Jargon-free Jargon

I love wines that don’t take themselves too seriously. I mean, c’mon, this blog is called “Mama’s Wine Rack” and is about $10-and-under wines. I’m hardly a sommelier. Nope, I’m just a mom who loves wine and loves to write. I’ll use words like “tannins,” “bouquet,” “finish” and “mouthfeel,” but mostly because those are terms that serious wine-tasters can understand.

I’ll be totally honest, I took one semester of wine-tasting at what some would call a party school (Chico, baby!). And that was the soil that nurtured the seed of interest I had in wine-tasting. Since then I’ve visited more wineries than I can count, and have many more to cross of my list. I’m fairly well-informed, and I think I have a discerning palate. But for me, it still comes down to just plain good wines (and I never discriminate against screw-top bottles!). Like the famous definition of obscenity: “We know it when we see it.” And I like to think that I know good wine when I taste it.

So I was reassured that I might have a thing or two to say about tonight’s wine when I checked out the winery’s website, http://www.jargonwines.com.

What’s this? An “anti-snob zone”? A winery that’s all about the wine, and only the wine? No buzz words or superlative-laden labels? And a winery that has the audacity to call itself Jargon, a winery that mocks serious winos with its very name? Oh yeah, this is my kinda wine!

Oh sure, I love high-brow as much as anyone, but I welcome the rush of fresh air that comes with a winery that leaves it pretension at the vineyard gate.

Jargon is owned by Trinchero Family Estates, which has certainly earned some bragging rights. It was named the 2010 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, and owner Bob Trinchero has been inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame. A quick perusal of their labels shows a robust roster of fine wines and budget varietals. Everything from Montevina (which I’ve visited and reviewed here) to Newman’s Own. This is obviously a serious business, conducted by people who have learned to take it lightly.

Jargon’s 2009 pinot noir, tonight’s choice, is a fun wine. It has a peppery aroma (jargon warning!) and a black-pepper prune taste. I cheated and read the tasting notes (I couldn’t help it, they were actually entertaining!), and I concur that there is a cola quality to it, with just a hint of vanilla and nutmeg. The pepper paired perfectly with the applewood rub on my barbecued New York steak. The rack price is $12, but I’ve found it on sale at several grocery stores for about $10.

So welcome to a jargon-free zone, and enjoy the wine.



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