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Drink now drink later just drink?

6 Sep


You know how sometimes even your most favorite food on earth, consumed at the wrong time, is enjoyed, but slightly frustrating because the environment is wrong? Like trying to eat a delightful split pea soup while, say, driving in summer. The taste, the color, this soup has it all! But it’s friggin’ hot and you are in a car and you wish you’d waited for optimum conditions.

Such it is for this wine because it is a bloody good wine but I opened it in my hot hot home without a nice bit of food to pair and it was great but cooler air would have made it greater. Don’t get me wrong. DRINK THIS gosh-darned wine. 

2013 Columbia Winery ‘Element’ Wahluke Slope

Actually having visited and tasted many of Columbia Winery’s wines I would advise giving any of their ditties a whirl. This blend came my way as a birthday gift from my aunt and uncle who reside in Washington within a quick drive of myriad excellent wineries.

So yah. Lots of Columbia wines to choose from but please do choose the right one for the weather? I mean I’m not sorry I opened this. Because good wine is excellent always. But in retrospect I’d have saved for a colder night. Let us unpack the details:

This wine had a full body. The tannins are a wee bit heavy handed on first pour but let it mellow in your glass a second, no matter how thirsty you are, and you’ll be rewarded by the effects of letting it breathe a bit. The blackberries, red cherries and currants will sing more sweetly. That crack of pepper will settle into the grooves of the vanilla bean that simply must have been hanging out in this bottle! Hint: it wasn’t a vanilla bean–it is just the effect of the oak this juice spent 19 months in.

The finish lasts deceptively long. It seems to fall off…but then! Oh then. It pulls out mellow notes of blueberry and happiness and oh…rainbows over mountain springs so take that and do what you might with it. If you dig rainbows you are a good person who should keep drinking these. If not? You and I do not see eye to eye yet. Please advise.

Big. Ass. Mine Yours Which What-evs

30 Aug


So Milano Family Wines is up to putting out some hot ass. So what. The. Hey. Okay.

I wanted to be opposed to this based on name but for some everyday drinking in, I could be into this shiz-nit.

Ass! Mine…yours..whoevers…I would never in a mil and yon years have purchased this but this is what online contests are for, to expose more people to wine they might not select otherwise.

Psssssst! I got this from a giveaway on the venerable Bri’s Glass of Wine site. Bri knows some good stuff so… I figured if I won the results would be dandy. 

I am confused that Milano Family Winery is, oh say, family? I mean, my fam is open. Mom explained sex, at least the mechanics as they apply to baby-making when I was maybe 7 and my father advised me in family therapy as an adult that I should consider pre-marital sex (I took that up it was a good idea) and yes I’m writing a memoir of my fuck-uped-ness but Big Ass family wine? Okay sure. But really.

How. Does. It. Taste.

That is what matters.

Wait, first! A PSA:

TEMPERATURE IS IMPORTANT! WHEN PEOPLE SAY SERVE RED WINE AT ROOM TEMP THAT SHOULD BE BETWEEN 55 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit!!!! NOT THE USA “72 is perfect” ROOM TEMP! THAT IS TOO FUCKING WARM!

If only I could go to every bar in the USA and help them with wine temperature. EVERYONE would appreciate wine more.

This Big Ass red ain’t bad. I shall endeavor to assess with a bit of the WSET 3 criteria. But first the tech info:

This is a Merlot/Zinfandel/Cabernet/Carignan blend aged in 20% French Oak. I am assuming the Cab is Sauvignon, not Cabernet Franc because most people, if they say Cab. mean the Sauv.  

But let us not dwell on tech, let us dwell on experience.

Okay now the WSET drill:

Appearance: Clear, deep purple.

Nose: Clean, medium (+), dark red cherries and currants, white pepper and cinnamon, fully developed.

Palate: Dry, medium acid, medium (+) alcohol (apparently it is 14.5 abv), medium (-) body, blackcurrant and red currant jam (what the what?! red and black true!) cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, allspice and cinnamon and some sage. A whiff of tobacco and vanilla but I do not think aging would accentuate it therefore ergo—-

Drink now, little reason to age. Flavor intensity was medium (+) and

Finish: medium (-) it does not totally drop off but then it does not evolve and move me. Which is fine anything over low is helpful to making me wanna have some more.

Quality? According to the WSET probably somewhere around good. Maybe between acceptable and good (closer to good but good for WSET is better than most people’s “good”)which for this price is super. Like, I would sip this freely and happily. And be like, “Hey dudes, check this BIG ASS WINE!”. It is big. And look at my ass. Hint I do have a sweet ass.

I mean in general this is good, but there is not a thing I would call special or idiosyncratic to a grape, or region but..this delight would pair up with a snack or  a dessert or even it would just pair well with a…drinking vessel?  Wine is really good when you pair it with a wine glass.

There ya go.

Wisdom for the ages.

My Next Wine Adventure

24 Aug


Oooh oooh passed “With Distinction”.

Brag moment: I got a 96 percent on the test so I only missed two questions. I wish I knew huhwhut (that’s the snobby way of pronouncing what) I had missed. I’m pretty sure one of them had to do with the body of Albariño though. Huh.

I start level three soon and am studying already. It goes much more intensely into viticulture and vinification. It’s longer and tougher. The course is 11 weeks. The test involves blind-tasting and essays. Apparently I’ll be happy just to pass.

But in the meantime I am happy to toast to 96 percent. And because I am an overachiever am gonna attempt to see if I was class valedictorian. Doesn’t mean much in level two by I choose to live in the now. Cheers.

Take me to the moon. Duh.

8 Aug


First off. Want some discounted Moon Juice? The elixir of people like Gwyneth Paltrow? The shop that touts ingredients like sprouted brown rice, reishi mushrooms, pearl and astralagus? That makes Beauty Dust and Sex Tonic?

Get 20 percent off your first order with this link: http://fbuy.me/d_zpz

Plus local delivery was free for me. It may be for you too.

Yeaaaaa.

The owner, Amanda Chantal Bacon, got a wee chunk of press when interviewed by Elle magazine about her typical daily diet. Haters couldn’t deal with her expensive and oh, let’s call it exotic, diet. But WTF is up with the food shaming?

The woman owns a shop called Moon Juice, for goodness sake. If she wants to have “a copper cup of silver needle and calendula tea” to greet her yoga dawn then well then let’s let her. It’s her friggin’ job to drink fancy.

I had a few days of a liquids-only diet due to superduperfuntime surgery for my receding gums. I wasn’t feeling like human interaction and exhausted in the way surgery makes one. I decided to make the days of liquids and rest fun and find out what makes so many people drink Chantal’s potions. I had a discount code so I got some juices that I figured I would spread out over the next day or so. And they delivered free so I wouldn’t have to take my face, which I was keeping iced most of the time, out. Plus I needed to supplement what otherwise would have been an all-milkshakes-all-the-time regimen whilst healing.

I will start with my favorite juice! Lead with positivity. God the juice is affecting me already.

Roots Royal (green apple, beets, lemon, ginger, turmeric juice) For immune system, kidney function, energy and taming inflammation) So pretty, this juice! I love all the ingredients. Neither the ginger nor turmeric is overwhelming which is hard to do with these spices. I would not have minded if the beet flavor had been stronger but I think the fruits all blend into a perfect flavor I am renaming Burgundian Fuchsia Velvet.

Someone should make a sorbet of this juice. I would do it, but alas I don’t have an ice cream maker. And no I will not make a granita of this. Fuck granitas. They are fine if you dig eating a prickly snow cone on top of your dessert. Not for me.

Anyway. LOVE the Roots Royal. It is like dessert. I may just need more of these.

Enzymatic Tonic (alkaline, mineralized, oxygenated water, aloe vera, full-spectrum plant-based enzymes and probiotics). For glowing beauty and happiness–or so says the website. But of course. The front of the bottle elaborates–this is a “Moon Dusted Cleansing Nectar”. What does this nectar cleanse? My soul? One hopes.

It tastes oddly citric. Maybe that isn’t odd. After all I’ve never eaten or sipped aloe. I had an aloe plant for a while but just used it to moisturize or smear on burns. I’d never tasted my plant but my cat did. He also knocked it over in the process of munching and killed it. Unfortunately my cat is chatty but not in actual words so I couldn’t ask him if the plant had notes of lemon zest and hints of grass. But that is what I tasted in my tonic.

Ooh! Also I can now put a name on something I was having a hard time identifying in white wines. I’ll just say they have hints of Enzymatic Tonic. Just kidding. But in all seriousness if this is what aloe tastes like I am pretty sure I am going to be able to call out the flavor in wine. I’m sure I’ve tasted it in Grüner Veltliners. Yea!

Goodness Greens (celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, parsley and dandelion) For detoxifying, alkalinizing and promoting joy. Ooh joy. Oddly enough I spied this on the sticker on the bottom of this bottle.


Huh. Did they know I delight in random acts of goth?

Anywho the flavor. Very…green? I definitely tasted the celery and cucumber. There was a nice underlying sweetness I bet came from the spinach. I could drink this stuff. I drink it up. Normally I do prefer to eat my veggies but this juice is pretty handy for those of us who having chewing issues who want fiber. The great thing is all these juices had fiber and body to them.

Carrot, Lime and Coconut (those three things plus ginger)This is for the thyroid gland, immune system and energy. I hate coconut. And have carrot issues. Why did I get it? Because I am always trying to break down my own bounderies, dammit. Also sometimes the combo of horrible things equals divinity. Still, I approached with caution. I mean, I need more joy but maybe I have enough energy at this point in juicing.

I’m happy to report that although the carrot flavor shines through a tad more than I would wish this tastes pretty damn good. The carrot lends sweetness, the ginger gives bite, and this juice’s “finish” to borrow from wine tasting is rife with refreshing lime. So just as the carrot is about to send me into flashbacks of having to eat icky icky carrots as a youth, lime saves the day. I guess the coconut mostly gives silkiness and body. Would I drink this again? Probably not. But I am hungry and this is one of the more filling milkshake proxies I ordered.

Okay update, halfway through the bottle and damn this drink has a lot of sugars (natural fruit sugars but all the same) in it. I am buzzing.

Canyon Greens (Collards, rainbow chard, parsley, ginger, celery and cucumber)The website says this feeds immune system, boosts energy, and detoxes. The bottle calls it Immunity Food, Bone Nourisher and Energy Food. I call it green ginger juice. I was really excited for this one as I love chard, and will extol the virtues of it to anyone who will listen. Particularly you kale fanatics. Get on the chard train. There was a hint on green sweetness to this I think comes from the chard. But mostly this is just ginger-y which really is okay by me.

Lait de Coc0 280 4 8 (alkalinized, mineralized, oxygenated water and coconut) For brain, thyroid and skin. Crap I need that shit. But. Oh shudder. See: I hate coconut. I dumped most of this after some forced swigging. Couldn’t handle. It. Not even in the name of brain function. Ugh. Did I mention I despise coconut? Which means the rest of the world will LOVE this. Seriously you coconut lovers-which is like everyone-you will adore this beast.

Me? I am enjoying a chocolate shake now. Health and tastiness balanced. Now if only my gums stop hurting. I want bread. The just doesn’t blenderize well.

 

Oh the life!

2 Aug


The joy of this bottle.

2015 VieVite Rosé Côtes de Provence

It was not expected that random Wednesday afternoon and provided a needed spark in the midst of my week. I’d forgotten a publicist had promised me a bottle. Which is a back-handed way of me saying that yah I got this wine for free. But my opinions are my own and blah blah blah etc.

Beyond the thrill of random free food…Look at the shape of this guy. What a bottle.


And finally (before opening) the joy of saying “oh yes well, this is a Provençal vin from grapes grown in Domaine Sainte Marie which is near Saint Tropez.” Sounds so chic. Oooh lala indeed.

This wine is as close as I am getting this summer to the Riviera.

So let me not waste any time and get into cracking open this delight.

The grapes: 30% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan

The color: Medium peachy pink, the color of…oh crud i do not have a good metaphor for it.

The nose: Lightly lemon, sweet grapefruit and perhaps mango and mace.

The Palate: Oh hell let us get colon happy and break palate down further:

Sweet: NO

Acidity: Low plus? It exists but dissipates in two blinks.

Body: Not a mesomorph, not an ectomorph. Perhaps a person who is of lighter weight but has no muscle tone so has some curve. Which is to say medium bodied with a certain silkiness and bite.

Flavor: There is pineapple and peach and red cherry. There is white pepper. There is what you would get if you took generic clover honey and took away the sweetness–a pleasant grass to it. A hint of a flower. Maybe honey blossom to go back to the not-sweet-honey comparison. There is some minerality the nose does not belie, but I am glad is there on the tongue.

Finish: medium short. There is a burn that is pleasant in this 13% abv darling.

Not a WSET category but I am adding it–Spritz Factor: There is a hint of spritz to this like–are those bubbles or just pleasant minerality? I am guessing it is the delicious white quartz soil of the Domaine Saint Marie at work.

Cheers, my sweets.

 

 

Canned Cuvee for Those Times When You Literally Just CAN

26 Jul


Get it? Get it? You just CAN?!!

This little can of forget-your-woes is an Italian bubbly.

History will tell you I am not opposed to canned bubbly booze. With straws, even.

History will tell me I am rarely too big on Italian wine, but times they are a-changing.

Some Italian wines are growing on me. For example, while I’ll pass on the fava beans but I will take brains and a nice Chianti. Minus the brains.

Perhaps the American palate just likes too much of anything, but the Italian vinos I used to encounter in the USA tended to be…too much of one element or another for me to like. Too woody, too tannic, even too acidic, which is hard to do with me seeing as I have approximately zero acid receptors in my taste buds. But some people love a ridiculously big  Barolo that would need 20 years of aging for me to find acceptable.

Because I have become a wine asshole. I was about to say wine snob but my spoiled-brat opinions make me feel like a major jerk.

But! I am finally finding the Italian vinos I dig. So please don’t take offense to my previous misgivings. I have found I enjoy wines from the northerly side of Italy more. From the Veneto, for example.

Presto (procured at Whole Foods) is labeled as a “sparkling cuvée” so who knows the precise methods of production. The can says it is bottled by a company in Fidenza, Italy which is in Parma, just west and depending-where you are in the Veneto (home of Prosecco), south of the Veneto. But maybe it is made in the Veneto. Have I mentioned that I FUCKING LOVE VENICE although I was only there for too brief an evening. When I was a kid so no vino for me. But of all the places in Italy I was lucky enough to visit the Venice was the best.

Now, I had previously been a snob against bubblies. Not that true Champagne is my pinnacle bubbly. I usually like Cava better. But I am guessing this bubbly is made differently from those two types. It was most likely made like Prosecco, with its second fermentation happening in a big steel tank as opposed to in the bottle.

Perhaps a can is the perfect delivery method for tank-fermented bubbly? It goes with the whole easy-going vibe of “let us just ferment a big ol’ batch in a tank” that comes with these wines.

Let us be clear that we should not expect massive amounts of bubbles in this. The can states that it is a “frizzante” which means the wine is only lightly bubbly. “Spumante” would indicate full-on bubbles.

As for the color and the aroma and such well…this is in a can. D’oh. If you want to figure out the nose pour it in glass. And for bubbly use a large all-purpose or tulip glass for goodness sake–coupes and flutes are cute and stylish, but you get the best experience in a bigger glass. You will get the nose without the bubbles going away too quickly. Got your glass? Now take a whiff. You’ll get fresh orange, grapefruit and honeysuckle notes. But even not poured in a glass you are gonna get the same things on your tongue. There is a hint of bready and yeasty notes. Medium in body. Happy in mind. For a serving of bubbly it is decent on wallet. I can endorse Presto.

After trying some in the glass try sipping from the can and…there is a hint of flippin’ Sprite, no joke. But that is good.

Honestly I thought it was gonna be shitty but… I may need to get more of this shiznit. 

I may be getting a wee bit tipsy as I am sitting here sipping and analyzing and writing for you.

Whoops. 

This could be a snazzy pool party drink. For all the theoretical pool parties I am attending.

Which as a vampire I will not be. But I will still sip this canned sparkly delight.

I want to be the girl with the most rosé

19 Jul


I was having a Courtney Love moment. It was a moment like “I am so bummed and hating myself so much I am gonna put on a ratty slip and too much makeup and get intoxicated” moment. 

Whilst watching “Blood Into Wine” because 90’s music. And panic attacks yeaaaaaaa. 

Ps the film is about the wine made by the singer of Tool, Maynard Keenan. Caduceus is the name of the wine. I promise to get my hands on some. Especially because he named one of the wines after his mom–named Judith–which is also my mum‘s name. I will try some soon as I can get it. 

Anyway all this homage to the 90’s made me wonder what the venerable blonde lovely Mzzzz Love would drink?

I mean ideally, in my imagination it is whiskey.

But in terms of wine I think French wine, mais oui. I am not sure why France. But I feel like Courtney would chill out happily there. And the wine is pink because it is not cake but it might as well be pretty. 

I went with a 2015 specimen from Provence:

Chateau Trians Rosé Coteaux Varois

Also, just watch the movie and go to around somewhere between minute 35 and 40 to hear a great take on screaming your angst into the ether. Then listen to some Tool. Also around 1 hour 10 minutes there is the lovely gem “if you have a Walmart palate you have a Walmart palate”. Loving wine is all about being open to it. ALL of it. 

So let’s get into the wine of this week. It is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 10% Syrah. 13.5% alcohol by volume.

It is a pale peachy salmon color. Smells of cold peach ice cream and perhaps a wet rock (limestone? Slate?) that is wet because a lemon was squeezed over it. Jesting but I’m not.

On the gosh darnit tongue: dry, medium-minus acid, medium body. The flavors? Frozen strawberries (yes FROZEN it tastes different I promise ye) and, maybe honeydew? Some mellow tartness of sweetness like a kumquat rind. The minerality is there and delightful. And by minerality I mean that lemon juice on boulders bullshit I was speaking of earlier.

Reading other tasting notes I saw wild strawberries and red currants referenced a lot but I don’t have a lot of wild strawberry experience. The only currant experience I have is black currant jam. Hence my inability to reference them.

Anyway, if it were 90’s Courtney perhaps she would turn her nose up until I mentioned it was like 12 bucks for this super duper sipper. I dunno. Anyway I liked this one for the price. I would pay up to, say, 30 for it were I you, because I, personally usually spend between 10 and 20 for a bottle but it is a good deal. I am into it. It’s somewhere between I-want-very-good and I-do-not-want-to-think-too-too-much.

So that is that. But I still want to be the girl with the most cake.

Okay going online to find Tool wines.