Last weekend was busy and fun on a lot of levels.
Last Friday Night’s Spanish Wine 101 Class
On Friday night our friend and wine importer Tristan brought in a nice array of Spanish wines for a last-minute tasting. Pat put together some yummy tapas-like snacks, including a Spanish tortilla, which is essentially a potato frittata. We saw them all over Spain as a very popular dish, and no two are alike. Our favorite was at a little restaurant on the main square in Haro (the heart of Rioja), where the waiter told us it was his mother’s recipe. Some versions tend to be densely layered with sliced potatoes; we prefer the more eggy, fluffier style with chunkier bits of potato and more eggs (i.e., diced not sliced!). So that’s the style Pat made Friday night, along with Catalan tomato bread (Pa Amb Tomaquet), a simple dish of fresh bread rubbed with a chunk of tomato and drizzled with olive oil. This dish is everywhere in Catalonia! It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious! We also had a lovely manchego cheese, spicy chorizo, and all with beautiful fresh and chewy ciabatta from Janice’s wood-fired oven. Delicious!
And that was just the food! Tristan also poured eight delicious Spanish wines, providing detailed stories about each one. Some people say that maybe that was too much wine, but that might be like saying everyone had too much fun. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it on short notice, and particular thanks to Tristan for making it happen. He also stayed on through Saturday, pouring many of the same wines. Yes we still have a few of these great wines left!
Kathy Elston’s “fantasy dolls” were a huge hit. It seemed that anyone with any experience with sewing could look at them and see immediately the skill that went into making them. Whimsical and finely finished, the dolls were extremely popular, and many found new homes. Kathy will be bringing in additional dolls, and we hope to keep the show up until the end of June. So if you missed it, make it a point to come by and take a look over the next few weeks!
There are Studio Tours and there are Studio Tours. The weather was great; it was a long weekend; and lots of people were in the mood for an outing. That made for a fairly steady flow both Saturday and Sunday, and the overall mood was “Ready for Summer!” Yay!
Of course many of our Regulars are off on a wine tasting expedition to France with Ryan–Mary Beth has been keeping us posted– so Ryan will not be here to open as usual tonight. Never fear, though, Pat and I will throw open the door at 4pm (till six!) for your Friday low-key salon. We are trying to put something together for munching along with your wine, so stop by and see what’s cooking!
Black Oak Chardonnay ’09 California $8
Incredibly aromatic with a fruit forward profile; smooth and easy with a nicely textured palate; excellent balance and structure with a smooth, pleasant finish. A great value.
Comoloco Monastrell ’10 Spain $8 88pts
100% Monastrell from Jumilla, is sourced from dry-farmed 25- to 30-year-old vines. Fresh and fruity with notes of underbrush, brier, and blueberry, it is a savory, friendly wine for drinking over the next 3-4 years. Another outstanding value…and a dynamite label!
R Wines First Class Shiraz ’06 Australia 90+pts $22
The deep crimson-colored 2006 First Class Shiraz contains a dollop of Viognier. It was barrel-fermented and aged in new and one year French and American oak for 18 months. It has an alluring bouquet of cedar, mineral, tobacco, smoked meat, and blueberry. This leads to a full-bodied Shiraz with excellent depth, savory black fruit flavors, plenty of spice, and a lengthy finish. It will offer prime drinking from 2011 to 2020.
Doyenne Signature Syrah ’08 Washington 93pts $28
The 2008 Signature Syrah contains 2% Viognier with 70% of the fruit coming from Red Mountain and 30% from the Boushey Vineyard in Yakima Valley. Aromas of pomegranate, black raspberry, smoked meat, game, and pepper lead to a complex, succulent, velvety-textured Syrah with exceptional balance and length. Drink it through 2023. (“Doyenne” is DeLille’s sister label used for Rhone-style wines)