Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes

2004 Inheritance Petit Syrah

What will you inherit if you drink this Petit Syrah? Probably nothing. What will Lone Dove, the wine producer, inherit ? Probably nothing. Here is a decent wine with good color, mouthfilling flavor, some tannin and a slightly sweet finish. IMO, a typical Lodi product, overripe and similar to two buck chuck which I like better and is a much better value. Actually tasted it against two buck Shiraz. The Inheritance is bigger and more flavorful, but is it worth four to six times as much.

2004 D'Arenberg Stump Jump

There is a Stump Jump bicycle race in South Carolina. I thought I would get a jump start on great Rhone style wine by purchasing this Grenache - Shiraz - Mourvedre blend from the excellent Australian D'Arenberg winery at the very reasonable price of $12. No such thing! This wine isn't bad, but it lacks character. Medium bodied, but no real complexity. Where are all those flavor nuances from the three grape varietals. Disappointing!

2001 Kistler Noisetier Chardonnay

Slightly old tasting, but very French in style. Good fruit, lots of wood. Great Chardonnay, but do you want to pay $65 for it?

California And Washington Zinfandel

Washington Zin? Paul Porteus has been growing Zin in Washington since the 1980s. His Zin is a delicious soft , gentle wine with good velvety flavors. Compared to the Shenendoah Vineyards Zin from Amador, it seemed like a pussycat. By comparison, the Shenendoah roared out of the gate with big, mouthfilling flavors and complex nuances.

Psst! Want Some Excellent Wine?

"Hey, Mistah, please, come to my winery and taste my excellent wines. No obligation! It is the custom in my country." Seriously, put December 4th in your calendar. Cadence is holding its annual open house and tasting along with Fall Line winery. This is a chance to taste some of the best wines in Washington. Once you are in this neck of the woods, it's a good opportunity to check out the wines at Esquin's and stop in at PFI, the most inexpensive source of fine cheese in Seattle. And if you can get on the DeLille mailing list, a trip to the Eastside is in order for their fall release wine pick-up event this same weekend.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Red Mountain Boys And Girls- Part II

Hightower Cellars, at the very end of sunset road, is the highest winery on the mountain. Well, maybe, Tapteil is the highest. In any event, we had a nice visit with Tim & Kelly Hightower who truly had a wine romance. You might say they met over a glass of wine. Check out the whole story at their website: Tim is another Boeing Wine Club graduate who makes outstanding Washington State wine. Tim told me that they first moved into the warehouse space in Woodinville that is now occupied by Chatter Creek. Tim, Kelly and Murray The Dog, make several reds including Murray Red, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. I must admit that my favorite is the 2003 Cabernet made from Pepper Bridge grapes from Walla Walla. Tim & Kelly have planted their own vineyard on Red Mountain. It will be exciting to see how this evolves.

Taptiel is right next door with a beautiful winery building where the windows reflect the spectacular surrounding view. A very appealing exterior leads to a typical tasting room inside. This year we were not taken with any Tapteil wines. Two years ago, we liked the 2002 Cabernet which was a tight, fairly hard , upright sort of Cab. It would be interesting to see how Taptiel Cabernet ages. We found Ben Smith's Taptiel Cab, which he made at Cadence, to be the firmest , hardest wine in his portfolio. too. Maybe these are agers for Ryan's cellar.

In the interest of time, we had to skip the Hedges chateau, though we know they make good wines that are readily available in supermarkets and wine shops. We skipped Kiona, too, but, having tasted some of their award winners at the Northwest Wine Festival, we know that their covey of wines is quite good, especially the Lemberger. Sandhill wines were just as good as usual.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wine Of The Week - 2004 Bonair Yakima Valley Chardonnay

We first tasted this beauty at Gasperetti's in Yakima. We went to the winery to look for it and we found that it was on sale for $7.50 a bottle, or $90 a case. The regular price at the winery is $14 and we found a bottle in Seattle at the Central Market for $15. This is a bargain, in any event, since this wine is comparable to Chardonnay costing $2o and up. Needless to say Bob and I each bought a case. Wow! This is awesome chardonnay! Fresh, balanced, dry, but not too dry. Tropical fruit, oak and butter, but not in the big in-your-face California way. Fermented and aged in new and older French oak barrels, this wine vaguely bring to mind French Burgundy. Call the winery to see if it is still on special. If you have it shipped it will cost you roughly an additional two dollars per bottle for shipping plus tax.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

El Retorno de Canon De Sol

I scrounged up a bottle of the award-winning 2002 Canon de Sol Syrah which I prefer to the 2004 Syrah, but Mary prefers the 2004. Bob and Kathy just opened a bottle of the 2003 Meritage which they found to be rich, full, velvety with a rose petal and mace nose and hints of cassis. A really nice wine! Thanks Bob, Kathy, and Mary. Muy Bonito!

Blogspot Outage

There will be an outage on blogspot in just a few minutes. Too, bad, just when I was on a roll. I've been having a heck of a time posting this week due to outages, failures, outrages whatever you call them. Let's hope they get them fixed.

Godspeed Ageing Slowly!

One of my first posts was about the mountain men who make mountain wine high about the Napa Valley floor. Last time I tasted the 1998 Godspeed Cabernet Sauvignon it was very tannic. This time it was very tannic. Five years from now it will probably be very tannic, thirty years from now, like the 1976 Burgess Zin, it may well still be very tannic, but you know what, after being left in the decanter for 48 hours, a sleeping beauty emerged with lots of gorgeous black fruit medium to big body and just traces of tannin in the finish. This wine was built to last! Maybe the one hour equals one year rule applies and the wine will be at its peak in 2046. Anyway, you can enjoy it now by decanting two days in advance. I told Larry Stricker that he needed to soften this wine for the current market, but not everybody wants to make fruitbombs. We wish Larry Godspeed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Best Pinot Noir?

Best Pinot? by Matt Kramer. It’s good to see that Matt still writes for the hometown newspaper. In “Pinot”, Matt makes the case for blended Oregon Pinot. Bob Tovey was kind enough to send along a copy of a recent article in The Sunday Oregonian entitled “The Noirs as opposed to wines from specific vineyards. I totally agree with Matt about the outrageous price differential some wineries are charging for vineyard designated wines. While you might think Matt is a wine rep for Adelsheim, as he is virtually orgasmic over the 2005 Adelsheim “Willamette Valley” Pinot Noir at $30 from Young’s Columbia, the wine may well be excellent. I’ve had some excellent non-vineyard-specific Pinots from Oregon, but Matt misses the point. Oregon Pinot country is a virtual terroirville for differences among vineyards. You only need to taste Panther Creek Pinots from Bednarick, Shea and Freedom Hill vineyards to know that you’re going to miss something special and unique by not tasting vineyard specific Pinots from the Willamette Valley. As I write this, I am comfortably ensconced with a glass of 2004 Bergstrom Shea Vineyard for which I recently paid $20 a half bottle at the Tasting Room in Carlton. Wow! Richly deep red, this wine is surprisingly big and full, beautifully balanced with dark berry fruit and just enough tannin to suggest that it might improve for ten or more years, even though it is thoroughly enjoyable right now. The Pinot Noir vineyards of the North Willamette are a royal opportunity to truly taste terroir and enjoy the difference. Is it worth twice as much as a blend? That depends on your own worth and values. I certainly didn’t pay $60 for any of the vineyard wines I purchased on my recent trip to the Willamette Valley with Diane, Bob & Kathy. Maybe the real question is to find great wines at good prices, whether it be Erath Pinot for $10-$15 or Beaux Freres for $65.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes And Feedback

Bob and Kathy report that the 2003 Edmonds Cabernet "had good flavor and fruit, but it seemed that they bottled it too early or did not age it enough."

Al & Maxine report that the El Mirador Roja was superb after a year of ageing.

Laurent reports that he found the Pouilly Fume for only $9 at Trader Joe's to be really nice with lots of citrus flavors and a very nice finish. Laurent also discovered Benzinger Chardonnay on sale for $8 at Safeway( regularly $14), prefers it to recent editions of Edna Valley Chardonnay and calls it his "wine of the season."

We had an opportunity to taste Gruet Brut from New Mexico and it matches the sparklers from French houses making "Champagne" in California. Soft, fruity, yeasty and serious. Dare I say it? It is better than the best known Washington State sparklers.

The 2002 Dunham Cabernet Sauvignon VIII is a straight up Cab with lots of backbone. IMO, not quite as good as the 2000 Cab VI which was friendlier, fruitier, and softer, but who knows what it might evolve into.

At lunch today, Rich had the 2004 Las Rocas Alejandro Garnacha Calatayud, a big, round ,soft, fruity , slightly syrupy wine with a great nose of spice and I had the 2005 Hayman & Hill Reserve Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills. Miles of Sideways fame would have been very happy with this medium bodied quietly refined Pinot with good body and fruit. Balanced and just right.

Mike, the plastic surgeon, brought his own blend from JM which he made with his wine making partner Mary. They blended 50% Cab Sauv with 25% Cab Franc and 25% Malbec to make a spectacular fairly big red with lots of flavor interest. The high percentage of Malbec made this wine ever so much more interesting than the usual Cab/Merlot blend. Friend Stewart introduced Mike and Mary to the blending experience , but unfortunately we didn't get to taste her blend. Stewart assures us that it is "very competitive."

Do you have notes or experiences you would like to share?

Monday, October 23, 2006

An Ageing Gentleman - 1970 Croft Porto

I bought this wine when my daughter was born and laid it away until she was twenty-one. At that stage, it was a healthy dark red strapling that filled the mouth with round sweet lushness that coated your mouth and lingered a very long time. Of course, it was great with Stilton and other strong flavored cheese. Now, at the ripe old age of thirty-six, it is almost tawny in color, a pale rose mahogany that has shed tons of tannin and left vast quantities of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. It has a lovely nose of wood, cherries, and vanilla, and feels smooth and delicate as it passes your lips. It is elegant and delicate, a reflective wine. You could spend hours contemplating it's nuances before a crackling fire. And it is still great with Stilton. Like a great friend, this wine has mellowed as it ages. Of course, this wine must be decanted to avoid all the sediment.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Red Mountain Boys (And Girls) - Part 1 : Terra Blanca

Red Mountain is neither red, nor a mountain. It is merely a hill that allegedly turns red when hit by the sun at a certain angle, but some would claim it produces the best grapes in Washington. Even though it is Washington's smallest AVA, many of the best winenies make wine from great vineyards on red mountain such as Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval. Some of the greatest Washington wines are made by Seattle area wineries such as Quilceda Creek, DeLille, Cadence, and Andrew Will wineries from Red Mountain grapes which they have shipped over the Cascade Mountains in small lugs. The wineries on the mountain do a pretty good job, too.

Terra Blanca has become the destination winery on Red Mountain. They have a huge tasting room in a new building designed for corporate functions. Terra Blanca produces about 30,000 cases of wine making it a big boutique winery for Washington, but the quality hasn't suffered.
Keith Pilgrim made a beautifully balanced 2004 Viognier and a fresh 2003 Chardonnay. The 2003 Estate Block 5 Chardonnay was in oak for 18 months and definitely tastes like a white Burgundy. The 2005 Reserve Rousanne is well made and better than most Rhone whites. Among the reds we particularly liked the 2001 Merlot (frequently on sale for $11 at supermarkets) and the 2001 Syrah. We have not been too fond of the Block 8 Syrah in the past but the 2003 is quite good. The real gem here is the 2001 Onyx, comparable in quality, I would say, to the 100 point 2003 Quilceda Cabernet. Not quite as soft and smooth, but more interesting in a way. This wine has lots of complexity due to the blending of Malbec and Petit Verdot with the usual suspects - Cab Sauv, Merlot, and Cab Franc. The past three vintages of Onyx have also been exquisite. Onyx is a hidden gem, perhaps because Terra Blanca makes such a wide variety of wines in contrast to, say, Quilceda Creek or Andrew Will. To top things off, the 2001 has beautiful label art by Odette Grassi. If you can afford $45 for a bottle of wine, Onyx is definitely in the same class with Andrew Will et al. Why not splurge or get a head start on your Christmas shopping? Look for more posts on Red Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills and Prosser area wineries, to complete our tour of the Yakima Valley.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Charlie Hoppes Wine Country

Charlie Hoppes grew up in the wine country. In the valley southeast of Red Mountain, virtually all the wineries consult with Charlie. He is responsible first and foremost for making wine at Fidelitas which he owns with his brother. They are building a new winery on Red Mountain and are borrowing space from Sandhill right now. Charlie consults with his high school buddy Victor Cruz at Canon de Sol. He also consults at Gamache and at Goose Ridge.

Goose Ridge is one of the largest vineyards in the state of Washington contracting many of its grapes to Ste Michelle winery. We were fortunate to be visiting the wine country during harvest and had a chance to see the grapes being destemmed, crushed and pumped into fermentation tanks. Virtually all of the Goose Ridge wines were clean, pure and fresh. The 2005 Riesling is a classic example of what the varietal can and should be. Light, crisp with typical fruit and floral aromas and flavor. The 2005 Pinot Gris is fresh and crisp, a little lighter than many Oregon Pinot Gris. I prefer the purity and freshness of this wine to most of the fuller bodied Oregon Pinot Gris and to the mostly flat Italian or California Pinot Grigios. The 2003 Red Wine is a good all around everyday table wine, while the 2002 Syrah is spicy with hints of tar and pepper in the nose. The 2004 Merlot is a medium bodied classic. There really wasn't a bad wine in the bunch. The Goose Ridge wines tend to be medium bodied, balanced wine sticking close to the flavor and aroma profile of each varietal and they are reasonably priced. They are not as big as many Walla Walla wines, nor are they as light as some of the wines made near Yakima. In fact, it appears that as you move east through the Columbia Valley the wines get bigger as the climate gets hotter.

Gamache Vintners wine were bigger and rougher than the Goose Ridge. Made from grape grown at the estate owned vineyard thirty miles to the northeast, these wines were in an entirely different style from Goose Ridge. The 2004 Boulder Red ($16) was medium to big bodied with berries and spice. The 2003 Estate Syrah ($28) was fruit forward with hints of spice. the 2004 Estate Merlot ($22) had good fruit and cedar flavors with some tannin in the background.

Ah, Canon de Sol! Victor Cruz is an absolutely charming man and so are his wines. Whether it be the 2003 Columbia Valley Merlot, the 2002 Columbia Valley Meritage, or the 2004 Columbia Valley Syrah, they have character, umph, pizazz! While not monsters, these wines have a little hair on the muscle and bones. If Charlie is consulting on all of these wines, how can they be so different? Is it terroir? Is each vineyard so different? Is Charlie emphasizing these differences or are they just there in each place.?

En El Servicio de Canon de Sol

This fabulous Joseph Cornell-like box with interesting miniature wine bottles hangs in the bathroom at Canon de Sol. Who knows what you will find in the Casa de Sol where you can spend a weekend in the middle of the wine country for only $225 per night, solamente! Classy art with classy wine!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Gasperetti's And The Shadow Mountain Grill

Thirty years later I found Gasperetti's in Yakima to be a disappointment. Maybe that was because I remember a somewhat funky Italian restaurant that now has pretensions to upscale over refinement. I found the menu boring, although the Pork Osso Buco and the Rib Steak Chimmichurra were quite good. The wine list had a surprising lack of interesting reasonably priced Italian wines, although they did have a good Chianti Riserva from Rocca di Mace for $30. And the house white, a Chardonnay made for Gasperetti's by Bonair Winery was great for only $25. I was disappointed that they didn't have the wonderful Sangioveses from Yakima Cellars. I guess you can't go home again. Once again, we should have listened to the locals who recommended Greystone. Frankly, I enjoyed my steak and eggs at the Shadow Mountain Grille in Benton City a lot more.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Carousel - Chateau Catastrophe

Whether you call it Chateau Catastrophe or Chez Catastrophe, Carousel on Front Street in Yakima was a disappointment. Two years ago, we had a wonderful dinner there with our friends, Sam and Carol. At that time it seemed a promising new French restaurant in Yakima. Now that the original French owners have sold it, it has turned into a catastrophe. Since the French word for catastrophe is the same as in English, this should be unambiguous. I see, also, in the online dictionary that catastrophe can also be tanslated as disastre, or cataclysme in French. Although we made a reservation from Seattle two or three weeks in advance, when we arrived it quickly became apparent that they were unprepared for us. They did not have a table for us and the one they scrounged up, was not set. It sloped to the east and our waiter had trouble figuring out which leg to shim with a folded table cloth (no match books anymore!). Now, don't get me wrong, I know how hard it is to work in the front room, but the "service" at Carousel was appallingly bad. No water, no bread for half an hour. Actually no silverware to start with, then no napkins. We received two different menus and two different wine lists and no one seemed to know which one was valid. We ordered a fairly standard bottle of L'Ecole Semilion only to be told that they were out of it. Although the wine list was reasonably interesting and fairly priced, we decided that it was safer to go out to the car and get a bottle of 2001 Terra Blanca Onyx we had purchased that afternoon. I knew this would go well with the duck I planned to order for my main course. The menus were so ambigous, and contradictory, however, that it wasn't clear whether the duck would be prepared with green peppercorn sauce or raspberry sauce, but I was prepared to order either. We finally ordered a bottle of Wineglass Chardonnay which was unoaked, simple, and refreshing and helped us sit out the long siege until some food arrived.

Finally, the first course arrived. The escargots were good enough as were the sauteed mushrooms, but the frogs legs were served with a strange piquant and sour flavoring that was not to our taste. The duck was some sort of overcooked dried out version of what one might expect of rustic French home cooking. It actually tasted like dried out, overcooked rabbit. The rabbit dish, however, was well prepared with a simple light coating and sauce. The shrimp were satisfactory, too, although once again a lapse in service resulted in our salads not being served before the main course and, of course, there was no cheese course to accompany the wine. We were offered free desserts, but this was no compensation for me as I do not eat desserts. We definitely should have listened to the locals who recommended Cafe Melange which was right next door .The saving grace to this meal was the company of our good friends Bob and Kathy. With them, we were able to laugh our way through most of this catastrophic dining experience.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

NV Harvest Moon Red - Not All Yakima Valley Wines Are Incredibly Light

Harvest Moon Red is something of a mystery. Clues - Non-vintage, "Penguin Cellars", and "Red" ? A search for Harvest Moon wine yields useless stuff. Non-vintage tells you nothing. Penguin Cellars leads to Penguins and Cellars unless you do an advanced search where you find only a hint that the wine was possibly made by Tefft Cellars. This wine is such a mystery, I can't even remember where I bought it, though I think I paid about ten bucks for it.

More mystery! Open the bottle, pour the wine. Aroma? None! Color? Dark red! Taste? Very little fruit, medium bodied, closed with some tannin. Not exactly user-friendly, fruit forward, big or exuberant, kind of linear, sort of in the style of an ordinary Bordeaux like a 1970s Chateau Dauzac or Chateau Du Tertre. Solution? When in doubt, decant! Even though a wine may have no sediment, decanting can help get rid of off flavors and bring out the fruit in a wine. Sure enough, 15 minutes later, signs of life, hints of black fruit.

My guess is that this is a blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and some Syrah for color. It actually went well with lamb chops and cheese. I don't even know why I picked this bottle off the shelf. Maybe I thought it was a new winery that I hadn't heard of. It's obviously not made from free run juice, but it's not bad with food. Can you help solve more of the mystery? Does anyone know more about Harvest Moon or Penguin Cellars? Any guesses about the blend?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Incredible Lightness of Some West Yakima Valley Wines

Well, not all Yakima wines are light, but the ones we tasted our first evening were. Just ten minutes east of Yakima we visited Sagelands, Massett, and Piety Flats. All of their wines were made in an easy fruity style and for the most part, have easy prices.

At Sagelands, French winemaker, Frederique Spencer, has a very distinctive signature. For example, she made a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon from Doval Vineyard that definitely tasted like a Bordeaux, but was so fruity I could have mistaken it for a Merlot, although my wife immediately spotted it as a Cab. It definitely tastes like a well made inexpensive Bordeaux. We also liked the 04 Malbec. Unfortunately, these two wines are only available at the winery. Fortunately, the 2003 Four Corners Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are widely available at supermarkets. Unfortunately, the refreshing 2005 Chardonnay and Merlot Rose are, also, only available at the winery. Sagelands is a medium sized winery with a tasteful tasting room. It has a nice feel and you would never guess that it is owned by alcohol conglomerate Deageo.

In contrast, Massett Winery, is a real Mom and Pop operation run entirely by the owners, Greg and Micaella Massett. Greg makes only 1800 cases of wine and everything is done by hand. He likes to emphasize the fruit and tends to go light on the oak. Most of the wines are excellent. We especially liked the 2004 Reserve Syrah which actually tastes like fresh free run juice straight out of the vat. The 2004 Basket Press Syrah has a little more backbone which I actually prefer. The 2004 Petit Sirah is one of only four wines made from this grape in the state. While nowhere near the monster produced by Palouse, this Petit Sirah has good fruit and spice. The 2004 Sandra Jane is a Bordeaux style blend named after Greg's mother. Unfortunately, these wines are only available at the winery.

Piety Flat’s wines are made for them by Dave Minick of Willow Crest Vineyards. They are made in an easy, simple, clean style similar to Dave’s Willow Crest Pinot Gris. The Reds are too light for my taste, but the whites are fresh and light – delightful summer wines. We especially liked the non-oaked 2004 Chardonnay and the 2005 Pinot Grigio /Chardonnay combination which has a very nice slightly tangy twist at the end. The 2005 Riesling is pleasantly clean, fresh and simple, while the 2005 Chenin Blanc is better than any Vouvray I’ve ever had.

Delightful, simple, clean easy wines at easy prices. One of the many reasons you need to visit wineries yourself. Yakima is less than a three hour drive from Seattle, so you have no excuse.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yakima Valley Wine Country

We always have a great time in the wine country. Wineries and vineyards are a spiritual experience for me, a connection with mother nature and the beauty in the universe. Sharing it with friends, Bob & Kathy, is special. Our trip to Yakima Valley was great. Bright sunny days, a chance to taste wines that are only available at the winery, a chance to chat with the winemakers, and most of all a chance to witness the harvest and the crush. We managed to visit three distinct areas in the East and West ends of the Yakima Valley in addition to some Red Mountain wineries.. I can't urge you strongly enough to visit the wineries yourself. Look for more posts on Red Mountain and the Yakima Valley in the next week or two.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Freedom, Pluralism, and Multi-culturalism

In a pluralistic society, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but is not entitled to impose their beliefs on others. See my comment re: No Wine Allowed In This Taxicab at Vinography below.

Vinography: A Wine Blog: No Wine Allowed in This Taxicab

Bordeaux center of gravity shifts from grape-grower to winemaker - Yahoo! News

Wine In The Media

Somehow it seems there is a shift in media attention to wine. We just saw a documentary on Washington Wine Growing areas on PBS last night. Both Sunset and Seattle Magazine had glossy features on wine country touring. Seattle magazine missed a lot of important points and wineries offering up an ad attracting tourism oriented set of articles. Yahoo news offers a piece on "terroir" and the shift in power to winemaking consultants and oenologists or wine chemists.

Wine Of The Week - 2005 Old Moon Zinfandel

The wine has an amazing Zin nose of raspberries and spice with hints of vanilla, tobacco, pine and eucalyptus. The aromas virtually jump out of the glass at you - an amazing feat for a six dollar bottle of wine. Entry into the mouth is smooth and creamy and even though it is a big wine with 14.5% alcohol, there is no hairiness to this wine. The wine is simple, but balanced with a slightly sweet finish. This wine is sort of a big version of two buck chuck or Yellowtail. The back label alleges that it is made from thirty five plus year old vines. The label says "California", but my guess is that the grapes are from the Lodi/Modesto area. California has it's own lake of wine, too - that's where two buck chuck comes from. In any event, this is a phenomenal bargain at Trader Joe's (about $6).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Photos and Links

I may know about wine, but html is a total mystery to me. With the help of my computer scientist son-in-law, I think I have finally figured out how to do links and photos. Hopefully there will be a photo with this post and there are a few links in the sidebar. We are headed to Yakima this weekend with Bob & Kathy and hope to come back with some good ideas and photos. Does anyone know how to edit photos in blogger? How to size photos, etc.?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wine & Art - Part II: Winedesignz

A couple of years ago, I was wandering around the farmer's market in Oakland and spied a sign that said Fine Wine Designz. Of course, I was curious so I moseyed over to chat with wine artist Manuel Barrios. The art was quite appealing in it's low-key Burgundy tones. My first question was: What kind of wine you use? Two buck chuck? Well, I hadn't meant to give offense, but Manuel seemed slightly peeved and patiently explained to me that each wine has not only different hues, but different qualities altogether. If I remember correctly, Manuel preferred Syrah for it's rich color and thicker body. To learn more about Manuel's wine art go to:

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wine Of The Week - 2004 Benzinger Chardonnay

This Sonoma Chardonnay is uncharacteristic of California Chards, more French in style. The wine is light green in color, and tastes of crisp apples and a hint of tropical fruit. It is very dry for a California Chardonnay and not as full as most. There is, also, a slight hint of vanilla suggesting at least some exposure to oak. The wine has a good descriptive back label. My French son-in -law picked this up on sale at Safeway for only eight dollars.
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