To W. Wong, Thanks for Everything! Pinot Noir

It soon will become apparent that we shop at BevMo! quite a bit. It’s a Walmart-esque liquor store in California and Arizona. Interestingly enough, BevMo! has its own wine taster/rater – Wilfred Wong. Here’s his Linkedin profile. He looks legit and covers all the wine in the store (tasting 8,000 a year or 22 a day!), sharing his own rating in the process.

In our first tasting, we decided to try Willy’s advice on Pinot Noir. That’s right, we’re going Sideways here for our first-ever tasting. This varietal has become a favorite in our house in the last couple of years. It’s generally smooth, easy and unintimidating. Just how I like my wine.

I’d feel bad if we launched right into the tasting without giving any sort of background. So, here’s the five second version: It’s a very difficult grape to grow, generally associated (in origin) with France, and was recently made famous for the younger generation by Hollywood. The kicker is that two famous words from Sideways noticeably affected Merlot sales in the US.

Ok, now that that’s taken care of, here are the five wines that are going to kick everything off:

Banus Reserve 2009: $24.99 retail; 90 points by Wilfred Wong; details, friends.

Dante 2009: $12.99 retail; 88 points by Wilfred Wong; description by the almighty BevMo.

Gnarly Head 2009: $12.99 retail; 89 points by Wilfred Wong. Lots of fruit descriptions to be found for this one. Here’s the official BevMo write-up.

Hahn Winery 2009 (Monterrey): $14.99 retail; 87 points by Wilfred Wong. Here’s BevMo’s description and the winery’s own blurb.

L’Attitude 39 2008: $29.99; 90 points by Wilfred Wong. I particularly like the “zippy” part of this description.

And, no, it’s not a coincidence that they’re all recent vintages. Pinots are good wines to drink early on – you wouldn’t be saving these bottles like you would a heavy, expensive Cabernet Sauvignon. But, we’ll just go ahead and call it a coincidence that they’re all from California.

We’ll be back this week with our thoughts on each!

Blind Tastings, Pinot Noir, Red Wine

Leave a Comment