Saturday, December 09, 2006

New Pizza Wine

2004 Santa Lucia, Vigna del Melograno, Castel del Monte, Rossa ($13) -- Italy. 100% Uva di' Troia from Marc De Grazia. Imported by Vintner Select. When the distributor ran out of my old favorite "Pizza Wine", La Casina Girasole by Palazzino, they suggested I try this wine.

Warm fruit aromas with a soft meaty flavor and medium finish. This will work just fine! Thanks for the tip!

The varietal is a somewhat obscure Italian Red from the Puglia region (the "boot heel" of Southern Italy) aged 8 months in 35 hl. oak barrels, then 6 months of bottle aging. 25,000 bottles produced from 10 year-old vines.

Andy's Mediterranean Grille

While I applaud the new Ohio smoking law, there was one casualty I overlooked. One of the charming features of Andy's (besides Andy -- and if you haven't seen him in a kilt on St. Paddy's day, you haven't lived -- and the belly dancers) is the hookah thing that people smoked at the table. I never indulged myself but it looked cool and fun. But alas, the hookahs are gone.

So stop by Andy's anyway to enjoy the food and wines (where else can you get Chateau Ksara and Chateau Musar by the glass) and a dose of Andy.

If exemptions could be given to the new smoking law, I would give Andy a free pass!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Doctor's Appointment

If I'm late to work tomorrow, it's because I have a Doctor's appointment. Yeah, that's right, I have a Doctor's appointment!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

2007 South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Rumor has it that the Saturday Grand Tasting and other hot events were sold out in days, but don't let that keep you from going to South Beach in late February to take in the scene and sip wine. There are still tickets available for the Sunday Grand Tasting and other events. Last year I had no problem scalping a few tickets and was first in line when they opened the Big Tent on the beach.

If there are any other Wine Bloggers going let me know and we can meet up at the Clevelander.

UPDATE: I have booked my tickets and hotel. Any takers for February 23rd to the 25th. I will send out emails to other bloggers.

Wine Journal Goes Mainstream

I am usually the last one to learn anything, and I am sure this was noted earlier, but congratulations to Neal Martin at Wine-Journal on getting picked up by Robert Parker as a full-time writer. I often use Neal's site to research old Bordeaux and am amazed by the quantity and quality of the Tasting Notes on back vintages from just about every major Chateau.

I look forward to seeing his material on the new site, but will probably now have to pay for it. I think Parker with this move, in addition to picking up David Schildknecht (from Cincinnati no less), is getting ready to make a bold move with his website.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Waterstone Cab

2004 Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon ($20) -- Napa Valley. The story is that they sourced the juice from some cult producers (which they can't name, but are in no hurry to deny the rumors!). This is the third vintage I have tasted and it is as good as the others even after just getting off the FedEx truck. Lots of complex fruit and a long finish. Will probably retail in Ohio for more than $25. Still a great buy as a week-end wine!

I still have 5 cases of the 2003 for sale, and one case of the 2002 as a personal stash. The 2004 should be in Ohio in January or February.

Smoke Free Ohio

Wednesday, December 6th is the last day to light up at your favorite bar and restaurant in Ohio. As one who loves to enjoy a glass of good wine and appetizers at the local restaurants, where I usually sit at the bar catching up on the latest restaurant gossip, I say, FINALLY!

Now, I enjoy a good cigar as much as anybody, but mostly I sit outside in the warmer months and don't bother anybody with plumes of Cuban aromas. But there is nothing worse than trying to pick out aromatic nuances of a fine Bordeaux or Rioja at the bar if there is a chain smoking chimney next door.

The feedback I get from the servers is mostly positive as they won't have to wash their clothes every night, not to mention their lungs. And for every pissed off smoker who won't be able to light up and pollute the entire bar, there are two non-smokers who can't wait to go out and not smell like an ashtray the next day.

So enjoy Wednesday night as you light up one more final time. On Thursday night and every day afterwards, I will enjoy a smoke free evening. I may even visit a few bowling alleys now that I will be able to see the pins through the haze!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sola Rosa Late Harvest Rose

2005 Sola Rosa Late Harvest Rose, Napa Valley ($18) -- California. 100% Sangiovese. They only make Rose and this is the only late harvest Rose I have ever seen, but maybe I don't get out much. Good fruit and balance with a long finish. I might try this with my Sunday pancakes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Holiday Wines

2001 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate ($50) -- Washington. This is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from 8 different vineyards, vinified separately, aged in 100% new French barrels for 20 months, then blended together and aged an additional 5 months. Grapes are hand-picked and hand-sorted.

I picked this wine after a Holiday Wine Event to finish off the evening with assorted reps and hangers-on. DeLille is a fine producer and at $50 I was expecting a lot.

The wine was very big and jumbled and might improve with more bottle age. A quick decant softened the wine up a bit, but not entirely. Live and learn.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Britney's Wine Choices

This has nothing to do about wine, but the writing on this blog is so funny I peed in my pants. Those poor celebrity trailer-trash queens don't stand a chance against Jessica's barbs. This is a must read on a dead Saturday afternoon.