Wine Tasting January 22 ’10

WE’RE BACK!

Not that we went anywhere. Mostly I have been consumed with what Guy Noir calls “finding the answers to Life’s persistent questions”…in this case the perennial “Who am I and what am I doing?”

This is because technically speaking, I did retire officially on Jan 1. So all you need to know about that is that retiring is Hard Work! Not “retirement is hard work;” retiring is hard work. I think of it as something like moving out of a house you have lived in for a long time. There is all this Stuff associated with getting ready, filing the appropriate papers with the appropriate places, finishing up all the things at work that need to be either completed or discarded.

And here “appropriate places” means large, faceless, impersonal institutions that have lots of Rules and Timetables. And Processes like okay, you send this form to your Local Office, then they mail it to us (no, no, not email…Snail Mail!), then we pass it around, and then we mail it back to you, so you can mail it to the other nameless, faceless institution that has to process it before you can actually be, you know, “retired.” And while it is nice that, after you put in your 20 minutes navigating through the phone menu (if you have ever eaten spaghetti, press One…) to get to a Real Person, that person is often warm and really wants to help, No One can speed the movement of the Great Wheels of Bureaucracy.

All I’m saying is, the process of retiring is so exhausting, who would ever have the energy to go back to work? Well, okay, I do, so now instead of working 5 days with 2 days off, I work 2 days with five days off (not in a row) teaching (“coordinating” would be a better term) a course at WWU, a first offering, very innovative, a bit of a trail blazing adventure, enjoyable but edgy and challenging.

Well…enough about Me! What about YOU?

There are some wine shops where December is a Big Deal, lots of Christmas sales, that sort of thing. But here it just doesn’t work that way. Sometime around Thanksgiving Islanders kind of disappear for a month or two, and bottom line is, there isn’t anything you could call “Christmas Shopping.” No, around here lots of people hit the road, off to wherever, back next month or the one after that.

So that means You, Our Dear Public. Feel free to post your winter adventures here on our humble Blog. Where did you go? What did you do? What did you learn?

As I finish this post we are just back from an absolutely wonderful dinner at Ciao Thyme, a Bellingham “restaurant” (not exactly, see their website). Although the food is always meticulously and artistically prepared by long time ago Island chef Mataio, tonight was a quantum leap beyond, absolutely delicious and balanced, Highly recommended!

Wines for this week:

Legoe Bay viognier ’07   Washington       $8
Still an incredible bargain, this is the new release of Lummi Island’s only winery’s Flagship wine. This viognier adds subtle floral and fruit notes that make it a candidate for your white wine du jour; lots of fruit, great texture, and balanced acidity.

La Quercia Aglianico  ‘09   Italy   $11
Believed to be an ancient Greek wine grape, aglianico is a full bodied with notes of ripe plum and white pepper on fine-grained tannins.

Domaine Gardies Les Milleres ’07 France $14    89pts
This blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan carries aromas of lightly cooked red raspberry, grenadine, walnut husk, juniper, and vivid concentration of tart red fruit, resin, and tar, & accents of cardamom and black pepper, and abundant, fine-grained tannin that will match perfectly with red meats.

Sheridan “Mystique” ’07    Washington WS92pts      $21
A blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc aged in 25% new French oak for 24 months. Purple/black in color, it delivers a nose of balsam wood, mineral, lavender, spice box, and intense black cherry, and black currant fruit. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, and structured on the palate, it has loads of fruit and spice, outstanding concentration, impeccable balance, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. It will evolve for several years and will deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2022. It is an outstanding value.

Wine Tasting

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