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A Wine Lover's Weekly Review Of $10 Wines - A South African Pinot Noir

Author : Levi Reiss

We have reviewed several South African wines lately, and many of them have been quite successful. Pinot Noir can be a fine grape; I often am fond of it. I like its classic tastes of earth and mushrooms and the fact that it isn't very tannic. And it's considered food-friendly. The site where it's made is fantastic, at the conjunction of the Pacific and the Indian ocean. It's not only beautiful (what vineyard isn't?) but it's said to be a winemaker's dream. On the down side, Pinot Noir is not usually at its best in South Africa.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Two Oceans Pinot Noir 2008 13.1% alcohol about $9.50 Let's begin by quoting the marketing materials. Tasting Note : Pale ruby color with a slight hint of garnet; aromas of blueberry, cherry, and earth; dry, medium bodied, with flavors of toasty oak, and raspberry on the long smoky finish. Serving Suggestion : Serve with roast chicken or duck. And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was almost mouth filling, and presented touches of earth. Its first pairing was with a ready-made chicken potpie. The wine was thick, earth tasting, and quite short but there was the taste of the underbrush. When I added zesty green jalapeno pepper sauce the Pinot Noir gained in roundness and perhaps length.

The next meal involved chicken meatballs and a barbecued chicken leg with a black bean, corn, chickpea, and pimento salad. This time the wine was almost hefty; it was fairly dark with lots of chocolate and good length.

My final meal was composed of hamburgers, green beans in a tomato sauce, and a salad described below. The wine was dark and had a slight aftertaste. There were dark cherries but no tannins. It was stronger with the green beans but the aftertaste remained. With the accompanying red, yellow, and orange plum and cherry tomatoes and basil leaves this Pinot Noir had a touch of harshness and not much flavor.

I ended the bottle with two local cheeses. With a virtually tasteless brick cheese the wine did not have much taste. So in a way, it was a balanced pairing. With a somewhat stronger yellow cheddar the wine perked up a bit and I tasted some oak.

Final verdict. I do not intend to buy this wine again. While it did manage some fairly good wine pairings it was far from consistent. And with all the inexpensive wines on the market that just isn't good enough.

Author's Resource Box

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but definitely prefers drinking fine French, German, or other wine. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website features a weekly review of $10 wines and new sections writing about and tasting organic and kosher wines. Visit his Italian wine website .

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Tags:   wine, bargain wine, food pairing, tasting, red wine, white wine, buy wine, cheap wine, review, wineries

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Submitted : 2010-10-01    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 426