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.