Awhile back I checked out Vinum Populi in LA and had a great time. If you haven't run into these Enomatic tasting machines yet, they are pretty fun. I first encountered them at Taste in San Luis Obispo. You lay down some cash for a card that you insert in the machine and pick the wine you like and the machine dispenses a 1-2 ounce pour. It's a great pre-dinner activity sure to spur on conversation with a group and way better than losing at slots. Vinum Populi also has a nice selection of food so if you have too much fun, stay and have some yummy small plates among friends.
My favorite part of the wine slot machine is discovering new wines in a pretty inexpensive way. That and not having that Vegas casino sound in my head for at least a day after I get out of town. I bring along a camera and take pics of anything I really enjoyed. Here are the wines I found that really interested me. I don't have tasting notes for you all since I was having too much fun to break out a pen. Here are the finds and the photos to help you track them down.
2004 Domaine de la Ferme Saint-Martin Beaumes de Venise Cuvee du Diaper from Cote du Rhone. It's a blend of 90% Grenache and 10 % Syrah
2005 La Mirande Chateauneuf du Pape Blend of 70% Grenache 15% Syrah 7% Mourvedre 5% Cinasault
If anyone can point me a place to pick these wine's up, I'd much appreciate it.
My favorite and recommended by the poor girl running around refilling the stations was the 2004 Cenit 100% Tempranillo. The winemaker's name is Amy Hopkinson so I had to love that since I hope to be a winemaker someday soon and my name is already Amy. I loved this wine so much I tracked some down after the visit. Its pretty pricey so a great alternative is the 2003 Cenit for a bargain price from Domaine 547. I do think the 2004 was a bit better but considering that its selling for about $50-$100 bucks a bottle, the 2003 packs so much of what is good about 2004 for the bargain price of $19.99.
Tasting notes for the 2003 Cenit Tempranillo from Domaine547
- Color: Deep garnet
- Nose: lots of vanilla so I'm guessing there was a lot of new oak used making this wine, black cherry and licorice
- Taste: black cherries, anise, hint of rosemary and a bit of leather on the finish.