Monthly Archives: July 2009

What’s the Past Tense of Virgin?

Like a stripper on opening night, the 2004 Feudo di Santa Tresa Nero d’Avola Avulisi, Sicilia IGT) makes a definite first impression. Chewy tannins and fine acid, it’s fruit forward – bursting with violet, black currant, cranberry and rich leather. This wine is bawdy with body – a voluptuously, soft texture – like slathering your tongue in the hole of a wild blackberry, jelly donut. Not overly complex, but lovely to look at – dense and inky – and an amazing value. Pay in $1 bills if you must.

Reg $35 – picked up @ Esquin for $15

Photo: http://www.snooth.com

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Bear Hugs from the Mailman

This Seghesio Old Vine, 2002 Zinfandel, Sonoma County is an immense, glass of happiness – similar to the feeling I get when Mitch the mailman gives me a big, bear hug. Don’t look at me like that. Mailmen are allowed to give hugs (I think).

This wine is dark as night, yet gives the feeling of a burst of California sunshine. It’s jammy with age and soft, structured tannins – muted black cherry and traces of leathery raw meat. The acid stands up and shows a dry, mellow portliness. Though its intensity is waning, it still finishes strong.

For the record: The German gives better bear hugs than the mailman.

A cellar-selection – the last one in our cellar.

Photo: winegeeks.com

Like A Fine Wine

…Dad got better with age. He was a full-bodied, German-type.
Muted fruit with a slight barnyard edge.

April 10, 1921 – July 18, 2009

I will miss him…

Kiss Me Like A Stranger

Darighe by Woodhouse Family Cellars, 2000 Proprietor’s Blend, Columbia Valley is thick with implications and it’s not recommended you open it near an open-flame. Once the heat blows off, this is a deep throater, penetrating your innermost innocence. With voluptuous vigor and indulgent force, it splashes your lips with smoldering bitterness. The tannins grip and you’re held like a hostage in its clutches of lofty acid, no sooner released into a blaze of cranberry, black spice and green pepper. It’s hard to know if it’s an ache for love or a begrudging envy that this wine lays before you. Not my style, but throw caution to the wind, bare down and dive in!

Photo: http://www.winelibrary.com

Just Say Yes

Joined friends for dinner at the deliciously, yet frequently forgotten, Phoenicia on Alki, specializing in Lebanese cuisine. Here, host Hussein, greets you like you’ve come home from college and he’s missed you dearly. Though the menu is lovely, like a good father, he makes strong suggestions as to what you should have, how you should live your life – and no matter what he says, the answer should always be a sprightly “YES”. That evening for us, first came a basin of seafood in a bright yellow, saffron broth followed by a big platter of kebabs – chicken, goat and lamb over rice and roasted vegetables. Divine! (No, I’m not a hypocrite. I only ate the chicken.) With us, we brought a robust, Washington State, Bordeaux blend that clashed terribly with our meal. Our bad.

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Photo: http://www.alkibeach.com

Don’t Eat Baby Animals, But Do Love A Good Pinot


I was casually invited to attend a dinner given by the American Lamb Board, which I graciously declined, because while nothing goes better with lamb than a good pinot, I do not love to eat baby animals. Why? I just have this belief that every creature deserves to live past adolescence, and therefore, I curb my tastes around babies: lamb, veal, baby octopus, etc. I’m not completely righteous about it, though some people look at me incredulously when I remind them that lamb is no more than a baby sheep.

The ALB website assures me that American lamb is raised right here in America, so you know it is the freshest lamb available… and “American Lamb “always benefits from rest before serving— so the meat’s juices settle.”

Stop! My tongue is bleeding.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a vegetarian and don’t judge (harshly) those who pluck the babes fresh from the field. So … as it is, I’ll never achieve any sort of foodie status and am coping with that in my own way. But let’s just say, if I did eat lamb – here’s what I’d drink:

• 2003, Lange Estate Winery, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley ~ A Favorite Cellar Selection*
• 2007, Roots, Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton $25.99 @Esquin
• 2008, Thomas Henry, Pinot Noir, Napa $12.99 @Esquin
• 2007, Antica Terra, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $46 @winery
• 2008, Patterson Cellars, Rose, Washington State, @our friend Mark’s house, a fellow wine enthusiast

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*Cellar Selection means we dragged it from our cellar.

Photo: http://www.woollies.wordpress.com; http://www.riverscritters.com

Road Trip for Wine!

So the German and I headed to Leavenworth, a Bavarian village, two hours northeast of Seattle. Visions of Muenchens danced in our heads – but more importantly, in 96 degree hot, a thirst-quenching glass was in order. Admittedly I’m not super familiar with the nearby wineries and was pleasantly surprised to see several tasting rooms on Main Street, though few were pouring local juice. We found one that was, with an extremely enthusiastic winemaker to boot. Our journey commenced with the wines of Bergdorf Cellars:

• 2006 Riesling ~ $21.50
• 2006 Chardonnary ~ $21.50
• 2006 Rose ~ $21.50
2005 Malbec ~ $29
• 2003 Double Cab ~ $26
• Ski Jump Red ~ $32
• Cab Franc Barrel Tasting ~ $28

The German’s pick: Cab Franc Barrel Tasting – ripe with a whirl of cherry, berry, cinnamon and vanilla. The wine was balanced with smooth tannins. As well, a big shout out to Café Mozart – even The German gives it a two-thumbs up for the German Potato Salad “just like moms!” And you can read a previous post on my Malbec discovery…

Here’s a list of the wineries we missed. Cheers!

Photo: http://www.grape-stompers.com