[Image: Bunch of Grapes]
Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

Unceasing in the quest for inexpensive wines of real value, I opened these two single-digit items the other night. Frankly, neither rates as an exceptional value, although the Australian red certainly offered reasonable quality for the price. The American entry was, well, odd.

Rosemount Estate 1997 South Eastern Australia Shiraz/65%-Cabernet/35% ($7.49)
Dark reddish-purple, breathing a very forward scent of ripe, grapey fruit. Full and fresh on the palate, red fruit and fragrant black pepper over lemony acidity. Simple but pleasant, easy to quaff. U.S. importer: Rosemount Estates Inc., Sonoma, Calif. (Feb. 13, 1998)

Louis M. Martini non-vintage "Louis' Blend" California Red Table Wine ($5.29)
Dark ruby in color, with an odd minty aroma and a sulfury whiff of rubber bands that blows off with a little time in the glass. Soft, fruity, slightly sweet, with crisp acidity to bring it around. Reminds me of an old-fashioned homemade Italian spaghetti wine, and perhaps that's the style Martini is shooting for. Unfortunately, one glass didn't make me want another. (Feb. 13, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: A savory Northern Italian dish of pork braised with mixed wild mushrooms and juniper berries worked very well, seeming to heighten the fruit in each of these simple reds.

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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