Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wine-O Wednesday: 36 Red from Chandler Reach

This is a very exciting day.  This is the day I write my VERY FIRST Wine-O Wednesday post!

What exactly is Wine-O Wednesday?  Whatever I feel like, gosh!  (Yes, I still think it's funny to quote Napoleon Dynamite.)

I mentioned here that I thought it would be cool to experience a little more of the Columbia Valley (since I live here and all!) and then, in my own private mind, I decided a good way to force myself to do this would be to create a weekly segment on my blog where I write about it!  And Lord knows I don't want to disappoint my adoring fans!

So that's my plan.

Now, here's the thing:  I don't know very much about wine.  And I won't pretend to.  Maybe this can be a fun thing where we learn together?

Anyway, on with the show.

This week, I wanted to write a little bit about a wine called 36 Red.  It comes from a winery called Chandler Reach.  Chandler Reach is a very cool winery.  They spared no expense in their details and design!  And the location is great.  This post card really is a picture of how the winery is situated - overlooking the valley and vineyard.  The colors of have been touched up, but there are days when you would drive by this winery and see the valley looking exactly like this!

At Chandler Reach, I picked up my handy-dandy copy of Grown to Greatness, Your Guide to Yakima Valley Wine Country - the Soul of Washington Wine.

[Side note:  The artwork for this guidebook won an Addy at our local advertising federation club meeting!  Very cool honor.]

Grown to Greatness Excerpt:
Chandler Reach
Our warm, northern-sloped vineyard produces premium-quality Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Graced with excellent "terrior," our winery is dedicated to crafting wines that represent this gift.  Come visit our "Italian Villa" style tasting room for a true wine experience.
I bought a couple of bottles of wine there, but the one I wanted to focus on was the 36 Red.

I am NOT a red wine drinker.  However, on my last wine-tasting excursion, it seemed that most of the wineries we visited had mostly red wines.  I'm not a girl who turns down a glass of wine, regardless of what's in the glass, so...when in Rome!

The 36 Red is a "table wine" which essentially means that this wine is suitable to be consumed with just about any meal.  The term "table wine" can also mean that the wine isn't fortified (?) or sparkling, and I also discovered that the "table wine" standard is that it must contain between 7% and 14% alcohol, by U.S. standards.

See?  We're learning already!

The professional description of the 36 Red (from the Chandler Reach website) reads:
This Cabernet/Merlot blend is an easy drinker by itself or a wonderful accompaniment to simple fare. Fruit-forward and plush, with a lip-smacking finish that belies its humble beginnings. Tasty!
Now, my unprofessional description would be:
This wine is a great bridge for a white-wine drinker to the rich and robust world of red wines.  Light and flavorful, the 36 Red does not overwhelm with any one taste, but is a safe blend that compliements food nicely.  A high point:  The finish.  No kick or bite, but just a smooth aftertaste that makes you instantly want another taste!  Drinkers beware!
That description probably took me 15 minutes to write...haha!

I had some girlfriends over and we cracked open my bottle of 36 Red.  I fried up some toasted ravioli, one girlfriend brought a cheese tray and another brought some purple grapes.  I also broke out the garlic crackers that I purchased at Chandler Reach.  We had quite the feast with our delicious wine, great finger foods and plenty of laughs!

I am already excited for next week's post, where maybe I will look in to what the devil a "fortified" wine is!

-Grace's Mom


  1. Ha, loved your unprofessional description! Wish I could drink red wine more tends to give me headaches.
    Got to catch an episode of Tori and Dean tonight and thought of you....I don't get TLC on my cable so I never get to see it and I love it! Maybe I can watch it online.
    Have fun w/your Wine-o-Wednesdays! :)

  2. Interesting and fun post! I drive by that winery so many times and have never stopped. Perhaps i will in the near future...

  3. I love red wine...and OLY red wine, champagne doesn't count, right???

  4. I am a big wine lover. This one looks great. I prefer the ones with a velvety finish- not a big bite or sting. Can't wait to try it!