Archive for the ‘New Wines’ Category

Thanksgiving 2008, pt. 2

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Thanks for the feedback on the Thanksgiving video. I’ll keep my day job for now. This is a follow-up article to focus on the wines I’ve mentioned in the video. Some are very reasonable and easy to find like the Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay ($21 @ Costco!) or Le Cigar Volant. Others, like the DuMOL Viognier, are difficult to find and more expensive, so look for similar wines of the same varietal.

For some wines Chateanuf du Pape (CDP), you have to plan well ahead for. Stock up and cellar the very good 2006 vintage to enjoy in 2009. The 2007 vintage of CDP looks outstanding. You can still find reasonably priced 2004 CDP around, or better yet check out Le Cigar Volant.

Basically, look for food friendly wines: balance, low alcohol, high acidity. I strongly suggest French rose. I usually buy a mixed case easy drinking French rose when they are released early in the summer. The prices range from $7-15/bottle. I enjoy the case over the summer and keep an extra bottle or two around specifically for Thanksgiving dinner. American rose is refreshing, but usually more expensive and has a higher alcohol content. Often, it’s difficult to appreciate a highly acidic wine, but they pair extremely well with food. Rieslings (but not the late harvest desert wine) are also a good choice for the same reason. More on rose later.

 

the “line-up”

Thanksgiving wines 2008 004 Thanksgiving wines 2008 002

Start here. A good non-vintage sparkling wine. I prefer Piper. Gloria Ferrer is a good, and more reasonable alternative. (more…)

African American Vintners Winetasting @ Copia

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

This Saturday, June 14th, is the 5th annual African American Vintners Winetasting sponsored by the Association of African American Vintners.  It’s a unique opportunity to meet and try excellent wines from people of color.

The event is held at Copia in Napa.  It will start at noon with a panel discussion.  Wine tasting begins at 1:30pm.  Tickets are available at the door,

For more details:  http://www.copia.org/content/node/1170

I’ll definitely be there.

Happy Juneteenth and Happy Fathers Day!

Reg

Tax Relief 2008

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Tax Relief 002

 There are two days I will never work…the MLK Holiday and the Friday after Aprl 15th.   I will not work on the MLK Holiday for obvious reasons.  I will not work the Friday after April 15th because I need tax relief.  On April 15th, I always pay and I pay big.  I don’t mind paying taxes, I just wish I had more control over what my tax money is being spent on.  So, in an ongoing effort to bring the wine culture to African-Americans and people of color, I took Friday (April 18th) off and went to Dry Creek Valley to do some wine tasting.

 I also wanted to take advantage of the VISA Signature complementary wine tastings on approximately 50 wineries in Sonoma County.  As you may know, tasting fees can add up, so this VISA Signature deal is serious tax relief…check it out.

I had intended to leave San Franacisco and drive up Hwy 101 to Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County.  I wanted to visit 8 wineries in one day!  Instead, I only made it to three:  Trentadu, Michael-Schlumberger, and Montemagorre.

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Wine from Maui, how bad could it be? …let me count the ways.

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

I recently returned from a long overdue vacation in Maui.  It was my 5th trip to Hawaii and my third time in Maui.  Sand-and-sun are not my thing, but overall it was a great family vacation.  On most of my travels, I bring a few bottles of wine.  On this trip I bought two bottles of wine and one sake.   I always think it is a good idea to travel with bottles of wine or sake, either for personal consumption or to give away as gifts.

On this trip I bought an excellent 2006 Conundrum White Table Wine, a good bottle of 2006 Vision Cellars riesling, and a very good sake.  I highly recommend the 2006 Conundrum.  It’s a multi-varietal white wine from Napa, made in cojunction with Caymus.  It’s inexpensive (~$20), refreshing, and unique.  Conundrum will not improve with age.  I would drink Conundrum within 6 months of purchase.

I almost always bring a bottle of sake when I travel, except of course when I journey to Japan.  Sake travels better than most wines, will not lose its flavor profile if kept cold for several days, and it’s difficult to find good sake on the road.  For my trip to Maui, I brought a very good bottle of Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri, the “Mirror of Truth.”  This post, however, is not about what I bought to Maui, but about a winery in Maui.

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a quick note…

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

I had a dinner meeting with the folks involved with this website, Mack, Anani, and Michaelangelo.  We discussed multiple issues in regard to the direction of the site…but more on that later.

 A reader, Jonathan Branch, sent me a bottle of his Branch Cellars, Animae, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was well received by the fellas.  This is a quick note while the flavors linger.  I decanted this wine at room temperature.  Beautiful, transparent ruby color.  Upon opening, the nose is young, but suprisingly full.  It has a distinctive cab aroma, surprising  for such a young wine.  Good fruit.  Moderate acidity, and very strong tannins.

 We let the wine decant over two hours.   The dark fruit flavors have come out to play.  Persistent strong, but now textured (layered) tannins.  The balance is asserting itself.  The finish is very long.  Impressively long.  Back to the fence long.  Bordeaux long.

 It’s young, as expected, but this sucker has legs.  Would hold for a minimum of three years.  A standout now, but will really improve over time.

 I am (insert pause for a sip) impressed.

 Bravo! Mr. Branch

Reg