Saturday morning update: Only had 14 bottles to taste — a bunch didn't arrive in time, so there will have to be a third tasting. And, though the Italian Wine Guy had to cancel (he said he was "busy"), we were able to replace him with Bill Rich, who works for a distributor in Dallas, and his 21-year-old son, Will. So we had someone tasting the wine who wasn't a cranky old wine geek.
The quality of these wines was better than the first group we did, and only three or four were really disappointing. The standouts were the Sutter Home and two Italians, Rosetta and Montefiore (both of which had a little fizz).
I'll write a more complete post after the third tasting — sweet red wine notes for everyone!
Let it not be said that the Wine Curmudgeon doesn't give his all for his art. Tomorrow, I'll be tasting more than a dozen sweet red wines (and by the time we're done it could be closer to two dozen, since the wines are still coming to the house). Ostensibly, this is for a freelance article I'm writing, but the practical result is that, combined with what I've already written about the sweet red trend, the blog will almost certainly offer the most comprehensive guide to sweet red wine on the Internet.
You can decide for yourself what to make of that.