Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Right On Middle Sister!
Awhile back I happened to be in a Target store when I spied some wines with really unusual labels. They were called "Middle Sister" and I became intrigued with their cute designs! Each varietal had an assigned female character, drawn out of fun and original artwork. Definitely caught my attention! Shortly thereafter, I was friended on Facebook by Rebel Red, one of the characters from this scenario. So I jumped at the chance to ask her if I could do a story on the brand. I felt they had a unique concept here and could use some more exposure. I had a ton of friends, male and female alike, who would love this idea! Lo and behold, I received a box of samples. I couldn't wait to play!
Middle Sister Wines is the brainchild of Terry Wheatley, a wine industry professional with over thirty years of experience including working her way up in such illustrious companies at E & J Gallo and Sutter Home. She started her own wine company, Canopy Management, with a goal to provide delicious and affordable wines along with personal stories from her life experiences. Label designer Susan Lombardi and "Middle Sister Muse" Erin Wassum (she is their muse because she truly is the "middle sister" inspiration) round out the trio of dynamic women, whose carefree and fun-loving attitudes are so infectious they bring out the sassy "middle sister" in all of us! They are genuine proof that anyone can take a great idea and turn it into a dream come true! It even inspired ME!
But what about the wines? What are they about? The wines are fun--the labels all have an assigned "Middle Sister" and a great name to go with it. Three whites and three reds--each with a story to tell. I took the whites with me to a small dinner party that included my younger sister and a couple of her friends. We enjoyed all the wines and they agreed that the wines were all a great value retailing for $10.99 each.
All six of the wines in this line are non-vintage, meaning all grapes used in each individual wine come from different years and therefore since the lots are mixed, they cannot have a vintage year listed on the label. Some people would be afraid to try a NV wine, but not me. It's about the quality and the taste. And all three of these fared well.
"Wicked White"---A white blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Gewürztraminer is a fabulously tasty blend made of 100% California fruit--23% coming from Monterey. Melon, pear and lemony goodness---sure to please anyone at a party or for light patio sipping. Has won many wine competition awards.
"Drama Queen"--This is a Pinot Grigio-blend with some Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay blended in it. It was really nice, a bit more subdued than the "Wicked White" but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It had some nice pear flavor and good minerality.
"Smarty Pants"--Their Chardonnay, which is predominantly Chardonnay with some odd whites mixed in (varietals not mentioned) is very pear-like and unoaked. It was crisp and flowed clean with a slight spice on the end. Since I personally am very picky about my Chardonnay, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Although it reminded me more of a white blend than a Chardonnay.
After sampling all the whites, I took a break for a few days before delving into the reds. Middle Sister Wines makes three reds. None of them see oak. How can that be? You would be surprised at how enjoyable an unoaked red can be. You won't miss it!
The other night, I decided to test these reds on an unsuspecting public by bringing them to a pre-Thanksgiving "Turkey" party. I thought they would pair up well with all the foods that would be served. Let me just tell you, people went nuts! I'm lucky I got to sample any!
"Rebel Red"--I wanted to run off into a corner with this one all by myself! A bold blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah--all California fruit--42% from the Lodi appellation. Huge berry flavor, zingy with a peppery velvet finish. YUM! Another award winner!
"Forever Cool"--A Merlot/Malbec blend, this wine was fantastic and very easy on the palate with cool berry flavor and vanilla throughout. Really enjoyed it. So did everyone else as it disappeared quickly and people kept asking "Do you have any more of that Merlot???"
"Mischief Maker"--The Cabernet Sauvignon of the group with a plummy, spicy and herbaceous flavor. I didn't get to try much of this one as it disappeared almost as fast as the "Forever Cool". Definitely a hit!
From the moment you log onto their website, www.middlesisterwines.com (or look for the Middle Sister icon on the right hand side of this blog), you will find fun, mischief and mayhem all over! Really nice website--very organized with a lot of information. Games, quizzes, facts, stories, a blog and many more surprises are in store. I recommend just having fun with these wines! What a great way to being friends and family together! (And no, you don't have to be a girl to love these wines! Guys will love them too!)The wines are available for order on the website or you can download a form to find out who distributes them near you. So go out and find the "Middle Sister" you've always wanted to be!