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It’s a Pinot. It Sounds Cooler. I know all this because I’ve been studying.

1 Dec


I have not written in a few. After November 8th I was observing a period of mourning (you can guess why) and then I was studying NONSTOP for the WSET 3 exam.

Which I still might not pass. I misidentified a Chablis Premier Cru but got the Valpolicella.

And I call myself a Francophile. Apparently Italy has a hold of me.

So screw it all. French wine, Italian– Let’s crack open a bottle of German wine. Spätburgunder!!!!!

Which thanks to my education I know is the Pinot Noir grape, as in the one Burgundy is renowned for. Baden is the German holy land for the Noir-est of grapes. It is warm enough for the grape to flourish but cool enough not to create the jammy travesties occasionally proffered by warmer lands (ahem, certain parts of California, ahem). The Germans renamed many of their  grapes, perhaps to make them sound like they originated in Germany: Pinot Gris is Grauburgunder, Pinot Blanc is Weissburgunder. However, let’s talk about this wine, this fine fine Spätburgunder:

2013 Schneider Weiler Schlipf Spätburgunder

OMG PLEASE CLICK ON THAT AND BEHOLD THE EMO GRANDEUR OF GERMAN WEIN! I CAN hear the beating of this Qualitätswein’s limestone heart. OMG. I’m sorry. If I wasn’t already pale and draped in black clothing I would have to be before I felt appropriately clothed to honor this wine.

And then I took a sip an HOLY FUCKING I’M 15 AGAIN THIS IS CHERRY COKE!

A boozy extra delicious cherry coke. Worth paying 23 dollars a bottle for. Holy heck this wine is bright happy days running around with your friends in a sugar fit good.

If that’s your thing. I mean seriously cherry cola, ripe red cherry, and a hint of vanilla hit you in the face (or at least the nose and tongue) with this guy. And it has something of a body juxtaposed with lightness and verve. Sort of like a soda that is light due to carbonation yet has body due to sugar syrup.

Should I do the WSET3 analysis?

Sure why not:

To the eye: clear medium ruby with medium slow tears.

Nose: clean, medium plus intensity, sour cherry, black cherry all the dang cherries–vanilla bean, Cranberry and soil. Yah soil.

Tongue: Dry, medium plus acidity, medium minus tannin, medium alcohol (doublechecked after that thought and was 13%–exactly in medium range according to WSETS!), body: medium, flavor intensity is Medium plus–this stuff talks!! Flavor components: as I said CHERRY COKE!! And vanilla bean. Then some greenery and garrigue. This sounds esoteric but I friggin’ FEEL the limestone. Something almost salty but mossy. That hides beneath the cherry coke. There ya go.        Finish: Medium plus! Didn’t think it would be but the cherry coke devolves to vanilla ice cream devolves to textured salad marinating in cherry pie. It’s pretty great.

All in all good job, Silver Lake Wine in Silver Lake because they have one in downtown LA…but this one…I’d work there. Putting it out there. I said I was interested in Beaujolais cru then they had not enough low-priced options for my taste (no one has low-priced cru, by the way it is not a bad thing) and then I said “what excites you” and they lead me to this. Odd seeing as I normally am not a big Pinot Noir gal. But this got me.

So get into it!

 

I have zero patience 

1 Nov


Should I save bubbly for special times?

Mayhaps.

Should I share it?

Indubitably.

But I tofurked up.

It’s like the veg way of messing up. Tofurk-ing up. My mom was critical of my expletives so I’m exploring my alternative options. Bear with it.

I funked it up on the sharing part but I was sent two Rotari samples, one white and one rosé and…I love rosé and…I was stressed and…okay look I opened it and said to myself “If I finish it a day or so later it may have less bubbles but what the fudge I want it now. I will share the brut later but I want the rosé NOW.

I was SO excited for this because WHAT?! It is grapes made into bubbly just like Champagne but…Italian. 

To be more specific, it’s bubbly from Trentodoc, the second oldest sparking appellation after Champagne.

Like Champagne they make their sparkly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir–Champagne also sometimes includes Pinot Meunier but this bubbly sticks with the first two. 

Like Champagne the base wine is made and bottled then more yeast and sugar is added to create a second fermentation. At some point after the potion rests on the dregs of exhausted yeast there is disgorgement: all the sediment of the leftover yeast is expelled. Perhaps a small dosage of wine n sugar tops it up. A cork, cage and foil are added and it’s off to the races. Or to the bloggers. Whichever.

That is “traditional method”–or in this case “metodo classico”–sparking  wine!

It’s a lot. But! Does it taste good?

I tasted:

Rotari Rosé Trentodoc 2013

Okay holy frug. Here are my happy thoughts.

Appearance:

Pale, pink-salmon, fine light bubbles.

Nose: raspberries strawberries cherries all the red berries + Wet rocks n yeast.

On the tongue (everyone’s favorite organ): oh the effervescence of a traditional method bubbly! Transfer and tank method cannot surpass the elegance of the bubbles, and this traditional method has all the right stuff. Them’s the high-labor high-price breaks.

High dang acid, medium alcohol, And the flavors oh right those! In addition to those delightful wet stones you get the very light hints of brioche that come from so much time sitting on the lees. That is, the yeast remains. Those are the lees.

It really is a whole lot of strawberry and raspberry and stone and as I said the brioche. So like butter and yeast and cream. My favorite bread and fruit products, usually eaten separately now combined into a sublime beverage.

Fork yah.

Mules! Where they are from you tell me

28 Oct


Awwww yeah bonus post for the love of the Moscow Mule!

Also love for the people who planned the event I got to go to  celebrating the mule. Being in wine class, I usually feel like I can’t waste drinking energy on vodka–BUT! The good people of Smirnoff offered me an uber to and from their “immersive speakeasy” event. 

That is smart. And good for the world at large as the less people taking to the roads tipsy the better. I mean I’d uber anyway but not really wanting to pay for it I might have just skipped the event. The uber was the last straw that got me out the door.

I had just a wee amount of fun. Evidence:


So, why am event? In the words of the brand:

 “2016 marks 75 years of America’s most Googled cocktail – The Moscow Mule.”

Most googled! I guess a lot of people wanna make sure they get it right so lemme break it down here, no web searching needed. 

It is: a shot of vodka, some lime juice and ginger beer. Whatever proportions you feel up to, really. On rocks. 

Now that you have a bev let’s have some history. Again, as told to me by the company:

“In 1941 dark spirits were king and it was extremely rare for anyone to order vodka. John G. Martin, the President of Heublein (now The Smirnoff Co.), was very frustrated that he couldn’t sell his product and expressed his frustration with Jack Morgan (the owner of a popular LA pub), and Morgan’s girlfriend, Ozeline Schmidt. Together, the trio came up with the idea of combining SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka with Morgan’s ginger beer to create what’s now one of the most loved cocktails in the U.S.”

There ya go! .

It is rather tasty. I drank two at the party and met some people who were up for taking those silly pictures with me you saw. I art directed:

“Serious shot. Now joy! Anger at the mule. C’mon people workit!”

It was fun.

As NOIR as my lipstick: dark Halloween wine

25 Oct


Sometimes I match my lipstick to my wines. In this case Pinot NOIR. Goth-y like my soul. Funny thing is Pinot is often more a cherry red than a dark dark black-red. We’ll get to that. 

These wines, like unexpected presents you get and did not know you needed, showed up at my door.

Okay Mark West, whaddaya wanna do?

Mark West. The gentleman sending me wine. That’s a lie. A very nice publicist named Lucy sent me these. On behalf of Mark West. The winemaker that specializes in ye olde Pinot Noir.

I got two renditions. I got the 2014 California Pinot and I got the 2014 Mark West “Black” Pinot. 

Guess which one I liked best. Hint, it matches my lipstick. And eyeliner. And toe nails.

So briefly I’ll tell you the regular ol’ Cali version is nice. I feel like one more year might have smoothed the tannins and cedar and vanilla and cloves n nutmeg into the ripe red cherry tastes but… I feel like there is a tad of astringency that people who are not like me might like. If you are into Cabernet Franc buy this one. Even if you are not into Cab Franc it is totally a fuckable wine. 

Upon reviewing the tech sheets I saw that the California Pinot was 95% Pinot Noir, 3% Syrah, and 2% Petite Syrah, which maybe explains the not entirely unpleasant rough angles in this one.

As for the Mark West Black. My heart’s desire. At least my heart’s preference. It is darker-and therefore more appealing to me both aesthetically and temperamentally. The fact that it is 81% Pinot Noir and 19% Syrah perhaps helps explain its moody hues. Syrah can a deep dark wine. Ergo methinks it is a natural to blend with Pinot NOIR. It has perhaps riper and darker berries on the nose. Along with vanilla and a hint of cinnamon.

On the tongue it is slightly fuller yet silkier than the Mark West California. The tannins are there but they are dancing with the velvet fruit. They know their place. They sing vanilla notes of new French oak. In a Pinot their place is to be silky.  The berries are of black cherry and blackberry and maybe some blueberry. And a hint of spice n violet. Can we all get INTO eating violets?

The finish is not so lengthy yet the taste lingers. In a mellow way. A understated aftertaste redolent of yet more vanilla.

I would not call it overly expressive of the Pinot Noir grape. Nor is it overly complex. But fuck this is THE wine to sip by itself, by YOURSELF when you want a sip and aren’t hungry so much as craving the taste of a blackberry pie without the filling factor.

It’s everywhere for good enough reasons

18 Oct


Okay so I felt shabby when I purchased this at 7-11. So I went home and drew stars on my face. It was pretty chill. I felt less shame.

Truth is, sometimes a girl needs to make an Oreo and wine run, and I live 1/2 a block from a 7-11. 7-11 will surprise you in the relative decentness of their collection. They even have Columbia-Crest.

Don’t you judge. I stand behind my life choices.

This is the choice:

2015 Charles and Charles Columbia Valley Syrah Rosé 


61% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 7% Cinsault, 3% Counoise

Then, after that purchase, I saw this wine at a bar that–well–it had decent wine. More of a beer place but the wine selection was unobjectionable.

And then I saw this wine available at Wine House. Between this and the bar I decided there must be something behind it. It made me feel just super about my 7-11 purchase. 

This wine is that movie made by the comedian you expect to not offer much, that ends up touching you in your heart more deeper than you thought the comedian could. This wine is The Truman Show. It is more than you expect.

But the thing is you look at it and think dang! This will be a complex rosé but dang! Dang again. In a good way. It is…oh I dunno, delightfully fluorescent enough to merit a grlzz night. Because goddamit I’m a girl and my most feminist friends AND feminine (often one and the same) friends fucking LOVE PINK!

GIVE ME PINK or… well if they are roses on Valentine’s Day make ’em red but whatevs. I’m kinda traditional.

Okay what to expect when you buy this wine friggin’ everywhere:

The nose: peaches, grapefruit and fucking wet stones in a stream. I used to laugh when I saw this in a wine desciption but I defy you to take this wine to a stream with some stones and not smell the likehood.

On the tongue:

Bright and dry, medium plus acid, Medium alcohol, medium body, medium intensity of flavor with all the same stuff you smell, plus an essence of mmmm happy?

But it’s more than medium happy. It’s happy plus.

WINE OF THE YEAR

12 Oct

The salinity in this wine is the taste of inhaling deeply on the shore the Pacific in Oregon near Haystock Rock. So go there. And see if the shack selling hot dogs and soft serve (in the 90s) is still around.

Oh my this wine is my Wine of The Year.

It is the brainchild of a Californian so mayhaps the Oregon reference is a wee bit northerly but what the hey. I love that memory. I love this wine.

And I am not sure what I could love more than acting, cats, and French fries.

Few things.

Yet this rosé falls into the “one of my top loves”.

O my flip god.

2015 Rhythm Wine Company “The Meadow” Rosé” Terra Alta Vineyard, Lodi

The mystical grape? Graciano.

I. Know. What? Yeah Graciano go with it. They use it in Spain dudes.

This wine is magical.

Can something that you sniff and think “has notes of cat pee?” Be so perfect? Because it is. Tis fun and refined but with just the rough edges you think it is good for you.

Scroll down past my metaphorical bullshit if you just want analytical notes.

My metaphor was to say it is the guy Marion Cotillard’s character in Rust and Bone goes for. Like…it is unlikely. Unlooked for and unexpected. Hard to pin down and buy, sadly for me. Hard to get even at Covell my favorite wine bar–when they are running low they save it for special fans. Like me. I am a special fan. I also dream of playing all the roles Marion Cotillard gets but that is another story to be saved for when you ask me what I’m acting in these days. Please ask. Ahem.

“Being saved for people I like” is least this is what I told by a few people. That is a fact which I believe as it sells the hell out. Special peeps save it for special peeps. Like most unavailable men/wines you will fall in love esp when you lost both your legs in a killer whale snafu.

Shit not the whale snafu part. That’s a film. Based on real events but still.

Oh hell. I wrote Jasper Dickson, the dude behind the wine and he himself said “Sorry, all out but the 2016 vintage…just you wait”. He didn’t phrase it like that but goddamn I am anxiously awaiting.

To the eye: clear, medium plus intensity pink, thin tears

To your nasal receptors: clean,medium intensity, grapefruit, unripe white peach (trust me it is different than other peaches–and in my opinion better) and white nectarine (also superior), apricot, salinity…seashore in the glass and youthful as hell. Like there is some seaweed essence to it.

Oh.

And pipi de chat. Look it up. It works here just go with me on it. Polite phraseology? Asparagus.

On thar taste buds: Dry, medium acid, medium body, medium plus flavor intensity, and that flavor? The one that is medium plus? Let’s go:

Stone fruit that is not terrifically ripe: white peaches people for real. And white nectarines. Please be advised that white nectarines are really the only stone fruit I like (regular peaches? meh) besides cherries. But hell if I don’t enjoy a white nectarine so the fact I love this is sensible. Some citrus. Honeysuckle, wet stones, you guys, some goddamn soggy rocks, giving salinity. I LOVE this kind o’ salinity.  Friggin why cannot “mineral water served on marble” be a legit tasting note? I say it can. So that and so there.

Finish is medium plus. It takes a smooth meandering journey down your esaphagus that changes little but mellows into slightly more slightly more…sweet feeling than you got at first. But maybe that is the salty nature making you thirsty. Making you crave another quaff of that saline goodness.

Conclusions are good. I say very good. I say my fave of the year so there.

You may and can and will have it ALL

5 Oct


All caps means it is soooo important.

What else is important?

Bread.

Cheese.

Butter.

Eggs.

Fucking waffles. Yeah waffles too.

I took a cheese sandwich, dipped it in savory French toast batter and put it in the waffle iron. I cracked open my old trustworthy Ravenswood and waited. I ate.

Things were good.

Here is what to do.

Waffles-French-Toasted-Grilled Cheese Sandwich Yeah

  • 2 pieces of bread
  • 1-2 oz cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cups half n half
  • Dash salt
  • More butter!!
  • Big bottle of red

Heat the waffle iron. Whisk the egg, half and half and salt. Slice tiny slivers of cheese. Sadly you cannot put the cheese on too thickly or it’ll ooze into the waffle maker, so slice thinly. Put it on one piece of the bread. Put another slice of bread on top. Butter both sides. Then put into the waffle iron and cook away. Meanwhile open red wine. Ooh and ahh at your life. It is worth it.