Wino’s Picks of the Week for Feb. 29 - March 7 (Beer Edition)
Wine makes up the backbone of our selections -- and that can overshadow the breadth of our beer selection. Riley’s Brewing Co. out of Madera is the star of this ongoing beer show, and there is plenty different tastes for every sort of beer drinker. So for this week, Don Wino dedicated his time to the extent of Riley’s various offering.
Sancha Honey Blonde - This light-bodied, easy-drinking honey blonde may very well be Riley’s best emissary to the Macro-brew drinking crowd. The touch of honey plays well with delicate hints of toast. Cascade hops ease hints of citrus over the palate. The end result is a moderately carbonated and delicate beer that may serve to convert even the staunchest of Macro-brew drinkers. Try it spiced, Michelada style, or as the base of lemon shandy.
Cougar Pale Ale - This American interpretation of an English Pale Ale boasts malty biscuit notes with hints of caramel and a soft, palate-pleasing bitterness. At 5 percent ABV, this APA serves best as a flavorful session beer.
Riley’s India Pale Ale - This West Coast IPA exchanges tongue-blinding hops for flavor and drops hints of grapefruit and cedar-like aromas. Pours bright orange with an off-white creamy head. Modest carbonation and a medium body make this IPA a great introduction to craft beer newbies.
Catching Up IPA - The more complex cousin of Riley’s IPA, this blend of five hops runs the gamut in bouquet and flavor. Notes of orange peel back a pine float above a rich head, laces nicely against the glass. Finishes brisk and off-bitter.
Kilty as Charged Scotch Ale - This Wee Heavy boasts notes of smoke and caramel that open up as the beer gains temperature. Rich, malty and pleasantly aggressive.
Rain Dance Imperial Stout - Toasty, chocolatey, smokey and boozey, with slight hints of coffee on the finish. This rich imperial stout is a great sipper, or served chilled over vanilla ice cream.
Wino’s Wine Picks for the week of February 15th - 22nd
Wine Trail came and went with the weekend -- it’s Monday, and this cat is thirsty. We’re going to take a bit of a detour this week and present our first beer pick of the series: a dark wheat beer from the good folks at Riley’s Brewing Co. For now, though, let’s get to the wine.
Robert Hall Merlot 2013 - Once more, Robert Hall has produced an exceptional Paso wine. This Merlot begins with a cherry wood bouquet and peaks out on the tongue with a bright and pleasant acidity. The finish is long but mellowed, and consistent with the opening bouquet. Bold enough to accompany the richest of meals and mellow enough to sip slightly chilled.
Apothic White 2013 - If, perchance, you cannot decide on a white wine, then Wino advises towards this approachable blend. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling give this crowd pleaser a stone fruit bouquet - think apricots. Mellow in body, and slightly sweet -- if you can’t decide, let Apothic White decide for you.
Saviez Muscat Canelli 2007 - There are some sweet wines out there that have the character of a wet paper bag. One taste, and you’re tongue blind. This Muscat Canelli, however, is on a whole different level. It begins with a bold bouquet of bruléed peaches and toasted almonds. Rich and complex -- and easy to match with any sort of food -- it’s one of a kind, and a must taste for any dessert wine lover.
Riley’s Brewing Co. - Vixen (Dark Wheat) - Madera’s own made this interpretation of a traditional dunkelweisen. Chocolaty, toasty notes come off this beer’s head, like a mild stout, and yet it is surprisingly crisp, bright and easy on the palate.
Wino’s Picks of the Week
Your tasting list for Feb 8th-15th
They call it stormy Monday, but its sunny with a 100 percent chance of wine here at ApCal. As per our top of the week tradition, here is a fresh set of Wino’s Picks.
• Engelmann Cellars (Gravel Pit) Syrah (2012) - Boasting a name that implies grating teeth and truck tire slips over a country road, this Fresno-vinted, full-bodied Syrah boasts a surprisingly smooth and complex palate. A soft and sweet berry finish close off what begins as bright and smoky, with a subtle hint of cocoa. For the geography buffs, “The Gravel Pit” sits on the banks of the San Joaquin River, and are home to the Syrah grapes that make this wine.
• Big Guy Blended Red Wine (2013) - Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot make up the bulk of this blended red wine. Rich with dark fruit characteristics and a subtle, oaky sweetness - complex enough for even the most discerning palate, but gentle enough for weekend wino’s. Pair with a Santa Maria seasoned tri-tip or George Thoroughgood the situation and drink it alone.
•Solitary Cellars Syrah (2013) - Born in the Santa Lucia Highlands, this garnet-hued wine boasts a delicate berry nose and a velveteen finish. Pleasantly dry with a lingering minerality - pairs best with Korean BBQ.
• William Hill Chardonnay (2014) - This Central Coast Chardonnay boasts a hints of citrus and tropical fruit. Hints of toasted oak and vanilla add depth and body, leading this crowd-favorite to a balanced, creamy finish.
• Allure Bubbly Moscato - Ceres, California born. This lively, floral and fruit-forward carbonated Muscato is a clinical study in “crowd pleasing.” Hints of apricots and pears dominate the front - the sparkling texture and subtle sweetness close out the back. Food-friendly, party-approved.