Part Two: 6 for $60 Challenge, the Quest for Goodness”

If you have not read Part One of “Harris Teeter Six for Sixty (6 for $60) Challenge, the Quest for Goodness”. Here’s a recap:

While grocery shopping online at Harris Teeter, they had a BIG WINE SALE and many of the wines were under $10.00. Curiosity got the best of me and I wondered if the wines were any good. So, I developed the challenge.


* The wine must be $10 or less before taxes;
* It must be a wine that I’ve never tasted. By the way, there are certain  wines that I   refuse to place upon my lips. For instance, Yellow Tail, Menage Trios, Cupcake and Barefoot, to name a few;
* Must be different varieties and
* Two wines can not be from the same vineyard.

The wines chosen for the challenge are:


* Rex-Goliath Shiraz
* HandCraft Petit Syrah
* Redwood Creek Malbec
* Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon
* Naked Grape Pinot Noir
* Jacob Creek Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon

To prevent the blog from becoming a short story, I’m posting my results into three parts. In Part One, we tasted 2013 HANDCRAFT Petit Syrah and
2013 Jacob Creek Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon blend, both were TASTY.


Following are the third and fourth wines in the “Six for Sixty, the Quest for Goodness”:

Wine #3 – 2014 Dark Horse, Cabernet Sauvignon


We are having a Valentine’s day sip and cigar. We are pairing the Dark Horse with a Perdomo Factory Tour Blend cigar. First the wine,

Sniff – Shoot! No distinguished aromas; not surprise when you are
subjected to sipping out of a cup. Yes, you read correctly (don’t ask). I dig in deeper, inhaling, eyes are closed, concentrating; there are slight hint of prunes and plums aromas. This tasting is going to be a struggle.

Taste – medium-full bodied with a slight spicy finish and firm tannins. It’s OK. Even though, my current drinking vessel (Yes, I surprised myself referring to the cup as a vessel; reading too much of Amoxes short stories. Another project on the way :)) is not prime and based upon past experience of consuming wine in a cup, which did not hinder aromas or flavors, I have to give Dark Horse an overall rating of BORING.


We have the pleasure of seeing how well Dark Horse pairs with a cigar. This evening we have selected a Perdomo Factory Tour Blend cigar.

The wrapper has chocolate aromas. The beginning taste: medium-bodied with lingering walnut flavors. Half-way through my husband picks up grassy flavors and three-quarters into my cigar the nutty flavors continues. Paired with the Dark Horse, the Perdomo Factory Tour Blend cigar has a slight sweet aroma and taste.



Next in the “6 for $60 Challenge is Naked Grape (fingers crossed) I’m getting tired of drinking mediocre wine.

Wine #4 – The Naked Grape, Pinot Noir

12767245_10206339275977122_2079598310_nBefore I begin the tasting, I want to give a quick lesson on foil cutting. Please do not butcher the foil. The knife on the corkscrew is not there to pick the foil into little pieces until the cork is exposed. It’s really simple. Run the knife around the top of the bottle (mouth/opening) in a circular motion and WA-LA! The foil cap is evenly removed, exposing the cork. If your corkscrew does not have a knife, use the tip of the screw and run it around the top of bottle neck. In addition, there is not a need to remove ALL the foil from the bottle. 🙂



Naked Grape‘s texture is thin, bold spicy aromas and fruity flavors that taste like “grapey water” (not sure “grapey” is a word but it describes the wine perfectly). I actually taste water. Long tannins rest on the back of my palate.

Second sip, I’m not able to appreciate this wine, watery. No fruit flavors but posses a long tannic finish.

Third sip, twenty minutes later…. no change. Naked Grape is a light-bodied red wine. I’m not going to say it is good for a novice red wine drinker. I do not want Naked Grape, Pinot Noir representing red wine for beginners.

AMATEURISH. It makes me wonder about the winemaker’s experience. I imagined if I produced wine (having no experience) this is what my wine would taste like as a beginner.

The winning question:
Me: “How does it pair with pizza?”
Husband: “It does not make much difference; it literally doesn’t change”.

Overall: Naked Grape has the perfect name, “Naked from possessing any flavors or complexity”. NEXT!


DISCLAIMER: Please remember the reviews on my blog/website are my personal opinion. I encourage you challenge yourself and taste wines outside of your comfort zone. Any dislikes are no reflection of the winery/vineyard. Merely, I’m may not able to appreciate a wine at the time of the tasting. SEE Main DISCLAIMER NOTICE on HOME and TREEVINO pages.

Salute! Sante’!


“No Water, Please!”

Annual Reminder

Anyone who has been wine tasting with me or casually enjoying a glass, okay, a BOTTLE of wine, knows my pet peeve is pouring water in between wines. Folks, this is a BIG NO-NO!

An experience tasting room clerk will know better and rinse your glass with a white wine, usually it is Chardonnay. If you are lucky your glass will be rinsed with Viognier :). If the tasting room clerk has not learned this taboo practice, KINDLY, place your hand over the glass and say, “I prefer a white wine rinse or a new glass.” If she gives you that “How dare you stare” or a bizarre look, further explain WITH A SMILE, “when you rinse with water, it always leaves remnants of water in the glass and I am left with diluted wine”. Depending on the vineyard’s wine inventory, the tasting room clerk may simply change your glass; make sure you say THANK YOU; even if she gives you the evil eye.

Taylor funny eyes
I’ve been preaching “No Water Please” for years and I continue to observe tasting room clerks committing this blasphemy. Ok, not a blasphemy act, but close to it. Who wants to sip diluted wine? NOT MUAH! Unless… you are a wine novice, eagerly wanting to appreciate red wine. I observe this ritual at a party.

The host had a bowl of ice near the red and white wine. The white wine was being chilled in an ice bucket. For a quick moment, I became puzzled than discounted the thought. She had a nice selection of wines; the wines that caught my attention were Bogle Merlot, Yalumba Viognier, which I love, specifically their Organic Viognier, DELICIOUS! I, of course, poured a glass of the Yalumba Viognier.

Later, I witnessed a young woman placing ice cubes in her glass and pouring herself a glass of red wine. My lips were silent but my facial expression must have spoken a thousand words of distressed because I was asked by a gentleman, who was smiling, “You don’t like ice cubes?” I quickly replied, “Not at all!” This exchange caught the young woman’s attention, who proceeded to explain that she puts ice in ALL her drinks, not just wine. Based on her swift response, this was not the first time someone has questioned her practice. She just likes ice. I suggested frozen grapes for wine and ventured on my way.

Now, I know there are many wine drinkers who prefer ice in their wine, especially during the hot weather. To this day, I still do not understand this preference. How can you truly express you appreciate wine when it has been diluted? So to my diluted wine drinkers, instead of using ice cubes, may I offer a suggestion to replace your ice with frozen grapes: red wine = red grapes and white wine = white grapes. Grapes are in season the entire year, so they isn’t any reason try it.


cigar: Alec Bradley American (medium bodied). cigar-holder: Tobaccology cigar shop & lounge located at Haymarket & Manasssas, VA


I hope you enjoyed this annual reminder of “NO WATER PLEASE!” Check out my original post on and search “water”.

Salute! Sante’!