. Even if we are dressed as Strawberry Shortcake. (Not that I would be. You might be. Whatever floats your boat, man. No judgement here.)

Anyway, I found Handsome Devil Malbec at Target, on a Halloween end-cap on the candy aisle, no less. Those guys really know their market, which is probably why none of us can leave Target for under $100. Although, for the record, $100 doesn’t actually get you a lot of wine. You’ll have to trust me here. Good Baptists don’t buy wine. Especially not at Target. And especially not one hundred dollars worth. (Hi Mom!)

Where was I? Oh, right –  wine.

Handsome Devil Malbec. It’s a cleverly labeled, no-frills Malbec, and it’ll look amazing on your table for that really cool Halloween party you’ve been planning. $9 at Target.

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HandCraft Cabernet Sauvignon (California 2011)

HandCraft Cabernet

The kind folks at HandCraft Wines sent me this delightful bottle a couple of weeks ago, and I wasted no time planning a meal around it. As you can obviously see.

I was intrigued by the idea of a California Cabernet Sauvignon with an added hint of Sangiovese, especially considering my love of Italian-style wines. (Still no word on the elusive sub-$15 Corvina. The search continues!)

But good news, this Cab is delightful. Just enough tannins and just enough fruit – it was exactly right.

We enjoyed it with a selection of cheeses (the hard Italian cheese won our informal “best with” tasting) and then with a steak for dinner (solid and balanced.) My only regret is not preparing some mushrooms for the ribeye because that would have made the meal just about perfect.

Ultimately, it’s a nicely full-bodied Cab with the perfect amount of fruit, a touch of cocoa, and a smooth finish. The suggest retail is $12.99, but if you’re in Texas, HEB offers it for $9-10.

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by HandCraft Wines, a collection of California wines with a dash of Italian varietals. Opinions are entirely my own. No animals were harmed, though much wine was consumed, during the writing of this review. We ate all the cheese.

Posted in Big Reds, On Sale Now, Revelations | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Barefoot Refresh Crisp White (California)

First, allow me to say thanks to The Other Joe, who sends regular requests for new wine reviews. He’s kinda like my conscience, except a lot nicer to me than I think I deserve.

Second, allow me to remind ya’ll of my Instagram feed, where you can find images of my daily glass and occasional micro-reviews. While Instagram is quick and easy, it’s also a lazy woman’s excuse for not writing real reviews.

Third, I concur with Laura Mayes at Blog con Queso, that this is the Summer of the Spritzer. And I agree with her – primarily because I just bought the equivalent of a spritzer in a bottle.

Here ends the numbered list.

photoEnter Barefoot Refresh Crisp White, which bills itself as a “vibrant, light-bodied wine.” Which it is. Light-bodied. Very.

At only 9% abv and a subtle frizzante, it feels more like a spritzer than your my regular glass of chilled white wine. And I can easily imagine a few chunks of peach or red grapefruit adorning my glass to complement the subtle pear/green apple flavor.

It ventures a little close to Jolly Rancher territory, sadly, but if you keep “spritzer” in mind, it works.

So, go ahead and try it and let me know what you think. I’m not completely sold. Though I might be persuaded.


Posted in Cheap Cheap Cheap, Under $10, Wonderful Whites | 3 Comments