Wine Tasting July 31 ’10
Here it is Thursday night at 9, and we are just back from the Grange, where we poured wine we had donated for the FOIL (Friends of the Island Library) fundraising event. It was Fun! We supplied wine–everyone got a glass of either the Venta Morales Tempr-r-r-rranillo for the red and the Peirano Estates Viognier for the white. AND MORE IMPORTANT TO SOME everyone got one of Pat’s Absolutely Fabulous Triple Chocolate Truffles she made especially for the occasion. There might be a few left over for sale on Saturday, but I kinda doubt it…
Both wines are available in the shop, and both are sensational buys at $8 (red) and $10 (white). Other delicious edibles were provided by a host of other volunteers, and the featured speaker was Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide and Border Songs. I have not read either of his books, but he was a delightfully entertaining speaker, so I guess I’m gonna have to! All in all: a very pleasant evening, you shoulda been there!
So let’s see, last weekend…what stands out is a long quiet chat with Julie and Bill from Salt Lake City, here for a couple of weeks with no car, so getting around by bicycle (No One Expects Drydock in July!) . Of course we grilled them about Utah and Mormons and Big Love which we have just started watching, and basically they are fun and interesting and we think they should move here because he is cutting back in the general direction of retirement (my guess would be another 20 years first, but I’m just saying and hoping I’m wrong) and they are enjoying a whole bunch of time off and they are even toying with the idea of getting a place here…!!??
They also mentioned they had friends coming who had broken the Code for making the Perfect Limoncello, a delicioso cordial Italians make and serve in chilled little cordial glasses. Somewhere in our Tuscany photos is a picture of Pat sipping her First Limoncello, and despite the fact that it is quite a Simple Thing, at the right moment, on a hot afternoon, after a lovely meal, it is Quite Perfect, if not actually Spectacular. Think: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!…Gooooooooooooooooooooood...(sigh). It turns out we did meet the friends very briefly but no limoncello and no recipe (aaarrrggghhh!), so the quest is on! MORE
Do YOU have the perfect recipe? We have heard that the Key is to have very fresh, Perfect lemons, maybe Meyer lemons, which apparently may not be Real Lemons at all, so you have to wonder about that, but still, it makes sense that the Best Fresh Lemons would be a key ingredient. So let’s just say that anyone who brings in limoncello gets two free tastings, and let the lemons fall where they may!
Btw, I recall now that we conducted an interesting experiment last weekend, pouring the Emilio Moro ’04 Tinto, a predictably good wine, next to the new Pomum Tinto, a Washington “super-Duero” (has a bit of cab and merlot in addition to tempranillo). I decanted the Moro at about 10 am, and opened (but did not decant) the Pomum. For most of the day the Pomum was the favorite, showing much bigger fruit and a voluptuous mouthfeel compared to the Moro. But somewhere around 4:30 the Moro Tinto had gotten enough air that it had opened up beautifully, and it became the new favorite, showing a suave elegance and depth.
I just bought the last few bottles of this year’s Pomum Shya, their Big Wine, and we will be pouring that in the next few weeks for an additional look at this new Washington winery.
This week’s wines:
Viento Riesling ‘07 Washington WS89pts $14
Bright and refreshing, with a lively mouthful of pear, grapefruit and delicately floral aromas and flavors that shoot right through the balanced, barely off-dry finish.
Quinto das Maias Jaen Dao ’04 Portugal $14
The relatively unusual Jaen varietal has a deep, burly color and a lovely, velvety almost overripe nose with hints of prunes and flattering black fruits. . . tannins are very smooth & the acidity is just enough to balance the richness.” more
Pomum Red ’07 Washington $18
Bordeaux blend from same winemaker as last week’s popular Tinto 65% Cab, 21 % Merlot, 14% Cab Franc; brick-red in color with noticeable graphite and exotic spice aromas. with flavors of cranberries and cherries. The finish, characteristic of all Pomum wines, is long and smooth.
Canon de Sol Syrah ‘02 Washington $20
Big jammy dark-fruit flavors, complemented by toasty spicy accents.
Wine Tasting July 24 ’10
If my mother were still alive, this would have been her 95th birthday; her last birthday was her 85th back in 2000, and we had a nice family gathering for the occasion. Leo on the cusp of Cancer, complicated stuff. At her wake (100% Irish roots) we opted to replace the ponderous organ sounds with subdued background 40′s Big Band music, and at her funeral I got everyone to sing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” So Happy Birthday, Mum, we’re thinking of you!
REMINDER! NEW SUMMER HOURS SATURDAYS 2-6PM!!
Pat’s chili did very well at the cook-off last weekend; the recipe came from Silver Palate, with a few substitutions, and made for a very savory and nuanced chili. We did win an award for “best name” (“Screaming Seagull”) , which Pat also coined. I concocted our Seagull logo (see last week’s post) as well as the idea of drizzling a bit of red wine (in this case it was an Italian varietal called Marzemino), and it really did make the chili taste even better (I’m not making this up!). I think the wine adds a bit of acidity right up front, which makes your mouth water, which is why wine makes food taste better in general. So congrats to me for my annual Good Idea. Which lets me off the hook for the rest of 2010, kind of a relief!
Mary Beth was the first to identify our chili namesake as Ultimate California cult wine “Screaming Eagle,” and won a $20 gift certificate…it just goes to show you that reading this blog can be worth your while!
Very interesting afternoon at the wine shop. We didn’t open till three cuz of the chili cookoff, and then we had two parties from the Willows who were having such a good time (we were too!) they stayed most of the afternoon, getting to know our “gang.”
All in all a Great Afternoon in our little Island Paradise!
our neighbor Arria discovered ancient ties to chris and his wife, he in the middle
This week’s wines:
Legoe Bay Pinot Gris ’09 Washingon $8
Beautiful aromas and flavors of pear, apple, melon, and honey with a round, mouth-filling texture…delicious!
O’Shea Scarborough “The Rebel” Cab ’07 Washington $14
Lots of juicy black cherry, black currant, and blackberry, with a deep note of bitter chocolate on the finish, new wines from a favorite young winemaking team, Travis and Darryn.
Pomum Tinto ’07 Washington $22
Another favorite new winemaker, Javier, a young Spaniard from Ribero del Duero! Dark fruit and licorice aromas, characteristic of Spanish Tintos. Its medium body follows with plum and blackberry flavors and lush tannins. Tempranillo with 16% Cab and 12% Merlot. His second vintage…I LOVE this wine!–compare with the next wine, a classic tinto.
Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero ’04 Spain Parker 92pts $25
Dense ruby/purple color is followed by a projected nose of blackberries, currants, cherries, smoky oak, and crushed rocks. Terrific texture, super purity, an opulent, full-bodied palate, and a long, heady finish.
Great Island Chili Cookoff Wine Tasting and Special Schedule July 17 ’10
ANNOUNCEMENT! ANNOUNCEMENT! ANNOUNCEMENT!
Hear ye hear ye! BECAUSE we are entering our World Famous “Screaming Seagull” cult chili (First Annual Tasting) at the Heritage Trust Chili Cookoff from 12-3, the Saturday wine tasting will be from 3-6pm, after the chili cookoff!
the First Thing you need to know is that the wine shop will NOT be open till THREE this Saturday, because we will be hawking our first Chili at the Great Chili Cookoff from 12-3. Actually my limited experience as a client of these proceedings the past few years is that if you arrive much after 1230 many of the contestant chilis will be Gone, so Word to the Wise: Get There Early!
The logo below is well known to wine aficionados, less so to chili enthusiasts. Let’s just say the first person to identify the heritage of our chili’s namesake (in person) gets a special bottle of wine as a prize, especially if that person votes for our chili as Best of the Day. Not exactly a “bribe,” let’s call it a a “promotion”…yes? And NO, it won’t be one of Theirs…in your Dreams!
THEIR logo…formerly legendary
Then, after the cookoff, we will rush back to the wine shop and open up for the Usual Festivities, except this will be the debut of our New Summer Hours (make a Note Of It) from 2-6pm each Saturday. Consider it an ode to Drydock, a paean to summer, a whimsical gesture. Good through Labor Day weekend.
Wines for this weekend:
Segura Viudes Cava Spain $9
Honestly, haven’t tried it, but Donald (he whose fault this whole thing is) likes it and Judy A extolls its virtues…besides, it’s Cava, for heaven’s sake, how bad could it be?
Chateau L’Estang ’04 France $15
A few of these left from a couple of years ago: Merlot, cab franc, cab sauv: Fruit driven, concentrated nose of red fruits, spices, black currants, with rich, full-bodied palate of raspberry, silky tannins, and lingering finish. Real wine. You’ll like it.
Vente Morales Tempranillo ’09 Spain $8
I was impressed with the gravitas of this inexpensive offering. It has weight, texture, and flavor, none of which is reasonable to expect from a wine in this price range. Entirely enjoyable!
Pali Inman Olivet pinot noir ’05 $32
I have a thing for Brian Loring’s style of pinot noir, so I have a substantial stash of his wines, both under his own label (Loring Wine Company) and for the group of wine lovers who bribed him to be their winemaker at Pali, using fruit from various vineards in California and Oregon. He has an unmistakable style, sumptuous and rich even in bad years, that is much to be admired. Usually I don’t pour wines of this caliber at our tastings, but what the heck?
Built to last
Everywhere in Tuscany are stone walls, cities, buildings, and bridges, endlessly repaired and reconstructed, showing layers of styles and materials, yet all displaying a continuing dedication to fine masonry skills. This is somehow coupled with the aesthetic (and economic) sensibility and the political will to preserve this style of architecture as a central element of the region’s identity.
The amazing thing is that this could NEVER happen here, of course. First, we just don’t have enough history. And second, even if we did, some developer would want to tear it down and build condos. And they would do just that. In America, the Aesthetic of the Moment is a passing whimsey, a momentary fashion, expendable. Everywhere are the tailings of our obsession with destruction, a shock wave that moves through time leaving one trail of new goodies, and ten others of Trash and Rubbish.
So there is something reassuringly stable about these stone walls, stone towns, stone streets. Solid. Substantial. Enduring.
SLIDE SHOW : Built to Last (note: on some pictures the captions disappear for lack of contrast; sorry, could find no way to change font color in Picasa…???)