Big House Winery in Soledad, CA (Monterey County) is a mere ankle iron’s toss from the Soledad State Correctional Facility, a.k.a. “the Big House,” “The Clink,” “The Slammer,” which explains the recurring prison theme depicted on the labels.
Big House has a legendary history of innovation and of paving the trail when it comes to
their winemaking approach. Big House was the first winery to have screwcap closures on the entire 750mL line-up.
Big House Red Wine 2013
Another break-out hit for the recidivist partisans of this eclectic pan-Mediterranean blend. The varietal mix was altered just a tad this year and introduced a substantial amount of cabernet franc into the concoction. Big House Red is all about fragrance, spice and soft tannins. It has a fragrance of mint and garrigue, with insinuations of blackberry and the ubiquitous framboise. Not a wine that you would want to serve to the Queen (in virtue of its unregenerate rusticity), it is nevertheless a wine that is the perfect complement to barbecue, pasta, pizza and all of the major non-vegan groups.
Price: $11.63 Buy
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Big House Pinot Grigio ~ the Birdman 2012
Popularized in Northern Italy where seafood is abundant, Pinot Grigio is a varietal that requires a temperature climate and delicate handling. It was another long and cool year in California and
Big House winemakers were forced to wait patiently until these grapes were ready to pick.
The Birdman is bright and refreshing wine that shows hints of green apples, citrus fruits, and a little honeyed ripeness for structure. There’s even a little mineral twist therein.
A round, soft palate replete with grapefruit, honeydew and melon and a touch of acidity on the finish that leaves one quenched. Pinot Grigio pairs well with goat cheese pancetta and arugula pizza, Thai chicken with basil, smoked trout, estoufee, grilled jumbo shrimp, spaghetti and clam sauce or sunny afternoons.
Price: $$11.63 Buy
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Monterey Wine Country boasts over 175 unique vineyards. Winegrowing mostly takes place in a 90-mile-long valley, with only eight primary viticulture soil types. The northernmost areas of Monterey, deemed as on the edge of being too cold to grow winegrapes, are held in high esteem for their exceptional production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Yet, the valley experiences a “thermal rainbow™” spreading north-to-south, cold to warm, providing diverse ever-warming micro-climates supporting forty-two fine wine varietals.