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Lodi Blends

This past week we decided to tap into our California wine stash, particularly some affordable red blends from Lodi.  The bottles were purchased at Cost Plus World Market during our recent trip to SoCal.  At $10-$12 per bottle, you’re looking at some great value.  Lodi, CA has not steered us wrong yet.  Cheers!

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Gnarly Head
Authentic Red
Lodi, CA
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 14.5%
Average Price: $10

Winemaker’s Notes:  Gnarly Head Authentic Red is a big, bold Zinfandel-led red blend that hails from a true grit American town: Lodi, California, where gnarled, old vines are pruned in a wild, mop-topped way called “head trained” – our true gnarly heads. These heroic old vines produce scant clusters of small-berried fruit, resulting in intensely flavored, authentic wines with concentrated dark fruit flavors.

To create our new Authentic Red, we’ve blended our densely flavorful Zinfandel with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah to deliver a massively juicy core of ripe blackberry and spice. Pair it with boldly flavored foods like steak, grilled chops of BBQ.

Our Thoughts and Pairings:  We honestly did not think we would enjoy this red blend too much. Love when we’re proven wrong.  A nice deep red color, we definitely smelled the ripe fruits and blackberries, but it actually tasted a little sweeter than expected. After aerating it, the juicy combinations of fruit flavors were a great pairing for our BBQ chicken and mashed potatoes dinner. Chilled for a few minutes, it even made a great aperitif.

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3 Girls – Oak Ridge Winery
Pure Red
Lodi, CA
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 13.5%
Average Price: $12

Winemaker’s Notes:  A luscious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah & Merlot.  3 Girls is the captured & bottled pure essence of innocence and youth. 3 loving owners watching their 3 loving daughters transition form childhood into young adulthood. “Never underestimate the power of three!”

Our Thoughts and Pairings:  At first sniff we were a little hesitant. This blend gave scents of ripe berries along with a strong hint of stinky gouda-like cheese scent. We had to look around to make sure we didn’t have any stashed somewhere in the house. Nope…it was just the wine. At first sip, we were surprised to find traces of bacon flavors mixed in there with tart fruit flavors. Cheese and bacon wine? Wine not? 😉 After a trip down the aerator, the wine did not lose its cheese and bacon qualities, but did gain a smoothness. Not too dry, not too sweet, just right. We paired it with some homemade grilled cheeseburgers and veggies.

~Vino & Vintage

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