LJ Weekend Wine Pick

So we are finally back in the swing of our weekend wine picks, with two picks under $10 as always. Once again we have two red wines that were taste tested today by 5 of us along with cheese, crackers, grapes, salami, and some yummy cream cheese chocolate wontons. Sorry to all of you white wine lovers, we will try to mix it up for you next time around. Today our wine was brought by the lovely Jana, accompanied by the food gloriously presented by the fabulous MK.

Two different reds from two separate continents, today’s wine picks are…

Black Opal, a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from south eastern Australia. This red wine has a smooth fine flavor full of finesse and character. It carries a sweet, rich aroma of blackcurrant, mint and spice highlighting the very best of full-flavored Australian wine. This smooth wine pairs well with red meats or veggies, but we found it was very tasty with our cheese and grapes. This bottle retails at around $7 – $10.

Robert Mondavi Merlot is a 2010 red wine from the north coast of California. This full-bodied red is very rich in flavor with almost a spanish type kick to it. Before unveiling the guess was that this was possible an Italian or Spanish wine. Although to the groups surprise it was right from our California vineyards. This wine has velvety layers of berry, plum and spice. This wine pairs well with  meats as well especially of the grilled selection. This bottle retails at around $6 – $8.

The winner of our taste test by a unanimous vote is…. Black Opal!

Hope you all have a great weekend! If you need a great, cheap selection of wine this pick up Black Opal. Also don’t forget to enter our Gayle coral earring giveaway, go to our Sail Away… Giveaway blog for how you can enter to win.


LJ Weekend Wine Pick

We love our Friday afternoon wine tastings, and we are here to report week 2 of our LJ wine tasting pick for under $10.

The buyer today was the lovely Ashley who works for Hat Creek Burger Company whom we share office space with. The cheese and grapes came from Dan who is also a part of the Hat Creek crew. We tasted two different wines, both were red, one from Argentina, and one from California.

Our two wines that were unveiled today were Trivento and First Timer.

Trivento is a 2011 Malbec from Argentina. It has a dark/inky color with robust flavor. It has a sweet, but not too sweet taste, with a nice velvety finish. Trivento is said to pair best with grilled meats and stews. We all thought it was a smooth everyday wine that you can pair with about anything.

First Timer is a California red wine blend from 2009. First Timer is a dark wine rich with tastes of fruit, like black cherry and peppery spices. Oddly I could not find much information online about this wine other than it is from the Chain Gang Vineyards, so I am not sure of great pairings, or professional dialog on the wine. Our tasters found this to be a bit more of a full-bodied wine. Very rich in flavor with a kind of tang, but with a sweet finish.

So the votes are in for todays tasting and the winner is…. Trivento! You should be able to find this at your local store ranging in price from $7-$10.

We hope you enjoy your weekend and let us know if you have any special wine picks we should try under $10.00!

LJ Weekend Wine Pick

At the Liz James studio we are all about hard work… but we are also about fun! We love what we do and so it really is hard to consider this work to begin with, but it is good to change the day up a bit to keep things interesting. LJ is starting a new tradition of Friday wine tastings, or “LJ Weekend Wine Pick” since it leads right into our weekend.

Every week someone will bring two different wines under $10 to taste. All of the staff will critique them and we will rate which one is best! Now we are no wine experts so more than likely we will not have true form or the correct wine verbiage, but we will have two new wines that we have tasted that we can share with you. Based on the recommendations of what the LJ staff considers to be tasty you may find a great new wine that you too can enjoy!

Week 1:

The two wines of the week are Arrogant Frog and Natura.

Arrogant Frog is a Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot Blend out of France. This bottle was from 2010 and is priced at $10.00. This wine with its low acidity has a softening effect. The Merlot grapes give it a soft, fruitiness that makes this wine smooth and approachable. Arrogant Frog is pretty flexible in what it can pair with, but goes really well with Salmon and Tuna.

Natura is a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. This bottle was also from 2010 and can be purchased at $9.00 a bottle. Bright ruby in color with an aroma of ripe fruit and oak. This wine has a sweet taste, powerful with good body and flavorful persistence. It pairs well with red meats, game, lamb and semi-aged cheeses.

So in our first taste test of 6 people the winner is…   Natura!

If you like a good Cab at a great price then check out Natura for your next wine purchase! Also let us know if you have any great wines that we can compare in our next taste test. Happy Friday!