Wine Review: 2013 Vending Machine Winery ‘Peep Show’

Anyone that has spent any significant amount of time in the bottle shops I work at has heard me talk about or had me try to sell them a wine from Vending Machine Winery. Monica and Neil, the husband and wife owners, are crazy passionate about three things: wine, New Orleans, and tennis. Oh, and darts. They are probably the most disarming people to talk to about wine. Literally, they make you want to love wine whether you already do or not. They are wine distributors for Neat Wines of Metairie, Louisiana and sell some of the finest wine you can think of. So think about that for a minute. Their job is to sell killer wines…. They make killer wines…. Do the math…  I’ll just leave that thought right there and move on to their first release of Peep Show.

Monica and Neil

Katy Touchstone of Southern Fork Catering, Monica & Neil of Vending Machine Wines and I after an incredible Robert Foley wine dinner we hosted at Wine Country Bistro a couple years back.

 

Starting out, I’ll tell you this isn’t your normal white wine. No Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc over here. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it though. It means, with a varietal break down of 34% Roussanne(roux-sann), 33% Marsanne(Mar-san-aye), & 33% Viognier(Vee-yan-yay), you should try it without any preconceived notions about what you think it should be. Cote du Rhone style white blends can be intimidating if you’ve never had one before but this one, haling from El Dorado, California, is not. It’s just delicious.

peep showNose: Tropical fruit, peach, super floral, and honey suckle.

Palate: At first is was a little subdued. My fault for tasting it while it was too cold. A wine this expressive doesn’t need to be drunk ice cold. You’ll miss so much if you do it wrong. (Pro-tip: Pull your white wine out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you want to drink it for an unrestrained taste) Fresh peach is definitely there up front. Great balance all around. Peep Show drinks easily and super clean. Caution: This is a dangerous wine. Only buy in multiple bottle increments. You’ll be mad if you only have one.

This is probably on the best offerings you’ll find in this category at $20 a bottle. Also, you’re kinda drinking local cause Monica and Neil are from New Orleans. As is the artist that does the art work for all of their labels, Grant Schexnider. The juice is actually made in California by Sarah and Christopher Vandendriessche, of White Rock Vineyards.

Hit me up at beardandbarrel@gmail.com if you’re in the Shreveport-Bossier area and want to get a few bottles or have any questions about any of their other incredible offerings.

Wine Review: 2012 Bonny Doon ‘Contra’

Randall_Book1Bonny Doon’s wine maker Randall Grahm is an all around California Wine OG. In 1989 he was dubbed “The Rhone Ranger” by Wine Spectator because of his mastery of those varietals, types of grapes, normally grown in the Cote Du Rhone of France(Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre to name a few). That spark started a big fire. Because of that, there is actually a group of around 200 wine makers in Cali that are called “The Rhone Rangers” and they are committed to the cause of growing and producing those varietals exclusively. He is also a James Beard Award winning author in 1994 as well as was inducted to the The Culinary Institute of America’s Vintner’s Hall of Fame in 2010. Needless to say, he knows(and makes) great wine.

Bonny Doon Contra

Today, we are tasting his red blend “Contra.” Some red blends will tell you how much of which grape is in it. Here’s the breakdown: 56% Carignane(Care-in-yahn), 17% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 17% Mourvedre, 1% Cinsault(Sin-so). All are Rhone varietals. Those crazy Rhone Rangers.

I’ll break it down into 2 sections: Nose and palate. The nose is obviously the delightful aromas that are going to flood your nostrils and the palate is going to be what you actually taste.

Nose: This wine has huge aromatics. Right after I opened it, there was a ton of smoked meat/bacon, tangy dark cherries and white pepper fighting for attention.

Palate: The depth in this juice is pretty crazy. Right off the bat, that cherry flavor is present and accounted for. It’s followed up by a little brininess(think black olive. Don’t freak out about that, it works beautifully) and a long, juicy finish that has just little hints of cedar after you finish your sip(or gulp). Body wise, it’s definitely not over weight and needing to hit the treadmill. It’s got some sexy curves that could stand up to a rib eye steak or even venison.

After about 30 minutes, flavors evolved to dark cocoa and light cinnamon spiciness.

The next day, if you had any left over, super bold fruit had taken over the spiciness and toned down that cocoa flavor.

Definitely pick this wine up. Great stuff at $17 a bottle and something that can stand up over a day or two. If you are interested in buying it in the Shreveport-Bossier area, email at beardandbarrel@gmail.com and I’ll get you taken care of.