Bottles and Bubbles: 2017 Wine Tasting

Photo by Imani Khayyam.

It's the 2017 Spring Food issue, which means one thing: JFP staffers gathered together to try some more wine. Here are some of our findings. Thanks to Josh Crump and Fondren Cellars for supplying the wine, all priced about $15 to $20.


Fondren Cellars General Manager Josh Crump helped facilitate the Jackson Free Press’ 2017 wine tasting.

Name of the wine: Elicio

Vintage (age): 2015

Red, white or rose? rose

Type of wine: grenache and syrah


Micah Smith: nice, light and crisp, but with a sour bouquet

Tyler Edwards: slightly fruity; grapefruit

Zilpha Young: tart; slightly fruity

Arielle Dreher: Holy peaches, Batwoman! shea butter with peach juice drizzled over it; peaches and cream.

Amber Helsel: sweet; tart; grape juice without all the sugar

Mary Osborne: fruity

Kimberly Griffin: clean; slightly fruity

Meghan Garner: grapefruit-y; fresh; tart

Imani Khayyam: Peach


MS: light; barely sour flavor; a bit like grapefruit

TE: sweet-ish, tart (under-ripe fruit)

ZY: slightly sweet; less acidic

AD: smooth; peachy—not too sweet, though

AH: old grapes; bitter; smooth

MO: peach; Ciroq

KG: tart end and clear beginning

MG: not nearly as tart as it smelled


MS: Thin and smooth

TE: full

AD: wonderfully summer; light; fresh; right-out-the-gym body

AH: light

MO: light

KG: fully body for a rose

MG: smooth; a little buttery

It reminds me of:

MS: a fruit salad; a light meal at a day party

TE: most other roses

ZY: summer

AD: Throw it in the freezer an hour before Becky comes over to talk sh*t about her neighbor whose dog pooped on her lawn again. Sigh, Elicio has your back—drink up.

AH: sitting at a bar drinking wine with friends

MO: a breezy day in summer

KG: summer

MG: under-ripe strawberries; slightly sweet; very flavorful chardonnay

IK: A night in a dope club

Name of the wine: Franco Serra

Vintage: 2014

Red, white or rose? Red

Type: Barbera d'Alba


MS: light, earthy scent

TE: earthy; strong; slightly bitter

ZY: earthy; moss; like an old house

AH: hairspray (that fruity scent they sometimes have); oak tree; butter syrup

MO: oak-y

KG: oak or whiskey smell; I smell alcohol first.

MG: oak-y; cherry


MS: softer oakyness at the front with a tart taste at the end

TE: earthy; oak; tart

ZY: tangy; acidic

AH: spicy; bitter

MO: cherry; oak; tangy

MG: full of fruity notes, then it goes tangy at the end


MS: Really smooth; doesn't hang onto your palate for long

TE: full

ZY: medium; dry

AH: medium to heavy

MO: dry; light to medium

KG: full; strong flavor (in a good way)

MG: surprisingly light

It reminds me of:

MS: a log cabin; camping

TE: pinot noir

ZY: cypress trees

MO: steak night

Name of wine: Casa Ferreirinha 
 Papa Figos

Age: 2014

Red, white or rose? red

Type: Douro


MS: really subtle fruitiness

TE: bitter but not strong

ZY: mellow; slightly sour

AH: grape juice, sweet; earthy; syrup-y; gin

MO: cherry and gin

KG: almost no smell; not as wine-y as some wines

MG: very subtle; mellow


MS: light, fruity and a bit bitter

TE: kind of sweet; fruity

ZY: slightly sweet; fruity; bitter

AH: top secret; dry; strong; bitter grape juice; acid-y; chocolate

MO: dry

KG: smooth on fruit and bite on back; cherry notes

MG: dark chocolate; a little bitter (in a good way)

IK: Sweet; earthy


MS: drier, a bit more acidic

TE: really easy to drink

ZY: acidic

AH: heavy

MO: light and acidic

KG: smoother body; not as strong as some reds; still pretty acidic

MG: acidic; very well-blended flavors; no one thing really stands out.

IK: Smooth and light

It reminds me of:

MS: a rattlesnake; a steakhouse

TE: something I'd drink at a nice dinner, maybe with a steak

AH: carrots; cooking with wine; getting drunk at my apartment while I was in college; grilled cheese sandwiches

KG: Spain in the winter

MG: chocolate cake with cherries in it

Name of the wine: Fritz Mueller

Vintage: nonvintage (produced over multiple harvests)

Red, white or rose? white

Type: Austrian white


MS: really crisp; bit of a sourness; floral

TE: pear; fruity

ZY: Granny Smith apple

AH: fresh and fruity; apple; tingles on my nose; pear

MO: Granny Smith apple

KG: smells like ocean or the sea; pear

MG: pear; green apple

IK: apple; pear


MS: a good mix of sweet and sour; almost like a sparkling grape juice

TE: too sweet; way too sweet

ZY: very clean; mineral-y

AH: grape soda; light; tingly; sparkling apple juice; mineral water; Sprite

MO: tart-y

KG: a little sweet; apples; other non-citrus fruits

MG: kind of like Sprite? artificial sweetener-ish? But I like it; mineral-y.

IK: sparkling; sweet


MS: effervescent; light

TE: clear; dry

ZY: fizzy

AH: light and sparkly

MO: crisp and light; off-dry

KG: light body

MG: very light; fizzy

IK: fizzy

It reminds me of:

MS: laundry (in a good way); Sprite

TE: bad Champagne—hard pass

AH: New Year's Eve; white lilies

MO: my favorite bottle of bubbly

KG: the front porch

MG: Perrier water, but boozy

IK: an alcoholic soda

Name of the wine: 
 Poggio Anima 'Belial'

Vintage: 2014

Red, white or rose? Red

Type: Sangiovese


MS: Darker fruit scent, but still subtle

TE: grape-y; potpourri; smokey

ZY: spicy nail polish; cloves

AD: raisins; buttery; nail polish

AH: butter syrup; raisins; nail polish; a savory pie with fruit; cough syrup; a little bit artificial

MO: plum

KG: very grape-y

MG: fruity like a cobbler

IK: Nail polish remover


MS: earthy and smoky; fruity without the sweetness

TE: subtle sweetness; dusty; really good—probably my favorite

ZY: dried fruit, smokey

AD: raisins; prunes (not a bad thing)

AH: burnt toast; bitter; a little freshness; really dark chocolate (like, 90 percent cocoa—not a good thing)

MO: plum

KG: dry

MG: fruity flavor without being sweet

IK: dried strawberries


MS: heavy; rests on your tongue

TE: light

ZY: very "tannin"

AD: dry; leaves a sort of dusty taste in my mouth

AH: medium

MO: dry

KG: strong but not overpowering; dries out the mouth

MG: slightly acidic

IK: smooth

It reminds me of:

MS: hot summer day; my grandparents' home in Hattiesburg

TE: something I'd buy

AD: lounging on a May evening on a lofty porch with a slight breeze. You can't get wasted because you're entertaining a potential investor in your time-machine project, so you sip this wine and try not to weep about the $100 caviar you're serving this investor as they polish off the rest of the wine.

AH: a dry, hot, suffocating summer

MO: juice cleanse

MG: a boring steak dinner with some finance bro who thinks spending $400 on a dinner means I have to sleep with him

IK: a night at the Met Gala with my date, Rihanna, walking around and talking to guests.

Name of the wine: Joios

Vintage: nonvintage

Red, white or rose? white

Type: Spanish cava


MS: passion fruit; blend of sweet and sour

TE: apple jelly

ZY: artificially flavored peach candy; applesauce

AD: flowers; peaches; fresh air; Welch's white grape juice

AH: plastic (not a bad thing); passion fruit; grape juice; pear cider; applesauce

MO: sweet

KG: peach? kind of sweet smell

MG: applesauce

IK: peach; pear; apple


MS: lightly sour; white grape really comes through

TE: better than the other white bubbly one

ZY: cider; acidic

AD: not nearly as sweet as it smells; mainly bubbles

AH: sparkling apple cider; earthy; warm on the back of my throat; Sprite

MO: strawberry

KG: you get a good hit on the back; strawberry on the end

MG: very bright; fresh; a little too sweet

IK: very fizzy


MS: really bubbly; a bit acidic

ZY: fizzy

AD: dry; it feels as though bubbles disappear on your tongue.

AH: light and sparkly

MO: bubbly

KG: smooth body

IK: It was very fizzy; not acidic.

It reminds me of:

MS: a grocery store (I don't have a clue why); New Year's Eve but before the party

TE: Meh, it's OK

AD: We're on a boat off the coast of Spain. We're toasting our grandfather's 90 years on Earth and someone pours you a glass of cava. Thinking it's Champagne, you guzzle it, and you interrupt the toast with your coughing because those bubbles, man.

AH: sipping a boxed juice when I was a kid (and as an adult)

MG: Easter?

IK: A warm day in Cape Town, South Africa

Memorable quotes

"What makes a wine—I don't know how else to say this—purebred?" —Arielle Dreher

"Where can I adopt a grape?" —Amber Helsel

"He's a rescue." —Zilpha Young

"Whoa, shots fired at Jesus!" —Tyler Edwards

"What does it take to get to the point where you can appreciate barnyard?" —Meghan Garner

"Shut up. I heart sulfites." —Arielle Dreher

"You have to whisper it. It's French." —Micah Smith

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