Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Full Circle

The weather in St. Louis was unseasonably warm over the last few days, which caused my allergies to go haywire.  I know I'm not the only one.  After what must have been my 12th sneeze in a row last night, Doug asked me what I wanted to drink.  I knew he meant wine, & after a bit of consideration, I declined.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I said "no" to wine.

I figured it would be a waste of a decent bottle if we opened one.  Even after an overdose of Sinex, my senses of smell & taste were questionable.  Since Doug wasn't suffering from anything other than a long day, he still wanted wine.  Fair enough.

It was during our search for a bottle that Doug A) wanted to drink & B) that I really didn't care about (remember, he calls me the wine warden for a reason), I came to a sudden & somewhat surprising realization...

Me: "Holy shit!  We don't have a single bottle of Merlot!"
Doug:  "That's weird.  We like Merlot."
Me:  "Yes, we do! How in the hell did that happen?"

Doug had no answer other than the problem is easy to fix, & then he decided on a bottle of Argentinian Chardonnay that my boss sent me home with one day.  Just one of the perks of my job. ( Just a warning - I'm about to go slightly off-topic.  Big shock.)  Anyway, he opened it up & I was actually able to smell & taste it....but only because it smelled exactly like banana taffy.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that's a good thing in a Chardonnay.  Waaaay too much banana. Besides that, the finish was really weird.  Doug disagreed, so he poured himself a glass.

About 15 minutes later, after I'd poured myself a Diet Coke & lime flavored rum (not bad!), Doug declared that I was right, the finish sucked & that it's a good thing that my company didn't pick up that line.  I'm not right very often, but man....I really like it when I am.

Enough of my digression.  Back to Merlot.

I woke up this morning & found myself thinking about our lack of Merlot.  I just get like that sometimes.  Luckily for me, I happen to work in a warehouse full of wine, so guess what I brought home?  You guessed it - a bottle of Merlot.

My sinuses are much better tonight, so yay! We're drinking wine.  I guess we both had Merlot on the brain because that's exactly what we're drinking right now.  And it's lovely.  And we're happy.

And now we have no more Merlot.

If that's not enough, after reading another blog, I've realized we also don't have any Petite Sirah.

Here we go again...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

As is the case almost any time we open up a bottle of wine, there's always the question "Which one? What are you in the mood for?"  Doug has labeled me the "wine warden" - & he's right - because I don't always want to open up a special bottle on, oh, a Wednesday night. 

Not that I'm hating on Wednesdays, mind you, but I'm sure you get my drift.

It's gotten to the point in our house that we have a bit of a challenge.  We have quite a bit of wine - if I were to guess how much, I'd say about 80-90 bottles.  Not a tremendous amount, but for 2 people, I'd say that's a decent amount.  The challenge is that we have a lot of really great bottles, some that would be good for 3rd or 4th (or 5th, 6th...) bottles when we have company, & very few bottles that are perfect for a regular Wednesday night.  You know, those go-to under $20 bottles that you really like, can get plenty of anytime, & won't be tragic if the bottle isn't finished at the end of the night. (This rarely happens.)  I know, I know...quite a predicament, & we're going to work on that.

We also have quite a few bottles that have been signed by the winemaker, & I'm sort of a geek with them.  I tend to hang on to them like an 8-year old boy hangs on to a baseball card.  Really.  Which leads us to tonight...

A few months ago, we went to this absolutely fantastic blind tasting "class" with Siduri/Novy winemaker Adam Lee at the St. Louis Wine Market.  I loved every second of this thing (if you don't count the woman that doused herself in perfume & insisted on flitting about the entire room), & perhaps one day I'll get around to writing about it before I forget it.  But not tonight.  Anyway, we bought a bottle of wine that night - the very rare - as in only 94 cases made - 2009 Novy Family Winery Zinfandel - Carlisle Vineyard from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma -  & had Adam sign it...which means that Doug had to guilt me into opening it with "What, he signed it, so now we'll never, ever drink this wine?"

Point taken.  Bottle opened.

Let me summarize by saying this: WOW.  But I'll go into a little more detail.

Did you know that there's a full 1% leeway on alcohol content? Yep, it's true.  So, the label says this Zin clocks in at 15.3%, which is pretty damn high.  Let's not even think about the possibility that it could be 16.3...not that I'm scared.  From the initial nose on this wine, I'd say that it's at least 15.3 - it was pretty hot at first.  But as it usually does with a good bottle of wine, this blows off & you get it.  In this case, the alcohol gave way to very lovely baking spice-filled aromas. 

On the palate, this wine screams luscious dark fruit with cinnamon, & an almost chocolate-like finish. The alcohol, while high, is very well-integrated, in my opinion.  A great Zin, but not necessarily an in-your-face one.  I'd venture to say that it's somewhat restrained.  Just somewhat.  I'm just really digging this wine.  And it just keeps getting better as time goes on.  This is a fairly young wine, & while I would've loved to have held on to it for a bit longer (say, 2-3 years),  I'm glad I'm drinking it now. 

Well, except that I can't run out & get another bottle.  They're probably all sold.  I could get really bummed out about that, but why?  I still have some left in the bottle, & it's not yet bedtime.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Substance is a big deal....

....Wines of Substance, that is.

Doug performed a wedding this weekend for some friends of ours, & they gave us a wonderful thank you gift.  Not only did they give us a gift card to Veritas (if you recall, one of our favorite haunts), but they also had the owner pick out a bottle of wine for us. 

I'm happy to report that he knows us quite well.

He chose the 2009 Wines of Substance Cabernet Franc from Washington.  You see, he knows.

Well-made Cab Franc, plainly stated, rocks.  It's one of my favorite varietals.  This surprised the hell out of a wine dude from Bordeaux that we had brunch with this past Sunday.  That statement alone makes me so incredibly cool.  All of my coolness aside...while Cab Franc is one of the 5 red Bordeaux varietals, it's mostly used for blending in that region.  Really, it's only a major player on its own in the Loire Valley, where the wine is called Chinon after one of the town the vines are grown in. 

Ah, but that's just France.

Doug & I decided to open the Wines of Substance tonight, & WOW.   The nose was heavenly & quite complex.  I picked up some herbal notes like mint - actually, more like a mint tea - & dried cherries.  Maybe some rosemary & some other green stuff.  Not too much, but just enough.  Once I tasted it, I got some raspberry, plum & something like cherry cough drops...the really good ones.  Killer finish - if I timed it, I think it would be well over 30 seconds, but I'm not that big of a dork. I could go on & on, but I'll spare you.  There's no need to get super-technical.  One, I really can't get super technical; two, that gets boring; & three, I want to focus on one of my new favorite bottles.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wow, I almost forgot I have this thing!

Crazy, huh?

Well, it was an almost. Inspiration to write pops up every so often, but unfortunately, the time &/or energy didn't follow.  You know how it is.  My blog silence doesn't mean anything more than that. 

Oh, & yes - I still drink wine.  Quite a bit of it. 

I have some things that I want to write about, but guess what?  I'm short on time.  Perhaps if I hadn't stayed up until 2:00 a.m. drinking wine with our friends...but whatever. 

What can you expect of me in the future?  Well, not much, really.  I'll write when I want about what I want.  I'm not going to write about every wine I drink - now, there's an exhausting concept - & as always, I won't just write about wine.  After all, my life is pretty entertaining. 

So, with that, I hope to not be such a stranger.