4 December, 2020
Sunny with a Chance of Flowers WinesComments : 1 Posted in : Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, White Wine, Wine on by : The Gourmez
Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Wines
This is an unusual wine review, in that Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Wines are unusual wines. The label was born out of a desire to create a great tasting, yet lower calorie, wine with a lower ABV than average and no residual sugar. Wines are made of grapes, grapes get more sugary as time passes, that sugar ferments into alcohol after harvest with different levels of residual sugar resulting after the winemaking is complete, but rarely none.
So you can imagine the challenge to change those results! Have Scheid Family Wines, based in the Monterey AVA, and winemaker Casey DiCesare pulled it off?
Obligatory Disclaimer: I was gifted these wines to review to determine just that.
Each of the three wines is 85 calories per 5 oz serving, has zero residual sugar and an ABV of 9%. The average glass of wine is 120 calories per 5 oz serving, though this varies greatly depending on the grape varietals used and blend of those grapes. The average alcohol by volume is 13%, and the average residual sugar content falls within 0.1 grams and 10 grams for what is considered dry wines – “dry wines” in this case, covers most typical white and red wines, with the exception of ones with added sugar, a practice much more typical in your favorite grocery store wines.
So in terms of numbers, Sunny with a Chance of Flowers wines succeed! In terms of taste? Mostly! I’ll start with my favorite.
The Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Positively Sauvignon Blanc 2019 is light bodied but possesses a lively acidity. It reminds me of lime pudding or lime sherbet, with a creamy base. Perfectly rounded pebbles come to mind, and the clean, cool taste of charcoal-filtered water. This wine is the specks in a stream that sparkle in the light. It’s tasty and vibrant enough that I’d drink it happily without feeling as though something were missing. Motto on the wine bottle: Power of Positivity.
The second wine that I enjoyed is the Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Positively Pinot Noir 2018.
My companions were not as fond of this wine, but I enjoyed it because it reminded me of Trader Joe’s cherry cider, which is one of my all-time favorite juice blends – I can drink a bottle of that stuff in record time. The Positively Pinot Noir looks like cranberry juice in terms of its thin body and clarity, and it smells smoky. It tastes, as you might suspect from my lead-in, like cherry juice but with a tart cranberry edge to it. Tannins are present: a lick of an oak leaf. Soft baking spices are laced throughout. Honestly…it tastes like that Trader Joe’s cider. AND I LOVE THAT CIDER. So I’m content. The bottle’s motto: The Glass is Half-Full.
The Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Positively Chardonnay 2018, however, was not to any of our tastes.
For big fans of chardonnay’s buttery, lemon, and vanilla notes, this wine may be in line with your tastes. That profile is present in a show of strength. But those are my least favorite notes in chardonnay. I enjoy the grape most when it’s aged in stainless steel the whole way through, with no oak introduced. Stainless steel brings more acidity and minerality to the glass, in my experience, and those are the notes that thrill me in a chardonnay.
To me, the Positively Chardonnay 2018 is like an Entenmann’s danish drenched in glaze and warmed on a kitchen counter by the sun. It has a chalky mouthfeel, though it’s smooth going down, and an apricot acidity. For some drinkers, that’ll be comfort food. For my crew, it didn’t do the job. The bottle’s motto: Choose happy.
I appreciate what Sunny with a Chance of Flowers has pulled off, and I wouldn’t hesitate to refill my glass with the pinot noir or the sauvignon blanc. However, I wouldn’t do so thinking of these wines in quite the same way as ones that have not gone through the label’s proprietary double-filtration system. That technique has sacrificed some of the body, depth, and richness of what I love about wine appreciation. Surprisingly, however, I did not feel as though these wines had less sugar, so I must give props to the winemaker for finding a way to balance the wines without leaving any residual sugar in the glass. I also still got plenty of a lift from the alcohol; 9% is nowhere close to none and is more in line with a dark beer.
Those are not complaints. I am nothing if not a lover of variety, and Sunny with a Chance of Flowers is a worthy entrant into the “Better for You” food and drink category. I would gladly pour a glass of the sauvignon blanc or pinot noir on a bright, sunny day in the backyard, more readily than I would reach for a wine cooler or hard lemonade, for example. There is room for everything in the world of refreshment, and I’m glad to see this new brand join the fray – or cabana, as the case may be.
Tasted 18 October 2020.