Bar Review | Root:1 Carmenere 2008


I’ve always found the idea of having a “house wine” to be a fabulously cultured, classy thing. What better than to have a personally-selected wine to serve guests on a day-to-day basis?

I’m hoping that Bar Review will be a series on the blog in which I chronicle the search for a “house” wine for Casa de Kitchenette. Granted, with my history in sticking to projects (read: my only successful long-term project on this blog is the Can Jam) it’s probable that my “series” might only be a few posts… either because I’m satisfied with the first red/white I try, or because I just get bored with the repetition.



Of course, take everything I say here with a grain of salt… because, um, I know jack about reviewing wine. Hey, I have enough trouble just describing the food I cook, other than saying “yeah, [grunt], it’s tasty.” So I’m not proposing that I’m Sommelier of the Year 2010, ladies (and gentlemen, all 2 of you that read the blog regularly). But, as my friend Vicky said (when I informed her I was 4 sentences into the most ridiculous wine review ever written):

“The more wine you drink, the more you’ll know what to say.”

Well played, Vicky. Well played, indeed.

So, I had my very own wine tasting tonight. And by wine tasting, I mean I sat in my yoga pants and ratty t-shirt… while I surfed the Interwebz and crushed a half bottle of wine. By myself. With Law & Order playing in the background. I know… I’m so classy, it HURTS.

So, Wine #1 on my list to try: appropriately titled, it seems:  Root:1 Carmenere.

First impressions — Smells delicious… like vanilla and blackberries, come to think of it. It’s a *really* pretty shade in the glass; almost a ruby-red, like the color of a dark cherry. It’s what I would describe as a “juicy” wine, rather than the kind that makes your mouth feel dry. (I believe these “drier” wines have more/stronger tannins, but I just call them dry-mouth wines. As in, they give you dry mouth. I’m so classy.)

The official review states:

“Bright ruby. Fresh red berries and cherry on the nose, with a smoky licorice. A gently sweet midweight that offers… a kick of zesty acidity. Good tangy persistence.”

Uh, okay. I’m not really tasting the licorice. I almost get the tangy acidity part. But what do I know? Apparently the dude that reviewed it has his own “international wine cellar,” so who am I to say he’s full of it? His nose and tastebuds are like Harvard Law grads when it comes to wine; mine barely graduated community college.



Food pairings:

“Root: 1 Carmenere pairs well with pasta, vegetable soup, spicy entrees and grilled meats. Its unique character pairs perfectly with ingredients that are difficult to match such as garlic, bell peppers, fresh herbs and eggplant.”

Also goes well with Oreos. (I know because I’m eating them while drinking wine while writing this post.)

Oh, and if you’re of the wine-connosieur variety, you’ll be happy to know that International Wine Cellar Guy gave this 88 points. Sweet. That’s like, a B+. Not setting the curve, but not the dumbest jock in the class.

Overall, very good. I like it. I would drink this and actually enjoy it, which is not normally my reaction to red wines. (For the record, my frequent reaction is to drink as slow as possible, while trying to hide the post-sip grimace on my face from all my dinner companions.)


Do you have a “house wine”? Or do you know of any good $7-$12 wines that I should try out? White or red, I’m taking suggestions.



Twin Sister / Meet the Frownies



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8 thoughts on “Bar Review | Root:1 Carmenere 2008

  1. I love red wine! Looooove love love :) Here are some recommendations
    – Try a good pinot noir, it will be smooth and not quite as heavy
    – Try a good cab sauv
    – Stay away from Merlots

    Buy in the 2007 vintage. If you go to places that sell tons of wine, once you find one that has a good rating, when picking make sure you get the right vintage. A lot of times they put that sticker there but it’s only for the 2006 or ’07 and then they have all the ’08s in stock and nothing else. ’05s are good but hard to find – just stick to your odd numbered years.

    Here’s what my hubby says to look for:
    – Clos du Bois
    – Mandavi
    – Columbia Crest
    – BV C
    – Sterling
    – Louis Martini
    – Coppola (usually priced around $15-17 but you can sometimes find it on sale for $12)

    And then pick whichever grape you prefer among those. Those are usually our “house wines”

  2. Oooh, well whether you stick with the series or not, I love the idea. I like the idea of a house red/white as well. Yet, I can’t seem to buy the same wine multiple times because of all the pretty fricking labels. I am a sucker for a cool looking label. A cool label + a good write up and I’m in.
    And hanging out in my sweats w/ a bottle of wine sounds perfect to me =)
    Can’t wait to read the next review!

  3. You should try Juan Gil (red) and Foxglove (white) …or we should cook and drink wine together :) These are my go to wines when I don’t want to spend a lot of money but want something good!

  4. I am no expert but our current red house favorites (I don’t bother with white, except for champagne) are: Menage a Trois (worth it if only for the name itself!), Blackstone (any variety but we like the Merlot), and BV Costal Estates, Pinot Noir, and the winner in the unbelievable cheap but still palatable variety is Avery Lane… Slightly more expensive than Thunderbird at $3.99 a bottle but much more, shall we say, enticing…

    We are on a mission at our house to find cheap but wonderful wines, therefore I have no idea what to recommend in the over $10 varieties. We also have experimented with boxed wines, for those big family events like Thanksgiving. Had some excellent luck there. Found some excellent advice on that on the Splendid Table radio program. They also have a website that I think you would love. Have fun on your quest!

  5. Pingback: wine & coffee | paperandpoetry

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