Oreana ? NV red wine

A New Zealand morning show host resigned after causing a row by mispronouncing the last name of the prime minister of New Delhi. Her name is spelled Sheila Dikshit. How would YOU pronounce that? He was told (but refused) to say it as “Dixit.” India formally protested to New Zealand’s high commissioner. He will also be apologizing to the Governor General and to the Indian community. Let’s just say he’s full of Dikshit right now. Probably the number one story of the year is Chile’s retrieval of all 33 trapped miners in Copiapo. What’s not told is that to speed the capsule back down to the trapped miners, that nation accepted 33 lame Washington wine bloggers to act as dead weight. So, now you know why some wine blogs have gone silent if they’ve been rah-rahing the latest low-self-esteem winery or review wines as “delicious,” “enjoyed recently” (via a sip), or tooting about some tv channel’s popularity poll. A little-known fact…they are all from the same family, named M-O-O-C-H-E-R-S.

Admit it. You’ve seen this bottle while perusing the goods at Trader Joe’s. One thing you should know about cheap wines from Trader Joe’s…it’s all about the labeling. Every radioactive neon color not found in nature will be on display in the wine section. Notice, I am not inferring anything about the quality of the wines…at this point. Honestly, if I lived in a trailer park or frequented the local dive bar, I would admit TJ’s is the only wine store around. This is not an insult. The stores are air-conditioned so I know the wines are resting comfortably, unlike the cooked garbage over at Grossery Outlet. Plus, TJ’s has the best deal on dark-chocolate-covered raisins, so they stock a good red wine-food pairing (hint). And, I will not mention that there’s an actual wine blog specializing in only wines from Trader Joe’s. It wouldn’t surprise me if the real author of that blog is some “senior wine writer.”

Oreana Winery is a real, functioning winery over in Santa Barbara, CA. It is responsible for most of those annoyingly cute labels like the “smiley face” and a Manatee Merlot. Manatee…California… what am I missing here? If you find that kind of gimmick attractive, then you have confirmed that your IQ is lower than your BMI. There’s a Fenix 2 capsule waiting for you in Copiapo.

The winery’s website confirms my suspicions about this wine: that it is a suspicious wine. First of all, (a) this non-vintage bottling is a bronze medal winner from some Central Coast Wine Competition. These vague, useless “wine competitions” are only meant to assist in the promotion of wines. NOT A SINGLE WINE COMPETITION has any objective merit. They are run by “mini-mes” with choads. Secondly, there is no technical sheet. Just what the heck did you barf into this wine? Next, the back label tells some lame story about the winemaker effing-up his hose connection between two tanks. Ahhh hahahaha, I get it…your screwup means my benefit. Yeah, right. I bet one of the tanks was a fish tank. And, worst of all, the list price for this bottle is ten bucks. Huh? Would you part with ten bucks for an unknown red wine from Santa Barbara? Ten bucks here gets me Columbia Crest Grand Estates plus change.

With all that said, geezus chrys, if I graded wine by just looks, I’d say this bottle would be touching a ‘90’. Tasted at 50-62 degrees on the IR temp gun, this wine showed crystal clear magenta-black in the Riedel with a nose of blackberries, black cherry, and wood (vanillin). Thin on the palate, ephemeral flavors of bitter notes of blackberries, wood, and black pepper dance on a 3-second tail, with heat. I suspect the grapes used were cab sau and syrah, if true to varietal.

Food pairings were the best from the frozen section at the local übermarket: CPK thin crust Sicilian pizza, CPK thin crust cheeseburger pizza, and TJ’s Manitaropita filled with seasoned mushrooms in a white wine sauce. Okie-dokie.

Alcohol: 14.5%. 3500 cases. Synthetic cork. Music pairing: “It’s Only Make Believe” by Conway Twitty. Vinted and bottled in Creston (north of San Luis Obispo). Rating: 75. Value: $5. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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