drinking, reviews, wine

Tesco 2017 South African Pinotage W.O. Western Cape

this is only the second Pinotage i’ve had so i was excited to try it. this is one of my favorite grapes now i think. i’m not sure what the ‘official’ name of this bottle is. on the Tesco website they just call it ‘South African Pinotage’.

it has a wonderful nose of sour cherries. when drinking it’s juicy at first before giving way to a nice dryness that stays fruity, without too much of the woodiness that can come with tannins. i kind of love this wine. i got another bottle to go with some lamb i’m making for easter so i might update this once i’ve tried it with food. 4.5/5

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Tesco Finest 2017 Las Hijuelas Carmenere

i’ve never had this grape before but overall it’s nice and i’m glad i found something like-but-not cabernet sauvignon.

plum nose, dry wood, ‘herbs’ like it says on the bottle. the tannins are a little strong, ie it’s dry, which i like, but it’s also a little too heavy for my tastes. (probably) very nice with steak and mushrooms but a little much to have on its own. that said for six quid it is complex and good, strong (13%) dinner wine so i’d definitely get it again. 4ish out of five?

drinking, reviews, wine

wine review! Tesco Finest Lambrusco Reggiano

omg i love this! it reminds me of Top Topic and Sangria Señorial, though obviously ~with~ alcohol. i love this and want it all the time.

speaking of Top Topic, when i was in Czechia around 2003-2004 i could have sworn i had a red grape Top Topic in addition to the white grape one they show on the website, but i can’t seem to find any references to it anywhere. i could have just had the red Vinea i suppose but for some reason that doesn’t look/feel familiar to me.

anyways back to this! it’s just very nice. juicy but not too sweet, soft bubbles, and lots of fun. i could have this every day, particularly since my ultra-lush luxury emperor dream is to start every morning with some sort of wine-based bubbles.

drinking, reviews, wine

wine review! 2016 Emotion Côtes de Provence Rosé

even though it’s march, today was the first proper sunny day in a while (following the Beast storm that gave us a week of snow and empty grocery stores and whatnot) so i couldn’t resist getting some lovely rosé. for the complete Provençal experience i took a picture of it with my Cézanne print.

the first nose is definitely strawberries and makes me smile. it’s light and tart at first before filling out in the middle and ending with some nice mineral (and maybe vegetal) dryness. it’s what i think you would call ‘moreish’.

i’m having it with olives, bread and cheese, shrimp and other little tapas sort of snacks but i can definitely imagine this going well with a light pasta. all in all i’m basically in heaven with this lunch 😊

for price-to-value comparison, this is another low-priced Tesco rosé. it was £5 when i got it today but i think usually it’s a tiny bit more expensive. it’s drier than the regular Tesco Côtes de Provence Rosé and since today it happened to be £1.50 cheaper it’s definitely much better for the price. it’s still not as complex as it could be so it’s not mind-blowing or anything, but still very nice overall. tomorrow i’m gonna try an M&S rosé i got specially for a train ride, so it’ll be interesting to see how it compares.


drinking, reviews, wine

wine review! 2016 M&S Réserve de la Saurine

i think maybe it has a blackberry nose? i sort of forgot to take it slow at first because it smelled so nice i went in for a big gulp before writing any notes down (my sommelier skills are not exactly super refined).

juicy but with wonderful tannins, full and dry at the end without any spice. i spent way too much time in the wine aisle until i finally decided i wanted my usual kind of red, which is generally a big dry dirt-tasting cabernet. i couldn’t find that so i got this blend instead and it’s turned out quite nicely. it’s right in my wheelhouse because it’s juicy and drinkable up front while still being dry and long at the end. 4.5/5 defo would get again.

drinking, reviews, wine

guest wine review! 2016 Just Nuisance Merlot Pinotage

most of this review is thanks to a super special guest reviewer, my fiancée.

the wine is named after a dog who, as part of a series of wacky imperial adventures, was enlisted in the British Royal Navy. fuckin’ imperialist wine man.



From the back label:

Serving as an Able Seaman from 1939 to 1944 in Simon’s town, South Africa, Just Nuisance was the only dog ever enlisted in the Royal Navy. The Great Dane affectionately called Nuisance, a gentle giant always in the way of bustling sailors, was not only fond of boats and the company of seamen; he also often traveled on trains, with or without his companions. To cunningly circumvent the need for train tickets he was enlisted as Ordinary Seaman ‘Just Nuisance’. Bone Crusher by trade and Scrounger by affiliation he was promoted to the rank of Able Seaman,some of his ‘duties’ included stopping brawls between tipsy sailors and guiding them back to base after visiting pubs. This wine celebrates an icon of the Cape and the friendship between man and dog.

it’s hard for me to judge this dog too harshly for the British Empire’s crimes, particularly because inducting him into the Navy meant he could scam the super racist railroad company. anyways, on to the wine.

The fiancée’s notes are as follows:

first nose: wine-y, earthy, and flowery. taste: blackberries, smooth and dry at the end. really good wine; i think i did really good [picking it out]. works well with wedding planning and Gilmore Girls; would go well with pasta w/ red sauce, but also easy to drink on it’s own. i would say it’s an all-around crowd pleaser. i’d bring it to a party. 4/5.

[later] maybe getting black pepper on the tip of my tongue at the end. kind of medium bodied, not super complex and yet still very flavorful.

[even later] not good with cheese and fruit tho.


i only tried a little bit but here are my notes: lots of black pepper on the first nose; dry; i guess i sort of get blackberry but it seems more cassis? like it is boozy [eta, well it is 14%].

drinking, reviews, wine

wine review! 2016 19 Crimes Red Wine

god this one is extra racist. crazy how often genocide is used to sell wine.

the label is all about a bunch of colonial bullshit that tries to play up the colonization of Australia as some sort of rough-n-tumble rugged individualist garbage reflected in the wine itself. the marketing copy on the back pretty much covers the entire ‘asshole white colonial murderers as rebellious outsiders’ bingo card.


20180207_160621320629378.jpgNineteen crimes turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction, British rogues, guilty of at least one of the 19 crimes, were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by ‘transportation’ began in 1788, and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited.

As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick. This wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built.

jesus fucking christ this is some whitewashing bullshit. i bought this because it was cheap and had a kind of neat looking black bottle but if i had read all this beforehand i defo wouldn’t have gotten it. even without tasting it i kind of hate this wine and hope whoever made it (and ~especially~ whoever wrote the back label) gets stabbed in the fuckin’ face with their own trash bottles.

i tried to look up more about the assholes who made this but their shitty website is broken so you can’t get past the age check.



alcohol on the first nose, then cloyingly sweet (being generous you might say ‘jammy’), and finally a relatively satisfying finish; it tastes so boozy that the end of it has a bit of heat that cleans up the almost sickly introduction.

the liquid gets 2.5/5 but the label gets like, -10000, so, all in all not a great bit of booze. i might wash the labels off and put flowers in the bottle though, because it is a nice black color.

drinking, reviews, wine

wine review! 2016 Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon

here’s a real short review.

first nose was almost chocolate-y, earthy, extremely smooth, just dry enough at the end, probably good with red meat (we’ll see with the cheeseburger w/ blue cheese), i guess fruity but i can’t identify any specific fruits, maybe cherry?

update! it was ok with dinner but probably better with just a steak/no cheese.


drinking, reviews, wine

wine review! 2016 Four Growers Chardonnay

i didn’t read any tasting notes beforehand because this was the complimentary wine at a film screening/discussion. so this review is 100% just based on my palate/tasting vocab. i also didn’t get good photos of the labels because i already looked like a weirdo taking just the one.

These are the notes i jotted down because there was no service there to post this directly:

apple, full, oak, a slight woody sharpness

very apple, as in like apple juice (not in a bad way)

i like this quite a lot. the taste of apple and wood is so strong that it almost reminds me of a flat/dry cider or even bourbon. obviously the texture is much lighter than either of those but i like the comparison (and this wine) because it connotes a particular kind of sharpness that i don’t usually associate with chardonnay.

5/5 would definitely drink for free again.

also the films were neat