Tag Archives: wine

Pod on

7 Aug

Oh hi hey! If you want to hear my voice (I am theatre trained but I don’t know how valuable projection is on podcasts tho) the latest The Wine Situation is up here!

It’s ultra-Champagne focused. I nerd out with fellow WSET Diploma graduate Christopher Ruhland wrote a great book called “Press for Champagne” for people of all wine…levels? seriousness? Anyway it’s solid and entertaining information about Champagne and also made me wish I had a Champagne budget as I seriously have Champagne tastes.

Hey there’s time. I believe.

Take a listen, yes?

I also have more tasting goodness to tell of and you know, then text me (y’all have my number I’m a 3am answerer) or if you are scared (I get it) Instagram me and tell me what you think. Of the episode. Of me.

Of Champagne. The juice we all need more of.

Rosé Gold

20 Jul

I had a helluva time getting the shots for this. Beyond struggling with the dress in which sideboob is inevitable.

Beyond my lack of gold (jewelry or clothing) to bring in that element to the shoot.

Beyond the fact that dammit I couldn’t get my hair to behave–I was struggling to catch a vibe.

Then it occurred to me maybe I should be focusing on the pretty wine, not my pretty-adjacent self.

But nah fuck it. This wine is named with a color that defined millenials, a generation that made the selfies A Thing. Self indulgent selfies it was!

And how. I made eyes with this wine all night long and feel like we really were connecting before it occurred to me I should try it.

The wine I was courting was Rose Gold Côtes du Provence Rosé. I feel like this wine gives a party-forward attitude, but I also feel like it borders on being a Serious Rosé. As in it has body. It has complexity.

It is quite the blend: 42.5 % Grenache, 11.7% Syrah, 27.2% Cinsault, .8% Tibouren, 6.7% Mourvèdre, 6.8% Carignan, 1.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Rolle, .4% Ugni Blanc, and .3% Clairette. I hope all that adds up to 100%, I haven’t done the math.

It’s so super fresh! But also plush! There’s an element of lees aging that really boosts the body. And when I drink it and close my eyes I see ultramarine blue-green. I adore.

Coral in color. Sniffing it-wise on top of red and yellow AND white stone fruit (i.e. so much fun florals) I also got blood orange and SCADS of minerals. Yes to yellow and white peach and raspberry sea-salt nose. Dry but unctuous (as unctuous as rosés go) body.

Palate echoes nose with a…so some wines feel concise. Cutting. They make their impression. Not this one. This one invites expansion. You may not make new discoveries or you will, pending your attention span.

All over, would I hand this wine a rose (um The Bachelor (which I’ve never watched) reference) yeah I WOULD. Is it a rose-worthy rose?

YES!

So gold. so Rosé. So Super. And selfie worthy which for some wine writers may be the most important thing but for me it’s the icing on the cake. Or should I say the filter on the selfie. Which is which.

Sex Love and Barolo–playing FMK with my favorites

9 May

Oh wow. I’m not sure how, but I got to stay/work-Barolo/Barbaresco-cation. For the Barolo Barbaresco World Opening 2022. And I got to rate the latest vintages. Perhaps it is fate. Like, I am madly in love with Barolo and Barbaresco. Both are Nebbiolo, but Barolo is a little more brash, in terms of tannins, and aged longer than Barbaresco. It only makes sense I’d get to spend three days with them. Me, Barolo and Barbaresco–there’s a threesome dream team.

Granted there are different tiers of love. Barolo is a lover, Barbaresco I’d marry. I don’t know that there is a B in the Piemonte I’d kill. If I were playing Fuck Marry Kill with the region. Certainly not Barbera d’Asti.

Playing FMK with wine. How did I get there? Enough about me.

I don’t have ONE wine that made me realize wine was magic, but a Damilano Lecinquevignes was the first wine that made me go bonkers for a Nebbiolo–like I DID NOT KNOW THAT WINE DID THAT. I also didn’t know what to expect from an orgasm until I had one. The problem with great wine and sex is now I have expectations.

Sex, love, and Barolo. You really can’t take them apart.

If you are not familiar, they are wines made in Piedmont, in northern Italy. They are 100% Nebbiolo. It’s a finicky grape. It is high in everything–acid, tannins, alcohol–and that is perhaps what makes it so intoxicating on so many levels.

The morning after the casual welcome soirée on the 73rd floor of the Intercontinental, we walked into a room with 204 bottles of the recently released vintages of Barolo (2018) and Barbaresco (2019), and four hours to make our way through, in whatever order we wanted (they had a crew of somms to bring us whichever wine on the list we pleased)as many or as few of the bottles as we wished, and ultimately rate the vintages. I made it through about 50 wines.

I’ve realized that the more wine I sample, even when spitting, the more pithy, asshole-ish, and absurd my notes become. Not that I’m necessarily liking wines tasted later less–I just am a little less buttoned up in how I describe them.

Interestingly…and I’m just saying…some of my favorites, like top three faves, were favored producers from prior tastings and (hello I’m brain damaged, I don’t remember every favorite Nebbiolo without going through old notes and yes I keep notes on nearly everything) surprise surprise were loved again. And they were ones that turned up on the other’s top picks.

I could go on about the rest of the press tour and maybe I should. There was a party at Universal Studios. There was a master class. There was Fontina cheese (and there always should be cheese). There was a big walk around tasting for the trade. And then there was the walk around for the public that me and my new wine besties played hooky from because we got invited to a Cote de Rosés party with models in Hollywood where we greedily sucked down rosé like the water it was, after three days of Nebbiolo.

I digress.

I’ll be real. Barolo and Barbaresco are nearly always great, particularly when they’ve had some time to grow into their tannic noses. But it’s those top…let’s just say top ten, just to be controversial (probably more), that are the wines that make you go hmmm…a happy hmmm. If I’m being real (which I think I just said I was) there is no Kill in Barolo/Barbaresco FMK. It’s more like Fuck Marry Kiss.

I’ll start with a producer I was excited about at the morning tasting, Ettore Germano, and it wasn’t until I talked to the winemaker himself at the walk-around the next day that I thought hmmmm, there’s something familiar in his face. I later realized I’d had dinner next to him at a sparkling wine event four years ago. That time, he was pouring a sparkling Nebbiolo rosé that knocked my socks off. So I was happy that his solid reds were solid. Beyond solid really. That man’s wines are art.

My next pick, according to my tasting cohorts, is supes controversh for building a VERY modern winery that looks like wine boxes stacked on each other in Barolo. I feel like Italians do art and fashion so well and so progressively, so it’s interesting they object to a lil’ fun architecture but whatever. L’Astemia Pentita is the name of the wine and her Barolo from the Cannubi vineyard comes in purple glass bottles which I’m guessing is also not so popular with the locals. And it is GOOD. In my top five. Energetic, bracing, and then there’s notes of pastilles. Great fun. And maybe it’s wrong but I do love a troublemaker so long as their product is delish.

And then we come to my old friend ( I wish) G.D. Vajra. I cherish their wine. The bottling I had was from Barolo Bricco delle Viole. My notes read “smells like white chocolate laced w/ flowers, much fresher palate, alert tannins but not annoying -fernet-laced. Complex, fascinating, heady. I do love them.

Go on and get yourself some Barolo. Grab yourself a Barbaresco. Have some nibbles on hand and have a ball. I did.

The line

8 Dec

Oh hi hey! We all thought this was perhaps from the Macon in a blind tasting including me. And…I brought it. So I should have known it was it. So.

The chum you see in the picture is my friend Jiaqi. Also a wine nerd in my life. We are shameless selfie-ers but I’m the shameless insta-story and blogger.

This is surprising. All the Line 39 wines were. So good for 11 bucks a bottle!

I didn’t want to like it any more than I wanted to like the Line 39 Pinot Noir which has quite the savory kick to it.

But the Chardonnay tastes like southern Burg making a stab at tasting like expensive winemaking but it’s not expensive but it’s got some oak happening but isn’t too rich or ripe. Like a person who carries things that look great and look designer but hey! They just braved the Ross Dress for Less Lines.

And they look casually possibly pricy.

Wine fast fashion but it’s all good.

An American Girl and Three Germans Walk Into Portugal

12 Nov

Oh my I drank this and my head turned to Portugal. And then I drank another in anticipation:

I did not know what my dreams were until I was flanked by wicked awesome German women eating cheese in Vinho Verde.

Although those wines were from other areas of Portugal this wine entry is an attempt relive my time in there because it was an exquisite time I had there.

Whoa nelly do I now (mostly) love Portugal. Although they may hate me for asking for more water.

So thirsty all the time. They fill your glass like, a third full, then take the water pitcher away. According to one of my hosts it is better that way because your glass looks more elegant. This is easily solved by asking them to just actually fill my glass because I could give two shits if a full water glass looks less elegant. The glass is big. Fill it.

This only works for water. Wine needs room to breathe.

I went to explore Vinho Verde which is (surprise!) a REGION. Not a type of wine. I mean they make wine but many sorts.

The wines pictured above are not from Vinho Verde but worthy of attention.

Portugal felt like family I wanted.

Portugal was real hugs.

Portugal was welcoming winemakers and cheese and bread on the table at all times.

Here’s to reliving the good times with a great bottle stateside:

Prats & Symington 2017 “Post Scriptum de Chryseia

Looks purple. Smells of earth with a smack of frosh (not fresh frosh) earth Amd bits of vigor.

Palate: dry, medium minus acid, medium alcohol, medium plus bod. But then tannins are kicking fierce backing up some REAL ripe and also REAL tannic mc-tanninster tannins.

Anywho. By itself this wine whips you good and soothes you with fruit. Like a scale that has been tared this wine balances best with a foodstuff but is fine on its own. Much like the 1 1/2 pounds of butter you were about to knead into pastry.

AND NOW TO THE NEXT WINE!

Quinta de S. Francisco “Óbidos” 2010

It’s a mix of Castelão, Aragonez (aka Tempranillo) and Touring Nacional!

You smell deep fruits on the nose. Like deep colored and deep as in a bit raisinated and wise. Acid is on the lower side, tannins are medium, alcohol medium (13.5 %)and the tongue–full of dark prune fruit, hints of citrus and sweet and savory spice. If that makes sense.

More wine more cheese more butter.

More life! Cheers.

I’m a sucker for wine recipes

21 Sep

I got this wine. It had a BBQ sauce recipe to go with it. The wine is aged in bourbon barrels. I love Bourbon, my dolls. I don’t know that this gave too many bourbon-y notes but the only time you’ll hear me say “it has notes of coconut” in positive light is when speaking of things aged in American oak. As Bourbon is.

The grapes? 30% Merlot, 20% Zinfandel, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Pinot Noir, 14% Petite Sirah.

Oh what’s the wine?

1000 Stories Gold Rush Red 2017

The wine and its accompanying recipe gave me a tempeh excuse. I mean a tempting excuse.

After all, the BBQ recipe was meant for ribs. But as a vegetarian I prefer to put meat ON my bones as opposed to sucking it from…okay this is getting graphic. But if you fatten my ribs, do it with red wine and BBQ tempeh.

And/or do it with bread and butter and/or fries but that’s a given.

What does a vegetarian put BBQ sauce on? Tempeh! And fortunately the recipe only uses a half cup of the wine so you and your dining companions can have the rest of the vino.

So I poured the wine, I made the sauce, I sautéed the tempeh, I set the table (lies I have no table) and tucked in.

The wine:

Looks deep but frivolous

On the nose I smelled purple raisins running in vanilla fields. It’s not paradise but it is a happy place.

On the tongue: medium acid med + tannin, high alcohol, full body, medium plus intensity…more prunes. Actually, dried fruits of every sort. But someone smashed them into a fresh plum mush

Dang that’s tasty.

I tossed BBQ sauce coated tempeh into my maw then took a swig and…for two seconds I thought eh it’s okay. I mean the wine IS less sweet than the sauce which is SUPPOSED to suck if the wine is less sweet but this held the floor.

I’m in.

For Zin.

For bbq tempeh.

For ribs. Mine.

oh ps I got this as a sample but I get a boatload of wines as samples. I only write about ones I find worthy.

Oh wait. The sauce:

GOLD RUSH RED BBQ SAUCE

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion (mine was more like diced whatevs)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated (mine were more like minced but dubs whatevs)
  • 1 tsp. cumin (used a smidge more)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1000 Stories Gold Rush Red
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchupsee-through-is

Heat the oil over medium. Sauté your onion and garlic until onion is see-through-ish. Add cumin and cayenne and stir. Add sugar and wine, stir until sugar dissolves. Add vinegar and ketchup and bring to low boil. Adjust heat to bring sauce to a vigorous simmer (don’t know what that mean but it was somewhere in the simmer-plus range). Keep doin’ it til thickened. At that point I added a packet of tempeh–8 oz I think–that I had chopped up into various sizes (I like bite variation not bit consistency). Then eat. I like using chopsticks but go with fingers forks tongs I don’t care. Neither does your wine. Enjoy it my darling.

 

football wine, baseball post

14 Sep

I am a Cardinals baseball girl. But I have yet to stumble on wine made by a Cardinal.

In St. Louis they inject baseball into your veins on birth. For some it is a delayed reaction love. I grew up going to games, but they terrified me because a) it was a lot of screaming adults and b) when you are little you are short and close to the ground and the ground smells like beer and I do not like beer.

Then, a few months before leaving for Los Angeles I was in a play with a bunch of baseball fans. It was 2006, and we made it to the World Series. The cast’s enthusiasm caught me. Last game of the series we did that play (“The Birthday Party” by Harold Pinter) faster than ever before so we could run backstage to our tiny television and see what was happening. We took our bows and RAN off the stage in time to see the final pitch. Oh what a night! Glorious.

Fantasy baseball will be my next step.

But can sports people make wines? I could not help but wanna try a sport person’s vino. I was recently given Intercept Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is made by Charles Woodson–his love of wine started while playing for the Raiders and living in Napa. I decided to give football some damn respect.

Also really liked the fact that while Woodson stilled played he had/has (?) a label called TwentyFour. But the NFL would not allow players to endorse alcoholic bevs. And yet he made wine anyway. Now that he’s not a player he can be totally public about his vinous life.

This is my review. Take from it what you will.

The labels:

Supes into them. I’m a cat person and there is a lion leaping. I am nothing if not a leaping lion fan. you know the leaping lords of the 12 Days of Christmas? Fuck that, I want leaping lions.

Then I smelled and tasted. It smells like California Pinot Noir. It has a bite and a spicy burn and is cherries for days. It looks garnet-ish own the glass. It tastes like cherry preserves but not sweet. It has little tannins and much alcohol. Totally a pleasure. Sometimes a girl needs a ripe Cali Pinot Noir like…I dunno I guess sometimes a girl just needs a ripe Cali Pinot.

Now for the Chard. I am always concerned about California Chardonnay. Will it be an oak bomb? Will there be so much butter I need a piece of bread?*

*trick question I always need bread

But no! It really is quite pleasant. Rather boozy, yes. But that’s okay. The body is full but merely hints at butter and oak and has quite a bit of…quince? Let’s call it quince.

What do you know–football (American football that is) players make tasty vino.

Now I’m off to check my baseball app. Please let me know if there are baseball wines I need.

 

Rosé indoors al fresco

29 Jun

Skip to the end for this entry’s challenge.

Mouton gets the award for lushest swag of the year:

The hearty canvas of the bag they sent me with the accompanying insulated sleeve and picnic throw scream “I am solid! But also pink! So!”

And so.

So I had myself a little indoor picnic because I like to celebrate small goth victories like the clouds of Los Angeles’ June gloom.

Not pictured: pistachio cake with pistachio frosting, lemon curd, and milk crumb topping.

Oh wait here’s a picture. It’s ugly though.

There’s a reason this blog is called Scrumptious GRUEL:

I could go on about the marvelous things I make from the Momofuko Milk Bar cookbook but let’s get to the rosé.

Here’s what you’ll feel in a bottle of Mouton Cadet Rosé:

Raspberries and stones. running streams. Strong love. An embrace with vigor. Which is my favorite type of embrace.

Vigorous.

Damn that’s a great word.

More stony up front perhaps a masquerade of the masculinity assumed with Bordeaux yet label and swag is pink but masculine pink and I do maintain real men wear pink.

And so do real goths.

Humble request for someone to make a Venn diagram of goth, toxic masculinity, pink, mental health, and…last one is your call.

Go!

Blinded

11 Apr

Oh certainly this was not truly blind. I did know I had three Pinot Noirs. But that was it.

Oh wait no I did know one was from Santa Barbara County, one from Russian River Valley, and one from Willamette Valley. So Southern California, Northern California and Oregon.

Oh and they are all from Siduri. These lovely samples.

But I wondered…can I identify Pinots from around the…west coast? I am a Santa Barbara (especially Santa Rita Hills) buff–but would I know it and favor it in a blind tasting?

I braved myself to feel like a bad fan lest I prefer one of the other regions.

Wine one felt extra light. I’d call it discount (that’s not an insult) Bourgogne. Like just wine you’d taste and think “basic Bourgogne but a leeeeeettle lighter” ergo I am thinking Oregon. But before making a call wanted to taste the other two.

Wine two said cherry jam af. It was ripe and bunches fuller. And had oak n things. Like also vanilla and a cough medicine but the tasty kind and I’m so into that so…well let’s look at wine three.

Three! Was fruit rich but not as cooked as two. There was earth there too. Also I liked it best.

I made my decisions. 1) Willamette 2) Russian River 3) Santa Barbara

And I was right! Ran the flight by my bf too who just looking at the wine deduced the answers.

This was a good test. Siduri is a good wine.

Pinot Noir is your friend.

Especially from Santa Barbara. Wow I’m a loyal wine wife.

Cheers sweet babies. Wrap up some pinots and blind test yourself…

Here I am

25 Mar

Oh dang I’m sorry I don’t really write enough. I’ve been busy working my arse off and then putting it back on at dinners like the one I attended at The Meadowood in the picture above. That was the finale of my trip to the Professional Wine Writers Symposium which was a dream. Oh no it was real. Real dreamy.

I’ll try and post a bottle here more often. I swear. In the meantime I’ll be gabbing on The Wine Situation and writing about things silly and not like whether wine is vegan or not over at Delectable so enjoy and forgive me for not being here.

Maybe I should start a new thing? I could always try to juggle more.