Sunday, March 9, 2014

Slow It Down

Take me away bottle. I’m interested in something different. I’d like to go somewhere new. Give me a swig and quench my desire to be a little different. As I gulp through the wine I explore my new surroundings and release my inhibitions. I relax. The temptation to continue to consume is always there.  I must have more. Round and round and round and round and round, it creates a breeze.  I so easily get swept away. Pinot Noir, God I love you.  Just when I thought I had figured you out I find myself trying to understand you even more. On the back of my neck, right up next to my ear, in the back of my head I hear you saying it. Pinot Noir. Splaaaasssssshhhhhh. Glass full I tip it back. Your lifted aromas have my nose always up to your air.

Going back to where I found this particular bottle there were the rocks, the dirt, the sun, the cycles of the moon, the people, a corkscrew, an afternoon, the right time and place.  I’m reminded that 375ml can sometimes make for a great time! How could I, or ever be willing, to ever run out of this wine? Oregon wine, Oregon wine glass, Oregon esters, if ever a perfume this would be exactly Oregon in 2008. To be more specific, to only F with your world, this is Cristom,  and their “Sommers Reserve.”  It so vividly reflects the warmth of their hillside vineyards at 14% ABV.,  but that’s exactly what we want.  Do I long for food with this wine? No. This cannot be enhanced and I don’t want anything taking away from the moment. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Overwhelmed With Wine Pleasure

My search is finally over. I have tasted hundreds of Oregon Pinot Noirs. I have purchased and cellared thousands of dollars in Oregon Pinot Noir. Top quality Oregon juice can run you $85-$125 or so from producers like Ken Wright, Archery Summit, Beaux Feres and Joseph Drouhin. The good “entry-level” stuff costs about $28-$35 -- at that price range I happen to enjoy producers like Cristom, Coattails, Big Farm Table and Bergstrom.   

A great thing about Oregon Pinot Noir is that there is a lot of adequate buys in the market from vintage to vintage. My goal is to sort through all of that to find the exceptional stuff.  Usually I conduct this research on our annual trip to Willamette Valley Oregon, Memorial weekend, when most of the wineries are open to the public.

On this occasion, I was home for the evening with my fiancĂ© Danielle, when I decided to grab a bottle from my personal collection to go with dinner. At the last second of my indecisiveness, while staring at a wall of Pinot Noir, I grabbed a bottle of Oregon Gamay Noir that I had purchased from a local wine merchant several months prior. A rarity in the US, Gamay is a grape that is stylistically similar to Pinot Noir; equally suited to grow in the same climate’s as Pinot; but having a lesser reputation due to it’s often stylistic simplicity (the Beaujoilas Nouveau holiday wine boom in the 1980’s and 1990’s didn’t help it’s status either). 

Although relatively new to the market place, my bottle of choice was from a fairly well known winery named, Evening Land. At first sip this wine became the most significant bottling that I may have ever encountered in my 5 years of consuming Oregon wine, and turned my light bodied Oregon red wine research on it’s head! The 2011 Seven Springs Gamay Noir was priced at just $20. I will be rushing back out tomorrow morning to purchase more--you may want do the same. 

If you blind tasted me and told me it was top quality Burgundy, I would have no problem believing you. While this Gamay might not be more complex than some Oregon or French Pinots, it may be the most well made wine in Oregon. I can’t get over the focus that this wine has. The cranberry, cherry skin and pomegranate flavors are absolutely precise. I can quite easily pick up on the herbaceous whole cluster qualities that help contribute to this wine’s delicate structure. It has me wanting to compare it to a violin. As it opens up well into the second hour in the decantor, a lovely perfumed rose pedal like texture and flavor is slowly building in volume and sound. The acidity on this wine is absolutely perfect. It’s nice to see something that can play in the same league as top dollar Oregon Pinot Noir, for this little charmer will forever be my benchmark Oregon wine.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s time to eat 
it’s time to eat.
Goblets filled up 
like loaded glocks in the street.
Hot-bodied women
surround me like a beat.
My peeps, 
their peeps, 
we bon appetite!

Some flights of grand cru, 
some Bordeaux we do too.
Onto the new new 
You can’t even see through.
Help yourself to more, 
we food and wine whores.
Step up to the plate, 
this ain’t the first date.

So it’s your turn, pick what you like, this party is powered by your appetite.  The games we’ll play, your dirty mouths, never though a classy bitch could spout that out.

Flat screen on the wall, entertainment we ball.
With a booty like that
you should lead the pub crawl.
Surround sound in our ears,
Carpet under our feet,
Kush smoke in the air,
We’ll be thankful all week!

So it’s your turn, pick what you like, this party is powered by your appetite.  The games we’ll play, your dirty mouths, never though a classy bitch could spout that out.

Birthday girl by my side,
like my old school pager
Got a wicked attitude,
you might be seeing that later!

Now raise your glasses up
and toast to her 29.
Reps the East Coast 
until the day she dies!

So it’s your turn, pick what you like, this party is powered by your appetite.  The games we’ll play, your dirty mouths, never though a classy bitch could spout that out.

Now we all here
yeah we all here
Get you grub on
Get you groove on
Thanks for hosting 
Glad you made it
Happy Birthday
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ready Your Sea Legs!

Ballast Point Brewing Company, your Imperial Porter “Victory At Sea” has transcended me onto the wet decks of a maiden voyage, compliments of this bottle of liquid courage.

I would drink this beer into battle. While I have had so many, this very special porter reeks of masculinity and sacrifice. Trial and error and ultimately perfection has conjured up a quintessential elixir that offers the consumer some serious bragging rights. If I had a sword I would raise it to this beer on the bow of a ship, embrace the peg leg, the eye patch, the salty air, the unknown, my beard and the wench who I have stowed below deck.

Now where were we? The CafĂ© Calabria coffee that was introduced to this porter has tremendous integration and no bitterness whatsoever. There is an intensity that lets you down easy. The depth of flavors, are as dark and vast as the sea at night. As in, you don’t want to know what’s down there. I recognize and appreciate the sweet components that the natural vanilla bean and caramelized malt deliver. I’m realizing now that this is truly the rum of beers…and to think that someone randomly left this in my refrigerator. 

Here’s to making new discoveries of your own!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marinate Me In Malbec

2008 Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza $20

What I tasted: The most pure expression of fruit from a Malbec at this price point. This wine is as they say, LOADED. Unmistakably gorgeous, it has candied red hues, stewed dark raspberry flavors and tannins to dry the gums quite nicely, in their mild cloy. Dialed in concentration packs a punch, able to pair with any privileged protein. Mr. Malbec here is certainly the man, and its impression everlasting--much like its elongated finish. Safe to say it can see some age, hold onto it for up to five years without a worry.

What I learned: The 2008 season in Argentina was difficult due to rain. Roughly half the wineries suffered, at Achaval Ferrer they picked early and were rewarded. Half the fruit in this wine is from the land on the estate, the other half is leased in several different districts. The vines are 16-86 years old and 1 vine is equivalent to 1 bottle of wine (very low yields). In all, 10,000 cases are produced, and I did my part to deplete the share.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Italy, You Made Me Happy!

Last night I was at a dessert party. There was probably 12-15 people of which a few I knew. Before you were allowed to fill up your plate with the cornucopia of confections, you had to stop at a small table to smell and silently identify 4 viles of various scents (Le Nez Du Vin). You then recorded those results on an index card and submitted it to the host. It was a great game to start the evening. That being said, I quickly made my way over to the wine.

Syrah, a Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, Dry Riesling, Bordeaux Blanc...funny no dessert wine. Of course I powered through a mini tasting of these wines, however with little focus because I was anxious for what I had brought, a Cascinetta Vietti 2008 Moscato d' Asti D.O.C.G.

Moscato, the grape, is known by several names: Orange Muscat, Muscat, Muscat Canelli, Muscadel, and so on. Now I will tell you, I don't drink a lot of Moscato--but this wine was F%$#ing awesome. You know it's F%$#ing awesome when you think to yourself, "hmmmm, would Muscato be a cool name for my first born son?" That aside, along with a conclusion of "no probably not", it doesn't change the fact that this wine made me happy.

Moscato isn't known for extracting terrior and expressing the land or tasting like a million dollars--the Cascinetta Vietti was no different in that sense. Thankfully however, it didn’t taste like the few bad examples I had in the past. This was pure, full and creamy. It almost reminded me of key lime pie, except with that classic musk aroma, almost a fresh sage aspect and "strong enough for him but PH balanced for her." It was delicious and perfect for almost any dessert, I will be buying more. This wine was 16 bucks. Not inexpensive, but exactly what I look for in a Moscato. Find it and start with two bottles because it's only5.5% Alc. Enjoy the Buzz!

Oh and by the way, I won the scent identification game!

Friday, July 31, 2009

This Should Not be Taken Lightly

Wine is some SERIOUS stuff! Chinon I refer to as, 'fresh off the boat'!

When French Chinon hits U.S. soil, leaves its shipping container, finds its way into your hands, resting at the bottom of your wine glass and is finally greeted by your wiff--you then know--you're no longer in Kansas. One French kiss of this foreigner via a sip and you may just find yourself proposing for French--Chinon citizenship.

If I were a florist from the town of tours, in the region of Touraine, in the AOC of Chinon, interpreting the 100% Cabernet Franc that is Chinon--I'd be creating edible arrangements. A sprig of dill, rods of jalapeno, stalks of asparagus, cucumber and bell pepper. I'd then add to this arrangement 6 cherries, 2 raspberries and 1 blackberry and lace it with limestone powder--sounds delicious right!?

There's a quote that says, "Chinon is not just French, its very French." I've also read, the Loire is said to be where the purist French is spoken--Chinon must have one of the thickest French accents!

My point is Chinon's greatest strength is its individualism. In a world of globalization and in a wine world where so many strive to be something they're not, Chinon is always true to itself. It's a clever wine, that's a secret play, makes a great conversation piece and is the epitome of a food wine. Heck even rapper JayZ has said "When I'm fienon' for a reason, I leanon a little Chinon."

Ladies and gentleman, JayZ's right--pour some out for your homies, and here's to Chinon.