Ryan Patrick * Rock Island Red * 2014

It’s been a long 2 weeks for us in the Hague household. If you have fur-babies you completely understand how they are a big part of your family and heart. Our boxer Brock stopped eating and lost 15 pounds in one week, so we took him in for some lab work. The vet wasn’t sure exactly, but according to his numbers it showed he either had the dreaded Lymphoma or Addison Disease. After hundreds of dollars and several meds later, we had him tested again today.
[Editor’s note: spoiler alert, he’s ok. I couldn’t take the suspense after poor Mo’s bad news last week] 

The best thing about this wine: Jammy with a pleasurable silky finish
Available at: Vino Mas
By the bottle: $20.00
Pairs well with: Pepperoni Pizza
Winery Web Page: www.ryanpatrickwines

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Ryan Patrick * Rock Island Red * 2014

Dreaming Tree * Crush * 2014

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With Independence Day celebrations popping off last week, I may have popped a few corks myself! Over the 4th of July weekend we went out to my cousin’s new house on Lake Allure. As the sun was setting and everyone set up their firework displays, I sat back and had nice glass of Dreaming Tree’s Crush while watching the sun set over the lake. (If only I had some Dave Matthews music in the background!).

The best thing about this wine: Not too sweet but not too dry
Available at: HyVee
By the bottle: $14.99
Pairs well with: Burgers and brats on the grill.
Winery Web Page: https://www.dreamingtreewines.com

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Dreaming Tree * Crush * 2014

STE Chapelle * Chateau Series Soft Red * 2012

Idaho? Snake River Valley?

These were the thoughts running through my head as I was browsing the pre-chilled wines at Wohlner’s. I was on a last minute mission to purchase a few bottles of wine for an outdoor dinner party after work on Friday. My wife requested I pick up at least one chilled, “easier-drinking” wine since it was one of the first real warm days this year. She suggested a Rosé.

Full discloser here in this review: I’m not a wine expert. I enjoy drinking wines and consider myself the casual wine drinker. But this day, I felt a little more pressure than normal in making a selection. The dinner party hosts knew I was blogging for Omaha Wine Review and thought I should be the one to bring the wine. I was unable to find a Rosé I felt confident purchasing.
I kept looking. Time was ticking. The STE Chapelle Soft Red seemed intriguing. I knew nothing about Idaho wines or the Snake River Valley. Feeling the mounting pressure to make a good decision, paired with my impending tardiness, I risked it.

Well no Rosé. What the heck, go bold or go home!

I snatched the bottle, hoping for the best.

The best thing about this wine: Sweet and flavorful for easy summer drinking
Available at: Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery and Deli
By the bottle: $9.99
Paired well with: guacamole
If you like Moscato or other sweet wines, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://stechapelle.com

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STE Chapelle * Chateau Series Soft Red * 2012

B Side * Red Blend * 2014

Balance

I’ve been struggling a little bit (ok, a lot bit) with balance lately. Last night, I rushed home from school to grab my craft store coupons to get supplies for a tie-dying project at school. I saw my super long lawn and decided to do a quick mow before I headed to the craft store, before I started my part-time job. I didn’t find what I needed and ended up at 2 more stores after my shift ended. When I finally made it home, I collapsed in bed. With my days looking like this more and more frequently, I find that spending my weekends relaxing is essential to any semblance of a work-life balance. Last Sunday at a wine tasting, I thought perhaps I could achieve some balance from a nice Red Blend called B Side.

The best thing about this wine: A nice peppery finish gives this more appeal than your average Red Blend
Available at: The Winery
By the bottle: $24.99
Pairs well with: A rainy Sunday, appetizers, a nice steak with roasted veggies
Winery Web Page: http://www.bsidewines.com/

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B Side * Red Blend * 2014

Chain Gang Pitch Black * Red Blend * 2016

I’ve always been partial to a great breakfast. Whether I’m cooking at home or checking out a cafe or local dive, my spirits lift with a great morning or mid-day meal. Sunday we met at Pitch in Dundee for brunch. The food here is always delicious and I quickly decided on VIP Smoked Mac and Cheese, bypassing the breakfast menu options. Typically my drink of choice for Sunday brunch would be a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, or sparkling wine, but I ordered a glass of Chain Gang’s Pitch Black Red Blend. 

The best thing about this wine: smooth and silky
Available at: Pitch Coal-Fire Pizzeria
By the bottle:  $20.00 / By the glass: $9.00
Pairs well with: beef, lamb, sausage
Winery Web Page: http://www.dcflyntmw.com/chain-gang-vineyards

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Chain Gang Pitch Black * Red Blend * 2016

URLO (Scream) * Red Blend * 2013

There is nothing as hard as having cancURLOer force us to say goodbye to a dear friend and mentor in the wine business so early in life. When the time came to celebrate what was possibly her last birthday, I canvased the shelves for a bottle that perhaps represented our friendship and my feelings about what was happening…

The best thing about this wine: that each type of grape was fermented separately then blended.
Available at:  Corkscrew Wine and Cheese
By the bottle:   $15.00
Pairs well with: pasta, spicy food, or my personal favorite: Raspberry Bellavitano cheese!
Try this if you like: If You See Kay

 Winery Web Page: www.URLOwines.com

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URLO (Scream) * Red Blend * 2013

Two Horns * Mean Red Blend * 2013

Pinkeye Wine

 Are you Brave Enough? That question is emblazoned at the top of the back label on Two Horns wine, so if you’re still reading this review after a title like “Pinkeye wine” I consider you a die-hard wine lover!

The best thing about this wine: Great flavors for drinking on its own
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $10.99
Pairs well with: burgers, steak, barbecue
Winery Web Page: 
http://twohornswine.com

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Two Horns * Mean Red Blend * 2013