Flash Wine Tasting #2—Part One: Rebel Coast Winery

Last Friday night, there was another flash wine tasting on my block. I have these tastings out on my front stoop for neighbors and friends when I have a few bottles to sample. I am not sure if this meets the what-you-are-supposed-to-do-when-you-get-wine-samples protocol, but I figured that the wineries would rather have a bunch of people try their wine than for the taster to pour the rest of it down the drain after they had two gulps. Besides, I am a firm believer that wine should be shared (unless of course it is really, really good and then I just want the others to have a small taste and then watch me drink the rest).

There was no particular theme for the night’s tasting (as opposed to Flash Wine Tasting #1 which was strictly Pinot Noir), just a few random bottles. Two of the bottles were from Rebel Coast Winery: “Pink Panda” and “Reckless Love.” When I received the bottles, it was rather clear that I was not their target audience—the Pink Panda states that it is “Not French Grown… GO AMERICA!” and the website (which is very cool, by the way) refers to it as “champagne” (a personal pet peeve). The Reckless Love has some quite humorous copy on the back of the bottle, which describes the wine as “a velvety California blend that pairs perfectly with wild nights and ignoring your best friend’s advice.” These days, I consider a wild night as waking to my son’s blood-curdling scream at 11:30 (he still has night terrors), not being able to go back to sleep, and proceeding to the couch to watch Dr. Strangelove on the DVR. Additionally, I have been told countless times by my best friend that if I ever ignore her advice, she will divorce me in a heartbeat.

Oh, and both bottles glow in the dark.

Really.Pink Panda Glow

On top of all of this, Reckless Love prominently displays a rather full mustache right on the bottle. When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was play catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, have Deanna Miller as my girlfriend, and grow a killer mustache.

None of which ever happened.

I simply could not hit a curveball, Deanna never even knew my name, and my one and only attempt at growing a mustache was so dreadful, that I completely erased my computer three times just to make sure that all of the images of that episode will be lost forever. Now, whenever I see a guy (or woman, for that matter) with a ‘stache, I am convinced they grew it just to spite me, and I will have nothing to do with them. Ever.

I have no friends with mustaches.


I guess you can say I am a little bitter.

Thus, I am not entirely sure why they targeted me although given my sparkling wit and taste for adventure, they no doubt thought I was hip enough to be considered a millennial.

That is my theory.

Before heading out to the stoop, I tasted the bottles first and wrote the following notes:

PinkPandaFrontShotN.V. Rebel Coast Winery Pink Panda: Retail $18. I figured since this wine was made from 100% Pinot Noir, that it would be right up my alley: I love Pinot and my motto is “If it doesn’t sparkle, it doesn’t matter.” Well, I was a bit worried about the nose of strawberry Jolly Rancher or Kool-Aid, and on the palate there was plenty more of the same. And it was sweet. Really sweet. Really, really sweet. This is not a wine for a meal unless that meal is a pop tart. Just not my style of bubbly. Unrated.

Reckless Love2008 Rebel Coast Winery Reckless Love: Retail $25. After the Pink Panda, I was expecting a bombastic, over the top fruit bomb from this 50% Napa Oakville Cabernet and 50% Paso Syrah. I was very surprised. It was rather light in color with a sophisticatedly shy nose of blackberry and a tiny bit of heat. On the palate, there is fruit but in no way is it smacking me over the head—in fact, it is rather well placed and it works well. I was quite impressed and I learned something—don’t judge a wine by the bottle, even if it has a big mocking mustache that glows in the dark. Very Good. 87-89 Points.


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Humor, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Syrah, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Flash Wine Tasting #2—Part One: Rebel Coast Winery

  1. You had me at glow-in-the-dark bottles.


  2. paigesato says:

    i wish i lived in your ‘hood.


  3. I’m trying to picture the advert image for “invite a little bitter to your next wine-tasting.” (if that’s obscure, which I’m often accused of being, I’m thinking of the Schmitt Sohne “little German” campaign.)

    So, you’re a little bitter. There are people who like their wines, and their friends and relatives, to be über-sweet. I’m not one of them.


  4. dakegrodad says:

    Did you really actually go out in front of your house and invite people to sample your wine ? maybe I will try this for the adults who come by on Haloween


  5. Holli says:

    Ok, clearly I’m living in the wrong hood… Your neighbours must love you! Thanks for the reviews.


  6. chef mimi says:

    let me just say that sometimes i roll over in laughter at your 3 passions in life. sometimes i can’t get past that. But fortunately i read your post today, because it really made my day. i’m wondering how you get free wine. and i’m wishing you lived next door.
    i’m a bit stubborn, but i won’t buy wine based on the label – cute artwork and the word “bitch” in the name. but these were pretty interesting. i might have to loosen up!


  7. PinotNinja says:

    Now the hipsters have taken over wine?! When are they going to stop? WHEN???


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.