Two quickie wine reviews from Cold Comfort Cottage:
The Black Chook, Shiraz and Viognier blend, 2005: I first read about this Australian wine while Googling "Viognier," a few weeks ago when I'd just discovered that particular wine grape. Then I saw a bottle at one of our favorite stores, and -- well, I have a farm-girl affinity for chickens ("chook" is Aussie slang for a chicken), and I really liked the charming picture of the eponymous black chook on the label. (Like I've said before, we don't claim to be professional critics.) Anyway, even though the bottle was a coupla dollars over the standard $10 limit, the chicken won me over, and I bought it. It's a very nice shiraz, maybe a bit drier than what shiraz fans are used to and somewhat lighter in feel. It's a nice wine for a special meal.
On the other end of the taste spectrum, we recently encountered our very first wine that was so bad we poured it down the sink. No kidding. And, much to my surprise, it was from Leelanau Cellars, a regional winery whose wines we tend to like. This particular red table wine is named -- erroneously, we found out -- Autumn Harvest. In this case the label -- an abstract in pretty autumn hues -- was the only thing pleasant about the wine. It was actually vinegary, with a bitter green-pepper off-flavor, and we both literally spit it back out into our glasses in shock and dismay.