Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And the Landslide Brought it Down... thanks wine


I haven't finished my holiday shopping yet. Sure it is a busy time of year but Christmas presents aren't going to buy themselves, so I'd better get to it. Still, after a long days work it is hard get myself motivated to brave the crowds, fight the congestion and deal with all the holiday madness as I seek out the perfect gift. Realistically I'm probably what you'd call a procrastinator.

Over a glass of Simi Landslide vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, I promise myself, tonight is the night I finish gathering gifts. Taking another sip of this wonderful California Cabernet I turn on the TV in search of shopping inspiration. Instead I see another news story warning of toxic made in China toys. Feeling my mood take a dip I flip the channel hoping for better news. This time its a story about the painful holiday travel season. The next story naturally is about bad weather further compounding the headaches of traveling. For me its just another reason not to leave the house. With such good news, no wonder the Holidays is the most stressful time of the year. Now I'm really in need of new inspiration. I take another long sip from my glass and think.

The sweet and balanced fruit of the Simi Landslide Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 goes down smoothly, bring an calming thought to mind. Why not enjoy the rest of this wonderful glass and worry about Christmas later. After another sip the wine whispers in my ear, "remember last year", and with that shopping is over. Getting up from the couch I pour another glass and go in search of those tasty cookies my neighbor gave me. It looks like the Holiday spirit has finally found me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

President's Blend - A Big Deal


91 points from the Enthusiast and normally twenty bucks a bottle but if you know where to look you can save over FIVE bucks a bottle. Some say that's a crazy cyber deal, but I believe it just another seasons greeting from our friends from Madwine. (I warned that the annual wine deals were near.) Here is an example of a malbec wine you can't afford to miss but you surely can afford to try, enjoy the sale. For now, I have nothing more to write, I'm too busy seeking they other hidden deals...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving - Have Another Helping


Before the bright lights, consumerism and greed of the Christmas season hits there is one last day to reflect and give thanks to giving. Tomorrow is the official kickoff of the Holiday season with gotta have gifts and door busting sales. (My favorite wine website always has a crazy week long sale with some super deals.) For then until the new year the country is consumed by consumption. But today is all about consuming,... food, great food.

But behind the stuffing, the gravy, the wine and the bird there is a lesson to remember. The Pilgrims probably would have starve if not for the generosity of the Native Americas. And so, we celebrate that tremendous kindness of giving by eating beyond our belt size. A full day of laying around with nothing more important to do than eat, sleep and eat some more. A great idea for a holiday.

It's just to bad that the spirit of Thanksgiving will soon be drowned out by carolers and jingle bells. If only we could extent the spirit of "giving to the point of gluttony" into a year round thing, but alas it only happens once a year. Cherish this day, pass the potatoes and have another glass of wine. You can't give enough so take in as much as you can. And once it all gone remember, you can get more because it all goes on sale tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Red Guitar Wine - Feul for a Wanna be Hero


I awoke this morning feeling like a rock star. As I came out of such a deep slumber that I wasn't sure what city I was in, I took inventory of my state of being only to realize my head was ringing from a night of rocking. Its been awhile since I had the time to write for this blog but such is the life of a wanna be rock star. Well, maybe more truly stated, one might call me a wanna be wanna be rock star. For those out of the loop, allow me to explain...

The hottest game on the market now is the third addition of the ever popular "Guitar Hero". I of course am not immune to the power of seduction and Guitar Hero is perhaps as close as I can get to rock star fame. (An embarrassing addiction I know, but aren't all addiction embarrassing?) And of course their are always those that hope to capitalize on addiction. In this case by hosting a Guitar Hero Competition.

So I'm forced to dutifully prepare for my chance to publicly rock virtually. To fuel myself during my long and often stupefying practice jam sessions I turn to Red Guitar Old Vine Tempranillo Garnacha 2005. Deep purple in color like my style, hints of spicy vanilla aroma like my aura and tastes of medium-bodied and rustic tannins like my flare. This wine's full fruit flavors are well extracted and jammy and the finish is warm and dry. The perfect wine to get my courage pumped and my mind limber. After a bottle or two (like any rock star) I'm ready to rock.

With my digital ax in hand and an empty bottle of Red Guitar Old Vine Tempranillo Garnacha 2005 at my feet I'll be ready to take on all comers. After the show well see who drives home the hero.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

South Africa - I Like What I See


Fresh off my prediction last week, fans have been asking me what to expect this weekend. Firstly, I'm no Jimmy the Greek. (Maybe a little Oracle of Delphi.) Visions just come to me, usually with a touch of help from quality wine. Mostly though, I just pay attention and call 'em like I see 'em. That said, I'm happy to report what I see. (Inspired by the pages of Esquire.) Great things are coming out of South Africa. A land full of physical beauty, exotic wonderment and very tasty wine. To experience my vision just try a bottle of Kumkani Pinotage 2004.

I've shared the wisdom of South Africa's Pinotage before, and I don't want readers to think it is the only varietal they grow. In fact, I'm here to argue that South African wines and wine producers will soon be making much more noise in these parts of the world. (Start planning your 2010 tour of Stellenbosch now.) Still, for those that have not yet experienced the beauty of South Africa I suggest starting with Kumkani Pinotage 2004.

Upon pouring the first glass, aromas of summer berries and exotic spice greet the nose. On the pallet the wine shows focused ripe berry, creamy spice and vanilla flavors. Make sure to enjoy the long silky finish before biting into a nice piece of steak, pizza or wild game.

Less than a prediction and more a statement of fact, I see many things of beauty coming from South Africa, one of which is Kumkani Pinotage 2004.

Friday, October 05, 2007

True - Opus One & USC good not great


I've made some crazy bets in my life but this one,... well I think I've out done myself. A couple beers into happy hour I found myself stuck talking to an arrogant USC fan. (Perhaps I should have stay more refined with a glass of wine.) Tired of hearing how great USC has been over the years, my beer soaked brain couldn't stop my mouth as I prophesied a Saturday loss befalling the blessed Trojans.

It wasn't all crazy talk, knowing that two fifths of the starting O-line was injured the week prior and knowing how lackadaisical the team's attitude seems to be regarding pac-10 play, I think I have a shot. But seriously, I was overcome by a voice not mine. (Maybe it is a prophetic sign). Mostly it was just a way to get the Tommy Trojan wannabee to put up or shut up. Which he did. On the line for me twenty bucks. (I think he wanted to feel generous) On the line for him slightly more. Forgoing the points, wanting to make him pay and more over wanting something to enjoy the upset, I felt my payout deserves to be a bottle of Opus One.

Constantly marketed as one of Napa's top Bordeaux-style wines, Opus One brings together the great wine-making tradition and innovations of the Robert Mondavi and Ch√Ęteau Mouton Rothschild families. Thanks to the hype Opus One remain a hard to find wine.

I'll will be interesting to sample this wine. I'm guessing it will be good, velvety, expressive but much like the #1 team I'm betting against, overrated. Before I get the chance to judge for myself I'll need a little help from the boys in California wine country. I can't wait for the wine know as Opus One to kiss my lips,...fingers crossed

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tamarack Cellars - Wines Up to the Challenge


On a long road trip, lost, hungry and craving a great burger, I stumble upon my Shangri-La...
As summer drew to a close, I found myself on the road in search of adventure but found myself in wine country. I couldn't complain, having just left the Hanford Nuclear site (I was looking for WMDs) my journey brought me to the quaint Washington town so very nice they named it twice, Walla Walla. Located in the heart of the United States best grape growing region (even people in Napa have to agree) Walla Walla is the prefect destination of a weary traveler. Plenty of wine, food and logging.

Upon arriving all I wanted was food, preferably a cheese burger. After asking around consensus was,(it only took a couple people) "the place" to get a burger in Walla Walla was the Ice Burg. Which, from the look of things, was true. The parking lot of this old-time drive-in was packed. Luckily I had prepared myself to wait because it was worth it. Good burgers, great shakes, definitely a place to visit again. But what makes the story better is where my journey took me next.

Chatting with the locals as I wolfed down some burgers I learned the owners of the Ice Burg know more than just how to flip burgers. A like-minded soul in the parking lot poured me a glass of Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red 2005 and shared the story. As I drank in the wine's nose, beautiful and borders on exotic, my parking lot companion began explained the history of wine making in Walla Walla. There was a time when a handful of people made wine in the region. It turns out that the wine is was now enjoying was one. After taking a sip of the beautiful blend which offers ripe, sweet fruit, complex flavors, and a stylish elegance, that statement was easy to believe. Only a person intimate with the region could make such a fabulous wine. I spilled a bit of wine in surprised disbelief as the story went on. As the dark ruby colored stain set, my companion revealed that the owner of the "Burg" and the vintner responsible for the Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red 2005 are the same.

This I thought was my Heaven on earth. Where my passions collide and I'm allowed to wallow in the resulting pleasure. I love wine and enjoy the comfort of a great good burger. My trip couldn't have been planned any better. Nothing is more entertaining than hunting for adventure and finding it with a burger, some wine and served over interesting conversation. Needless to say, if I was hosting a cheese burger challenge, Tamarack Cellars wines would be up to the challenge. You never know where life will take you, just hope along the way you discover superior wine. Thanks Tamarack Cellars.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What's to Debate - Coppolla Wine is Great


Wine holds a wonderful power of bringing people together. Time with friends shared by wine is truly one of life's great pleasures. Amazingly though, it is not only with friends that wine can be enjoyed. Many times I've found myself in the mist of controversial debate with perfect strangers, the only thing holding the difficult conversation together, a superior glass of wine. I once again found myself in such a situation awaiting a table for dinner. The current debate was what to do with the recently sold Bond record-breaking home run ball. The wine that kept me enthralled, Rubicon Estate Cask Cabernet Sauvignon 2003.

As I watched my wine bottle passed from one stranger to another I heard the rambling of personal thoughts of what should be done with the ball, Barry himself and the entire game of major league baseball. As points were raised and counter points suggested, my focused wavered from slight interest, to football season and finally settling on a desire to get one more glass of this wine. The intense flavors surrounded the pallet with layer upon layer of ripe, red cherries, plum, vanilla, cocoa, and toast.

My new friends continued their conversation as I slipped into a debate with myself. Per value I wondered, which of the Rubicon Estate wines that I recently enjoyed brought me the greatest joy. Each has a wonderful taste bond by a beautiful structure helping both wines earn high ratings in my book and the powers of the wine-rating world. My own question seemed answer as the muse of the original debate finally made its way back into my own hands. With the last drops of Rubicon Estate Cask Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 racing my glass it all seemed so very clear.

Conversations, experience, timing and even luck always play a part in how one feels about a wine. So when forced to ponder the greatness of great compared to the excellence of excellent the debate can seem unsettlable. Rather then falling into the trap of absolutes, I chose to recall the perfection of my prior Rubicon experience after I fully enjoy the pleasures of the present one. Just like the debate over what to do with the homerun ball, I decided it’s a silly debate best suited for others to sort out. I'm content to drink my wine and chalk up one more memorable experience.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surge Yourself George Bush Jr.



...and give me another drink while you're at it.
Don't insult my intellegence with lies or threaten me with terror, you have no credibility left. Don't hide behind General Petraeus. I can't get drunk enough to believe you anymore Mr. Bush. You have our troops lock-up in Iraq. While they fight and die for us, you use their sacrifice for political gain. (What happened to Pat Tillman?) And when they finally get out of Iraq, seemingly in the only way they can, in a coffin, you still are yet to meet with them and bare witness to the mess you have created.

How dare you make a photo-op of "Mission Accomplished" and then continue to order troops to the front line which is still so dangerous that you wouldn't dare send your own daughters to the area. Not to mention how on your own visits you sneak in and out like a theft, coward.

Now you call for America and the world to believe in "Return to Success", HA! F@$% you for even trying. By your own definition this new strategy as you put it allows our troops to return home according to the success we achieve. Again you trap them in a quagmire of your creating. Doomed to a mission with continued futility, means you doom our troops to continue to temped fate in Iraq. How much blood will it take? This coming from a boy who hide from his own call to duty, you Mr. Bush sure are willing to force others to serve.

Stuck in the Big House know as Iraq, I more then support our troops, I pray for them. Please Lord, smight this madman so we might bring our troops home.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ghetto Big Mac

40 years of the Big Mac


Its creation has arguable reshaped America’s view of the burger. Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, all on a sesame seed bun,… magnificent. The party to celebrate the Big Mac lifetime will soon begin. So grab your favorite bottle and toast this slice of Americana. I intend to wash down my celebratory Big Mac with some Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rose NV. In homage to the burgers ghetto fabulous roots, I just might spice my drink up with a bit of Alize.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Letter & the Gift of Red Diamond Merlot


Mr. Murry please enjoy this gift, a bottle of Red Diamond merlot, a truly superior wine at an affordable price. The wine is perfect for a cheap bastard like you, more concerned with profit then safety. A man of your means has an image to keep, I imaging enjoying fine wine is part of that facade. I too, love a glass of wine and feel that Red Diamond merlot serves as a wonderful metaphor for a man in your shoes.

The wine’s name and thus the label invoke diamonds, fitting for a man (or should I say snake) who’s livelihood is dependant on coal. The earthy nose might be reminiscent of time spent in the mine, though I bet that smell is a distant memory for you now. In the glass the wine’s deep red color will force you to recall all the blood on your hands from countless fallen workers. No amount of idle talk by you will bring them back. On the palate the complex fruity characteristics will touch your conscious hopefully awaking you to the beauty possible in the world when one cherishes life rather than chases profit. (I can always hold out hope.)

As for the workers currently trapped, you said, “Only god knows their fate”, which is true. All of us pray for them. Yet, the words you speak are empty, they come from the mouth of a man lacking a soul. It is your actions and your forced practices that caused this tragedy. Worst of all Mr. Murry, you still blame this accident on an earthquake. I’ll need a few bottles of Red Diamond for myself before I can believe that lie. It was unsafe mining practices that caused the collapse, which after the walls fell, registered as a quake. (I know you’re a smart man and despite your words you know this to be true.) Also you should stop denying that retreat mining wasn't going on. The department of mines has your request on file, so stop the lying.

Please Mr. Murry, enjoy this gift and shut your trap. The quality of Red Diamond Merlot always brings a smile to my face. Perhaps a good bottle of wine can wake you up and change your life. Isn’t it time you started to care about life? At the very least you could care about the lives of others…

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Need a drink – Enjoy Silver Oak


To be honest, I need a stiff drink. Luckily, I found some Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003. So instead of just settling for a drink, I can calm my nerves with a quality glass of wine. To bad I’m not just opening a bottle of Silver Oak for the pure joy of the wine's elegant flavor. In all honesty, by cellaring the bottle, the more mature wine would bring me much more pleasure. However, the recent action of our President and congress make me fearful of the future of our nation. Thus enjoying my Silver Oak Cabernet now makes more sense. Besides, like I said, I need a drink.

It is hard to believe how much we will allow the Bush administration to destroy; our freedoms, our liberty and our very Constitution. It is appalling how quiet the media is regarding the fears that many of us patriots share. In the sea of newspapers I’ve found one published article that reflects my concerns. I urge you to read it and pass it along.

No more I say. This must stop now, I echo. The cry of the people must rise again and shout, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” Who knows, after a couple more glasses of wine and you might find me out there on the streets shouting. But for now, I need a drink to calm down. The only thing left to do is enjoy Silver Oak wine.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What's Your Legacy - Mine is Wine

Barry Bonds has finally done it. Thanks to a pitched fastball that became 756, Bonds, with the aid of his freakish talent, has left a lasting Legacy on America’s game. Perhaps it is perfect that in our times, were corruption is rampant and lies are more frequent then the truth, it was a character such as Bonds that is rewriting one of sports most cherished records. Say what you will about the way in which the record with set; the smaller parks, the devises on players arms, expansion, a juiced ball and of course the specter of drug enhanced players, the fact remains that when 756 left the yard tonight the all-time home run record will never be the same.

So as is custom with any momentous occasion I suggest a drink. A fine glass of Legacy Red Table wine 2001 ought to do. A rich yet elegant wine, it is the perfect choice to remind us of this moment. Grown in a region not far from where the homer was hit, on the palate the wine will remind us of the beauty of the land. While the nose holds deeper memories dating back to the year of it’s harvest, 2001. Prior to that September our world seemed much simpler, but since then everything has change, is more complex and it is hard to know what to believe. Like it or not that is the Legacy.

In the end what does it all mean? The Giants lost 8 to 6

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Great Discovery - A Toast to Fine Spanish Wine


What is it about stage 17? Prior to that stage, both this year and last, the outcome for the Tour de France appeared settled. Yet, by the end of the stage suddendly fortunes changed and a new leader emerged to take the yellow jersey.

This season I celebrated the new race leader with a bottle of wine. Like the new current ride leader, Alberto Contador, my selection was a musculer spanish wine with good potential. Bodeges San Isidro Carril de Cotos 2005 is meaty, smooth, well balanced, and rich in fruit with a pleasant soft finish. I was very pleased to discover Carril de Cotos and now look forward to enjoying while the vintage lasts.

As for the Tour, this year’s vintage has been very exciting. Team Discovery, (America’s Team) has the team title all rapped up yet still needs to decide who is the best rider on their team. That will be settled during Saturday’s time trial. During that stage teammates Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer look to settle who is the better rider on the best team. The victory will likely celebrate in Paris by wearing yellow.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

No Mistake - Perrin Vinsobres is Good


What do you do? You can try as you might, but as soon as you make a mistake it is yours to live with. The worst mistake however is when you aren’t sure what your mistake was in the first place. But not understanding the mistakes you make is a mistake too. In reality you are always the one to blame.

When I think about it my mistake can be traced back to that first glass of Perrin Vinsobres 2004. With a palette that combines power with elegance and a then adds in a velvety, fleshy texture. It is no wonder that when people experience the mature finish they fall in love with the wine. Such was the case that got me in trouble.

Minding my own business I should have know better than drink a bottle of Perrin Vinsobres in public. Yet I did, and like the prefect pollen, that bottle of French wine attracted the bees. Too bad I didn’t want any honey.

So what do you do?… Me, While I wait for answers I have one more glass of wine.
Waiting is the hardest part.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stop the Madness - Drink Wine


All the craziness in the world has me feeling caged. I want to escape but have found no where to go. These feelings of hopelessness have lead to many sleepless nights. Like many others I've worked through the night in an effort to find a solution. At wits end, I sat on my deck staring into the pre-dawn sky asking for answers. I waited,.. and waited… and waited some more….and then, it came to me. So I rushed down stairs to prepare for my voyage.

Thirty-eight years ago today man first set foot on the moon and we haven’t been back in decades. That means to me, the moon is the perfect place to escape any news of mankind’s madness. Grabbing my computer and a bottle of wine and had all the supplies I needed to prepare myself for this wondrous journey.

After quickly surfing the web, I found the means to propel my “self” on this voyage. Then I turned to my wine collection to prepare my mind for the task at hand. A glass or two of Valley of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 should be sufficient enough to limber my mind for such a grand undertaking. The balance of dark chocolate and boysenberry aromas contrasted by the hints of vanilla, toffee and cassis on the palate. The rich mouthfeel of Valley of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon drink well on its own or paired with a metaphysical journey.

With the moon now my sanctuary I hope to get back to a peaceful existence and full nights of sleep. The President however has talked of funding a new age of lunar exploration. But I’m confident; as long as the President is Bush I’ll be safe on the moon. Given all the other displays of futility by this moron, from Katrina, to Iraq to his pursuit of Bin Laden (Dead or Alive my @$$) I doubt I have to worry about any guest on the darkside of the moon.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Scrapona - Cool off Birthday Wine


Cheers to our current (acting) President. On behalf of your boss, this great Nation, a.k.a. We The People… Please Bush Jr. take the day off and celebrate, it is your birthday.
We all took the day off to celebrate the birth of the nation, July 4th. But then again so did you. In fact if my eyes don’t deceive me you also took the next day off to enjoy a ballgame. But what the hell, since you’re doing such a “heck of a job”, you might as well just make the 4th a five day weekend. Besides as you’ve said “It’s hard being President”. In fact in this Post 911 world everything has changed and only you would know how hard it truly is being the President. The stress shows. No other President has taken as many days off as you Mr. Bush. But then again no other President has had to deal with so much terror; The fears of immigration, healthcare, global warming, hurricane Katrina, the axis of evil, the war in Iraq, the war on Terror, Ossoma, Oboma and Chelse Clinton’s momma.
Nope, the “Big Birthday Boy” should take it easy for his Birthday and enjoy a nice glass of Marenco Moscato d'Asti "Scrapona" 2006, an excellent beverage to sip when things are getting hot. (My friends that “do coke think Scrapona is a great wine)

Feel free to take another day off on us Mr. President. As you continue to send our boys to die in your illegitimate war you might as well take time off to clear your conscious.

I fact why not just make it permanent and step down now before we are forced to make the decision for you. You told us, “You’re the Decider”, so please decide to get your failing self out so we can clean up your mess. Cheers to you Jackass!!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Home for the 4th of July


Who doesn't enjoy a warm summer day on the 4th of July. Filled with lasting memories, great food and (of course) fireworks, partying on the 4th is one of the best parts of living in America. Happy 4th of July to all, it is truly wonderful to celebrate another year of this great nation.

More than just a celebration, the 4th is a time to reflect on all the sacrifices great americans have made to make this nation possible. Cheers to all of them, especially the troops stuck in a war zone. They too should be home with family celebrating this nations birthday. Let's bring them home!!!

The War is over if You want it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Balbi Malbec - Give Me Another Glass


I must be drunk on wine, if I weren’t, I’d surely be more pissed, but instead all I can do is laugh.

As the 4th of July approaches I’m always filled with pride. We are lucky to live in such a great democracy. This year however, my enthusiasm has been tempered by the outrageous acts of the would be boy king George and his loyal band of cronies. With Gonzales still acting attorney general and Cheney still refusing to answer reasonable questions about all his secret activities, I’ve had my doubts about the state of government. Add to that some of the ruling by the Supreme Court and I’ve had to question the state of our union. The America we live in today doesn’t feel like the one I grew up in.

But the actions of the President today,… other than being speechless all I can do I grab another bottle and drink. Balbi Malbec is the prefect solution. Taste good, very affordable and should I need to flee this country I know where to head to find an expectable wine.

Meanwhile, commuting the sentence of a man that ruined the career of a CIA operative and endangered the lives of others who have sworn an oath to protect this country, all in a political move to suppress the voices of opposition to a war that has been a complete failure. That is unacceptable. Where is the justice?

It is time we wake-up and remember what the 4th of July is all about, and why we threw of the shackles of the old regime of King George.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Gratefully Not Dead – Jerry Garcia Wine


I realize it’s been awhile since I penned my last entry. And for a time, like many other bloggers, I thought perhaps I might have already created my last post. With so much craziness in the world I began to wonder what was the point.

Between the distractions of the growing wars, the political lies and the faltering state of current policies (healthcare, energy, immigration, etc) I’ve found myself emotionally drained. “No excuse” I heard somewhere in the distance. Birthdays, holidays and gifts have kept me busy. I’ve been feeling exhausted. On the roof a flicker tapped out, “keep typing”. Apparently needing to relax I’ve been spending time with the TV, sports, video games and movies. “Get something done” my dog looked at me crossly. But what does he know, that lazy sucker lies around all day while I work, read and scheme.

Finally taking a break from it all, I grabbed a bottle of wine and headed to the deck to summon an old friend for some spiritual healing. His aura all around me, and his tunes on my I-pod, I released him from his bottle. Like a genie he granted my wishes. The nose was full and magnificent. As it hit my pallet, the juice, was rich, velvety and generous with subtle flavors of black cherries, cocoa, vanilla, dried herbs and spice. Like the man himself, an adventure with Jerry Garcia North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 is a memorable evening.

I took another sip and understood what I had to do.
[Cue "Truck'n" and fade to black...]

Friday, May 04, 2007

Honor Amisfield Pinot Noir 2005


As I enjoyed a glass of Amisfield Pinot Noir I realized that rarely have I loved a Pinot ever since the “Sideways” factor. For the first time in a long time I realized I was enjoying a Pinot Noir worth the price. It was then that I asked, is there no honor left in the world? If the “new Halo maps” are an example, there doesn’t seem to be.

After having to pay a misers sum for the honor of downloading the new maps I soon realized I couldn’t play them in my normal mode. I don’t know what type of geek you are but for me it took a moment to figure out how to “experience” the new maps.

For now it appears the only way to play the new maps is on a solo mission, or as us samurai do, arrange to meet a foe on the field of combat. (My sources assure me next week that will change.) I’ve decided not to hold my breath, maybe someday I’ll be playing team slayer in Tombstone.

Beyond the lack of access, the design of Tombstone also had me questioning honor. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the multi-dimensional landscaping that interweaves terrain, lines of fire and weapons placement, I was bothered by the presence of two shields. Among friends what is the honor in shields, much less two?

While that question haunts me, I did find happiness in the crown of the Tombstone Keep. Rather than a power weapon like the energy sword (though its high placement is predictable) or the rocket launcher (again predictable placement, yet slightly harder to find). The “Keep” was crowned with my favorite weapon, the pistol. When you’re stuck at the top of the world, what better to have at your side then a pistol? Me, I’d prefer a bottle if wine that taste great, looks good and drink above its price point. But this is Halo, and just like a bottle of wine, a pistol among friends is honorable.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Celebrate the NBA's ROY with Rubicon 2002


For me, April is the month of transitions. As one season begins to bloom and the activities of life change, so do the things we do for sport. I welcomed this years change by sitting on my deck; notebook on my lap and glass of wine at my side. Before I settled down to write I tuned the radio to catch my first baseball game of the year. The boys of summer are back. The headline match-up of the day featured some big name "boys" from the land of the rising sun. Although the game proved to be entertaining, like the weather, the full transition to the summer season had not yet arrived. An evening chill moved me indoors and I decided to seek inspiration from the passing season.

With the madness of March firmly behind us, basketball fans attention is left to focus solely on the upcoming NBA playoffs. While the playoffs promise many intriguing match-ups this season, the most exciting new-comer (the Rookie Of the Year) will be left out in the cold. Luckily, much like the bottle of Coppola wine I was drinking, this years ROY promises to retain his phenomenal quality even with age.

If I had to compare Brandon Roy to a bottle of wine, he would definitely be a bottle of Coppola's Rubicon 2002. Silky smooth skills, which paired with anything can subtly enhance the flavors of the team or a meal. When needed, he and the wine can overwhelm the palate with robust intensity and flavor that, even after a long subtle finish, keeps the audience so impressed that they beg for more.

However any true basketball/wine fan would know that only the 2002 vintage of Rubicon fully describes the flavor that is Brandon Roy. the quality of Rubicon is superb year to year, but the 2002 vintage stands above all else, just ask the "Wine Enthusiast". In that same regard Roy's skills would have qualified him as great, had he followed his original plans to skip college and go straight to the NBA out of high school. Luckily wisdom prevailed. By allowing him to mature for a full four years, like a fine wine in a cellar, Roy's release on the NBA this season has allowed him to showcase his greatness. Not only has Roy proved he is the finest newcomer this season but also shown he is a player who's team is one to watch for years to comes. Cheers to this season ROY, a taste I look forward to enjoying for seasons to come.

As for the Rubicon 2002, if you hope to enjoy it, I'd suggest you act now. My sources tell me few bottle are left in circulation.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Taste the Yummy Madness - Allegrini La Poja 2001


A interesting challenge arose the other day as a friend and I shared a spectacular bottle of wine. Fully take by my glass of Allegrini La Poja 2001 I may have unwittingly bought another bottle which I may never have the pleasure opening. Then again, if luck does prove to be on my side, I will once again enjoy the big, full-bodied Italian wine, characterized by velvety tannins and a long, dreamy finish, that is Allegrini La Poja 2001. Oh, the situations one can find themselves in when you allow your senses to become seduced by a great bottle of wine.

As is the case when great wine gives birth to good conversation, my friend and I meandered through the hot topics of the day. Always intrigued by a fun bet, a interesting challenge arose when our conversation jumped between politics and the madness of March. While we debated the out come of the US attorney firings and wondered if Alberto Gonzales would be able out last the storm, it became clear we disagreed on the proper outcome. Rather than allowing that topic bog down our conversation and diminish the enjoyment created by the Allegrini La Poja, we shifted the topic to discuss our upset picks for this years NCAA tournament. Again finding disagreement, instead of getting angry (as can sometimes by the result of passionate debate over sport or politics) we saw an opportunity for a unique bet.

As it stands, the bet is who from Texas will lose first in March. Will Gonzales lose his job as attorney general first or will the Texas basketball team lose in the NCAA tournament. On the line is a bottle of Allegrini La Poja 2001. After Texas underwhelming performance yesterday, I must admit, I questioned my chances of partaking in the spoils of victory. However, as it stands the bet is still alive but for how long...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Antinori Solaia 2003 95 points - Now That's a Reality


"How do you explain these kneepads?" That was the question posed by my girlfriend.
Knowing the truth is never as fun as reality, I tried to ignore the question before me. Perhaps now, I should explain myself. (If only to clear my conscious.)

The reality in which I choose to live, I am a writer. Also in that reality, I know something about wine. But you already know that since part of your reality is spending time reading my work. In truth however, this blog may just be the bullshit ramblings of a delusional man. In my opinion though, that doesn't sound as fun. Especially since I'd have to admit I'm the delusional one. So I of course, I choose my reality over truth. Besides, referring to oneself as a writer sure sounds good to the ladies. And trust me, they like it even more when I surprise them with a fine wine selection.

And yet, no matter what I choose for my reality I come in contact with other people's realities. In this case, the reality that my girlfriend is holding a pair of scuffed-up kneepads wondering what I possibly use them for. The reality in which I sometimes do hard labor to pay the bills might shatter my ladies belief that I'm a writer. (Life can get interesting when differing realities collide) Rather then allowing my girlfriend to suffer the mind blowing effects that occur when someone is suddenly awaken to a new reality, I decide it would be best if I help ease her into the truth among the reality.

For those that have tried this feat, you know, helping someone into a new reality can be perilous. For those that have not yet tried to introduce someone into a new reality, know this... Choose your tools wisely. I happened to have a bottle of Antinori Solaia 2003 to help us on her journey.

Antinori Solaia 2003 is the perfect tool for a guided reality transition. The wine's elegant blend of tannins support a the sensation of sweetness and weight. In addition the lack of harshness that is sometimes associated with big red Italian wines make Solaia a very approachable beverage during such a delicate situation. But perhaps the biggest advantage of the Solaia is the balance the wine shows, with distinctive sweetness from riper grapes. Finally the long impressive finish of the wine, with hints of liquorice and coffee, truly mellow reality.

After some talking and that exceptional bottle of wine we were again able to mesh our realities. I'd like to think I thoroughly explained the reason behind the kneepads. At least that is how I remember that conversation in my reality. However in truth, the smart money is on the reality of rambling bullshit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Usually Wine In A Box Is Enough


Since I was a child, I’ve found great enjoyment in receiving mail. Tempered slightly over the years by the constant onslaught of junk mail and bills, I still none the less find a sly grin on my face when I realize the postman has brought a personal note from a distant friend. Lately, the absence of arriving parcels has been more anticipated than those from my favorite wine shop, Madwine.com. Perhaps there is nothing greater in this world than opening a box only to discover it contains wine, thank you Jesus!

But this rant stems from the arrival of my most recent shipment. As always my shipment arrived in a timely manner, inside was the case of Kestral Lady in Red wine, the 1st Holiday addition. (I intend on cellaring the wine until next season, where I suspect it will be a fan favorite and perhaps even an Ebay hit.) I had hoped that I might enjoy the in-box holiday chocolates Madwine ships this time of year, but I opened the box to find that there was none. Knowing the holidays were over I was un-phased and proceeded to cellar my cherished new collection of wine. It wasn’t until I heard from a friend that I became disturbed.

Apparently, a pal of mine who also received a package from Madwine was luckier than I. Contained within his package was a sample of, what he described, superb gourmet tea. The sample was labeled Green Goddess, named for Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. Apparently this tea is currently China's most popular oolong. In contrast to its sister tea 'Iron Goddess', this tea is remarkably floral and produces a stunning, rich aroma reminiscent of tropical flowers. Needless to say I wanted to sample this tea for myself.

Normally, I simply would have been happy for my friend, but I stumbled across a site that left doubts in my head. Surely my rational mind knows that the government had no reason to open my package prior to delivery and even if they did there is little reason to believe that they might remove a sample of gourmet tea meant for me. Yet the possibility that the opportunity even existed somehow penetrated deep into my psyche; just one more thing to diminish that childhood wonderment of the meaning of personal mail.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A New Year to Toast


After only one year of aimless mental wondering and questionable wine insight I have apparently made an impression on more than a handful of not so loyal readers. In fact, it appears that I have stumbled upon an award that many have worked a lifetime to achieve. So then, how does one celebrate being named person of the year and having their picture on the cover of Time magazine? Well, for a mild manner bloke like myself, you party like its nineteen ninety nine.

With a glass of Penfolds Bin 138 Old Vines Shiraz 2002 in hand, I watched with tempered enjoyment as Seattle simulated the demolition of the Space Needle. Billed as the greatest New Years fireworks building display, I found myself more enthralled with my New Years kiss and glass of wine than the spectacularly lacking visual extravaganza. (Don’t get me wrong, the fireworks are great, but like most things, the display couldn’t live up to the hype.)

In contrast, my glass of Penfolds had no trouble living up to the billing. In the mouth the wine is a rich, rounded collection of ripe berries, with floral high notes with softly stated yet firm tannins. The juice is a contrast between the spicy generosity of the Shiraz and muscular structural contribution of the Mourvedre. This combination leads to a long, persistent finish. Just another example of a Penfolds' wine that drinks well above the value.

To me however the lingering flavor in my mouth was a bit more abstract. In the glass the wine exuded colors of joy and happiness for the accomplishments of the past year. On the nose were hints of prosperity in the near future. But once in the mouth the wine displayed a perfect balance of enjoyment, love and appreciation for those that made this and the many other happy new years possible.