Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wine - 2004 Feudo Zirtari Rosso Sicilia $3.99 (Trader Joe's)

So tonight The Cultured Hooligan (that'd just be CH for short) polishing off a bottle of 2004 Feudo Zirtari Rosso Sicilia that was purchased at Trader Joe's for the incredible price of $3.99. Now before we get into the review, given that this is the first vino-related post, it's important to first define ye olde hooligan's approach to wine...

Now the CH doesn't claim to be an oenophile (despite the fact that it's a phenomenal word), after all he's just a hooligan (albeit a cultured one). Typically CH drinks wines that are either somewhere in the range of good - very good (and priced accordingly) OR he drinks cheap wines. Why the disparity? Well if you guessed that it's better to drink good wine when someone else is paying for it, you're not far off. But that's not really it (well maybe just a little). Anyone can pick-up the latest issue of Wine Spectator, read about some great juice and then head to the local wine shop, plunk down $30-$50 and have a nice bottle. But isn't there more to it than that? Where's the sense of mystery, of daring? The Cultured Hooligan likes to cut his own path. He chooses the road less-traveled, blindly strolling through the aisles of Sam's or (more often) Trader Joe's, boldly selecting a bottle guided only by his wits and a rudimentary knowledge of varietals. There he quietly lurks until he pounces upon his prey: a pretty bottle with a low sticker price.

Experience has taught The Hooligan that price gives only the faintest indication of a wine's character. So take it from a Hooligan, spend a few bucks on a cheap bottle that you're going to drink with home-cooked meal and if it doesn't meet your linking, smash said bottle over the head of a supporter of a rival club. You're guaranteed to get your money's worth either way.
It's important to set expectations when opening a bottle of wine. Let me remind you that The Hooligan received change back from a Lincoln (Honest, Abe, I did), so the bar was not set terribly high. According to the website, the wine is a blend of 4 grape varietals: Nero d'Avola, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine itself was a light mish-mosh of flavors, no one grape stood out. The wine was somewhat dry and too tannic, with an unpleasantly astringent finish. However, when paired with food (a chicken and tomato paella), the wine seemed to improve considerably.
A great wine? No. A good wine? A decent wine - yes, and for the price it's worthwhile, but perhaps not something to seek out.
Value: 8/10
Taste: 3/10

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