Wine Tasting January 30, ’10
It was a quiet day in the wine shop, only about five guests till around 4:30. Then there seems to be some kind of Happy Hour Wine Tasting evolving, as suddenly cars pull up and within the space of a few minutes a small herd of stalwart aficionados thunder up the stairs. As if on some kind of Secret Signal, possibly the same energy that makes the birds start singing at some particular moment in the pre-dawn.
Years ago, when I was trying to be a serious Zen student, that first chirp would come after what seemed a long time sitting still in a dark and very quiet hall, a very welcome sign of Morning, magically unfolding out of the stillness, something being born out of Nothing, which supposedly is what All of This is about anyway, but as usual I digress. Oh yes, secret signals…
It’s probably just everyone at once checking their watches wherever they are and realizing that if they don’t stop what they are doing right now, they will miss the Party, and that would be Unthinkable, and after all, they have gotten something done on a Saturday afternoon and so deserve a little break, and that’s what Happy Hour is all about anyway, so let’s trip on down to the wine shop and see what’s up.
The tasting was interesting last week because all the wines showed pretty well, and each one a bit better than the previous one, with the Chappellet Mountain Cuvee rounding out the show with a certain suave elegance, making it feel like a journey of the palate in a certain direction, no switchbacks or surprises, just a gradual elevation gain, an increasing complexity and allure with each pour.
If you missed last week, please note again the CHOCOLATE ANNOUNCEMENT!
TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE!
FOUR new truffles for your Valentine Day celebration. Order up boxes of 4 lovely truffles, boxed and beribboned by calling 758-2559 (Janice) or 758-2959 (Pat) to place your order. Deadline for ordering is February 8, Monday. Boxes are $5. each and will be available for pickup on February 13, Saturday, at the wine shop between 1:00 – 5:00 or by special arrangement. As usual, the truffles will be made of only the finest chocolate, organic cream, and real flavors…Island-made and delectable!
This week’s wines:
Avanti Pinot Grigio 08 Italy $9
Delicate aromas of fresh peach, wildflowers, and crisp mineral notes with a light touch in the mouth.
Terre antiche montepulciano 08 Italy $8
Stylish, medium to full bodied, has essence of tarragon and rosemary on the nose, and violets, raspberry jam and black cherry on the palate.
Telmo Rodriguez Deheso Gago 07 Spain WA89pts $13
Deep crimson-colored, it offers up an excellent bouquet of pencil lead, violets, incense, and blackberry. Ripe, medium to full-bodied and nicely concentrated.
Panther Creek Pinot Noir NV Oregon WA89 $16
Alluring nose of cinnamon, clove, cherry, and raspberry. On the palate it has plenty of lively sweet fruit, good acidity, and enough structure to ensure a 5-year lifespan– a super value in Pinot Noir.
Wine Tasting January 23, ’10—we’re BACK!
Well, it was nice to have a couple of Saturdays to play hooky from the wine shop, but we missed you all TERRIBLY, and are looking forward to the Grand Reopening this weekend. Well, okay, not “grand,” exactly, but hopefully a festive kickoff for Ought-ten. Which leads to the obvious issue; there are people out there who are calling the first decade of this century ”the oughts,” as if we weren’t beginning a whole flapping Ought Century! Yep, here we are in “ought-ten,” and some of you youngsters out there will still be around in “ought-ninety-nine.”
This weekend will be unusual because Pat is taking the day off to go to a cooking class in town. I will be joined in the wine shop by Pat’s infamous son Donald, now living in Gig Harbor after ten years in Japan. He will be bringing several cases of wine in his capacity as a new wine rep for one of our distributors, and will probably take over the pouring and be your Chief Schmoozer for the day.
Also: TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE! TRUFFLE NOTE!
This year, Valentine’s day on Lummi Island means the ferry deadline, but more important it means love and CHOCOLATE and love of chocolate! Janice and Pat will be making FOUR new truffles for your Valentine Day celebration. Order up boxes of 4 lovely truffles, boxed and beribboned by calling 758-2559 (Janice) or 758-2959 (Pat) to place your order. Deadline for ordering is February 8, Monday. Boxes are $5. each and will be available for pickup on February 13, Saturday, at the wine shop between 1:00 – 5:00 or by special arrangement. As usual, the truffles will be made of only the finest chocolate, organic cream, and real flavors…Island-made and delectable!
This week’s wines:
Three Rivers Chardonnay ’07 Washington $16
Ripe pear and toasty oak character compete for attention in this polished, spicy Chardonnay, remaining lean and lively through the finish
Condesa Crianza ’04 Spain $10
This supple red shows balance and density, on a modest scale, with black cherry, tobacco and leaf flavors and a spicy, toasty finish.
Emilio Moro Resalso ’07 Spain $13
nice density to the berry, floral and vanilla notes in this lively red. Medium-bodied, with light tannins and enough acidity to balance the sweet oak.
Chappellet Mountain Cuvee ’04 California $22
Complex spice aromas and concentrated sweet fruit abound in this wine. The nose entices with blackberry, ripe plum and dried cherry mingled with clove and vanilla. Notes of dark chocolate add richness to the fruit.
Wine Tasting 1/2/10 and January announcements
In case anyone is online today (New Year’s Day) we WILL BE OPEN JANUARY 2 for our regular Saturday tasting, usual hours from 1-5. Then note WE WILL BE CLOSED TILL JANUARY 23 to take inventory, clean up the shop, maybe rearrange the furniture, who knows? Or maybe will take a weekend off and go somewhere there are hot pools, ya never know .
I have to say I LOVE our East Coast New Year’s Eve party. Last night was the fifth in the series, and maybe the best so far. We asked you to bring a plate of finger food, and oh, my did you ever! Everything I tasted was absolutely yummy, so deep bows of gratitude to all of you for sharing your culinary talents. We put out an array of wines, some single bottles, some lonely bottles, some huddled bottles yearning to be free, and fortunately for us, the food was so good they all showed adequately for the occasion, especially of course tha bubblies for the New Year’s toast at 12pm EST, or 9pm our time, an hour that seems more and more appropriate every year.
One of the big challenges each year is appointing a Designated Timer, whose personal chronometer is in such “accord with the great sidereal movement with which time is generally reckoned” that we may be reasonably sure that we are celebrating at exactly the right time. Last night it was Jerry, sporting his new watch that continually checks in with the Great Vibrating Crystal kept at Greenwich or the Naval Observatory, or wherever, which keeps the Official Time of the World. So Jerry (an Alaska man taciturn enough to pass for a Maine Man) got the nod, and we all chanted JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY!, which might possibly have been the worst moment of his life, but we hope not. And speaking of Maine, a special welcome to our seldom-seen friend from Maine, Sarah here for the holidays with Bob and Marnie.
Said watch performed flawlessly, and our countdown 5!…4!…3!…2!…1!…ZERO!!!! and the crowd roared and soared and hugged and toasted and burst into a surprisingly Vigorous and Heartfelt rendition of Auld Lang Syne, two verses worth at the top of our collective lungs. AWESOME! or as Livvy would say “TOTES LEGIT!!” which we are not yet quite comfortable saying audibly, you know, in front of people.
Great food, wonderful people, plenty of wine, and all over at a decent hour…it just doesn’t get any better than this, so thanks and cheers to all who made it happen, and Best Wishes for 2010 and the coming decade.
Which leads me to one other point, which may or may not be discussed more fully on a separate “Rant” thread someday. For no particular reason, during the 80′s I was so dismayed by the way the country was headed I named the 80′s the Decade of the Bottom Line. In the 90′s I was so dismayed with the way the country was going I named them the Decade of Vapid Pragmatism. Through the 00′s I have CERTAINLY been dismayed (actually we are now way, way, way past merely “dismayed”) that I have sought to find the slogan that captured the decade for me, never quite feeling satisfied. I am happy to report that a flash of Inspiration brought the words to me yesterday afternoon while I was out walking the dogs. We have now officially completed the Decade of Bullet-Headed Hypocrisy.
Maybe the best we can hope for is that things are perhaps no longer, as Kevin once put it, “getting worse faster than we are getting older.” However you look at it, here’s wishing us all the best year of our lives in 2010!
Wines this week:
Kurt Angerer Gruner Veltliner Spies 07 (Austria) $20: WA 91 pts Sauvignon-like notes of lime, caraway, and honeydew melon on
the nose lead to a juicy, glossy, satisfying palate of
cooling melon fruit, with lingering finish of rich nut oils, caraway, white pepper, and
Stephen Vincent “Crimson” red blend 07 (California) $9: Firm and spicy, with appetizing blackberry, wild berry, pepper, spice
and chicory notes that firm up on the finish. Syrah and Cabernet
Marquis Philips Shiraz 07 (Australia) $14: WA 92 pts Fruit forward, with mouth-filling notes of crushed
strawberry, blackberry, and dark chocolate.
Townshend T3 red blend (Washington) $15: Full bodied, slightly jammy, non-vintage blend of cab, merlot, and cab franc