Friday, May 29, 2009

Great Summer Rose - Takolina Rubentis Rose

Last night a few friends and I stopped in at one of my favorite local wine stores, Amanti Vino, to pick out a wine for our book group's monthly meeting. Though the sky was grey and the temperature was unseasonably chilly, we decided to bring a rose (which tends to pair perfectly with warm summer days and picnic food). Thad, a knowledgable, patient and very tall sales person, directed us to Takolina Rubentis Rose. He explained it was very fruit forward with a hint of effervescence. It sounded interesting so we went for it.

The nose was bright and full of strawberry and the color was a lovely light, irrdescent pink, or as one person commented: "It's glowing." (But not in the scary Chernobyl way). The wine itself was a little drier than I expected and though I got the starwberries on the nose and in the first taste, they dissipated quickly and I got a little hit of mineral at the end. I'm guessing that was the effervescence. All in all, I'm really glad we took the chance because it was a tasty, light and easy to drink wine that paired very well with my black bean and avocado salad (on that front I wish it was a little more salad and a little less black bean). Moreover, my friend who ordered a cheddar burger was impressed with the way it stood up to the meat. So here's something else to add to your list of wines to try this summer.

Enjoy and happy weekend!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Old Reliable - La Crema Pinot Noir

Had a lovely old standy with dinner tonight - La Crema Pinot Noir. Lovely, simple, light and moderately priced ($22-$23 in the store; $40 at the restaurant).
It can be found on many wine lists and I've found it to be a "crowd pleaser' in that it seems to satisfy many palettes and goes with lots of food.


Happy Memorial Day Weekend.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All day meetings and wine daydreams

So I'm in an all day meeting and only about 1/4 of the information pertains to my work. To that end, I thought I'd hop on to write a quick entry of the wine I'm daydreaming about while in this meeting.

A few years ago I had the fortune of visiting the Douro wine region in Portugal. It's in the North, about 2 hours East of Porto and it's a wonderful, emergin region. One of my favorite Quintos (wineriesa) was Quinto de la Rosa. they make a lovely, dark, inky tinto (red wine) that has smoke and blackberry notes and just the right amount of oak. What I love about wines from the Douro is that though they tend to have a little spice to them, they tend to pair well with a variety of foods and even do well in the summer (with BBQ, naturally). Right now I'm dreaming of a glass of Quinto de la Rosa's red wine. The idea of it is keeping me (relatively) sane through this long day.

I hope your daydreams are as lovely.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What drives me to drink?

Lately it seems that everytime I see friends the first thing we say after our initial greeting is "I need a drink." The economy stinks, we're working harder than ever and we're just exhausted. But there's something more going on -- some sort of ongoing battle with the little annoyances in life. Luckily, we have wine (and tequila and beer) to help us deal with these things.

So in the spirit of daily annoyances, here's what lately has me crawling for the wine bottle at the end of the day:

1. Slow drivers in the left lane
2. Working in a cubicle
3. The guy who walks around the office whistling and/or snapping
4. Overused cliches like: "At the end of day..." "The reality is...." "This ladders up to...." "It is what it is...."
5. Computer slowdowns
6. Bosses who stand over my shoulder waiting for me to look up something they just asked for
7. The Wall Street Journal delivery people (they know why!)
8. Blackberries
9. Getting fundraising letters from politicians that tell me I need to give them my money because "the folks in Washington" are trying to take all my money - love the irony!
10. Barracuda networks

Those are just a few of the things. What has your corkscrew in a tizzy?


Monday, May 4, 2009

A few good ground rules for wine tastings

The last week has been quite busy and though I was just at a wine tasting, I'm about ready for another one. A wine tasting is a great way to spend an evening, or even just 30 minutes when dropping by a local wine store. However, no matter how formal or informal, there are some general ground rules to follow:

1) Eat something - No one likes the people swaggering around the tasting
2) Ask questions - But try to avoid ones where you compare a rose to a white zinfandel (seriously, though, don't be scared to ask anything - there are probably other people who are trying to look like they know everything but are relieved that someone is asking about something they'd like to know)
3) Try something you've never heard of or haven't liked in the past - If the wine tasting is free, what have you go to lose? If you've already paid for the wine tasting, what have you got to lose? you might surprise yourself.

1) Finish the glass if you don't like it - Unless you like drinking stuff you don't like and/or just want to get really drunk
2) Hit on the sommelier/proprietor/person pouring - Unless he/she is really cute and/or there's a free bottle in it for you (just kidding - they're just trying to do their job, let them - then again, this yielded me a free bottle at my last tasting, but that's another story for another time....)
3) Nudge other patrons away from the tasting table - That's just mean.

I'm sure if pressed (yes, pun intended), I could come up with some additional Dos and Don'ts, but these are the biggest ones that seem to come up.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Wine tastings are meant to be fun. I'm already looking forward to the next one.....