Spaghetti dinner demands red wine | December 12, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Living - December 12, 2008

Spaghetti dinner demands red wine

by Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy

2005 Beringer, Founders Estate, Merlot

The stress of my first official review! Having studied statistics throughout college, the first thing I realized when I was going to write a review was that I would need some criteria or a baseline on which to review all of the wines.

So here's what I like in wine:

* A wine that smells nice

* A wine that is smooth - I don't want a bitter or harsh taste

* A wine that tastes as good at the start as at the end

* A wine that does not over power me with an aftertaste

* Most importantly, a wine that makes me want to open another bottle right away

The wine: 2005 Beringer, Founders Estate, Merlot - available at Safeway for approximately $15.

The situation: I had a long day at work (it was a Wednesday). My wife, the kids and I were having spaghetti for dinner - and I had the urge. So I grabbed the wine, a pen and paper and started the review.

The wine had a decent smell to it - I could actually pick out the smell of some fruit. I thought it was cherry, my wife thought it was blackberry - but it was a bit fruity. The sweet smell got the wine off to a good start.

Initially I found the wine strong so I let it breathe for a while - and sure enough it smoothed right out. This wine needs at least 20 minutes to open up. (There is a trick for those who can't wait that long - it is called a "Venturi Wine Aerator" - I bought mine at BevMo for about $40.) Once that was done, the wine seemed to have a much more consistent taste.

The wine had a nice strong start and finish. The one problem I felt was it did not leave much of a taste in my mouth at all. I found I kept taking sips to refresh my memory of the flavor. You don't want a wine with a potent aftertaste, but some lingering flavor is always nice.

The most important criteria: Would I grab a second bottle right away? For two reasons the answer was no. First and most importantly, the wine was good - but not great. Second, it was a week night. Work the next day would have been a lot longer had I opened a second bottle of anything.

I probably would pair this wine with a meat instead of spaghetti. I found the wine to be a bit strong for pasta, but it would work well with chicken or pork. Definitely not with fish.

Buy again factor: My wife liked the wine. As Forrest Gump says: "If Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." So I guess I am buying the wine again. The next time I buy this wine, I would probably make this the second bottle of the night rather than the first. I always want to have a great wine first.

Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy, lives in Danville and can be reached at


Like this comment
Posted by Gregory Peebles
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 31, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Hello Everyday Wine Guy,

Nice reference to Forrest Gump. An original idea?

Best of luck with the column,

The Wine Guy