Everyone's favorite fun brand - Cupcake Vineyards! I finally bought a bottle of their Pinot Grigio, which they advertise as tasting like a pear cupcake with white chocolate frosting. Let's see how it went...
Cupcake's Pinot Grigio
(Photo from Google Images)
The D-2010 Scale
2009 Pinot Grigio by Cupcake Vineyards (Livermore, CA)
Appearance (10 points possible): light, straw yellow color - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Slight vanilla, cream, hints of citrus, apples, and pears. - 16 points
Taste (10 points possible): Slightly sweet entry, light vanilla and stone fruit flavors, light finish that lingers with a touch of sweetness. Slight hydrogen sulfide on the nose when I opened the bottle. - 6 points
Balance (5 points possible): Nothing major stuck out to me on this wine. It was a simple, white wine. - 4 points
Finish (5 points possible): Light sweetness in the finish (although other people thought this was completely dry, I disagreed.) Hints of apples, pears, and cream in the finish flavors. Lingers for awhile. - 4 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible): Another screw cap wine! (Refer to yesterday's Wine Ed 411 blog on screw topped wines.) Cupcake has a signature look with their bottles and overall packaging, but it is also a value wine. - 3 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): I like that all of Cupcake's labels are the same, but vary slightly by variety. Each variety also has a signature color. The name "Cupcake" is a very marketable label technique (or so I hear... attracting people all over the place!). And the label is representative of what you'd find in a boutique baker, which I really enjoy. I'm also a big fan of the back of the label that emphasizes the type of cupcake the wine is supposed to represent. - 10 points
Other (5 points possible): Overall fun packaging. - 5 points
Total Points: 78 points
Overall Thought: I really like the Cupcake brand. I like their marketing scheme, I've enjoyed the flavors of some of their wines, and I think it speaks well to the Millennial Generation. The Pinot Grigio, however, is not my favorite of the Cupcake wines. The Chardonnay is better.
Food Pairings: Would be great with fish or pear and spinach salads.
Cost: $11, depending on where you buy it
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1 - a higher end value wine worth the payment
Where to buy: You can find this wine everyone - I found this one in the State Store in PA, so it's gotta be everywhere! If you can't find it at your local retailer, try the Cupcake Vineyards website. Cheers!
Cupcake Vineyards also features a recipe to pair with this wine: Spicy Spinach Dip with Pine Nuts. The recipe is attached the above link, but I've also pasted it here for your convenience. I encourage you to explore the websites of a lot of these wines. They are fun!
(Photo from Cupcake Vineyards website)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 small sweet onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon pure chile powder
Pinch of cayenne
One 10-ounce package frozen whole-leaf spinach, thawed
1 cup Greek-style plain nonfat yogurt
1.Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the pine nuts and minced onion and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened and lightly browned and the pine nuts are golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, chile powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Scrape into a bowl.
2. Using your hands or a potato ricer, squeeze the spinach until very dry, then coarsely chop it and discard any stringy pieces. Stir the spinach and yogurt into the onion mixture and season with salt.