After over 20 years of ‘snowbirding’ in Florida, my mother decided to sell her house there.
Expensive to run, car hire has almost tripled, and hard work to get there from the Charente, especially when carrying a small dog.
She had a lot of clothes and other stuff there, and I too had clothes there for when I visit. So I went over to help bring them back to France. Went with a big empty suitcase, returned with it full, just on the 23 kg limit, plus another smaller one.
Quite a lot of work, but it was good to spend time there as I have not been since February 2020 due to Covid restrictions. As on my previous visits, I bought and tasted some wines from US supermarkets and liquor stores.
Earlier posts on US purchased wines looked at some from Winn Dixie. I got some good deals there. It was also great for the cold roast beef and coleslaw. The beef was cut at the delicatessen counter where they also made fresh coleslaw. It was great, and some really good 2 for 1 wine deals. Unfortunately, Winn Dixie has now gone out of business. It was hard to buy any wine for less than $15.
So below are tastings of these wines. Two Californian, and one Argentinian Malbec.
I tasted the Malbec with a neighbour of my mum’s called George. A really great guy. George also had a good selection of wines and I also sampled one of his (the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon). I do hope to get to Florida again and meet up with him. He may also come to Boulogne one day. Here he is with my mum.
We had the wine with a meal cooked by his sister JoEllen It was a traditional Kentucky recipe, passed down from their grandparents, and then parents. It was gizzards with a creamy sauce with mushroom. What a fantastic meal it was, so thanks to JoEllen for serving up such a fantastic dinner.
Onto the wines. First two tasted just by me and my mother (a red with meatballs and a white with a shrimp meal, then tasted two over at Georges with the gizzards meal.
- Californian Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
- £16 from Publix
Aroma: A very nice floral aroma with gooseberry notes
Taste: A good and pleasant wine, with a bit fruity zing. A slight sourness and a bit disappointing after such a good aromaMe
Taste: A nice wine, compliments the shrimp supper that we had with the wineEllen
Decoy Pinot Noir
- Decoy Pinot Noir
- $19.50, but got for $17.50 when buying the Trivento Malbec.
- Purchased at local liquor store, this was recommended by the owner.
Aroma: Fruity, light and fresh
Taste: Light but elegant with a nice bite. Maybe a little bit too tart, but still with light berry fruit flavoursMe
Taste: Nice and fruity, but a bit sharp at first taste. Better after letting to breathe a bit and went well with meatballs supperEllen
Miriam Alexandra Cabernet Sauvignon
- Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- From Naked Wines, by Alex Faber
No notes mad by Ellen but we both really really liked this wine. It is one of Georges favourites., so just his comments below.
Very nice, smooth, maybe lacking a bit of bite. Lovely multi-level flavours, a very good Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon.Me
Deep rich full flavour. Big blossom aroma cabernet sauvignon flavour.George
- $19.50, but got for $17.50 when buying the Decoy Pinot Noir.
- Purchased at local liquor store.
Aroma: Nice delicate and pleasant
Taste: Smooth and elegant, deep dark fruits. Maybe a bit overpowering and lacking in the more subtle flavours compared to the Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. (We tasted both on the same evening).Me
Taste: An intense and bold fruitiness. Growing on me as drinking more and allowing time to breathe. A worthy addition to wines I like.George
It is not easy to find reasonably priced wines in the US. The only way I did it before was on the two for one deals at Winn Dixie, now no longer in business. I have seen the same Trivento Malbec in the UK. I cannot remember the exact price, but it was in the £7 to £9 range, about half what it cost in the US. So, if you like having a few bottles of wine a week, the US is not a good place to be. I may consider buying this when in the UK, but will check the price as I have had better Malbecs.
Pinot Noir is often a good bet for wine as in general, it is a lighter wine, and won’t be too overpowering and sour. The Californian one was no exception, just maybe a bit . A good pleasant wine, but even with the $2 discount, was expensive compared to ones that I have bought in the UK.
The sauvignon blanc was also a good wine, but as noted elsewhere, New Zealand seems to produce the best. And if in the UK, I saw a sauvignon blanc from California, and one from New Zealand, I would choose the latter.
Of the Californian wines that I did have on my visit, I was most impressed with the Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon that George had. He got that from Naked Wines (note, link is for US only.) This is online only and I think a good option when buying in the US. Going online to find price. Market price $39, but only $23 for ‘Naked wine angels’ On their site they describe this wine as ‘This intense, fruity Cabernet is a Napa classic, gushing with rich, refined dark fruits, a plush, velvety texture and a luxuriously long-lasting finish.’ Won’t disagree with this description. More expensive than the Malbec, but definitely a better wine.
In the Charente
Currently writing this months post whilst at my mothers in the Charente. Heading back to the UK soon and will be stopping off at my house in Boulogne. And of course I will be buying some more wine when I am there. Due to the timing of the sale of the house in Florida, my mother came back to France about a month earlier than usual. I can see why she liked to spend winter in Florida. It is still cold here, the weather is only now just beginning to turn. One advantage of coming back a month earlier, is that the magnolia tree is in full bloom. This is the first time she has seen this tree in full bloom, as the blossoms have all gone by mid April. So I could not resist adding this photo.