Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wine in the morning

As you might notice, I use Sitemeter. It tells you what brought people to your website or blog, within some level of detail. The vast majority of my visitors (who don’t comment for some reason) come from Google searches. My public service announcement about how to make ringtones for my Sony phone seems to be a top traffic point, as is my post on wine koozies, Black Mountain Pinot Noir, and what to eat with chicken marsala. Of course things like salmon and chardonnay, or specific searches for wine come up, how to age wine, etc, are searches as well.

However, a recent review of my sitemeter referring urls revealed a search for “wine in the morning”. Well. I just don’t know what to say. Don’t get me wrong, I drink in the morning sometimes, and no not just on St. Patrick’s Day or vacation. Sometimes, particularly if my parents are in town, we’ll have some Godiva & coffee or even a shot of Rumplemintz in the morning. (yes, I know having a shot of Rumplemintz in the morning with one’s parents seems very odd, but that’s another post) But this search made me think about all the drinks I’ve had in the morning. Probably the closest to wine in the morning I’ve had is a Mimosa (sparkling wine/OJ). I feel like I’m letting someone down though. I mean, they came to me, Wine Lush, for an answer and I didn’t provide them with one.

So here I am, at 7:58 in the morning. I didn’t drink anything last night, so I’m not hungover, and I’m looking in my wine fridge to see what sounds good. Now, I’m not actually going to open a bottle of wine. I don’t work today-Thursdays I stay at home, do school work, run errands, etc. So I could if I wanted to, but I’m not going to. But if I were to drink, what would I open? Red wine doesn’t sound good. Well, certainly not a Cab Sav, maybe a Beaujolais, something lighter and fruity, I suppose would be ok. Chardonnay doesn’t sound good, of course Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t sound good. But, a fruity Riesling sounds pretty good, or some wine that would go good with spicy food. Of course, with or without OJ, a sparkling sounds nice, although not a brut.

So, dear reader from Oregon, should you search again, my morning wine recommendation is something fruity, such as Beaujolais, Reisling, and a sec or semi-sec sparkling.

Regular readers, feel free to offer your suggestions and to all my passerby readers, please, stay a bit and comment, even if you disagree!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hold the grass, Sauvignon Blanc

Its probably no secret that I'm not a Sauvignon Blanc fan. I don't hate all sauv blancs, just mostly dislike AU & NZ, and don't care much for CA and find White Bordeaux (blend of Sauv Blanc and Semmilion) to be the most tolerable. That being said, I don't voluntarily purchase them. However, we do occasionally get some in our wine clubs. One of which was Niner, from California. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of being with Sauv blanc fans and so I brought it, in hopes it would be well liked and enjoyed by all, or at least most, minus me.

Here's the skinny on the wine:
Grown in conditions similar to those in Bordeaux, France, the Niner Wine Estates 2006 Sauvignon Blanc was produced from the leading Paso Robles vineyard Bootjack Ranch. Planted mostly to red varietals, a small portion of the Bootjack Ranch property is planted to Sauvignon Blanc, as is typical in France since the grape thrives in the same conditions. Cool nights and warm days contribute to a long growing season, ultimately yielding grapes of deep color and concentrated flavors. This award-winning vintage received a Gold Medal from the Central Coast Wine Competition, a Silver Medal from the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, as well as a Silver Medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Fresh and rich in texture and flavor, the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc is aromatically lively with aromas and flavors of pear, grapefruit, and pineapple that are juxtaposed by persimmon, lemon meringue and buttery nuances. It is refreshing, with a good mouthfeel, full body and a nice acid balance. The soft citrus candy finish lingers on the palate. Winery food pairing recommendations include cheese tortellini with pesto and toasted pine nuts, grilled swordfish with olive tapenade, and pizza with spinach, bacon, and caramelized onions. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy now until 2010.

Back to the tasting....By itself, I thought it was fine. It wasn't grassy at all, and the citrus was fairly minimal. I had hopes reading the description (buttery nuances) that I might actually like it. Then we had it with some bacon wrapped dates and then some salad with figs, goat cheese and a mustard vinagrette. It was really good with both, but it was best with the salad. It moved to one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs. Mind you, its a short list, but the acidity was just enough to cut through the fat/oil, but not so much I felt like I was drinking lemon grass. I like wines I can drink with or without food. I'm not sure if I would purchase it again, but I would certainly recommend it for someone who tends to dislike the grassy Sauv Blanc style.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Guessing with a reason

I know in a post last week I mentioned that I had two blind tastes last weekend so I want to tell you about them. Well the first was one organized by a wine shop. I didn’t do so well. I didn’t get any totally right, as in both location and correct varietal(s). On one, I got the country right and got one grape right, but it was a blend. On another, I knew the country, picked the wrong grape. And one, I was close, I had it narrowed down to two and picked the wrong one in my “final answer”. Frustrating, but I should see it as I am getting better.

Another one was my wine club’s. Mr. Lush picked 3 new world and I picked 3 old world. And you know what? Even though I knew what I had, I still only got one right of my 3 right. However, I am getting a bit better, I have an idea, I’m just not good yet.

I could say that October’s not over yet, but it is almost over. I still have a chance of having it all come together in some way, but at least at this point I can say I’ve gotten better, because in the beginning of the month I was really just blindly guessing. Now I’m actually guessing with a reason. Maybe guessing correctly in a month is too much to hope for?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Europe 2009 ... the dream and the beginning

Well, as some of you know, 2009 is a big year for me. I finish graduate school, turn 30, and Mr. Lush and I will be married a year. All good reasons to take a trip to Europe, don't you think? Well, I'm in the very baby beginning phases of planning. So far, we've decided Burgundy for sure. Everyplace else, including a non wine country visit to either Ireland or Amsterdam, is up in the air. Although last night we looked at the map and Ireland is really far and while Amsterdam is far as well, its not as far.

Well in my preliminary searching, I'm looking up existing tours to get ideas, as well as hotel names, chateaus, etc. I found one that has a lot of great stuff. Its private and its a bit expensive, though. Ok, more than a bit. Read on:

LUXURY WINE & CULTURE (11 Days, 10 Nights)
To really know a wine you need to know its terroir, an utterly French alliance between a wine and the region that produces it. Come along on a tour de force journey through the wine regions of Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, & Chablis. Taste each region's different wine and enjoy gastronomic cuisine. This journey will enable you to sample the finest wine and cuisine day after day. Your journey will conclude with a visit to Paris . This is a once in a lifetime experience!


Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), you will be met and escorted in your private car by a professional private guide, who will stay with you throughout your journey. You will be driven to the prestigious 4-star Château de Montvillargenne. Located only 30 minutes from CDG, and yet secluded in the Chantilly Forest, this Château was built at the turn of the 20th century, combining local and foreign architectural styles including Norman, Württemberg, and Béarn. Here you will find the perfect setting for some R &R after your long trip. The Master Chef of the Château will prepare a light 4-course gastronomic dinner for you this evening, and the sommelier from Maxim's in Paris will help you select your wines for the meal.

After buffet breakfast, departure for the illustrious Champagne region of France. Your first stop will be the town of Epernay, one of the two towns that produce champagne and the home of Moët et Chandon, the world-renowned champagne house. This house makes, arguably, the most famous champagne in the world, Dom Pérignon. After an exclusive private tour of Moët et Chandon cellars, the ´Chef de Caves' will guide you though a champagne-tasting, and you will have the opportunity to purchase some superb champagne from this eminent champagne house. We will continue to the city of Reims, the other home of champagne. Reims is called the "City of Kings" because its Cathedral was once the site of the coronations of the Kings of France. Indulge in a gastronomic lunch at the 2-Michelin Star Boyer Les Crayères, including wines selected by the chef. After lunch, visit the famed Maison Pommery in Reims with its 11-mile galleries. These galleries, lined with sculptures carved into the chalk walls, are used to allow the champagnes to age under precisely controlled conditions. From Pommery you will be taken to the legendary champagne house of Mumm founded in 1827, for a visit to its cellars that hold an inventory of over 25 million bottles. Your day ends at the Château d'Etoges where you will spend the night. Just 30 minutes from Reims, this 17th-century chateau, surrounded by a moat, was once frequented by kings during their travels east. This evening, the chateau will feel like a grand private home where you can relax for the night.

After a restful night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, depart towards the Alsace-Lorraine region. Your destination is the beautiful village of Ribeauville situated at the foot of vine-clad hills, with its charming old shop signs, turrets, pierced balconies, and flower-decorated houses. This village is celebrated for its Riesling and Geürztraminer wines. Overnight at the Clos St-Vincent, a charming 4-star hotel surrounded by vineyards that affords a great view of the Alsatian countryside. Mr. Chapotin, the owner, will provide a dinner of Alsatian specialties as well as comfortable lodgings for relaxation after a full day of traveling.

Today, you will experience part of "The Wine Road of Alsace" and discover wineries off the tourist track. Your guided excursion will take you north along the wine road starting with a visit to Sélestat, an important city during the Renaissance. Overlooking the town is the Château Huat-Koenigsbourg, the largest château in Alsace. This 15th-century castle was dismantled during the Thirty Years War by the Swedes and rebuilt by Germany in 1901 as a gift to Kaiser Wilhelm II. Continue on to Oberbeim for free time for shopping at your leisure and lunch on your own. We recommend a light lunch so that you can thoroughly enjoy your elegant 7-course dinner this evening. In the afternoon, travel along the wine road sampling wine in a few villages including Riquewihr, well-known for its "Eau de Vie de Framboise" a distilled raspberry liquor. Then after some to relax at the hotel, you will be taken to the renowned Auberge de l'Ill in Illhaeusern. At this 3-Michelin-star restaurant known for delicacies like Frog Mousseline created by Paul Haeberlin, you will feast on a sumptuous 7-course gourmet dinner featuring specialties chosen for you by the Chef.

Today you will say "au revoir" to the Alsace region, but before leaving, you will enjoy the morning in Colmar, a medieval city that is a gateway to the Rhineland. The third largest city in Alsace, Colmar is also an excellent place to ask your guide where to buy delicious Alsatian wines like Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat d'Alsace, Tokay Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Noir. Now, with the best of the local wines of the region in your suitcase, you will travel along the German and Swiss borders to still another border, the border of the Burgundy wine country. Your drive is bound for Dijon, the mustard capital of the world. Your home for the next two nights, Château de Gilly, is located between Dijon and Beaune, the capital of the Burgundy wine region. This château was the home of the Cistercian Monks until the French Revolution in 1790. It was restored by the government in 1978 and became a hotel ten years later. Dinner tonight will be in the chateau's Le Clos Prieur Restaurant, under the direction of Chef Olivier Dupart, newly arrived from the 3-Michelin-star Lucas Carton in Paris.

This morning starts with a guided tour of the Hospices de Beaune. Founded in 1443 as a paupers' hospital and home to the brilliant Ven der Wayden altarpiece "The Last Judgement", the Hospices remains famous today thanks to the world's largest annual charity auction ´Sales of the Wines of the Hospices de Beaune'. Following the tour, savor a gastronomic 6- course lunch at the 3-Michelin-star Lameloise Restaurant including some local wines: Apéritif Bourguignon, Chassagne-Montrachet 2000, Savigny-lès-Beaune aux Guettes 1er Cru 2000. After this culinary delight, you will pass through the villages of Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay, Pommard, and Montrachet. During this journey, your guide will discuss the origins of the region's wines, including the villages, the soil, and the grapes. He will also examine the history of the region, as well as some ancient tales. Cellar visits and comparative wine-tastings will take place throughout the day. Upon return to the Château de Gilly, another delectable dinner will take place in the prestigious Le Clos Prieur restaurant.

After breakfast we will leave for Vézelay, another city in Burgundy and always a high point of time spent in this region. Vézelay is a living museum of French antiquity. Frozen in the Medieval time period, this town holds what is believed to be the tomb of Mary Magdalene, the'beloved and pardoned sinner,' making it one of the great pilgrimage sites in the Christian world. Continue on to your hotel for the night, Hotellerie les Clos in the town of Chablis, home of the wine of the same name. This charming hotel is located in the heart of Chablis, right across from the city hall. Michel Vignaud and his team of sommeliers will welcome you to their vaulted cellar and discuss the different grapes of Chablis and Auxerrois, followed by a wine tasting of: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Chablis 1er Cru, and Chablis Grand Cru. A 5-course culinary feast will follow in the Hostellerie's
one-Michelin-star restaurant.

After this gastronomic 'tour de force' in Alsace, Burgundy, and Chablis, it is time to return to Paris, the City of Light, where a pleasant 3-night stay awaits you at the Hotel Meurice. This 5-star luxury hotel, member of the Dorchester Group and Leading Hotels of the World, is the first choice of celebrities, presidents, and sovereigns. Each morning, you will be served an American breakfast in either your room or the hotel's magnificent main dining room. The rest of the day is at your leisure in Paris. Dinner this evening will be at Le Céladon Restaurant. This Regency-style one-Michelin-star restaurant is adjacent to the Hotel Westminster, just a short walk from your hotel along the Rue de Castiglione. With a backdrop of pale green damask wall hangings and Chinese porcelain, painting, drawings, and antique books, a gastronomic meal will be prepared for you by Le Céladon's master chef, Christophe Moisand, formerly sous-chef at Le Meurice. This restaurant is known for specialties like its choice fowl, cream soup and crêpes with 'Paimpol' (white beans and black pasta).

DAYS 09 & 10: PARIS
There is so much that Paris has to offer that one day simply would not be enough, so we've given you two days to explore the city on your own. The Concierge at the Hotel Meurice will be able to direct you to all best places to visit and arrange any number of activities for you during your stay. This is also a great time to do some last-minute shopping before your return home. On Tuesday evening, your farewell dinner will take place at Le Meurice, the Hotel Meurice's two-Michelin-star restaurant. Under an elaborate ceiling adorned with gilt and crystal chandeliers, in what is surely one of the cities most opulent restaurants, Chef Marc Marchand will prepare for you a French culinary experience that you will never forget as the fitting climax of your French gastronomic journey. To complement the excellent cuisine, Antoine Zocchetto, the restaurant's sommelier, has selected the perfect wines for your last evening's dinner in Paris.

Transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) for your flight back home.
Note: this luxury journey can be customized to fit your needs.

* Transportation in a luxury car with a certified driver
* 1 Night accommodation on B&B at Château de Montvillargenne
* 1 Night accommodation on B&B at Château d¢Etoges
* 2 Nights on B&B at CLOS ST VINCENT
* 2 Nights on B&B at Château de Gilly
* 1 Night on B&B at Hostellerie les Clos
* 3 Nights on B&B at Hotel Meurice
Not Included
* International airfare (upon request)
* Meals, drinks not specified on the itinerary
* Items of personal nature (laundry, phone charges, etc)
* Special dinners per the program

* $6,100 per person
* $1,500.00 for a single supplement

Yeah, $12 grand. Not including airfare or some meals, or the thousands in wine we'd buy. Ah. To wish.....

But, at least it's a start. We're thinking Day 2, 6, 7, interest us most. Stay tuned for more and please, share ideas!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Double Tip

As some of you might know, I used to be in the service industry. I was a busser, then a hostess, then a server with a short stint being a bartender throughout college and beyond. So, I often evaluate the service I receive on many levels but usually Mr. Lush and I are low maintenance people who drink, so our checks are high and we tip well. However, I realized with horror last night, that I’m not the tipper I hoped I’d be.

I mean, I tip fine, its just there’s a difference between tipping fine and being the tipper that your server self wanted to you to be. When I was a server I expected 20% for meeting their needs and expected more when I exceeded them or when the table required more attention than others. Particularly tables with children. Do you know why servers typically dislike tables with children? I won’t speak for all, but why I was less than thrilled when my party of 13 ended up being 8 adults and 5 children, versus 13 adults:
· Kids eat cheap and obviously don’t drink. This lowers the check, which since we tip off of the total check, lowers the tip.
· Parents often drink less, if anything, when they are with their kids. What might have been 2-3 cocktails per person turns into 1 or 2 beers for the whole party. Once again, lowers check, lowers tip.
· Kids make a mess. Even the most conscientious parent, who doesn’t let them empty sugar packets and tries to keep the food on the plate, can’t keep their 4 year old’s eating area as neat as an adult.

So, when I waited tables, I swore that I would over tip when I got great service and especially when I got great service when I had kids.

Well, back to present day. Last night we had family photos, with Mr. Lush’s whole family at a park. Afterwards, we decided to go to Red Lobster. Of course, our party was 8 adults, 5 kids. As I said before, not much drinking was happening. Since only one person had a beer and Mr. Lush and I had a solid weekend of drinking, we decided to opt for ice tea and a coke. We had two servers, who did a great job. Despite the fact the kids weren’t next to the parents, the servers kept who was on who’s check straight, they kept the refills coming (Mr. Lush goes through about 4 glasses of iced tea), ensured there were plenty of paper napkins, plenty of those biscuits, all the things that attentive servers do. Well, when Mr. Lush and I got our check, I tipped about 25%. As I drove home, I realized that wait a minute, our check was more than it should’ve been. Of course, I didn’t think twice to look at the check in great detail, because typically we’d have a cocktail or two so it was less than it would’ve been. So I pull out the receipt and see that the group gratuity of 15% was added in. So, I actually tipped our server about 40% on our check. I got upset. I mean, why didn’t he tell us? I was all ready to go home and call then I realized….

Oh my god. Who have I become?

Its my fault I didn’t look. And more importantly so what if I tipped him 40%. That might sound like a lot, but really, come on, it was Red Lobster and we didn’t drink, so it was only 5 or 6 bucks extra. I’m sure some in our party didn’t give any extra and their service certainly warranted more than 15%, so in the grand scheme of things, perhaps we helped them out a bit, made up for the fact they worked hard for a small check.

Even if everyone double tipped, who cares? Didn’t I love the double top when I waited tables???

Yes, yes I most certainly did.
So, go forth and grossly over tip this week. Do it now, before you get to the belt tightening holidays. Why not?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The appendix is an evil flu giving machine

Last week my good friend Lucy called for aid to assist her in the war against the cold and flu. Of course, I offered my two cents, but she knows she can’t take what I say to heart. Why, you ask? It might be the fact I've had the flu once since 1993. Of course, I do get a 1-2 week cold twice or so every year.

Wow, I must eat great and take excellent care of myself right? Well, no. Her post made me think of what I consume on a daily or nearly daily basis during flu season:

I drink Minute Maid Vitamin enhanced OJ as well as cranberry juice a lot. Of course, I drink both with lots of vodka and wine (mostly red) on days I don't have vodka. Sometimes both in the same day. I also drink coffee and eat meat every day and personally consume about a half gallon of skim milk per week. I don’t really eat veggies, although I try to get them in at least 2-3 times a week. I wish I could say exercise was a regular thing, but its not.

Clearly my diet is not what normal feel is healthy, but Mr. Lush does the same and he's usually not sick much more than I am.

Of course, I must get the flu shot, right? No. In fact, my mother gave me a hard time because I told her I’m not getting it and I don’t every get it.

So, why on earth am I healthier than my friend Lucy who exercises regularly, eats veggies everyday, (or nearly) and takes vitamins? Here’s a couple of theories, knowing that simply putting this in cyberspace means I’ll have the worst sickness of my life this year:

Theory 1: Appendixes make you sick.
In 1993 I had an appendectomy. Does the appendix serve a purpose, positive or negative? Here’s a snippet I found:
Although the study stops short of providing direct proof of this proposed purpose for the appendix, researchers say there's a strong case to be made for the appendix based on new information about the role of bacteria in intestinal health.
Hmm. Well, it stopped short of direct proof, so I can’t put any stock in the fact that appendix have a good purpose, although even if they do, everything I’ve found is digestive health related.
So perhaps having my appendix removed has helped me stave off the flu?

Theory 2: My body is a well conditioned germ fighting machine.
I was sick a lot as a child and frequently am around germs, thus my body is well oiled germ fighting machine. When Mr. Lush is sick, I don’t steer clear. I don’t even avoid kissing him. As Lucy can attest to, when she says she’s sick, I don’t mind. Provided they are up to social visits, I will hang around them anyway, although no, I don’t kiss them. That’s mostly because its not socially appropriate to make out with one’s friend and her husband than the fact I’m scared of their germs.
In short, while I don’t go out of my way to share germs with those who are sick, I don’t avoid my sick friends either. Perhaps this is constant conditioning for my immune system??

Theory 3: I use other people’s illnesses as a quasi flu shot.
The flu shot gives you the flu in small doses, and lets your body build up immunity to it. Perhaps as I’m around other people, I’m slowly building up immunity to their sickness. For example, I don’t get sick when Mr. Lush gets sick. When I was younger, I didn’t get sick when my parents got sick. I don’t get sick when office mates or good friends get sick. Which, sort of goes back to Theory 2 I suppose.

Theory 4: I am a freak of nature.
Perhaps that’s it.

But, just for fun, ask around to your friends and see if you can find anyone else without an appendix who has an oddly lucky immune system and in the meantime, drink liquor, eat meat, and be lazy. But do it on a consistent basis. Who knows, that might be the key.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grab-n-go lunch options?

I shamefully admit something.... the Lush family is uber lazy when it comes to making lunches to take to work. We both have to be at work at 7:30 so we sleep in to the last possible minute, making the 3-5 minutes it might take to throw together a leftover lunch or put some lunchmeat between two slices of bread way too much work. That leads to me typically not bringing anything, because I can go out and get something but Mr. Lush is stuck at his job for his 30 minute lunch, so he has to bring something. Luckily, he's not a picky eater, however, MSG doesn't agree with him, so frozen dinners are pretty much out.
We are not planners like Lucy, so we don't think or make time to prepare a lunch in the evening, or if we do its far and few between. So he is left with grab-n-go options, remembering his work kitchen in pretty nonexistent- think dormroom.
However, luckily for us, more and more self-contained meals have been popping up. What a wonderful country, eh? See below for some frequent options in Mr. Lush's lunchbox, with a new addition we haven't tried yet-the Healthy Choice pasta. Before you feel too sorry for him, we usually do have fresh fruit on hand, as well as yogurt and relatively healthy breakfast bars, so its not like he's living on Easy Mac.
But, if you have any other options, please, do share.....perhaps I'm missing them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So, a blind squirrel does find a nut now and then....

Well, I'm happy to report a mini-success in my blind tasting. Tuesday at Casa Luce we brought sushi and had some blind wines courtesy of Lucy, and she suggested I blog about my success.

Of course, we had sparkling wine and it was yummy. I guessed it was a US sparkling cuvee, thinking perhaps it was Gloria Ferrar, one of Lucy's standby's. It wasn't, but it was a US sparkling- Domaine Ste. Michelle, which was profiled in Lucy's blog. Our other wine was fruity with just a bit of sweetness it in, I guessed a Gewurztraminer Pinot Gris blend. It was a Gewurztraminer Marsanne blend. I would've never guessed the Marsanne, but I'm happy I got the Gewurztraminer part right.

So, I got some close to right, I suppose that counts as a little something? I will admit, I did have a bit of insider knowledge-I knew Lucy wouldn't serve wines that wouldn't go well with sushi so I had the ability to narrow down the options. Alas, it appears I do better in whites than reds in general, but that might be because there are less white varietals that I have access to?

I'm attending a blind tasting this Friday, wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shove it ... on your bumper

I have to start this post by reminding you that I enjoy clever advertising and slogans that gets to its target audience. Remember my post earlier this year about the meatarian ad? Ok, so keep that in mind. The other day I saw this bumper sticker and laughed out loud, because it took me just a second to get it.

In my search to find it, I ran across some others that I found to be clever. I tried to be fair and include some from both parties that made me laugh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My mistake... I need cheat sheets

Well, I’m not doing so great in my Blind Ambition Tour. I think I’ve accurately guessed 4, maybe 5 and missed at least 10. Its hard, not that I thought it wouldn’t be. I think my biggest mistake was not making a cheat sheet of common characteristics in varietals. I just don’t remember all of them. I have a large book, which is comprehensive, but I can’t easily take that with me everywhere. So, in hopes of having more of a successful end to the tour than the beginning, I have started to compile a list of such common aromas and flavors of varietals that I can put on my pda. Here’s a couple. Wish me luck!

Petit Verdot
Fruit: vinous, black fruits, blackberry
Floral: (none)
Spice: pencil shavings, molasses, tar
Herbal: weeds, nettles
Terroir: leather
Oak (light): vanilla, coconut, sweet wood
Oak (heavy): oak, smoke, toast, tar
Bottle Age: cedar, cigar box

Fruit: raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cranberry, black cherry, (jammy can be used with all)
Herbal: briar, licorice, nettle
Spice: cinnamon, black pepper
Carbonic Maceration: tutti-frutti, candy, bubblegum
Oak (light): vanilla, coconut, sweet wood
Oak (heavy): oak, smoke, toast, tar
Bottle Age: musk, mushroom, earth, leather cedar, cigar box

Cabernet Franc
Fruit: raspberry, cherry, plum, strawberry
Floral: violet
Herbal: bell pepper, stems
Oak (light): vanilla, coconut, sweet wood
Oak (heavy): oak, smoke, toast, tar
Bottle Age: musk, mushroom, earth, cedar, cigar box

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Layla lush update

Here she is at a park, being a good girl "staying" while I took her picture.

Friday, October 3, 2008

First blind taste test-failed

Well, the first blind taste test has been conducted…..and I failed.

First, lets set the tone. I had a hellauva week. I had presentations, lit reviews, regularly scheduled readings, as well as having to grade 160, yes, 160 tests. (I’m a teaching assistant as well) Well, I come home from dropping off said exams and I come home to a cleaned kitchen, the table set, the smell of grilled meat. The wonderful Mr. Lush has done of that and prepared some wonderful filet mignons and grilled veggies as well as remembered it October….the first of October’s Blind Ambition Tour.

(side note…anyone get that reference?? Anyone??)

Ok, back to the topic at hand. In the glass is a lovely red wine. Now, I am no Lucy, I do not have our 59 different bottles of wine memorized, nor their location, so I don’t know what it is off the bat by glancing at the wine fridge, although I have a vague idea of at least the type of wine he’d select as well as the price range he’d pick for the occasion.

We sit down, I swish, smell. Hmm. Smells nice. Tastes wonderful. I guess merlot. I’m wrong. It’s a 2004 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon. I suck. Of course, after sipping a few drinks, swishing, etc, I taste chocolate and cherry and think “why didn’t I know this was cab? Its totally cab-ish”.

Alas. Hindsight is 20/20. (I’m sure I’ll end nearly every post with that.) I’ll try to post most of my failures as well as my successes, however few they may be. I apologize ahead of time, wine gods, for my ignorance, and hope that I grow from this.

0 fer 1. More to come.