• 2012 Scotto Family Cellars Malbec

      This is my third review of a wine from the Scotto winemaking family of Lodi. First I tried the 2011 50 Harvests Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by the 2012 50 Harvests Meritage. Though it was also fun to try the younger generation's hard cider. This is also a continuation of my exploration of the wines of Lodi.

      Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Malbec- 5 readers -
    • Three Christmas Wines from Austria

      Right before the holidays, I received a trio of Austrian dessert wines from Kracher. Mom and my sister-in-law are fans of the sweeter style, so it was the perfect time to break out three late harvest bottles. On top of that, Julia became a fan of Tokaji a few years ago and it was interesting to serve her the Austrian equivalent.

      Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 4 readers -
  • 2010 Daríghe Proprietor's Blend

    … away the black wax seal, it opens up with rich aromas of leather, coffee, chocolate, and blackberry. On the palate I experience medium tannins with muted dark fruit flavors and a long, complex finish. Highly recommended with a well-seasoned heritage pork chop, though like many wines in this category it will perform well with a few friends in a living room sipping and having long discussions about shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review.…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 2 readers -
  • Le Grand Courtâge Sparkling Wines

    … acidity and a crisp finish, which means that this goes along quite well with snacks and popcorn during holiday parties. NV Le Grand Courtâge Brut Rosé France Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc, Gamay $25, 11.5% abv. Surprisingly earthy with a touch of plum. The Gamay is really charming in this wine, and means that it holds up to heartier dishes like ham and prosciutto with some nice briny olives. Break this one out with a muffuletta. Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 6 readers -
  • Rioja for the Holidays

    … of Spanish history, I'm always delighted to try bottles from this country. Not only are they often delicious, but the quality-price ratio is fantastic. You can rarely get well-aged bargains like this from France or Italy or Napa. Here are two that I've had the pleasure to try during this holiday season. 2008 Faustino V Reserva Rioja, Spain 90…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 2 readers -
  • Wines of Chateau Montalena

    … about the movie. There was a lot of laughter, then Bo replied, "The movie was meant as a love letter to California wines rather than exactly what happened." The two had a lot of great stories to share as our group tasted through two wines that have become legends in their own right. 2012 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley, California 100…

  • Thanksgiving with Cadaretta Wines

    … well to have a lineup of bottles from Washington State. I'm on track right now for tasting Cadaretta Wines every two years and this sampling did not disappoint. 2013 Cadaretta SBS Columbia Valley, Washington 72% Sauvignon Blanc, 28% Semillon $23, 12.8% abv. This Bordelais white blend remains consistent with great honey and floral notes combined…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Cabernet Sauvignon Sauvignon Blanc- 1 readers -
  • 2012 M. Chapoutier Banyuls

    … Sometimes a sample has to sit around for the right moment. Banyuls is not well known in the United States. It's a fortified dessert wine similar to Port that's made in the south of France. It pairs beautifully with dark chocolate and is the kind of thing that you'd love to sip on around a fire in the winter. So when this bottle arrived on a hot…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 3 readers -
  • 50 Harvests Followup

    … (quite the opposite), but I appreciate the opportunity to try this one with proper aging. I have no idea what the wine writing world will look like then, but I am committed to keeping this one stored properly so that I can evaluate it at that time. I've been given older vintages in the past, and of course have had the chance to try some spectacularly…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 3 readers -
  • 2012 50 Harvests Meritage

    I'm always honored at the opportunity to taste small production wines. I tried the 2011 50 Harvests Cabernet Sauvignon in March, a Napa wine designed to celebrate 50 years in the California wine business. That link will tell you a lot of this family's history and how they got into the winemaking business.

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 4 readers -
  • 2012 Collazzi Libertà & 2009 Cune Rioja Reserva

    … tannins, spice, black pepper, and a long finish. Don't save this one for pizza night--make a marinara sauce from scratch and boil up a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs. This wine deserves a home cooked meal. 2009 Cune Rioja Reserva Rioja, Spain $20, 13.5% abv. 85% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo, 5% Graciano, 5% Garnacha Tinta Light chocolate and leather…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Syrah Merlot- 1 readers -
  • Leaf Vodka

    … Michigan's ironically named Temperance Distilling Company produces Leaf Vodka, a new brand in the specialty spirits market. Both of their products are distilled from organic wheat, with the ethanol making up 40% of the bottle, while the remaining 60% comes from distinctive water. There are a lot of studies out there debunking the ability…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 7 readers -
  • Touring Lodi's Bechthold Vineyard with Microsoft Sway

    … a Sway about the Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi, California. I have lots of pictures that I'd not previously used, and thought that this was a fun way to present them. Bechthold was my first stop on my press tour earlier in the year, and recently we had an online tasting featuring four wines from that small patch of land: You can also click on this link for the full screen experience: A Sway About the Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi Note: These wines were provided as samples for review. …

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 8 readers -
  • 2012 Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay

    As much as I love Vietnamese food, I don't eat it as often as I should, especially given the many great restaurants here in the greater Memphis area. Last weekend I stopped by Green Bamboo in my local neighborhood for takeout. Pictured here are hủ tiếu and gỏi cuốn: the former is a savory soup that includes shrimp, squid, and pork, while the latter is a lettuce and shrimp rol ...

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 1 readers -
  • Pink Bordeaux

    … As summer draws to a close and colder weather approaches, it was a pleasure to sample a pair of Bordelais rosés on a warm Sunday afternoon. Bordeaux gets so much attention for its red wines that it is often easy to overlook the white, pink, and sparkling wines from the region. Here is a quick look at two bottles to try before the sun disappears…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot- 3 readers -
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