House Band Wines

By Bob on November 30, 2011 5:20 AM

Everybody knows California is wine country. That intimidates a lot of people, because they think wine is snooty stuff that you have to really know to fully appreciate. There's at least one CA winery that's taking a different approach by making everyday wines that are approachable and even FUN. Ever heard of House Band Wines? Well, turn the amp up to 11 and pour yourself a glass.

House Band is the brainchild of Patrick Krutz, owner and winemaker at another winery, Krutz Family Cellars. Patrick got into the wine bidness in 2003 and has expanded his territory by adding the House Band label.


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We're always looking for great everyday wines to pair with cheese, dips (Charlotte's famous spicy Chicken Dip, for example) pizza or  even (dare I say it?) peanut butter.


So, when the folks at House Band offered us a tasting I checked the cheese drawer - saw it was fully stocked - and said HELL YES. They sent us their White and Red to try and here's how it went...



Winemaker Notes

The grapes are harvested from regions throughout California, including the Sierra Foothills, Central Coast, Lodi, and the Sacramento River Delta Region. We blend grapes from various regions -- 55% Chardonnay, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, and 5% Muscat Canelli. -- to create a rich, smooth, full-flavored and full-bodied white wine.  



Winemaker Notes

We blend grapes from various regions as well as from recent vintages to create a rich smooth full-flavored and full-bodied red wine. Younger vintages add ripe fruit flavors while aged vintages contribute a round smooth texture and complexity. The blend is 60% Merlot, 30% Syrah, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot.


What I Like About It

The White had notes of Golden Delicious apple, pear, citrus and honey. It had a well-rounded taste and a great  finish that left me wanting more. The Red was fruit forward with nice notes of ripe cherry, plum and berries (I noted raspberry) and a clean, dry finish.


What I Ate With It

Charlotte and I enjoyed these wines after seeing former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at SMU's Tate Lecture Series. That night we went with our favorite after-lecture snack - Baby Bell cheese and some low-fat Jiffy crunchy peanut butter (see, I told you these wines weren't for the snooty set!).


The White paired well with semi-soft cheese and multi-grain crackers and complimented the flavors without overpowering them. I went with the Red and peanut butter (it sounds crazy, but you've got to try it!) and was surprised at how well the Merlot blend played against the nuttiness of my PB and multi-grain crackers.



Corkscrewed Rating

Wines are rated on a scale of one-five corks. A one-cork wine is good for killing fire ants; five-cork wines are reserved for sharing with your very best friends or drinking whenever you have a good day.


About Me

I've been a wine lover since about 12 (that's not a typo). My earliest grape experience was probably at my cousin Nancy's wine tasting wedding rehearsal dinner (thanks for including me, Cuz!). Since then, I've graduated from Boone's Farm (Ugh! What was I thinking?) to a slightly more sophisticated palate. By the time I reached college I was the only guy in the dorm with a dog-eared copy of Frank Schoonmaker's, Encyclopedia of Wine (Hasting's House, 1965). Today, my tastes run more toward the reds, but I'm always on the lookout for great white wine to pair with fish or fowl.  

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If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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