Friday, June 1, 2012

Fresh & Easy Wine Tasting May 2012

4211 Eagle Rock Blvd
Glassell Park, CA 90065

Every now and again, Fresh & Easy does a wine tasting tweet-up. Fresh & Easy sends us Twitterholics a gift card and directions about which wine to buy, then we all meet up at the designated time to chat about the wine they gave us. Fun!

The first wine on the docket is called Charonge. With a chardonnay base and a spritz of orange, I was skeptical. The idea reminded me of Franzia, the fruit flavored wines my mom and Sue drank back in the late 70's/early 80's when they were just getting into wine. (Now Mom drinks Williams-Selyem, so all is forgiven.) Charonge is nowhere near that sweet, and I found the orange quite subtle. To be honest, after the tweet-up was over, I retired to my couch with a last healthy splash of Charonge before falling asleep in front of a Friends marathon on TBS. Early summer TV sucks.

Fresh & Easy was generous enough with our gift cards to offer us snacks in addition to the wine recs. I visited their cheese section. One of the nice things about band practice night is that I can eat whatever the hades I want for dinner, no full meal or much forethought necessary. My cheese all looks very white, but the flavors are very distinctive. From the left, Cablanca, a goat gouda. Top middle, Drunken Goat. Drunken Goat is a Spanish goat cheese cured for 48-72 hours in red wine. The flavors are beautiful and soft, very goaty. The small complete round is my all unrivaled favorite, Cambazola. Cambazola is a triple cream cheese with bleu veining, neither brie not bleu. Heaven.

The second wine is from Big Kahuna, at $3.99 definitely a bargain brand. We tried the Sangria, which I poured over ice. It comes in a generous 1.5 litre plastic bottle perfect for picnics or general hobo'ing drunkenly around places you don't want to worry about breaking glass. I can easily see adding some fruit and brandy or rum to punch it up a little for a party. I'd still be pretty happy just drinking this over ice on a Saturday front porch afternoon. I nibbled at the Cablanca gouda with this, the gouda didn't overpower the fruity flavors.

I popped the cork on the I <3 CA red blend last. This was my favorite of the three wines. It has a nice jammy quality to it that became a little earthier as it opened, without much of a finish. At the $5 price point, that's acceptable. Some Tweople had a hard time finding this in their Fresh & Easies. I had to ask for it, as it lived at the end of one row about 50 feet from the rest of the wine. Glad I found it. I slurped at this with my precious Cambazola, and the flavors loved each other in my mouth.

This post was generously sponsored by Fresh & Easy. I left my house at 6:40 for the Fresh & Easy in Glassell Park, grabbed my wine and cheese, breezed through the self-check without a line and was home by 7:10. Easy summer breezy.