2016 Vice Meets Virtue

This is essentially the first Moscato-style wine reviewed in Notes, so base any next steps accordingly…I am researching the muscat grape as we go along here so thanks for accompanying me on this journey. Long-time readers know I’d normally drift more toward a red for a Saturday night, yet it’s great to have an open mind and to celebrate someone else’s taste…particularly because my favorite wine is usually “any wine that’s shared”.

Okay, with that said, Vice Meets Virtue is a semi-sweet spritzer with a little nod toward Chardonnay and carries notes of citrus and pear. By contrast to a high-tannin red, it is crazy light and crisp. It’s not quite a Prosecco but within hailing distance if that makes sense. One of the reasons we’re drinking Vice is because they proudly tout “no sugar added” and in part because the brand name is…well…spot on. Vice and virtue? Nodding. Sounds perfect.

2016 Vice Meets Virtue, Bon Affair, Lodi, California, USA.

2016 Vice Meets Virtue, Bon Affair, Lodi, California, USA.

This muscat reminds me of a Riesling…while it is far less sweet than that grape, both wines are summer-facing in my humble opinion. The word muscat is the Italian name for Muscat Blanc, a grape that extends out into sparkling, still, pink, red (aka “black muscat”), and muscat dessert wines. The Vice Meets Virtue I’d classify in the sparking category and has only about 50% of the calories of a red, and low alcohol (5.5% vs. 13% ABV in a regular wine) content for sure. Worried about a hangover after a day of poolside drinking? This might be a way you stack the deck in your favor…

My local wine store had Vice Meets Virtue in limited quantities, so I’m not sure how easy it will be for you to put your hands on one. More important? Focus less on the specific wine and more on having an open mind for new things and celebrating shared experiences.


2011 Casillero del Diablo Reserva White

A rare white wine entry among all the reds here on Notes–this is the 2011 Casillero del Diablo Reserva White. The Diablo originates from the Limarí Valley of Chile (does that make this northern Chilean area the root of all evil? or just great wine?), where the local climate imparts great tropical fruit notes to its white wines. The springtime temperatures, which can range from about 53 degrees at night to 77 by day, reminds me of Southern California and is just about ideal for growing tropical fruit. Or grapes, as it turns out.

2011 Casillero del Diablo Reserva White, Limarí Valley, Chile.

2011 Casillero del Diablo Reserva White, Limarí Valley, Chile.

We opened the Diablo midweek, just a little dinner beverage that we sipped for a meal or two before finishing it off tonight with some light but delicious sushi and sashimi. The 2011 Casillero del Diablo Reserva White is a blend of whites, folding together Chardonnay (65%) and Moscato (35%) that is plucked from vineyards along Chile’s coast. In this guy’s mind, the mix works well and especially for wine drinkers like me who are looking for more than a Pinot Grigio but often less than a Chardonnay in a white. Give it a go–you’ll probably get an immediate whiff of citrus when you uncork it.

The winemaker says it has scents of “…pineapple, citrus, peaches, and hints of honey…” I’m not sure about the honey but you can definitely appreciate the others both on the nose and on your palate. We’ve done Diablo wines in the past, and you can read about them here or here. I hope you give this one a shot yourself. It’s readily available, inexpensive, and pretty decent as a working man’s white wine.