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It finally happened

21 May

I inadvertently had a birth year wine. Sadly much like me from the womb most of this was jettisoned into the bushes on the Warner Brother lot.

Just kidding I was a C-section child. Hence my perfectly shaped head. And all my WB movie lot experience to date has been scrambling around with a headshot trying to find whatever casting office called me in. And laughing at tourists on trams who are hoping they will see a celebrity. And last time I was there doing some contortion for a horror movie. Good times.

I had dreamt of birth year wine. I didn’t plan on this. I’m not particularly fond of Gewurtz but this one was thankfully not a lychee bomb. It was pretty damn elegant.

It found its way into my glass as I was a volunteer sommelier assisting the winemakers at Winemasters, a gigantic wine and food event held on the WB lot to benefit cystic fibrosis.

I’d already had an exhilarating night as I’d met the maker of my favorite affordable buy. Joel Peterson was there pouring Ravenswood and I FANGIRLED out. And my friends from TOP were there with beautiful Roussanne and Syrah from Paso Robles. Elena and Stanley are the best. Get your hands on their vino.

The actual event was over and I was partying onnnnn with some of the patrons I knew who had actually bought tickets–admittedly being a volunteer was part me attempting philanthropy and part me finding a way to attend. But some of these ticket holders had brought their own amazing wine collections.

I’d left the table and was snapping up cheeses and water crackers leftover at the Beverly Hills Cheese shops’ station. One of the event organizers was nearby and poured the Stony Hill into my glass. I sipped, slurped, nodded in approval and propelled was was in my mouth into the nearby bushes. Not because it was bad but because it was probably the 30th thing I’d tasted and I was headed back to the table where a 1965 Wente Pinot, a 2000 Tempier Bandol, and even more treasures were being bandied about like they were wine coolers.

But I gasped when I saw the year. Finally! A birth year wine. Now to find that birth year Port I dream of…I should volunteer more though. Rising tides lift all boats.

New column! Crack the Dom Ruinart!

11 May

I’m going to be contributing to Delectable–first column here! For those of you not aware Delectable is the app arm of Antonio Galloni’s Vinous. It serves as both a way to keep track of what you drink, and a way to see what others are saying and drinking! I’ve actually made friends using it. Do take a read of what I titled:

The Big Guys V The Rest of the World

For my first column I spent the weekend at Effervescence LA, a three day celebration of bubbles, and wrote about the difference between Champagne and other traditional method sparklers. Check it out! I’ll still be putting things up on Scrumptious Gruel, and The Whine Situation podcast is coming up on a one year anniversary so there is much to celebrate. Thank you to everyone who is tuning in to any and all of my wino exploits. Someday I wish to toast with every one of you.

Nothin’ says happy like a girl and her magnum….

6 Oct


Okay so getting personal will sometimes throw you. And sometimes bring out the best! Or maybe it was just my passion for a Zin. Anyway. A friend on the Delectable app has “more wine than we could ever drink” and sent a vintage my way. A magnum no less!

Holy cow 2006 Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel !

I am over bowled by the generosity of the wine community sometimes. Really. I’ve been dwelling in heartbreak half the time of the last month. And the bolstering of the people who love wine like I do has kept me going. And my friends willing to come to my support in person…!

I mean granted I had bottles to pour but they also were willing to stop by just for hugs or to take me to a new fave wine bar where we ordered wines and pretzels with spicy mustard. What the fuck would I do without these people, both online and not?

Not sure.

Let’s talk about this wine. I think mayyyyybe it may have been a smidge past its time. But honestly. I looked. This was a garnet wine. That signifies either nebbiolo or age. I took a whiff: it was all jam and…spice and also…animal? Not being a meat eater I am never sure. But then on the tongue. Jam…but not in a cloying way. Allspice, pepper and nutmeg speak up, as does leather with a VENGEANCE once decanted. Yeah the more time I gave this baby to relax the more it said come chill on my leather sofa and I said fine since it is wine not a sofa. There is a mincemeat quality to this but it is just…RIPE enough I know it is not, say, a grenache. Plus the tannins fuck the tannins are developed and velvety as can be.

This is zin. Fresh zin is all blackberries, jam and cloves with slightly more biting acid and alcohol. This Zin is elderly in a way that has softened the bit. I am taking this zin out to play shuffleboard. I dunno.

So grateful. As were my friends that don’t delve into 11 year old wine every day, much less out of a magnum.

Wake up to this sunshine (funky but still, sunshine) in a glass

29 Aug


Oh shit I don’t even care too much what the grapes are (they are Mantonico, Guernaccia Bianca, Pecorelllo, Greco Bianco). Or where this is from (Calabria the arch and toe of the good ol’ boot of Italia). Or even year (2014).

What matters is you have some FUNK and GOLD dancing in your glass.

When you sip this your head should explode into the chorus from Groove is in the heart and you should start dancing. Deeeeeeee, deeelite! Anyone else?

Got this at originally at Covell.

2014 Chora Bianco IGP Calabria

It may not be for all. It is almost an orange wine. In terms of color.

Please excuse any grammar issues in this WSET style summation. I’m just gonna let it flow….

The eye: Deep clear gold. Medium slow tears.

Nose: Clean (yet oh so dirty meow), medium intensity, marmalade, meyer lemon, orange peel, developing.

Tongue: Dry, medium acid, medium alcohol ( crap it isn’t on the label?), medium body, medium plus intensity, flavors–fucking meyer lemon orange marmalade, funky (what is the tech term like soil)yeast (it is aged sur lies aka on the dead yeast), and a wee hint o lanolin

finish: medium plus it doesn’t evolve so much as you get a shadow of a taste that swells like a beautiful symphony. YAS

 

Brouilly: the end

8 Aug


This is THE last! of the Beaujolais crus: Brouilly.

Before we drink just a wee reminder that the podcast is going strong. Get it on ye olde Apple Podcasts aka what podcasts on iTunes are now called. Or go on Stitcher or Youtube or just stream on the host site. Last week was some tasty aged Riesling so get into it!

Now. Let’s put Beaujolais to bed.

 I am into this producer. Pierre-Marie Chermette, to be specific. Or, well, ummmmm I was into their rosé as evidenced here. Then came this:

2014 Pierre-Marie Chermette Pierreux Brouilly

And I think I should be into this one. 
That is how it is here with this wine by Chermette. Love, love would watch/drink amillionandone times their stuff…but maybe not their Brouilly. I was just not on board. They were painstaking. The producers. Apparently they pruned and thinned to increase the ripeness. Yet to me this wine was still too green. Oof.

It needs time. Or maybe it was too old? Maybe the berries were fresher before? Everything in my soul said “this is appreciable wine” and yet I didn’t love. I’ll give you WSET stats and say IF you love a bright cab franc this may be your natural wine jam. Anyway WSET analysis:

Appearance: clear medium ruby with medium tears

Nose: clean, medium intensity. red berries, blueberries, greens. youthful.

Tongue: acid is medium plus, tannins medium minus, alcohol I’m guessing medium or minus like…12.5? Checking…13. Not close enough. I need blind tasting practice. Body is medium. Flavor intensity medium. Flavors? Raspberries, blueberries, green peppers, licorice or chervil. Finish? It goes on…for a medium amount of time. It is good quality. Balanced, lengthy enough, intense-ish, but not complex. It is good not exceptional while other examples of natural Brouilly I have had have been.

I am sorry but this is the end of the Beaujolais series. Unless I also cover Beaujois, Beaujolais-Villages and Beaujolais Nouveau. But for now I am Gamay-ed out. Well…we shall see. Because Gamay has a hold on my heart as does Pierre-Marie Chermette. Expect more from both!

It ain’t LA if…insert podcast reference here

21 Jul

 

I promise a finale to the cru Beaujolais series very soon.

It ain’t LA if you aren’t selfie-ing up a storm and self-promoting like crazy so I take this self-indulgent moment to say if you haven’t yet, please take a listen to The Whine Situation! We pair funny people’s whines with wines. No it is not for a wine professional. Just people who want to laugh and possibly learn a little about wine.

We are on iTunes, Stitcher, Youtube, and you can stream anytime from Libsyn! YAY.

This week we tackle the whine of why people have to hate on LA. So this post is meta or something.

Please listen. Subscribe. Rate etc the whole shebang. Get in.

 

Regnié and a Red Hat

3 Jul


The name of this wine inspired me to put on a red cap of my own.

Apologies to Mets, Cubs and Giants fans in particular, but I’m a Cardinals girl. Okay now that that’s out of the way–

On this Beaujolais journey we have swilled on down:

Morgon

Chiroubles

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas
And!
Saint-Amour

Okey dokey yea now we are on to Regnié. I talked about it once before.

But this one oh yes.

2012 Bonnet Rouge Regnié

Holy hell no sulfur! Normally I worry about that ending up stanky in a bad way but this is a natural phenomen. 

Thank god or I would think it unseemly… that this is…okay there is no polite way to say but cloudy.

Okay so also it is not penultimate in complexity. But it is more interesting than wines I’ve tasted three times the 10-ish dollar expense of this one.

If you hate: licorice, anise, or tarragon ye best run.

I LOVE this wine and probably would pay three times the amount it was (which would still be medium in price) because it is friggin’ RIFE with licorice-y taste deeeelite..but more than that anise? It makes me think of springerles–cookies my family makes around Christmas.

Which are the magic.

THE magic. This is an alcoholic springerle in a glass.

With just a bit more than a hint of the pastille I get in the Morgon. 

The Morgon has about as much pastille as I got in Chiroubles. This is a tiny region and hell now I want to open all three crus and do an anise-off between them. And I might chase that with some absinthe. Just so I can compare to the hardcore but jeez just all the anise/licorice/pastille etc ness. Y’all.

How does this compare? Oddly the further south I get the fresher the flavor I get. A phenomenon you see in say, Napa Velley but I don’t know it the type of wine (i.e. natural or not) has something to do with it. Still learning.

Anywho this has the delightful Gamay classic flavor of ALL sorts of cherries. Violets. And then that licorice and anise. The licorice and anise overwhelm my tastebuds but I FUCKING LOVE THEM. If you don’t this will undoubtedly be not good to you.

But fuck yah if I would not believe this bottle was 25-30. Not just under ten.

Bargain royalty.

And go Redbirds!! We need to win some more games so I can toast them with this red hat wine. 

Morgon meets whatever

25 Jun


Oh. Mmm. Gee. OMG. We have conquered–more than “covered” we’ve conquered! By which I mean we guzzled our ways through, in reverse order:

Chiroubles

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas

And!

Saint-Amour

Oh shit okay just go with me on the following pertaining to the following. And trust me because I use words like pertaining even when sipping alcoholic bevs.

The Transformers show song?

It was “more than meets the eye”. Those were the lyrics. But as a kid I thought it was “Morgan meats the eye”, which I imagined meant a guy named Morgan or Morgon was in the kitchen making a nice meatloaf of eye.

I was wrong. And Morgon wine tastes eons better than I’d imagine meat-y eyeloaf does, even if made by Morgon himself.

Morgon has no plans of “meat-ing” anything. But it has some damn fine vino.

Hell this wine:

2013 Chateau Grange Cochard Morgon Cote du Py.

Holy hell the cherry, the violets the…Violets. Again. Like Chiroubles. But also. The blueberries and maybe honey? 

It is certainly more than meets both the eye AND the nose. Take that, Transformers.

Oof

Okay WSET standards:

Eye: clear, medium ruby, medium slow tears but remember it is more!

Nose: clean, medium plus intensity, cherries, grass, strawberries and blackberries and some citrus (barely but once I call it out you’ll say fuck yah) whiffs. On the nose the hey fresh!-ness hits ya.

Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium minus tannins, medium alcohol–guessing 13% (just checked it whilst editing it is 13% which is medium whaddaya know the WSET’s taught me well). Body is medium. Flavor intensity is medium but…almost medium plus pending what temp you get served.

Taste, specifically is ALL the black cherries and blackberries and some dang grass and a hint or three of bloody raw green pepper but in a way I liked!

And those beautiful candied violets. Go find some violet pastilles. You’ll see. Violets and anise in perfect balance.

Definitely more than meats anything.

Especially if like me you don’t eat meat. Have some more wine instead.

Chiroubles: some would call it gender fluid. i call it fluid.

19 Jun


ONWARDDDD!!!!!

We have tackled Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-a-Vent, and Fleurie! So let us keep on. To Chiroubles!!

Specifically:

2015 Laurent Gauthier Chiroubles Chatenay “Vielles Vignes”

I got this sucker for about 14 bucks from guess………duh Garagiste.

Oh golly apparently these “old vines” were planted on a steep pink granitic arena. HELLZ YEAH THIS WINE IS A BEEFY WINE AND YET FROM PINK SOIL!

Pink pussy power y’all. Pink granite grit. Feel it. Vinified in whole clusters in concrete vats.

This shit is hardcore essence of pink granitic Gamay and I am into it. It is a delightfully balanced wine, essence-wise. The acid is balanced with ripe blueberry and cherry fruitiness (which so may confuse with sweetness). The light tannins are balanced with…well they are still light but have strong handshake. Wicked oaky tannins would detract from what I ADORE that is hard to find in say…well I don’t know but. Soil is a lady y’all.

What I am saying is this wine has light flowers and I love it. Violets. This wine is violets and I want to french kiss it. As for the finish this wine doesn’t last long or change which is fine. I mean there are the vinos whose finish is so complex and crazy you can’t believe it and want to dwell on it forever but day to day I am a working lady. Sometime I want a quickie.

This wine is tough on the outside but then…those violets. Tasty.

In terms of comparison this wine, as compared to the other crus of Beaujolais is not as tough as most but fuller than Fleurie. Which is full but lacks manliness.

Chiroubles is gender fluid wine. It is true. I hear you giggling at that. Stop making fun of me. It is funny because it is true.

So actually, go ahead and laugh. I own my silliness. I’m macho like that.

Gimme some fleurs 

11 Jun


Real quick: this week we had actress Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, anyone?) on the podcast. And get into how to talk about cat pee notes in New Zealand wine so…listen to it here!

And now.

Fleuries! Oh yes my dahhhhhlings having gotten through Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, AND those devilish windmills aka Moulin-A-Vent we are  moving on to our darling flowers: Fleurie.

2014 Chateau de Grand Pre Fleurie

The gorgeous thing about French wines is they SOUND like they taste.

Moulins tilt. Saint-Amour is complex as true love. Brouilly brews up trouble and Chénas? Well it chains you to Beaujolais😁. 

Fleurie stays true to its name in that it tends to be more aromatic of flowers like violets. And it can be light and delicate like a lovely rose blossom. Makes you wonder what influences what more–the name or the wine?

I am doing this series probably more for my own education than anyone else’s. 

Ugh okay for all the following add “plus flowers and a whiff bubble gum” to the description and you’ll get the more typical Fleurie I like. Not as flowery and jammy as Beaujolais noveau but Fleurie does have some of those delightful things from time to time. Because carbonic maceration.

This Fleurie appeals to hipsters who like raw and natural. Let’s get WSET-y:

Look: medium and muddy grape-purple colored and the tears are slow but medium.

Nose: Oh funk a hit of oils! But otherwise raw green pepper and cherries and mulberries. Hint of allspice.

On yer tongue: Dry as f and acid as almost f and alcohol also medium (oh let me check label says 13% abv yup medium) tannins medium minus, body medium minus (for red), intensity of flavor is perhaps medium maybe even medium plus.

I’d like some more Fleuries and I’d take some flowers too. But if forced to decide between I’d likely take the wine first. Just sayin’.

Cheers darlings. Pick a flower for me.