The Arrogant Frog

frog-tour

Drunken Frog Cyclist?

Before I left for the Wine Bloggers Conference, I was asked to join another online wine tasting featuring the Arrogant Frog wines of Domaines Paul Mas in the Languedoc region of Southwest France. The tasting was set for 8:00 Eastern time on the Tuesday night that I returned from the Conference–no problem as I was scheduled to land at 6:15 and I only live 10 minutes from the airport (maximum of 30 with traffic).

Like I said, no problem.

Problem #1: LAX (the airport in Los Angeles). We sat on the runway for about an hour, for no apparent reason, other than it being LAX.

No problem, I had a bit of a cushion built-in (although not a huge one), and as long as I made it with at least 30 minutes left in the chat, I could suck down some of the wine and make a few irreverent comments and all would be happy.

No problem.

Well, as we were about half way across the country and I was about to have my knee slammed into by the beverage cart, the pilot took to the intercom and said something along these lines:

“Hi this is the Captain in the cockpit, I would like to have everyone return to their seats and fasten their seat belts immediately. We have a little problem here and we are going to need to make an emergency landing in Saint Louis. It seems as though one of the fuel tanks is clogged and we can’t access that fuel, which means we do not have enough fuel to make it to Philadelphia. On top of that, we have been using all the fuel from the other tank, and this has caused the plane to become unbalanced and rather difficult to handle. So, we will be on the ground in under ten minutes. Once we land, some of you might see the emergency vehicles rushing to the plane. No need to worry, though, this is just standard procedure. Hopefully we will get the problem corrected and we will be on our way back to Philly in no time.”

Problem #2.

As this was my second emergency landing in a couple of months, I was not all that concerned, but as soon as the words “emergency landing” came out over the intercom, people started to really freak out. The woman behind me started to cry, and another person was on the verge of hysterics. I was waiting for this scene to unfold:

The flight attendants quickly packed up the drink cart right as they were about to hand me my half bottle of wine. That was the real tragedy, as far as I was concerned—if the plane was going to end up a heap of flaming metal on the tarmac, at least I wanted another bottle of moderately overpriced Conundrum.

As it turned out, we landed safely in St. Louis, and after another hour or so on the tarmac, we were back on our way to Philly. As a result, I did not make it back in time for the tasting (not even close), but I was able to taste the wines over the next few days.

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the name or the labels—I get that they want to have fun with it and make the wine less intimidating, so I guess I should try to limit my snob reflex (I will work on that). It is clear that I am not the demographic that they would like to attract—they really want my sister-in-law.

All the wines retail for around $10 (although available for less at some locations in states not named “Pennsylvania”).IMG_2720

2013 Arrogant Frog Chardonnay: Perhaps a bit too cold initially since the nose was rather muted. Some citrus and a hint of vanilla eventually came through after a bit of coaxing. A bit of fruit up front, and overall fairly well-balanced. Some chalkiness on the finish, but all in all, for this price? A good bargain. 86-88 Points. Sister-in-law rating: Oh, I like it!
2013 Arrogant Frog Sauvignon Blanc: Great tart Sauvignon Blanc nose with lemon, lime, and a bit of cat pee. On the palate, more of the same, for the money? This is a really good wine. I would certainly suggest this wine for friends who are looking for an inexpensive, yet good wine. 85-87 Points. Sister-in-law rating: Oh, I like it!
2013 Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir: Cherry cola nose with a bit of heat. On the palate a bit of fruit, but thin through the mid palate and a short finish. It is tough to make a great inexpensive Pinot and this is no exception. 83-85 Points. Sister-in-law rating: Not bad, but a bit thin.
2013 Arrogant Frog Cabernet/Merlot: 55% Cab/45% Merlot. Darker fruit, mostly blackberry with some mocha and a bit of vanilla. On the palate, a rich mouthfeel, with round tannins and an above average finish. A very nice wine for the price. 87-89 Points. Sister-in-law rating: Oh, this is yummy!
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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, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to The Arrogant Frog

  1. Love tasting with non-wine-o’s, the comments are top drawer and weirdly descriptive!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! Your sister-in-law’s comments made this post! I’m not too crazy about all these new names for wine that are basically just in place for people who pick things based on how cute/funny they are: Fat Bastard, Happy Bitch, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you need to keep the sister in law rating scale on all your future reviews! And yes, it does seem there are more and more wines going after picking by label. When we started designing our label, I did some research, and it showed that an “average” person choosing wine by label will decide in 8 seconds whether to pick up your bottle or not. And apparently animals rule! (good news for us and Draco)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I would have snatched the entire bottle of wine from the flight attendant right before my panic attack. I’m terrified of flying. Thank goodness you made it safe. I’m going to have to try the Chardonnay based on her comment 🙂

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  5. I was flying to Dallas once on a business trip. I smelled the equivalent of burnt rubber and asked the flight attendant if I was crazy. She smelled it too. We landed back at O’Hare in 30 minutes flat. Reason? Fire. Happy Flying!!!!!

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  6. Oh good! Your sister-in-law and I are in sync. As for the label, Arrogant Frog is fast becoming a global brand. If you go online, you will see how popular this brand is in the UK and it is getting into Asia – where I am certain it will do well – frogs are rather auspicious in Asia. I am impressed with his marketing prowess. He knows what he’s doing with the making and marketing of wine. To do what he did with the CabSauvMerlot was impressive for $10. As for the Pinot (my go to varietal which I’m a spoiled brat about due to all the outstanding Sonoma Coast Pinots nearby) I had a hard time with it. It was drinkable, but I agree with you about the difficulty of creating an excellent Pinot at this price point. Your sister-in-law is the target audience and I’m certain if Domaine Paul Mas keeps up the good work, The Humble Winemaker will be charming the screw tops off his bottles and into the glasses of Americans with aplomb – vive la France!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that they are marketing geniuses–really. I also understand that I am not the target audience. If I were having a party, the only thing that would stop me from serving this wine is the label–kind of the wine snob thing.

      Love your insight, by the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like your sister-in-law. Ha ha. I think we would be friends.

    I wonder if the wine industry is trying to keep up with craft beer, in regards to their naming and labeling. It seems that label art is becoming a “thing” in many places, and I will freely admit I will fall for a label if I am just browsing at the liquor store for something new.

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    • She is a lot of fun, and part of it is loving wine, but not really caring about the pretense.

      Your craft beer question is a great one–wine and beer seem to be on different tracks–this name and label would kill with the beer aficionados, but wine geeks will shy away.

      Like

  8. I am sorry you missed the tasting. It was a crazy travel day. I arrived home earlier in the day from Columbus and my husband was delayed many times that day trying to get to DC. I remember it well. My AF wines arrived with the possibility of heat damage so I opened them earlier in the day to insure they were “drinkable” for the tasting. To my surprise they were in fine condition. Overall the vibe of the tasting was quite positive, with the Pinot Noir being the only possible hick-up. For the price I felt they were drinkable and the Cab/Merlot was good. In my opinion they were better than many inexpensive, over-produced CA wines in the same price point that line the grocery store shelves. Cheers to your sister-in-law; sounds like you two have a fun relationship!

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  9. foxress says:

    What an entertaining post. I give this post a sister-in-law rating of ‘oh, this is yummy.’

    Like

  10. grapefulapp says:

    Haha – great post.

    Interested in locating this wine across the pond. Would make a nice gift for a coupe of my arrogant friends!

    Like

  11. dwdirwin says:

    You lost me after “emergency landing”. I had to go take a sympathy xanax just reading it. Sounds like they are a good option for that price point.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ohmygod (no not that one) sorry about the emergency landing and missing the tasting. See, now these are the reviews a wine newbie can understand. “Ooh, that’s yummy!” Yep, that’s me. 🙂

    Like

  13. Pamela says:

    Glad you survived the flight, and that you avoided the fate of the nervous traveler in the Airplane! scene.

    Like

  14. Jeff, seeing that you are a little frazzled from your flight, did you juxtapose your opinions with your Sister-in-laws?

    Like

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