Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bodega Norton Privada 2003

photo © Linda Blakely 2008

A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Wine Spectator says this wine is "burly" and I have to agree. Full of body and very quaffable. We drank it with a spicy fried rice, but it would have worked best with a nice rare filet. Still delicious though.

Hubby just poured me some more, so why am I still sitting here typing? I'm off to enjoy the rest of it ;-)

Notes from our Open That Bottle Night (from what I can recall)

There were nine of us gathered at Blue Bamboo Restaurant and Wine Bar to share some special wines. There were a lot, and I'm pretty groggy this morning, so I'll do my best to recall the tasting notes. Listed from the first wine drank to the last.

Weingut Dr. Zen Zen Riesling Spatlese Valwiger Herrenberg 1989 - heavy petroleum aromas. I do mean heavy! I swear we could have put it in our gas tank and driven home. It was definitely not sweet. Tom's comment: "this is...interesting".

Helena View Cabernet Franc Estate Proprieter's Reserve 1997 - We were a bit worried about this one, having opened a few bottles of the same vintage some time ago and they were far gone. This one held on though. Gorgeous aromas of vanilla and ripe berries. Smooth and silky on the palate. *swoon*

Mollydooker Cabernet Sauvignon The Maitre D' 2006 - We labeled this one "a moaner". In my humble opinion, Sarah and Sparky Marquis (the winemakers) can do no wrong. This wine was luscious and full-bodied and delicious!

Monte Cristi Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2000 - clearly the Belle of the Ball! I honestly can't remember exactly what it tasted like, but I do remember at one point exclaiming "this doesn't suck!"

Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello Di Montalcino 1998 - Big. Earthy. Tobacco. Yum!

Neyers Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard 2002 - Raspberries, raspberries and more raspberries on the nose. Smooth and silky on the palate. Another yum!

Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1986 - This was no slacker! Berries and vanilla on the nose, oak and beries on the palate. Good body, good acidity. Impressive for its 22 years in the bottle!

Broadbent Rainwater Madeira - smelled like caramel syrup on toast! Nutty on the palate. Awesomeness in a glass :-D

All in all, they were some terrific wines. We laughed, we drank, we laughed, we ate, we laughed, we drank, we laughed, we ate. Now...where's the aspirin for my headache?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A New Business Venture

I've just started designing wine gift bags featuring my photography and I'm selling them on Etsy. I'm pretty excited about this. I've gotten lots of positive feedback from friends who've encouraged me to move forward with the idea. Check them out when you get a chance and let me know what you think.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Handley Cellars Gewurztraminer 2005

Tom made Jamaican Curry Goat last night and I was a bit stumped as to what wine to serve with it. I browsed through our wine inventory and found the Handley Gewurtraminer. I'd had this wine before and absolutely loved it, so I knew it would be a good pairing. What an understatement. It was an awesome pairing! The wine smelled like a garden of roses and tasted of lychee and citrus. It had good acidity, bright and vibrant and it stood up very well to the spicy food.

Jamaica-style Curry Goat

1 1/2 pound fresh goat meat
1 cup red wine
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2-4 Tbsp Jamaica Curry Powder
1 tsp thyme
12 allspice crushed
fresh-ground black pepper
sea salt

Cut the goat into 1-2 inch chunks as bones allow. In a large skillet, sear the goat in goose fat over high heat until brown. Lower heat to medium and add 1 Tbsp curry powder, red pepper and onion. Saute until onion is clear but not brown then add garlic and stir for a minute or two. Raise heat and add wine and stir for a minute or two. Add a cup of water, the rest of the curry powder, the allspice, some black pepper and the thyme. Cover and simmer (low to med-low heat) until the goat is tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Check it often and add water if it looks dry. Turn the meat over occasionally, too. Cut up the potatoes and add them (and a little more water) for the last 30 minutes on medium heat.

When you add the potatoes, the sauce should be a bit watery and should cover the potatoes. When done, the sauce should be thick, so if it's still watery, simmer it uncovered until it's the right consistency. Add salt, black pepper and more curry powder (if needed) to taste.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bonny Doon Ca' del Solo Albariño 2007

A blend of 80% Albariño, 15% Loureiro and 15% Treixadura. To me, the most intriguing character of this wine is the aroma: it reminds me of the scent of freshly laundered sheets that have been hanging on a clothesline to dry. Crisp and clean. There's some bright acidity and a fair amount of citrus on the palate, but it's somewhat thin and a bit too light in body for my taste.

Pleasant enough, but I doubt I'd buy it again. I didn't dislike it, I just wasn't bowled over by it. (Bonny Doon Wine Club selection)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Testarossa Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard 2006

photo © Linda Blakely 2008

This wonderful Chardonnay was one of our Wine Club selections that we received Monday. I had been craving a good Chard for awhile so we opened this up with dinner (Breaded Asian Spiced Pork Chops with Brown Basmati-Broccoli Rice) and it paired perfectly!

It had such a powerful burst of tropical fruit flavors, pineapple and banana, with a creamy mouthfeel thanks to the malolactic fermentation. Good acidity, clean finish. In a word...sensational!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Open That Bottle Night

A few years ago Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaither and John Brecher started a yearly event called "Open That Bottle Night" that happens on the last Saturday of February. This year it falls on February 23rd.

The purpose of the event is to get people who have held onto a special bottle, for whatever reason, to open it and enjoy it with friends. Even if you aren't holding onto a special bottle, you can buy a wine that you've been craving for a while and share that. So call your friends, see that everyone will be bringing a wine to share, make reservations at your favorite restaurant (check first that you can bring your own wine!) and, by all means, open that bottle!

So...what are you holding onto that you'll be sharing?