Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rodney Strong - a good "go to" choice

One night in St.John while dining at the Banana Deck, (music will play, at this link) we were looking for a good wine on the somewhat limited wine list. We'd just suffered through an unpleasant bottle of some less than memorable red, and needed to cleanse our pallets as we finished our meals of jerked chicken, blacked local fresh fish, and other yummy fare.

I saw the Rodney Strong 2008 Pinot Noir on the list, and have had their Cabernet before. The Rodney Strong winery bottles a consistent quality product. It's not something I would stock in my cave, and like most Californian wines it is usually over-priced (no import taxes, lower transportation costs, low cost migrant labor, no state-provided medical taxes built into over-head... why does France, Italy, and Spain beat the heck out of Californian wines in the "under $10 category" constantly?). Our bottle provided delicious sustenance for the 2nd half of our meal. When in doubt, if you need a good "go to" choice in an unfamiliar locale and they offer Rodney Strong, it will likely go well with your meal.


  1. I like Rodney Strong for the exact reason you just stated. It is never bad, and frequently good. On limited wine lists it is a great choice. You know you're getting something solid that will taste good.

    You will not be surprised by this wine - which ends up being a big part of the allure. I look at the Coppola wines much the same way. Good, not great wines that are consistent. I've been dissappointed in Ravenswood with many bottles by now.

    Also, is it just me, or is Zin just not that great of a wine unless you already had a bottle of wine. And I am talking any zin - they seem needlessly flavorful, so when you have the zin first, it seems either overly flavorful and too much to pair with food, or overly flavorful and not robust enough to stand up to a good steak.

  2. Coppola has delivered for me as well, though usually over-priced. Ravenswood I've had only anecdotal exposure to and it has been lackluster.

    Flavorful doesn't really bother me, but I do see your point about many Zins. A good one to try, if you have not, is the Puglia A-mano Over the last 5 years I've had 1/2 a dozen of these bottles while out at restaurants with family, or at home from my own small wine cave, and each one has been delicious - not over bearing, and very complimentary. I hope you enjoy trying it as well.


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