Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

An interesting film for wine lovers (and those just learning about wine)

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I’m generally a pretty opinionated person when it comes to movies (just ask my friend Kathleen from Cranford, NJ). I usually know when I like a film and it’s worth watching again or if I just thought it was blase - (I know, I know - I am sans accent aigu) - or I just really didn’t like it. I’ve certainly walked out on my fair share of movies and seen some multiple times at the theater.

Mondovino is a documentary where I’m not really sure what to think. As a film, I think it should have been edited more. I think it certainly had something to say - but there was a lack of tightness to the whole thing.

That being said, I enjoyed the story, the premise, the conspiracy of it all - Mondovino suggests there is a conspiracy in the wine world regarding the rating of wines and business of it all.

The film has excellent shots of wineries in Europe and the US, some interesting people were interviewed (Robert Parker, Robert Mondavi and a bunch of others in the wine world) and I think it’s a great movie to learn from.

Actually, maybe I do know what I think about this movie. I really would like to see it again someday - but at least I’ll be prepared for the length.

Just check it out. It’ll provoke some thought. I’d be interested to hear your take…

BTW - it’s great to be back in California after my time away.

A fantastic wine at a fantastic price…

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Howdy folks, I’m back after a long trip - plenty of wine tasting, lots o’ notes and many a story to tell.

Since I just got back, I am going to just let you in on a great find - a wine which many may overlook because of the low price or the common name. It’s made by one of South America’s largest winery, but I simply love it. The Concha y Toro Carmenere Diablo we opened with dinner tonight (a grilling extravaganza with some family members I love dearly) paired wonderfully with the filet mignon, grilled marinated chicken, zucchini, and pasta we ate.

This wine has a particularly spicy flavor which pairs well with robust flavors (red meat, pasta sauce, etc) and at less than $10 is an absolute STEAL.

BTW - a totally random side note - ever try the Barefoot Contessa’s (Ina Garten’s) steakhouse steak recipe for filet mignon? It’s SOOO good!

In any case - it’s great to be back and trust me on this wine - it’s a great one. Enjoy!

The Noblest of rot? Rot Crust? Mmmmm….

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

During our Napa trip last week we decided to venture further north to Calistoga to sample their bevvies (not the spring water, needless to say). Along the way, we discovered a neat winery called Castello di Amorosa.

Walking up to the Disneyland-like Tuscan castle, we expected a fair amount of kitsch. But there was almost none. Everything in the castle was an authentic antique or hand-painted mural. The wines were served up in the cellar, and there were even quite a few Italian grape options.

My favorite, though, was the Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewurztraminer (2006). I’m not usually a dessert wine person, but this was lovely - like honey and lychees, yet not too sweet. The taste is the result of “noble rot.” The concept is like ice wine, which is sweet because the flavors are trapped in an ice crust. In Napa, because of the heat, there’s apparently a “rot crust” instead.

While it doesn’t sound like the most appetizing method, I promise the end result is delicious!

-n

A noteworthy trip to Napa…

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

A friend of mine had an excellent trip to Napa - I thought I’d share this email with you:

******************

Napa vineyards

On a short visit to Napa last  weekend, I grabbed dinner at Farm at Carneros Inn. This New York-style restaurant has quite an intimidating wine list - definitely on the pricey side, with a lot of obscure wines. We struggled to find something affordable that would go with the mixed bag of meat, seafood and salads we’d ordered for dinner.

And we came out successful! We discovered a fantastic 2005 Red Zin from Sonoma: Robert Traverso from the Russian River Valley. It was soft, spicy, with some great fruity blackberry flavors. It went amazingly well with the food.

At $43 a bottle, it’s certainly not the cheapest wine out there, but it’s a really good option when you want to order from a pricey wine list without cringing or when you’re trying to impress.

Here’s a list of restaurants where you can try a bottle:

http://www.traversowines.com/dining.asp

-n

rt_sm

Got 40 minutes? Might I suggest some Fresh Air?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I have an iPhone - which I absolutely love (you may have noticed this site is also formatted for the aforementioned device). The idea behind making this blog iPhone accessible is so that you should be able to take the site with you while you are at Trader Joe’s or Cost Plus World Market or any store and consider suggestions which are made on this site.

Anyway - the reason I’m bringing this up is that there is an excellent iPhone app - the NPR app - which I recently used to listen to an interview between Terry Gross (Fresh Air) and Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher.

You can listen to the interview here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97946959

Wine and calories…

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Lately, when I’ve been sampling wine, I carefully view, smell and taste the wine, take notes and swallow what I’m tasting. Then I repeat. I find I tend to be able to rate a wine more accurately when I do this.

Unfortunately, I’ve been noticing some weight gain of late (not just due to wine, I’m sure) and started wondering how many calories I’ve actually been consuming.

Well - here goes in case you were wondering: both red wine and white wine contain an average of (approx) 100 calories per 5oz glass. This is about 40 calories less than a 12oz serving of regular beer and cola and on par with a 12oz serving of light beer.

I suppose this means I should probably limit how much wine I’m actually swallowing - but, because I don’t want to let my readers down, I will take the caloric hit. Besides, isn’t there revasterol and polyphenols in wine?

I guess I just need to walk an extra mile in Napa…

The 2009 Inaugural Luncheon Menu - with well paired wines

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Courtesy of The US Senate Inauguration Committee:

First Course:
Seafood Stew

Wine: Duckhorn Vineyards, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

Second Course:
A Brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck), served with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes

Wine:Goldeneye, 2005 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

Third Course:
Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake and Sweet Cream Glacé

Wine:Korbel Natural Special Inaugural Cuvée, California Champagne

Let’s raise a glass to the heroes and survivors…

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Today, my friends, we have much to be inspired by and thankful for.  As I’m sure you’ve already heard, US Air flight 1549 was headed for Charlotte, NC from NYC when it hit some birds and lost both engines.  The pilot, Captain C.B. Sullenberger III,  made an absolutely flawless landing on the Hudson River and then made sure all others were off the plane before he disembarked.

All 155 people on board are still alive.  Mothers with babies, children, senior citizens, young women and men all made it because of the heroism shown today by rescue workers, firemen, passengers helping one another, people who drove their ferries and boats to the rescue, divers, police, medical workers and the crew and pilot.

To all of those who survived today’s events and to all the heroes who made sure everyone was safe, I raise a glass in your honor.