Merisi * Pinot Gris * 2016

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Our home consists of two working parents, a three-year-old, and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs. Making it through a typical week is a well-orchestrated routine, consisting of normal and usual habits, and the occasional exception to the standard plan. This week I made a day trip to Des Moines for work, which consisted of a long fourteen hour day. Rather than settle into the typical dinner routine we planned to invite our neighbor over to try a bottle of Pinot Gris we’ve never had before.

The best thing about this wine: so savory it must be shared
Available at: Spirit World
By the bottle: $24.99
Pairs well with: neighbors, conversation, and dinner
If you like light and dry white wines, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.merisiwines.com

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Merisi * Pinot Gris * 2016

Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

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One of the first lessons I got when I started tasting wine—as opposed to, you know, drinking wine—was that there were no wrong answers. Just because the wine list said you should taste black cherry and cardamom doesn’t mean you will. Sometimes I even find those notes to be a hindrance to testing my own palate, so I generally ignore them, taste the wine myself, and then check to see if I was in the same ballpark. Even if you don’t use the notes, though, what they can do is remind us of the thought that someone else put into what’s in that glass. Every element of the winemaking process results in changes to the flavor profile of that wine, so it makes sense to know what’s influencing the wines you drink.

The best thing about this wine: Smooth, easy drinking, and good with food
Available at: Spirit World
By the bottle: $35
Pairs well with: chicken, beef
Winery Web Page: www.merisiwines.com

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Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

Forefront * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2011

FullSizeRenderThis weekend our lack of food options hit the tipping point. We no longer could stretch not going to the grocery store by pairing random options of whatever food was remaining together and still call it a meal. A lonely bag of baby carrots had survived, and I had decided they would be delicious on the grill for dinner. But simply eating grilled carrots wasn’t going to sustain our Saturday night appetites. At the grocery store grabbing a few grilling items to pair with the carrots, I made my way to the wine section in hopes of finding something new and pleasing. I set my sights on a 2011 Forefront Cabernet Sauvignon and with a quick scan of the label using the Vivno app, I had decided to give it a try.

The best thing about this wine: complex and unique flavors
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $9.99
Pairs well with: Beef sirloin (and–of course–carrots)
If you like flavorful Cabernets, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.forefrontwines.com 

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Forefront * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2011

Seghesio * Zinfandel * 2015

20170430_152900Faced with a cold and dreary day last week, we decided to meet some friends for lunch and have a drink at a local sports bar. As I looked through the drink menu, I noticed they had an extensive wine list. Typically, at a sports bar I would steer towards a beer but instead, my friend and I decided to split a bottle of the Seghesio Zinfandel.

The best thing about this wine: Big, bold and jammy
Available at: Ryan’s Food and Spirits
By the bottle: $30.00 By the glass: $12.00
Pairs well with: Chicken Nachos and buffalo wings
Winery Web Page: www.seghesio.com

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Seghesio * Zinfandel * 2015