Blue Moon Estate Winery – Orion 2011

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This is a fruit wine, which is to say, there are no grapes in it. (Although, you don’t have to point out that grapes are also a fruit. I know; it’s just weird wine-speak, I guess!)

I went to the winery this summer with my sister, and we got to try all of their wines. I chose to buy this one and one other, which I will drink soon and review.

We drank Orion at a small wine party on Friday night. Only three of us were drinking wine, and I was the only one who liked it. One taster didn’t comment at all, which I suppose is the nice person’s way of putting into practice that old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice…”

Bonnie thought it was strange. She didn’t use that word, I don’t think, but she wasn’t a fan.

I liked it, although when Bonnie asked me if I’d buy it again, I said I probably wouldn’t. That is more a function of price than taste, though. At $17.90 a bottle, it hits my upper range. Well, to be honest, as I am the self-identified cheapo of our group, it actually goes a couple of bucks beyond what I’m comfortable in spending.

Orion is a red, and it is the first red that I can say I actually enjoyed. It has a fruity smell, as one would expect from a wine made from blueberries, blackberries, and black currants. The smell is pleasant and not overpowering.

The taste surprised me. I was expecting something very sweet, perhaps almost syrupy. But it doesn’t taste like that. It has a tartness that I enjoyed, though some might find it puckers their mouth a bit. It has a different flavour from most wines I have tasted, and I’m not knowledgeable enough yet to really accurately describe what I mean.

I took the remains home with me and had it again with roast beef. I think that it was much better with that than with the appies we had on Friday night. It had a mellower taste, and the meat flavour cut through the tartness. I also can’t ignore the fact that it had been open and sat for a couple of days, so maybe that was part of the change.

The label recommends serving Orion with a pork, beef, or bison roast. I agree. It also suggests a picnic basket, although I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that — our appies were probably close to a picnic basket, although we had no meat, and maybe that would make a difference.

The label also mentions undertones of licorice. I didn’t find them, but that might explain why others didn’t care for it. It also talks about it being a dry table wine, although I would describe it as tart rather than dry.

For me, I would buy this again for a special occasion, especially if I was serving a roast. It would have to be special though — I don’t often spend so much for a bottle of wine!  

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