Tag Archives: california

Old Moon Zinfandel

At 5.99 a bottle from Trader Joe’s this bottle is a complete stand out. I always have some on hand. Plummy with a surprising depth in character and a slight coat to the tongue that hints of tannin makes this incredibly well balanced. I would say it holds up to bottles at much higher price points. I love drinking this alone or having it with pastas, pizza, bbq, anything a red can hold up to.

Haro Tapas and Wine

Tucked away amidst an industrial area in the southwest side, Haro is a gem of a restaurant. It features a wide array of tapas with a layering of flavor you rarely see with restaurants at this price point. With dishes like garlic shrimp with a balsalmic vinegar and honey sauce, your tastebuds are definitely given a wide showcase of flavors with each bite. One of my favorites was a dish with champignons glazed with sherry, garlic, and truffle oil. It was so rich and mushroomy with a burst of flavor when you bit into the mushrooms…drool. My only wish is that they had provided us with bread to sop up the saucy remains of each dish. We did not get to try the great desserts they had to offer and instead opted to have some fondue with dessert wines. (Post about that to follow 😉 )

Of note, Haro Tapa is no longer BYOB, but we brought wines anyway thinking it still was…oops. It made for a lovely meal with great pairings.

In order of opening:

Firehose Gewurztraminer 2006 California- $10

Sweet and light with hints of lychee and apricot I thought this bottle was incredibly drinkable. It had a little complexity, and resembled the more German sweet style of Gewurztraminer. I plan on keeping this as another staple for casual dinners and whatever excuse I can come up with. It paired wonderfully with the honey balsamic shrimp, manchego cheese dish, and salty bacon wrapped dates. Other suggestions would be a saltier crumbling cheeses like stilton to go with honeyed walnuts. Excuse me while I salivate!

Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc- $9

This bottle was savory compared to the firehose with a good lemony nose and a taste to match. Less complex than the previous with a little bit of fruitiness and citrus, it went amazingly well with the champignons. With the right food it becomes buttery and mouthy. I would pair this in the future with seafood, chicken, a rich creamy pasta, or something along the lines of a butternut squash ravioli. Mmmmm…I am already thinking of my next meal!

Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere 2005- $12

This was a young with a bit of tannin to this finish. Very drinkable and smooth, the nose was amazing with the scent of warm spicy berry if that makes any sense. With its come hither smell, I was mildly disappointed by the chalkiness of the drink, but it did have a great savoriness to it that reminded me more meat. It would probably have went better with a steak than the spicy sausage and other fixin’s we had. I definitely plan on opening it again with a juicy steak.