Betty's Wine Musings

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in a BIG red wine tasting. The tasting started as a result of my buying two of the 17 red wines I’d never tried before, which I spoke about in an earlier blog article: Agiorgitiko and Aglianico. Of course, a tasting of two unknown wines isn’t worthy of mention. So, we added four more wines to the mix. The countries covered: Greece, Italy and the United States. The grapes covered: Agiorgitiko, Aglianico, Cabernet, Petit Verdot and Nebbiolo. Read all about it here.

Our Red Wine Tasting Started with Agiorgitiko

We said the name of this wine something like 10 times to try to memorize it. It’s quite a mouthful. But this interesting wine is Greece’s flagship red wine. It is described as having dark fruit flavors and plush tannins. The wine we tried was a 2019, and it was chock-full of tannins. We also got a lot of plum and some leather.




I think this wine would have benefited from being laid down for a good five years. It had a little too much tannin for me. Cheese helped calm the tannins down, but not enough.

Joseph Phelps Backus Followed

From the dictionary: Bacchus. / (ˈbækəs) / noun. (in ancient Greece and Rome) a god of wine and giver of ecstasy, identified with Dionysus. Because we started with a Greek wine, we thought it would be nice to follow that up with a wine that honors the Greek/Roman god of wine, Bacchus. Joseph Phelps changed up the name a bit. But we knew what they were referring to.


Joseph Phelps Backus
Joseph Phelps Backus


This 2018 Cabernet blend (91% Cab, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec) was quite wonderful, as are most Joseph Phelps wines. Here’s how the winery describes the wine: “Classic Oakville character with dark fruit and fragrant violet aromatics with layers of blueberry and black currant.”

Next was Aglianico

Aglianico comes from Southern Italy. It is known for having savory flavors of leather, white pepper, black fruits, cured meats and figs. What did we get out of the 2016 bottle we tried? Black cherry, leather, floral notes, tannin and Italian minerality (it tasted a little of dirt).


We liked this wine a lot but didn’t love it.

Onto Nebbiolo

The 2007 Wind Gap Nebbiolo from Paso Robles was the oldest wine we tried. We got a lot of spice and black pepper, as well as a hint of sweetness.


Did it taste like a classic Nebbiolo? Not necessarily, but it was yummy.

Next-to-Last Was Petit Verdot

Next, we had a Petit Verdot from Rodrigue Moyneaux in Livermore. We got a lot of fruit from this wine but found it only okay. We’ve all had better Petit Verdots.

A WINEderful Ending with a Joseph Phelps Cab

A tasting with two Joseph Phelps wines? Yes!!! YUM!!! So, we ended our tasting with a 2019 Joseph Phelps Cab that was the pièce de résistance. The wine is described as having aromas and flavors of violet, dark fruit, tobacco, baking spices, dried herbs, cherry, blackberry and plum. 


What a wonderful treat.


So, the word on the street is, if you have some unknown red wines to try, mix those up with some other red wines, including some really great ones. You’re bound to have a great red wine tasting.


As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!

Cheers, Betty Kaufman
WineShop At Home

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