“In short, our wines sell because of what’s in the bottle” – from the back of the bottle on any Old Vine Red from Marietta.
The wine world can be a very overwhelming place. Between keeping up with point scores from a variety of magazines and which years yielded the best grapes from each region, one can easily become lost in a whole load of crap that has no bearing on the most important aspect of enjoying wine; whether or not one likes to drink it.
I was introduced to this family owned operation at a dinner a few years back, trying their Old Vine Red, Lot Number 47. I was surprised to find that there were no specific percentages of which grape varietals were used (the bottles states that the blend is “predominantly comprised of Zinfandel,” a very traditional California grape that produces bold and exciting wine) and no vintage. I then recieved the spiel on this rather inexpensive ($11-$14) and unassuming bottle, learning that Marietta Cellars will just blend their harvest of grapes together, under the care of the father who started the winery and his 4 sons,and out comes a fantastic wine for the price.
I have been drinking Old Vine Red since Lot Number 47 (they just released Lot 54 in February 2011) and you can always find a bottle in my collection. Each release is a bit different in terms of specific flavors, for example, I found 51 and 52 a lot spicier and less full bodied than the 53 sitting next to me. That being said, every release that I have tried has been very smooth and has gone well with almost any meal that one can imagine, specifically pasta dishes with tomato based sauces and flavorful meats. Old Vine Red has never disappointed me and my guests are always suprised that it is so great and inexpensive but they haven’t heard of it.
Cheers to you, Chris Bilbro. Not only do you have bro in your name, but you consistently produce a fantastic and affordable wine. You can read more about the beliefs and principles that govern the operation of Marietta Cellars here.
An online wine resource that every value seeking drinker of “the other purple drank” is Wine.Woot.com. If you are already familiar with the woot.com concept, this is a site by the same fellows that features products centered around wine. According to their section entitled What is Wine.Woot?, “every weekday, wine.woot.com will uncork a sweet new wine deal. (Or a wine-related one, be it wine accessories or fine finger-food fixins.)” Usually, these deals include 2 or 3 bottles of vey highly rated wine at a large discount.
If you so desire, check it every week day for a new deal. The major conflict comes from certain state governments not allowing wine to be shipped directly to customers from an out of state winery. Not that there aren’t good wineries in the amazing state of Maryland.
Here is the section of their site describing the shipping policy and in which states you can have wine shipped directly to your doorstep…
“Thanks to stick-in-the-mud buzzkilling state legislators, wine may only be delivered to the following states:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Each winery is different, so each Wine.Woot sale is posted with its own list of approved states. Be sure to check that list for details. If your state’s not on the list, no wine for you! Take it up with your state assemblyperson. We comply with all federal, state, and local laws in providing this wine.”- (Wine.Woot.com)
Czech it out, let me know if you’ve had good/bad/ugly experiences buying from them. I haven’t bought anything myself yet due to the restriction on shipping wine into Maryland and my lack of interest in accessories.
This was very valuable to me when I was a fresh wine drinker, the flavor map from [yellow tail]. It not only allowed me to expand my palate to new wines, but allowed me to find those points of comparison between the wines, which is crucial in being able to describe flavors and make recommendations to friends based on their preferences.
The flavor map plots all the [yellow tail] wines against two criterion, light vs heavy and sweet vs. dry. I’ve found the map to be accurate in flavor profiles and useful for explaining the differences in flavors, specifically between different red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.