Big Mac’s Mondays: Er, Sort of

This isn’t exactly Big Mac’s Mondays. We are still on vacation in Santa Cruz (Aptos, actually), but decided to go to the local liquor store to keep up our schedule. It’s a working vacation.

Deer Park Wine & Spirits is the local liquor store, but it is actually a little fancier than Big Mac’s. Unlike Big Mac’s, you cannot buy Wonder Bread, Folger’s in a can, Cheez-Whiz or Bubbleicious; although you can rent or buy a boogie board. And the Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé costs $5 more.

As for wine, We went for a Sauvignon Blanc. The wine reviewed is actually the 2nd SB we had today (or, actually, His 3rd…wink wink).

The first (second) SB was at Seascape Resort, but only after We tended to a tween boy who had just fallen from a bike and had apparently broken his wrist. We sat with him and told him funny stories while We waited for his mom to arrive and take him to the hospital. He was cute. Really cute. He said “Oh no, this is my writing arm.” We told stories about our own broken bones and to each story he replied with sympathy, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” And then he asked for Vicodin.

Anonymous, newly pubescent boy, whomever you are: get well soon.

For our kindness the resort gave Us each a glass of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, bracing, refreshing. On the way back, We stopped at Deer Park Wine & Spirits to continue that taste profile. Our reviews of what We bought are below. As usual, We didn’t do any background research on picking out the wine…We just bought what we were in the mood for that wasn’t too pricey. Later We did a little internet snooping and provide a few facts about the winery after our reviews.

tangentTangent, Edna Valley, Paragon Vineyard, San Luis Obisbo, California. ($11.99)

She Said: Pale, yellow-green color; very bright and clear. On the nose: no hint of wood but smell grass, gooseberry, wet stones, and flint. The acid of the wine is apparent just in its smell: sharp and strong. The mouth is richer than I anticipated. There is a mild creaminess, but overall it is very characteristic (or what I think as being characteristic):  bracing acid, unripe pear, gooseberry, grass, lychee. No petrol. Has a New World profile. A really good value at $11.99. Seems perfectly suited for fish, etc., goat cheese, avoid cream or heavy butter. Had a second taste (or fourth or fifth) and sensed green apple, riper fruit flavors, pineapple, stone, mineral, asparagus, green bean–seems more fresh green veg than fruit. Keep thinking about it. And this means I like it… a lot.

He Said: Very clear-watery, gold-green color. On the nose it is very grassy with light citrus and some new carpet (edit: she says that is a chemical thing I am smelling and I also crossed out floral. In the mouth there are strong flavors of pineapple and gooseberry, It’s clear, crisp and tangy with very nice acidity, which all last for a nice minute in the aftertaste. All in all, a terrific SB for the price. If I was rating on pure value it would be a 4/5. I don’t think of this as a typical SB, I may not have guessed it instantly.

Facts: It’s easy to find out about Tanget, the winery has a slick, informative website that gives all kinds of facts and accolades.Their focus is “offering fresh, crisp and vibrant wines of true varietal character… [they are the] first California winery to focus solely on alternative white wines.”

About the winemaker: “Tanget wines are made by veteran winemaker Christian Roguenant, who brings more than 20 years of winemaking experience, encompassing many countries and five continents. Born in Burgundy and educated in Dijon, Christian cut his winemaking teeth on Champagne, then California sparkling wine…”

About the vineyard: “Both of our estate vineyards, Paragon and Firepeak, have earned the Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Vineyeard Certification. Farmed by our Pacific Vineyard Company, we have owned these vineyards since Jack Niven, the winegrape planting pioneer, began planting them in the early 1970s. Certification of these vineyards proves our collective commitment to environmental stewardship, economic viability, and equitable treatment of employees.”

Tags: ,

Big Mac’s Mondays: Sauvignon Blanc, While It’s Still Hot


Each Monday (well, nearly everyday, actually) We trek down the hill to a favorite neighborhood liquor store to buy a bottle or two. In our quest to learn about and taste wine that is accessible and inexpensive We’ve found Big Mac’s to be a great place to spend our money. (We’re also regulars at the many local wine shops in our neighborhoods–and you should be too.)

Here are our weekly tasting notes from a bottle purchased at Big Mac’s. Although We don’t do background checks, some facts about the wine can be useful, so We provide some notes at the end of our review. As usual, We follow a basic tasting method: swirl, smell, slurp…and savor.

We pick out bottles based on price and what We’re in the mood for. It was a hot afternoon–We went for something cool. (But it didn’t turn out to be that crisp.)


Simi, Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, 2007 ($12.99)

She said: Very pale and translucent appearance with a tinge of green in the yellow. No golden hue here. In the nose a hint of oak, suggesting some tropical flavors. If just smelling the wine would not guess sauvignon blanc–maybe something more floral from South America? In the mouth the wine is clean and fresh with a silky texture. Flavors of pear and light citrus, also some nuttiness and sharpness that reminds me of a young Parmesan cheese. There is a long finish with some tropical notes. The wood detected in the nose is not overwhelming in the mouth, but does say hello. This is not a style I typically go for in the grape, but it is pleasant. Lychee? Pair with shellfish (obvs) and maybe a bright, young goat cheese.

He said: Very clear yellow gold in color. On the nose I am getting lemon and candy. Maybe lemon Sweet Tarts and a Lemon Drop cocktail, and a hint of honey. Very high acid throughout, I can feel it in my nose. Apricot in the finish. Drinks just fine alone, but would be good with fish. All in all, an OK wine, I think I need to drink it again because the notes I have are a little vague. Which leads to a point: take good notes no matter what you think you will remember.

Facts: The history of Simi is interesting (no, they didn’t pay us to say this–but please, please: send free samples). The winery started in the late 1800′s in San Francisco by an Italian family that had immigrated to the United States during the Gold Rush. They soon bought land and moved to Healdsburg in Sonoma County. The founder’s daughter, Isabel, saw the winery through prohibition and there was a succession of women winemakers–a rarity at the time. Simi survived prohibition, but it forced the winery to sell off most of its vineyards. In 1970 Isabel sold the winery but continued to work there, influencing its practices and marketing. In the early 80′s Simi was sold again, this time to the big guys: LVMH. During the conglomerate’s ownership the winery began to buy back the land it had been forced to sell during tough times. LVMH sold what was now a famous label for $50 million in the late ’90′s to biggest wine distributor in the world: Constellation Brands. Once again, like the past wines we’ve had from Big Mac’s, this is a big hitter in terms production, popularity, and…making money.

Tags: , , ,