Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Power of the Decanter

Shiraz is the kind of wine people love or hate. You either love its spiciness or hate it and associate it as a “heartburn wine”. Well, recently I bought the 2002 d’Arenberg McLaren Vale Shiraz to try with some BBQ. On the bottle it says “will benefit from aging or decanting”…so I decanted it for about 70 minutes because we tend to be on the “heartburn wine” side. I’ll tell you what-it was really great. You probably wouldn’t have been able to tell it’s a shiraz. It as almost Malbec-like. I don’t know if it’s the shiraz or the Power of the Decanter, which you should never underestimate.
But it was really good- I’d recommend it for $15 at Sams’s Club. I've also had a few other d'Arenberg wines and would recommend them as well. I like something about the label too...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wedding Wine Tasting Part Sechs (six) - FINAL

We put the Hayman & Hill Pinot Noir against:

Niebaum Coppola Pinot Noir: Absolutely no nose. Really. Less scent than water. However, it does have a taste. Somewhat earthy, fairly light, not much finish. For people who get turned off by pinot “funk”, I’d recommend it. But, it wasn’t the favorite.

Marquee GSM: Still jammy. Actually has a cranberry juice kind of finish. We considered it for people who don’t like the oak and tannins in most reds, but in the end we chose……

Chateau Ste. Michelle Ophelin: Just good. A little fruity, little chocolate. Not too strong of tannins, just a little. In fact, in comparison to the other two, it had the most tannic presence, but I know if we drank it with the Kenwood it wouldn’t even come close.

So, yes, that means we are done with the wedding wine tasting. YEAHHHHHHH!!!!! (Unless we decide to serve sparkling…which we probably won’t.)

Final wedding wine selections are: Pine Ridge Viogner/Chenin Blanc, Kenwood Sonoma Merlot, and the Chateau Ste. Michelle Orphelin.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What ever happened to the wave??

No, not the wave at a sporting event....the wave you give someone who lets you over in traffic. Two days ago I let three people over during the course of a day and not one waved and I thought I should blog about this. Then I didn't. Then it happened again yesterday. And today. I mean really, what ever happened to the wave? I wave even if I "technically" cut someone off...I feel its sort of my way of saying "sorry I cut you off, thanks for not getting all road rage-y". I imagine them saying "(yelling) F*CK YOU....oh, wait, she waved. At least she waved.".
That and the lack of blinker usage gets me. I don't claim to always use my blinker, however, 98% of the time if there is a person behind me and if they will be affected by me turning (ie have to slow down) I certainly use my blinker. I understand why people don't use it in cut-throat must get over traffic situations (the kind where you cut someone off and then wave in hopes they don't pull out a .45), but in general. Your normal 35 mph streets, where you're already in the right lane, but you're turning right and if you notified the person behind you, they could hop over to the other lane. Or, if you see someone is trying to turn left and you're turning right, and if you used your blinker, they could make their turn. But you don't, so they miss it. Those situations. Why can't we all be a little nicer? When we learn how to drive, blinker usage is part of it and I know our mom's taught us all how to wave...... I wish we could have a big Driving Manner Movement....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I love Quiktrip

I love Quiktrip. Its a great gas station. In Phoenix, they didn't have QTs when I first moved there, but when they first opened, I was so excited I would drive out of my way to get gas the point I actually ran out of gas once because I refused to fill up at another gas station. To those of you who don't know what Quiktrip is- its like a Love's or a Pilot...but cleaner. You don't realize how great QT is until you live in a city without one. They help keep other gas stations cleaner, really, there was a noticeable difference in the quality of other gas stations once QT moved to Phoenix. I love QT for a few reasons, its clean, well lit, people are friendly, the store is well staffed, and they are hardly ever out of stuff. In addition, the gas prices are usually competitive. And, they have funny ads- like this one. It made me laugh so I took a picture.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Age your wine in seconds????

I recently got a wine catalong and saw the weirdest thing....its supposed to age your wine a year per second it touches it:

"Clef du Vin is a scientifically-designed measuring device made from a mix of precious metals. Made for all wines, Clef du Vin, when dipped into a glass of wine, will age the wine one year for each second the alloy is in contact with the wine. Two seconds equals two years from now, three seconds equals three years from now, etc. Take the guesswork out of collecting with this invaluable tool. The individual Pocket Professional is presented in a handsome burgundy leather case."
How....weird. I know rushing the aging process is something everyone is looking to do - I've even heard freezing wine can age wine at a fast speed. Although weird, its understandable why people try stuff like this. Just like how people are trying to create lab diamonds-why wait if you can get the same thing now??
The pocket size one is 99.99 so I don't think I'll be trying it out soon, but I admit, I'm intrigued yet...very skeptical.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wedding wine tasting part πέντε (Five in Greek)

We better hurry up and pick a wine, I'm running out of languages.

I forgot to update with the latest wedding wine posting:

We put the Pine Ridge and the Evolution against:

Arlie 7- blend of 7 grapes: Muller Thurgau, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, and Muscat Ottonel. It was good, a bit sweet for what we’re looking for though. (It’s a smidge sweeter than the Evolution) Fun label though.

Cline Viogner-recommended by someone at the Wine Chateau. While we both liked it a lot, we liked it because it tasted like Chardonnay with a bit of butter. (but no oak.) So, its out as a wedding wine contender because we don’t want a Chardonnay-like wine.

We decided on the Pine Ridge. Two wines down, one more to go. The final red tasting is going to be a tough, because there’s two I really like.

Monday morning blog dump

With school and work and assistantship (lions and tigers and bears oh my) this will have to be a Monday morning blog dump:

Cubs go 100 years!!
Congrats to the Chicago Cubs for going 100 years without a world championship. Keep it up guys!

Another video in the works?
This cracks me up- Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon just got married. In case you don’t know who he is, he’s the guy who spent One Night in Paris. Well, he probably spent a lot of nights in Paris, but he was with Paris Hilton in her video. And of course you can forget the Pamela / Tommy Lee video? (If you haven’t seen it….he’s…uh…got an extra arm between his legs)
Now, the test is will they film themselves? It will decide if they were really upset about the tapes being released or if it was really a PR thing. (which is my vote) But isn't it great- good ole USA lets anyone be a porn star.

Door holding standard?
The other day I was walking behind a man, about oh, 20 steps. He came to a door and held it open for me….which meant I had to practically run to allow him to hold it open for me. When someone does that, I always run because by all means, I don’t want to discourage gentlemanly behavior. Its funny thought, because while women generally hold the door open for each other as well, its usually for those about 3 steps behind us- as in if the door will smack them in the face, we’ll hold it open. However, there has to be a happy medium in social politeness. So, I decided its 7-10 steps to the door. Of course, if someone is carrying something or will clearly have a hard time opening the door, certainly rules are different.

Sicko pleading guilty.
From USA Today: “The former pizza parlor manager accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting two boys is pleading guilty in the case because he wants to spare his family and those of his victims any further pain, his defense attorney said.
Michael Devlin was expected to enter a plea on Monday in Franklin County Circuit Court, the first in a series of hearings this week in four jurisdictions where he faces more than 80 counts. Devlin will plead guilty next week to kidnapping and sexual abuse charges, a prosecutor and a relative of one of the boys said Friday.”

Good to hear it- hopefully this will keep them out of having to relive it any more than they have to with their own therapists. I just hope this guy is forced to spend his life in prison. Ass raping prison too.

Crazy headlines
“Dozens feel pinched by lobsterman's tale”
I didn’t know “lobsterman” was an actual term, but the story is evidently about how “John Kluth, lobsterman and alleged con man, is accused of netting an elite catch: a judge, an assistant attorney general, a state commissioner, a Marine colonel, a consumer protection investigator, an IRS agent and assorted licensed professionals…….he allegedly stole more than $27,000 with a story about a broken-down truck and a load of perishable lobsters.
Heh, who knew “lobsterman” was a profession. I guess fisherman is, but I’ve just never heard of lobsterman. Catchy headline though.

Monday, October 1, 2007

West County Wine Extravaganza

What a fun day on Saturday! We went to Lukas Liquors, had some wine. Since I cleared out Schnucks, I bought all of Lukas's Kenwood Merlot, although it was a couple bucks more, for the wedding and got another contender for the Wedding White. Then we went to Wine and Cheese Place, with some more wine. Then to Wine Chateau, where we had …..some more wine. Then sushi for dinner. Then more wine at Yia Yia’s. Actually, one of my favorite wines of the day was at Yia Yia’s. The 2004 Chateau Ste. Michelle Orphelin (red Rhone style blend of Mouvedre, Grenache and Cinsault) It was really good. Here’s an interesting tidbit about the wine and the name from the website:

“We grow many different Rhone varieties at our Columbia Valley vineyards, many of which don’t have a home when it comes time to blending. These varieties, such as Mourvedre and Grenache, are some of the more interesting varieties winemakers get to work with, and it always seemed a shame to have to blend away these orphans. Orphelin was born by trying to create a true Rhone-style blend from these wines, while showcasing Washington’s true potential for Rhone varieties. The wine bursts with ripe, red fruit and layers of spice and milk chocolate. On the palate, candied cherries and ripe strawberries abound offering an enticing, complex mouthfeel and a smiling finish.”

Hmm-I was curious about the name. How interesting that "Orphelin" comes from "Orphan" grapes. I'll have to agree about the smiling finish though-I did like it a lot. It was $11 for an 8 ounce glass at restaurant pricing, so I’m guessing its around 15-22/bottle. I’m going to go look for it.

After that, I decided to have some more wine at Big Sky- I had the Spellbound Cabernet. Also very yummy! I was actually suprised I liked it so much because of the price point. (you can also order directly from the website for $15/bottle including S&H) Its made by Robert Mondavi Jr. and his wife and another couple to focus on affordable and intersting wines. Another interesting tidbit, its 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Dornfelder. I've never heard of Dornfelder...

"A friend brought us a unique red varietal called Dornfelder, affectionately known as “German Pinot Noir” by many winemakers. As we blended the Dornfelder in with the Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine became more lively and showed a great amount of spiciness while maintaining the true Spellbound and California Cabernet Sauvignon style."
Its worth trying and I'll be looking for it out and about. Who doesn't like a good cab for under $20 a bottle???