About the Seismo-Zombie Site O' Wine
Why: None of us are professional wine reviewers. These reviews are by and for the average everyday drinker like you and me. This web site is part of a long term experiment, to answer such philosophical questions as:
If you are not an everyday Joe or Jane, we still welcome your input!
- Do common folk enjoy the same things in wine as the people who do this for a living?
- Do we even agree on which wines we like?
- Can we distinguish the cheap wines from the high end wines?
- Which wines do we think are the best bargains?
- Just exactly how will a wine review from an everyday Joe or Jane read, anyway?
Who: My wife Barbara and I once lived in Sonoma County, California, where wine tasting is not only easy but probably mandatory. So we've have begun keeping notes on the wines we try. We've also had several double-blind wine tastings with friends. The reviewers are given by their initials:
(Rev. Curtis Davis)
(S. Dee Goertz)
(Eugene "Buddy" Schweig)
(not me but Mike Ellis)
(Stephen A. Davis)
(Scott Davis, i.e., me)
(Suzanne Jane Davis)
You can contribute too: Seismo-Zombie also invites you to add your own reviews to any of the wines listed. For further information, select at the bottom of any wine page.
Some personal information about my drinking habits, which is probably of no interest to anyone, yet here it is nonetheless:
How much I drink: Actually, for somebody who maintains a web page on wine tasting, I drink surprisingly little. I like wine, but if I drink more than a glass or two of wine (or any alcoholic beverage) in one evening it tends to bring on a bad headache. By myself, I can't even finish a bottle of wine before it goes stale, so I rarely open a bottle unless there are guests around who volunteer to help. When my wife is out of town I may not drink any wine at all. (Do not infer from this that my wife drives me to drink!)
What I drink:
I tend to prefer California and other west coast wines -- not because these are necessarily better than other wines, but they're what I know best. In particular, I'm partial to wines from Sonoma County and Mendocino Counties, since in many cases I can picture the winery in my mind (and it is lovely country out there!)
I also tend to prefer red wines over white, because:
Among reds, I tend to prefer the robust, full-flavored varietals -- since I can't drink very much wine, I want a lot of punch for the volume. No light, watery sipping-wine for me... give me something that'll knock me over on the first glass!
- I can tell myself it's good for my cardiovascular system
- I can admit to tasting the oddest things in the flavor, and this actually seems to impress people
- It's just the snobbier thing to do (I'm not really a snob, but I play one on TV)
- I just like 'em, okay?
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Ratings (non-blind tastings)
A Outstanding! A memorable wine.
B A good wine, distinctly better than average. You wouldn't be ashamed to serve it to guests, even if they were somewhat snobbish about their taste buds.
C Not bad; nothing special. Ordinary.
D Well, it's drinkable. You probably wouldn't bother drinking it, though, unless you REALLY like to drink, or if you've already had too much
to drink. Usually this grade means there is something noticeably "off" about the wine.
F A spitting wine. If swallowed, induce vomiting and seek medical attention.
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Double Blind Tastings : Rules
Some of the wines reviewed are labeled "Double Blind Tastings". The rules here are different. At these tastings, our esteemed panel tastes and compares several wines, usually of the same varietal. Although the judges know which wines are the contestants, they do not know which particular wine they are tasting until after the reviews are finalized. Instead, they are simply given glasses labeled 1, 2, 3, etc. In addition to describing each wine, the panel of judges has several other tasks:
To date we have had double blind tastings for
cabernet sauvignon (8/95, 8/96),
merlot (8/94, 2/96, 12/96)
petite sirah (11/95),
pinot noir (06/97),
miscellaneous reds (9/94),
zinfandel (12/94, 6/95).
- rank the wines in order of decreasing preference (NOTE: these are only relative rankings)
- try to guess which wine goes with which number
- try to impress the others with inspiring wine-tasting verbiage to pass themselves off as someone who actually knows something about wines.
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Disclaimers: Neither Barbara nor I really know anything about wine. We drink what we like. We make no claims that you will enjoy the same wines we do, or that you will despise the ones that make us gag. Your mileage will vary; drink at your own risk. The reviews presented here do not reflect the opinions of the United States Government, any of its agencies, or anyone with a sane mind. The consumption of alcohol by pregnant women may increase the risk of birth defects. Alcohol consumption impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Continued consumption of large quantities of alcohol may lead to health and social problems.
This page is supported in part by Steve and Jane Davis of the Florida Seismo Parents Foundation, whose generous Christmas and birthday gifts of wine grants and wine club subscriptions have made much of this research possible.
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