Wine review: Bogle 2008 Petite Sirah California

Bogle Vineyards, a third generation, family-owned and -operated winery, owns 1,500 acres and isn’t beholden to a bank. That’s how they can sell high quality wine at a low price. That, and they’ve been making Petite Sirah a long time.

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Wine review: Menage a Trois 2008 White Blend

This brand has gotten HUGELY popular in the past few years, mainly by releasing sweeter, less complex wines for the masses. Unabashed in their promotion and their choice of tropical-tasting, fragrant grapes, the winemakers at Folie à Deux (the producer) have struck a chord — with seemingly everyone from critics to consumers in this Juicy Fruit Gum-like white wine.

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Wine review: Matanzas Creek 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma (California)

This California winery boasts a fantastically talented French winemaker who crafts decidedly European-style white and red wines. In essence: food wines with more acidity. This is a “grown-up” Sauvignon Blanc.

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Sparkling wine review: Cristalino Brut Cava

Besides Segura Viudas Cava, this little $10 number is a favorite in the “cheap” sparkling wine category. Widely available too.

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Wine review: Bogle 2008 Merlot California

This wine is so rich and concentrated, it’s like drinking a Merlot in Zin clothing. Intense cherry cola, ripe plum, toasty coconut and sweet blueberry wash over your tongue, kinda leaving you wondering where the Merlot went.

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Wine review: Martini Prosecco DOC

Prosecco, the name of a perfumey grape as well as a lightly fizzy, refreshing sparkling wine from Italy, can be absolutely beautiful but also complete crap. Shopping by name or specific region is imperative and Martini and Rossi is always consistent (you might have heard of their sweet Asti Spumante? Not the same thing).

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Wine review: Mettler 2007 "Epicenter" Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi

The Mettler Family’s grapegrowing roots date back to the 1770’s, so they’ve had a couple of years to get the farming formula in California’s Lodi region right. Their 2007 Epicenter Zin is not a wine for those seeking light-hearted red wine. Burly, muscular, concentrated flavors don every drop.

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3 great boxed wines - yes, tasty wines in a box exist

I’ve been a proponent of wine-in-a-box, or “cask wine” as the Aussies call it, for years. But with the recession siphoning our wallets, these vinous countertop accoutrement are becoming as popular as half off restaurant coupons. Whereas before Australian wineries ruled the boxed segment, lately Californians have toyed with the concept of the cask. And using good wine instead of the plonk once reserved for this “lowly” form of wine service.

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Wine review: Apothic Red Wine 2008 California

One word: Delicious. If you’re one for lovin’ on sweet-ish, juicy smackin’, full-bodied reds, RUN, don’t walk, to pick up this bottle.

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Wine review: Kim Crawford 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

Overwhelming flavors, reminiscent of sucking on a key lime. Grapefruit and green herbs rush up the nose and onto the tongue. The acidity is almost too present — the wine isn’t as balanced or as smooth as other vintages.

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